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Oklahoma City Public Schools Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora waits on Board of Education members to emerge from executive session during an April 25, 2016 meeting.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Aurora Lora sent a long email Monday to campus administrators who say morale is low and the district's leadership isn't responding to their concerns.

More than 100 principals and assistant principals signed a letter read during the December 12 school board meeting that said OKCPS leaders are "non-communicative, ineffective, and exert control by force or fear" without collaboration.

State Sen. Ron Sharp in his office at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A Republican lawmaker is calling for a tax increase, and a bill that would keep some further income tax cuts from happening.

State Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, wants his fellow legislators to consider a bill that would prevent automatic income tax cuts, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

A sign along Oklahoma Highway 43 near Sardis Lake.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Barack Obama on Friday signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in the wee hours Saturday morning. The $10 billion federal bill directs money to Oklahoma to help fix and address multiple water-related problems and issues across the state.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Secretary of State Michael Hunter address the media after the state's electors cast their on Dec. 19, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

All seven of Oklahoma’s electors voted at the state Capitol Monday in favor of Donald Trump. The Republican president-elect won 65 percent of the popular vote in Oklahoma and carried every county in the state.

David Oldham, an elector from Tulsa, said he took his role seriously. He examined news reports to determine whether he thought Trump could serve as president, including Russian hacking allegations. He said there’s no proof Trump was involved in the hacks.

Iranian schoolgirls wearing headscarves, background, gather in a courtyard at a female school as schoolboys play soccer in their school in this photo taken in Feb. 2002 in Tehran.
Hasan Sarbakhshian / AP

Before he started graduate school and became a university professor, Shervin Malekzadeh taught public school in low-income and minority communities in Washington, D.C. and California.

Storme Jones / KGOU

As holiday travel ramps up, more than 350,000 passengers are expected to travel through Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City by January 7. Officials from both the Transportation Security Administration and the airport are trying to help make passengers’ rides as smooth as possible.

 

The holiday season is the airport’s busiest time of year. TSA Oklahoma Federal Security Director Steve Crawford says knowing what not to bring in carry on bags saves a lot of headaches.   

A video showing University Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon punching a female student was released to The Associated Press and other media outlets Friday.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the release last week of a video that the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters sued to obtain.

The Associated Press acquired videos showing two angles of the incident. One, which shows the altercation, is the video the OAB sued for. The other shows another angle of the incident.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin says early projections show Oklahoma will have a nearly $600 million hole in next year's state budget. That’s nearly 10 percent of the current year's spending.

"It's going to be a challenging year,” Fallin said during a Wednesday news conference. “We've got certainly need within the Department of Corrections, which you've seen recently. We've got needs with Highway Patrol, in Mental Health Services. There's a lot of competing needs out there, for money.”

By 7 a.m. a cold front is expected to be well south of I-40. Temperatures will be falling into the 20s and 30s behind the front, with 50s ahead of the front across southern Oklahoma and western north Texas.
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

A highly-anticipated cold front will likely bring the first bout of wintry weather to Oklahoma starting this weekend.

During an early morning briefing Friday from the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office, meteorologist Ryan Barnes said Saturday's high temperature will likely occur during the morning hours for most locations as the cold front pushes south during the day.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett listens to a slideshow presentation on the city’s MAPS projects during a special session of the Oklahoma City Council Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Earlier this week the Oklahoma City Council met for a special session at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City to discuss the general obligation bond to pay for city government that will go before voters in 2017.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister listens as researchers present the new A-F school report card system , December 15, 2016.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The way Oklahoma's A-F report cards are calculated may soon change. 

The State Board of Education approved a new grading system Thursday, and it will now go before the Legislature for final approval.

The new system, set to go in to effect for the 2017-2018 school year, proposes using a single letter grade with no pluses or minuses. However, the overall report card will be presented like a dashboard, with seven different criteria adding up to one score.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower in New York on December 7, 2016.
Andrew Harnik / AP

Donald Trump wants Scott Pruitt to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Oklahoma attorney general is a fierce ally of fossil fuel companies and one of the EPA’s biggest opponents. The nomination draws a sharp line dividing industry and environmentalists that could test the limits of another big fight: state sovereignty.

A Republican president created the EPA. Using words and phrases that, today, might jeopardize his career before it ever left a state GOP primary, Richard Nixon urged Congress to sign off on what he called his “environmental agenda.”

A woman serves herself a fountain drink at the OnCue Express at 1 NE 23rd St. in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Researchers at Harvard University believe a tax on sugary soft drinks could save tens of millions of dollars in Oklahoma.

The so-called "soda tax" movement started in the northern California city of Berkeley, and has expanded to other parts of the country.

Harvard’s public health school released a study this week showing the tax could prevent thousands of obesity cases in Oklahoma City over the next decade, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

An Oklahoma state law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges was struck down Tuesday by the state’s highest court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the law places an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion, and violates the state constitution’s single subject rule.

Provided

Early results from nationwide study indicates a new artificial heart pump could lead to fewer complications and better health outcomes.

Two local cardiologists at Integris co-authored research published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, according to The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo:

Patrick Wyrick, state solicitor general, gestures as he speaks during an Oklahoma Supreme Court hearing in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will have a vacant seat in January, and a handful of people hope to fill the position, including a top aide to Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

The Grand River Dam Authority's coal-fired plant in Chouteau, Okla., which is impacted by the Regional Haze Rule.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oil prices are on the rebound, which should eventually generate revenue and help Oklahoma’s state budget situation. Still, another budget hole — that could be as large as $600 million — will likely have to be filled during the 2017 legislative session. One emerging idea that could put an extra billion dollars in state coffers: Selling the Grand River Dam Authority.

OU Athletics

 

Former University of Oklahoma All-American football player James “Jimbo” Elrod, 62, died in a single car crash on the Turner Turnpike approximately 4 miles west of Chandler, Oklahoma early Monday morning.

The Highway Patrol responded to the call at 3:43 a.m. The car had rolled end over end several times, causing Elrod to be ejected. He was not wearing a seatbelt. Elrod’s wife, Diana, was wearing her seatbelt and was transported to the OU Medical Center in critical condition.

Berrien Moore, vice president of the University of Oklahoma’s weather and climate programs, talks with Sean Crowell, senior research scientist, at the school’s campus in Norman Friday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

NASA has awarded a five-year, $166 million grant to the University of Oklahoma to study how carbon interacts with the land, the atmosphere, and the ocean.

OU says the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCARB) will monitor plant health and vegetation stress across North and South America. The satellite 22,000 miles above the equator will also study the sources and processes controlling carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane in Earth's atmosphere. 

Dawn McKinley, left, and Kathy Reynolds talk to reporters outside the Cherokee Tribal courthouse in Tahlequah, Aug. 2, 2005, where justices heard arguments in a case involving the couple's effort to have the tribe recognize their union.
AP

The Cherokee Nation now recognizes same-sex marriages under an opinion issued Friday by the tribe's attorney general.

As a sovereign nation, the Cherokees and other tribes weren’t bound by a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

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