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Governor Stitt Opposes Rule Under Clean Water Act Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt is among 25 Republican state governors who signed a letter to President Joe Biden opposing a new rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate pollution in what it calls “the waters of the Un…
 
Oklahoma public utilities respond to winter weather Oklahoma City street crews are working around the clock to keep roads in good condition during this wintry weather. The city has about 100 people working to treat the roads. Drivers are advised to keep a safe distance from plows and salt trucks and be prepared with a plan in case they get in their…
 
Martha Kramer holding a picture of herself and her father(Rachel Hopkin / KGOU ) For years, an audio phenomenon baffled and infuriated users of Citizen Band Radio’s Channel 19 – also known as the “Truckers’ Channel” – in the Oklahoma area and beyond. It was How Curious Listener Alex Lanphere who brought this to KGOU’s attention. He used to hear it …
 
Multiple rounds of winter weather expected this week This week Oklahomans are preparing for more winter weather. Meteorologist Ryan Bunker with the National Weather Service in Norman says a mix of precipitation will be possible through early Thursday "This is going to be mainly freezing rain and sleet with this event. Northern Oklahoma may experien…
 
Education Budget Newly elected State Superintendent Ryan Walters stumped legislators earlier this week when he said he planned to change the already-approved education budget proposal. Walters’ first state school board meeting as superintendent Thursday began with familiar refrains. "We will ensure that indoctrination and CRT are eliminated in our …
 
Sports Betting Oklahoma lawmakers are set to take up a new bill to legalize sports betting. Matt Morgan chairs the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. He says the state’s tribes all have varied levels of interest in sports betting. "But because of the uniqueness of their operations and their markets and you know how those proposals are set forth, t…
 
As more news emerges about embezzlement schemes at Epic Charter Schools, it might be difficult to keep up with the saga. That’s why StateImpact’s Beth Wallis asked Oklahoman newspaper reporter Nuria Martinez-Keel to get us up-to-speed on the last decade of Epic’s scandals. Martinez-Keel covers education at The Oklahoman and has been with the public…
 
New Execution Dates A ruling from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has pushed back the state’s next seven execution dates Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s request to increase the time between the next seven scheduled executions to allow Department of Corrections personnel more time to prepare and train has been granted by the Oklahoma Cour…
 
State Park Bills A state senator has filed multiple pieces of legislation related to Oklahoma’s State Parks. Republican Sen. George Burns filed Senate Bill 673 which addresses entrance fees to state parks. The bill states that entrance fees could only be charged for travel trailers and recreational vehicles and could not exceed $8. Burns says reduc…
 
A photograph from the early 20th century of the building Kendall's now occupies Kendall’s Restaurant has been a fixture of downtown Noble, Oklahoma, since the mid 1980s, and for most of its existence, Kim Lock and Dee Downer have been co-owners. The place is well known for its comfort food menu – including massive chicken fried steaks and wonderful…
 
Winter Weather Expected Tuesday Morning A cold front is making its way across Oklahoma Tuesday and could lead to dangerous travel conditions. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory in effect until Wednesday morning. The agency is expecting wet snow and total accumulations of 1 to 4 inches in parts of Oklahoma. Meteorologists …
 
Court rules Kickapoo Reservation was disestablished The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals says the historic Kickapoo Reservation was disestablished. According to the Associated Press, the court’s decision involves the case of a Seminole citizens challenging his state conviction on four counts of lewd acts with a child. The ruling agrees with a low…
 
The Oklahoma Senate unveils legislative plan for education; includes teacher raises, charter school board revamp In a Wednesday press conference, Republican Sen. Adam Pugh — who also chairs the Education Committee — unveiled his plan for education reform during the upcoming legislative session. The 14 proposals focus on a variety of areas: attracti…
 
In 2013, Tulsans accounted for only about 13 percent of the state’s methamphetamine treatment admissions. In 2020, that figure climbed to one-third of the state’s admissions. That year, local nonprofits, treatment centers, law enforcement and government officials announced a collaborative, community-based initiative to help Tulsans find access to r…
 
Gov. Stitt creates Task Force to address workforce challenges Gov. Kevin Stitt has created a Task Force to address state workforce challenges. Stitt signed an executive order Tuesday to form the Workforce Transformation Task Force. The group will make recommendations on how the state can consolidate its workforce development practices in order to h…
 
OTA lawsuits update Last month, the OTA was found in violation of the state’s Open Meeting Act because of vague wording in its meeting agendas that authorized contracts for the controversial ACCESS Oklahoma project. Now, the fallout from that lawsuit has led to the agency getting sued — again. The new lawsuit claims the OTA didn’t properly remedy i…
 
Arkansas River dam Two Oklahoma cities and a tribal government have officially agreed to create a lake in the Arkansas River. The mayors of Tulsa and Jenks joined Muscogee Principal Chief David Hill on Thursday in a formal agreement to build a dam in the Arkansas River. The dam will create a lake in the river from 101st to 71st streets in Tulsa. Th…
 
Oklahoma carries out first execution of 2023 Oklahoma has executed its first death row inmate this year. Scott Eizember was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 10:15 a.m. Thursday morning. He is the eighth death row inmate to be killed since the state resumed capital punishment in October 2021 after a six-year moratorium. Eizember was convicted …
 
Oklahoma’s teacher shortage led to a record-breaking 3,780 emergency teaching certifications issued in 2022. From 2001-2018, Oklahoma’s enrollment in university education programs dropped by 80%. As the state's schools struggle to fill classrooms with teachers holding standard teaching certificates, provisionally certified teachers have had to step…
 
Trans Health Bills Lawmakers have already filed two bills that aim to criminalize gender-affirming care in Oklahoma. Before bill filing started, Representative Jim Olsen pledged to file legislation banning the care for anyone under 21. House Bill 1011 would do just that, and like the state’s abortion ban, it threatens providers who perform the proc…
 
Ukrainians to start training on Patriot Missile System at Fort Sill At the end of last year, the US announced it would send a patriot missile defense system to Ukraine for the first time, to aid in its war against Russia. 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being trained to operate the system at Fort Sill. The Patriot Missile Defense System was first deploy…
 
2022 Gross Receipts Overview Oklahoma’s economy reached new heights in 2022. State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced Oklahoma had record-high gross receipts during 2022. 12-month gross receipts set a new all-time high of $17.4 billion dollars. That means revenues from taxes grew by almost 15 percent, indicating a booming economy. The state’s top f…
 
1775 Pushback 2021’s legislative session produced House Bill 1775, which prohibits a range of discussions in the classroom on race and sex. One former educator-turned-lawmaker is introducing his own bill to strike 1775 down. Norman Democratic Representative Jacob Rosecrants filed House Bill 1013, or the “Restoration of Sanity in Education Act.” Two…
 
Waters of the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a change to the Waters of the United States rule.Some Oklahoma officials have been critical of the revision. The rule spells out where the federal government can apply Clean Water Act regulations. In 2015, the EPA put out a rule saying any wetlands or w…
 
Turnpike Update The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority corrected Open Meeting Act violations Tuesday by re-voting on design contracts for its $5 billion ACCESS Oklahoma turnpike program. Demonstrators rallied outside before the meeting began. Last month, the Cleveland County District Court found the OTA had violated the state’s Open Meeting Act by using v…
 
State data released this year showed half of the teens who participated in an annual survey checked yes on the traditional depression symptom of feeling so sad or hopeless for two weeks in a row that they lost interest in usual activities. It found that in 2021, nearly one in four respondents had contemplated suicide in the past year. Among girls, …
 
Billion-dollar lawsuits and prestige television shows have made the opioid epidemic impossible to overlook. But it is far from the only drug epidemic the country — and Oklahoma — are facing. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription drugs as well as illicit forms of fentanyl, have increased over the past few years, likely because of stru…
 
Heavy rains in May 2019 revealed major disparities in flood protections across Oklahoma. While residents in Tulsa benefitted from decades of flood preparations, smaller communities lack the infrastructure and resources to keep the waters at bay. In the second of a two-part series with OPMX’s Graycen Wheeler, StateImpact’s Beth Wallis reports on how…
 
As climate change continues to raise the stakes of severe flooding events, some Oklahoma communities are prepared to weather the storm, and some aren’t. During the extreme flooding of May 2019, communities were put to the test. In the first of a two-part series in partnership with StateImpact’s Beth Wallis, OPMX’s Graycen Wheeler reports on how two…
 
Leading up to the midterms, throngs of teachers and education advocates rallied around democratic candidates for governor and superintendent. But after the ticket went to Gov. Kevin Stitt and Education Secretary Ryan Walters, some of those teachers are thinking about leaving the state altogether. Jami Jackson-Cole is a fifth grade teacher at Duncan…
 
The governor's race has had plenty of hyper-partisan debates, but one major issue falls away from party politics. Gov. Kevin Stitt wants to fundamentally alter the state's Medicaid program. His plan would bring in private-sector insurance companies to manage the no-cost health insurance that covers 1.3 million Oklahomans. The gubernatorial election…
 
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