Two bills to increase teacher pay have sailed through a House committee, although a projected shortage of revenue this year makes it's unlikely the measures will ever reach the governor's desk.
With educators from across the state packed into a committee room on Monday, a House budget panel unanimously approved the bills. They next will be scheduled for consideration by the full House Appropriations and Budget Committee.
The 2014 Oklahoma legislative session kicked off two weeks ago Monday, with an income tax cut, reduced agency budgets, repairing the state Capitol, and employee compensation all facing lawmakers as they return to NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
Gov. Mary Fallin took her policy priorities to the overall friendly audience of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber last week. Speaking to the pro-business group’s members, Fallin reiterated her call for a cut to the state income tax rate and the graduation of more “job ready” residents.
A town hall meeting is planned to update residents in Cleveland County about repairs to the bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell.
The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lexington Fire Department. The James C. Nance bridge over the Canadian River has been closed since Jan. 31, creating travel nightmares for residents of the two towns.
The bridge was closed after cracks were discovered in structural bridge beams. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded an emergency contract last week for bridge repairs, and work began at 5 p.m. Friday.
Three earthquakes rumbled Logan County late Sunday, about a week after a 4.1 magnitude temblor caused minor damage at the county jail in Guthrie.
The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday. The USGS initially estimated the earthquake as a 4.2 magnitude, but it was later downgraded to a 3.8 magnitude.
The earthquake was centered about 7 miles south-southwest of Guthrie.
The death of seven students in the tornado that hit Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary School last May has ignited an ongoing debate about storm shelters and school safety.
State lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling for better school construction to protect kids from future storms, and some people are now also raising questions about whether they should simply keep their kids home when severe weather is in the forecast.
Authorities in Seminole County broke up an alleged methamphetamine ring and closed out a three-year investigation.
Agents arrested 26 people Friday morning and officials say they broke up a drug ring that was being supplied from Mexico.
Oklahoma City television station KWTV reports the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, District 22 Drug Task Force, U.S. Marshals, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office and Seminole police took part in the operation.
They arrested 21 people on warrants and arrested five more people for drug violations.
Mexican authorities’ ongoing struggle with drug cartels continues. University of Oklahoma Spanish literature historian Luis Cortest says ongoing drug traffic-related violence would continue to be a problem until government policy changes.
“It is possible for places to change, for countries to change, for cities to change,” Cortest says. “The best example in Latin America is Colombia.”