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Hip-hop artist and activist Jasiri X
Heather Mull

 

Singer-songwriter and activist Nina Simone once said, “An artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” Hip-hop artist and activist Jasiri X tries to keep Simone’s imperative at the core of what he does and has adopted the guidance as part of his artistic statement.

“Hip-hop really helped me to find my own identity,” Jasiri X says. “And so, when I started writing music I always wanted it to be something that had some type of meaning, and not just me writing raps to write raps.”

 

Willy Jones, one of the area organizers for Oklahomans for Health, holds a sign in support of medical marijuana during a petition drive outside a vapor shop in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 3, 2014.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

It looks much less likely a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma will appear on the ballot this fall.

A quarry near Ada filled with water from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has ordered city officials in Ada to make a series of fixes to ensure the community has clean drinking water after 2,000 gallons of diesel spilled on the ground near city water wells in April of 2015.

Tom Kilpatrick, founder of CloudDeck Media and the Oklahoma Aviation testing center, pilots a drone.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Regulatory changes mean flying a drone is about to become a lot easier. Testing centers are scheduling their first exams as new rules take effect Monday.

student in a classroom using a laptop computer
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Black and Hispanic students are much less likely to be identified as “gifted” than their white and Asian counterparts — a disparity found in Oklahoma that mirrors national statistics on gifted and talented education.

In Oklahoma, black students make up 9 percent of all students but 4.5 percent of students in gifted and talented programs. Similarly, Hispanic students comprise 16 percent of all students but 10 percent of students classified as gifted and talented.

August 28, 2016

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

It is time to recognize our students at KGOU for the fall semester.

Taking Practicum this semester are Ethan Barton and David Ransom. These two will be working on a variety of items behind the scenes – editing audio, preparing promotional announcements, and making sure the operations go smoothly.

A security official stands guard ahead of a men's preliminary volleyball match between Cuba and Iran at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.
Matt Rourke / AP

In the years since its selection as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro has drawn strong opinions both domestically and abroad about the sustainability and feasibility of the global sporting event.

Workers construct new homes at 12th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

National figures out this week from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed sales of new single-family homes rose more than 12 percent between June and July.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units is the highest since October 2007 -  right around the time the housing bubble burst. But home construction is showing in the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Donald Trump at a campaign stop at the Oklahoma State Fair in September 2015.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Donald Trump is wooing energy-state voters by promising a presidency that will champion coal, promote drilling and free frackers from federal regulations limiting oil and gas development.

If the Republican candidate’s energy platform sounds like it was written specifically for fossil fuel companies, that’s because an Oklahoma oil billionaire helped craft it.

Donald Trump delivered his first major speech on U.S. energy policy at a petroleum conference in the capital city of one the country’s most oil-rich states, Bismark, North Dakota.

Cattle are moved after auction at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association is still struggling to find support for a statewide marketing program.

Ranchers and other agriculture producers have been very active in their collective support of State Question 777, which would amend the state constitution to stringently limit lawmakers’ ability to regulate the industry.

Gary Matli, a field inspector supervisor for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, checks on a Craig Elder Oil and Gas disposal well located east of Guthrie, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The oil and gas industry practice of pumping waste fluid into disposal wells is likely responsible for Oklahoma’s exponential surge in earthquake activity.

An elections clerk cuts from a strip of "I voted" stickers at a polling place in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma voters now have clarity about candidates for all state legislative races following yesterday’s primary runoff elections.

Air force veteran Adam Pugh defeated pastor and retired professional football player Paul Blair in the runoff contest for state Senate seat 41, which includes Edmond. The seat is currently held by term-limited state Sen. Clark Jolley, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Monta Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Adams Elementary School, passes out books to her class in Oklahoma City on August 3, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma City Public School Board members approved a $180 million bond proposal at a special board meeting on Tuesday. The bond will not increase taxes, and instead extends a bond that is set to expire.

Superintendent Aurora Lora said Oklahoma City Public Schools has dire basic needs throughout the district, and the new bond will address transportation, technology, and building maintenance issues.

Students rally against Oklahoma City Public Schools budget cuts in May 2016.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A new statewide survey found that at least 2,800 public school jobs have been lost to budget cuts this year.

The survey, conducted by the Oklahoma State School Board Association, showed that 1,500 of those jobs lost were teaching positions and 1,300 were support staff.

The OSSBA conducted the survey during the first two weeks of August. Districts representing about 83 percent of the state’s public school enrollment participated.

Other survey results show:

Customers enter a Dillard’s department store inside Sooner Mall in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma's highest court is preparing to decide one of the biggest workers’ compensation cases in years.

The state Supreme Court could invalidate or uphold part of an Oklahoma law that lets dozens of companies write their own workers' comp policies. The legal dispute started when clothing retailer Dillard’s denied an employee’s comp claim, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, gestures as he speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 8, 2013.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

One of the most contentious issues facing this new school year is which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students will be allowed to use.

The Obama administration has issued what it calls guidance that students be allowed to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. The administration warned that schools refusing to do that could risk their federal school funding.

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking during an August 22, 2016 news conference to reveal a new design for the state license plate in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahomans caught a sneak peek of the state’s new license plates Monday afternoon. Gov. Mary Fallin unveiled the new design, which features a large outline of the state’s bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher. The plate also displays a backdrop of lakes, mesas and mountains along with the address of the state tourism department’s website.

 

Oklahoma Department of Public Safety chief Ricky Adams says the new tags will be easier to read and will help law enforcement crackdown on uninsured drivers.

 

Summerlinn Muhammad, right, elections assistant, checks in Jason Soper, right, for early voting in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The lineup for November’s general election ballot will be settled after candidates in one congressional and 13 legislative races face off Tuesday.

The run-off elections will feature the top two vote earners from the June primaries in races where no candidate received at least 50 percent of the votes.

Districts in much of the state won’t vote because their legislative and congressional match-ups for the general election have already been set.

University of Oklahoma Vice President of the University Community Jabar Shumate.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

 

 

The University of Oklahoma made national headlines in March 2015 when members of a the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were recorded singing a racist chant on a bus while traveling to an event. Immediately following the spread of the video, the university expelled two students and shut down the SAE fraternity’s chapter on campus.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed election proclamations Monday for five state questions that will now be on November’s general election ballot.

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