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Bill Davis / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

A temporary mass migration that could reach into the millions is expected as people across the United States relocate to catch a prime view of the country’s first coast-to-coast total eclipse in nearly a century.

First National Center in Oklahoma City
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City’s City Council agreed to invest $45 million in the vacant First National Center at Tuesday’s meeting.

Developers Gary Brooks and Charlie Nicholas purchased the building in January for $23 million. They plan to redevelop it as a mixed-use residential and commercial property, according to the Journal Record’s Brian Brus.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora is considering changing the names of four elementary schools.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Recent violent events in Charlottesville have spurred Oklahoma City Public School board members to consider the significance of school names like Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie, and Wheeler.

The four schools are named after Confederate Civil War officers, and board members have expressed interest in changing the school names.

Superintendent Aurora Lora supports the idea, and said it’s appropriate to consider whether the Confederate officers represent the values of the school district in 2017.

Jerry Drake Varnell
Facebook

An Oklahoma man was arrested Saturday morning in connection with an attempt to detonate what he believed was a vehicle bomb in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma activists and residents gather outside the State Capitol Building to show solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

More than 200 residents and activists gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol Sunday evening to demonstrate solidarity in the wake of the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

A hilly road in Rocinha.
chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

While beach-side resorts and events such as Carnival have long made Rio de Janeiro a hot spot for international tourism, in recent years more and more visitors are venturing outside the glamor of Rio’s wealthy Zona Sul region to explore Brazil’s sprawling slums, known as favelas.

Gregg Hostetler, vice president of Infrastructure Engineers Inc. based in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

New software will help engineers at the Oklahoma Department of Transformation determine which bridges require inspection after an earthquake.

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma schools are becoming more and more reliant on teachers with no training.

A lack of school funding, low pay, and waning morale have driven many of the experienced teachers out of the classroom, or out of the state.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

Former U.S. Attorney Robert McCampbell, second from left, who represents Phillip Morris USA Inc., R.J Reynolds Tobacco Co. and others, leaves the Oklahoma Supreme Court on August 8, 2017.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma Supreme Court justices considered arguments Tuesday that challenged the constitutionality of four bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

The legal challenges throw into question millions of dollars of state revenue that fund government agencies. 

Meteorologist Gary England.
Dick Pryor / KGOU

The vast majority of Oklahoma’s tornadoes occur in the spring. Since 1950, approximately 69 percent of the state’s tornadoes have formed in March, April and May, according to the National Weather Service. However, a “secondary storm season” arrives in the autumn, especially in the months of September and October.

Questions Linger On Dismissal Of Charges In Hofmeister Case

Aug 7, 2017
Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister takes questions from reporters Tuesday after criminal charges against her and four others were dismissed.
Oklahoma Watch

Just as suddenly as they appeared in November, criminal charges against Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister disappeared on Tuesday. And the reasons remain a mystery.

At a news conference, surrounded by her attorney, family and supporters, Hofmeister appeared elated and relieved. She and four others no longer faced charges of conspiracy to circumvent campaign finance laws in Hofmeister’s 2014 bid for office.

An anti-government demonstrator cries during a vigil in honor of those who have been killed during clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, July 31, 2017.
Ariana Cubillos / AP

Tension continues to grow in Venezuela this week after the government held elections over the weekend to elect a constituent assembly that can rewrite the country’s constitution. President Nicolás Maduro plans to move forward with 545-member body that is loyal to him. Opposition parties boycotted the election, calling it unconstitutional.

Electricians complete last-minute work at Newfield's Barton Water Recycling Facility near Calumet, Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A key part in solving the state’s earthquake crisis is the long-term management of an enormous amount of oil-field wastewater likely triggering the shaking. The energy industry is working to solve this billion-barrel-a-year problem, and one promising alternative to risky disposal wells is reusing wastewater instead of pumping it underground.

Developer Sets Eyes On Downtown Oil Mill

Aug 3, 2017
An aerial view of traffic moving along Interstate 40 past the Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in downtown Oklahoma City.
Courtesy photo

A large, vacant property in downtown Oklahoma City could be demolished as soon as this winter, paving the way for new development.

The Producers Cooperative Oil Mill has filed paperwork to demolish the ten structures on the site. The co-op now operates in Altus.

The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes the property is listed at $65 million dollars, and broker Don Hayes is marketing the property.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister
Emily Wendler / State Impact

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater dropped all felony charges against State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister Tuesday. 

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Two of the three court challenges seeking to overturn $343 million worth of revenue bills that the Legislature passed during the final days of this year’s session could face a quick demise if the state has its way.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office responded this week to a pair of lawsuits  – one brought by GOP gubernatorial candidate Gary Richardson and one by a group of automobile dealers. Lawyers for the state argued the court challenges should be rejected on procedural grounds, among other reasons.

Dick Pryor / KGOU

Oklahoma’s state budget took effect July 1, and hinges on the success of several lawsuits before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The cases question the constitutionality of revenue raising measures including the $1.50 cigarette fee and 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles. If the Supreme Court rules the measures are unconstitutional, the legislature could reconvene to again try to fund core services.  

KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley spoke with Preston Doerflinger, the Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology.

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma’s state budget took effect July 1, and hinges on the outcome of several lawsuits before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The cases question the constitutionality of revenue raising measures including the $1.50 cigarette fee and 1.25 percent sales tax increase on motor vehicles. If the state Supreme Court rules the measures are unconstitutional, the legislature could reconvene to again try to fund core services.  

 

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