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Dwight Burdette / Creative Commons

Faced with low approval ratings, Oklahoma legislators are already seeing signs that they could be up against greater competition in trying to retain their seats in the 2018 election.

Campaign fundraising records indicate that 13 lawmakers have already drawn challengers – a sharp increase over the number that had filed by this stage in the 2016 election cycle. By the end of August 2015, just one lawmaker had drawn an opponent.

Sue Ogrocki, File / AP Photo

House Appropriations and Budget Chair Kevin Wallace (R-Welston) has proposed filling the state’s $215 million budget hole by passing a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax, expanding tribal gaming and taking money from the state’s rainy day fund.

A truck filled with chat transports mining waste to a nearby repository near Picher, Okla. Some of it is processed and reused for asphalt, while the most contaminated chat is taken to specially designed landfills for long-term storage. More than 180 truck
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Newly minted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent his first months on the job steering the agency away from climate change to focus, in part, on cleaning up contaminated sites around the country.

The former Oklahoma attorney general has directed a task force to create a top-10 list of locations that need aggressive attention — welcome news at Superfund sites like Tar Creek in the northeastern corner of the state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.
Ronen Zvulun / Pool Photo via AP

Allegations of corruption are circling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his family and inner circle. While Netanyahu has not been indicted yet, many of his close friends, colleagues and family have been ensnared in the investigations.

Three women chat in front of business storefronts in downtown Perry. State legislators hosted an interim study on Wednesday to evaluate what’s hindering businesses from locating in rural Oklahoma.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Business recruiters in Oklahoma say they need more tools to help attract companies to the state.

At a House interim study on Wednesday, economic development leaders indicated Oklahoma is losing out to other states because Oklahoma does not have a robust closing fund to help seal deals. A closing fund is state-appropriated money that can be used at the last minute to entice a company to set up shop.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Will the Oklahoma Legislature get behind a cigarette tax in the upcoming special session?

Bansari Mehta
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

When Bansari Mehta first left India to pursue a master’s degree in Oklahoma, she was surprised by how often she was asked to point to her home country on the map.

“Those were the days that I realized that there is something that’s missing,” Bansari told KGOU’s World Views. “As lovely as the people of Oklahoma are, they did not have much of a broader understanding about things outside of the state or outside of the country.”

Trainees in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base watch as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Developers recently announced plans to build the country’s largest wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The industry is growing and turbine projects are expanding across the state. But wind energy developers are facing a new headwind: military air bases.

The former campus of Villa Teresa School at 1216 Classen Dr. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

An old Catholic school campus in downtown Oklahoma City has a new owner.

Marva Ellard and development partner Billy Woodring purchased the six-building Villa Teresa property this week for $5.5 million. They plan to redevelop it as a mixed-use property which could include a boutique hotel in the nuns’ convent and condominiums and townhouses on the rest of the area.

The oldest building on the Villa Teresa campus dates back to 1917, but it wasn’t until 1933 that the Carmelite Sisters opened the K-4 school. The school closed in 2012.

Nyla Ali Khan
Jim Johnson / KGOU

More than a year after the death of a popular young militant, Kashmir’s youth are seeking independence and using social media to urge change.

INSAPPHOWETRUST / FLICKR

The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a 1.25 percent sales tax on motor vehicles Thursday.

Ostriches are seen at a farm in the Cerrado ecosystem, outskirts of Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.
Eraldo Peres / AP

The Central Brazilian state of Goiás is home to a diverse ecosystem known as the Cerrado, which can be understood as the Brazilian savanna. The area is massive, encompassing around 2 million square kilometers, and is home to 44 species that can be found nowhere else on earth.

Around the world, fire management is often used for the purpose of disturbing ecosystems, such the Cerrado, in such a way that it can increase the diversification of species. But in Brazil, the concept of fire management is not well developed in policy. 

Cherokee Nation historian Catherine Gray discusses the Stand Watie monument at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Catherine Gray walks up to a big, grey stone monument, standing tall under a lush magnolia tree on the grounds of the Cherokee Nation Courthouse in Tahlequah.

It’s monument to General Stand Watie, the last Confederate general to surrender at the end of the Civil War.

Businesses are surrounded by floodwaters from Harvey, in Humble, Texas.
David J. Phillip / AP

Oklahoma energy businesses who operate in Houston and the Texas and Louisiana coast have been affected by Hurricane Harvey’s massive flooding.

This week on The Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record senior reporter Sarah Terry-Cobo discusses the storm’s impact on Oklahoma's energy industry.

TRANSCRIPT

InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr

The Oklahoma state Supreme Court ruled Thursday a sales tax on motor vehicles is constitutional.

The Oklahoma County Jail.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Local government has taken another step to improve cooperation between law enforcement and conditions in the Oklahoma County Jail.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

Like many girls their age, fifteen-year-old twins Brooke and Alex Sutton love watching movies. But outings like going to the movies present a special challenge for the Sutton family.  

Brooke and Alex have Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that can cause developmental complications and communication difficulties. This means that sometimes the girls act out in public.

Autopsies Reveal A March Of Infant Deaths Tied To Unsafe Sleeping

Aug 25, 2017
Taffy Henderson, a maternal and child health promotion specialist with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, puts a doll into a crib that is meant to show what a safe-sleeping environment looks like. Henderson uses the crib to demonstrate safe-sleep
Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

In October of last year, a 2-month-old infant from Kiowa County died after co-sleeping with her parents.

Her mother woke up to find her father’s arm partially obscuring her face, according to an autopsy report, which attributed her death to probable asphyxiation due to “overlay.”

In May of last year, a 6-month-old Tulsa County infant died from suffocation after co-sleeping with an adult and a sibling on an adult bed. The baby was found unresponsive between the mattress and wall with his face in a pillow.

File / State of Oklahoma

A report published online Thursday claims to outline details of a budget agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and House Democrats.

Lewis Elementary / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

This year, two of Oklahoma’s largest school districts are embarking on an expensive technological experiment: They’re giving students their own laptops to use in class — and take home.

Rich Anderson is in charge of making sure Edmond Public School’s laptop program rolls out smoothly.

“In my mind, I’m calling it ‘C-day’,” he says.

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