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In this July 16, 2016, file photo, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha waves as he arrives for a group photo of leaders at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo

Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, has called for elections several times since he took power following a military coup in 2014. And he has found a way to delay them each time.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Oklahoma State Senate has approved a bill to balance the books for the current fiscal year and close out the second special legislative session. The bill that originated in the House cuts the annual budgets of all state agencies by 0.66 percent. However, since the money will be cut only in the remaining four months, agencies will have to shed 1.9 percent of monthly budgets.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

When President Donald Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last September, he put 700,000 immigrants’ futures in jeopardy.

The Obama-era policy, also known as DACA, protects young people who were brought to America by their parents — many illegally — from deportation.

Step Up Campaign Highlights Gap In State Disclosure Laws

Feb 22, 2018
Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

The Step Up Oklahoma plan to raise taxes on cigarettes, fuel and energy failed to pass, but it highlighted a gap in state campaign finance laws that keeps much of the funding and spending on both sides of the issue a secret.

For People Of Color, Banks Are Shutting The Door To Homeownership

Feb 21, 2018
Sam Ward / Reveal

Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts.

New Curriculum Will Teach History of Tulsa Race Riots

Feb 21, 2018
Tulsa Historial Society and Museum

The Tulsa Race Riots lasted two days. Thirty-five blocks of black neighborhoods were destroyed and at least 39 people died. Historians now agree it was among the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. However, state Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, says many Oklahoma teachers often brush over the topic, or teach it incorrectly. He hopes a new Tulsa Race Riot curriculum can change that.

RepLankford / Flickr Public Domain

United States lawmakers are in recess this week after failing to pass three approaches to making the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program permanent. The DACA program protects from deportation immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

This Jan. 31, 2018, photo shows shopping carts at a Costco in Homestead, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

The second largest retail chain in the world is one step closer to bringing a store to Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust approved the beginning of negotiations Tuesday for a retail incentive agreement with Costco. 

National Weather Service

Another round of freezing rain could add another layer of ice across Oklahoma on Thursday. It will be the third wave of freezing rain in as many days.

ChickHS / Wikimedia Commons

The Grady County Election Board has certified a petition from residents of Chickasha, asking the state auditor and inspector to investigate the finances of the local school district.

The board confirmed that it validated and certified the signatures of 1,223 registered voters on Friday.  

Is A Teachers Strike Imminent?

Feb 20, 2018
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Budget cuts to education are mounting. And on Monday, the Oklahoma House moved to reduce funding for state agencies for the current fiscal year.

The state Education Department stands to lose $16.2 million. Combined with higher education and other education agencies, the losses would be nearly $22 million.

Attempts to raise revenue have so far failed, including a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax and a proposal by a coalition of business and civic leaders called Step Up Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma teachers say they are fed up, and there is talk of a strike.

Sam Ward / Reveal

Forty years ago, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, which required banks to lend to qualified borrowers in blighted neighborhoods. The act aimed to eliminate government-sponsored housing discrimination, known as redlining. But it is full of loopholes: It doesn’t apply to mortgage brokers or cover internet banking, and it allows banks to claim credit for loaning almost exclusively to white applicants moving into historically black neighborhoods – supposedly lifting up low-income areas, but also enabling gentrification.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

After the Step Up Oklahoma package of revenue-raising bills failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives Monday, a message on the plan’s website read, “Step Up Oklahoma’s effort has run its course” and that fixing the state’s financial problems is worth continued deliberations.

However, in a press conference following the bill’s defeat, House Speaker Charles McCall said the negotiations were final, saying, "We've made it very clear: This was the final package we would consider."

Oklahoma Watch

Faith leaders are looking for answers after a Republican legislator issued guidelines that could block a large swath of the state’s religious community from leading lawmakers in prayers that kick off each day of the legislative session.

Achy Obejas
Kaloian

Even though Achy Obejas’s family left Cuba when she was very young, the island nation has an enormous influence on her work.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

More than 30 people sit uncomfortably on hard, wooden benches under the watchful eyes of Judge Tim Henderson. It’s late morning in Henderson’s courtroom at the Oklahoma County courthouse. Some people have been waiting for hours.

Most of these people are on probation, and they’re anxiously waiting for their chance to make a deal. Judge Henderson says these people broke their plea agreements.

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Feb. 15, 2018.
NPR

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Travelers have drinks at a bar inside Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Oklahoma’s new alcohol laws take effect in October, but how drinks will be taxed is still up in the air.

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, has filed legislation that would eliminate a 13.5 percent tax on full strength beer, wine  and drinks with spirits purchased at restaurants and bars, and replace it with a 6.5 percent alcohol tax at the distribution level.

Oklahoma City Mayor-elect David Holt.
City of Oklahoma City

For the first time in 14 years, somebody other than Mick Cornett will be the mayor of Oklahoma City.

 

But the city’s new mayor-elect already knows his way around the office.

Preston Doerflinger speaks at the Cleveland County Health Department on November 6, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is looking for a new interim commissioner after Preston Doerflinger abruptly resigned Tuesday.

The Board of Health voted unanimously to accept Doerflinger’s resignation, which came one day after allegations of a 2012 domestic dispute in Tulsa were reported by The Frontier.

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