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health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

A state panel recommended across-the-board rate increases Thursday for state employees' health insurance next year. The increases range from 6 percent to almost 16 percent, depending on the plan that someone chooses.

That’s the biggest bump since at least 2010, but officials told The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt it’s necessary to cover rising healthcare costs:

Teachers In Oklahoma Expected To Spend Hundreds On Classroom Supplies

Aug 14, 2016
Tulsa high school history teacher Vince Facione expected to spend at least $300 before the first day of school. He gives each of his 190 students a three-ring binder.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Elementary music teacher Tony Flores’ entire classroom budget for the year will be expended on music for three performances. Last year, he bought new instruments, to the tune of $1,000 out of his own bank account.

In Danielle Childers’ pre-kindergarten classroom, students will have snacks for snack time, mats for naptime and stickers for a job well done, but the cost of those items falls on her.

August 14, 2016

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

This Saturday, August 20, is National Radio Day and KGOU is holding an open house from noon to 3 p.m. here in our studios.

We invite you to come for a little or stay for a while. We’ll have some meeting time with our news reporters so you can ask them about their work. 

A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma operated by Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is still experiencing an unusually large amount of shaking, but the rate of earthquakes recorded in 2016 is down from last year.

The slowdown is likely due to reductions in the amount of waste-fluid the oil industry is pumping into disposal wells, which are thought to be causing most of the shaking.

Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby at a news conference announcing the water deal.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After five years of court proceedings and confidential negotiations, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations have reached an agreement with the state over control of water in southeast Oklahoma.

Russia's Yulia Efimova, left, looks on as United States' Lilly King celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 200-meter breaststroke final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Michael Sohn / AP

Beyond the athletic competition, feats of strength, and patriotic triumph, the Olympics serve as a moment where countries can come together and put their differences aside. But politics has played out during the first week of competition.

A female supporter of the Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi flashes a victory sign during a July 17, 2009 rally.
Unknown / Obtained By AP

Iran flirted with democracy during the early part of the 20th century, but it didn’t quite stick.

Supporters of medical marijuana gather petition signatures in front of the Oklahoma state capitol on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Supporters of an initiative petition that would legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma delivered boxes of signatures to the Secretary of State’s office Thursday, but they aren’t sure if they have enough signatures to put the measure on November’s ballot.

The group Oklahomans for Health needs nearly 66,000 signatures. Chip Paul is a medical researcher and co-chair of the organization. He says at last count - about a week and a half ago – volunteers had 50,000 and continued to gather signatures right up to the deadline.

Chief of Choctaw Nation Gary Batton, from left, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and the Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby listen to a speaker during a press conference at the Oklahoma Heritage Center in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Alonzo Adams / AP

After five years of court proceedings and confidential negotiations, two Native American tribes have reached an agreement with the state over control of water in southeast Oklahoma.

Midwest City’s Heritage Park Mall.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been about six years since the last few tenants moved out of Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City.

A lone retailer remains – Sears – and a local megachurch also holds it services there, but city leaders hope to revitalize the property and have issued a request for proposals to rehabilitate it.

The Journal Record’s editor Ted Streuli says the idea has been in the works for years, but recently the city council in Midwest City approved a matching $27,000 grant for requests for proposals. The money would come out of Midwest City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

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