How The NRA Uses Its Political Clout: An Early Lesson In Oklahoma

There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection. But that seems a long time ago. It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy. It's a transition that took place over...

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Headlines for Wednesday, October 4, 2017:

  • Oklahoma woman shot in Las Vegas Massacre recovering in the hospital. (NewsOK)

  • First responders get training in Oklahoma. (Journal Record)

  • State House leaders are telling GOP members to get ready to return to the Capitol Monday. (NewsOK)

Homeless In College: Five Students, Five Stories

Oct 4, 2017
Victor A. Pozadas

Earlier this year, 12 journalism students at Oklahoma City Community College were tasked with writing about the life of homeless college students in the Oklahoma City area. Below, hear our interview with some of those reporters and read their final story.

One turned to crime.

A second quit college.

The third moves from place to place.

The fourth is trying to help.

And the fifth has built a better life.

Five different people with a unique story and a common thread; each has struggled to attend college while being homeless.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 6:55 a.m. ET Tuesday

Less than 24 hours after the massacre at an open-air country music concert in Las Vegas, authorities are still piecing together what shooter Stephen Paddock did in preparation for his deadly shooting rampage that left 59 people dead and 527 others injured.

There is still a lot they don't know about what motivated Paddock, described by officials as a "lone wolf," to launch the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Headlines for Tuesday, October 3, 2017:

  • State budget negotiators say they are "circling" an agreement. (NewsOK)

  • State budget cuts force transportation officials to remove projects from future plans. (NewsOK)

Updated on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. ET

Keith Gaddie has "hung up his spurs."

The election expert from the University of Oklahoma no longer helps state legislatures draw new district lines to maximize their partisan advantage.

He was still wearing those spurs in 2011 when he provided data that helped Wisconsin Republicans enact a legislative redistricting plan aimed at maximizing their power for the foreseeable future.

But now he has reversed course and filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the practice is undemocratic.

Hospitals across the Las Vegas area were inundated Sunday evening when hundreds of people injured in the mass shooting at a country music festival on the Strip arrived at their doors by ambulances and private car.

And hundreds of doctors, nurses, and support personnel were called into work to help handle the patients that were lined up in ambulance bays and hallways, officials say.

The investigation into the Las Vegas shooting is still in the early stages, yet there already is a familiar debate about whether to call it an act of "domestic terrorism."

"It was an act of pure evil," President Trump said — but the president and law enforcement officials have refrained from calling it terrorism.

Several members of Congress, from both parties, did describe the attack as terrorism, including Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee.

Two key questions crop up every time this debate takes place.

First, what was the attacker's motive?

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET, Oct. 3

Facebook said on Monday it has given Congress thousands of ads linked with Russian influence operations in the United States and is tightening its policies to make such interference more difficult.

"Many [of the ads] appear to amplify racial and social divisions," it said.

The social media giant confirmed that it discovered the ad sales earlier this year and gave copies to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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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

We're doing things by the numbers this week in our weekly roundup of all things education.

167 of 1,113 public schools in Puerto Rico are open

Soon-to-be-released statewide test scores are expected to be much lower than they were in the past, but top education officials say the drop is due to a more difficult grading system, not poor-performing students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the state has a new way of measuring student proficiency.

“This has been a time of recalibrating,” she said in an interview after a press conference held with reporters to explain the declining scores.

 

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Polls suggest this is one of the the most politically divided moments in American history. There are now tip sheets on how to survive Thanksgiving without disowning your family, and the comment sections of online news articles are full of vitriol.

Schools are not immune to the tension, but not everyone thinks that’s a bad thing.

More Education News
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