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Advocates for overhauling Oklahoma's civil asset forfeiture laws say the current system is ripe for abuse and should be changed so that innocent people can't have their cash seized by law enforcement.

Several legal experts testified about shortcomings in Oklahoma's current law Tuesday during a hearing at the state Capitol.

But the changes are being fiercely opposed by prosecutors and law enforcement, both of whom directly benefit by receiving the seized proceeds. Supporters of the current law are testifying at a separate interim study at the Tulsa Police Academy.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Students who get suspended in the Oklahoma City Public School district will now have an option: take the suspension and go home or go through a 10-day remedial program.

In the program, teachers will help the kids keep up with their work, as they go through character development classes and counseling.

“And so, instead of just sending them home, to sit at home, let’s keep ‘em in school, keep up with their academics, and then also teach ‘em some skills that they need to learn,” said Dr. Teri Bell, the district’s executive director of student support services.

Headlines for Tuesday, September 1, 2015:

  • A new study looks at Oklahoma’s law enforcement agencies and property seizures. (News9)

  • Death penalty opponents go on national TV to oppose Oklahoma execution. (Tulsa World)

  • Citizens speak out against prescription drug abuse at the state capitol. (News9)

Headlines for Monday, August 31, 2015:

  • A new report show young people who leave the Department of Human Services end up on the street. (NewsOK)

  • Supporters of a new Oklahoma County jail say they need facilities to handle mentally health patients. (NewsOK)

  • Community leaders want to reduce mental ill patients in jails. (Tulsa World)

A state lawmaker says he's withdrawing his request for an interim study on civil asset forfeiture laws in Oklahoma and instead plans a panel discussion on the issue.

Republican Sen. Kyle Loveless of Oklahoma City said Friday the study was scheduled to convene on Tuesday at the Tulsa Police Academy — a location that had drawn criticism from the public, committee members and the media. Instead, Loveless says he will host a panel discussion Tuesday at the State Capitol.

Headlines for Friday, August 28, 2015:

  • Friends and colleagues gather to remember Mark Costello. (NewsOK)

  • The removal of the Ten Commandments Monument is moving forward. (News9)

  • Grand jury calls for the removal of Rogers County Commission. (Tulsa World)

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan enraged many top officials in Oklahoma, who argued the rules were an expensive, unnecessary overreach by the federal government.

But the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could create opportunities in Oklahoma, researchers and officials say.

POWER PLAY

Headlines for Thursday, August 28, 2015:

  • An investigation into the death of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello shows the attack was planned. (NewsOK)

  • The mass slaying of a Broken Arrow family might have been videotaped. (Tulsa World)

  • Oklahoma’s teacher shortage means larger class sizes. (News9)

Flickr / Brian Cantoni

According to data recently released by the ACT, or American College Test, only 22 percent of Oklahoma students were ready for college courses in math, English, social science and biology when they graduated from high school.  Nationally, 28 percent of students met the benchmark scores in all four subjects.

Oklahoma students have maintained an average score of 20.7 on the test for the past five years. Nationwide, scores have gone down slightly since 2011. The national average for 2015 was 21.0

Headlines for Wednesday, August 26, 2015:

  • A judge denies the bond for the man accused of killing Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. (Tulsa World)

  • The issue of mental health is coming up following the death of the Labor Commissioner. (Journal Record)

  • An Oklahoma Representative’s Facebook post is causing controversy. (KFOR)

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