StateImpact Oklahoma
8:41 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Why The OKC Coalition To Pump Water From Southeast Oklahoma Fell Apart

Mitchell Logan supervises a pump station near Macomb, the 100-mile Atoka Pipeline's last stop on its way to the Oklahoma City metro.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City has been pumping water out of southeast Oklahoma along the Atoka pipeline for 50 years.

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Education
7:46 am
Thu July 17, 2014

State Education Department Ready To Start Developing New Standards

The State Department of Education wants Oklahoma teachers, parents, and anyone interested in public education to help develop new academic standards for English and math.

On Tuesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a repeal of the state's Common Core standards that were adopted in 2010. Oklahoma will revert to old Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) Standards until a replacement is implemented two years from now.

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Education
7:15 am
Thu July 17, 2014

UPDATE: Fallin's Office Says Barresi Will Not Be Secretary Of Education

Gov. Mary Fallin and State Superintendent Janet Barresi
Oklahoma State Department of Education

This post was updated at 12:36 CDT 

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office has offered its strongest rebuke yet to rumors that Superintendent Janet Barresi could be the state’s next secretary of education.

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Politics and Government
8:29 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Bureau Of Narcotics: Object To Initiative To Legalize Marijuana But Prepare For Passage

Darrell Weaver, Director, OBNDDC
Credit Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control

As the petition to put the legalization of marijuana on the ballots for a vote are still circulating, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control is standing its ground in opposition of the question but preparing for its possible passage.

Executive Director Darrell Weaver said during Tuesday’s board meeting that “we’re all aware that this petition is out there” and that “probably this and prescription drugs, is the number one thing that most states are addressing.”

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Sports
6:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Oklahoma City Thunder Signs Free-Agent Anthony Morrow

Credit Paul L. McCord, Jr. / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder say they have signed free-agent guard Anthony Morrow.

Morrow's agent, Wallace Prather, wrote in a text message to The Associated Press on Saturday that the deal is for three years and $10 million. The Thunder did not disclose terms of the deal Wednesday.

Morrow, who played for New Orleans last season, has career averages of 10.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in six NBA seasons. He helps fill a void created when starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha became a free agent and ended up with the Atlanta Hawks.

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Politics And Government
4:17 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Oklahoma's Chief Justice Warns Judges To Talk To Their Constituents

Credit bloomsberries / Flickr.com

Dozens of bills introduced in the state Legislature this year would have had a "lethal and devastating" effect on Oklahoma's judiciary if enacted into law, the state's chief justice warned judges Wednesday.

Chief Justice Tom Colbert told judges to talk to their constituents — especially local lawmakers — about the impact that some of the proposed changes could have on their ability to carry out the rule of law, such as how judges are selected and retained.

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Education
1:24 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Oklahoma Teacher Of The Year Nominees Announced

Credit USAG-Humphreys / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has named the 12 finalists for the annual Teacher of the Year award.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi made the announcement Wednesday. The winner will be announced this fall.

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World Views
10:33 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Despite Rough Start, Uncertain Transition, U.S.-Vatican Relationship Personal, Principled

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney with First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Barbara during a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI - Feb. 9 2006
Shealah Craighead The White House

The United States has had a long-but-rocky relationship with the Vatican and didn’t formally establish diplomatic relations and appoint an ambassador until 1984. That 21-year stretch of U.S. representatives serving with a single pope ended when John Paul II died in 2005.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:30 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Auditing The Storm: Thousands Of Disaster-Aid Requests End In Rejection

Susan Montesano and her two children, Aspen, 4 and Braden, 2 escaped from her and her fiancé’s rented house in Moore before it was leveled by the May 20 tornado. They received a $15,000 disaster-aid check within days.
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

Although millions of dollars in federal aid money began pouring into Oklahoma shortly after the spring 2013 storms, not all who asked for help received it.

The Oklahoma National Guard sought $22,074 for taking Gov. Mary Fallin on a helicopter survey of the damage from the May 20 tornado, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the request.

Mid-Del Public Schools had seven of its requests denied for roof repairs and other projects — the most rejected among applicants as of early June — because inspectors found the damage was unrelated to the storms.

The most dramatic rejection trend was for individuals: Of the 13,714 people who  were referred for help by FEMA under its “Individuals and Households Program,” nearly three-fourths were denied.

State and FEMA officials say the denials don’t necessarily mean FEMA was acting carelessly or callously. The agency encourages disaster victims and other groups to apply for funds even when it’s likely their requests will be rejected or scaled back because damage to their properties or belongings is mostly covered by private insurance.

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Oklahoma News
8:58 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Hearing Set In Lawsuit Over Oklahoma DUI Arrests

versageek Flickr Creative Commons

A judge has set a hearing on whether to grant class-action status to a lawsuit involving drivers whose licenses were revoked because of a faulty affidavit once used by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

The lawsuit seeks refunds for an estimated 40,000 drivers cited for alcohol-related offenses whose licenses were revoked between 2008 and October 2013.

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