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Rural northeast Norman resident Leslie Rard at the end of her 500-foot gravel driveway. It's one of many hard surfaces on her five-acre property the city classifies as "impervious."
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Stormwater Utility Vote Highlights Tension Between Urban, Rural Norman

Voters in Norman will decide on a stormwater plan Tuesday that would increase residents’ monthly utility bills. The city says the additional revenue will help deal with runoff created by heavy rainfall and property damage from flooding. It would also affect the quality of water in the Canadian River and Lake Thunderbird. The lake is the city’s primary drinking water source. But rural residents like Leslie Rard are concerned they’re being asked to shoulder an unfair share of the costs without...
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Marq Lewis, of We The People, videos a speaker at a county commissioner's meeting, concerning Sheriff Stanley Glanz, in Tulsa, Okla., Monday, July 13, 2015.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Tensions between law enforcement and the citizens they serve have increased in recent years, and the cycle of violence has led to loss of life for both citizens and law enforcement.

The recent shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have brought people out into the streets to protest against police brutality. In Oklahoma, the shooting death of Eric Harris in Tulsa led to the arrest and imprisonment of ex-reserve deputy Robert Bates.

Oklahoma's new academic standards
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

School starts Monday for Oklahoma City Public Schools, and many more districts across the state will begin classes in the coming weeks. With the new year comes new academic standards, but the teacher training on these new standards may be compromised by tight school budgets.

“With the current budget situation, I’m not going to lie, our professional development budget was one of the first things that they cut,” said Shannon Thompson, the Dean of Academics for Moore Public Schools.

Color-coded ballots for each Oklahoma County district are pictured at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June 23, 2016. The ballots are color-coded according to party.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Fifteen Libertarian candidates for state legislative and congressional races will join the party's presidential nominee Gary Johnson on the November ballot.

Oklahoma officially recognized the Libertarian Party in March, which allowed members and candidates to register as members and candidates for the first time, The Oklahoman’s Nuria Martinez-Keel reports:

Oklahoma state Treasurer Ken Miller speaks during a news conference n Oklahoma City, Wednesday, July 8, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The state treasurer's office says the latest gross domestic product report shows a year-long recession in Oklahoma. The state GDP report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates Oklahoma's economy has contracted for four straight quarters going back to the spring of 2015.

“Oklahoma ranked 39th among the state for economic change during the first three months of the calendar year, with GPD down 0.5 percent,” the report says. “It is one of 13 states that experienced negative economic growth during the quarter.”

Kevin McDonald, Edmond Memorial High School English teacher, directs the percussion session of the band during a practice in Edmond, Okla., on Thursday.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

State officials are considering what to do with $140.8 million dollars cut from state agencies in the middle of Fiscal Year 2016, but can now be spent. The money is available because General Revenue Fund reductions required by FY 2016’s midyear revenue failure were deeper than necessary.

Gov. Mary Fallin says she is considering using the money to fund teacher pay raises.

liquor bottles, alcohol
octal / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Supporters of a state question to update Oklahoma’s alcohol laws and allow wine and strong beer in grocery and convenience stores rolled out their campaign this week.

Prescription drug overdose deaths appear to be subsiding in Oklahoma as new laws and outreach efforts take effect. But black-market methamphetamine and heroin deaths are surging.

Drug law enforcers and medical professionals said they were both encouraged and alarmed by the latest overdose death data, generated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and compiled by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

The encouragement comes from increasing evidence that tougher oversight and outreach are causing the toll of prescription drug overdoses to stabilize and decline slightly.

Wind turbines at dusk
Samir Luther / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma remained No. 4 in the U.S. in installed wind power capacity during the second quarter of 2016, but a national industry group expects the state to move up the ranks by the end of the year.

No new wind farms have been completed in recent months, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association, but more than 1,100 megawatts are currently under construction, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports:

Sign reading "The Silent Majority Stands With Trump."
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Donald Trump has a new reason to believe that deep-red Oklahoma will swing his way as the presidential campaign accelerates into the final months.

Federal Election Commission filings released recently show that June was the first time the Republican presidential nominee has raised more money in the state than his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Police officers secure the area after a bomb attack in Ansbach, Germany, Monday, July 25, 2016.
Matthias Schrader / AP

Europe continues to reel from violence that has swept over the continent in recent weeks. France is still mourning the loss of more than 80 people killed while celebrating Bastille Day earlier this month. They were killed when a man drove a truck through a crowded promenade in Nice as the seaside resort in the French Rivera celebrated the national holiday.

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