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Workers hammer spikes into place on a new rail spur south of Kingfisher.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A Houston-based company is planning to invest up to $40 million in a rail spur and transportation loading center near Kingfisher.

Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association on Wednesday filed two separate state Supreme Court challenges to a proposed state question that would ask voters to end industry discounts and impose a broad 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher pay raises and early childhood education.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is holding a joint press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House. The two leaders are taking reporters' questions. Their meeting touches on the topics of NATO defense, global security and trade. The meeting is taking place as President Trump is trying to work with Congress on issues of immigration and border security. The Western European relationship with Russia is also important to Norway, and new developments in the investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russia connections may also figure in the conversation.

Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Seven years ago, with Oklahoma stuck near the bottom in key public health rankings, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Gov. Mary Fallin set out to reshape the strategy for markedly improving health outcomes for Oklahomans.

The approach would involve new health department initiatives, partnerships, educational efforts and other programs.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of about 20 parents asked Oklahoma City Public School Board members on Monday to kick former OKC Mayor Kirk Humphreys off the board of a local charter school.

Humphreys recently equated homosexuality to pedophilia while on a Sunday morning talk show, and many John Rex Charter School parents feel his comments were homophobic, and disqualify him from serving on the charter’s board of directors.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On June 26, voters will decide if Oklahoma will become the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. But regulating the new industry could prove difficult.

If State Question 788 passes, licenses will be required for each stage of marijuana cultivation, including dispensaries, commercial growers, processors, and individual medical marijuana cards.

Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel, In the Light of What We Know, covers a broad swath of topics, ranging from friendship, geopolitics, math and science.

The novel opens when an old friend appears at the narrator’s door, and the two men in their early forties have very different stories to tell about their lives.

OKC Bike Rack Map

Since his car was totaled a month ago, Jake Fisher has walked to his job in digital marketing in downtown Oklahoma City. It helps that he lives and works in the same neighborhood.  

“I like to know I’m not overusing resources,” he said. “If I could walk 20 minutes, versus driving two minutes, I would choose walking.”

Fisher has considered buying a bicycle, but didn’t know where he could park it safely downtown.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that black infants in Oklahoma are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white or Hispanic babies, making Oklahoma one of the worst states for black infant mortality.

Reveal: The Tide Is High

Jan 8, 2018
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

Last year saw the most destructive Atlantic hurricane season on record. As climate change pushes ocean temperatures ever higher, scientists predict storms will continue growing more severe.

How did we get here? And what steps are we taking to ensure that rising seas and catastrophic weather don’t swallow American communities whole? This week’s episode investigates.

Dick Pryor / KGOU

 

Oklahoma lawmakers are still in a special session looking to find additional revenue, one month before the next regular session is scheduled to begin. Gov. Mary Fallin called the special session last month, asking lawmakers to provide additional funding for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the State Health Care Authority. The legislature appropriated funds for the health agencies but have not yet found a way to prevent future budget shortfalls.

Mickey Thompson, founder and director of Restore Oklahoma Now, leaves the attorney general's office after filing paperwork for State Question 795.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Mickey Thompson has a manila envelope tucked under his arm as he walks towards the Oklahoma Capitol. If the paperwork doesn’t start a fight, it almost certainly will add fuel to one.

Inside the envelope is the handiwork of about 10 people over a couple of months that could clear a path for Oklahoma voters to do something most lawmakers won’t consider: Enact broad tax hikes on oil and gas production to help fund public education.

Shala Marshall, the 2016-17 Jenks Public Schools Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, assists her students in AP Spanish class. Fewer Oklahoma schools offer world language classes, and most that offer advanced classes are l
Sherman Merchant / Jenks Public Schools

A fourth of high schools across the state have eliminated world language classes over a decade, erasing the chances for thousands of students to acquire skills that could better prepare them for college and the job market.

The number of high schools without a single world language class has nearly quadrupled, from 39 in 2006 to 149 in 2016, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of data collected by the state Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. That means a third of Oklahoma high schools now don’t offer a single course.

Group Mounts Ballot Effort To Remove Legislature From Redistricting Process

Jan 3, 2018
U.S. Geological Survey

A newly formed group is seeking a state constitutional change that would strip the Legislature of its power to rewrite the state’s legislative and congressional boundaries when redistricting work begins after the 2020 Census.

Represent Oklahoma Inc., which is applying to be a social welfare nonprofit and has launched a website, has set a $400,000 fundraising goal to put a state question on the 2018 ballot that would let voters decide whether to transfer redistricting duties to an independent, nonpartisan commission.

Wine bottles in The Spirit Shop in Norman.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

As we start a new year, Journal Record editor Ted Streuli and KGOU’s Jacob McCleland highlight what could be some of the biggest themes in business news in 2018.

Reveal: A Revealing Year

Jan 1, 2018
In this episode, we look at some of our best reporting from 2017 and how Reveal has made an impact in our world.
Michael I Schiller / Reveal

In this episode, we look at some of our best reporting from 2017 and how Reveal has made an impact in our world.

Our stories covered a lot of ground this year – from the beaches of Bermuda to the politically charged streets of Berkeley, California. And many brought about big changes.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise close out 2017 with an end-of-year discussion on some of the biggest international news events of the past 12 months. 

Copyright © 2017 KGOU Radio. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to KGOU Radio. Any use requires KGOU's prior permission.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

2017 was a whirlwind year for news all over the world, and Oklahoma was no exception.  Between two special legislative sessions, politicians accused and convicted of sexual misconduct, and investigations into rehab work camps, KGOU and our news partners rarely got a break.  Here's a look back at our top local stories of the year, featuring contributions from the Journal Record, Oklahoma Watch, StateImpact Oklahoma and Reveal and KGOU.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Melissa McLawhorn Houston was appointed Oklahoma Labor Commissioner by Governor Mary Fallin after Commissioner Mark Costello was murdered by his son in 2015.

StateImpact Oklahoma: A Look at 2018

Dec 28, 2017
StateImpact reporters preview the key health, education, energy and environment issues they'll be tracking in 2018.
StateImpact Oklahoma

2017 is wrapping up, but the growing group of reporters at StateImpact is following important  policy issues that will carry on into the new year.

Senior Reporter and Managing Editor Joe Wertz brought the StateImpact team into the studio for a preview of their coverage in the year to come. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

Health

Joe Wertz: Give me the big picture for the new year.

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