Chesapeake Energy's Losses Rattle Oklahoma Economy

The Oklahoma company Chesapeake Energys stock value plummeted Monday. Over the past year, the stock is down more than 90 percent.Chesapeake is the second-largest natural gas extractor in the U.S. and a major employer in Oklahoma. Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson talks with Brian Hardzinski of KGOU in Oklahoma City about how Chesapeake Energys struggles are affecting Oklahomas economy.Guest Brian Hardzinski, digital news editor and Morning Edition host at KGOU. He tweets @brianhardzinski. Copyright 2...
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Weeknights with Ferris

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

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality just added eight lakes to its fish consumption advisory, which now includes 40 lakes in total. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the fish aren’t safe to eat. Just try not to eat too much.

Gov. Mary Fallin is preparing to deliver her sixth State of the State address to Oklahoma legislators, outlining her priorities for a state that is reeling from a downturn in the oil and gas industry.

The second-term Republican is expected to deliver her remarks about 12:45 p.m. Monday to a joint meeting of the House and Senate as the Legislature convenes its 2016 session. Fallin also will release her proposed balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, including how she will fill a $900 million hole. That is about a 13 percent reduction from last year's spending.

Headlines for Monday, February 1, 2016:

  • The new legislative session officially begins with the State of the State Address. (Tulsa World)

  • Breaking down State of the State Addresses of the past. (Tulsa World)

Allison Herrera

Soldiers returning from battle face special challenges. Thousands suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and their care can be more involved and long-term. The nation’s VA hospitals, although under recent scrutiny, will care for more than a million of the nation’s soldiers.

 

But, the nation’s Native American veterans face a set of extra challenges after fighting on the front lines.

 

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Oklahoma’s new English Language Arts and Math standards are finally complete, and have been approved by the State Board of Education. They now await the legislature’s approval. 

The Department of Education was tasked with creating new math and English standards after the Oklahoma legislature repealed the Common Core curriculum in 2014.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the upcoming legislative session including any possible predictions, a proposal to give $10,000 raises to teachers and an initiative to put criminal justice reform on the ballot this November.

Headlines for Friday, January 29, 2016:

  • New money is going to earthquake research. (Journal Record)
     
  • The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is considering extra charges against solar energy users. (NewsOK)

  • Oklahoma oilman looks optimistically at 2016. (NewsOK)

Happy times are here again at the gas pump. The price of oil keeps falling, and Americans are filling their tanks for less than $2 a gallon. The government says cheaper gasoline put an extra $100 billion into drivers' wallets last year alone.

That seems like it would be good for the economy. Turns out, it might not be.

"Is it possible that lower oil prices could actually hurt the U.S. economy?" asks Vipin Arora, an economist with the U.S. Energy Information Administration. "I think the answer could be yes."

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday approved the transfer of nearly $1.4 million from the state emergency fund to strengthen Oklahoma’s earthquake response.

The money is going to a pair of agencies tasked with researching the earthquake surge and regulating the oil and gas activities likely causing it.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Water contaminated by algae blooms or choked by sediment and pollutants kills wildlife and isn’t healthy for humans. It’s up to the state to make sure Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are safe, but budget cuts are threatening that mission, officials say.

WATER FUNDING ROLLER COASTER

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Education News

Lawmakers filed hundreds of education bills this session, seeking solutions to teacher pay, testing, and school funding in general. Here is a list of more than 30 bills that KOSU will be following closely this legislative session.

BILLS CONCERNING EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Oklahoma’s new English Language Arts and Math standards are finally complete, and have been approved by the State Board of Education. They now await the legislature’s approval. 

The Department of Education was tasked with creating new math and English standards after the Oklahoma legislature repealed the Common Core curriculum in 2014.

Oklahoma Senator David Holt is proposing $10,000 teacher pay raises over the next few years. And Holt says this can be done without raising taxes. 

His plan is three pronged. School districts would be consolidated and excess money would go to teacher pay. All revenue growth after fiscal year 2017 would go directly to raises, and the the state would find another $200 million by reforming tax credits.

Holt said legislators have a moral obligation to raise pay, and help solve the teacher shortage.

More Education News

KOSU Program

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.

Political News

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the State of the State Address from Governor Fallin, a plan to increase cigarette taxes by $1.50 per pack and bills to eliminate, reduce or put a moratorium on tax credits.

The trio also discuss Senator James Lankford's plan to eliminate federal tax credits on wind energy and the Iowa Caucus results with less than a month before Oklahoma's Presidential Primary on Super Tuesday.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his White House campaign on Wednesday and threw his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

"We are suspending our campaign as of this moment," Santorum said on Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

Santorum said that after much prayer, he had decided that he was suspending his campaign. After talking to Rubio for more than an hour on Tuesday, Santorum said, he decided to back him, calling him the best person to continue the message of fighting ISIS and defending "the central role of the family."

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is suspending his campaign for president after a disappointing finish in Iowa, turning his focus now to his Senate re-election bid.

"Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I," the Republican said in a statement.

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