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Oklahoma News
3:21 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Logan County Wildfire Caused $944,331 In Damage

A wildfire burns near Guthrie on Sunday, May 4.
American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma

The Logan County Assessor's Office says a wildfire that killed one person and scorched more than 5 square miles of land last week caused close to $1 million in damage to 60 structures.

Assessor Tisha Hampton says assessments done after the fire last week found more than $944,000 in damage in the county.

Authorities say the fire killed 56-year-old Johnnie Ray Knox on May 4 after he refused to leave his mobile home as flames approached. Logan County emergency manager David Ball says the cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

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Corrections Funding
2:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Oklahoma Prison Funding Proposal Awaits Governor's Signature For Immediate Implementation

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has given final approval to a $13 million supplemental funding measure to help Oklahoma's prison system pay its bills for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The House voted 68-23 for the measure Tuesday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to be signed into law. 

In a separate vote, House members voted 81-8 for an emergency clause that would permit the measure to go into effect as soon as it is signed. The Senate passed the measure last week.

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Education
1:02 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

A Recap Of Monday's Vote On Oklahoma Reading Retention Bill

State Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa) speaking during a press conference after Monday's House vote.
Nate Robson Oklahoma Watch

Three days after it was announced that nearly 8,000 Oklahoma students are at risk of repeating the third grade for failing the state’s reading test, lawmakers voted to change the state’s retention requirements.

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Oklahoma News
11:27 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Hearing Delayed For Oklahoma Teen Charged In Australian Baseball Player's Death

A screenshot of a memorial Facebook page for 22-year-old Christopher Lane.
Credit R.I.P. Christopher Lane / Facebook

A hearing has been delayed for an Oklahoma teenager charged in the fatal shooting of an Australian baseball player.

Sixteen-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. was due in court Tuesday in Duncan, but proceedings were delayed until June 17. Edwards is charged with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact in the death of 22-year-old Chris Lane.

Lane was preparing for his senior baseball season at East Central University when he was shot in Duncan while visiting his girlfriend's parents in August. Investigators say he was randomly targeted by "bored" teenagers.

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Early Childhood Education
7:47 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New National Report Highlights Oklahoma's Preschool Access, Standards

weldonlibrary Flickr Creative Commons

A new report says the availability of state-funded pre-kindergarten programs varies widely from one part of the country to another.

In Oklahoma, Florida, and Vermont, more than seven in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in such programs, while 10 states have none.

The report released Tuesday is from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in collaboration with the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.

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State Capitol
8:52 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Concrete Chunk Falls Into Capitol Office

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma Capitol officials say a piece of concrete crashed through an employee's office after moisture leaked into the basement of the nearly 100-year-old building.

Five employees of the House of Representative's media division were packing up their offices Monday after the mishap occurred sometime during the weekend when the office was vacant.

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8:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

There's Now A Run On Quake Insurance In Fracking-Heavy Oklahoma

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma City resident Mark Myers said that after the USGS issued their warning, he called his insurance agent to look into coverage. "When you see a warning for a major earthquake in Oklahoma, which I understand is pretty rare, it makes you aware of what could happen," Myers said just after speaking to an agent.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A warning from U.S. scientists that Oklahoma may be hit by a major earthquake has caused a run on insurance policies for tremors in the heartland state, adding to the woes of residents already in the firing line of devastating tornadoes.
Education
7:47 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Legislature Sends 3rd Grade Reading Bill To Fallin For Signature

Reading Test Results
Credit Oklahoma State Department of Education / Oklahoma Watch

A bill that would provide school districts more flexibility to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level is on its way to the governor's desk.

The House voted 83-6 Monday for the changes to the Reading Sufficiency Act, which was part of a Republican-led agenda to increase the rigor in Oklahoma schools and prevent students from advancing to the fourth grade if they didn't score satisfactory on a state reading test.

The bill adds several ways for students to advance to the fourth grade, even if they didn't meet all of the requirements currently in statute.

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Will go through June 1
6:07 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

"Click It Or Ticket" Campaign To Start May 19

Credit Lee Haywood / Flickr.com

Oklahoma law enforcement agencies statewide are planning to join the annual nationwide "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Troy German said Monday that from May 19 through June 1 officers will be cracking down on drivers and passengers who are not buckled up according to state law.

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Building new global research center
3:47 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

GE And Devon Energy To Collaborate On Technology

Credit jasonwoodhead23 / Flickr.com

GE Oil & Gas has announced a new technology collaboration agreement with Devon Energy Corporation to accelerate the development and testing of oil and gas products in the field.

GE announced Monday it will work with Devon Energy on artificial lift systems used for increasing the flow of liquids from production wells, advanced drilling technologies and water treatment solutions.

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