Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drought Creeps Back Into Oklahoma As Dry Fall Leads to Waterless Winter

Drought is back in Oklahoma. More than half the state now falls in the extreme drought category, and normally water-rich southeast Oklahoma is bearing the brunt of a very dry fall and winter. Tree stumps poke above Atoka Lake’s surface, and it’s easy to see where the water line used to reach. In early 2016, lake levels were high. But now, Atoka is in the bullseye of the worst of Oklahoma’s current drought. Atoka Emergency Manager Derrick Mixon says last week’s snowstorm didn’t help much. “All...

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Even before Barack Obama moved into the White House, he and his team made a choice that made actually selling his policies to the public more difficult.

In December 2008, Obama's economic team gathered in Chicago to map out what would become the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"A dispute, discussion, something breaks out at that meeting. We haven't even come in yet," said Austan Goolsbee, a professor at the University of Chicago, who was a top economic adviser in the early years of the Obama presidency.

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

One day after five people were killed at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., more details are coming to light on the suspected gunman: Esteban Ruiz Santiago, a U.S. military veteran.

The 26-year-old was arrested by police shortly after the shooting began at the airport's baggage claim area. He is now at a Broward County jail, where authorities say he is being held on suspicion of murder. Authorities say there is no indication that Santiago worked with anyone else in planning or executing the attack.

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will — once again — vote to cut off federal tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. They are planning to include the measure as part of a bigger upcoming bill to repeal pillars of Obamacare. This isn't the first time that they have tried to pass this type of legislation — President Obama vetoed a similar bill last January.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

The intelligence report on Russia's interference in the U.S. elections concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" that aimed to help President-elect Donald Trump.

Ellika Henrikson

This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC music critic Matt Carney.

Today, Matt plays new songs by Jens Lekman, Run The Jewels, and Lambchop.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee of an obscure state board that promotes the beef industry, money created by a mandatory government program funded by farmers and ranchers.

Michael Kesler / Flickr

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that’s nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

State taxes on motor fuel haven’t been touched since 1987. There are a lot of similarities between the situation then and what Oklahoma lawmakers now face: An economy shaken by low oil prices and dwindling revenue streams to fund state government.

Republican Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin (@RepMullin) joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the Trump transition, the push to repeal Obamacare and the House GOP’s failed efforts this week to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

Intelligence agency leaders repeated their determination Thursday that only "the senior most officials" in Russia could have authorized recent hacks into Democratic National Committee and Clinton officials' emails during the presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper affirmed an Oct. 7 joint statement from 17 intelligence agencies that the Russian government directed the election interference — and went further.

Jon Mooneyham's 10 Favorite Albums of 2016

Jan 5, 2017

Jon Mooneyham, host of Everything All At Once Forever and Millions Now Listening Will Never Die, shares his 10 favorite albums of 2016, in alphabetical order:

The Belbury Poly - New Ways Out

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.

Stream classical music via our partners at KUCO!

Education News

Betsy DeVos, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, has given millions in campaign contributions to politicians across the country.

Some of that fiscal muscle trickled into Oklahoma during the last election cycle through a pro-school-choice “Super PAC” that, notably, opposed so-called “teachers’ caucus” candidates in many instances. (The caucus arose out of many educators’ frustration over what they view as low education funding levels and teacher pay.)

The Oklahoma State Department of Education will invest $2 million dollars in career development programs over the next three years. This money comes from a grant, funded by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The U.S. economy is projected to produce millions of high-skill, well-paying jobs over the next decade, but more and more kids are graduating from high school unprepared for college or a career.

So JP Morgan Chase is pumping $20 million dollars in to ten states to change that. Oklahoma is one of those states.

ok.gov/sde/superintendent

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking legislators for an increase of $220 million in funding next year, despite a projected budget shortfall.

On Wednesday, Hofmeister made her case for the additional funds—saying they are essential to keep up with a growing student population and increased health care costs. She also says schools desperately need new textbooks, and new teachers need more professional development. 

More Education News
A weekly two-hour show of Oklahoma music, from across the state. The show opens a window of Oklahoma music to the rest of the world.