Oklahoma Watch
8:55 am
Mon October 28, 2013

New Data Reveals Widespread Financial Losses Among Small Oklahoma Hospitals

Bruce Mayhan, lab manager at Pauls Valley General Hospital, looks at a blood sample through a microscope in the hospital’s lab.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

A majority of small general hospitals in Oklahoma are losing money, and health care officials warn that some hospitals could close, be sold or cut services.

Federal financial reports for nearly every hospital in the state, obtained by Oklahoma Watch and analyzed and reported with the Tulsa World, show that in each year from 2009 to 2012, between half and three-fourths of general hospitals with fewer than 100 beds lost money. Most are in small cities or rural areas. More than half posted losses in multiple years.

Larger hospitals fared better. In each year during the four-year period, between 7 percent and 19 percent of general hospitals with 100 beds or more lost money.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

National Weather Center Aims To "Prepare, Respond, Restore" At This Year's Festival

Katie Western as Swirl Girl and Rick Smith at the 2012 National Weather Festival.
Credit Kate-Lynn Walsh

Katie Western practices her lines for the upcoming National Weather Festival. She’s majoring in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is one of the festival’s Weather Friends, a group of superheroes representing each kind of severe weather. Katie’s character goes by the name “Swirl Girl.” She’ll run around in a costume and answer questions about tornado preparedness. And even though it’s fun, Katie realizes her role may be more important this year than it has been in years past. 

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4-H Members Pick 20,000 Pounds
6:21 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Sweet Harvest Will Feed 80,000 People

Credit Wally Hartshorn / Flickr.com

More than 100 4-H members from Caddo County spent their Friday morning picking thousands of pounds of sweet potatoes that will be donated to the hungry just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Making Sure Grades Are Accurate
4:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

School Report Card Reprieve

Credit amboo who? / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Education says the release of school report cards will be delayed.

The department said Friday that release of the reports that grade schools on an A through F scale will be postponed until after a special meeting of the State Board of Education within the next two weeks. The board had been scheduled to discuss the reports at its meeting on Tuesday.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says the delay is due to "an abundance of caution" to make sure the grades are accurate.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

World Views: October 25, 2013

Listen to the entire October 25, 2013 episode.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss record levels of smog that are forcing the closure of schools and businesses in Northeast China, and heavy-handed tactics by Russia toward its former Soviet neighbors.

University of Oklahoma historian Kyle Harper joins the program to talk about how smallpox and the bubonic plague contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. His latest project focuses on the effects of disease and climate change on the history of civilization.

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World Views
2:59 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

European Union Warns Russia Over Ukraine, Moldova Pressure

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
Credit Presidential Press and Information Office / maiak.info / Flickr Creative Commons

European Union trade ministers are warning Russia to stop pressuring neighborhood countries that seek closer ties with the EU.

Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says since the end of the Cold War, countries that once served as Russia’s “buffer zone” increasingly look to the West.

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Indian Times
2:27 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Cherokee Breaks New Ground As A Woman Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Credit Provided / Kathina Catron

She’s a surgical tech by day, and a mom to her 7 year old son Coy…but in her other life she is one tough cookie. Kathina Catron is one of the top women fighters in Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, in this region. And she’s a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

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World Views
1:24 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Heavy Smog Hits North China City, Flights Canceled

Credit Nicolò Lazzati / Flickr Creative Commons

Severe smog has reduced the visibility of a northern Chinese city to less than half a football field.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says Chinese authorities blame the increase on two things: a lack of wind, and more smoke in the air.

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World Views
12:18 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Germ Theory: How Disease And Climate Change Toppled The Roman Empire

The Roman Colosseum - September 26, 2009.
Credit Yellow.Cat / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with historian Kyle Harper.

University of Oklahoma historian Kyle Harper says there have been thousands of answers to what caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Overexpansion, economics, and the rise of Christianity are all valid explanations, but he’s exploring the role of disease and climate change.

“When we look back at the Roman Empire now, we can see that changes in the Romans' environment, both the climate, but also the kind of species that live in and around humans, especially pathogens, play an enormous role in the collapse,” Harper says.

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Native American
9:54 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Gay Marriage Comes To Oklahoma

Despite Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage, a gay couple will be legally married in the state thanks to one man's bloodline.

Darren Black Bear is a member of the Oklahoma-based Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes. It's among the few Native American tribes in the U.S. that allow same-sex marriage.

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