DeadCenter Film Festival
12:14 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Oklahoma Musician Goes on Journey to Find "Oklahoma's Favorite Son" Will Rogers

Credit Matt Goad

The 15th annual deadCENTER Film Festival kicked off yesterday and lasts through Sunday. One film making its world premiere at deadCENTER.

That’s the sound from the cabin of an airplane descending into Barrow, Alaska. On board are two Oklahoma filmmakers—Beau Jennings and Bradley Beesley—heading to shoot footage for a documentary that retraces the footsteps of “Oklahoma's Favorite Son” Will Rogers.

Two Oklahomans, that is, flying into Alaska to shoot a scene on the fateful 1935 plane crash of two other Okies—Will Rogers and Wiley Post.

"We made a number of jokes about a couple of Okies flying back to Barrow, Alaska and wondered how smart we were to do so."

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics
8:50 am
Fri June 12, 2015

State Senator Investigation, Teachers' Union Dues & GOP Infighting

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the leadership resignations by Owasso Republican Senator Rick Brinkley who faces allegations of embezzlement and a law banning paycheck deductions for teachers' union dues comes under question when a Tulsa law firm representing 300 school districts tells them it's unenforceable.

The trio also discuss the attacks against state leaders and lawmakers from the conservative Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs concerning claims of a shrinking budget and from Republicans supporting state GOP Political Director TC Ryan who pleaded guilty to domestic abuse.

Headlines
8:11 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Headlines: Capitol Repairs, Cushing Prison & Paramount OKC Changes

Headlines for Friday, June 12, 2015:

  • Bad language in Workers Comp bills cost state more than $90M. (Oklahoma Watch)

  • Work on the interior of the State Capitol is starting far earlier than expected. (NewsOK)

  • Oil and gas production in Osage County is getting harder. (Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise)

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Health
3:27 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Health Insurance Premiums Will Go Up In 2016, But By How Much?

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 10:20 am

Some health insurance companies are asking for big price increases next year, and that has again riled critics of the federal health care law. But early analysis shows those steep hikes may not affect the majority of consumers.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:11 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

State Parks in Danger After Tourism Department’s $16 Million Budget Cut

Justin Stratford and several of his nieces and nephews play in Lake Thunderbird on a road trip from Arizona.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The $7.1 billion state budget Governor Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 included deep cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation — the agency that runs the state park system. That could mean some parks will have to be closed or transferred to new operators, and some eastern Oklahoma lawmakers are fuming.

Generally, these parks aren’t big money makers for the state. Lake Thunderbird State Park near Norman is one of the most expensive parks the state runs. A little more than half a million people visited the park in 2013, and the park brought in about half a million dollars. But it cost $1.2 million to run. State funding makes up the difference, and that’s one reason why people who enjoy state parks in Oklahoma might be worried.

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Health
11:08 am
Thu June 11, 2015

If Obamacare Subsidies Disappear, States And Congress Will Bear Burden For Fix

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell talks before a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., looks on.
Getty Images

It will be up to state officials and Congress to help consumers who can't afford health insurance if the Supreme Court strikes down health law subsidies for millions of Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

"The critical decisions will sit with the Congress and states and governors to determine if those subsidies are available," Burwell told the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

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deadCENTER Film Festival
8:30 am
Thu June 11, 2015

deadCENTER Opening Night Films Focus on Culture Clashes, Marijuana & Pro Wrestling

The 15th edition of the deadCENTER Film Festival kicks off today, highlighting dozens of independent films —ranging from comedies, dramas, documentaries and short films— from Oklahoma and around the world.

For screening times and to purchase festival passes, visit deadcenterfilm.org.

Headlines
8:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Headlines: Listeria Outbreak, Fallin's European Vacation & Dead Center Film Festival

Headlines for Thursday, June 11, 2015:

  • Blue Bell Ice Cream says an outbreak of listeria comes from a Broken Arrow plant. (Tulsa World)
     
  • Oklahoma businesses take employees income taxes for company improvements. (Oklahoma Watch)
     
  • PSO offers opt out option for smart meters, but at a cost to those customers. (Tulsa World)

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Economy
5:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

America's Next Economic Boom Could Be Lying Underground

Pump jacks and wells work in an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation in California. Economist Michael Porter says that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a "game changer" for the U.S. economy.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 2:42 pm

There's a serious problem in the American economy: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data.

"That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our ultimate vitality as a nation."

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Health
11:14 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Court Decision On Texas Abortion Law Could Hasten Clinic Closures

Abortion-rights supporters (foreground) try to disrupt an anti-abortion march to the Texas Capitol during a Texas Rally for Life on Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 3:10 pm

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a controversial state law requiring nearly all Texas facilities that perform abortions to operate like hospital-style surgical centers.

If the ruling stands, abortion providers say another dozen could close in the next few weeks. They say that would leave nearly a million women at least 150 miles from the nearest abortion provider.

Since the law first passed in 2013, about half the state's 40 clinics have shut down.

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