Politics and Government
7:34 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Rally Asks For Independent Entity To Investigate Oklahoma's Execution Policies

The death penalty chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will host a rally in opposition to executions and to support a moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma.

The Halt Executions Rally is scheduled for Sunday at the state Capitol South Plaza starting at 2:30 p.m. Coalition co-chair Adam Leathers says the group will hold the rally to call on the citizens of Oklahoma to demand a halt to all executions until the governor accepts responsibility and establishes a truly independent investigation to examine every aspect of every execution in the state.

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Manager's Desk
6:00 am
Sun May 18, 2014

KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma Receive National Award

Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for journalism excellence.
Credit Society of Professional Journalists

May 18, 2014

This is from the Manager’s Desk.   

KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma will receive a national award on June 20th. But first a little background.

Three years ago, the public radio and television stations formed the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange.  The first collaboration was StateImpact Oklahoma, led by KGOU and delivering content to all the stations. And the stations are talking to each other more, sharing more.

When the tornados hit Oklahoma last May, the StateImpact team, KGOU and KOSU coordinated reporting, some of which was used by NPR.

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Politics and Government
10:21 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Reactions To Negotiated Oklahoma State Budget for FY15

Reactions so far to the announced budget deal between the Governor's office the the Oklahoma House and Senate leaders are focusing on different aspects of the plan that require cuts for 52 state agencies, increases to others and flat spending to seven more.

State Republican leaders are generally positive about the negotiated agreement while reactions from the Oklahoma Policy Institute and the Oklahoma Sierra Club describe their concerns.

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Oklahoma Legislative Budget
9:02 am
Sat May 17, 2014

FY15 Oklahoma Legislative Appropriation Deal A Mixture of Cuts and Increases

Governor Mary Fallin yesterday released details of the appropriations agreement between her office and the Oklahoma legislative branches for Fiscal Year 2015.

The information from the Governor’s office said the agreement would set a FY 15 appropriated budget of $7,121,723,873, which is $102.1 million, or 1.4 percent, less than the FY 2014 appropriated budget, which is $7,223,824,517 with supplemental funding included.

The budget agreement uses targeted spending cuts, increases to others, flat appropriations to several, and a reconciliation of several state agency accounts to close a $188 million shortfall in funds certified for appropriations.

The details include:

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Business and Economy
8:07 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Oklahoma Unemployment Rate Falls In April

Credit Ann Arbor District Library / Flickr Creative Commons

 The unemployment rate in Oklahoma fell by three-tenths of one percent from March to April.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Friday that the jobless rate declined from 4.9 percent in March to 4.6 percent in April.

Oklahoma added 4,100 jobs in April with the leisure and hospitality industries adding 1,800 positions, while the trade, transportation and utilities added 1,500 and the manufacturing industry added 1,400. The construction sector saw a loss of 1,100 jobs.

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Indian Times
7:08 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Review: News Affecting Indian Country

Credit Susan Shannon

Tobacco Tax Compact Negotiated

A new tobacco tax compact between the Kialegee Tribal Town and the state of Oklahoma is now in effect. Each of the state's 38 federally recognized Indian tribes can negotiate a compact with the state that determines how much of the $1.03-per-pack tax is distributed between the state and the tribe.  The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma will collect 30 percent of all Kialegee compact taxes - or all applicable state taxes - on the sale of any cigarette or other tobacco product that is subject to the compact from Feb. 1 of this year through the end of 2015. That amount increases to 40 percent in 2016, 45 percent in 2017 and 50 percent in 2018. The compact expires at the end of 2018.

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Social Media May Help during disasters
6:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Oklahoma County Sherriff's Office Has Vast Twitter Following

Credit Mace Ojala /

Oklahoma County's sheriff's office wants basketball fans and the Oklahoma City Thunder to know that streaking is illegal, but that loudly cheering has yet to land anyone in jail.

Mark Myers runs the sheriff's Twitter account as the office's official spokesman. The former TV reporter believes a non-traditional approach to social media helps engage followers so they pay attention when important news breaks.

And it appears to be working: The office's Twitter account has become one of the most popular in the nation for mid-sized law enforcement agencies.

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House Republicans Oppose The Project
3:50 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Unfinished Museum May Remain Unfinished

Credit American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

Gov. Mary Fallin's chief budget negotiator says a plan to spend $40 million to complete an unfinished Indian museum near downtown Oklahoma City is apparently dead for this session.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said Friday the proposal "is dead for now."

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World Views
12:54 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

On The Road: Three Observations From London

Known to miners as 'The Big K', Kellingley Colliery started with the sinking of shafts in 1958 with the first coal being produced in 1965. It's one of three of Britain's three remaining deep pit coal mines facing closure in the next 18 months.
Paul Glazzard The Geograph Britain And Ireland Project/Wikimedia Commons

World Views host Suzette Grillot starts a three-country, four-city, five-week tour of Europe this week for her work as the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. This week she’s in London with OU Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Clarke Stroud.

Turkey's Mining Disaster Resonates in England

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State Capitol
11:38 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Tentative Deal Reached On Oklahoma State Budget

Preston Doerflinger, Office of State Finance director, during a November 2011 tax credit task force meeting.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin's chief budget negotiator says a tentative deal has been reached with the House and Senate on a roughly $7 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

State Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said Friday details of the plan will be released later in the day after the budget is presented in closed-door meetings with rank-and-file members of the House and Senate.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman says he hopes a bond issue to repair the state's crumbling Capitol is part of the final agreement.

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