Oklahoma News

Agency Took Less Of A Cut Than Others
7:57 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services Faces 1.2% Cut

Credit Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services faces a 1.2 percent cut after budget negotiations for the 2015 fiscal year concluded with lawmakers and the governor approving a $7.1 billion budget.

The agency says its cut amounts to approximately $368,000 but it has not determined where the cut will be implemented. Jody Harlan, public information administrator, said Monday it is unlikely client services will be disrupted but commissioners and agency leaders did not give any indication as to what would be affected during their monthly meeting Monday morning. 

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Over Half Serve Full Sentences
7:40 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Oklahoma No. 4 in Rate of Inmates "Maxing Out"

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 4:19 pm

According to a new study, in 2012, 56 percent of Oklahoma inmates maxed out — served maximum sentences and were released from prison to no supervision whatsoever.

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Corporate Tax Collections Below Forecast
7:29 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Taxing Corporations: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Roller Coaster

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

 Oklahoma’s corporate income tax has become the wild card of state finance, gyrating unpredictably from one year to the next as firms take advantage of tax credits and legal accounting practices.

This year’s corporate tax collections have fallen so far below expectations that the state came within a hair’s breadth of declaring a “revenue failure.” That, in turn, would have triggered across-the-board cuts in scores of state programs.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:54 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Moore Hospital Shares More Than Tornado Destruction With Joplin

An aerial view of the new Mercy hospital in Joplin, Mo.
Credit Mercy Health Care System

As residents of Moore, Okla. remembered the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado that ripped through their community by breaking ground on a new hospital, they could also look toward the state's northeast corner for a symbol of hope.

This May marked the three-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., just across the Oklahoma border. Both communities lost a hospital in their storms, and Joplin’s new health care facilities are signs of overall recovery and revival.

John’s Hospital in Joplin, now known as Mercy, was ravaged beyond repair on May 22, 2011. The tornado took six lives there. At nearby Freeman Hospital, veteran nurse Leslie Allen and the emergency room were inundated with the injured.

“Elbow to elbow, limping, body parts hanging, wraps to control bleeding; they were just shoulder-to-shoulder, and it looked like a scene out of a horror movie,” Allen said.

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Kept For Independent Autopsy
5:10 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Body Of Inmate Returns From Texas Minus Heart And Larynx

Credit Kenny Louie / Flickr.com

 A state medical official says the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died of what corrections officials had said was an apparent heart attack after a botched execution was returned from an independent autopsy without the heart or larynx.

Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Monday the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office retained the body parts, a practice she said is not uncommon. Dallas County officials did not immediately return messages Monday.

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OK Veteran's Affairs Delays
1:57 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Audit Reveals OK Veterans Affairs Hospital Delays

Credit Simon Cunningham / Flickr.com

A newly released audit has found that new patients seeking health care at the Muskogee and Oklahoma City VA hospitals waited an average of 31 and 44 days, respectively, to be seen.

Monday's audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that 464 new patients at the two facilities waited more than 60 days for an appointment.

The audit also found that established patients at both care centers had waits averaging just over two days to be seen.

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No Vaccine for Humans
8:20 am
Sun June 8, 2014

Horse Owners Warned About West Nile Virus

Three Horses Near Turley, Oklahoma
Credit Oakley Originals / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma horse owners are being encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the potentially deadly West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis diseases.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reports about 40 cases in each of the past two years in which horses in the state have been infected with the diseases.

The diseases are often carried by birds and transferred to mosquitoes, which spread the viruses through bites to both horses and humans.

While there are vaccines for horses there are, as yet, no vaccines for humans.

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DOC director pleasantly "surprised"
4:23 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Tulsa Country Sheriff Drops Lawsuit Against State Department Of Corrections

Sheriff Stanley Glanz
Credit Tulsa County Sheriff's Department

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz says he's dropping his lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections.

Glanz had filed the lawsuit last year — asking the court to order the corrections department to take state inmates that were being held in the Tulsa Jail.

Glanz told the Tulsa World that under new DOC director Robert Patton, state inmates are being moved out of the jail quickly.

Patton called the dismissal of the lawsuit "a pleasant surprise.


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Illegal Immigration
8:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Cole: Fort Sill Not The Place To House Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants

Infantry barracks at Fort Sill, Okla.
Credit U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Homeland Security expects as many as 60,000 unaccompanied child immigrants will illegally enter the United States in the coming year.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole says he's disappointed Fort Sill will house about 600 of those unaccompanied minors. The six-term Republican's Fourth Congressional District includes the Lawton military installation.

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Oklahoma News
2:47 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Oklahoma Wildfire Risk Website Available To Public

Credit Oklahoma Forestry Services

Oklahoma Forestry Services has rolled out a new website to help homeowners and communities determine their wildfire risk and eliminate potential hazards.

The Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, or SouthWRAP, allows users in Oklahoma and 11 other states to identify wildfire threats based on landscape characteristics, historical fire occurrence, weather conditions and terrain. It also routes users to resources that can help them implement practices to address the threats and reduce risks.

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