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Marijuana Legalization
1:18 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Republican Challengers Bring Drug Stance Into Governor's Race

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A Republican with nearly a quarter century in political office who has never lost an election, Gov. Mary Fallin, faces two lesser-known opponents in next week's GOP primary who have made their support of marijuana legalization an issue in the campaign.

Criminal defense attorney Chad Moody is known around Oklahoma City as "The Drug Lawyer," while computer network operator Dax Ewbank is a libertarian leaning Republican and father of seven from Guthrie. Both say they support the full legalization of cannabis.

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Primary Elections
8:23 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Barresi Loans Campaign $910,000 In Personal Funds Last Month

State Superintendent Janet Barresi
Nate Robson Oklahoma Watch

The most recent campaign finance reports show State Superintendent Janet Barresi loaned her reelection campaign nearly $1 million in personal funds last month. Barresi's campaign manager told The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay the loans are necessary to counter negative attacks by her opponents.

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Oklahoma News
7:34 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Wake-And-'Quake: Oklahoma Residents Rise To More Temblors

Credit Ray Bouknight / Flickr Creative Commons

More earthquakes have rattled the central Oklahoma area.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the first earthquake occurred at about 2 a.m. Wednesday near Langston. That quake had a preliminary magnitude of 3.0 and was 3.1 miles deep. A second earthquake, this time with a 2.7 magnitude, was recorded at 5:30 a.m. near Edmond.

The USGS says a third earthquake struck about 20 minutes later. That quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 and was centered 5 miles north of Spencer.

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44% Of Association Members Operate In Oklahoma
8:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Company Man: Oil and Gas Energy Rep Says Industry Understands Quake Concerns

Alex Mills is president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
Credit Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

Alex Mills is a company man. He heads the largest state oil and gas association in the United States. He’s based in Wichita Falls, 90 minutes northwest of the Azle-Reno area, where a series of earthquakes hit six months ago. This story is part of our series on “What’s Behind the North Texas Quakes?”

As president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Alex Mills represents businesses in nearly 30 states. In a weekly column, he wrote that hydraulic fracturing has become a focal point of attack for many environmental groups that want to deter or ban oil and natural gas production.

“The issue with hydraulic fracturing is not really an issue,” Mills said. “Because hydraulic fracturing is a process that has proven to be safe and reliable to get hydro-carbons out of the ground, oil and natural gas.”

He says officials from a number of federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, agree that fracturing is safe.

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Despite Quadruple Bypass Surgery, Infofe is Ready
7:43 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

GOP Senator Inhofe, 79, Refutes Primary Opponents

Senator Inhofe.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Longtime Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe is rejecting claims by some of his challengers in the GOP primary that he's been in Washington too long and it's time for new blood in that office.

The 79-year-old says he expects that type of criticism, but said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that he's still the best candidate to represent the interests of Oklahoma in Washington.

Inhofe faces four Republican challengers in next week's primary: D. Jean McBride-Samuels, Rob Moye, Evelyn Rogers and Erick Wyatt.

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Fallin Out-Fundraising Primary Opponents
7:27 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Fallin Tops $3M Fundraising Mark In Oklahoma Governor's Race

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The latest campaign finance reports show Gov. Mary Fallin has topped more than $3 million in contributions to her re-election campaign and is continuing to distance herself from her opponents in fundraising.

Campaign contribution and expenditure reports due by midnight Tuesday show Fallin raised a little more than $3 million for the reporting period that ended June 9, with more than $1.5 million remaining in cash on hand. Fallin faces two little-funded GOP challengers in next Tuesday's primary election -- Dax Ewbank and Chad Moody.

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Government Transparency
4:35 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Judge Upholds Fallin's Right To Withhold Documents On Rejecting State Health Insurance

District Judge Barbara Swinton
Credit Oklahoma County Judges

 

An Oklahoma County judge has upheld Gov. Mary Fallin's legal right to withhold documents requested by news organizations under Oklahoma's Open Records Act.

District Judge Barbara Swinton handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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"Accessory after the fact"
3:56 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

16-Year-Old Boy Will Not Face First-Degree Murder Charge

Credit District Attorneys Council

A 16-year-old boy accused in the shooting death of a baseball player from Australia will no longer face a first-degree murder charge.

The Stephens County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to dismiss the murder charge Tuesday against James Francis Edwards Jr. Prosecutors filed a new charge of accessory after the fact.

Edwards is testifying against two other teens charged in the death of 22-year-old Chris Lane.

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Gas Prices
12:02 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Oklahomans Paying More At The Pump Than Any Time In Nearly A Year

Credit futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

AAA Oklahoma says the state's average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is up to $3.48 per gallon, the highest price since September 2013.

The automobile travel organization reported Tuesday the statewide average price jumped nearly 3 cents overnight, with some cities, including Tulsa, seeing even steeper climbs.

AAA cited the ongoing conflict in Iraq as a driving factor in the price hike.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:03 am
Tue June 17, 2014

The Unique Way Norman Sets Its Water, Sewer Rates Could Be Changing

Melissa Megginson Flickr Creative Commons

Norman is the only city in Oklahoma that requires water rate increases to be approved through a vote of the people, which at times has stymied attempts to upgrade aging water infrastructure, and makes planning for future expenses difficult.

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