Corn, Okla., Mayor Barbara Nurnberg outside city hall in January 2016.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Budget Crisis Could Leave Small Towns With Big Infrastructure Problems ‘Dead In The Water’

It costs a lot of money to clean, transport and dispose of water. Big cities can spread the cost of multi-million dollar sewer or treatment projects across thousands of customers. But many small Oklahoma towns don’t have that option, and often rely on a state-funded grant program that’s being squeezed by budget cuts. Crumbling Infrastructure Tiny Corn, Oklahoma, has a big problem. A proper town needs a reliable sewer system, but the lagoon that’s supposed to hold the town’s wastewater has hol...
Read More
Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber to deliver her "State of the State" address on Feb. 1. Political observers say she will need to work intensely behind the scenes to succeed in pushing through the revenue-raising measures she proposed.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

Gov. Mary Fallin to Oklahoma lawmakers: We need hundreds of millions of dollars, fast. Here are my ideas. What have you got?

That’s not exactly how Fallin put it in her State of the State address to the Legislature on Feb. 1. But it’s the essence of what she said, according to several officials and analysts asked to assess the governor’s response to Oklahoma’s fiscal crisis.

President Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the 70th United Nations General Assembly Sept. 28, 2015.
Pete Souza / The White House

In the wake of Russian aggression in the region, President Obama announced Wednesday that he will be strengthening America’s military presence in Eastern Europe.

"As we approach the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, it is clear that the United States and our allies must do more to advance our common defense in support of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace," President Obama said in a statement.

Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, says there's “virtually no chance” Oklahoma teachers will see a pay raise this legislative session.

On Monday, Governor Mary Fallin proposed a $3,000 raise for teachers when she unveiled her executive budget during her State of the State address.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgents, 1998.
Institute for National Strategic Studies / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

President Obama has agreed to seek financial support from Congress to support the Colombian government in the implementation of a peace resolution with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel group.

The resolution, Peace Colombia, would end 50 years of conflict in the nation. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he expects to sign the deal next month, but both FARC and the Colombian government have agreed to a March 23 deadline, reports the BBC’s Natalio Cosby:

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.

Pages