Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber to deliver her "State of the State" address on Feb. 1. Political observers say she will need to work intensely behind the scenes to succeed in pushing through the revenue-raising measures she proposed.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

One By One, A Closer Look At Fallin’s Proposals To Fix Oklahoma's Budget Hole

Gov. Mary Fallin to Oklahoma lawmakers: We need hundreds of millions of dollars, fast. Here are my ideas. What have you got? That’s not exactly how Fallin put it in her State of the State address to the Legislature on Feb. 1. But it’s the essence of what she said, according to several officials and analysts asked to assess the governor’s response to Oklahoma’s fiscal crisis. “Mary Fallin is doing precisely what good governors have to do in circumstances like this,” said former Gov. Frank...
Read More
Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Devon Energy plans to lay off workers before the end of March.

The company's CEO Dave Hager made the announcement to employees during a packed meeting Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center.

In a statement later in the afternoon, the company said the layoffs are necessary due to continued low oil and natural gas prices.

Supporters of Donald Trump (and other candidates) gather at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center Wednesday for a campaign rally.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made Tulsa a stop on the campaign trail Wednesday.

"Are you ready to stump for Trump?" the 2008 vice presidential nominee asked the crowd after being introduced by Trump.

"Our candidate is ballsy enough to get out there and put those issues on the table a lot of other candidates have wanted to run from," Palin said.

As Iran prepares to pump even more oil into an already glutted market, that oversupply isn't just making gas cheaper for your car — it's also causing jet fuel prices to go down sharply. And that's now pushing airfares down, too.

Afghan women at a polling location during 2010 parliamentary elections.
UK Ministry of Defense / Open Governement License

In 1998, President Clinton signed the International Religious Freedom Act, which codified religious freedom as an official foreign policy goal of the United States, and established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF.

A 2014 report by the United Nations estimates that tens of millions of people in the world are currently enslaved. Most of them are in the developing world, where they work in mines, quarries or shrimp farms for no money and without hope of escape.

"Slavery is the complete control of one person by another, and violence is used to maintain that control in all forms of slavery," author Kevin Bales explains to Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "The adults in that situation know that if they attempt to leave, they may be killed."

Oklahoma State Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Senate

State Sen. David Holt has introduced legislation to set the cap on the state’s Rainy Day Fund at 15 percent of the total state budget, rather than the much smaller general revenue fund certification number.

"Our state's Rainy Day Fund is 15 percent of about $5 billion. But our total state budget is about $24 billion,” Holt said. “So it's no wonder it's inadequate."

A recent story by the Associated Press compares how officials in Oklahoma and Kansas reacted to oil industry-linked quakes.

It's not rare for a year to break record temperatures. But it's now happened two years in a row — and 2015 was "very, very clearly the warmest year by a long chalk," says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Roy Williams, at lectern, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, addresses the Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29 on Tuesday about the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to hold off on action regarding the Oklahoma County Jail.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma County district attorney David Prater has convinced the federal government to take a step back from possible litigation while the county tries to solve overcrowding and disrepair at the jail facility.

The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed not to take the county to court over the issues for the next two years while a criminal justice task force studies the issue more deeply, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Jason McMullen teaching a math class at Har-ber High School in Springdale, Arkansas.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Jason McMullen taught in Oklahoma for 12 years before he finally decided to move to Arkansas. When he left, his salary was $41,000. His wife was a teacher too, and earned less.  

"It just got to a point where it’s hard to buy a house," McMullen said. "It’s hard to pay bills, it’s hard to raise kids."

After all their bills were paid each month, McMullen says he and his wife had about $250 left for groceries and other living expenses.

"I just could not financially afford to stay any longer," McMullen said.

Pages