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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At the end of this month, containers of Blue Bell ice cream, a staple in Texas and other states, will finally return to store shelves. The company's ice cream has been absent from stores for four months after a wide recall over listeria concerns.

Here's an experience some of us have had. The phone rings. You pick it up and say "Hello. Hello. Helloooo." But nobody answers.

It turns out there could be someone on the other end of the line: an automated computer system that's calling your number — and tens of thousands of others — to build a list of humans to target for theft.

Build A List

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop Security, a company in Atlanta that detects phone fraud, says that in any number of ways, the criminal ring gets your 10 digits and loads them into an automated system.

“Welcome to Quakelahoma,” writes VICE’s Matt Smith, “where in less than a decade the state has gone from having about two noticeable earthquakes a year to about two a day.”

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

Headlines for Monday, August 24, 2015:

  • Oklahoma’s labor commissioner gets stabbed to death at an Oklahoma City restaurant. (NewsOK)

  • Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences is trying to fill the need for rural doctors. (Stillwater News Press)

  • A new system could slow down doctor’s offices and insurance agencies. (Journal Record)

ok.gov/odol

Police say Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello has been stabbed to death at a fast-food restaurant and his adult son has been taken into custody.

Oklahoma City Police Department Capt. Paco Balderrama said in a statement late Sunday night that officers responded to a report of a stabbing at a Braum's restaurant and found Costello, who had been stabbed multiple times in the head and neck area. Costello was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Students with physical and mental disabilities are much more likely to be disciplined than other students in the state, according to Oklahoma Watch’s Nate Robson.

Linda N. / Flickr

Oklahoma Gas and Electric is proposing a new “demand charge” be levied on customers who install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines.

The suggested rate structure was filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has to approve so-called “distributed generation” tariffs for OG&E and Public Service Co. by the end of the year, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports. OG&E says the new billing structure will eliminate the “subsidization” of solar customers by traditional customers:

The subsidization issue was one used by OG&E and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma to push for Senate Bill 1456, which passed in 2014.

The utilities said distributed generation customers still rely on the grid for electricity when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Under current billing options, some fixed costs are captured in the kilowatt-hour energy charges that vary by customer usage. The utilities claim rooftop solar users aren’t paying their fair share for poles, transformers, transmission lines and other fixed costs at the times of the day when they’re getting most of their electricity from solar generation.

Headlines for Friday, August 21, 2015:

  • State Senator pleads guilty to embezzlement charges. (Tulsa World)
  • Muscogee (Creek) Nation faces an $18M gaming budget shortfall. (Tulsa World)

  • Oklahoma County misses a deadline on an October vote for a new jail. (Journal Record)

oksenate.gov

The leader of the Oklahoma Senate says federal charges against Republican Sen. Rick Brinkley of Owasso are serious crimes that call for his immediate resignation.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa issued a statement Thursday shortly after Brinkley submitted a letter of resignation, effective immediately.

Brinkley stepped down after federal prosecutors charged him with five counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return in a scheme that involved taking $1.8 million from the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa.

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