American Scene: Planned Parenthood sues Oklahoma over WIC funding

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Planned Parenthood is suing the head of the Oklahoma Department of Health over the agency’s decision to withdraw federal funding for three clinics in the Tulsa area that provide food and nutritional counseling to low-income mothers.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed its lawsuit in federal court on Friday against Terry Cline, Oklahoma’s commissioner of health.

Health department officials declined to comment on the lawsuit. They’ve previously said the decision to terminate the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, contracts was based in part on Planned Parenthood’s cost per participant exceeding those of other clinics.

Planned Parenthood in its lawsuit said the health department has given a “hodgepodge of reasons” for ending the contracts but that none of those reasons are supported by facts.

REGION

Hostess closes three bakeries after strike

Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union.

The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, operates 36 bakeries nationwide and has about 18,300 employees. It warned earlier this month that the strike, by about 30 percent of its workforce, could lead to bakery closures.

Hostess said customers will not be affected by the closures.

KENTUCKY

Geologist: Earthquake not from mining

LOUISVILLE — Geologists say the 4.3 magnitude earthquake that shook eastern Kentucky over the weekend was too deep to be induced by the region’s underground mining activity.

The epicenter was about 10 miles west of Whitesburg, in the heart of Kentucky’s coal country, where underground mining and surface blasting are common.

The head of the University of Kentucky’s Geologic Hazards Section, though, said Saturday’s quake occurred about 12 miles below the surface, far too deep for underground mining to have been a factor.

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