Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As Oklahoma Officials Resist, Utilities On Path To Comply With Pollution Cuts

Oklahoma officials are fighting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the Obama’s administration’s new Clean Power Plan, the federal government’s push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But Oklahoma’s largest electric utilities have a big head start cutting back on coal, and are already on their way to compliance. ‘RETIRED IN PLACE’ At Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s Northeast Station, near Oologah, workers are climbing all over the massive metal frame of a...
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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma officials are fighting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the Obama’s administration’s new Clean Power Plan, the federal government’s push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

A federal judge ordered a defiant county clerk to jail for contempt Thursday after she insisted that it would violate her conscience to follow court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her deputy clerks were summoned to appear before U.S. District Judge David Bunning after she repeatedly denied them marriage licenses, cited her religious beliefs and “God’s authority.”

Headlines for Thursday, September 3, 2015:

  • The head of the state Republican Party is quitting after just three months on the job. (Tulsa World)

  • GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio talks energy in Oklahoma. (NewsOK)

  • Presidential candidate Donald Trump leads in the Payne County GOP straw poll. (Stillwater News Press)

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio traveled to Oklahoma City Wednesday to give a speech previewing his national energy strategy. The Florida senator’s plan centers on expanding the oil and gas industry and rolling back regulations championed by President Obama.

Headlines for Wednesday, September 2, 2015:

  • A legislative study of Oklahoma's asset forfeiture laws spans the state. (Tulsa World)

  • The Oklahoma City Council approves a new policy on police body cameras. (NewsOK)

  • The Oklahoma City Council is trying to determine what to do with the Lantana Apartments. (Journal Record)

Advocates for overhauling Oklahoma's civil asset forfeiture laws say the current system is ripe for abuse and should be changed so that innocent people can't have their cash seized by law enforcement.

Several legal experts testified about shortcomings in Oklahoma's current law Tuesday during a hearing at the state Capitol.

But the changes are being fiercely opposed by prosecutors and law enforcement, both of whom directly benefit by receiving the seized proceeds. Supporters of the current law are testifying at a separate interim study at the Tulsa Police Academy.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Students who get suspended in the Oklahoma City Public School district will now have an option: take the suspension and go home or go through a 10-day remedial program.

In the program, teachers will help the kids keep up with their work, as they go through character development classes and counseling.

“And so, instead of just sending them home, to sit at home, let’s keep ‘em in school, keep up with their academics, and then also teach ‘em some skills that they need to learn,” said Dr. Teri Bell, the district’s executive director of student support services.

Headlines for Tuesday, September 1, 2015:

  • A new study looks at Oklahoma’s law enforcement agencies and property seizures. (News9)

  • Death penalty opponents go on national TV to oppose Oklahoma execution. (Tulsa World)

  • Citizens speak out against prescription drug abuse at the state capitol. (News9)

Stories about how Amazon and Google want to deliver packages using drones have gotten a lot of attention. But in fact, some 1,300 businesses and individuals have already received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for commercial purposes — everything from selling real estate to inspecting utility lines. But their operators are worried that recreational drone users who have been flying their vehicles near aircraft may spoil the party.

The greater sage grouse is a peculiar and distinctly Western bird. It's about the size of a chicken and about as adaptable as the dodo bird, which is to say it's not very adaptable at all — at least not in a human-driven time scale.

In biological terms, the greater sage grouse is perfectly adapted for its habitat: the rolling hills of knee-high silver scrub that's sometimes called the sagebrush sea. It's the oft-forgotten parts of the fast-changing West — The Big Empty, as settlers used to call it.