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Donald Trump at a campaign stop at the Oklahoma State Fair in September 2015.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The Oklahoma Oil Billionaire Shaping Donald Trump’s Bid To Win On Energy Issues

Donald Trump is wooing energy-state voters by promising a presidency that will champion coal, promote drilling and free frackers from federal regulations limiting oil and gas development. If the Republican candidate’s energy platform sounds like it was written specifically for fossil fuel companies, that’s because an Oklahoma oil billionaire helped craft it. Donald Trump delivered his first major speech on U.S. energy policy at a petroleum conference in the capital city of one the country’s...
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SandRidge Energy headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been a rocky year for Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy.

The company started 2016 learning it would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and had to shut down many oil and gas wells in northwest Oklahoma due to seismic directives by the Corporation Commission.

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley and Renee Alvarado Porter at the announcement for the new Cristo Rey high school on Aug. 4, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A new Catholic high school geared toward low income students will open in Oklahoma City in the fall of 2017. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced Thursday that the new Cristo Rey school will be located on Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma City campus.

 

The Cristo Rey model heavily uses work-study. All students work at a partner corporation one day a week.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is greeted by fans as he arrives for a news conference to announce that he has signed a contract extension with the Thunder, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Russell Westbrook era in Oklahoma City will continue for at least three more years.

The All-Star point guard signed a contract extension with the Thunder on Thursday. The Associated Press reports the deal is worth $85.7 million.

Fans cheered Westbrook’s name as he entered the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday for a press conference to announce the extension. He told reporters there’s no place he would rather be than Oklahoma City.

Kids from a local youth organization laugh and splash in cold, spring-fed pools at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The National Park Service turns 100 this year, and many states are celebrating top-tier environmental landmarks that are a big source of local pride. About half the U.S. states don’t have a national park — including Oklahoma.

That wasn’t always the case, and the story of what happened illustrates a changing view of what national parks are for.

State Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. At left is Rev. Lori Walke, Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Business and community leaders in Oklahoma called on Congress Wednesday to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“We can ask, we can petition, we can do all that we are constitutionally allowed to do,” said state Sen. Brian Crain. His district in Tulsa includes a significant Hispanic population. “I think this is an excellent time for us because the debate is ongoing, and it’s time for us to take action. “There's probably never been a better time - in our lifetimes at least - for us to look at immigration reform."

Oklahoma County led the country in oil industry job creation in 2015, according to a Headlight Data analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. On the other end of the spectrum, Washington County in northeastern Oklahoma ranked No. 6 in oil industry job losses.

Oklahoma Watch

As Oklahoma schools prepare to start classes in coming weeks, they are dealing with the impact of having less money – fewer teachers, cuts in arts and music programs and tighter budgets for classroom supplies.

But according to state and local officials, the pain might be less if state and county governments took steps to ensure collection of school-related county taxes that are being lost because of incorrectly assessed property values.

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Sen. James Lankford R-Okla. arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Oklahoma's junior U.S. Senator is joining bipartisan criticism of Republican presidential nominee Doanld Trump's comments directed toward the family U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Khan’s parents spoke out against Trump at last week’s Democratic National Convention, prompting several days of response from the GOP nominee. U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Public Radio Tulsa when the New York businessman thinks something, he says it.

Firefighters stock a truck with supplies inside Oklahoma City Fire Department Station 1 after responding to an accident at NW 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard on Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council set a special election for January 10 to resolve a million-dollar dispute with the local firefighters union.

That decision could cost taxpayers as much as $100,000. The council’s 6-0 vote set aside an arbitrator’s decision, which means they have to put a proposed contract with the firefighters to a vote of the people, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

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