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Category archives for: General

Danny George Faces Sex Crime Complaints

Tulsa World

OWASSO – A 1980s member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives is jailed on three sex crime complaints after Owasso police completed a monthlong sting operation, authorities announced Tuesday.

Danny Bruce George, 61, is accused of soliciting a minor for prostitution, sexual battery and making lewd proposals to a child, Deputy Chief Jason Woodruff said in a release. The investigation began in July when an Owasso detective posed as an underage girl and began text messaging and chatting online with George to arrange a meeting, Woodruff said.

George, of Clinton, reportedly agreed to travel to Owasso to have sex with the underage girl and arrived at a local restaurant at 4 p.m. Tuesday, where he was confronted by members of Owasso’s Criminal Investigations Division.

State archives indicate George was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1985-1987.

George was first booked at the Owasso Municipal Jail before being booked in Tulsa County, Woodruff said.


Hofmeister Criticizes Rush To Penalize Oklahoma As Premature

Republican schools superintendent nominee Joy Hofmeister today criticized the Obama Administration’s penalization of Oklahoma for its repeal of Common Core.

Here’s her statement:

“In revoking our ESEA Waiver before the current academic standards review
process could be completed by our State Board of Regents, the Obama
administration has rushed to penalize Oklahoma for the repeal of Common Core.

“This is an example of a punitive overreach by the federal government that shows
a lack of caring for our students, and I consider it an outrage to penalize
students and children simply because the Obama administration is angry that our
state has chosen to chart it’s own course on educational standards.

“This is a classic ‘Big Brother knows best’ approach.

“It is the right of a state to chart its own education standards.  I have
confidence in our State’s Board of Regents and their process to review our
academic standards.  It is unfortunate that the Obama administration has shown a
lack of willingness to work with Oklahoma children, their teachers and their
schools.

“I have full confidence in our teachers’ ability to navigate standards and focus
on student learning.  However, the redirecting of funds away from our school
classrooms to outside supplemental providers is a terrible waste of our taxpayer
dollars.   I witnessed this waste in the early years of No Child Left Behind.
Our children cannot afford to lose teachers and classroom funding due to this
required diversions of funds.  It’s wrong and our children deserve better.

“I will continue my work to fight the federal over-regulation of this failed
national initiative.  We must focus on what’s best for our students,” Hofmeister
said.


Hickman, Nelson Criticize Federal No Child Left Behind Action As ‘Punitive’

House Media Division

Oklahoma House leaders expressed disappointment today after learning the federal government will pursue a punitive course of action following Oklahoma’s repeal of Common Core State Standards earlier this year.

Oklahoma officials received a letter today from the United States Department of Education stating they will not renew Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver. This heavy handed decision comes after the passage of House Bill 3399, a measure which repealed the untested Common Core State Standards and put in place a process to develop and adopt new, superior standards with the help of Oklahoma higher-education and CareerTech systems. The U.S. Department of Education has deemed Oklahoma’s pursuit of proven college and career-ready standards to be a failure to adhere to the NCLB waiver principles.

“We knew the federal government could opt to take some actions when we passed HB3399,” said House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. “None-the-less, this decision is troubling because it sets back the efforts of our local schools to continue improving by imposing on them unhelpful and unnecessary regulations. This situation makes it even more imperative that the State Board of Education move quickly to begin the process of creating and adopting new superior standards.”

In a letter to Oklahoma officials, Deborah Delisle, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, explained the basis of their decision stating that “Oklahoma can no longer demonstrate that the state’s standards are college and career-ready standards.”

“I challenge the U.S. Dept. of Education to ‘demonstrate’ that Common Core is college and career ready in Oklahoma before they begin dictating how we run our state’s education system,” said Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City. “They can’t do it. Each state’s college remediation requirements are different and they have absolutely no idea if Common Core meets their own requirements.

“In the Obama administration’s determination to compel Oklahoma to stay with Common Core, they plan to impose onerous federal regulations on our education system that were unnecessary this morning but are now, amazingly, necessary this afternoon. It’s obvious that states like Oklahoma must not flinch in taking back control of our standards if we truly want standards that can be ‘demonstrated’ to be college and career ready. Unfortunately, this letter is the latest example of the slow death of federalism which is being replaced with flawed logic.”


Inhofe Dove Hunt Scheduled September 5

Oklahoma Energy Today

Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe’s preparing to pull out the shotgun again. Not to take aim and pepper some Democratic colleagues in the Senate but at dove in southwestern Oklahoma.

It’s time for his annual Oklahoma Dove Hunt Weekend held at the Quartz Mountain Lodge and Resort where he invites political friends and allies to shoot dove and also raise campaign money.

It’ll be held Saturday, September 5 and for those who’d like to take part in the hunt, it’ll cost a cool $1,000. PACs will have to fork over $2,500.

So what’s this have to do with energy? Plenty because Inhofe’s a senior member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and is also seeking re-election.

 


$52.7 Million In Tobacco Trust Earnings Certified

Treasurer’s Office

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Investors has certified $52.7 million in earnings for use in the coming year to fund prevention and reduction of tobacco use and other health issues, State Treasurer Ken Miller announced today.

Miller is chairman of the board that oversees investment of Oklahoma’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement. The board certified the annual earnings on Thursday.

“We are carefully investing the funds to ensure Oklahomans get the most benefit,” Miller said. “This certification reflects an increase of $13.6 million or 35 percent over the funds made available last year from Oklahoma’s share of the tobacco settlement.”

Oklahoma is the only state with a constitutionally-protected endowment funded by the tobacco settlement. Voters approved creation of the endowment in 2000. Since then, more than $242 million in earnings have been certified by the board of investors.

The endowment contains more than $975 million. Investment of the fund is managed by the board of investors. The earnings are used by appointed members of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors to fund grants and programs to improve health.

A total of 75 percent of Oklahoma’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement is placed into the endowment each year. The remainder of the settlement payments is appropriated by the Legislature.

The settlement pays states annual amounts based on the number of cigarettes sold in the country. Payments to date to Oklahoma total $1.17 billion, and will continue as long as cigarettes are sold nationally.


No Deal: No Child Left Behind

Federal officials said today that Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind Act is flawed: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/oklahoma-denied-extension-of-no-child-left-behind-waiver/article_01a04698-69d4-5527-8a80-f370f1816f28.html


Pruitt To Appeal Scholarship Program Ruling

Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday he would appeal a ruling that invalidated a portion of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program, which allows parents of children with disabilities to obtain scholarship money from the state to fund their child’s attendance at a school of their choosing.

A district court judge ruled funds from the scholarship program cannot be used to send students with disabilities to sectarian schools. The judge’s order is stayed pending appeal, which means the scholarship program remains unchanged for now.

“This scholarship program empowers parents of children with disabilities to obtain scholarship monies from the state to fund their child’s enrollment and attendance in a private school of their choosing,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “Prohibiting the use of Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship funds from being used to send students with disabilities to sectarian schools would require the state to discriminate against those schools. That is highly troublesome and why we will appeal the ruling.”


Tom Spencer Takes Retirement System Post

DeWayne McAnally, chairman of the board of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), announced that Executive Director Tom Spencer is leaving OPERS to take over as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System (OTRS) effective November 1, 2014.

“Tom Spencer has led OPERS for eleven years,” said McAnally. “We have seen many operational improvements during his tenure, and he has been a great representative of OPERS at the State Capitol and to our 72,000 members. He will be greatly missed.”

The OPERS Board will begin the process of replacing Mr. Spencer as soon as possible. Spencer has been the interim director of OTRS since April 1, 2014, under an agreement to share his duties as the teachers’ system searched for a permanent director.

McAnally said, “OPERS will miss Tom, but we congratulate him on his new opportunity and wish him well.”


Vicki Behenna Sunday’s Guest On The Verdict

Vicki Behenna will update her son’s life Sunday on The Verdict.

The former assistant U. S.. Attorney, now in private practice with Crowe & Dunlevy, will discuss former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna. He was released from a military prison after serving five years in the death of an al-Qaida operative in Iraq.

He now works on a cattle ranch in northern Oklahoma.

The Verdict airs on Cox Channels 3 and 703 in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa beginning Sunday at 9:00 a.m. It will be rebroadcast on Monday at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.


Educational Choice Champions Prevail

Candidates who have championed educational choice were winners in Tuesday’s elections: http://www.federationforchildren.org/educational-choice-champions-prevail-oklahoma-run-elections/


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