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Latest Earthquake May Link to Disposal Well

Mar 7, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 3.4 magnitude  earthquake has been recorded near Prague in central Oklahoma. The Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management says there were no injuries  or damage reported.

The USGS says the quake was recorded at 12:24 p.m. yesterday about 6 miles  northwest of Prague. That's about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.

Anti-Horse Slaughter Groups Lobby Lawmakers

Mar 7, 2013
nicodeux / Flickr Creative Commons

 A legislative plan to pave the way for a horse slaughtering facility in Oklahoma is drawing fierce opposition from animal  rights groups.

Several animal protection groups plan to rally at the state Capitol Thursday for "Humane Lobby Day" and urge legislators to oppose the bill to allow horse  slaughtering in the state.

OneSix8: Entertaining the Hours of Your Week

Mar 7, 2013
Performing Arts Studio of Norman

Norman steals the spotlight on this week’s OneSix8 with numerous performances and family-friendly activities.

Fallin Accepts CNG Vehicles

Mar 6, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -_ Gov. Mary Fallin has accepted delivery of more than a dozen compressed natural gas-fueled pickup trucks that are being added to Oklahoma's fleet of vehicles.  Fallin said Wednesday that the CNG vehicles will cut the state's vehicle fuel costs and help reduce harmful exhaust emissions.  The trucks were delivered by John Vance Motors of Guthrie and Chrysler executives.

E-Cigarette Bill Passes Senate

Mar 6, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would prevent youth access to electronic cigarettes has been approved in the Senate.  The Senate voted 26-15 on Wednesday for the bill that also limits the taxes that can be levied on the so-called ``e-cigarettes.''  An alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that users inhale. Under current law, there is no age restriction on the purchase of these products.  The bill would prohibit anyone under 18 from purchasing any vapor or tobacco-derived products.  The measure

Pinnell Won't Seek Third Term

Mar 6, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell says he won't seek another term in office when his term expires next month.

Pinnell said Wednesday he would not run for a third term at the Oklahoma Republican Party Convention on April 20. First elected in 2010 when former Chairman Gary Jones ran for Oklahoma auditor and inspector, Pinnell was re-elected to a full two-year term in 2011.

Low-Performing Schools Bill Passes Senate

Mar 6, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Parents of children in low performing Oklahoma public schools could petition to have them converted to charters school and, in some cases, have a principal and other administrators fired, under a bill approved by the Senate. 

Gov. Mary Fallin prepares to deliver her 2013 State of the State address, flanked by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, and House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Chesapeake Energy has been pushing for a new law to undo a previous law the company helped write.

On Tuesday, the new law was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin — the first bill signed by the Governor during the 2013 legislative session.

NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Flickr

A new study out this week finds that ice-free passage from North America to Asia directly over the North Pole could be possible after 2049.

UCLA geographers Laurence Smith and Scott Stephenson published the study Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

State House Passes Pension Bill

Mar 5, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - New state employees would have the option of a traditional pension or a defined contribution plan under a bill approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 65-22 on Tuesday for the bill that would give state employees hired after July 1, 2014, the new option. The bill would make it a requirement for statewide elected officials elected after July 2014 to be a member of the new defined contribution plan.

Most Democrats opposed the measure, arguing it was the first step toward abolishing public pensions in Oklahoma.

Pruitt Appeals Abortion Ruling

Mar 5, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that invalidated a state anti-abortion statute.

The state's highest court ruled in December that the anti-abortion law was ``facially unconstitutional'' and that a lower court judge was right to prevent its enforcement. The law restricted the off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs, such as RU-486.

OK Senate Approves Drought Relief Fund

Mar 5, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Senate has approved the creation of a special drought-relief fund to aid the state's agricultural community during times of drought emergency.

The full Senate voted without objection to create the fund that would be overseen by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. However, there was no funding mechanism included in the bill, and any money deposited into it would come from direct appropriations from the Legislature.

School Security Group Submits Recommendations

Mar 5, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Members of a state task force created after the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school have submitted five recommendations for legislative action to help prevent similar attacks in Oklahoma.

well site
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Earthquakes have been increasing in Oklahoma and other states throughout the mid-continent, and many seismologists think this increased seismicity is linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

Person on bench at bus stop
Ed Shadid

The Oklahoma City metro is used to receiving top rankings in a number of areas, including unemployment, business climate and affordable housing, but there are other areas where the community falls short.

One of those is public transit. Of the top 50 cities in the nation, Oklahoma City is dead last in the quality and sustainability of public transportation.

40th anniversary of Wounded Knee '73

Mar 2, 2013

This week on Indian Times...last Wednesday was the 40th anniversary of Wounded Knee ‘73, it was the last armed conflict between Native Americans and the United States Government... and for many, their coming of age.  We'll talk with a participant, Louis Gray.

O. Louis Guglielmi / artinterrupted.org

On March 2, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art opened a recently-reassembled exhibit of modern American art the U.S. State Department recalled from an overseas tour in the 1940’s.

Eric Vernier / Flickr

The governor of the Bank of Greece says the recession has cut Greece’s economic output by 20.1 percent between 2008 and 2012. Earlier this week George Provopoulos says the country is “clearly improving,” but Greece’s economy would remain stuck in recession in 2013.

Alison Johnston is a comparative political scientist at Oregon State University, and studies economics and labor markets in the European Union. She says Greece will only leave the eurozone voluntarily.

“Are countries going to get kicked out of the euro?” Johnston asks. “Whenever I'm asked this question, I like to ask people, 'Well how likely is it that you think that a state like Massachusetts could kick a state like California out of the dollar because California might be borrowing from the U.S. government?'”

Duane Smith
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s water infrastructure needs are daunting, and replacing wastewater treatment plants, filtration systems, and pipelines is expensive.

That’s especially for smaller communities with just a few thousand residents to cover millions of dollars in costs.

There is federal and state aid available, but for some, turning to tribal governments is also an option.

A new corporate governance law sought by Chesapeake Energy now awaits Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

Final approval from the state Legislature came Wednesday. The measure — House Bill 1646, authored by Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks — reverses 2010 legislation that mandated staggered elections of directors at certain public companies, a corporate governance strategy designed to prevent a boardroom takeover.

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