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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Upupa4me / Flickr Creative Commons

A House committee rejected a proposal Tuesday to increase Oklahoma's fuel taxes by three percent.

The House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 14-to-9 against the bill that would've raised gasoline taxes from 17 to 20 cents per gallon and from 14 to 17 cents for diesel. Supporters like House Budget Committee chairman Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, say the increase would free revenue used to pay for road and bridge construction.

“It's $86 million that would help us,” Sears said. “I like using this word: A 'safe landing' of our state budget."

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 will end classes two days early this year. The final day for students will be Wednesday, May 25.

Updated 8:31 a.m.

The Board of Education voted 4-2 during a Wednesday breakfast meeting at the Faculty House in Oklahoma City to end the school year two days early as part of a cost-saving measure.

State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma House rejected a proposed $1.50 per-pack tax on cigarettes to help shore up the state's health care system.

Updated May 19, 10:36 a.m.

House Bill 3210 failed on a vote of 59-40 against the measure even after House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, held the vote open for more than two hours Wednesday night to fix what he called a “health care disaster.” Republicans blaming Democrats for the bill's failure.

The sun glistens off a cross at a makeshift memorial outside Plaza Towers Elementary School which was destroyed by a tornado nearly a week ago Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Monday's huge tornado destroyed the school killing seven students.
Charlie Riedel / AP

A week ago more than half-a-dozen tornadoes struck Oklahoma. Two people were killed in southern Oklahoma, and the EF4 tornado in Wynnewood near Interstate 35 is actually the strongest twister on record in this state in three years.

SandRidge Energy
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy has formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company announced  a prearranged restructuring plan Monday morning that was endorsed by a majority of its lenders and bondholders. SandRidge will swap $3.7 billion for stock in the reorganized company. 

Tim Marshall assists National Weather Service survey teams southeast of Wynnewood, just east of Interstate 35.
Todd Lindley / Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Four stories that were trending or generated discussion online or on KGOU’s social media platforms during the past week.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss new London mayor Sadiq Khan, and Germany's decision to rescind the conviction of 50,000 Germans convicted of homosexuality between 1949 and 1969.

Then, Suzette talks with anthropologist Laura Graham and filmmaker David Hernández-Palmar about their work with indigenous populations in South America.

David Hernández-Palmar

When anthropologist Laura Graham was working on her graduate research with the Xavante people in Brazil during the 1990s, she encountered a Catholic priest who inadvertently showed her the power of media.

“He came to the community, and he brought film of Xavante that had been filmed in another area,” Graham said. “And they were so excited to see this film. But he said, ‘You can watch this film after you watch a film of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection.’ So it was this kind of bribe. And that made a big impression on me.”

The Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, right, and Holocaust survivor Rudolf Brazda, left, talk in front of a memorial for homosexual victims persecuted by the Nazi regime in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 27, 2008.
Michael Sohn / AP

This week Germany rescinded about 50,000 convictions for homosexual behavior that occurred between 1949 and 1969. 

The law in question was actually repealed in 1994, but those convictions were never taken off the books, so this move marks a step toward demonstrating the country’s acceptance of sexual orientation.

Rebecca Cruise, the assistant dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says timing becomes an issue 50-70 years later.

Then-candidate Sadiq Khan during a protest in Parliament Square against expansion at London's Heathrow Airport, October 10, 2015.
steven.eason / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan formally took office Sunday. He’s the first Muslim mayor of London, and comes from a humble background. Born in England, he’s the son of Pakistani immigrants – his mother worked as a seamstress, and his father drove a bus.

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