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Nathan and Brooke Hall.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Brooke Hall has lived in the Parkway Mobile Home Park most of her life. She’s never really liked the taste of the water that comes from the park’s wells, but she didn’t think it could be dangerous until she was in the hospital giving birth to her son.

“Doctors and nurses told me I needed to stop breastfeeding while they did blood work and tested for lead because they were afraid that, because I was drinking the water, that it would be passed through to him,” she says.

Mike Carter, CEO of the Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau, during an April 13, 2016 press conference at the state Capitol.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Hospital and nursing home administrators urged the Oklahoma legislature Wednesday to increase the tobacco tax by $1.50 per pack of cigarettes as way to stave off a proposed 25 percent cut to the Medicaid reimbursement rate.

They also announced support for a plan to expand the state’s Insure Oklahoma program and accept federal healthcare dollars.

Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center CEO Mike Carter says a cut to the Medicaid reimbursement rate would devastate his hospital.

Emails obtained by Buzzfeed death penalty reporter and public radio veteran Chris McDaniel indicate the Oklahoma Department of Corrections received executed inmate Clayton Lockett's autopsy months before it was made public.

Gov. Mary Fallin addresses the media at the state capitol on April 13, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin outlined a draft plan Wednesday to help plug the state’s projected $1.3 billion dollars budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year and avoid major cuts to education, health, mental health, corrections and other services.

Fallin would bond $450 million of transportation projects to free up that money for other purposes.  She also proposed nearly $238.9 million in new revenue through tax reform measures, such as eliminating certain sales tax exemptions and getting rid of the state’s personal income tax double deduction.

Homeowners near the intersection of Alameda Street and 24th Ave. SE could be on the hook for expensive repairs if the earthen dam in their subdivision fails.

Panhandlers sit in a median at NW 23rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City’s new anti-panhandling ordinance faces a legal challenge after the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed suit Wednesday against the Oklahoma City government and police chief Bill Citty.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of several residents includes a formerly homeless person who sells the Curbside Chronicle newspaper. It says rules restricting the use of street medians violate the constitution.

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan accepts the award during a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in August 2015.
Oklahoma State Department of Education / Facebook

The three-day filing period opened Wednesday morning for candidates running for state and federal office. More than two dozen educators are considering politics as the state continues to deal with deep cuts to public schools. An unofficial head count shows about 30 teachers running for office.

Don Wentroth said he simply wants a better learning environment for students.

medical marijuana
David Trawin / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma's most recent Democratic gubernatorial nominee is spearheading an effort to let state residents vote on the use of medical marijuana.

2014 nominee and former state Rep. Joe Dorman is a board member of Oklahomans for Health. On Monday the group filed an initiative petition to begin gathering signatures to place the proposal on the ballot in November. The group will have 90 days to gather about 86,000 signatures from registered voters to get the proposal on the ballot.

A combine crew from South Dakota harvests wheat near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A recent survey of Oklahoma's wheat farmers shows they're doing whatever they can to save money due to low commodity prices.

The Farmer Speaks study shows nearly 75 percent of farmers surveyed say they're switching from name-brand herbicides to generics, and more than 30 percent said they won't buy new equipment anytime soon, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

Oklahoma Watch

At least two Oklahoma law enforcement agencies possess or have used a controversial device, shrouded in secrecy, to track and collect information from cellphones, an Oklahoma Watch investigation found.

The devices, often referred to as “cell site simulators,” are controversial because they collect information not only from criminal suspects, but also potentially from scores of other surrounding cellphone owners who have no idea the data is being gathered.

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