The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 20, 2013

Sen. Simpson, legislature seeking solutions to problems facing veterans centers

NORMAN — Recurring problems at the Norman Veterans Center and the other half-dozen centers across the state will be aired Tuesday at the state Capitol.

Sen. Frank Simpson has called an all-day meeting to explore high turnover rates among staff, low salaries and inadequate training of nurses. 

 The centers have endured a large number of vacancies, while beginning pay for a nurse caretaker is just under $11 per hour.  These centers have to be manned 24 hours a day, which contributes to high turnover of staff.

The legislators also are expected to discuss perceived problems with the War Veterans Commission that is charged with regulating the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs state agency and the seven centers.

Simpson of Ardmore said the war commission has not taken an active role in dealing with the problems.

An audit ordered by Gov. Mary Fallin last year asserted that the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs showed a lack of support for employees at the centers. 

Fallin replaced commissioners on the governing board last year, but problems have persisted.

Simpson said the war commission is

dominated by veterans who represent the American Legion, while other veterans groups are not well represented. 

The joint House-Senate veterans committee meeting at the state Capitol on Tuesday will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  in Room 419-C, which is  on the fourth floor of the Capitol.  The Capitol is located at 2300 North Lincoln in Oklahoma City.

Other legislators working on veterans’ center problems include Rep. Pat Ownbey of Ardmore and Rep. Tommy Hardin of Madill.

The centers include the one in Norman others at Ardmore, Claremore, Clinton, Lawton, Sulphur and Talihina.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014

  • Woman arrested for allegedly bringing gun into courthouse

    Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Norman woman Friday after she allegedly brought a loaded handgun to the Cleveland County Courthouse. Cynthia Bodnar, 52, of Norman, entered the courthouse through the east entrance shortly ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Man in critical condition after being pinned in wreck

    A Norman man remained in critical condition Monday after a single-vehicle wreck around 10:15 p.m. Sunday at 1100 80th Ave. SE. Norman police believe Justin Davis, 33, was intoxicated when he got tangled in his vehicle and pinned....

    July 29, 2014

  • Teen dies after drowning incident

    After rescue attempts by Good Samaritans and medical crews, Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed that a Yukon teen died at 5:50 a.m. Monday after a drowning incident Sunday at Lake Thunderbird....

    July 29, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:07 a.m. vandalism, 700 block of Asp Avenue · 1:29 a.m. larceny report, 300 block of North Interstate Drive East · 2:50 a.m. larceny report, 300 block of North ...

    July 29, 2014