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.

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classroom floor
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Figures released Tuesday by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association show about $370 million would go toward teacher recruitment and retention if voters approve State Question 779 this fall.

Supporters say the 1 percent sales tax proposal would generate $615 million per year for common and higher education. Part of that money would be used for a $5,000 teacher pay raise.

laptop with Oklahoma State Election Board website
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma election officials aren’t worried about a security breach after Yahoo! News broke a story indicating foreign hackers tapped into Arizona and Illinois online voter registration systems this summer.

The State Election Board says it hasn’t been contacted by the federal government about security issues after the FBI raised concerns about the security of state election systems. The FBI’s Cyber Division issued a “flash” alert saying hackers could disrupt November’s elections.

Nico Gomez, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

The CEO of the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority plans to step down at the end of September.

Nico Gomez, who has led the authority for the past three-and-a-half years, submitted his letter of resignation to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board, according an announcement released on Monday. He plans to pursue work in the private sector, following 20 years of public service. He has worked for the OHCA for 16 years.

Updated August 31, 9:23 a.m.

Two policy analysts say it could be a tall order to find a replacement for Gomez.

Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education, District 6.
Oklahoma City Public Schools

The president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Federation of Teachers is calling on an Oklahoma City Public School Board member to temporarily resign.

During Monday night's OKCPS board meeting, Ed Allen said Gloria Torres should step down over accusations she may have been involved in enrollment fraud at Oklahoma City Community College.

“I think it is appropriate – if any board member is under investigation for criminal conduct – that board member should not participate in any board activity until cleared by the investigation," Allen said.

Jamie Gerrard and Michael Ling prepare blood samples for testing at Oklahoma Blood Institute in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

New federal recommendations could have a ripple effect on blood donation centers across the country. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday all blood donation centers should test for the Zika virus.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is one of many donation centers changing its testing practices to screen for the pathogen.

Oklahoma has until mid-November to get new testing procedures in place, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

Willy Jones, one of the area organizers for Oklahomans for Health, holds a sign in support of medical marijuana during a petition drive outside a vapor shop in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 3, 2014.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

It looks much less likely a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma will appear on the ballot this fall.

Workers construct new homes at 12th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

National figures out this week from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed sales of new single-family homes rose more than 12 percent between June and July.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units is the highest since October 2007 -  right around the time the housing bubble burst. But home construction is showing in the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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

Oklahoma voters now have clarity about candidates for all state legislative races following yesterday’s primary runoff elections.

Air force veteran Adam Pugh defeated pastor and retired professional football player Paul Blair in the runoff contest for state Senate seat 41, which includes Edmond. The seat is currently held by term-limited state Sen. Clark Jolley, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Former state Sen. Al McAffrey (left center) poses with his partner, David Stinson, and other supporters as they take a group photo during his August 23, 2016 night watch party for run-off election in the Democratic race for the 5th Congressional District.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Voters across Oklahoma headed to the polls Tuesday to decide which Democratic candidate would represent the 5th Congressional District in this fall’s general election. There were also just over a dozen state legislative nominations up for grabs, as well as local and municipal propositions.

Updated 9:32 p.m.

Former Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey will get another crack at Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell this fall in a rematch of the 2014 general election for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

Customers enter a Dillard’s department store inside Sooner Mall in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma's highest court is preparing to decide one of the biggest workers’ compensation cases in years.

The state Supreme Court could invalidate or uphold part of an Oklahoma law that lets dozens of companies write their own workers' comp policies. The legal dispute started when clothing retailer Dillard’s denied an employee’s comp claim, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

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