StateImpact Oklahoma
3:40 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

State Authorities Broaden Disposal Well Regulations in Earthquake-Prone Regions

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago.

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Science
5:09 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Science Confirms 2014 Was Hottest Yet Recorded, On Land And Sea

Floodwaters from rising sea levels have submerged and killed trees in Bedono village in Demak, Central Java, Indonesia. As oceans warm, they expand and erode the shore. Residents of Java's coastal villages have been hit hard by rising sea levels in recent years.
Ulet Ifansasti Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 10:14 am

For the past quarter-century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been gathering data from more than 400 scientists around the world on climate trends.

The report on 2014 from these international researchers? On average, it was the hottest year ever — in the ocean, as well as on land.

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Local News
7:47 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Obama Praises El Reno Prison's Programs, Calls For Corrections Reform

President Obama tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution
Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison Thursday when he toured the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution outside Oklahoma City. During his trip, Obama urged reconsideration of the current criminal justice system.

President Obama walked down Cell Block B, taking in the two-story medium security prison, with a corrections officer and Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles Samuels. He peeked inside a tiny 90 square foot cell that holds up to three inmates, which he said highlights the need for prison reform.

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Politics
5:51 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Obama Visits Federal Prison, A First For A Sitting President

President Obama toured the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma on Thursday and met with six inmates.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 6:30 pm

President Obama toured a federal prison in Oklahoma on Thursday and said the nation needs to reconsider policies that contribute to a huge spike in the number of people behind bars.

In an unprecedented visit by a sitting president, Obama met with half a dozen inmates at the El Reno prison, outside Oklahoma City. The trip was part of a weeklong push by the White House to focus attention on the president's call for criminal justice reform.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:19 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Years After Earthquake, Oklahoma College Still Shaken by Cracked Budgets and Broken Buildings

Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of St. Gregory's Monastery traces cracks in the walls of the monk's workshop, which was damaged in a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the nearby city of Prague in November 2011.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma appears to be accelerating, and the state is responding.

Lawmakers have scheduled capitol hearings and oil and gas regulators will soon issue stricter guidelines on disposal wells linked to the shaking. Future earthquakes are a big concern, but one Oklahoma institution is still dealing with the damage one quake caused nearly four years ago.

St. Gregory’s University is an Oklahoma earthquake icon. When the 5.7-magnitude quake struck near the city of Prague in November 2011, one of the school’s century-old, Tudor Gothic-style towers collapsed. Another started spitting bricks.

The earthquake is Oklahoma’s largest recorded with modern instruments. It’s also the largest earthquake anywhere that scientists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry. Two people were injured. None at St. Gregory’s.

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Local News
9:04 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Obama Highlights Internet Access Gaps At Choctaw Nation

President Barack Obama talks with attendees of a speech in Durant, Oklahoma on July 15, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Millions of American students don’t have access to high speed internet at home, putting them at an educational disadvantage. On Wednesday, president Barack Obama began his two-day visit to Oklahoma by unveiling a new plan to bring internet service into low income households.

The president was met with applause and introduced himself with the Choctaw greeting “Halito” at Durant High School in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Obama checked off some of the accomplishments under his administration --- like private sector job growth, a stronger housing market and more insured Americans. That, he said, is the good news.

“But I also made it clear when I came into office, even as we’re trying to make sure the entire economy recovers, we also have to pay attention to those communities that all too often have been neglected and fallen behind,” Obama said. “And as part of that, I said, ‘We’re going to do better by our First Americans. We’re going to do better.’”

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Law
5:55 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Is It Possible To Let More People Out Of Prison, And Keep Crime Down?

Inmates at California's Chino State Prison exercise in the prison yard in 2010. A proposition that was passed in the state last year reclassified certain crimes, releasing thousands of inmates earlier than had been anticipated.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 2:12 pm

President Obama has made incarceration reform a White House theme this week. On Monday, he commuted the sentences of 46 mostly nonviolent drug offenders; and on Tuesday, he spoke about reducing the prison population in a speech to the NAACP.

"The United States is home to 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Obama said. "Think about that. Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's."

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Here & Now
4:35 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Obama Calls For Criminal Justice Reforms

President Obama addresses attendees at the 106th NAACP national convention on July 14, 2015 in Philadelphia. Obama's speech addressed the unfairness in our criminal justice system and offered ideas for reform. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 4:35 pm

In a speech Tuesday, President Obama called for fixing what he called the “broken system” of criminal justice, which he said sends too many non-violent drug offenders to prison for too long because of Reagan-era mandatory minimum sentencing.

On Monday, Obama commuted the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders. In a personal letter to each soon-to-be ex-prisoner, Obama warned them, “it will not be easy” for them once they get out. Thursday, he will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit a federal prison.

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National Security
12:51 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Obama Says Iran Nuclear Deal Meets U.S. National Security Interests

President Obama answers questions about the nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday at a news conference in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 4:41 pm

This post was last updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

President Obama offered a robust defense of the historic deal struck with Iran on its nuclear program, saying it meets the "national security interests of the United States and its allies."

In a more than hourlong news conference, Obama dismissed criticism of the deal, acknowledging that he expects "robust" debate over the agreement in Congress, but urging lawmakers to evaluate "this agreement based on the facts, not on politics, not on posturing."

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World Cafe
6:10 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

John Moreland On World Cafe

John Moreland
Kris Payne/Courtesy of the artist

After starting out in the punk scene, Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland decided it was best to start writing about himself. That attitude, and a new Americana sound, helped lend depth and honesty to his new album, High On Tulsa Heat. Moreland's World Cafe session is one of the most unexpectedly beautiful in a while.

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