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OneSix8
10:07 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week With Two Concerts, A Symposium, And A Health Dash

Graham Colton
Credit Shannon H / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma City native Graham Colton performs before a hometown crowd at Bricktown Music Hall March 29 at 8 p.m.

The concert marks the debut of original material from his recently recorded album Lonely Ones, released this past January. Colton’s Lonely Ones was inspired by collaborations with Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, members of the famed Oklahoma City group The Flaming Lips.

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Taxes
9:54 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Oklahoma Franchise Tax Could Continue Despite Chamber Objections

Credit 201(k) 2013 / Flickr.com

A bill that would have eliminated the franchise tax on Oklahoma businesses has been gutted and replaced with new language dealing with reporting dates for corporate tax returns.

The new version of the bill was approved on Wednesday by the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

House author Rep. Earl Sears told members he had no plans to resurrect the plan to abolish the state's franchise tax, a $1.25 levy on every $1,000 a corporation invests in Oklahoma.

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Population
9:07 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Canadian County Tops Oklahoma Population Growth

Credit U.S. Census Bureau

The fastest growing county in Oklahoma is Canadian County. The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest estimates of population growth in Oklahoma this week, showing the county in the west part of the Oklahoma City metro saw its population increase by 9.2 percent between April 2010 and July 2013.

The counties next in line for growth were outside of the state's metro areas, with Texas County in the Oklahoma panhandle showing a 7 percent increase.

That's followed by Beckham County, 6.9 percent, on the border of the Texas Panhandle and Custer County, 6.9 percent.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:34 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Why One Oklahoma Oil Executive Doesn’t Think Oil And Gas Tax Cuts Are Needed

Don Millican, the Chief Financial Officer of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Kaiser-Francis Oil Company has a lot in common with other storied Oklahoma energy empires. The company has by-the-bootstrap entrepreneurial origins, it’s been battered by boom and bust, and it’s helmed by a billionaire CEO who has weathered controversy and been showered with praise.

But the Tulsa-based exploration and production company is unique in one surprising way: It isn’t pushing for oil and gas tax cuts.

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Certified Healthy Oklahoma Award
4:28 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Cherokee Nation's Health Services Receives Good Review

Three Rivers Health Center
Credit Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation's health services department is receiving accolades for meeting certain health criteria.

Cherokee Nation Health Services and the tribe's Head Start program recently received the Certified Healthy Oklahoma award from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Three of the tribe's health centers also received the award. They are the Vinita Health Center, Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee and Redbird Smith Health Center in Sallisaw.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:24 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Bill to Allow New Tax On Limestone And Sand Mines Dead Until Next Year

State Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka)
Credit Provided / Oklahoma House of Representatives

Representative Charles McCall’s bill to allow counties to impose a tax on sand and limestone mining operations that sell their product elsewhere didn’t make it through the full House by the March 14 deadline.

But McCall, R-Atoka, says he will try again next year.

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Economic Development
12:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Study: $6 Billion Spent On Oklahoma Wind Energy

A wind turbine near Calumet, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A study commissioned by The Wind Coalition says developers have invested more than $6 billion in Oklahoma's wind energy industry.

The study released Wednesday says there are 26 active wind farms in the state. Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation in the amount of wind energy generated for consumers. That's enough to power almost 770,000 homes each year.

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Oklahoma Watch
12:02 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Many Of State’s Lowest-Achieving Students Show No Improvement In Reading, Math

Shelly Deas, principal of Lee Elementary School in Oklahoma City, shows the school’s system for tracking achievement and improvement levels of each student. Students in blue are at the highest performing level; students in red are at the lowest.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Four in 10 of Oklahoma’s lowest-performing students showed little or no improvement in language arts and math last year, raising questions about whether the state and schools are focusing enough attention on students who struggle the most.

In public schools where at least three-fourths of students were from low-income families, about half of test takers made no significant improvement over the previous year, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of state test results in spring 2013.

Interactive: How Bottom 25 Percent Scored at Each School

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Death Penalty
10:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

UPDATE: Judge Finds Execution Drug Secrecy Unconstitutional

Oklahoma's death row is housed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla.
Credit duggar11

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that the state's execution law is unconstitutional because it doesn't allow inmates access to the court system.

Under Oklahoma law, no one may disclose the source of drugs used in executions — even if an inmate sues and wants the information as part of the discovery process. 

Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said Wednesday that provision violates due process rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

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Received $6000 bill for back taxes
6:01 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Widow Of Oklahoma Soldier May Get Tax Relief

Credit donkeyhotey / Flickr.com

The widow of an Oklahoma soldier killed in the Fort Hood shooting could get relief from a $6,000 tax bill under a measure that would grant some families benefits similar to those given after acts of terrorism.

Jennifer Hunt, 30, had been married just short of three months when her husband, Jason, was killed in the rampage at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009.

Hunt said she was misinformed at the time of her husband's death and believed that she qualified for a property tax exemption, but this year received a $6,000 bill for back taxes.

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