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Slow Improvements But Okahoma Still Lags Behind
11:34 am
Sun June 15, 2014

New Health Report Shows Oklahoma Ranks 44th In The Nation

Credit amboo who? / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2014 State of the State's Health Report released by the Oklahoma State Board of Health shows Oklahoma ranks 44th in overall health status of its residents compared to other states in the nation.

Unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors such as low physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption, along with a high prevalence of smoking and obesity, contribute to most of the state's leading causes of death. Significant health disparities among many of the state's population also contribute to Oklahoma's health status.

The report says, “Overall, Oklahoma has the fourth highest rate of death from all causes in the nation, 23 percent higher than the national rate. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that while Oklahoma’s mortality rate dropped five percent over the past 20 years, the U.S. mortality rate dropped 20 percent. So, Oklahoma is not keeping up with the rest of the nation.”

The annual study reports on a range of factors and details information by county.

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9:27 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Teachers Mix Primary Colors

Lead in text: 
An Enid News & Eagle study of teacher certification and voter data showed more than 1,200 educators re-registered with the GOP since May 2013.
Related Photos Discussion ENID, Okla. - Buddy Wood always has been a Democrat. Always. Just not now. Like most voters in Beckham County, a rural plain that straddles Interstate 40 on the Texas line, Wood registered with the Democratic Party when it came time to vote.
Manager's Desk
8:59 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Summer Solstice Is No Time To Dream

A watercolor of a scene from "A Midsummer Nights Dream" by John Simmons, 1823-1876.
Credit John Simmons / commons.wikipedia.org

June 15, 2014

This is from the Manager’s Desk. 

It may be hard to think but we are now in the last week of spring!

The summer solstice comes just before 6 a.m. on Saturday, June 21st. 

Ah, midsummer’s eve – dreams of fairies and maypoles, of bonfires, and plays within plays.

“If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear.” 

But we have no time to dream now!

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Higher Education Regents Say Diversion Illegal
8:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Fallin Says She Supports OHLAP Scholarship

Gov. Mary Fallin says she supports a program that provides college scholarships for low- and middle-income students and is vowing to fully fund it.

Fallin made the comments Friday after concerns were expressed about the diversion of $7.8 million from an Oklahoma Higher Access Learning Program revolving fund for use elsewhere in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Fallin made the comments two days after House Democratic Leader Scott Inman requested an attorney general's opinion on the constitutionality of diverting the money.

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Three Months To Gather Signatures
8:04 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Pro-Marijuana Group Seeks Legalization

Marijuana leaf.
Credit Wikipedia Commons / Creative Commons

Oklahoma pro-marijuana advocates are pushing for a second signature drive to get the issue a statewide vote, this time for full legalization of cannabis, similar to Colorado and Washington.

Supporters of marijuana legalization filed an initiative petition on Friday with the Oklahoma secretary of state's office. They will have three months to gather more than 155,000 signatures from registered voters to get the proposal on a statewide ballot.

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Mostly Teenagers From Central America
7:50 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

135 Immigrant Children Expected At Fort Sill Saturday

Federal officials say 135 children who were detained while trying to enter the U.S. illegally are expected at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on Saturday.

Kenneth J. Wolfe, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email Friday that the children will be held at the temporary Unaccompanied Alien Children program facility at the Army base.

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Indian Times
3:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Young Native Americans Pick Up The Fight Against Native Mascots

Credit Jennie Stockle

Oklahoma-born American Indian rights advocate Suzan Shown Harjo has led the fight against team names and mascots deemed disparaging to Native Americans. She led a successful legal challenge in 1992 against the owner of the Washington Redskins. But the initial ruling by Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was overturned, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Now the torch has been passed, and a new generation of advocates is running with it.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:08 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Weakening Drought And Industry Trends Raise Hopes For Cattle Herd Rebound

Cows Graze in Kay County, Okla.
Credit fireboat895 / Flickr Creative Commons

With drought in retreat — at least for the moment — the U.S. cattle herd, which has been severely damaged by shrinking water supplies and withering grazing land in the face of rising demand, might begin to trend back up.

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World Views
11:23 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Local Partisan Politics Affects U.S. Foreign Policy

President Obama meets with China's President Xi Jinping before a March 2014 bilateral meeting.
Pete Souza The White House

Despite George Washington’s plea for “no entangling alliances” in his farewell address, foreign policy, and military and economic intervention have been a staple of U.S. partisan politics since the 18th century.

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Oklahoma News
10:52 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Autopsy Requested By Death Row Attorneys Shows Lockett's Vein Did Not Collapse

Clayton Lockett
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Oklahoma Watch

A private autopsy released Friday shows more evidence that the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett wasn’t conducted properly, and the team carrying out the procedure didn’t properly place an IV into Lockett’s vein.

Forensic pathologist Joseph Cohen conducted the May 14 autopsy at the request of attorneys for several Oklahoma death row prisoners. The state initially said Lockett’s vein collapsed, which led to the drugs not being administered properly.

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