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Group to Study Confirmation Process Now That Oklahoma Governor Can Hire, Fire Agency Directors

Now that Oklahoma’s governor can hire and fire the heads of five state agencies, a new working group will evaluate the Senate’s role in vetting his picks. "How do we make those processes more robust to make sure that as we give the governor more control over the executive branch that we also take our role even more seriously on the confirmation?" said Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, who announced the working group on Wednesday. The group may make long-term recommendations like Senate...

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Flu Stats Increase Across Oklahoma

The average age of this year’s fatal flu victim is 75. New stats out today show another jumped into the number of people who have died from the flu in Oklahoma. The State Health Department says seniors are at the most risk. 65 people have died from the flu this season in Oklahoma. 2,600 people have been hospitalized because of the flu. While that number is high, it is actually down from last year’s record number of fatalities and hospitalizations.

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Nebraska Faces Over $1.3 Billion In Flood Losses

The "bomb cyclone" that swept through the Midwest this week has caused more than $1 billion of flood damage in Nebraska, the state's governor said Wednesday. At least three people have been killed in Nebraska and Iowa. Heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt have caused catastrophic flooding across the Missouri River Basin, and three-fourths of Nebraska's 93 counties have declared an emergency, Gov. Pete Ricketts said. The cost of the damage has surpassed $1.3 billion, state officials said,...

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Join Us for The Give & Take on Medicaid Expansion, The Oklahoma Plan, SB 605, and House Bill 1750

A New Found@TU Podcast: Studying the Policies & Practices That Best Foster Entrepreneurship Globally

We're pleased to post a new installment in our Found@TU podcast series, which is a monthly interview podcast wherein University of Tulsa faculty members discuss their research in a clear, accessible, and engaging manner: how they conduct such research, why they love doing so, and what they're finding out. Our guest for this new epiode is Dr. Mike Troilo, the Wellspring Associate Professor of International Business here at TU. He tells us, among other things, about his ongoing research into...

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Our guest on StudioTulsa is the noted classical/crossover/experimental cellist and activist Amanda Gookin, who'll play a pair of interesting shows here in Tulsa this coming weekend as part of the 2019 OK Electric Festival. Gookin will be at Living Arts on Friday night (the 22nd) and at Duet Jazz on Saturday night (the 23rd). She'll be performing pieces from her newly created Forward Music Project 2.0, for which five female composers crafted cello-plus-electronics-and-multimedia works addressing such timely topics as body shaming and women's rights in Iran.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is a Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur whose new book examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run just about every single aspect of our lives.

Our guest is Mitchell S. Jackson, whose new book is an autobiographical collection of essays called "Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family." As was noted by The Boston Globe, it's a "vibrant memoir of race, violence, family, and manhood.... Jackson recognizes there is too much for one conventional form, and his various storytelling methods imbue the book with an unpredictable dexterity. It is sharp and unshrinking in depictions of his life, his relatives (blood kin and otherwise), and his Pacific Northwest hometown, which serves as both inescapable character and villain....

Our guest is the science journalist, author, and editor Katherine Harmon Courage, whose new book -- which she tells us about -- is "Cultured: How Ancient Foods Can Feed Our Microbiome." What is the best way for us to feed, and to care for, our all-important microbiome -- and what is a microbiome, anyway? Courage investigates such questions by way of ancient food traditions as well as the latest research for maintaining a healthy gut. (Please note that Katherine Harmon Courage will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing on Wednesday the 20th at Magic City Books.)

Photo by Bernie Guzik

Our guest is the locally based musician and photographer, Bernie Guzik. As a tuba player, the Ohio-born Guzik, who attended Julliard, has peformed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Tulsa Symphony, and so forth. Now retired from music, he devotes more and more time to his other longtime passion: photography. Guzik tells us about this passion, which has led him to travel all over the world, documenting vanishing cultures with his camera.

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Sand Springs, OK – SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) Authorities say a possibly impaired driver crashed into three bicyclists in Sand Springs killing two and injuring the third.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 30-year-old Angela Voss of Owasso was dead at the scene and 34-year-old Matthew Edmonds of Tulsa died later at a Tulsa hospital. The third cyclist was treated and released at a Tulsa hospital.


Oklahoma City, OK – Voters approve jails in 2 counties

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Voters have approved new jails in two Oklahoma counties.

Washita County residents voted in favor of a three-quarter-cent sales tax that will go toward building a new jail and renovating the current one.

In Washington County, voters passed a measure that will create a quarter-cent sales tax for a new county jail there.

Elsewhere, a proposal to fund a new ambulance in Seiling passed.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa sales tax revenue falls 7.5 percent in June

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Sales tax revenue for the city of Tulsa continues to decline with a drop of 7.5 percent in June.

The city received nearly $1.3 million less than in June last year.

The City Council is currently considering a budget for next year that must be approved by June 23.

Last week Mayor Kathy Taylor presented $7.6 million in budget cuts for next fiscal year that include eight unpaid furlough days for all 4,000 city employees.


Okemah, OK – OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) Law enforcement officials pleaded today for the public's help in finding the killer or killers of two Weleetka girls on the anniversary of the shootings.

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were found shot to death a year ago today on a rural road near Weleetka.

Oklahoma City, OK – Over the course of the next three days more than 80 paintings belonging to the State Senate Art Collection will be removed from the state Capitol. The artwork is being transported to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, where it will be displayed from July through October.

Dr. Duane King, Executive Director of the Gilcrease Museum, said the collection is an extraordinary reflection of the state's culture.

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Attorney General Drew Edmondson says a now-defunct poultry company got a better deal in settling an environmental lawsuit with the state because it was first to negotiate an agreement.

Springfield, Mo.-based Willow Brook Foods Inc. was originally one of the 13 companies named in Oklahoma's 2005 environmental lawsuit alleging bird waste pollution in the Illinois River watershed.

Oklahoma City, OK – State graduation rate exceeds national average

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma's high school graduation rate fell slightly from 2005 to 2006 but remains ahead of the national average.

The 2009 "Diplomas Count" report released today shows nearly 71 percent of public high school students graduated in Oklahoma in 2006 the most recent year in which data is available.

That compares to about 69 percent nationally.


Tulsa, OK – Stimulus money helps Tulsa bus conversion

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa's public transportation system plans to use federal stimulus funds to convert a large portion of its fleet from diesel-powered buses to ones that run on compressed natural gas.

The $13 million project will switch out 13 of the Tulsa Transit's 62 long buses and all 35 of the Lift Program's paratransit mini buses.

Oklahoma City, OK – First Okla swine flu death reported

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A 43-year-old man from Kay County has become the first person to die in Oklahoma of swine flu.

State health officials say the patient had sought medical care for his flu symptoms but had not been hospitalized. He did have underlying chronic medical conditions, including asthma.

A total of 109 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the state.