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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Headlines
8:12 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Headlines: State Prisons, Transgender Student Athletes & Sooner Con

Headlines for Wednesday, June 10, 2015:

  • Despite budget increase, state prisons face major challenges. (NewsOK)

  • Collections to Oklahoma’s general revenue falls again. (Tulsa World)

  • Transportation officials are encouraging county commissioners statewide to speed-up road projects. (Stillwater News Press)

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The Two-Way
8:39 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

McKinney Police Officer Seen Pinning Black Girl To The Ground Resigns

A still from a video showing Cpl. Eric Casebolt forcing a teenager to the ground in McKinney, Texas. Casebolt has resigned as an investigation continues.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 8:09 pm

Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the McKinney, Texas, police officer seen on a video forcing a teenage girl to the ground and briefly drawing his gun while attempting to break up a disturbance at a community pool, has resigned. Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.

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Sample Size
5:42 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

New Mix: Apple Music, Jamie xx & Weaves

Apple Music

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

Today, we discuss another new music streaming service in Apple Music, and play new, restrained dance sounds by Jamie xx & a fun pop song with exaggerated and silly guitar work by Weaves.

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

Health
8:40 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Highest-Charging U.S. Hospitals Are For-Profit And Concentrated In Florida

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 11:01 am

Talk about sticker shock: Some U.S. hospitals charge patients more than 10 times the rates paid by Medicare.

Of the 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest charges, 49 are for-profit institutions, 20 operate in Florida, and half are owned by a single chain, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs Monday.

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