KGOU
Attorney General Scott Pruitt talks to state lawmakers at the Oklahoma capitol in February 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Senate Confirms Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt As Nation’s Top Environmental Watchdog

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory agency the Oklahoma politician has built his brand fighting against. Pruitt has led a coordinated legal effort to fight the EPA through the courts, an alliance with other Republican attorneys general that’s made him popular among conservatives. The confirmation sends a strong signal that Congressional Republicans share with President Donald...

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Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s 25 public colleges and universities were among the biggest losers in last year’s budget battle.

Lawmakers cut the state’s higher education budget by $153.4 million, or nearly 16 percent, as part of the Legislature’s work to close a $1.3 billion shortfall during the 2016 session. This led to tuition increases, elimination of degree programs and layoffs across the system.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Lawmakers will take another stab at increasing teacher salaries, will attempt to stymie four-day school weeks and try to eliminate the end-of-year exam in U.S. history.

With the filing deadline on Jan. 19, bills have been streaming in, including many related to common education. Additional bills could surface later because of exceptions to the deadline and shell bills whose language is often replaced mid-session.

Chad Post
Chad Post

 

A world of literary tradition remains outside the grasp of many American readers because few works are translated into English. Chad Post, the publisher of the University of Rochester’s Open Letter press, works to increase access to international literature by translating and publishing ten books each year.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET Saturday

The U.S. Attorney has charged Esteban Santiago, the man in custody for carrying out the deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Friday afternoon.

At least five people were killed and six others were injured in the shooting, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

An anti-Syrian government fighter, left, looks at a Syrian soldier, right, as he leaves the last besieged rebel-held neighborhood of Al-Waer in Homs province, Syria, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.
SANA via AP

 

A cease-fire backed by Russia and Turkey is falling apart in Syria, and that leaves few good options for rebels in that country who are fighting against president Bashar al-Assad

Joshua Landis, the head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told KGOU’s World Views that Assad intends to take back all Syrian land currently held by rebels. Meanwhile, Turkey’s involvement in the cease-fire is an indication that country will no longer back the rebels.

Tiffany Batdorf is the business improvement district chief executive for Oklahoma City’s Adventure District.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

Oklahoma City’s Adventure District is home to some big attractions, such as the zoo, Remington Park, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Science Museum Oklahoma. But development has been slow in the area, and some residents and business owners are voicing their displeasure.

A foreman at the Shirley Ranch helps unload a trailer of Red Angus cattle to winter in a pasture near Alva, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee of an obscure state board that promotes the beef industry, money created by a mandatory government program funded by farmers and ranchers.

National Weather Service

A winter storm that blanketed much of Oklahoma with snow during the overnight hours has led schools and businesses across the region to close for Friday.

 

The University of Oklahoma's Norman campus and Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City announced they would close for the day, as well as many schools district such as Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman.

 

An abandoned gas station near Edmond, Oklahoma.
Michael Kesler / Flicker/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that’s nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

State taxes on motor fuel haven’t been touched since 1987. There are a lot of similarities between the situation then and what Oklahoma lawmakers now face: An economy shaken by low oil prices and dwindling revenue streams to fund state government.

Republican Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin (@RepMullin) joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the Trump transition, the push to repeal Obamacare and the House GOP’s failed efforts this week to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics.

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