Three projects to receive funds
STILLWATER — Three Oklahoma projects have been selected to receive funding awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The awards are a part of a nearly $16 million investment in rural telecommunications equipment, aimed at expanding access to education, job creation, and improved health care in 25 states through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant program. Among the recipients are the school districts of Arkoma, which will receive $393,333, and McAlester Public School, which will receive $336,543 for their distance learning projects. The school districts will use their awards to link to neighboring schools, universities, and other educational resources. The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma was selected for a $500,000 telemedicine grant to be used at the Health Sciences Center. The OU project will expand geriatric and educational services through video teleconferencing to three partners: Choctaw Nation clinical sites, Stillwell Community Hospital, and Variety Care clinical sites in Fort Cobb, Grandfield, and Tipton. Digital equipment and software will be purchased with the grant funds.
Oklahoma joins egg lawsuit
Oklahoma has joined a multistate lawsuit against a California law that requires egg producers to comply with stricter standards to sell within the state. The 2008 California law requires egg produces to provide larger housing enclosures for egg-laying hens in order to sell eggs in the state. Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa and Nebraska are also part of the lawsuit. The lawsuit asks a federal court in California to strike down the law as unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bans states from passing laws that regulate businesses and industries outside their borders. Oklahoma produced 741 million eggs in 2012, with a value of $90.5 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
From Staff Reports