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Study predicts $137 million in savings from Senate Bill 704

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Compromise on sentencing reform would reduce Oklahoma’s prison population while protecting public safety OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Senate Bill 704, authored by Sen. David Rader, is projected to safely reduce Oklahoma’s prison population by almost 1,400 people over the next 10 years and save the state at least $137 million by eliminating sentence enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent offenses, according to a fiscal analysis by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
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State Department of Health provides an update on impact of severe winter weather on vaccine distribution

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed issued the following statement regarding Oklahoma’s vaccine distribution response to severe winter weather storms: “While the timing of this inclement winter weather is frustrating for widespread vaccine distribution efforts across the country, we want to reassure Oklahomans that our team is prepared to face this challenge head on. We are doing everything in our power to avoid large-scale waste during this time and to continue serving as many Oklahomans as possible.
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BCBSOK offers plan options in all 77 counties during Special Enrollment Period

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TULSA, Oklahoma, Feb. 17, 2021 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK), is offering multiple health plan options with this week’s opening of the federal marketplace’s Special Enrollment Period (SEP), in response to the Covid-19 public health emergency. The goal of the new enrollment period is to expand access to quality, cost-effective health care to Oklahoma’s uninsured population. No proof of a qualifying life event is required to buy a health plan during this new SEP, which runs February 15- May 15, 2021.
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma awards non-profits across the state

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) has selected 15 501(c)(3) organizations to receive grant funding from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative, managed and coordinated by BCBSOK. Created in 2011, HKHF supports nonprofit organizations that provide a variety of healthrelated services, with proven sustainable and measurable programs. The HKHF program provides funding for programs that reach children and their families in four key areas: nutrition, physical activity, preventing/ managing disease and supporting safe environments. In 2021, grants were focused on organizations addressing behavioral health, child safety and domestic violence. “While Oklahomans continue to weather the immediate impact of COVID-19, we seek to address issues that will impact our community long term,” said Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D., president of BCBSOK. “We are pleased to invest in programs to offset challenges that may emerge as a result of the pandemic.” Some of the grant recipients include:
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Police Blotter

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Suspicious Person/Vehicle— An employee requested an officer to Baskin & Hadley on the 200 block of north 2nd St. on Tuesday at 10:37 a.m. in reference to a car that had been parked on a public street for awhile. An officer responded and determined the vehicle was parked in a two hour parking zone and the vehicle was towed by Action Towing. A report was made.
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Local educator, author has new book

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Gary Watters of Ponca City has a recently released inspirational book now available to the public. The Power of Twelve presents a study of Bible verses designed to help you focus on living a successful life. Gary believes that wisdom is greater than gold or any material wealth the world can provide and the greatest place to find wisdom is through the Bible. The Bible can allow you to live life and live it more abundantly.