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U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., talks to supporters during the Republican watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
J. Pat Carter / AP

Senate Russia Probe Going to Plan, Says Lankford

The U.S. Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is moving steadily, despite reports to the contrary, said Oklahoma Senator James Lankford in an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin on Tuesday morning. On Sunday, the Daily Beast published a story revealing that the investigation had no full-time staff members and is moving more slowly than previous Senate intelligence probes. Lankford refuted these reports. Starting an independent investigation will...

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Jan Damm, left; Sabine Choucair, center; and Kolleen Kintz, back perform in Greece for Clowns Without Borders.
Clowns Without Borders

 

 

Andrew Horton believes the best way to understand a country’s people is to learn what makes them laugh.

“Laughter crosses borders,” he says.

Students listen during a class titled “Land and Lease” at Oklahoma City University’s School of Law in downtown Oklahoma City Monday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

It’s been nearly 70 years since Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher made history when she became the first African American law student at the University of Oklahoma. Today, there are still few African Americans at law firms.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry Cobo writes Sipuel Fisher was a pioneer who challenged segregation.

A field medic raises her fist as protestors stand near a fire blocking a road along the Dakota Access Pipeline Route near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.
Oceti Sakowin Camp / CC BY-NC 2.0

Oklahoma legislators are advancing a bill that outlaws trespassing on sites containing “critical infrastructure.” Supporters say the measure will help prevent damage and disruption of energy markets, electric grids and water services, but environmental activists and civil rights groups say the bill’s real purpose is to block political protests of pipelines and similar projects.

‘A NUMBER ON MY ARM’

U.S. Drought Monitor

Frigid temperatures never fully took hold in Oklahoma this winter. February saw record high temperatures, and instead of ice and snow, wildfires were the main weather-related concern, and drought — though improved — has persisted across much of the state.

In a statement summarizing February’s weather highlights and looking ahead to March, State Climatologist Gary McManus says the first two months of 2017 broke the record for the warmest combined January and February in state history.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted a request by the Attorney General’s office to delay a lower court’s order requiring the agency to turn over records sought by a watchdog group.

The Center for Media and Democracy sued the agency in February to force it to handover emails sent during the tenure of former attorney general Scott Pruitt, now administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation on Thursday that will bring Oklahoma into compliance with the federal 2005 REAL ID Act. 

 

House Bill 1845 will allow Oklahomans to choose between a REAL ID-compliant drivers licence, or one that is not. A REAL ID-compliant license or identification, or a federally-issued ID such as a passport, will be required to board commercial airlines or enter federal facilities.

 

Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images

Shortly after the president concluded, Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivered the Democratic Response to President Trump’s address. Beshear was chosen by Democratic Party leaders for his record on expanding affordable health care. NPR staff put together this transcript of Beshear’s remarks and journalists across the NPR newsroom also annotated his remarks.

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Win McNamee / Getty Images

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol. The address came a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

Dr. Karlos Hill is an Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and founding director of African and African-American Studies Distinguished Lecture Series. Black History Month is an American mainstay, and Hill says he celebrates it “365.”

In many years, the observance has served to heal wounds and educate people about the achievements and lasting contributions of African-Americans.

Tamiko Cabatic prepares blood samples for blood typing and screening at the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

 

Oklahoma City’s biotech industry is budding, but politics, investment and education are hampering its growth.

The Journal Record’s Catherine Sweeney reports the industry attracts billions of dollars annually. However, some pieces of legislation have branded the state as “anti-research,” poor education funding limits the number of students who can work in STEM field, and investors are leery of the state.

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