Josh Gwartney, principal of the early childhood center at Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools, displays the paddle available to be used on students.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

For Special-Needs Students, A Ration Of Corporal Punishment

More than a dozen names are inked onto the wooden paddle tucked behind Principal Josh Gwartney’s desk. Each name memorializes a child who was given a swatting in Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools, located about 25 miles east of Tulsa. Gwartney, who leads the early childhood center, said the paddle is rarely used on the center’s pre-kindergarten through second-grade students, and only with their parents’ permission. Paddling also is used in the district’s elementary, middle and high schools....
Read More
health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

Will Rogers stands on the wing of a seaplane, with Wiley Post in front of the propeller, August 1935.
Library of Congress

Saturday marks 80 years since Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in a plane crash.

Aviator Wiley Post was also killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer plunged into a lagoon at Point Barrow, Alaska on August 15, 1935.

Will Rogers Museum Curator Tad Jones says the humorist's Birthplace Ranch in Oologah is marking the anniversary Saturday morning.

“We’ll have a special moment of commemoration for all those that have died in small airplane crashes,” Jones said. “It will start at 9:55 and the official commencement will begin at 10 o’clock.”

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker has been sworn in for his second, four-year term.

More than 1,000 people attended Friday's inauguration at Sequoyah High School in the tribal capital of Tahlequah to watch Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden sworn in.

Tribal councilors Rex Jordan, David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, Dick Lay, Buel Anglen, Bryan Warner, Keith Austin and Wanda Hatfield also took office.

Oklahoma state capitol
LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has voted to suspend enforcement of two new agency rules that prompted a federal lawsuit by the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

The five-member commission voted Friday to suspend the rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

The move comes after the Oklahoma Democratic Party filed a lawsuit earlier this week, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

T'ien-wen Chu's work 'Notes of a Desolate Man'
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Taiwan’s past is complicated, and with that comes a fraught linguistic history.

Dutch settlers colonized the small island nestled between the South and East China Seas during the 17th century, but its former name Formosa actually means “beautiful island” in Portuguese. Just a few decades letter, China’s Qing Dynasty drove European colonists from Taiwan and controlled it for the next two centuries, until they lost control of the island during the war with the Japanese in 1905.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) speaks during Thursday's lunch at the Downtown Club in Oklahoma City.
Senator James Lankford / Facebook

U.S. Sen. James Lankford told business leaders in downtown Oklahoma City Thursday the country is going through a debate right now over whether it wants to governed by Washington, or the states.

“Will this be a nation that has a group of technocrats that are pretty smart people – there are some pretty smart folks in D.C. – that will really decide the policy for the nation?” Lankford asked. “Or will this be a nation that decisions are made close to the people that are affected by that decision?”

A Norman Forward sign on Flood Ave. across from McKinley Elementary.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

For months, drivers around Norman have probably noticed red-and-blue "Norman Forward" signs adorning medians, parking strips, and front lawns.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance to put a half-penny sales tax on the ballot this fall that's more or less Norman's version of Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 proposal.

Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks says the 15-year sales tax extension's goal is to raise $209 million to fund revenue bonds.

GOP president hopful Sen. Ted Cruz at a campaign stop in Oklahoma City on August 13, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz pulled into Oklahoma City on Thursday to speak with supporters and drum up support for his campaign.

Speaking from the back of a blue pickup truck in the parking lot of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, the U.S. Senator from Texas laid out his plans for the White House, which include the repeal of Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, a flat tax and eliminating the Internal Revenue Service, among other things. His sharpest criticisms were directed at the Obama administration’s proposal Iran nuclear deal.

mosquito
Gustavo Fernando Durán / Flickr

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department said Thursday morning it has two new mosquito samples with West Nile virus.

These aren’t human cases, and epidemiologist Megan Souder says there’s no way to predict whether more people will contract the illness.

“What’s most important to know is that it is present in the area, and this season we have had two human cases,” Souder said. “Which, those happened a while ago, about a month ago. So there haven’t been any new ones reported.”

Pages