KGOU

News

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

What happened at the Capitol this week?

No Teacher Pay Raise Bill Passed

Lawmakers did not pass a teacher pay raise bill, despite both the House and Senate saying they want to pass a measure.

Thursday was the deadline for bills to have passed both chambers, except for legislation that comes from the Joint Committees on Appropriations and Budget.

Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, who was supposed to introduce a bill on the Senate floor that would give teachers a $6000 raise over three years, did not introduce the bill.

Somali refugees wait outside a UNHCR processing center at a refugee camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, on Aug. 5, 2011. Climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia's famine.
Jerome Delay / AP

 

Interactions between humans and the environment is a two-way street. Human actions change the environment, and changes to the environment affect human behavior.

David Lopez-Carr, a geographer a the University of California-Santa Barbara, calls it “human environment dynamics.” He studies how climate change impacts food security, crop production and human health, particularly infant mortality.

 

“Babies and infants are the hardest hit when there is when there are food shortages,” Lopez-Carr told KGOU’s World Views.

Oklahoma City University law students Sonya Chronister, Cameron Farnsworth and Marcos Sierra talk about the Oklahoma Innocence Project’s latest work while sitting in the J. William Conger Courtroom at the OCU School of Law.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

The Oklahoma Innocence Project’s caseload is growing after the non-profit scored a legal victory last year that exonerated two former inmates.

In May 2016, Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter left prison for the first time in 16 years after the Oklahoma Innocence Project cleared the two men. Both were wrongfully convicted in the 1994 murder of Karen Summers and sentenced to life plus 170 years.

National Weather Service

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in response to a night of heavy storms that damaged power lines and homes across the state.

The state of emergency will last for 30 days and allows state agencies to make purchases that will contribute to disaster preparedness and relief, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The most practical alternative to earthquake-triggering oilfield disposal wells is for energy companies to reuse the wastewater instead of injecting it underground, leaders of a research group working on behalf of the state said Wednesday.

Avoiding Injection

Paige Willett / KGOU

At Massive Graphics in Norman, workers stamp t-shirt after t-shirt for the festival. Sitting on a nearby table are neat piles of freshly printed shirts for Norman Music Festival X with designs like a tambourine playing monkey and an acoustic guitar. The screen printing company is owned by Kent Johnson. He’s also the vice president of the volunteer board that organizes Norman Music Festival every year, and he’s been there since the beginning.  

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

A state senator under investigation for unreported campaign donations has resigned.

Oklahoma State Senator Kyle Loveless of District 45 in central Oklahoma submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday morning.

Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced the formation of a state task force to combat opioid addiction on Wednesday.  

The Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse will consist of nine members, including lawmakers, law enforcement, a dentist, a pharmacist, a nurse and a doctor. It will consider policy changes to prevent, treat and intervene in opioid addiction.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater speaks to the Board of County Commissioners on Nov. 2.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Oklahoma County district attorney has found no probable cause to charge a police officer responsible for the February shooting death of a man in Bethany.

Members of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, including former Oklahoma governor Brad Henry, gave a press conference Tuesday.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

 

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

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.

 

A dad and his daughter on the final stretch of the March for Science at the Oklahoma capitol on April 22, 2017.
Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Oklahomans joined thousands of people in more than 600 cities on Saturday in a march for scientific freedom organized to send a message to state and national lawmakers.

Oklahoma City Police Department

With less money from the state and bounced-check funds drying up, Oklahoma district attorneys are turning to issuing tickets and putting people on probation through their offices – activities typically left to police, counties and the Department of Corrections.

Their newest effort that yields revenue is to crack down on uninsured drivers using a system that scans the license plates of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans on roadways every year.

illustration of report card with checkmarks
Chelsea Beck / NPR

Before his election, back in October, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a 100 Day Action Plan. He called it his Contract With The American Voter. Among other things, it called for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain "terror-prone regions," and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Movie and TV studios may have reduced incentives to film in Oklahoma next year.

 

On Thursday, the State Senate approved a bill that would reduce the spending cap for the Oklahoma Film Rebate Enhancement Program from $5 million to $4 million.  

 

Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib
The Embassy of Afghanistan

 

Like many young Afghans, Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib has lived in a country that has been at war most of his life. Born in 1983, Ambassador Mohib stressed that he and Afghanistan's young population as a whole have benefited from the relative stability brought to the country by the arrival of U.S. troops in 2001. But this stability only came after Afghanistan lurched from monarchy to communism to anarchy and then to extremism and finally to democracy over the decades.

 

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, during Monday's State of the State address.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

 

With a little more than a month left in the legislative session, Oklahoma lawmakers made changes to a tax law and the school grading system this week, and one prominent legislator announced his run for governor.

Repeal of state individual income tax reduction

Geary, Oklahoma, Family Dollar manager Jacquie Hogue running the register in her store.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are epidemic in Oklahoma, and lack of access to fresh, healthy food is a big reason why. Scarcity is most severe in regions known as food deserts, where going to the grocery store often means taking a road trip. But new legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could bring more healthy food to areas that need it.

National Weather Service

Areas of central and southeastern Oklahoma could receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain today, and the National Weather Service is forecasting hail up to the size of golf balls. Winds up to 70 miles per hour are possible.

RambergMediaImages / Flickr Creative Commons

The Cherokee Nation is seeking restitution for a drug abuse epidemic that has disproportionately affected members of its tribe.

The nation filed a lawsuit against major pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy retailers in tribal court on Thursday, alleging that these companies have unjustly profited off of selling medically unnecessary amounts of prescription opioids.

Pages