Around The State
4:08 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Chavez Sentenced To 30 Months For Planned Bartlesville Attack

Credit jczart / Flickr.com

A 19-year-old has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for planning an attack at Bartlesville High School that was never carried out.

The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reports Sammie Eaglebear Chavez was sentenced Tuesday by Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp.

He was convicted in September of planning a mass shooting and bombing, though no attack was carried out. The jury recommended the 30-month sentence.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
2:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Red Cedars Aren’t As Thirsty As We Thought, But They Still Suck

This 2011 fire in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge was fueled, in part, by red cedars.
Credit Dennis Frank / Flickr Creative Commons

Eastern Red Cedar trees are bad for Oklahoma. The volatile oils they contain can cause the trees to explode during wildfires, spreading embers over hundreds of yards. They crowd out other plants, force wildlife off their habitats, and steal rainfall — which is bad news during a drought.

As The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, it’s been said each red cedar can guzzle dozens of gallons of water each day:

Read more
World Views
11:27 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Changing Guatemala's Decades-Old Culture Of Corruption

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Guatemala Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz - June 22, 2011.
Credit U.S. Embassy Guatemala / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with Adriana Beltrán.

Guatemala signed peace accords in 1996 to end a decades-long civil war. But even though the fighting came to an end, institutional democratic reforms never took place.

The government consolidated power through corrupt relationships with organized crime and a lack of accountability over the next two decades. 

“A very popular phrase is ‘hidden powers’,” says Adriana Beltrán, a Senior Associate for Citizen Security at the Washington Office on Latin America, and the author of a study of the same name. “Established institutions like the judicial sector, the police… they’ll use them to prevent any kind of conviction when it comes to human rights cases to protect in case of criminal wrongdoing.”

Read more
Weather and Climate
10:38 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Cold Air Brings End to Oklahoma Growing Season

The Oklahoma Mesonet windchill map from Tuesday morning.
Credit Oklahoma Mesonet

Frigid air continues to push into the southern plains, bringing unseasonably cold conditions and a hard freeze warning to Oklahoma.

High temperatures Tuesday will struggle to reach the 40s, with wind chills in the 30s throughout the day.

Overnight lows will fall into the 17-to-27 degree range across the state early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service Norman forecast office. This hard freeze will also end the growing season.

Temperatures will slowly rebound through the weekend, with highs returning to near 60 degrees by Friday.

Read more
State Capitol
9:44 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Oklahoma License Tags Target Of Insurance Verification Law Starting In January

Credit Oklahoma Tax Commission

Law enforcement officers in Oklahoma will soon have the option to seize license plates from uninsured drivers and assign temporary insurance.

A new state law went into effect Nov. 1 allowing the seizure, but the Oklahoma Insurance Department says agencies won't implement the changes until January as procedures are established.

Read more
Abortion
8:46 am
Tue November 12, 2013

High Court Lets State Court Ruling Stand Blocking Ultrasound Abortion Law

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court is declining to revive Oklahoma's strict ultrasound law for women seeking abortions.

The justices said Tuesday they will let stand a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down the 2010 law passed by Oklahoma's legislature.

The measure required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound exam and then have the image placed in front of them while the provider described the fetus.

Last week, the justices opted to let stand an Oklahoma court decision that struck down a separate law restricting drug-induced abortions.

Read more
U.S. Senate
9:10 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Perry Inhofe, Son Of Sen. Inhofe Dies In Weekend Plane Crash

Perry Inhofe
Credit Central State Orthopedics

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has confirmed the death of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's son, 52-year-old Dr. Perry Inhofe, who was killed in a weekend plane crash in northeast Oklahoma.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, says Monday night that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "was informed of Sen. Inhofe's son's death."

Perry Inhofe was an orthopedic surgeon for Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa. According to the clinic's website, he graduated from Duke University in 1984 before attending medical school at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read more
Collective Bargaining For Municipal Employees
6:23 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Enid To Vote On Amendment To City Charter

Credit StickWare / Flickr.com

Enid voters will head to the polls Tuesday to consider an amendment to the city charter allowing collective bargaining for municipal employees.

The Enid News and Eagle reports that if a majority of voters approve the measure, employees will be able to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and negotiate as a unit.

Workers won't have the ability to strike or slowdown, but if the city and AFSCME can't agree to terms, contract negotiations will go into mediation or arbitration.

Read more
Will Be On Display At Stilwell Museum
4:13 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Purple Heart Returned To WWII Vet's Hometown

Credit alexaleutians / Flickr.com

An Arizona man who spotted a Purple Heart medal in a heap of jewelry at a flea market is returning it to the recipient's Oklahoma hometown nearly 70 years after he was killed in World War II.

Matt Carlson says he knew he had to buy the medal when he saw it at a sale in Glendale, Ariz. in February. The Vietnam veteran knew the medal is only awarded to those wounded or killed in combat.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
1:07 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Few Oklahoma Cities Filter Water For Element That Causes Toxic Algae In Lakes

Credit Lake Improvement Association / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s too much phosphorous in the vast majority of Oklahoma’s lakes and streams.

Excessive phosphorous and nitrogen leads to blue-green algae blooms, which can cause respiratory, eye, and stomach problems in people, and fish kills due to lack of oxygen.

Read more

Pages