KGOU
Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Capitol Insider: Capitol Closed For Renovations While OK Health Agencies Consider Cuts To Services

Three agencies that serve many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are facing additional budget cuts. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) has notified the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) they must make cuts to fill the state’s $215 million budget hole.

Read More
A demonstration of workers from the Putilov plant in Petrograd (modern day St. Peterburg), Russia, during the February Revolution.
State museum of political history of Russia

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution of 1917, one of the most important geopolitical events of the 20th century. The revolution was a product of several domestic factors and the First World War, which was especially destructive for Eastern Europe.

Jerry Gutierrez steers his golf cart on a tour of his ranch near the Kiamichi River in southeastern Oklahoma. Gutierrez and other nearby residents urged the state not to approve Oklahoma City's permit to tap water from river.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City’s decades-long quest for a permit to pump water out of southeastern Oklahoma is over. This week, state regulators approved a key part of the city’s $1 billion-plus project to meet the metro’s long-term water needs, but residents and water rights groups say the urban victory marks a milestone — not the end of the road.

Oklahoma City has water storage rights at Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma. To get it, the city plans to divert water that flows from the lake into the Kiamichi River and pump it more than a hundred miles northwest to the metro.

test with a pencil
shinealight / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Soon-to-be-released statewide test scores are expected to be much lower than they were in the past, but top education officials say the drop is due to a more difficult grading system, not poor-performing students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the state has a new way of measuring student proficiency.

“This has been a time of recalibrating,” she said in an interview after a press conference held with reporters to explain the declining scores.

A man practices his putting at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Organizations that hold golf tournament fundraisers say they are still an effective way to raise money, even though fewer young people are golfing.

Elizabeth Sims / Oklahoma Watch

At least nine student athletes in Putnam City Public Schools suffered a concussion playing sports last school year.

More than a dozen sustained one in Norman Public Schools.

In Tulsa Public Schools, 38 students suffered a concussion in the 2016-2017 school year, with the district reporting 13 more in the first six weeks of this year. Edmond Public Schools’ three high schools recorded 62 concussions.

As Budget Deal Remains Elusive, Inaction Could Cost State

Oct 11, 2017
Oklahoma Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

Each passing day without a deal to bridge the state’s $215 million budget shortfall means less potential revenue will be available if lawmakers pass one or multiple tax increases.

An Oklahoma Watch analysis of state projections shows that each day that lawmakers don’t pass the $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax would cost the state between $680,305 and $712,265 in potential new revenue, depending on what calculations the state uses.

Chicken Workers Sue, Saying They Were Modern-Day Slaves

Oct 11, 2017
CAAIR has a sprawling, grassy compound in northeastern Oklahoma. The one-year diversion program mainly relies on faith and work to treat addiction.
Shane Bevel for Reveal

Three Oklahoma men filed a federal class-action lawsuit today alleging that they were modern-day slaves forced by a drug rehabilitation program to work for free in chicken processing plants.

How A Drug Court Rehab Kept Its Participants’ Workers’ Comp

Oct 9, 2017
  Brandon Spurgin was working at the plant when a metal door crashed down on his head one night in 2014, damaging his spine.
Shane Bevel / Reveal

After Fred Barbee broke his ankle while working at a chicken processing plant in Arkansas, he expected time off to heal.

But he wasn’t in a normal workplace. A drug court judge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had sent Barbee to a drug rehabilitation program called Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery, or CAAIR. The program makes men work without pay at plants owned by Simmons Foods Inc.

FILE PHOTO

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) unveiled on Thursday what he said was the largest bipartisan budget deal in nearly three decades. Later in the day, Gov. Mary Fallin announced in no uncertain terms that a deal had not been reached.

“If there’s only one person at the altar, there’s no marriage,” Fallin said.

“She invited us to the altar. We said yes. If she is having cold feet, the people of Oklahoma are in serious trouble,” Inman replied in a Tweet.

Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May, addresses delegates during a speech at the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central, in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.
Rui Vieira / AP

Trade between Oklahoma and the United Kingdom is thriving, and it’s Karen Bell’s job to promote and enhance trade and investment.

Karen Bell is the Consul General of the United Kingdom, stationed in Houston, Texas. Oklahoma falls within the five-state area in which she works.

“The UK is already the fifth largest market for exports of goods and services from Oklahoma. And the value actually to your local economy on trade with the UK, is getting on for half a billion dollars,” Bell told KGOU’s World Views.

Pages