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Matt Sayles / AP

Five years after her son was first taken by ISIS in Syria, Diane Foley, the mother of slain freelance journalist James Foley, says she is holding out hope that justice will be served.

 

James Foley was kidnapped in northwestern Syria on November 22, 2012. Twenty-one months later he was beheaded by the so-called Islamic State. A video of the gruesome murder was spread across the world.

 

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lawmakers will likely return to the State Capitol sooner than expected in light of Gov. Mary Fallin’s shocking veto of most of a budget bill approved by the Legislature only hours earlier Friday.

The nearly two-month-long special session appeared to come to a close after the state  Senate sent Fallin a proposal that largely relies on one-time revenue and broad budget cuts to close the state’s $215 million shortfall.

Capt. Tony Riddles of the Norman Police Department, standing, watches as three volunteers from the audience tackle Sgt. Tim Smith, who acted as an armed gunman for an active shooter training workshop at Norman Regional Hospital on November 17, 2017.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A consultant at a business that provides active shooter preparedness training says there is more demand for their service since July.

Hugh Pickens / hughpickens.com

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s plan to spray chemicals and biological agents in simulated terrorist attacks at an abandoned school has alarmed residents and caused a stir on both sides of the Oklahoma-Kansas border.

Gov. Mary  Fallin vetoed most of the state's revised budget bill on Friday, November 17, 2017.
Governor Mary Fallin's office

Citing a failure to address several of her requests when she called a special session of the state legislature and the use of one-time funds, Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the vast majority of a budget bill Friday evening.

Ben Curtis / AP Images

The Ugandan government has much work to do to reconcile a history of human rights abuses, says social justice activist Michael Otim.

Otim recently visited KGOU’s World Views to tell his story and talk about his work with non-governmental organizations in his native country.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

A bill to cut several state agency budgets and cash out state savings accounts has made it to Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. The Oklahoma Senate passed HB1019X Friday, after the state House of Representatives refused to pass options increasing state revenue over the eight-week special session. Both chambers have adjourned, ending the session, and leaving Fallin to decide if she will sign or veto the bill.

 

katsrcool / Flickr.com

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.

The program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, involves setting up automated high-speed cameras on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184, according to the District Attorneys Council.

StickWare / Flickr

One week after federal Election Day, Oklahomans headed to the polls to vote in local races in more than 30 counties, including three special elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature.  The results came in late Tuesday night.

Republican Paul Rosino won the seat of former State Senator Kyle Loveless in District 45, which includes parts of Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties. Rosino beat Democrat Steven Vincent with 57 percent of the vote.

Workers construct Shift, an immersive art experience at Current Studio, 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A new immersive art project could help drive business to a shopping area and create economic opportunities for Oklahoma City artists.

Factory Obscura, a collective of artists, created an installation called SHIFT at Current Studio at 1218 N. Pennsylvania Ave. The art installation encourages visitors to “physically explore the full-sensory environment,” according to  Current Studio’s website.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for the state dinner with the first ladies at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.
Thomas Peter / Pool Photo via AP

The relationship between China and the United States is difficult, but there is a chance for a harmonious path forward.

Calumet Public Schools Superintendent Keith Weldon stands in an old garage that he now uses for an agriculture program. Weldon worries if lawmakers take some of his local funding, he would have to scale back the popular program.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The wind blows strong and steady in Calumet, a small town about 40 miles west of Oklahoma City.

It’s the wind that’s prompted companies to build turbines here. A natural gas company also built a plant nearby.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Oklahoma legislature’s special session continues, as a compromise bill failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Lawmakers nearly agreed to increase taxes on beer, tobacco and fuel, and were close to a deal on raising taxes on oil and natural production, which has been a major point of contention throughout the special session. The  tax package required 76 votes in the House, but fell 5 votes short.

Workers at the construction site of West Village Apartments at Main Street and Fred Jones Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Commercial real estate sales could slow because buyers and sellers can’t seem to agree on prices.

St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, a private Catholic liberal arts university founded in 1875
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma’s only Catholic university is shutting its doors at the end of the fall semester.

Winners And Losers In The Failed Vote On Tax Package

Nov 9, 2017
The Oklahoma House gallery was packed Wednesday as representatives spent hours discussing and debating a tax package to address the state's severe budget shortfall. The measure fell short.
David Fritze / Oklahoma Watch

In the end, the backing of more than 45 health-care, education and public-policy advocacy groups – along with the support of a bipartisan group of current and former state leaders – wasn’t enough Wednesday.

illustration of podium and speech bubbles
Meg Kelly / NPR

On the first anniversary of President Trump’s election, NPR is looking back at his victory speech. NPR reporters across the newsroom have annotated his election night remarks, providing context and analysis to his policy promises and noting who among the people he thanked are still in the inner circle a year later.

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Preston Doerflinger speaks at the Cleveland County Health Department on November 6, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The new head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says the agency has been spending more than its annual revenue since 2011.

Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger said Monday that accounting tricks were used to move money between different accounts.

Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

The battle over Oklahoma’s tax on oil and gas production could soon spread outside the State Capitol to dinner conversations and public debates across the state.

A group of small oil and gas producers said despite recent efforts in the Legislature to raise the gross production tax temporarily to 7 percent on some wells, it will forge ahead with trying to put a state question on the 2018 ballot that would set a permanent 7 percent tax on all wells.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma State Department of Health went more than a year without a chief financial officer, and questions later arose about whether the agency overestimated revenues and used restricted federal funds to fill the gaps, sources told Oklahoma Watch.

However, a former chief financial officer at the agency said he had no knowledge of restricted funds being used to cover shortfalls.

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