• Family Talk: Both families, communities must help bridge the opportunity gap

    By Jim Priest NewsOK Contributor | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    Jim Priest: What could be the reason for this unprecedented decline in life expectancy and the rise in self-destruction ...? I think the answer might be a lack of hope.

  • Naturalization ceremony held at Edmond elementary school

    By Steve Gust For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    Keith Pautler, principal of Ida Freeman Elementary School in Edmond, Oklahoma, said the naturalization ceremony was an opportunity for the students to get a lesson in civics.

  • Nation news briefs

    From wire reports | Updated: 6 hr ago

    Sanders admits need to flip superdelegates WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is acknowledging that his path to the nomination depends on flipping superdelegates, the party insiders who can back either candidate and are overwhelmingly behind rival Hillary Clinton. It's a surprising admission by the Democratic presidential candidate, who formally joined the party a year ago. He's calling on superdelegates to cast their votes “in line with the people of their states.” But he's also noting that even if superdelegates from states Sanders won flipped to his side, he'd still face narrow path to the nomination. Clinton is still 91 percent of the way to the nomination, according to The Associated Press.

  • Much of country will face less threat from wildfires

    By The Associated Press | Updated: 6 hr ago

    Fire forecasters say Hawaii, Alaska and the Southwest will face an increased threat of wildfires this summer. The National Interagency Fire Center released its outlook for the spring and summer on Sunday. It says most of the country will face normal or below-normal wildfire problems. That's welcome news after last year, when a record 15,800 square miles burned nationwide. The federal government spent more than $1.7 billion fighting fires. In the Southwest, an increased threat of wildfires is expected in Arizona and New Mexico early this season, later shifting north and west into California and Nevada.

  • Puerto Rico won’t make $370M in debt payments

    By KEN SWEET AP Business Writer | Updated: 6 hr ago

    Puerto Rico's governor said Sunday that the island's government will not make nearly $370 million in bond payments due Monday after a failure to restructure or find a political solution to the U.S. territory's spiraling public debt crisis. This default is by far the largest by Puerto Rico, which has been struggling under the weight of $72 billion in debt that its officials say it cannot pay. Here's a breakdown of what already has happened to Puerto Rico and why it matters to individual investors. Q. HOW DID PUERTO RICO GET INTO THIS MESS? A. Puerto Rico has been in an economic recession for roughly 10 years, caused by several factors. Manufacturing jobs started leaving the territory after certain tax credits,

  • ‘We are proud to welcome you’

    By Steve Gust For The Oklahoman | Updated: 6 hr ago

    EDMOND — Ida Freeman Elementary School fifth-graders got an up-close lesson in civics as the United States officially welcomed 13 new citizens. Keith Pautler, principal of the Edmond campus, said the naturalization ceremony Wednesday was a rare opportunity for the students. “It's truly amazing to have the kids exposed to this,” he said. “These people have been on a long journey, and seeing this is a great gift for the students.” The ceremony was held in the school gymnasium and featured the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” the Pledge of Allegiance and remarks from Mark Siegl, field office director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Oklahoma City.

  • Buffalo make a stand in Custer State Park

    By Beth Stephenson For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    George Armstrong Custer wheedled his way into the military academy at West Point. After being disciplined several times and nearly expelled, he finished dead last in his class. But the Civil War was starting, and the Union was desperate enough for officers to take him. Custer distinguished himself in several important battles, miraculously surviving many dangerous maneuvers. Though he consistently reported high casualties in his divisions, he quickly advanced in rank. His reputation as a reckless and brutal man deepened as he fought the Lakota Sioux and Southern Cheyenne Indians. But one expedition before his demise at Little Bighorn eventually led to his name on a 71,000-acre park. He had been sent to find a good location in

  • Marriage proposal is well in hand

    BY CALLIE ATHEY, LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN AND HELEN FORD WALLACE For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    CALLIE'S ANSWER: Absolutely you need to ask her dad first. It is a wonderful tradition and a huge sign of respect. Best wishes! LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: I like this tradition, even if it seems like it's not necessary. Asking her dad, or both her parents, really, will involve your girlfriend's family from the beginning in a big celebration that will end up bringing together two families. That participation indicates that while marriage is between two people, it affects more loved ones than just the bride and the groom. The two families are making this journey together. If your girlfriend is not on good terms with her parents, then discuss this with her first, as you two are discussing marriage and the “what-ifs” of a

  • 'Hey, where'd you go?' 5 reasons people ghost

    By Lisa Bonos The Washington Post | Updated: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    You send an innocuous text — something as simple as, “hey, how was your day?” or “my plane just landed.” One hour passes, then two, three, four. Funny, you think, he usually doesn't take this long to respond. At first you assume the explanation is innocent: Maybe his phone died. Maybe he went to bed early. A day passes; you send another note; maybe leave a voicemail. “Are you OK?” you say, more concern in your voice than anger. The silence continues. In the meantime, you peruse his social media accounts and see the person you've been trying to reach is indeed alive and very well. He's just not getting back to you. Cool, maybe he just needs some time to himself, you think. You could use some space, too.

  • 8-year-old helps Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy speak for kids

    BY ALEX STROHM For The Oklahoman | Updated: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    Many issues plague the world today, and it is hard for some voices to be heard among the crowd. However, one Oklahoma nonprofit is turning the volume up for the needs of the future generation.  The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is meeting the needs of Oklahoma's kids through educational resources, programs and advocacy. Sunbeam Family Services and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy  recently appointed 8-year-old Justin Evers as Oklahoma's first Kid Governor. Justin, a second-grader at John Rex Charter Elementary School, was one of 19 children ages 7 to 11 who submitted videos for the “Vote 4 Kids” campaign, led by Sunbeam and OICA.

  • Lawmakers should learn from incentive troubles

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    LAWMAKERS seeking funds to fill a massive budget shortfall are looking at potential changes to some of Oklahoma's numerous tax incentive programs. That's sensible — with a $1.3 billion deficit looming for the fiscal year that begins July 1, a host of options should be discussed. Yet as they go forward, not just in this trying budget year but in years ahead, policymakers should glean a few lessons related to tax breaks and incentives. One is that all credits should be reviewed occasionally, to see if they're doing what they were expected to do. The Legislature wisely took a step in this direction a year ago when it approved formation of a panel whose job is to evaluate incentives and provide lawmakers with a scorecard.

  • History repeats itself, but fires don’t keep Stockyards exchange from doing business

    By Mary Phillips For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    One hundred and one years ago, a fire broke out in Packingtown, now known as Stockyards City. The Exchange building was burning. The Oklahoman on May 3, 1915, described the destruction: Fire, starting from an unknown cause in the second floor of the Exchange building in Packingtown Sunday night, gutted that building and destroyed $125,000 worth of property. The building was valued at about $75,000, which was fully covered by insurance, but ... the different commission companies having office in the building carried practically no insurance and the damage to their property is reported as a complete loss. J.W.S.

  • Families, communities both must help bridge the opportunity gap

    By Jim Priest NewsOK Contributor | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    I have a theory. It arises out of a report I heard the other day. White women and men are dying at a younger age than in the past, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Life expectancy for this group, usually, goes up. The news was called “troubling.” So, what were the causes for early deaths among whites? “For the age group 25 to 54, suicide went up,” said demographer Elizabeth Arias. “‘Unintentional poisonings,' which is mainly alcohol and drug poisoning, and chronic liver disease — those went up by quite a bit.”  Death from heart disease, cancer and stroke went down, but that good news was offset by the increases in self-inflicted deaths.

  • Your Views

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    No change needed The Legislature's solution for passing unconstitutional laws that are frequently overturned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court (with legal expenses paid by taxpayers) is House Bill 3162. This bill would let the governor rather than the independent Judicial Nominating Commission produce nominees for Supreme Court justices and Court of Criminal Appeals judges. What could possibly go wrong? Does anybody remember the Supreme Court justices who were sentenced to jail for bribery charges from April 1964 to June 1965? The current selection process is the result of past scandals, national embarrassment and an effort to ensure the independence of Oklahoma's judicial branch. There is a reason the three branches of

  • Nature & You

    By Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    Spectacular wild mushrooms of spring welcome return of rainy weather A frequently-heard saying goes like this: “April showers bring May flowers.” Yet, one more benefit of our rainy weather is that it spurs the miraculous overnight emergence of spectacular wild mushrooms. On one day, your home's front lawn is completely devoid of these “toadstools,” and then, a day later, they pop up out of nowhere. They are Ma Nature's garbage men. The old, dead grass clippings that have accumulated on your lawn are just the ticket for the banquet table of a batch of ravenously hungry wild mushrooms. These delicate objects are around for mere hours before they shrivel back into nothingness.

  • Apps give researchers more mobility

    By Sharon Burns For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    Evernote and BillionGraves are iPhone apps that assist genealogists and family historians to find information about their ancestors. Evernote has the capability to create a project to-do list, record a reminder or snap a picture of a sketch on your iPhone and iPad. A note, whether it is text, images or documents, will be accessible no matter where you go. Evernote makes sure the notes you save are always easy to find. Information can be synced across your devices so you always have the information you need whether using your phone or computer. Evernote Basic is free and includes the essential features of Evernote to write notes, capture inspiration, and share with others. Upgrades to Plus, Premium, or Business for more

  • To downsize for move, sell, donate or trash it

    BY JIM MILLER For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: Can you offer any helpful tips for downsizing? My husband and I are interested in moving to a condo downtown when we retire, but we need to get rid of a lot of our personal possessions before we can move. We've lived in the same house for almost 35 years and have accumulated tons of stuff. — Feeling Overwhelmed DEAR FEELING: The process of weeding through a house full of stuff and parting with old possessions can be difficult and overwhelming for many people. A good place to start the downsizing process is to give your unused possessions away to your kids or grandkids. You can give up to $14,000 per person per year before you're required to file a federal gift tax

  • Bed-wetter can get help but he has to make the effort

    Universal Uclick | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    DEAR ABBY: I have a good friend who is a bed-wetter. It's obvious because he's constantly doing laundry and his home smells bad at times. We once shared a hotel room, and I was awakened in the middle of the night by a strong smell of urine. He tries to hide his problem, but seems to be doing little if anything to find a solution for it. I want to persuade him to get some help, but I don't feel comfortable saying anything, and I don't want to embarrass him. What can I do? — Concerned Friend in Michigan DEAR CONCERNED FRIEND: What would you want your friend to do if the situation were reversed, and you were the person with the bed-wetting problem? Friends communicate with each other. Talk privately with this

  • Horoscopes

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Participate in events and causes that allow you to show off your experience and skills. The feedback you receive will engender an opportunity you cannot refuse. Romance is featured. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Keep your opinions to yourself. Someone will try to manipulate or willfully misinterpret you. Discipline will be required if you want to avoid interference or a mishap. Don't take risks. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't feel pressured if someone around you is unpredictable. Gather your thoughts and focus on detail. What you have to offer will far exceed anyone trying to outdo you. Love is highlighted. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): An active approach to getting what you want will not please everyone,

  • Billy Graham

    Tribune News Service | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I think it's arrogant for people to say they know they're going to go to Heaven when they die. How do they know? I'm just as good as some of them are, even if I'm not very religious. — H.B. DEAR H.B.: The greatest mistake anyone can ever make is to assume that they are good enough to go to Heaven. And yet countless people make this mistake every day, thinking their good deeds will somehow outweigh their bad deeds and make them eligible for Heaven. Why do I say this is a mistake? The reason, the Bible says, is because God's standard is nothing less than perfection. God is absolutely holy and perfect, and even one sin — just one — would be enough to banish us from His presence.