Chesapeake Energy's Losses Rattle Oklahoma Economy

The Oklahoma company Chesapeake Energys stock value plummeted Monday. Over the past year, the stock is down more than 90 percent.Chesapeake is the second-largest natural gas extractor in the U.S. and a major employer in Oklahoma. Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson talks with Brian Hardzinski of KGOU in Oklahoma City about how Chesapeake Energys struggles are affecting Oklahomas economy.Guest Brian Hardzinski, digital news editor and Morning Edition host at KGOU. He tweets @brianhardzinski. Copyright...
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The Henry Overholser Mansion is one of several dozen historical sites that receive state funding. A proposed $1.5 million cut to the Oklahoma Historical Society could cause several sites around the state to close.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin said she wants to take $40 million from so-called “noble but noncritical” functions to help plug a $900 million budget shortfall.

"Just a few years ago, 55 cents out of every dollar we collected went to the General Revenue Fund,” Fallin said during her State of the State address. “Today, just 45 cents out of every dollar collected goes there, and it is continuing to decline."

Lawmakers gather in the House chamber at the state Capitol before Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Four stories that were trending or generated discussion online or on KGOU’s social media platforms during the past week.

Christian Costello at the Oklahoma County Jail Monday after his Sunday arrest for the stabbing death of his father, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

Christian Costello, the man charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing his father, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, appeared in court Friday morning and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors had planned to present evidence before Special Judge Lisa Hammond, who would determine whether a crime was committed and if there was probable cause the younger Costello committed it.

dark keyboard and mouse
Michael Schreifels / Flickr

Cars, drones, refrigerators – almost everything is connected to the internet in some way, and that raises significant questions about control and governance. Who’s in charge, and who sets standards?

American University communications professor Laura DeNardis has studied these issues since the modern internet’s infancy in the 1990s. She told KGOU’s World Views countries, industry, and civil society work together in what she called “multi-stakeholder governance.”

Daniel Holtzclaw is led to the coutroom before his sentencing Thursday. He received 263 years in prison after being convicted of 18 counts of rape and sexual assault last month.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's office released video Thursday of the nearly two-hour interrogation of the former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of sexually assaulting several women during a series of traffic stops.

The questioning of Daniel Holtzclaw took place June 18, 2014. Detectives Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory ask Holtzclaw about the traffic stop of Jannie Ligons early that morning. She was the first victim to report her assualt to police.

“When you put her in your car, did you pat search her?” Kim Davis asks.

The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It's the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.

Five years ago, Tonia Sina was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Photo illustration by Brent Fuchs and Bryan M. Richter / The Journal Record

There’s no shortage of issues to address when it comes to the $900-million-and-counting budget shortfall over the next four months of legislative session.

The number could grow larger when the Board of Equalization certifies new numbers later this month. In Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive budget unveiled Monday during her State of the State address, most state agencies will see a 6 percent cut. Some, like the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, will take a smaller 3 percent hit.

Tim Cross, chief operator of the water treatment plant in Chandler, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Many of the programs protecting Oklahoma’s air and land are paid for with fees and federal dollars. Oversight and inspection of local water systems, however, are funded by state revenue that has dwindled — and failed.

Chandler, a city of about 3,000 residents, like many small communities in Oklahoma, has struggled with deteriorating pipes and pumps, limited funding to make repairs and upgrades, and increasing demands to provide clean water to more and more customers.

weldonlibrary / Flickr Creative Commons

Philadelphia wants to create a universal pre-kindergarten program, not unlike the one Oklahoma adopted years ago. It’s part of a growing movement nationwide in favor of universal pre-K at both the municipal and state level.

As part of the PBS Newshour’s Tuesday education series “Making the Grade,” special correspondent Cat Wise examined how deeply conservative Oklahoma’s idea that’s typically popular on the left became a model for other states to emulate.

SandRidge Energy in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

SandRidge Energy Inc. confirmed Wednesday morning it laid off 172 people at its Oklahoma City headquarters this week. CEO James Bennet said in a press release that the company would not waver from making tough decisions to protect the long-term stability of the business.

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