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Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers are right back where they started after a much-anticipated vote to pass one of the largest tax increases in state history fell short in the state House.

Despite business luminaries and hundreds of educators filling the Capitol in support of the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, the revenue-raising proposal only received 63 votes, which was 13 votes shy of passing the constitutionally required three-fourths threshold for revenue-raising bills.

StickWare / Flickr

The primary election for mayor of Oklahoma City will be held on Feb. 13. Candidates David Holt, Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith are on the ballot.

All Oklahoma City voters registered by Jan.19 are eligible to vote.

Reporter Tennessee Watson takes us inside the arduous process of seeking justice in her own child sexual abuse case. Her story exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses and spotlights a lack of accountability.
Anna Vignet / Reveal

In light of the conviction of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, we’re revisiting an award-winning investigation from 2016.   

Reporter Tennessee Watson says she was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach when she was a kid in the 1980s. More than 25 years later, when she learned he still was coaching children, she called the police. Her inside account of the painful process of seeking justice in her own case exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses to reports of child sexual abuse and spotlights a lack of accountability.

Every new male inmate in the Oklahoma prison system arrives through this gate at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center in Cleveland County. Blood is drawn from inmates for testing and certain results can lead to further tests for hepatitis C.
Oklahoma Watch

Inmates in Oklahoma prisons must have advanced liver disease before becoming eligible for treatment of hepatitis C, a potentially deadly and growing disease.

The situation in prisons pits the enormous cost of treatment against the public health gains of curing one of the populations most at risk for the viral infection.

In this photo taken Tuesday Aug. 6, 2013, residents of Puros, northern Namibia, stand at the entrance of a shop in the deserted town.
Jerome Delay / AP

Sharing small amounts of money with poor people can help alleviate poverty and spur economic growth.

In his book Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution, anthropologist James Ferguson focuses on the question of who is owned what. He is particularly interested in the question of what claims poor people have, and the kinds of resources that can be shared with them.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Oklahoma state lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week and are working to wrap up the second special session, which means voting on revenue-raising measures.

eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports the Senate and House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved many of the suggestions proposed by the group Step Up Oklahoma.

 

Adnan Mahmutovich
http://www.adnanmahmutovic.com/

Adnan Mahmutovic fled the war-torn former Yugoslavia as a teenager, and settled as a refugee in Sweden. He began working as a care assistant for a man who had suffered a stroke, and the job became his introduction to Swedish life.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.


Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After getting concessions, a group of small independent oil and gas producers is now endorsing a suite of tax increases and government reforms written by a group of business leaders known as the Step Up Oklahoma plan.

Image of the gravitational lens RX J1131-1231 galaxy with the lens galaxy at the center and four lensed background quasars. It is estimated that there are trillions of planets in the central elliptical galaxy in this image.
University of Oklahoma.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma believe they have detected planets outside the Milky Way.

Professor Xinya Dai and postdoctoral researcher Eduardo Guerras say they have detected the presence of a population of planets in a galaxy 3.8 billion light years away from Earth. It’s the first time planets have been detected in another galaxy.

Their research is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Poet Valzhyna Mort reading at the 2015 Neustadt Festival opening night, October 21, 2015.
Tyler Christian / World Literature Today (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Valzhyna Mort grew up in Belarus as the Soviet Union collapsed, and she’s spent her entire career using poetry to dispel misconceptions and bring her country out of Russia’s shadow.

“A great myth was that it was a really big reading nation, and I don’t know if it was really true, in terms of how much reading was done,” Mort told KGOU’s World Views. “But it’s certainly true that every household had a library. No matter what your parents did, how educated they were, you had a library.”

The new Muscogee (Creek) Nation Community Hospital in Okemah.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Though gaming operations continue to be a large economic focus for Oklahoma’s tribes, they are continuing to reach out into other endeavors. These projects include healthcare, retail, manufacturing, agriculture and more.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her final State of the State address at the Oklahoma Capitol on Feb. 6, 2018.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Gov. Mary Fallin: Thank you very much. Lieutenant Gov. Lamb, statewide elected officials, Speaker [Charles] McCall, President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, members of the court, honorable senators and representatives, cabinet members, statewide elected officials, and our tribal leaders that have joined us here today, and most of all, the great citizens of Oklahoma – welcome. It’s good-- to have you all here.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin used her final state of the state address to tell lawmakers to act immediately to shore up the state’s finances.

The state faces an estimated $425 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, while the government still does not have enough money to fund services for the current year.

“No more delaying. No more putting things off. No more kicking cans down the road. No more addressing long-term budget problems with short-term fixes,” Fallin said.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced a dramatic drop in earthquakes in 2017 — a decline likely due, in part, to regulations limiting activity at oil-field disposal wells, scientists and experts say. New research suggests those regulations might be reducing some quakes more than others.

It’s been two years since state oil and gas regulators adopted a broad regional plan that limits the amount of wastewater pumped into disposal wells in quake-prone areas. The good news: It appears to be working. After peaking in 2015, earthquakes became a lot less frequent.

Don Gonyea / NPR

A memo alleging that the FBI abused its surveillance authority became public on Friday after a push by House Republicans.

Storme Jones / KGOU

When Gov. Mary Fallin addressed lawmakers in her first State of the State speech in 2011, she implored them to fix a $600 million hole in the state budget. Seven years later, in her final State of the State address, the legislature is faced with a similar task: filling an estimated $425 million gap in the budget.

 

Storme Jones / KGOU

When Gov. Mary Fallin addressed lawmakers in her first State of the State speech in 2011, she implored them to fix a $600 million hole in the state budget. Seven years later, in her final State of the State address, the legislature is faced with a similar task: filling an estimated $425 million gap in the budget.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

At least 60 private schools receiving tax-credit scholarships have been given three months to comply with a state law that prohibits discriminating against applicants based on disability.

The Opportunity Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit that last year collected $5.1 million in donations to help pay students’ tuition at private schools across the state, says schools that don’t comply will be removed from the program.

Oklahoma Watch

Update from Health Department spokesman Tony Sellars: “The Oklahoma State Department of Health confirms the resignation of CFO Mike Romero. The agency will not have any additional comment at this time.”

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