Law
8:17 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

New Texas Law Makes Local Fracking Bans Illegal

Legislation was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott after the city of Denton voted to restrict fracking. Denton officials say oil companies should not wield more power than citizens.

Editor's Note: Sharon Wilson, an organizer interviewed in this story, began advocating for fracking reform in Denton in 2009 as an unpaid citizen leader. In 2011, she was hired as a full-time organizer by the environmental group Earthworks to continue her anti-fracking work in Denton.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Nebraska Lawmakers Move Step Closer To Repealing Death Penalty

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:15 pm

Lawmakers in Nebraska have given final approval to a measure that would abolish the death penalty with enough votes to override a threatened veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vote was 32-15. Conservative Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature and all bills go through three votes. In the previous round, the vote was 30-16; in the first, it was 30-13. It would take 30 votes to override a veto from Ricketts, a Republican. If that happens, Nebraska will become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

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Health
1:25 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Looks Good Enough To Smoke: Marijuana Gets Its Glamour Moment

Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:15 am

When Erik Christiansen started smoking pot, he became fascinated by the look of different marijuana strains. But the photographs of marijuana he saw didn't capture the variety.

So he went to the hardware store and picked up two lights and a cardboard box. "I didn't even have a macro lens — I was shooting through a magnifying glass," he says.

The California-based photographer tinkered with his macro technique until he had created a consistent way to capture highly detailed images of marijuana.

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Headlines
7:55 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Headlines: Budget Agreement, OK POP & Stillwater Drilling

Headlines for Wednesday, May 20, 2015:

  • State leaders unveil a budget for the 2016 fiscal year starting July 1. (Oklahoma Watch)

  • Agencies react to new budget agreement. (NewsOK)

  • A $25 million bond for a popular cultural museum gets passed on a second try. (NewsOK)

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Wed May 20, 2015

In Speech, Obama Will Cast Climate Change As 'Immediate Risk' To U.S. Security

President Barack Obama speaks at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Monday in Camden, N.J.
Chris LaChall AP

During a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, President Obama will cast climate change as posing an "immediate risk to our national security."

NPR's Scott Horsley reports Obama is expected to tell graduates that the Coast Guard itself will have to adjust to the effects of rising sea levels. Scott filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Sample Size
9:47 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

New Mix: Letterman, La Luz & D'Angelo

David Letterman

This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney.

Today, we celebrate the musical guests of Late Show with David Letterman, and play a disorienting  surf-rock tune from La Luz and a live D'Angelo cover of a Prince song for Spotify.

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

Politics
7:06 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

As States Ready Disaster Plans, Feds Urge Them To Consider Climate Change

Demolition crews remove the last remains of a house that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, which battered parts of the East Coast, in 2013.
Wayne Parry AP

The Atlantic hurricane season starts next month — a time when coastal states have their disaster plans at the ready. Now, the federal government wants states to consider the potential effects of climate change in those blueprints.

States lay out strategies for reducing harm from a whole host of calamities that might strike, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or drought.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, gives states money to mitigate those risks — grants that might help pay for tornado safe rooms, or to elevate buildings in a flood zone, for instance.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Wanna Go To Fit City? List Ranks America's 50 Fittest Metro Areas

People exercise along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the metro area was ranked as America's fittest city for the second year in a row.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 9:44 am

The new American Fitness Index is out, with some good news and bad news. Five metro areas fell five or more slots; nine others rose by five or more places. The rankings tally several criteria, from rates of smoking, diabetes and obesity to access to parks.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

As Congress Haggles Over Patriot Act, We Answer 6 Basic Questions

The National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 8:18 pm

The rest of the month is setting up to be pretty dramatic in the Senate.

A key section of the Patriot Act — the part of law the White House uses to conduct mass surveillance on the call records of Americans — is set to expire June 1. That leaves legislators with a big decision to make: Rewrite the statute to outlaw or modify the practice or extend the statute and let the National Security Agency continue with its work.

As the Senate debates, we answer six questions that'll get you up to speed:

1. What's Congress debating here?

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

60 Percent: Record Number Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage In Poll

The Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage next month; here, Reverend Scott Hopkins, right, of United Methodist Church in Vienna, Va., voices his support of gay marriage as Tracy Grisham, of Amarillo, Texas, voices her disapproval.
John Boal EPA /LANDOV

Hitting a new all-time high, 60 percent of Americans say they believe marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized by law, with the same rights and privileges as traditional marriages, according to the latest Gallup poll.

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