The Norman Transcript


December 30, 2013

Merger, layoffs mark the year



In November, Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby learned that the Supreme Court had decided to take up the company’s lawsuit over the new health care law’s provision on insurance for contraceptives.

Hobby Lobby and another for-profit company in Pennsylvania had sued, saying they should not have to cover contraceptives that violate their religious beliefs. The court said the cases will be combined for arguments, probably in late March. A decision should come by late June.

Founded in 1972, Hobby Lobby now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states. Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday and the company calls itself d a “biblically founded business.”

The Green family believes life starts at life begins at conception, and they said they oppose only birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, but not other forms of contraception.

The company’s religious principles also came under fire earlier in October when a New Jersey man wrote a scathing blog post saying he would never shop at one of the arts-and-crafts stores because the company refused to carry Hanukkah decorations.

But company president Steve Green said the company does not have problems with selling items celebrating Jewish holidays, and that the retail chain would start selling Jewish merchandise in some stores in New York and New Jersey.

That same month, an Oklahoma jury became the first in the country to find Toyota Motor Corp. liable in a case of sudden unintended acceleration that left one person dead. The jury awarded a total of $3 million in monetary damages to the injured driver involved in the crash, and to the family of the passenger, who was killed. The Japanese automaker had won all unintended acceleration cases that went to trial previously.

Another first in Oklahoma happened the day after Thanksgiving, when residents experienced the first legal Black Friday in 2013 in 70 years. Low-price retail events had technically been illegal because of a 1941 law that required retailers to sell products for at least 6 percent more than invoice cost. The change meant that shoppers in the state got to see the same Black Friday deals at big box retailers that are available in other parts of the country.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Heat advisory issued for much of Oklahoma

    TULSA — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through late today for much of the state as stifling heat and humidity continue to affect Oklahoma this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • 34 OSBI agents graduate investigative academy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy....

    July 23, 2014

  • Okla. legislator doctor wants minors quarantined

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined....

    July 23, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Highway Patrol sees spike in number of applicants

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two bills that passed the Legislature this past spring have sparked an increase in the number of applicants to join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, officials said....

    July 20, 2014

  • 1M visit Okla. parks

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million. Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Unemployment rate falls to 4.5 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in June. The figures released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show that while the number of Oklahomans without a ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Gay Marriage Oklahoma Court reverses ban on gay marriage

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court rulied Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, spurring celebration among gay rights activists but sparking sharp anger among Republican leaders in a conservative state that ...

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo