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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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Oklahoma to Delay Any Executions Until at Least Next Year

Posted by Bob Sands on

Oklahoma and attorneys for death row inmates are asking a federal court to suspend ongoing challenges to the states lethal injection law. The action was taken as the state agrees not to seek any execution dates until at least next year.

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Study Shows Oil and Gas Related Earthquakes Go Back Decades

Posted by Bob Sands on

Researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey have found that most of the strong earthquakes in Oklahoma history were probably caused by the oil and gas industry. That includes two high-profile Oklahoma earthquakes in the 1950's, a 5.7 magnitude temblor in El Reno and a 3.9 magnitude quake in Tulsa county.

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Chesapeake Energy Fined for Under Reporting on Indian Leases

Posted by Bob Sands on

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is now facing a $2.1 million fine from the Department of Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue Office in Denver. The company was fined for failing to comply with an order in 2011 to review the amounts of natural gas produced on more than 100 leases on Indian lands.

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State Supreme Court Rules in Same-Sex Parenting Rights Case

Posted by Bob Sands on

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that an Oklahoma County District Court Judge got the case wrong when he dismissed a lawsuit over same-sex parental rights. Judge Howard Haralson ruled that the non-biological parent lacked legal standing. The states highest court held that the biological mother can't just erase a parental relationship she voluntarily created.

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Lawmaker Wants to Replace Income Tax with a Service Tax

Posted by Bob Sands on

Every time you purchase a service, haircut, doctors visit, hire an attorney, etc. you'd pay a tax. That's the idea of state Representative Mark McCullough of Sapulpa. The service tax was the topic of an interim study. Rep. McCullough says a tax on transactions would be a more reliable revenue stream than corporate or individual income taxes.

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New Anti-Abortion Law Put on Hold

Posted by Bob Sands on

One new anti-abortion law was temporarily blocked by an Oklahoma County Judge today but another was not. Judge Patricia Parrish issued the split ruling that will likely be appealed and end up before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The law put on hold would ban second-trimester abortions. The other law extends the waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion.

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Challenge of New Anti-Abortion Law Heard in Court

Posted by Bob Sands on

Oral arguments have concluded before the Oklahoma Supreme Court over the latest challenge to another anti-abortion law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. The challenge focuses on a claim that the bill violates the single subject rule of the state constitution. Senate Bill 642 has four separate provisions.

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High Fire Danger

Posted by Bob Sands on

The risk of wildfires is very high this week. Windy weather, low humidity and warm temperatures coupled with a lack of rain means parts of the state are very fire prone.

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Earthquake Swarms Return

Posted by Bob Sands on

11 earthquakes struck parts of Oklahoma over the weekend. Nine of the quakes, ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 3.7 occurred over a 12 hour period from Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning, all in northern Oklahoma. Two more temblors happened on Saturday near Cushing and Medford, the first 4.5 and the second 4.4.

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