KGOU

StateImpact Oklahoma

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Public meetings on the recently approved draft of what would be Tulsa’s biggest ever capital improvement initiative continue through August. The list of potential projects range from widening streets and repairing bridges to replacing city pools with aquatic centers and building new zoo exhibits.

But paying the nearly $1 billion price tag is forcing Tulsa to get creative, as the Tulsa World‘s Zack Stoycoff reports:

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Enid is growing. It’s population is on the rise thanks to the oil and gas industry, and its importance as an agricultural center. In fact, the city is expected to add 1,700 more jobs over the next two years. All good news, right?

Except there’s really no place for new residents to live. Enid has been experiencing a housing shortage since 2008, when, as The Journal Record‘s Molly M. Fleming reports, more than 100 homes were built in Garfield County:

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There were 951 oil spills reported in Oklahoma last year, more than every other major energy state state except North Dakota, EnergyWire reports.

The news service has been trying to count the number of spills in the U.S. and measure their impact, but has been stymied by haphazard reporting of spills, which “are scattered amid databases, websites and even file drawers of state agencies across the country”

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has experienced an increase in earthquakes in recent years, a phenomenon many geophysicists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

The 5.7-magnitude quake that injured two people and destroyed 14 homes in November 2011 was Oklahoma’s largest on record and is likely the largest triggered by wastewater injection, a team of geophysicists concluded in a report released in March.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’

Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.


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While the State of Oklahoma won the Supreme Court Water War with Texas, its in-state skirmish is still simmering.

This battle — between the state and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations — is being waged within Oklahoma’s borders. But unlike the Red River water dispute, reports from the front lines of Oklahoma’s tribal water war are sketchy and scarce. The Associated Press’ Tim Talley explains news drought:

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

It seemed like a good idea back in 1979: Broken Arrow, population 35,000 at the time, would pipe its water in from the Grand River, 27 miles away, and save some money over buying water from Tulsa.

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The count of kids with cavities is on the rise in Pottawatomie County, where no fluoride is added to the public water systems.

And pediatric health groups and a local dental association are sounding alarms, the Shawnee News-Star’s Madi Alexander reports:

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