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Gov. Mary Fallin's Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer is resigning.

Sherrer says in a letter to Fallin dated Friday that he plans to resign by Monday, the start of the new fiscal year.

“Gary Sherrer is a strong voice for sensible, common-sense policies that have helped to protect Oklahoma’s environment while also making room for job growth and economic development,” Fallin says. “He has worked well with both Republicans and Democrats and was skilled at achieving consensus among people with diverse interests and agendas."

Fallin plans to consolidate the secretary of environment and energy positions into one cabinet post and Sherrer said he didn't feel like he had the knowledge and expertise to handle both positions.

Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge says Hobby Lobby and a sister company will not be subject to daily fines for refusing certain birth-control for workers.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton on Friday set a hearing for July 19 on claims by Hobby Lobby and the Mardel Christian bookstore chain that they should not have to provide some types of birth control, as required under the federal health care overhaul.

Flickr/Creative Commons

A bond program used to fund facilities and equipment at state colleges and universities is being challenged as unconstitutional in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. 

The Tulsa World reports attorneys challenging the state's Master Lease Program argued their case Thursday before an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee.

The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority is seeking to sell bonds for various projects and wants the state's highest court to validate the projects.

Oklahoma City has selected Pittsburgh center Steven Adams with the 12th pick in the NBA draft, hoping to add a complementary piece to play alongside stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's two Republican U.S. senators both voted against legislation that offers a path to citizenship to millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.

Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe both say the bill grants too much authority to federal bureaucrats to determine whether the border with Mexico is secure.

The two were among 32 senators who voted against a measure that cleared the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the Republican-controlled House.

Flickr

AT&T says it is bringing more than 100 new jobs to Oklahoma at a center that will serve small- and medium-size business customers. 

The company said Thursday that 25 project managers have already been hired for the new office in Oklahoma City.

Officials say AT&T will draw on a number of state incentives, including the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program, the Training for Industry Program and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's Strategic Investment Program.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court is sending back to state court a case about an Oklahoma anti-abortion law that bans off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

The justices on Thursday asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to clarify some questions before the high court considers an appeal.

The state court threw out the law requiring doctors to follow strict guidelines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and barring off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

Jessica Lothrop / Flickr Creative Commons

Supporters of gay marriage in Oklahoma are praising a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.

But opponents of same-sex marriages also found a silver lining in Wednesday's ruling, saying Oklahoma's constitutional ban on gay marriage remains intact.

Governor Mary Fallin issued a statement Wednesday saying that like "the vast majority of Oklahomans," she supports traditional marriage.

Coburn "No" On Immigration Changes

Jun 25, 2013
by cool revolution / Flickr Creative Commons

Historic immigration legislation is on track to clear the Senate by week's end following a successful test vote.

A final vote in the Senate on Thursday or Friday would send the issue to the House, where conservative Republicans in the majority oppose citizenship for anyone living in the country illegally. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) voted no on the immigration proposal yesterday.

Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

An annual report on the well-being of children in the United States shows improvement in Oklahoma.

The state's ranking improved from 40th to 36th among the 50 states in the Kids Count report released Monday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The foundation ranks states based on four areas — economic well-being; education; health; and family and community issues.

RepFrankLucas / Flickr

Sixty-two Republicans voted against the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cute $2 billion annual from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla. 1) was the only Oklahoma congressman to vote against the farm bill.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says now is not the time to reduce the country's nuclear arms forces around the globe.

Oklahoma's senior senator made the comments Wednesday in response to President Barack Obama's call during a speech in Berlin to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles by one-third.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Moore City Manager Steve Eddy says more than 56,000 tons of debris have been removed from neighborhoods in Moore as the city reaches the one-month mark since a deadly tornado carved through the Oklahoma City suburb on May 20.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for 85 percent of the cost of debris removal through Wednesday, when the share was reduced to 80 percent. The 80-20 federal-local match will continue for another 30 days. After that, the federal share of the cleanup cost will drop to the traditional 75 percent.

National Transportation Safety Board

Federal officials say a train driver's failing eyesight was the probable cause of a fiery train crash that killed three people in the Oklahoma Panhandle last year.

Dr. Mary Pat McKay told the National Transportation Safety Board that the driver’s eyesight fluctuated from day to day and he couldn’t always distinguish red, green and yellow lights.

“This was a very bright, sunny clear day,” McKay says. “He may have had difficulty telling which of the lights were illuminated.”

greenasian / Flickr

University of Oklahoma officials say a program that puts more course material online is saving students on the cost of textbooks.

OU President David Boren's office says the first year of the Textbook Alternatives Initiatives has saved students about 25 percent off the typical $1,400 yearly cost of textbooks.

OU is trying to push more material online after seeing a study that found up to 70 percent of students were not buying books because of the costs.

Tulsa Zoo

The Tulsa Zoo has had to put down a 21-year-old giraffe who had a broken bone in his right, front foot.

Zoo officials said Sunday that Samburu, also known as Sam, died on Saturday. He was born at the zoo in 1992.

The zoo says Sam lived longer than average for a male giraffe cared for by humans. He suffered from osteoarthritis.

Alan Levine / Flickr

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 41 cases of rabies in the state thus far in 2013. The cases include 25 skunks, nine cows, five dogs, one horse and one fox.

Health officials in Oklahoma are urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from rabies by having their pets vaccinated.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected Texas' claim that it has a right under a 30-year-old agreement to cross the border with Oklahoma for water to serve the fast-growing Fort Worth area.

The justices on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that said Oklahoma laws intended to block Texas' water claims are valid.

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