Oklahoma News

Oklahoma Watch
7:45 am
Tue December 2, 2014

In Oklahoma, Few Efforts To Measure Gambling Addiction

Calls to a national gambling helpline from Oklahoma show that most people struggling with gambling addiction cite slot machines as the main problem.
Oklahoma Watch

In fiscal 2013, a total of 1,838 Oklahomans called a national hotline seeking help related to compulsive gambling – a nearly 60 percent spike over the previous year.

Then, in 2014, the number of calls fell sharply to 1,310, according to HeartLine, an Oklahoma City call center that fields calls from Oklahomans to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (800-522-4700).

The sudden drop perplexes Danielle Harris, coordinator for HeartLine.

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4:46 am
Tue December 2, 2014

‘Pride Of The Plains’: National Geographic Calls Oklahoma City ‘Best Trip’ Of 2015

katsrcool Flickr

Last month National Geographic Traveler unveiled its annual Best Trips list online – 20 places editors say travelers have to see next year.

Oklahoma City and three other American locales appear in the December/January issue on newsstands Tuesday – alongside destinations as diverse as Choquequirao, Peru, Esteros del Iberá, Argentina, and the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.

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Oklahoma News
12:10 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Egyptian Islamist Group Claims Responsibility For The Killing Of Former Enid Man

William Henderson's Passport and Identification Cards
Credit Oren Kessler / Twitter.com

An Egyptian militant organization which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the killing of an American oil worker who had lived in Enid for many years.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which now refers to itself as the Sinai Province, said on its official Twitter account Sunday that it killed William Henderson. It published pictures of his passport and two identification cards.

The passport said he was a 58-year-old from Texas and his identification cards said he worked for Texas-based energy company Apache Corp. and Qarun Petroleum Co.

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Oklahoma News
6:15 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Individuals And Organizations From Across The State To Be Honored With The Governor's Arts Awards

The Governor's Arts Award Medal
Credit Oklahoma State Arts Council

On Thursday, December 4, the Oklahoma Arts Council will present the 39th Annual Governor's Arts Awards on the Fourth Floor of the Capitol Rotunda beginning at 4 p.m. The public is invited to honor this year’s recipients.

The Governor's Arts Awards is an annual event recognizing individuals and organizations from across Oklahoma whose efforts have had an impact in their communities or throughout the state. First awarded in 1975, the awards are presented by the Governor during a special ceremony at the State Capitol.

Presenting the awards will be Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Arts Council Chair Holbrook Lawson and Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples.  Musical performances will be by Barron Ryan, a jazz pianist from Tulsa, and the students of the Classen School for Advanced Studies Guitar Program in Oklahoma City.

Read more for the list of honorees.

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Oklahoma News
6:02 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Oklahoma Receives CDC Funding To Gather Data To Help Prevent Violent Deaths

Credit ok.gov/health

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will receive $1.15 million over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gather critical data on homicide and suicide using the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

In Oklahoma, suicide is the leading manner of violent death. In 2012, more than 650 Oklahomans died by suicide. The OSDH will use NVDRS data to support suicide prevention programs of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. 

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Oklahoma News
6:13 am
Sat November 29, 2014

One Month Left To Apply For SBA Disaster Loans

Scott Burkhart of Moore obtained an SBA disaster loan of more than $30,000 to pay for lost belongings and damage not covered by property insurance. The family just moved back into their house.
Credit Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

December 30, 2014 is the deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury to small, non-farm businesses in in 23 Oklahoma Counties.

These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought in the following primary Oklahoma counties that began April 22, 2014.

Tanya N. Garfield, Director of the U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Field Operations Center - West,  said the primary Oklahoma Counties include Canadian, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee and Payne. Neighboring Oklahoma counties include Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, Lincoln, Major, McClain, Pottawatomie, Tulsa and Washington.

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Oklahoma News
3:15 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Norman Schools To Have Sexual Assault Curriculum

The student protest at Norman High School on November 24, 2014.
Credit Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Norman schools Superintendent Joe Siano says a task force studying a comprehensive sexual assault curriculum will be expanded.

The announcement in a letter to The Norman Transcript comes days after hundreds of Norman High School students walked out of class to protest the alleged bullying of three girls who reported being raped.

Siano said students "sent a clear message" they will not tolerate sexual assault or "re-victimization of any victims."

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Oklahoma News
3:07 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Oklahoma NAACP Schedules March In Oklahoma City

Credit Justin Valas / Flickr Creative Commons

The NAACP in Oklahoma has scheduled a "Journey for Justice" march in Oklahoma City.

The organization says the march is to support victims police brutality and racial profiling.

The march is to begin Saturday at 1 p.m. at the corner of Northeast 23rd and Martin Luther King Drive in Oklahoma City and end at the Governor's Mansion about 1½ miles away.


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Oklahoma News
5:45 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Where Oklahoma Ranks In Exonerations

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit journalism organization that produces in-depth and investigative content on a range of public-policy issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to www.oklahomawatch.org.

During the past 25 years, Oklahoma has posted the 16th highest number of exonerations in the nation, compared with its ranking of between 25th and 30th in total population during that period.

Oklahoma had 28 exonerations, according to data that a research group collected from the National Registry of Exonerations.

In Oklahoma, there have been 28 exonerations: 13 for murder or manslaughter, 11 for sex crimes, two for robbery and two for other alleged crimes.  Seven of the exonerated were sentenced to death. Of those exonerated, 16 were Caucasian and 12 were Black. The average exonerated person lost 8.75 years of their life.

The interactive map below tracks the number of exonerations by state from 1989 through Oct. 20, 2014, as well as the amount of time that wrongfully convicted people have spent behind bars. The data also shows the number of exonerees who were on death row at the time of exoneration.

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Oklahoma News
5:32 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Lawmakers Say OSSAA Changes For The Better

Credit EaglebrookSchool / Flickr.com

A state lawmaker who co-authored legislation changing the way the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association operates says the association is making changes for the better.

The OSSAA regulates interscholastic activities for 481 member schools in the state.

Republican Rep. Bobby Cleveland led efforts for changes after hearing complaints that the OSSAA violated the state's open records and open meetings act and retaliated against students and districts that challenged the association.

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