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A winter storm that blanketed much of Oklahoma with snow during the overnight hours has led schools and businesses across the region to close for Friday.

 

The University of Oklahoma's Norman campus and Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City announced they would close for the day, as well as many schools district such as Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman.

 

An abandoned gas station near Edmond, Oklahoma.
Michael Kesler / Flicker/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that’s nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

State taxes on motor fuel haven’t been touched since 1987. There are a lot of similarities between the situation then and what Oklahoma lawmakers now face: An economy shaken by low oil prices and dwindling revenue streams to fund state government.

Joy Hofmeister, superintendent of public instruction, listens to a question from the audience during the "Oklahoma Watch-Out" forum on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
Ilea Shutler / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s state superintendent is asking legislators to give schools more money next year. Joy Hofmeister is requesting an increase of $220 million in funding, despite a projected budget shortfall.

On Wednesday, Hofmeister made her case for the additional funds to Oklahoma House members ahead of the legislative session that begins next month. She told lawmakers the additional money is essential to keep up with a growing student population and increased health care costs. She also says schools desperately need new textbooks, and new teachers need more professional development.

Shanna Burge begins a patient’s radiology test at Southern Plains Medical Group in Chickasha.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A provider in Chickasha wants to cut out the middle man when it comes to a discount health plan. The Southern Plains Medical Group has a new service where local employers pay a one-time fee per worker, and then a monthly fee.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, speaks on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The House has voted to seat Kirby, who rescinded a letter of resignation he submitted after being named in a sexual harassment complaint.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma House voted Tuesday to seat a lawmaker who walked back his resignation after being named in a sexual harassment complaint.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, spoke publicly for the first time about the situation, and said he had done nothing wrong.

“There was an investigation into the allegations and it was determined there was no sexual harassment,” Kirby said.

The complaint by a legislative assistant resulted in a nearly $45,000 settlement on Nov. 22.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren spoke with a small group of reporters on the field Monday night at the Superdome after OU’s Sugar Bowl victory against Auburn.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., says he doesn't trust Russian President Vladimir Putin as much as President-elect Donald Trump.

Oklahoma's junior Republican Senator told CNN's Erin Burnett on the program OutFront Monday night Putin and Russia have tried to undercut democracies throughout Europe and Asia.

University of Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine rushes past Auburn University defensive back Stephen Roberts in the second half of the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.
Gerald Herbert / AP

The University of Oklahoma's football team has a new all-time leading rusher after running back Samaje Perine broke Billy Sims' 37-year-old record Monday night during the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Perine came into the game needing just 83 yards to surpass the mark Sims set during the 1979 season. He broke the record with about five minutes left in the Sooners' 35-19 victory over Auburn University.

The Enid News & Eagle, with a circulation of 10,000, lost 162 subscribers who canceled the paper. Eleven advertisers pulled their ads, including a funeral home that had a sizable account. Someone stuck a “Crooked Hillary” bumper sticker on the glass doors of the paper’s downtown office. A man left a late-night message on the publisher’s voice mail, expressing his hope that readers would deliver, to put it delicately, a burning sack of steaming excrement to the paper.

Jimmy Hartford teaches an AP calculus class to 10 students at Cushing High School.
David Britton / Oklahoma Watch

Participation in advanced-level math and science classes in high school is a strong predictor of success in college, regardless of the grade earned in the class or whether it results in college credit, studies show.

A group of shamans, holding a President-elect Donald Trump poster, perform their annual pre-New Year ceremony, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru.
Karel Navarro / AP

2016 started with a strong possibility the United States would elect its first female president, but by the end of the year an outsider with no political experience, an unorthodox campaign style had tapped into discontent with establishment politics and ascended to one of the most powerful positions in the world.

If 2015 was the “year of the protest,” 2016 could arguably be dubbed the “year of the response,” especially at the ballot box in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Oct. 19, 2016 in Boston, about the White House's cancer "moonshot" initiative — a push to throw everything at finding a cure within five years.
Elise Amendola / AP

Three weeks ago President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which makes $6.3 billion available for prevention, research, and the treatment of cancer.

That includes about $1.8 billion over the next decade for the so-called cancer "moonshot" spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, and Oklahoma scientists could easily compete for that money, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

The 2016 presidential election, contests for contentious state questions, and curiously, alcohol infused with a breakfast staple dominated KGOU’s digital coverage this year. From Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation’s reaction to Hillary Clinton’s emails, to energy industry layoffs, to agriculture and capital punishment, there were plenty of stories for our newsroom to tell in 2016.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Throughout 2016, the fallout continued from the downturn in energy prices that started more than two years ago. Commodity prices bottomed out at a 13-year-low earlier this year, but it’ll still be a long time before Oklahoma’s oil and gas sector fully recovers.

Several Oklahoma energy stories made national headlines earlier this year, from bankruptcies, stock exchange de-listings, and even the unexpected death of an industry godfather.

SandRidge Saga

Dental surgeon Jeannie Bath, seated, adjusts the fit on a set of dentures for a patient while volunteer dental assistant Angela Whipple looks on at the Good Shepherd Ministries clinic in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

A local free clinic that treated about 3,300 patients and provided more than 16,000 services to low-income residents last year needs more doctors, dentists and pharmacists to meet high patient demand.

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