News

Pages

OK Public Utilities
7:55 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Jerry Sanger To Head OK Public Utilities Unit

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit Steve/Flickr

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has named Assistant Attorney General Jerry Sanger the new chief of the attorney general's public utilities unit.

As public utilities unit chief, Sanger will represent the interests of the state's utility customers in rate-related issues. The unit also participates in utility-related task forces, rulemaking proceedings and other legislative activities.

Read more
Kitchen Lake Renewal
6:27 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Southeast OKC Celebrates New Park Opening

Fishing pole
Credit Richard Elzey/Flickr

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is expected to cast a fishing line into Kitchen Lake to celebrate the opening of a new park on the city's southeast side.

A ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after more than $850,000 was spent renovating a portion of the 160-acre park. Improvements include a new entry and parking lot, wheelchair-accessible sidewalks and a floating fishing dock.

Most of the funding came from a 2007 bond issue.

The lake has long been a favorite spot of local fishermen and is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie and three kinds of sunfish.

Read more
Agency Took Less Of A Cut Than Others
7:57 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services Faces 1.2% Cut

Credit Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services faces a 1.2 percent cut after budget negotiations for the 2015 fiscal year concluded with lawmakers and the governor approving a $7.1 billion budget.

The agency says its cut amounts to approximately $368,000 but it has not determined where the cut will be implemented. Jody Harlan, public information administrator, said Monday it is unlikely client services will be disrupted but commissioners and agency leaders did not give any indication as to what would be affected during their monthly meeting Monday morning. 

Read more
Corporate Tax Collections Below Forecast
7:29 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Taxing Corporations: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Roller Coaster

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

 Oklahoma’s corporate income tax has become the wild card of state finance, gyrating unpredictably from one year to the next as firms take advantage of tax credits and legal accounting practices.

This year’s corporate tax collections have fallen so far below expectations that the state came within a hair’s breadth of declaring a “revenue failure.” That, in turn, would have triggered across-the-board cuts in scores of state programs.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
7:03 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

OG&E Plans Expensive Move Away From Coal To Comply With EPA Rules

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas and Electric — the state’s largest utility — was resistant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze rule, which means to clear the air at national parks and wildlife refuges, and was part of a challenge to the rule the U.S.

Read more
Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:54 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Moore Hospital Shares More Than Tornado Destruction With Joplin

An aerial view of the new Mercy hospital in Joplin, Mo.
Credit Mercy Health Care System

As residents of Moore, Okla. remembered the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado that ripped through their community by breaking ground on a new hospital, they could also look toward the state's northeast corner for a symbol of hope.

This May marked the three-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., just across the Oklahoma border. Both communities lost a hospital in their storms, and Joplin’s new health care facilities are signs of overall recovery and revival.

John’s Hospital in Joplin, now known as Mercy, was ravaged beyond repair on May 22, 2011. The tornado took six lives there. At nearby Freeman Hospital, veteran nurse Leslie Allen and the emergency room were inundated with the injured.

“Elbow to elbow, limping, body parts hanging, wraps to control bleeding; they were just shoulder-to-shoulder, and it looked like a scene out of a horror movie,” Allen said.

Read more
Will start arriving Friday
6:08 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Illegal Child Immigrants To Be Housed At Fort Sill

Credit duggar11 / Flickr.com

Officials say unaccompanied children who were apprehended as they tried to enter the U.S. illegally will be housed at Fort Sill by the end of the week.

Fort Sill announced Monday that between 600 to 1,200 children will reside at the installation on a temporary basis until they can be reunited with their families or placed with a sponsor.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families will be responsible for their care. An agency spokesman says the children are expected to arrive at Fort Sill starting Friday.

Read more
Kept For Independent Autopsy
5:10 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Body Of Inmate Returns From Texas Minus Heart And Larynx

Credit Kenny Louie / Flickr.com

 A state medical official says the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died of what corrections officials had said was an apparent heart attack after a botched execution was returned from an independent autopsy without the heart or larynx.

Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Monday the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office retained the body parts, a practice she said is not uncommon. Dallas County officials did not immediately return messages Monday.

Read more
OK Veteran's Affairs Delays
1:57 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Audit Reveals OK Veterans Affairs Hospital Delays

Credit Simon Cunningham / Flickr.com

A newly released audit has found that new patients seeking health care at the Muskogee and Oklahoma City VA hospitals waited an average of 31 and 44 days, respectively, to be seen.

Monday's audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that 464 new patients at the two facilities waited more than 60 days for an appointment.

The audit also found that established patients at both care centers had waits averaging just over two days to be seen.

Read more
Oklahoma Voices
11:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Four Takeaways From The 2014 Legislative Session

LLudo Flickr Creative Commons

Now that the dust has settled at the state Capitol after the May 23 end of the 2014 Oklahoma legislative session, journalists, lobbyists and the public will try to figure out what the legislature did (or didn’t) accomplish as lawmakers shift their focus to a contentious primary season ahead of June 24.

Read more

Pages