Brian Hardzinski / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Oil Billionaire Shaping Donald Trump's Bid to Win on Energy Issues

Donald Trump is wooing energy-state voters by promising a presidency that will champion coal, promote drilling and free frackers from federal regulations limiting oil and gas development. If the Republican candidate’s energy platform sounds like it was written specifically for fossil fuel companies, that’s because an Oklahoma oil billionaire helped craft it. Trump delivered his first major speech on U.S. energy policy at a petroleum conference in the capital city of one the country’s most oil...
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The lineup for November’s general election ballot will be settled after candidates in one congressional and 13 legislative races face off Tuesday.

The run-off elections will feature the top two vote earners from the June primaries in races where no candidate received at least 50 percent of the votes.  

Districts in much of the state won’t vote because their legislative and congressional match-ups for the general election have already been set.

Here are five things to keep in mind about Tuesday’s elections:

Republican Races Dominate

Emily Wendler / KOSU

A new statewide survey found that at least 2,800 public school jobs have been lost to budget cuts this year.

The survey, conducted by The Oklahoma State School Board Association, showed that 1,500 of those jobs lost were teaching positions and 1,300 were support staff.

The OSSBA conducted the survey during the first two weeks of August. Districts representing about 83 percent of the state’s public school enrollment participated.

Other survey results show:

twitter.com/GovMaryFallin

Every Oklahoma motorist will pay an additional $5 beginning later this month for a new license plate that features the outline of the state bird - a scissortail flycatcher - on a blue background.

Gov. Mary Fallin unveiled the new license plate during a press conference with state officials on Monday. The new plates cost the state about $2.05 to produce. Most of the additional revenue will go into a newly created State Public Safety Fund that will be available for the Legislature to spend to "support public safety" in the state.

facebook.com/SpokiesOKC

Oklahoma City’s bike sharing program, Spokies OKC announces new upgrades to its bicycle sharing experience.

Program Manager Jeanne Smith says cyclists in last week’s Full Moon Bike Ride at the Myriad Gardens got a chance to view the new bicycles.

"The new bikes are more durable than the previous bikes. They also have GPS, so that we can locate the bikes."

The $304,000 in upgrades include new bike seats which are easier to adjust, front and rear hand brakes, and splash guards for a cleaner ride.

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.

Headlines for Monday, August 22, 2016:

  • Voters across the state are deciding runoff elections for their party candidates. (NewsOK)

  • Central Oklahoma voters are deciding on a variety of issues tomorrow. (NewsOK)

Oklahomans are voting in a variety of issues tomorrow including 13 state legislative runoffs and a runoff between Democratic candidates in Congressional District Five.

KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax about what people need to know for the elections.

You can get more information at the State Election Board Website.

In 1998 Oklahoma became one of only two states to offer universal preschool, and it's been one of the most closely watched experiments in the country.

Today, the vast majority of these programs are in public schools. The rest are run by child-care centers or Head Start, the federally funded early-childhood education program.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

After five years of confidential negotiations, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations have reached an agreement with the State of Oklahoma over water in southeast Oklahoma.

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

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Programming Changes Coming to KOSU

KOSU is continuing its 60th year of radio broadcasting in 2016, and I am proud to have been part of this station for more than a third of that time. As station director during past nine years, I have been privileged to stand alongside a great team of public radio professionals and listener financial partners to preserve and grow KOSU’s media services. Together, we expanded KOSU’s weekday national news programming, strengthened local news content through collaborations such as StateImpact and...
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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.

Education News

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Oklahoma City Public School Board members approved a $180 million dollar bond proposal at a special board meeting on Tuesday. The bond will not increase taxes, and instead extends a bond that is set to expire.

Superintendent Aurora Lora said Oklahoma City Public Schools has dire basic needs throughout the district, and the new bond will address transportation, technology, and building maintenance issues.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

A new statewide survey found that at least 2,800 public school jobs have been lost to budget cuts this year.

The survey, conducted by The Oklahoma State School Board Association, showed that 1,500 of those jobs lost were teaching positions and 1,300 were support staff.

The OSSBA conducted the survey during the first two weeks of August. Districts representing about 83 percent of the state’s public school enrollment participated.

Other survey results show:

In 1998 Oklahoma became one of only two states to offer universal preschool, and it's been one of the most closely watched experiments in the country.

Today, the vast majority of these programs are in public schools. The rest are run by child-care centers or Head Start, the federally funded early-childhood education program.

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.

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Hear Ferris O'Brien every weeknight, from 9 p.m. to midnight, on The Spy.