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World Views
11:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Shifting Middle East Strategy Among Few Foreign Policy Proposals In State Of The Union

President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress.
The White House Twitter

President Obama spent very little time on foreign policy and foreign affairs during Tuesday night's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

But he did call on lawmakers to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force against self-proclaimed Islamic State militants.

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Oklahoma Watch
8:11 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In Perry, Tribal Rights Clear Way For Neighborhood Casino

The Oteo Missouria Tribe has razed three homes in an east Perry neighborhood to build a casino and parking lot.
Jocelyn Pedersen Oklahoma Watch

The house, crouching in the middle of a neighborhood in east Perry, sat unoccupied for years.

Its shingles were rotted, and its metal porch railing was bent. Weeds and brush rose from the foundation past gaping, empty windows.

Last year, city officials notified the owners that they needed to clean up the property. The city wasn’t prepared for the counteroffer.

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe, which oversees the property, held in federal trust, proposed instead to raze the home and build a casino.

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Business Intelligence Report
6:46 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Three Statewide Business And Development Stories We're Watching This Week

Traffic passes in front of the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs The Journal Record

Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council approved a request for proposals for a hotel catering to the convention center that will be built as part of the series of projects funded by the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax extension.

During the meeting, the council heavily stressed the importance of building enough parking for the hotel, convention center, and other uses around town, as well as alternate funding to make sure developers can complete the project.

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Education
4:44 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

New State Superintendent Hofmeister Fills Policy Research Post

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent
Credit Provided

New Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has named a longtime educator from the Oklahoma City area as the first person to take a leadership position in her administration.

Hofmeister said Thursday that Robyn Miller will oversee policy research and development as well as teacher quality initiatives for the state Department of Education.

Miller comes to the agency from Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, where she has served as chair of the School of Education since 2007.

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Oklahoma News
4:16 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Bill Would Allow Sale Of Cold High-Point Beer In Liquor Stores

State Sen. Stephanie Bice (R-OKC)
Credit oksenate.gov

An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed legislation that would authorize retail liquor stores to sell refrigerated high-point beer in the state.

Currently, high-point beer can only be sold at room temperature and only in liquor retail stores. Under the measure by Sen. Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma City, consumers would still have to purchase high-point beer at liquor stores, but liquor stores would have the option to use refrigeration and sell cold high-point beer.

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Health
3:31 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

16 More Influenza Related Deaths In Oklahoma

The Flu Virus
Credit Kat Masback / Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health says influenza has taken the lives of 16 people during the past week.

Health officials reported Thursday that 47 Oklahomans have died due to flu-related illness since the flu season began Sept. 28. Almost 1,200 others have been hospitalized, including 100 during the past week.

A record 61 people died in the state during the previous flu season to break the previous record of 46 deaths recorded in the 2009 season, when the state began tracking the statistic.

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Education
1:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Natalie Shirley Appointed Secretary Of Education And Workforce Development

Natalie Shirley
Credit Provided / Gov. Mary Fallin's Office

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has named Natalie Shirley secretary of education and workforce development.

Shirley has been president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City since 2011 and is the first female president in the OSU system. Fallin named her to the cabinet secretary's post Thursday and she will begin serving in the position on Monday.

Fallin says one of her top priorities for 2015 is to increase educational attainment in Oklahoma and that Shirley will lead the way for providing the skills people need to get a good job.

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Politics and Government
12:17 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Bill Filed To Create Alert System For Escaped Inmates

State Rep. John Paul Jordan (R-Yukon)
Credit okhouse.gov

An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed a measure to notify the public when inmates escape from state prisons.

The measure by Rep. John Paul Jordan of Yukon will act as an "Amber Alert" or "Silver Alert" system for the public whenever a prisoner escapes into the general population. Jordan says it would notify the public and give them an opportunity to protect themselves.

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World Views
10:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Idea-Vs.-Reality For African Immigrant Families In A ‘Post-Racial’ France

Credit Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

The relationship between racial identity and national identity is a contentious subject in France.

France’s National Assembly voted in 2013 to remove any references to race from national legislation, and French President François Hollande has asserted his belief that racial distinctions have no place in French society.

University of Oklahoma sociologist Loretta Bass calls this attitude toward racial issues the “Ostrich Policy.”

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:35 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Permit Process Used To Scrutinize Wells In Earthquake Country, Industry Remains Silent

Oil-field workers in November 2014 tending to American Energy-Woodford's Judge South well near Perkins, Okla., shortly after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered it temporarily shut-in.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to rattle Oklahoma and scientists study links to oil and gas production, many Oklahomans want to know what, if anything, is being done to address the shaking.

An investigation by StateImpact shows that while authorities are quietly scrutinizing wells in quake-prone parts of the state, most of the companies that operate the wells are staying silent.

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