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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Monday released an audit and other documents related to a corruption probe his office fought to keep secret.

The records stem from an investigation launched in 2011 of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, which was set up to buy contaminated properties and relocate residents near the Tar Creek Superfund site, a former lead and zinc mine in northeastern Oklahoma.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

A Catholic priest is accused of sexual misconduct on the campus of St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee and former students and faculty have questioned whether officials at the now-shuttered college failed to properly investigate complaints.

Two women have filed a lawsuit against the university, which closed and filed bankruptcy in December, and St. Gregory’s Abbey, where the priest resides.

Trucks pass each other along a rural road just off south of Kingfisher.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A bill that would change how Oklahoma oversees trucking is drawing conflict of interest questions because the legislation’s sponsor owns trucks as part of his business.

Gabriel Hongusit / Reveal

In 2016, the Justice Department alleged that Malaysian officials stole billions of dollars from their people and funneled some of it through the United States.

Reveal teamed up with Washington D.C.’s public radio station, WAMU, to dig into one of the largest investigations ever by the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

It’s a tale that features cameos from Leonardo DiCaprio, Donald Trump, the world’s largest yacht, a Malaysian playboy known for his lavish spending in New York nightclubs, and – as you might imagine – lots of Champagne.

Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

For the fifth time since Oklahoma teachers left their classrooms, House Republicans refused to hear a bill that would end a lucrative tax break for high earners and potentially bring an end to the one-week-old teacher walkout.

Eliminating the capital gains tax deduction – something that largely benefits the wealthy – would free up $100 million or more a year that could be used for education and to shore up the state budget. A state-commissioned consulting group last year recommended the tax break be repealed.

[UNFILTERED] /Elizabeth Sims

On Friday, April 6, Oklahoma legislators passed two more revenue bills in addition to the $447 revenue package they hoped would prevent a teacher walkout this week.

One requires third-party vendors on Amazon Marketplace to collect a sales tax. The other, the so-called "ball and dice" bill, changes rules for casinos to generate revenue. Both passed, although the ball and dice bill will not take effect immediately. They now head to Gov. Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma Teacher Pay Dispute: Factoring In Cost of Living

Apr 6, 2018
Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

Teachers in about 70 Oklahoma school districts staged a week of walkouts over low pay and slender school budgets. A common talking point is that they are paid far less than teachers nationwide.

Lawmakers and the governor agreed that education spending should rise after many years of austerity, passing a tax increase to help cover a salary hike of about $6,100 a year.

But many teachers say they’re looking for a long-term commitment to both wages and school support.

AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Roughly one million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, fleeing violence and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa. Germany accepted the great majority of asylum seekers— 890,000 according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma teacher walkout and educators’ demands for more school funding dominates the news. It’s unclear if lawmakers are willing to meet those demands and quell daily protests. One lingering question: If schools get more money, what happens to other state agencies and workers who need funding, too?

Oklahoma’s state Capitol has been a madhouse all week. Teachers pack the rotunda early, and by 9 a.m. the chants are loud enough to echo through the tunnels underneath the building.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

At 32.8 percent, Oklahoma has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation, But, scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation say their work could lead to new treatment options for the disease.

 

 

Mike Boettcher / Unfiltered

Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies reached out to the 11 declared gubernatorial candidates to ask them what they think about striking teachers’ demands and what more can be done to fund education and get teachers back in their classrooms. Responses came from the candidates or their representatives. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb’s campaign pointed to an April 2 Fox News interview in which he addressed the strike. Responses have been condensed.

DEMOCRATS:

Drew Edmondson

A customer enters a Citibank, Thursday, March 16, 2017 in New York.
Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

National banking giant Citibank announced on March 21 that it would require retail clients to no longer sell firearms to customers under the age of 21. The bank is also requiring clients to no longer sell bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. The bank also condemned gun violence and what the financial institution considers a lack of action by lawmakers.

Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

A controversial proposal to end a tax break that benefits fewer than 18,000 Oklahomans – the vast majority of whom make upwards of $200,000 – is at the center of the debate over how lawmakers can find more money for education and potentially end the teacher walkout.

Teachers, education advocates and House Democrats have launched a renewed push since the teacher work stoppage began on Monday for the Legislature to pass a bill that would eliminate the state’s capital gains deduction.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Police Sgt. Jeff Crawford is breaking his routine. He’s leaving the office and climbing into his squad car because Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers and supporters are rallying at the state Capitol to demand more school funding.

Crawford is a school resource officer who normally works out of Douglass Mid-High School. He has left his post temporarily to check on elementary schools and community centers in eastern Oklahoma City that are feeding kids who depend on the meals they get in school.

Caroline Halter/KGOU

 

Employees from several human services agencies gathered on the corner of 12th and Robinson in Norman Tuesday afternoon, holding signs and waving to cars driving by. It was one of several of this week’s demonstrations by state employees, who have joined teachers to protest department funding and salaries.

Jennifer Malwick was one of about 30 state employees to use a Tuesday lunch break or paid leave to send a message to state lawmakers. Malwick’s sign said, I help the people you won’t make eye contact with.

Photos: These Are The Faces Of The Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

Apr 3, 2018
Megan Ross / Unfiltered

On the first day of the Oklahoma teacher walkout, more than 30,000 people demonstrated at the state capitol, including teachers, school staff, students, parents and state employees.  These are just a few of the teachers who participated in the walkout, as well as their supporters.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Boosting teacher pay by an average of $6,000—which the Legislature approved last week—wasn’t enough to put the brakes on a massive shut-down of schools to rally at the state Capitol. An estimated 30,000 people attended Monday’s rally, and many school districts are closed again Tuesday so the walkout can continue.

Angler Billy Nabors catches a state record 98 pound blue catfish with a rod and line in Lake Texoma, November 2004.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife / wildlifedepartment.com

A catfish the size of a bus lurking in the deep waters of Lake Texoma, with eyes as big as a Volkswagen Beetle’s headlights.

 

Steven Neal heard this rumor and asked “How Curious:” Is it true?

 

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Governor Mary Fallin signed the first state-funded pay raise for Oklahoma teachers  in 10 years on Thursday, March 29, but many educators will still march on the Capitol on Monday.

 

eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley explained that legislators were able to pull off the political feat by suspending rules to expedite the legislative process.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

This week the Federal Trade Commission confirmed it is investigating Facebook over its handling of user data. The U.S. Department of Homeland security also published a report revealing that Russia hacked the U.S. electricity grid. And a cyber attack shut down the city of Atlanta for over a week.

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