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School children attend the first day of classes at the Talaat Harb government primary school, in the popular district of Shubra, Cairo, Egypt, Monday Sept. 28, 2015.
Mohamed Elraai / AP

Rapid population growth is a major catalyst for many of the issues currently facing the Middle East.

Juan Cole, a commenter on the Middle East and a historian at the University Michigan, says the demographic bulge has implications on a number of things, such as unemployment and infrastructure. The large number of young people also puts a strain on education.

State-Funded Private School Vouchers Expand to Foster Children

Jul 21, 2017
lockers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Foster children will soon be able to receive state funds to attend private school.

The change represents the first time that a state school voucher program, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, has been expanded beyond students who are disabled or have special-needs. It could foreshadow future efforts to open the program up to more children.

Latino Legislators Remain Few But Represent Range of Districts

Jul 21, 2017

In just under one year, the number of Hispanics in Oklahoma’s statehouse has jumped 200 percent.

But that’s only because the election of one man to the House in November and another to the Senate last week brought the number of Hispanic, or Latino, lawmakers up from one to three.

Microhospitals On The Horizon In Oklahoma City

Jul 21, 2017
An aerial map illustrates the location of a planned microhospital at 15103 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Courtesy image

Small hospitals with an emergency room and a handful of beds could be coming to Oklahoma City.

Cross Development Acquisitions, a Texas-based developer, is working to build a small-scale microhospital in northwest Oklahoma City.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo writes:

police sirens
Highway Patrol Images / Flickr

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into possible problems with the evidence room at the City of Purcell Police Department.

Meteorologist Gary England.
Dick Pryor / KGOU

Sweltering heat is encompassing central and eastern Oklahoma. A heat advisory is in effect until Saturday, July 22 at 8:00 p.m. Afternoon highs could reach as high as 100 degrees, and heat index values could make it feel like 105 to 108 in the afternoon and early evening hours.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

For some low-income children in Oklahoma, summer does not mean vacation and playtime — It means being hungry. The lunch and breakfast these kids receive at school is no longer readily available, so they often go without — or they eat junk food. And while Oklahoma has summer food programs to combat this, there are roadblocks for many children.

A flight arrives at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on Nov. 15, 2016.
Storme Jones / KGOU

Frontier Airlines is returning to Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers Airport.

Tennis court at Lions Park in Norman, Oklahoma
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

This week's summer sound features tennis instructor Frank Berry. It was recorded at Lions Park in Norman. 

Pre-K students in Broken Arrow Public Schools work on an activity in the classroom. The school district is one of several that is increasing the maximum number of pre-K students per class sizes above 20 students.
Broken Arrow Public Schools.

Small classes are a cornerstone of pre-K, but some districts are now raising a long-held cap on the number of students, a move that could dilute Oklahoma’s most admired and arguably successful educational initiatives.

Like many other states, Oklahoma limits pre-K classes to 20 students. When there are more than 10 students, the classroom teacher is supposed to have a full-time assistant.

But a 2016 change in state law has inadvertently opened the door to larger pre-K classes.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Democrats picked up two seats in the Oklahoma legislature on Tuesday, winning a pair of special elections. They will fill the terms of former Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey and Rep. Dan Kirby.


Susan Holmes stands on the front porch of her home in Bokoshe, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The tiny community of Bokoshe is flanked by old mines, which companies are filling with thousands of tons of waste produced by the coal-fired power plant down the road.

A woman pulls a suitcase along NE 23rd Street near N. Spencer Road in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Oklahoma City residents’ life expectancies vary greatly across the city. Among all ZIP codes, the difference between the highest life expectancy and the lowest is 18 years.

According to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s new wellness report, residents in the  73131 ZIP code have a life expectancy of 82 years, while their neighbors in the next door 73141 ZIP code live for an average of less than 68 years - a similar expectancy as developing countries such as Cambodia and Iraq.

Cicada
pellcan / Flickr Creative Commons

This week's summer sound features Gypsy Hogan. It was recorded in Hogan's backyard in northeast Oklahoma City. 

Andrew Harnik / AP Images

Christopher Wray, President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, faces the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. Wray would replace James Comey, whom Trump fired in May. Wray served in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush and currently works on white-collar crime at an international law firm. Given Comey's dismissal and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, senators are expected to press Wray on his independence and integrity.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Raymond Felton, left, smiles as forward Patrick Patterson, right, answers a question during a news conference to introduce the players in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
AP / Sue Ogrocki

The Oklahoma City Thunder introduced two of their newest players to the media Tuesday.

The team signed free agents Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton during the offseason.

Felton is a 12-year veteran of the NBA who will primarily serve as Russell Westbrook’s backup point guard. He says he signed with Oklahoma City because he wants to compete for a championship.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday. An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]... and would be very useful to your father." Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting, which former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner also attended in June 2016.

NPR

This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In Oklahoma, many thousands could be affected. Use this interactive Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 


Following the 2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session, several lawsuits have emerged challenging the constitutionality of revenue raising measures. Laws in question include the $1.50 cigarette fee, 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others.

An attorney who successfully argued against the constitutionality of a 2010 health care fee says the current lawsuits have similarities to the case he won seven years ago.

 

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Following the 2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session, several lawsuits have emerged challenging the constitutionality of revenue raising measures. Laws in question include the $1.50 cigarette fee, 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others.

 

An attorney who successfully argued against the constitutionality of a 2010 health care fee says the current lawsuits have similarities to the case he won seven years ago.

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