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Lawmakers mull fines for railroads that delay road traffic

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers are considering whether to grant law enforcement the authority to issue citations to rail companies whose trains block roads for longer than 10 minutes without good reason. The amended legislative measure...

 

Auditors to prosecutors: Hire collection agency to recover unpaid fees from offenders

Oklahoma district attorneys have more than $56 million in uncollected fees on their books and are being advised they should hire collection agencies to go after offenders to recover more of the debt. But district attorneys are balking at the...

 

Oklahoma general fund collections outpace estimate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State finance officials say revenue collections to Oklahoma's main state operating fund continue to outpace the official estimate, but they warn of a slowdown in coming months. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services...

 

Demolition work commences at Drillers Stadium

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Work has begun on the demolition of Drillers Stadium. Mark Andrus, president and CEO of Expo Square, said recently that plans also call for removing the old Tulsa County Health Department building next door to the stadium. Work...

 

Kansas Farm Bureau recognizes 28-year-old Lawrence farmer

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Farm Bureau has given a statewide achievement award to a 28-year-old, first-generation farmer who had a profitable year by diversifying his offerings. The bureau recognized Scott Thellman, owner of Juniper Hill...

 

Company donates $2M to Kansas for cryptocurrency technology

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Silicon Valley company has donated $2 million to the University of Kansas to support research related to cryptocurrency and digital payments, such as Bitcoin. The university says in a news release that the donation from...

 

Demolition work commences at Drillers Stadium

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Work has begun on the demolition of Drillers Stadium. Mark Andrus, president and CEO of Expo Square, said recently that plans also call for removing the old Tulsa County Health Department building next door to the stadium. Work...

 

Road crew staffing spotlighted in Kansas budget debate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has trouble keeping road equipment operators from leaving for other, better-paying jobs — so much so that supervisors worry about being able to cobble together crews to clear snow after blizzards and to fill potholes...

 

US delays oil-and-gas lease sale near sacred tribal land

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. land managers no longer plan to move forward next month with selling oil and gas leases near a national park, saying Friday they need to gather more information before they put up the land for bidding in New Mexico....

 
 By Marc Levy    Regional    February 8, 2019

Pennsylvania permits halted for Texas-based pipeline company

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is halting construction permits for natural gas pipelines operated by a company whose pipeline exploded last year, as the governor said Friday that Energy Transfer LP has failed to respect the state's laws and...

 

Medicaid work proposal could prove a high hurdle for ex-felons

Like many other Oklahomans who have a criminal conviction, Lena Chatmon has struggled to rebuild her life since pleading guilty to motor vehicle-related and larceny charges in 2017. Chatmon, 21, who lives in Tulsa, is unemployed and said many employe...

 

2 Oklahoma companies in trafficking lawsuit settle pay claim

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Oklahoma companies accused in a federal human trafficking lawsuit of underpaying immigrant workers have reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor. A Jan. 25 order from a department Wage and Hour Division...

 
 By John Hana    Regional    February 7, 2019

Clash in Kansas over tax relief quickly coming to a head

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's election victory suggested that Kansas repudiated past GOP fiscal policies, yet voters also encouraged top Republicans to pursue income tax relief by giving conservatives more power in the...

 

Big 12 events receive approval for sponsorship increase

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City event sponsorship committee is distributing more funds for Big 12 Conference events this year than in the past. The Convention and Visitors Bureau's event sponsorship committee on Feb. 1 approved an increase in...

 

Kansas spent at least $414,000 repairing prisons after riots

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas spent at least $414,000 repairing damage and replacing equipment after inmate riots at three prisons in 2017 and 2018, corrections officials reported, surprising some state lawmakers Tuesday with the amount of expenses. T...

 

Rate hike for Kansas Gas Service customers approved

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a rate increase that will cost Kansas Gas customers an average of $2.40 per month. The commission on Tuesday approved a settlement between its staff, the Citizens Utility Ratepayer...

 

Kansas Senate approves $115M payment to state pension system

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would make a $115 million payment to the state pension system for teachers and government workers. The vote Tuesday was 40-0 even though Democrats in the GOP-dominated Senate argued...

 

APNewsBreak: US oil lease near sacred park pushes forward

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. land managers will move forward in March with the sale of oil and gas leases that include land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico and other areas sacred to Native American tribes. The sale comes...

 

Streetcar fares in Oklahoma City take effect Saturday

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City's new streetcar system aims to improve consistency and reliability of service by adopting a seven-day schedule beginning this month. The decision comes as Embark transit prepares to collect a base fare of $1 for...

 

Business, civic coalition seeks to cut Oklahoma prison count

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A coalition of business and community leaders led by former state House Speaker Kris Steele is outlining a plan to reduce the state's prison population by 5 percent over the next 10 years. Oklahomans for Criminal Justice...

 

Kansas tax collections $49M short of expectations in January

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas says it collected $49 million less in taxes than anticipated in January, giving Gov. Laura Kelly and lawmakers a dose of bad news as they consider budget issues. The Department of Revenue reported Friday that the state...

 

Route 66 enthusiasts want to reopen historic Tulsa bridge

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A historic but dilapidated Tulsa bridge that has been closed for nearly four decades should be restored for pedestrian use, according to preservationists. The Route 66 Commission has proposed reopening the 11th Street Arkansas...

 

Oklahoma utility reduces Arkansas rate increase request

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says Oklahoma Gas and Electric has agreed to reduce a rate increase request for its Arkansas customers from $6.4 million to $3.3 million. Oklahoma City-based OG&E is Oklahoma's...

 

Kansas pharmacy to pay $9.5 million settlement in fraud case

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A small pharmacy based in Overland Park will pay $9.5 million to settle a federal health care fraud lawsuit. The Kansas City Star reports $1.5 million of that will go to Emily Barnes, of Lenexa, who filed a whistleblower...

 

Beer sales up with new laws, but some liquor stores hurt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma beer makers say they are seeing the benefits of the state's looser laws on alcohol, but some liquor stores say their business has been hurt. The Oklahoma Beer Alliance says some of its members have seen double-digit...

 

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