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Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

For the first time ever, students can attend an Oklahoma private school part-time yet have most or all of the tuition paid by scholarships funded through a state tax-credit program.

The scholarship program, promoted by school-choice advocates, is typically used to subsidize tuition costs for full-time students at private schools.

A newspaper advertisement for the Russian Dream House printed in The Oklahoman, September 1963.
The Oklahoman Digital Archives / The Oklahoman

A tiny "Russian Dream House" appears in an Oklahoma City neighborhood in 1963. And then it disappears. 

Dana Billingsley asked "How Curious:" What was this house? And where did it come from?

Oklahoma House of Representatives

The daughter of a state House leader who pushed a bill to protect the right to sentence juveniles to life without parole is a district attorney who seeks such a sentence in a Custer County case.

But District Attorney Angela Marsee, daughter of House Speaker Pro Tempore Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, said she sees no conflict of interest in her working with her father to help draft the amended bill, which passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin Friday.

Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

A crowd of thousands filled the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Park on Saturday for the Cowboys of Color Rodeo.

Founded by Cleo Hearns, the rodeo has also been held in Tulsa, Okla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Dallas, Texas; and other cities.  It comes to Oklahoma City once a year.  Competitive events include calf roping, bull riding and relay races.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

With the 56th Oklahoma legislature adjourned, Gov. Mary Fallin is left at the Capitol to decide the fate of bills sent to her by lawmakers. So far, Fallin has signed more than 300 new laws into effect, while vetoing 11.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

George Wang, a senior at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, recently made a discovery that disrupts a fundamental theory in chemistry.


Dashboard display of alert
Patrick Roberts / KGOU

KGOU has begun including severe weather and other messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. KGOU is one of 27 public radio stations participating in a nationwide project designed to increase locally relevant emergency information to “tornado alley.” KGOU now has the capability to issue text and graphic alerts on mobile phones, HD radios, “connected car” devices, Radio Data System (RDS) displays, and in online applications.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A small group of unelected citizens, all appointed by Republican state leaders, will soon be exercising significant powers to decide how the state’s top agencies spend their funding and which services they should provide.

Legislators and Gov. Mary Fallin added $2 million to the state budget this year to pay for state agency audits to be conducted by a private firm and overseen by a commission of Oklahoma business leaders.

Teacher Shortage Forces Schools To Rely On Aides, Assistants

May 8, 2018
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Nancy Novosad has spent the last 27 years surrounded by students in Yukon classrooms, but she’s not a teacher.

She alternates between helping the teacher and helping the students. Novosad wipes noses, applies bandages, plans arts and crafts activities, opens milk cartons, leads story time, and packs and unpacks backpacks. She also passes out papers, explains assignments, takes students to the restroom and reinforces lessons taught by Elizabeth Wilson, a pre-K teacher at Ranchwood Elementary School.

Breaking Down The Impact Of The 2018 Legislative Session

May 8, 2018
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

The curtain fell Thursday night on the 2018 session of the Oklahoma Legislature, leaving indelible memories of chanting crowds and heated rhetoric.

This spring’s session – as well as the concurrent special session that carried over from last year – was dominated by the teacher walkout and the intense debate over tax increases to pay for teacher raises and to boost public education funding.

But lawmakers’ actions went well beyond those critical issues.

Photo illustration by Michael Schiller / Reveal

Reveal digs deep - and gets results. This week’s episode shines a light on the consequences of some recent investigations.

By mining data from 31 million records, we discovered a pattern of racial disparities in mortgage lending across 60 U.S. metropolitan areas. We zeroed in on one city, Philadelphia, to show how black applicants are nearly three times more likely to be denied a home loan than their white counterparts. Now, officials in Philadelphia are demanding changes and accountability.

Brian Maughan for Mayor

The former director of a nonprofit charity has sued an Oklahoma County commissioner who founded the charity, accusing him and the group of failing to pay severance, berating the director publicly and making questionable deposits into a personal bank account.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned onThursday night, ending its yearly session three weeks before the constitutional deadline on May 25.  

After two special sessions left over from last year’s budget woes, a teacher protest that lasted almost two weeks and more than a year of struggling to find funds for state services, lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion dollar state budget in April, the largest in state history.  Here’s a few more of state lawmakers’ accomplishments this year.

 

Teacher Pay Raise:

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Before adjourning the 2018 Legislative Session on May 3, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a number of bills that could face legal challenges or vetoes from Gov. Mary Fallin.

 

 


Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1140, a bill allowing private adoption agencies that contract with the state to act in accordance with their “written religious or moral convictions or policies.” The bill includes language prohibiting the agencies from violating federal and state law, but it’s unlikely to evade legal challenges, according to eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley.

 

AP Photo/Thein Zaw

Myanmar’s leaders deny human rights abuses against its Rohingya Muslim population. But international organizations like Amnesty International have documented systematic, military-led violence against the country’s religious minority following insurgent attacks in August 2017.

“What we've seen over the last seven months is the Myanmar military has really launched an attack on the [Rohingya] population as a whole,” said Matt Wells, a human rights investigator with Amnesty International.

Rod Waddington / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry firearms in public without getting permission from the state is on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

State senators gave Senate Bill 1212 their final approval late Wednesday night on a measure that allows gun owners to carry their firearms openly or hidden from view without a permit, passing state background checks or paying the related fees. They also won’t have to take 16 hours of firearms safety training currently required before carrying a gun in public.

Senate Sends Teen Life Without Parole Bill To Governor

May 4, 2018
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Senators sent Gov. Mary Fallin new standards for sentencing teens to life without parole Wednesday.

The standards were requested by state district attorneys and are a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ban on mandatory life without parole sentences for teens.

Ted S. Warren / AP Images

In June, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 788, a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana, and many people are asking – how has this worked in other states?

Who has legalized medical marijuana?

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Sunday before Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt stood on the stage of his hometown church, bowed his head, and prayed.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt is popular with conservatives for his aggressive rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations. He has also been strongly criticized for alleged ethics violations. But there’s another side of Pruitt that’s less well known.

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