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Politics and Government
7:36 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Office of Juvenile Affairs Cuts Funds to Community Intervention Centetrs

Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Credit Office of Juvenile Affairs

Community intervention centers were the hot topic during the Friday meeting of Office of Juvenile Affairs Board of Directors. A meeting was able to be held Friday, unlike in June which failed due to a lack of a quorum. Suspicions had run high that the lack of a quorum was a tactical move to keep the ample audience from voicing concern at the budget cut for community intervention centers (CICs).

Board member Richard Rice, the missing board member who audience and other board members spent an hour waiting on for last month's meeting, publicly apologized Friday saying he "simply could not get out of the courtroom."

The number of those in attendance at this meeting was drastically different than those audience members from last month's meeting, but, nonetheless, several public comments were made about the cut of appropriations to CICs. A cut of 1.75 percent was cut from Youth Services, and an additional estimate of $610,000 was cut specifically from CIC budgets.

OJA Executive Director Keith Wilson said that the cuts came after a "necessary" cost-benefit analysis. Since then, he has been in talks with the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, impressing upon them the dire budget situation. Wilson said that "the situation that the Legislature and the governor have put us in is just critical" and "something that the Legislature should look at in the upcoming year."

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Oklahoma News
7:02 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Report: 1M Visitors To Oklahoma's National Parks

Oklahoma City Memorial
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma's national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million.

Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Sue Masica is the director of the Nationa Parks Service Intermountain Region, which includes Oklahoma. She says the report shows that parks tourism is an important factor in Oklahoma's economy. 

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Business and Economy
10:05 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Oklahoma Unemployment Rate Down To 4.5% In June

Richard McPherson - Executive Director, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Credit Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.5% in June from 4.6% in May, according to a press release from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

The report issued Friday indicates over the year, Oklahoma’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved by a whole percentage point, dropping from 5.5% in June of 2013.

The report shows that in June 2014, 1,793,570 people were in the labor force population, with 1,712,400 employed and 81,170 unemployed.

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Politics and Government
8:46 am
Sat July 19, 2014

ABLE Commission Discusses Vapor Regulation Prohibiting Sales To Minors

An e-cigarette.
Credit Kubice / Wikimedia Commons

Members of the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission hear a presentation Friday on the agency’s preparation for enforcing a new law governing vapor products.

SB1602 passed by the legislature and signed into law places the products under the Youth Access to Tobacco Act for which ABLE is the lead law enforcement agency.

Under the new law, which takes effect November 1, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess vapor products, regardless of whether the product contains nicotine, explained ABLE Captain Maureen Shanta.

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Politics and Government
6:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Mary Fallin In A Close Contest With Joe Dorman For Reelection

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) and Gov. Mary Fallin, major party candidates for Oklahoma governor in 2014.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new poll by Rasmussen on the Oklahoma governor’s race shows within the margin of error. Likely voters support for Gov. Fallin at 45 percent and opponent State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) at 40 percent. Seven percent favor some other candidate, while eight percent are undecided.

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Oklahoma News
7:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Reactions to Federal Court Ruling Striking Down Okahoma's Ban on Same-Sex Marriages

Credit Bloody Marty / Flickr.com

Reactions to today’s federal court ruling striking down the Oklahoma ban on on same-sex marriage were mostly from those celebrating the decision. Friday's ruling was put on hold pending any appeal, which means gay marriages won't immediately take place in Oklahoma.

An Oklahoma couple that challenged a state ban on same-sex marriage is praising a federal court ruling striking down the ban. The court decision was in favor of Tulsans Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin.

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State Capitol Repairs
5:42 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Three Named To Oklahoma Capitol Repair Committee

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed three people to a committee that will oversee spending on repairs to Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol.

Fallin said Friday she had named David Thompson, Phil Kennedy and Steve Mason to the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee. They will join a group of state lawmakers named by House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

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Religion
5:17 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Hobby Lobby President Shares Plan For Bible Museum

The Bible
Credit NYC Wanderer

The president of Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby says a Bible museum to hold his family's collection in Washington, D.C. is expected to open in 2017.

The Times Record reports Steve Green spoke to some 600 attendants of the Fort Smith Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on Friday. The Christian Business Men's Committee invited him to speak at the event more than a year ago.

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Same-Sex Marriage
12:52 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Gov. Fallin Says Gay Marriage Ruling Tramples States' Rights

Credit Office Of The Governor

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage is an example of federal courts trampling on the rights of states to govern themselves.

Fallin issued a statement Friday after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver struck down Oklahoma's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Fallin said the amendment was approved by 76 percent of Oklahoma voters in 2004.

"I was one of the many voters who cast my ballot in favor of traditional marriage," she said. 

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Appeals Court Upholds Overturning Of Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A U.S. appeals court in Denver has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling on Friday, saying Oklahoma's voter-approved ban violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision mirrored the same court's June 25 ruling in a similar case involving Utah.

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