The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office on Tuesday said a probe into alleged mismanagement of roughly $30 million from the Oklahoma State Department of Health has expanded to include investigators from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Lori Taylor reads the second letter she received from the state Department of Human Services informing her that her Medicaid waiver program will be funded temporarily.
After her divorce, Lori Taylor wanted a home all her own. She moved back to Oklahoma to be near her aging parents, but she had a problem. For years her personal caregiver had been her now ex-husband.
“I have cerebral palsy and that’s brain damage that I incurred at birth, and it affects my motor skills. I’m confined to an electric wheelchair. I can stand but I can’t walk, I have very limited use of my arms,” Taylor says, sitting in the living room of her Norman apartment.
She is able to live alone because of a form of Medicaid known in Oklahoma as the ADvantage waiver program. It’s called a waiver because it diverts Medicaid funds that would normally pay for institutional care like hospitals or nursing homes to pay for in-home support services. Waiver programs are popular in many states because they are more cost effective – nursing homes are expensive, and for the same amount of money the state can help more people live at home.
Volunteer firefighters Christie Smith and David Thompson cool down after extinguishing a hotspot that flared east of Noble, Okla., in 2012. Scientists expect the risk of wildfire to increase as climate change-fueled droughts occur more frequently and last longer.
A new report from hundreds of experts and more than a dozen federal agencies is stark: Humans are likely responsible for the warmest period in modern civilization.
The consequences of this warming vary regionally, but scientists and researchers forecast significant effects in Oklahoma and other southern plains states.
Robert Romines is the Superintendent of Moore Public Schools. He says many administrators are very involved with classroom instruction on a day-to-day basis.
Education leaders in Oklahoma say Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive order on school consolidation oversimplified a very complicated issue.
The November 21 order directs school districts that don’t spend at least 60 percent of their budget on instruction to consolidate administrative staff with other districts. A strict interpretation of this rule would force most Oklahoma school districts to cut an administrator, or a support staff person, and then find a way to split that cost with a neighboring district.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s plan to spray chemicals and biological agents in simulated terrorist attacks at an abandoned school has alarmed residents and caused a stir on both sides of the Oklahoma-Kansas border.
Calumet Public Schools Superintendent Keith Weldon stands in an old garage that he now uses for an agriculture program. Weldon worries if lawmakers take some of his local funding, he would have to scale back the popular program.
The wind blows strong and steady in Calumet, a small town about 40 miles west of Oklahoma City.
It’s the wind that’s prompted companies to build turbines here. A natural gas company also built a plant nearby.
In northeastern Oklahoma, Google built a large data center in Pryor. And the city of Cushing is flanked by fields of large steel tanks that hold millions of barrels of oil.
These industries bring in abundant property tax revenue for nearby schools — enough that 37 districts don’t receive any funding from the state.
Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.
Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.
The first lawsuit filed against Oklahoma oil companies over earthquakes is now settled.
Sandra Ladra was injured by rocks that shook loose from her fireplace during the 5.7-magnitude temblor that struck near the city of Prague in 2011. The quake is one of the strongest ever recorded in Oklahoma and was the first one scientists linked to wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry. Continue Reading →
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