KGOU

Nomin Ujiyediin

KGOU Digital News Editor

Nomin Ujiyediin is a recent alum of the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and a graduate of Rutgers University.  She has worked at NPR’s Latino USA and WNYC in Manhattan.  When she’s not working, she’s often at the gym, behind the lens of a camera or at the movie theater.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @NominUJ.

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Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

A crowd of thousands filled the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Park on Saturday for the Cowboys of Color Rodeo.

Founded by Cleo Hearns, the rodeo has also been held in Tulsa, Okla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Dallas, Texas; and other cities.  It comes to Oklahoma City once a year.  Competitive events include calf roping, bull riding and relay races.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned onThursday night, ending its yearly session three weeks before the constitutional deadline on May 25.  

After two special sessions left over from last year’s budget woes, a teacher protest that lasted almost two weeks and more than a year of struggling to find funds for state services, lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion dollar state budget in April, the largest in state history.  Here’s a few more of state lawmakers’ accomplishments this year.

 

Teacher Pay Raise:

John Minchillo / AP Images

Oklahomans may no longer need to worry they might be breaking the law by posting a selfie with their ballot on Instagram on Election Day.

 

The state Senate has passed House Bill 3053, allowing voters to photograph both in-person and absentee ballots and post them on social media, as long as they don’t break any other laws by doing so. The House of Representatives passed the bill in February. It now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for more ways to raise revenue as spring break begins and a teacher walkout looms on the horizon.

Storme Jones / KGOU

More than 400 students at Norman High School walked out of class to protest gun violence on Wednesday morning, joining thousands of young protesters from across the country, one month after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Thomas Kienzle / AP Images

Decimal point errors, switching the numerator and denominator in fractions, or even just plain typos—scientists aren’t immune to these mistakes when publishing their research. Oklahoma scientist Jonathan Wren is trying to fix that.

 


Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

In December 2017, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced it would be laying off 161 staff members on March 3. Eleven staffers have since quit or retired, leaving 150 people who lost their jobs at the end of the day on Friday, according to an OSDH spokesman.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

The Oklahoma House of Representatives announced on Tuesday that it will choose one chaplain to lead its daily invocations for the rest of the legislative session.  

ChickHS / Wikimedia Commons

The Grady County Election Board has certified a petition from residents of Chickasha, asking the state auditor and inspector to investigate the finances of the local school district.

The board confirmed that it validated and certified the signatures of 1,223 registered voters on Friday.  

StickWare / Flickr

The primary election for mayor of Oklahoma City will be held on Feb. 13. Candidates David Holt, Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith are on the ballot.

All Oklahoma City voters registered by Jan.19 are eligible to vote.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her final State of the State address at the Oklahoma Capitol on Feb. 6, 2018.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Gov. Mary Fallin: Thank you very much. Lieutenant Gov. Lamb, statewide elected officials, Speaker [Charles] McCall, President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, members of the court, honorable senators and representatives, cabinet members, statewide elected officials, and our tribal leaders that have joined us here today, and most of all, the great citizens of Oklahoma – welcome. It’s good-- to have you all here.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP

A prosecutor who negotiated a plea deal for a man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl has resigned.  

 

Murray County Assistant District Attorney David Pyle stepped down Wednesday afternoon, according to a release from the Carter County District Attorney’s office.

 

Rep. Greg Walden via AP

Four members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation were on an Amtrak train that crashed into a garbage truck in Crozet, Va. on Wednesday morning.  None were injured.

 

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

It’s hard to tell when this year’s flu season will end, but a vaccine remains the best way to prevent the virus, according to a panel of University of Oklahoma medical experts.

“I think the one predictable thing about influenza season is that it will be unpredictable.  Every year is different,” said Dr. Cynthia McCloskey, director of microbiology and virology laboratories at OU Medical Center, at a news conference on Wednesday.

Kids from a local youth organization laugh and splash in cold, spring-fed pools at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The offices of most federal agencies in Oklahoma could be affected by a potential government shutdown, if the U.S. Senate fails to move past a deadlock on a funding bill.

OKC Bike Rack Map

Since his car was totaled a month ago, Jake Fisher has walked to his job in digital marketing in downtown Oklahoma City. It helps that he lives and works in the same neighborhood.  

“I like to know I’m not overusing resources,” he said. “If I could walk 20 minutes, versus driving two minutes, I would choose walking.”

Fisher has considered buying a bicycle, but didn’t know where he could park it safely downtown.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

2017 was a whirlwind year for news all over the world, and Oklahoma was no exception.  Between two special legislative sessions, politicians accused and convicted of sexual misconduct, and investigations into rehab work camps, KGOU and our news partners rarely got a break.  Here's a look back at our top local stories of the year, featuring contributions from the Journal Record, Oklahoma Watch, StateImpact Oklahoma and Reveal and KGOU.

Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

In anticipation of a Norman City Council vote to rename a street named after a deceased Ku Klux Klan member, a city councilwoman says she’ll cover the costs of the renaming herself.

Ward 6 Councilwoman Breea Clark is planning to start a GoFundMe to pay for administrative fees associated with renaming DeBarr Avenue, as well as new street signs. She also hopes to pay for other costs, like updating residents’ driver’s licenses, legal documents and checkbooks, if she raises enough funds.

The Santa Fe Station was built in 1934. It served passenger trains until 1979, and then again from 1999 to the present.
Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

Kaye Burlison remembers what the Santa Fe train station looked like in her youth: rusted metal canopies that stained the building’s limestone exterior, and windows fogged up from the uneven temperature control inside.  

“It was rust-colored instead of cream, so it was definitely in disrepair, ” Burlison said.

Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

Siddhesh Wagh wants to get married, but he’s worried federal tax reform will get in the way. The fifth-year doctoral student in the math department at the University of Oklahoma makes about $16,000 in exchange for ten months of teaching a year. It’s enough to get by, but saving is still a struggle, even with the university waiving about $12,000 of his tuition costs.

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