Two and a half million tons of wheat, fertilizer, steel, and manufacturing goods pass through the Port of Catoosa each year.
But not in 2015. The nation’s most inland seaport, located near Tulsa, shut down after historic spring rains and is still struggling to rebound.
From the Port of Catoosa, barges makes their way down the Verdigris River, to the Arkansas River and east to the Mississippi along the McClellan-Kerr Navigation system, Oklahoma’s water link to the Gulf of Mexico and river towns to the east like Pittsburg and Chicago. The waterway was the most expensive civil works project the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had ever built when it opened in 1971, and it was pushed by powerful Senator Robert S. Kerr, of Oklahoma.
“There’s over a billion and a half dollars of private investment, just at this port,” says David Yarbrough, the port’s deputy director. “8,000 maritime jobs in Oklahoma.”
Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 11:36 am
Both houses of Congress have now passed versions of the bill that would update the largest federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, for the first time since 2001. They are big, meaty and complicated, and now they have to be reconciled into one messy Dagwood sandwich of a bill to go to the president.
Garrison Keillor, creator and longtime host of the popular "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, says he means it this time: He's retiring.
In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Keillor said he plans to step down as host after next season, following four decades of entertaining listeners with his baritone voice and folksy comedy sketches about Lake Wobegon, his mythical Minnesota hometown "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."
After months of debate, drafting and deferring, the Stillwater City Council on Monday approved a stricter oil and gas ordinance.
The council unanimously approved the new rules, which were crafted with the input of residents, the energy industry and Senate Bill 809 — legislation that goes into effect in August preventing municipalities from enacting ordinances that ban fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:
The ordinance applies only to new wells. It imposes a 660-foot setback from the property line of “protected use” properties, including homes, churches, parks, schools, libraries and hospitals. It also forbids new structures being built within 400 feet of oil and gas wells put in after the ordinance becomes effective.
Ambient noise from drilling operations at the setback boundary will be limited to 69 decibels, which is about the same noise level as a vacuum cleaner. The ordinance includes higher variances from that sound level for limited periods of time.
Operators will be required to carry general liability commercial insurance policies of at least $1 million and environmental impairment insurance of at least $2 million. General umbrella liability coverage of at least $5 million also would apply.