WalMart

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

At the beginning of November, hundreds of new laws took effect in Oklahoma, including a big change to short-term health policies. 

Walmart says it will stop selling electronic cigarettes, at namesake stores and Sam's Club locations. The nation's largest retailer is responding to growing health concerns around vaping, especially among young people.

Walmart cited "growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes," saying that its stores will stop selling e-cigarettes once the current inventory is sold.

Walmart is dramatically cutting back sales of ammunition and asking shoppers to refrain from openly carrying firearms in its stores.

These are a few of the changes Walmart is making to its gun-sales policy following two shootings a month ago at two Walmart stores within one week.

"As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote to employees on Tuesday.

Updated 2:07 p.m.

Bernie Sanders didn't have his usual adoring crowds at his Wednesday campaign stop. That's because he spoke to Walmart shareholders at their annual meeting.

Walmart Inc., the nation's largest private employer, is worried that too many of its workers are having health conditions misdiagnosed, leading to unnecessary surgery and wasted health spending.

The issue crystallized for Walmart officials when they discovered about half of the company's workers who went to the Mayo Clinic and other specialized hospitals for back surgery in the past few years turned out not to need those operations. They were either misdiagnosed by their doctor or needed only non-surgical treatment.

One weekend in February, Justin Kelley, 33, made the biggest financial commitment of his life: He paid a friend to start custom-building an airboat. He had dreamed of owning one since an early age.

"That's my level playing ground. It's my freedom," Kelley says. Onshore, he uses a walker to get around and a wheelchair at work, because he has cerebral palsy. But on an airboat on a Florida lake? "To me it's the one place that, when I'm in that seat, you don't see that walker. You don't see the chair. ... It's my escape. It's my happy place."

Walmart's U.S. CEO Greg Foran is telling all store managers that they should make "every effort" to provide new job options for greeters with disabilities. Many of these front-door workers remain in limbo as the company plans to eliminate its trademark greeter position in about 1,000 stores in coming months.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about State Question 793 which alters the state constitution allowing big box stores like Wal-Mart to have optometrists and eye exams and House Minority Leader Steve Kouplen reiterates his call for a special session to deal with medical marijuana especially in regard to labeling and testing guidelines.

With an eye on the future of online retailing, Walmart and Google are teaming up to go after rival Amazon in a play that also targets the growing market for voice-activated shopping.

Starting next month, Walmart customers will be able to access hundreds of thousands of products from the company's shelves — everything from dishwashing soap to dining tables — via the online retailing service Google Express. Until now, Walmart's enormous inventory was available online only through the company's own website.

Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal.

Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions.

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