Signs dot the lawns of supporters of Norman Forward along South Lahoma Ave.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Despite Strong Support, Citizens Concerned Ahead Of ‘Norman Forward’ Sales Tax Vote

Voters will decide Tuesday on one of Norman’s largest capital improvement projects in recent memory. Norman Forward is a 15-year half-a-percent sales tax that’s expected to raise more than $200 million for more than a dozen quality-of-life initiatives. But some citizens are concerned it’s too much over too long of a period. “We can pick the most popular projects and build slowly instead of trying to bite it off all in one chunk,” said Norman resident Jim Seifried. If Norman Forward passes,...
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Presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign stop, Sept. 3, 2015.
Michael Vadon / Flickr

The air conditioner hums in Fredy Valencia’s office in south Oklahoma City - a tiny covey in an church with a desk, a computer and a few worn chairs. Sitting at his computer, Valencia works on plans for a protest he is helping lead during Donald Trump’s campaign stop this Friday at the Oklahoma state fair.

“If people want to attack our community, people attack us, we’ll speak up and we’ll have something to say about it,” Valencia said.

Piles of crushed limestone along railroad tracks near Mill Creek, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma County District Judge Barbara Swinton on Wednesday ordered the long disputed limits on how much water can be taken from one of the state’s most sensitive aquifers — the Arbuckle-Simpson in south-central Oklahoma — to go forward.

The court was hearing an appeal of the limit from groups including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, Oklahoma Aggregates Association, and mining company TXI — all petitioners in the case.

President Obama tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution on July 16, 2015
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Federal inmates who met with President Barack Obama at an Oklahoma prison during the filming of a documentary in July are hopeful the show will influence policymakers.

About 50 inmates gathered at the El Reno federal prison Wednesday to watch the premiere of Fixing the System, a Vice on HBO special report.

Gary Matli, a field inspector supervisor for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, checks on a Craig Elder Oil and Gas disposal well located east of Guthrie, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

While the research connecting Oklahoma’s earthquake surge to oil and gas activity is built on algorithms, statistical analysis and computer models of fluid flow and seismic energy, monitoring compliance with regulatory actions designed to stop the shaking relies on muddy, manual fieldwork.

Bison grazing
Sequoia Hughes /

The Cherokee Nation is set to receive a tractor-trailer load of bison to add to the tribe's herd on its 1,000-acre ranch in the unincorporated Kenwood community in northeastern Oklahoma.

The tribe is to receive about 50 bison from a national park in South Dakota on Thursday after acquiring the animals from the InterTribal Buffalo Council. The Cherokee Nation had gone 40 years without raising bison until last year and now has 68 head of bison on its ranch.

The oil boom that burst forth in western North Dakota seven years ago had both positive and negative effects on the region. While the increase in wealth and new opportunities for young people were welcomed, they brought along with them increased crime and congestion.

But this fall, the town of Alexander, N.D., is celebrating one unexpected upside of the oil boom: the Alexander Comets.

The Comets are a six-man football team (the school is still too small for an 11-man team). This is the students' first season playing, and the town's first season in 28 years.

Attorney Don Knight speaks to reporters during a state Capitol news conference Sept. 14, 2015.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Death row inmate Richard Glossip is questioning whether a court order last week delaying his execution for two weeks violates state law.

Glossip is set to die for the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, who was beaten to death in the Oklahoma City motel he owned. Justin Sneed, the maintenance man at the Best Budget Inn, said Glossip paid him to kill their boss.

Every time a cow or steer in this country is sold for beef, the seller pays a dollar into a special fund.

"We collect about $80 million" each year, says Polly Ruhland, CEO of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. "Half of that stays at our state chapters."

All of it, though, pays for research, promotion and marketing of American beef. It funds scientific studies on beef's nutritional quality, promotes beef exports and pays for advertising, like the familiar slogan "Beef, it's what's for dinner."

In a much-anticipated visit, Pope Francis arrived at the White House Wednesday morning, where he met with President Obama. Francis addressed a crowd of more than 11,000 people.

Pope Francis during a 2014 visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
European Parliament / Flickr

In a 184-page encyclical assigning moral responsibility to the fight against climate change, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out its addiction to fossil fuels.