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Oklahoma Watch
6:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Q&A: How ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings Could Affect Oklahoma

Credit Lora Zibman / Flickr Creative Commons

On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.

Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?

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OSBI
6:18 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Advanced Investigative Academy Graduates 34 Agents

Credit Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy.

The agents graduated Tuesday from the academy.

Agents hired since 2007 attended the six-week academy to learn advanced skills in areas such as blood stain pattern analysis, investigative interviewing and advanced interrogation techniques and crime scene investigations.

The Bureau planned an academy a few years ago, but budget constraints would not allow for it.

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Rep. Mike Ritze
4:29 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Oklahoma Legislator Wants Immigrant Children Quarantined

Rep. Mike Ritze
Credit Oklahoma State Legislature

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined.

Republican state Rep. Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow said Tuesday he wants the federal government to provide documentation that all of the children at Fort Sill have been medically screened and don't pose a health risk.

More than 860 minors are currently being housed at the southwest Oklahoma Army post near Lawton.

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Health Care Law
12:58 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

OK Attorney General: D.C. Court's Decision Could Affect Oklahoma Lawsuit

Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt / Facebook

Update 3:15pm: see NPR's story about another court decision that affirms the federal health care law, saying the state exchanges set up by the federal government can offer subsidies to people who purchase insurance through those subsidies.

 

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World Views
11:58 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Small Scenes, Big Issues: Poet Captures Day-to-Day Existence In U.S., Venezuela

Brian Hardzinski KGOU

Venezuelan poet Arturo Gutierrez-Plaza has spent his career crafting poems exploring the scenes of everyday life. He told KGOU’s World Views he views poetry as a way to maintain the experience of childhood discovery as you learn new words, and how to use those words to unfold the tapestry of language.

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Oklahoma News
7:14 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Study: 1 In 4 Oklahoma Kids Live In Poverty

Credit Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new national study shows that nearly 1 in 4 children in Oklahoma live in poverty and the number of children living in high-poverty areas has more than doubled since 2000.

The 25th annual Kids Count report released Tuesday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Oklahoma 39th in 16 indicators across four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. The state dropped from 36th in 2013, one of the largest declines in the United States.

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Politics and Government
12:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Co-Chairman Of RNC To Visit Oklahoma Republicans For Training And Fundraiser

Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.
Credit Facebook

The co-chairman of the Republican National Committee is visiting Oklahoma to help train GOP candidates and to headline a fundraiser for the state party.

RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day will be in Oklahoma on Thursday to train state and local Republican candidates on target messaging in an event coordinated with the OklahomaRepublican Party.

Thursday evening, Day will headline a "Denim and Diamonds" fundraiser for the OklahomaRepublican Party at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

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Arts and Entertainment
8:57 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Interim Study To Evaluate Future Of Oklahoma Arts Council

Oklahoma Arts Council
Credit Oklahoma Arts Council

After years of discussions and a handful of bills seeking to eliminate or reduce funding to the Oklahoma Arts Council, one legislator wants to keep the mission of the group going by looking at ways to keep them viable in the state.

Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, who has been a supporter of the agency, said her interim study, H14-0018, approved earlier this month, will look what other states with similar government arts management agencies are doing.

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Education
8:20 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma City Schools Sign Presidential Education Pledge

Credit Nick Conroy / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools is among 60 of the nation’s largest districts throwing their support behind a presidential initiative meant to ensure more students of color are succeeding academically.

While promoting his initiative Monday, President Barack Obama said 60 districts signed a pledge to participate in the initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Obama first unveiled the program in February.

The goal of the initiative is to improve graduation rates among black and Hispanic male students, improve academic performance and ensure students are ready for college or the workforce.

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Politics and Government
7:21 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs Director: "Need A Substantial Budget Increase For 2016"

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Credit Office of Juvenile Affairs

The Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs heard about the dire state of its budget during its monthly meeting Friday. Executive Director Keith Wilson told the board that "this next budget year will be nip and tuck" and that a "substantial increase in the budget for 2016" will be necessary.

"At this point in time we are operating 15.5 percent below where we were operating with the initial budget in 2010," said Wilson. "We have to cut approximately $3 million, just shy of it, out of the budget this year. That's something over $5 million that it left us to fund."

Some consolation was found in the fact that the revolving funds of "somewhere between $2.25 and $2.5 million" remained intact for the agency. That money will be solely used to operate Southern Plains Treatment Services, but there will be "very little left in those funds by the end of the fiscal year." Though the money will save the treatment center from closing, it must now be staffed less due to the cut.

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