The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 19, 2013

Locals choke on Senate’s smoking restrictions decision

NORMAN — A bill endorsed by Gov. Mary Fallin that would allow local governments to adopt tougher smoking ordinances died in committee Monday. Opponents argued that SB 36 would allow cities to put a burden on restaurants that had added ventilated rooms for smokers in an effort to comply with state smoking laws.

“I think it’s unfortunate. We often hear state officials complaining about the federal government telling them what to do,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. “This is a case of the state telling local government what to do. Local government is the level closest to the people, and this legislation would simply allow them to craft policy appropriate to their communities.”

In downtown Norman, some bars and restaurant have sections for smokers.

“It’s important for some of our customers, especially when we get some of the crazy Oklahoma weather, but we’ll always abide by whatever the local laws are,” said Emily White, general manager at The Abner Ale House.

Campus Corner also has several businesses that have smoking areas.

O’Connell’s Grill and Pub does not have a smoking area. However, owner Jeff Stewart said he is pleased the bill died in committee.

“City by city is not the way to do it,” he said. “You have to do it all across the board or not at all. It’s fine the way it is.”

Stewart said going city by city is too confusing to customers.

In addition, a recent attorney general’s opinion prohibits cities from banning smoking in city-owned outdoor parks and recreational areas.

In 2009, the Norman City Council banned the use of tobacco in city parks, except for Westwood Park golf course and adjacent parking lots.

Norman has taken no action on the AG’s recent opinion regarding smoking in parks. Norman City Attorney Jeff Bryant said he is studying the matter to see what application it has to Norman.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

  • Bridge Businesses try to survive while bridge is closed

    Ray Cole wonders every day if his business will have to close. Cole is one of many Lexington and Purcell business owners struggling financially since the 76-year-old James C. Nance Memorial Bridge closed Jan. 31. The Oklahoma Department ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:03 a.m. vandalism, 100 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 6:42 a.m. burglary report, 300 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 9:21 a.m. vandalism, 1500 block of North ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jason Ashley Shannon, 35, possession of controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia; driving with a ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Bail set for one more in homicide

    A hearing for the state’s motion to hold two suspects without bail in connection with the homicide of Justin Barnard, 24, of Norman, was continued Monday in Cleveland County District Court. Special Judge Steve Stice overruled the motion ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Courses bring unprecedented enrollment

    University students majoring in engineering, science and mathematics typically enroll in college-level computer courses, like computational thinking and computer programming. Now, with Janux online courses offered at the University of ...

    April 15, 2014