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A planned development at the old Logan County hospital in Guthrie would be affected by a proposed end to the state’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit program.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

One bill filed during the special legislative session would end Oklahoma’s film rebate program, while another piece of legislation would eliminate the Oklahoma Affordable Housing Tax Credit.

Reports Of Drug-Exposed Newborns Surge

Sep 28, 2017
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services logged 517 reports last year of newborn infants who tested positive for controlled drugs or alcohol. The number of reported exposures has risen steadily, but it's unclear how much is due to rising drug use and how
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma health-care professionals reported to the state a record 517 cases of newborn infants who tested positive for dangerous drugs or alcohol last year, up from 320 when officials began compiling statistics in 2013.

State officials said they couldn’t determine how much of the 62 percent increase was attributable to rising drug use among pregnant women and how much to improved reporting and testing by health care personnel.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislators aren’t the only ones who returned to the Capitol for the special session.

If it’s anything like the regular session, lobbyists will be picking up the tabs for pricey dinners and drinks during the days or weeks to come. Lobbyists spent almost half a million dollars on meals and gifts for lawmakers and other public officials during the spring session.

Photo illustration by Michael I Schiller and Ben Fine, photos by Paul Kuroda / Reveal

Oklahoma State House of Representatives

Republican and Democratic leaders blamed each other Wednesday for the ongoing budget impasse. House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, abruptly canceled an expected vote on a proposed cigarette tax increase and announced the House would adjourn until a budget deal is reached.

Storme Jones / KGOU

Civil rights leaders and advocates for the deaf rallied in downtown Oklahoma City Sunday, following the fatal police shooting of a deaf man. 

The Catholic Church beatified Oklahoma-born priest Stanley Rother on Sept. 23, 2017. More than 20,000 people attended the ceremony at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

More than 20,000 people gathered in the Cox Convention Center on Saturday to witness the beatification of an Oklahoma-born priest.

Father Stanley Rother was born in Okarche, Okla. in 1935.  He served as a missionary in Guatemala for 13 years, introducing the people of Santiago Atitlan to farming techniques and establishing a radio station, among other services.

Ramona Roberts, a special education teacher in Jenks Public Schools, works with students Tim Foster (center), Michael Copeland (left), Elijah Sexton (bottom right) and Hunter Falconer (right). Jenks has had special education teacher vacancies in the past,
Sherman Merchant / Jenks Public Schools

Special education teachers have become so scarce that districts face fierce competition to find and keep good candidates and sometimes leave open positions unfilled.

That’s why late one night in August, Ponca City Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Arrott sprang into action when she heard the distinctive ding of her cell phone. The alert meant a job application had been submitted online to the district. She scrambled to arrange an interview the next morning for the applicant.

New Law Gives Oklahoma More Responsibility In Finding And Fixing Failing Schools

Sep 22, 2017
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister
Oklahoma State Department of Education

Many people say the former massive federal education law, No Child Left Behind, was a failure. When President George W. Bush signed it in 2002, he set a huge goal for the country: Every child would meet the proficiency standard on state tests by 2014.

But, that never happened.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

A special legislative session to address a $215 million budget hole is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

 

Ecapitol news director Shawn Ashley says a leading proposal to help close the gap in the budget includes a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax increase.

Sue Ogrocki, File / AP Photo

A special legislative session to address a $215 million budget hole is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

Portrait of Father Stanley Rother
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Born in the small town of Okarche, Oklahoma, Father Stanley Rother was ordained into the Roman Catholic Church in Oklahoma City in 1963. He served as a missionary pastor in Guatemala from 1968 until 1981, when he was murdered.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

State and federal scientists say that recent earthquakes in two Oklahoma cities are probably aftershocks, rather than indications of larger quakes to come.

Sarah Terry-Cobo writes in the Journal Record:

Father Stanley Rother baptizes a child in Guatemala.
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

The Catholic church will beatify a priest from Okarche, Oklahoma this weekend. Three assailants murdered Father Stanley Rother in Guatemala in 1981. Pope Francis declared last year that Rother is a martyr, setting the stage for him to possibly become a saint.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren talks with the media following his announcement that he will resign as head of the state's flagship university at the end of the current school year.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has announced his retirement at the end of this academic year.

Boren addressed the university Wednesday afternoon to a packed audience at the Reynolds Performing Arts Center in Holmberg Hall, where he announced he will step down.

Let Down And Locked Up: Why Oklahoma’s Female Incarceration Is So High

Sep 20, 2017
Robyn Allen, 52, is serving 20 years at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in central Oklahoma for trafficking of methamphetamine. This was her first felony offense.
Glassbreaker Films

Robyn Allen saw her daughter for the first time in two years from across the yard of Oklahoma’s largest women’s prison, the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center.

elementary school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Reducing schools’ use of emergency certified teachers by 95 percent and boosting high school graduation to 90 percent are some of the goals set by the state Education Department in its plan for education under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The state also proposes attacking hunger in schools and is considering forcing failing schools that are on a four-day school week to change their calendar.

Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

More than 100 supporters of businesses that could be displaced by a rezoning application gathered at a community meeting in Oklahoma City Monday night.

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb speaks to a group in Enid in October last year.
Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle

A nonprofit foundation created by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has raised more than $850,000 since it launched to much fanfare in late 2015 and will soon roll out its first major initiatives.

Newly released IRS filings show the E Foundation for Oklahoma, a tax-exempt public charity that is allowed to shield the names of its donors, more than doubled its first-year fundraising total of $237,000 by taking in $622,500 in 2016.

In Search of New Ways To Tame Opioid Crisis

Sep 18, 2017
Images Money / Flickr

Oklahoma is among the nation’s leaders in combating the opioid epidemic in some ways, but lags in others.

The question of what more Oklahoma can do to reduce the hundreds of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers each year will hover over the 2018 legislative session. A commission chaired by Attorney General Mike Hunter plans to recommend by Dec. 1 new strategies for attacking the problem. Some or all of its proposals will be folded into legislation.

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