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State Capitol
12:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senate Targets Oklahoma's High Female Lockup Rate

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan to target Oklahoma's highest-in-the-nation female incarceration rate with a prison diversion pilot program in Tulsa has unanimously passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday for the bill by Republican Sen. Kim David of Porter that targets women convicted of drug or other nonviolent crimes. David says female offenders first must enter a plea of guilty, which a judge can withhold and waive if the woman completes the 12-to-18-month program.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

State Senate Easily Passes Bill That Could Make Mining Permits Harder To Get

U.S. Silica's sand processing plant north of Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Some landowners frustrated by the expansion of mining in south-central Oklahoma — particularly in the sensitive Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer — hope a slight change to the state’s mining law will make a major difference in the public’s ability to go up against large sand and limestone mining companies.

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State Capitol
9:44 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Looting Could Become Felony In Oklahoma

The aftermath of the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation that makes looting a felony in Oklahoma.

The Senate passed the measure 36-1 Tuesday evening and sent it to the House for consideration.

The measure by Republican Sen. Anthony Sykes of Moore elevates the crime of looting from a misdemeanor offense to a felony, with a penalty for violations ranging from two to seven years in prison.

Sykes says the measure is a response to incidents of looting after a massive tornado destroyed homes and business in Moore last May.

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Death Penalty
9:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Oklahoma Attorney General To Respond In Execution Drug Appeal Case

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office is scheduled to respond to an appeal by two death row inmates who are seeking a stay of execution.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt says a response will be filed by noon Wednesday to the appeal and emergency application for a stay filed with the state Supreme Court by lawyers for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner.

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Bill Sent on to senate
5:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

House Approves Legislation Creating Tax Credits For Housing In Rural Areas

Credit thefixer / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation to create a tax credit for low- and moderate-income housing in rural areas.

The bill by Republican Rep. Mike Jackson of Enid was approved 75-13 Tuesday and sent to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill creates a new tax credit program similar to the federal low-income housing tax credit. The amount of state tax credits would equal the amount of federal low-income tax credits for a qualified project.

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Arts & Entertainment
4:21 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

‘I’m Really Clara’: Musical Explores The ‘Flipside’ Of Oklahoma’s Patti Page

Credit Provided / Flipside: The Patti Page Story

Interview with UCO Director of Musical Theater Greg White

From the end of World War II to the mid-1950s – before the “Golden Age” of rock ‘n’ roll – classic pop ballads and carefully crafted novelty songs dominated the radio airwaves. 

Among the best-known of these clear-throated singers with a penchant for the dramatic was Oklahoma-born Clara Ann Fowler, who was billed as “The Singin’ Rage, Miss Patti Page.”

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Workers' Compensation
12:57 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Oklahoma Court Upholds CompSource Mutualization

Credit Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld a plan to convert the state workers' compensation insurance agency into a mutual company.

The state's highest court handed down a decision Tuesday that affirms legislation adopted last year to convert CompSource Oklahoma into the CompSource Mutual Insurance Co. The new company would be organized under state law, but independent of the state. The change goes into effect on Jan. 1.

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State Capitol
11:42 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Senate Approves Lower Age Limit For Oklahoma State Troopers

Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets lining up during academy training.
Credit Oklahoma Highway Patrol

A state senator from Coalgate hopes to make it easier to become an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

At the request of the agency, Republican state Sen. Josh Brecheen wrote a bill that would lower the age limit from 23 to 21 and reduce the educational requirements needed to become a trooper.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday on a 43-2 vote and now heads to the House for consideration.

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Assignment: Radio
10:17 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Painting to Your Own Beat

An abstract artist from Bethany, Oklahoma paints to her own beat — lately Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B flat minor. Radio reporter, Molly Evans, spoke with MtnWoman Silver about the music and emotions that inspire her unique artistic process and her current exhibition titled, “Sounds of Self.”  

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Assignment: Radio
10:03 am
Tue March 11, 2014

A Passion for Prevention

Candace McCaffrey began her career as many people do – using any opportunities she could find to gain experience. This led her somewhere she didn’t expect – Bethesda, Inc., a Norman non-profit that provides counseling for child victims of sexual abuse.

McCaffrey: I was working at the community mental health center, and one of the original organizers, I guess, asked me if I wanted to co-lead one of the sex offender groups. I was young, needed experience, said yes.

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