In The Know: Oklahoma inmates hit with salmonella outbreak, several hospitalized

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that nearly a hundred inmates at a handful of Oklahoma prisons have experienced symptoms of salmonellosis, a bacterial illness likely picked up from their food, and several have been hospitalized.  Personal income growth in Oklahoma City slowed in 2012 but remained higher than the national average.

Hundreds turned out to celebrate John Hope Franklin, an historian and intellectual force in the civil rights movement, at the 4th Annual Reconciliation Dinner at Tulsa’s Greenwood Cultural Center.  Langdon Publishing purchased assets from the former publisher and hopes to resume printing of the Urban Tulsa Weekly.

The OKPolicy Blog reported on an effort to better represent the lives and needs of working families to state policymakers.  Tyson Foods terminated its contract with an Okfuskee County farm after videos leaked of workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto concrete floors. 

New data from the CDC ranked Oklahoma fourth highest in the nation in terms of teen birth rate.  Oklahoma City police inadvertently called the bomb squad in over a burrito.  

In today’s Policy Note, Economic Policy Institute warned against shifting the basic plan design of Oklahoma’s public pensions just as the state has finally gotten its pension house in order.  The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahoma’s population that is foreign born.

In The News

Oklahoma inmates hospitalized with symptoms of salmonellosis
Officials don’t yet know how many inmates have been sick with salmonellosis, the disease caused by salmonella bacteria, department spokesman Jerry Massie said. But 47 women at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center alone had symptoms of salmonellosis. Of those who showed symptoms at the women’s prison in Taft, 18 had tested positive for salmonella by Thursday afternoon, Massie said. Another 37 inmates had salmonellosis symptoms at Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center in Hodgen, Massie said. Five were hospitalized.

Read more from NewsOK

Personal income growth in OKC slowed; still higher than national average
Personal income in Oklahoma City grew at a faster rate in 2012 than the nation as a whole, but income growth in the metro slowed significantly from the previous year, according to data released Thursday from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income in the metro area grew by 5.6 percent in 2012, compared to a national rate of 4.2 percent in 2012.

Read more from NewsOK

Author Clifton Taulbert speaks on reconciliation at annual John Hope Franklin dinner
Reconciliation can be found only in an environment in which “forgiveness and acceptance are natural,” author and lecturer Clifton Taulbert told those at the John Hope Franklin Dinner of Reconciliation on Thursday night at the Greenwood Cultural Center. About 550 people attended the annual event commemorating the life and teaching of Tulsa’s most celebrated scholar, a Booker T. Washington High School graduate who went on to a distinguished career as a historian and as an intellectual force in the civil rights movement.

Read more from Tulsa World

Urban Tulsa to resume under Langdon Publishing
Less than a month after the Urban Tulsa Weekly shut down, the alternative weekly will be reborn under a new publisher. Langdon Publishing, the publishers of Tulsa People magazine, has purchased certain assets from Urban Tulsa former publisher Keith Skrzypczak and hopes to resume printing it in mid-December, said Matt Cauthron, production manager at Langdon.

Read more from Tulsa World

Oklahoma Assets Network: Take action to support working families
In many ways Oklahoma is well positioned to offer residents opportunities to get ahead – our lower than average cost of living, booming energy sector, and low overall unemployment rate are key ingredients for financial prosperity. Yet too many other key ingredients are increasingly absent.

Read more from Oklahoma Policy Institute

Abuse of pigs at farm near Henryetta criticized by area residents
Area residents said Thursday that they were appalled by secretly recorded video images of workers abusing dozens of hogs raised for Tyson Foods at an Okfuskee County farm.  Mercy For Animals, a Los Angeles-based animal advocacy group, posted images on its website of West Coast Farms workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto concrete floors.

Read more from Tulsa World

Oklahoma ranks high in teen birth rate, despite decrease

Oklahoma had the fourth highest teen birth rate in the nation in 2010, according to a CDC study released today. Oklahoma’s teen birth rate was 50.4 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19 years in 2010, according to the study. Only Texas (52.2 births per 1,000 females), Arkansas (52.5 births/1,000), New Mexico (53 births/1,000) and Mississippi (55 births/1,000) ranked worse than Oklahoma.

Read more from NewsOK

Burrito causes hubbub at Oklahoma City police station
Officers told the man to leave the container outside and the police bomb squad X-rayed the item, Nelson said. Authorities were cautious of the item because of how heavy the container was and the tinfoil protruding from the lid. The examination determined that the container held a burrito, Nelson said.

Read more from NewsOK

Quote of the Day

“After some tough times in recent years and some significant sacrifices on the part of public employees, the Oklahoma pension system is finally in order.  The state would be ill-advised to backtrack on this positive momentum by shifting its basic pension plan design. Why take this moment when Oklahoma finally has its pension house in order, to roll the dice with a radically new pension design?”

Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute

Number of the Day

5.5 percent

The percentage of Oklahoma’s population that is foreign born, compared to 13.0 percent nationally in 2011

Source:  Migration Policy Institute

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Pension Overhaul Could Hurt Oklahoma Pension Systems
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) today presented independent research, prepared in partnership with the Keystone Research Center (KRC), about the status of Oklahoma Pension Systems, and the potential consequences of overhauling the systems by shifting their basic plan design, as has been suggested by some Oklahoma policymakers.

Source: Economic Policy Institute via Keystone Research

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