KGOU

Brian Hardzinski

KGOU Digital News Editor/Morning Edition Host

Brian Hardzinski grew up in Flower Mound, Texas but came to the University of Oklahoma for college. He began his career at KGOU as an unpaid student intern assisting with various production and operations tasks, before spending two years producing and hosting Assignment: Radio and occasionally filling in during All Things Considered.

Brian joined KGOU full time in 2009 as the station's Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015. Brian’s work with KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Brian graduated from OU in 2008 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and History. A Norman resident, Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier named Bucky.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks during the Teacher of the Year Ceremony in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister pleaded not guilty Friday morning to two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, as well as charges of campaign contributions by a prohibited corporation, and violating limits on campaign contributions to candidates.

Updated Nov. 4, 11:13 a.m.

Hofmeister appeared in an Oklahoma County courtroom. She was also booked and released from the Oklahoma County Jail shortly after 9:30 a.m.. A preliminary hearing was set for December 13.

Original Post

An elections clerk cuts from a strip of "I voted" stickers at a polling place in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Early voting in Oklahoma got underway Thursday morning and runs through Saturday.

State Election Board spokesman Bryan Dean says voters will be able to cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at county election boards across Oklahoma.

Our Collaborative 'Oklahoma Engaged' Coverage Of The 7 State Questions

"You may still see a few lines, but it will probably move a little faster than it might on Election Day,” Dean said.

Support technician Jeff Hardin works on a voting machine Monday in the Will Rogers Building in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Almost 3,000 voting machines will be accepting ballots in Oklahoma on Election Day. But what if one of them breaks?

Tucked into cramped quarters inside the Will Rogers Building near the state Capitol is an office with two technicians, and as many as 30 ballot-counting machines in for repair. The workers also make “house calls” doing preventative maintenance year-round, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel speaks at a Michael Vance press conference on Oct. 31, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Editor's Note: Since this post was originally published, authorities have apprehended a third suspect related to the Michael Vance case. Danny Roach, Reginald Moore and April Harden are now all in custody at the Oklahoma County Jail. This post now reflects those updates. 

 

elementary school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has asked for $15 million to implement a system lawmakers passed last year that would help retain highly effective teachers.

The Legislature didn't have the funds to pay for the so-called “Iowa model” as part of House Bill 3114. The Education Department asked for the money Thursday as part of its budget request for Fiscal Year 2018.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake damaged the facade of a brick building in the city of Pawnee, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Only 1 percent of insurance claims were paid in the month following Oklahoma’s largest earthquake on record struck near Pawnee.

The magnitude 5-point-8 temblor centered near Pawnee damaged buildings and injured one person. Of the 274 claims reported to the state Insurance Department, four have been paid, 39 were closed without payment, 17 were denied, two were under investigation and 212 are still open.

A rig hand on a Triad Energy horizontal drilling operation near Alva, Okla. Company CEO Mike McDonald says he likely wouldn't have drilled the well with out a tax break Oklahoma's House Speaker has proposed making permanent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Energy industry experts say Oklahoma’s oil and gas plays could soon become the hottest in the country due to several geological factors that make it a good place for commodities.

A man enters the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the City of Oklahoma City announced hotel/motel tax collections fell for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017, and were down even below the most conservative estimates.

The so-called “tourist tax” was down 5.9 percent compared to FY 16, but 2.7 percent below estimates. The Journal Record’s editor Ted Streuli says the effect was felt city-wide, but the downturn really differs based on geography.

A small group of protestors, who did not want to give their names, stand outside the state Capitol during the first-ever Muslim Day in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Chamber of Commerce officials from Oklahoma's two largest cities told lawmakers Wednesday focusing on social issues can harm economic development in the state.

Tulsa Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Brien Thorstenberg told House and Senate members who gathered for a joint interim study that his organization constantly receives phone calls from businesses about Oklahoma's stance on issues like North Carolina's bathroom bill and Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Heartland Flyer, Amtrak train
meermacatawa / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

On Wednesday, state lawmakers explored the costs and the benefits of passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

State Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, requested the interim study to look at Amtrak's Heartland Flyer line. He's concerned that even though Oklahoma's roughly $3 million annual contribution makes up about 60 percent of the two states' subsidies to the rail service, Texas receives more of an economic benefit.

Provided

State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, plans to file legislation next year that would prohibit terrorist organizations from operating in Oklahoma, but he didn't offer specifics on what that might look like.

The retired U.S. Marine and former police officer led an interim study Tuesday in the House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee to discuss Islam, Shariah Law, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the radicalization process, the study states:

State Rep. Steve Kouplen speaks during an interim legislative study at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A state lawmaker plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to receive a lethal dose of medicine.

State Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, was partially inspired by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who sought help from doctors in Oregon to end her life two years ago.

Kouplen watched that public drama, with a painful memory fresh in his mind, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Attorney Chad Moody specializes in criminal defense cases involving drug charges.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Even though it'll likely be two years before Oklahoma voters can decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana, supporters are already thinking about how to win.

Proponents will start trying to raise at least $500,000 after the presidential election. Chip Paul, the Tulsa-based chairman of Oklahomans for Health, said it could take three times that to make sure enough supporters get to the polls in support of the measure.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Michael Vance, the man wanted for first-degree murder after shooting and killing two people and wounding four others a week ago, has been shot and killed by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

Updated October 31, 6:02 a.m.  

Vance eluded law enforcement for nearly a week after the violent crime spree that started Sunday, October 24.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Vance was spotted Sunday, October 30 near a camp site in the rural community of Hammon.

classroom floor
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma leads the nation in education cuts based on per pupil spending, and those cuts are nearly double those of the next-closest state.

A report out last week by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows Oklahoma's per-pupil funding fell by nearly 27 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2017.

Pages