News

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The first lawsuit filed against Oklahoma oil companies over earthquakes is now settled.

Sandra Ladra was injured by rocks that shook loose from her fireplace during the 5.7-magnitude temblor that struck near the city of Prague in 2011. The quake is one of the strongest ever recorded in Oklahoma and was the first one scientists linked to wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Oklahoma is replacing the decks of playing cards they sell in the prison canteens with new custom decks featuring the faces of victims from 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases. Other states have similar programs and the program is working.

During the Iraq war, a surprisingly effective tool for the military was a deck of cards distributed to troops featuring the faces of Iraq’s most wanted. Now, law enforcement officials are hoping inmates in American prisons will help play a similar role in unsolved cases.

cole.house.gov

A bipartisan health care deal was introduced in the Senate. While there's a chance it could pass there, it faces a tougher time in the House. Rachel Martin talks to Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Oklahoma law enforcement agencies were among hundreds who participated in a nationwide investigation into underage human trafficking.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted Operation Cross Country XI last week, working in hotels, casinos, truck stops and street corners, as well as on the internet. Law enforcement recovered 84 minors and arrested 120 traffickers across the United States.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to a receptive audience Thursday when he addressed members of the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association at Rose State College in Midwest City.

Sessions said law enforcement nationwide is dealing with an increase in the violent crime rate, gangs, the opioid epidemic and threats of terrorism. Sessions says these issues are combined with cultural changes that concern him.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

On the playground at Chattanooga Elementary School some kids are pretending to be pirates, a few boys are climbing on a baseball dugout, and another group is belting out the words to various pop songs as they wriggle across the monkey bars.

This is the students’ third 15-minute recess of the day, and they’ll get one more before the end of the school day in the tiny southwestern Oklahoma town of about 450.

Added up: That’s an hour of recess a day — double what these kids got two years ago, and double what most kids in America get.

Headlines for Friday, October 20, 2017:

  • Oklahoma's House Speaker says the state has money to delay health budget cuts. (NewsOK)

  • Drug court participants face more prison time amid budget shortfall. (Journal Record)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about pending cuts to health and mental health agencies with the stalemate over a $215M shortfall in the budget, lawsuits against drug rehabilitation centers accused of forcing clients to work at chicken farms without pay and in dangerous conditions and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes to the state to give the keynote address at the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association.

Headlines for Thursday, October 19, 2017:

  • The state Mental Health Department announces cuts possibly affecting thousands of Oklahomans. (Journal Record)

  • Republican lawmaker stopped oversight of controversial drug recovery program. (Tulsa World)

ELASTICSOUL / FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A state board in charge of determining legislators’ salaries decided on Tuesday to keep compensation for state senators and representatives flat. They will consider reducing salaries and benefits when they meet again in January.

The Board on Legislative Compensation voted unanimously to maintain legislators’ current compensation, which includes a base salary of $38,400, in addition to benefits and compensation for per diem costs.

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