April Fulton

April Fulton is a former editor with NPR's Science Desk and a contributor to The Salt, NPR's Food Blog.

Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A decision by an Oklahoma judge to declare the state's execution law unconstitutional leaves intact each death-row inmate's conviction and sentence.

Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said Wednesday it was wrong for the state to say inmates couldn't sue to find out more information about the drugs that would be used to kill them. She said that denying inmates their due process rights violated the U.S. Constitution.

More than 125 Oklahoma DHS employees disciplined

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Records show that more than 125 Oklahoma Department of Human Services employees were fired, suspended or demoted during 2013 for various infractions — including one instance of an employee picking up the wrong baby from a day care.

The records obtained by The Oklahoman include a report that a child welfare specialist picked up a baby girl instead of a baby boy that the worker had picked up weekly for "at least 12 weeks."

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Oklahoma are searching for a plane that disappeared while flying from Arkansas to Oklahoma.

LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale told the Times Record Wednesday that search crews are looking in a heavily wooded area of the Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma.

Seale says the search began Tuesday after the Federal Aviation Administration contacted the sheriff's department and said 71-year-old Elmer Ray Broadbent and his Piper 28 aircraft disappeared while flying from Searcy to Elk City.

NPR

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the father of a girl at the center of an adoption dispute pitting him against a Charleston-area couple. A statement from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office on Saturday said Dusten Brown faces a charge of custodial interference for failing to transfer his 3-year-old daughter to her adopted parents. A family court judge said this week the child should be returned immediately. Brown is training with the National Guard in Iowa.

Youth Expo Website

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging $2 million in state funding for a youth livestock show after attorneys in the case failed to show up for a scheduling conference.

Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds filed the suit, arguing that the state violated a prohibition on gifts of public money when it allocated $2 million to the Oklahoma Youth Expo, which runs the livestock show.

There's no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It's strong, sophisticated and sexy. It's everything we hope to project while ordering one.

Baltimore-born satirist H.L. Mencken is said to have called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." But is the martini perfectly American? Maybe not entirely.

So in honor of National Martini Day on Wednesday, we decided to dig into the drink's muddled past.

KWGS News file photo

OKC businessman gets 15 months in Skiatook case

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma City businessman has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for fraud following an investigation involving Skiatook Public Schools

U.S. Attorney Danny Williams says Rickey Enos was sentenced Friday for conspiracy to defraud the government. He was also ordered to pay $338,999 in restitution to the school district.

UPDATE at 12:35 p.m., ET, Jan. 17: Many of you wrote in to tell us you were taken aback by Whole Foods top executive John Mackey characterizing the health law as fascism in an NPR interview, and apparently, he's feeling a little sheepish.

About three minutes into his otherwise amiable chat with CBS This Morning hosts on on Thursday, Mackey walked back his comments in response to a direct question from Norah O'Donnell:

The food world is buzzing today about the latest news on just how often we waste perfectly good food. And we admit, the statistics are pretty depressing.

About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply.

Those eyes grab you first. Only after a couple of beats do you realize you're looking at the painted bottom of a flattened metal can left on the street, and not some mysterious fairy.

These can art people come from the imagination of a British artist known as My Dog Sighs, who has left a piece of art on the street for someone to find every Friday for the last 10 years.