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.

Ways to Connect

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:

Rural northeast Norman resident Leslie Rard at the end of her 500-foot gravel driveway. It's one of many hard surfaces on her five-acre property the city classifies as "impervious."
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Voters in Norman will decide on a stormwater plan Tuesday that would increase residents’ monthly utility bills. The city says the additional revenue will help deal with runoff created by heavy rainfall and property damage from flooding.

Erielle Reshef reports from an Iron Dome missile defense site in Ashkelon during a 2012 rocket barrage.
Erielle Reshef / Facebook

Editor's Note: This conversation originally aired Sept. 13, 2013.

Between 2010 and 2012, Oklahoma City native Erielle Reshef reported twice from Gaza during instances of cross-border violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

An Edmond Postal employee is consoled following a shooting spree that left 15 people, including the shooter, dead at the Edmond Post Office, Wednesday, August 20, 1986 in Edmond. An additional six people were injured in the shooting.
David Longstreath / AP

Saturday marks 30 years since a disgruntled former employee shot 20 of his colleagues at the U.S. Post Office in Edmond, killing 14.

Three decades later, gun deaths in Oklahoma are still higher than the national average, and University of Oklahoma College of Public Health Dean Gary Raskob told The Journal Record's Sarah Terry-Cobo scientific research should play a role in crafting laws to address gun violence:

The Wheeler Ferris Wheel is shown behind signage at Oklahoma City’s Wheeler District.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council took another step toward creating a tax increment financing, or TIF, district for the Wheeler neighborhood near downtown, just south of the Oklahoma River.

The area on either side of Western Ave. north of SW 20th Street will eventually have housing, offices, retail, and the centerpiece has already gone up - a 100-foot tall Ferris wheel.

SandRidge Energy Inc. facilities superintendent Andy Ferguson, left, opens the valve at one of the company’s shuttered disposal wells on Aug. 10.
Sarah Terry-Cobo / The Journal Record

Two pairs of Logan County residents have dropped legal action against a quartet of Oklahoma energy companies.

Lisa Griggs and April Marler alleged their homes were damaged from earthquakes that were caused by New Dominion and subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, and SandRidge Energy. Brenda Lene and Jon Darryn Lene also say their home was damaged by earthquakes caused by water injection.