News

Kirkpatrick Foundation

Today's animal abusers may well become tomorrow's perpetrators of violence against humans.

That's the conclusion of a growing body of research, and at the heart of a one-day conference in Oklahoma City featuring law enforcers, social service professionals and veterinarians.

Forensic veterinarian Dr. Melinda Merck says a comprehensive strategy is needed to break the chains of the link between animal cruelty and human violence.

Headlines for Wednesday, November 8, 2017:

  • A bill to fix the budget and end the special session passes its first hurdle. (Tulsa World)

  • Mental health providers say uncertainty is costing the state money. (Journal Record)

Victoria Ribeiro

If you were to ask Marcus McMinn — known as Coach Mac at the boxing club he helps run — what his passions are today, he’d tell you they’re different than they were 16 years ago.

Unlike the other boxing programs in the Oklahoma City area, Sims Boxing Academy is different: It’s a non-profit that focuses on providing at-risk youth a variety of services. They include tutoring and homework assistance, nutrition and fitness management as well as a safe place to hang out and meet new friends.

Headlines for Tuesday, November 7, 2017:

  • Oklahoma churches turn to security firms after Texas shooting. (NewsOK)

  • The State House is getting a last chance tax package from the Senate. (Tulsa World)

Oklahoma State Senate

In the ongoing budget saga at the Oklahoma State Capitol, there was some bipartisan movement on Monday in the state Senate. Lawmakers have already agreed to increase the cigarette tax and fuel taxes, but the sticking point has been the gross production tax on oil and gas wells.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would decrease the tax discounts on oil and gas wells after failing to come to another agreement. That bill only required a simple majority (51 percent) of lawmakers to vote in favor.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The new head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says the agency has been spending more than its annual revenue since 2011. Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger said Monday accounting tricks were used to move money between different accounts.

Headlines for Monday, November 6, 2017:

  • Legislative aide to State House Speaker Charles McCall comes under fire for ties to the energy industry. (NewsOK)

  • Filing begins next week for a special election to fill the seat vacated by Representative Scott Biggs. (Chickasha Express Star)

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

Headlines for Friday, November 3, 2017:

  • The State Health Department’s funding gap increases to $30M. (NewsOK)

  • Mismanagement of agencies could have an impact on voters. (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 changes at the state Department of Health with the resignation of the agency's commissioner and deputy along with the firing of its chief lawyer amid allegations of mismanagement, lawmakers pass patches to fix the budget after a grand bargain fails to pass out of committee and the State Supreme Court places a hold on a DUI law from taking effect while looking into its constitutionality.

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