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Corporation Commission Votes Against OG&E Rate Hike

Posted by Bob Sands on

By a vote of 2 to 1 the Oklahoma Corporation Commission rejects a plan by O G & E to increase costs to customers by more than 15 percent in order to make changes to their power plants that would bring them into compliance with the EPA's Haze Rule. O G & E and the state of Oklahoma fought the EPA in court over the Haze rule requirements and lost there too.

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Judge Rules DHS Owes Millions in Overcharges

Posted by Bob Sands on

Oklahoma County Judge Barbara Swinton rules in favor of a class action lawsuit against the Department of Human Services. Four men filed suit 4 years ago alleging they were wrongfully charged high interest rates for back child support. DHS plans to appeal the ruling but if upheld it could cost the state agency millions of dollars.

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Another 4.7 Earthquake in Northern Oklahoma

Posted by Bob Sands on

The 4.7 magnitude quake hit in the Medford area early this morning. It is the second 4.7 temblor to hit the area this month. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has taken steps to force some injector wells in the area to curtail operations or reduce volumes in the hope of slowing the quakes.

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The Ground Keeps Shaking

Posted by Bob Sands on

An earthquake near Cherokee early today shook the ground across big parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. The magnitude 4.7 quake was followed by three smaller temblors all in the same general area. There have been more than 20 magnitude 4 or greater earthquakes this year in Oklahoma.

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Push Back on the State Complying with the Real ID Law

Posted by Bob Sands on

Conservative activists want the state to ignore the Real ID law. A meeting at the state capitol included a warning to lawmakers that if the state doesn't come into compliance residents may be unable to board a commercial aircraft or enter a federal building. Oklahoma has a compliance extension up to October of next year.

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Feds Don't Want to Give Nichols Guns Back

Posted by Bob Sands on

Terry Nichols wants the FBI to return his guns to his ex-wife. Now federal prosecutors say they would rather destroy the more than a dozen weapons. Prosecutors told a federal court they are concerned the rifles, handguns and shotguns would be sold and then used in copycat crimes, given Nichols notoriety.

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State Revenues Continue to Plummet

Posted by Bob Sands on

Collections to the states general fund missed the official estimate for last month by more than 10%. That increases the chances for budget cuts to state agencies this fiscal year, that's what is known as a revenue failure. October income was so low that it swallowed up more than half of the five percent cushion that lawmakers build into each yearly budget.

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Appeals Court Says Former Senate Leader Should Do Time

Posted by Bob Sands on

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the bribery conviction of former Senate President Pro-Tem Mike Morgan. But the court sent the case back to Oklahoma City for re-sentencing saying a five year probation term was a "slap on the wrist." The appeals court says Morgan should do significant prison time for violating his oath of office.

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President Nixes Keystone Pipeline

Posted by Bob Sands on

Saying it won't create the kind of jobs the country needs or lower gas prices, President Barack Obama says he agrees with a State Department conclusion that the northern section of the Keystone pipeline would not serve the national interest. In rejecting the pipeline project the President also says it does not fit in with the nations environmental goals.

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Two Governors Intervene and an Investigation into a Tulsa Surgeon Ends

Posted by Bob Sands on

Back in 2013 then-Texas Governor Rick Perry called Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin about a 3 year old investigation into one of his donors, a Tulsa doctor. According to published reports, the Governor's General Counsel met with members of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision and a short time later a settlement was reached and the case against Dr. Steven Anagnost was dropped.

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Lawsuit Threatened Over Ongoing Earthquakes

Posted by Bob Sands on

The Sierra Club and Public Justice are threatening to file a federal court lawsuit against four major Oklahoma energy companies unless they take steps to reduce earthquakes in central and north central Oklahoma. The groups want the energy companies to immediately reduce the amount of "produced water" that is being injected underground.

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Monthly Business Index Dips Again

Posted by Bob Sands on

For the sixth straight month, The Business Conditions Index for Oklahoma was below growth neutral. The survey by Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss shows the index slipped again from 46.2 in September to 40.1 in October.

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New A Through F Report Cards are Badly Flawed

Posted by Bob Sands on

The latest report cards are out for Oklahoma public schools but state education officials say it is so flawed that it has no value to teachers, superintendents or parents. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says efforts are underway to fix the controversial program with proposals due out by the end of December.

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States That Declined To Expand Medicaid Face Higher Costs

Posted by Bob Sands on

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that states that did not expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act are now paying more for their program than states that did expand. The study found that part of the reason for the lower costs in expansion states is due to health care savings in other areas such as health care for prison inmates.

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Governor Orders State Agencies to Plan for Major Budget Cuts

Posted by Bob Sands on

Governor Mary Fallin has issued an executive order telling ever state agency heads to make plans now to eliminate 10% of what she calls "nonessential spending" for this fiscal year and the next. Those plans call for agency directors to explain how the saved money can be reallocated to other needs.

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