Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Budget Hole Jumps to $1.3 Billion Amid Downturn

Oklahoma finance officials say the hole in next year's budget has increased to $1.3 billion, or nearly 20 percent of last year's spending, amid depressed oil prices. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced Thursday that plunging revenue collections have widened the shortfall from the original projection of $900 million in December. A state panel led by Gov. Mary Fallin will meet next week to certify how much legislators can spend in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Falli...
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Headlines for Thursday, February 4, 2016:

  • A struggling Oklahoma City energy company announces more job cuts. (NewsOK)

  • A new initiative petition would allow grocery stores to carry cold, strong beer and wine. (Tulsa World)

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."

Previously, on Serial ...

"All this time I thought the courts proved it was Adnan that killed her. I thought he was where he deserved to be. Now I'm not so sure."

That's an email from Asia McLean to host Sarah Koenig, as read on the very first episode of Serial, the podcast sensation produced by the creators of This American Life.

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.

Allison Herrera

Cherokee basketmaker Shan Goshorn doesn’t head out into the woods gathering white oak or other natural materials for her work like traditional basketmakers would. Instead, the archives of museums like the Gilcrease Museum or the National Museum of the American Indian are her source materials.

Headlines for Wednesday, February 3, 2016:

facebook.com/okczoobg

A Seattle-based advocacy group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the recent death of an Asian elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The elephant, named Chai, was transferred from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo to the Oklahoma facility eight months ago, along with another elephant, named Bamboo. Zookeepers found Chai dead in the elephant yard Saturday morning.

We asked 10 KOSU and Spy hosts to share the one song they've been digging over the past month or so. Below, you'll find new music from David Bowie, Future, Suede, Quilt, and more.

Suede - "Night Thoughts"

Last night, the rest of America got to see what we've known here in Oklahoma for years: John Moreland will move you.

The Tulsa musician's powerful lyrics, skillful fingerpicking, and gravelly vocal delivery collectively have the ability to turn you into a puddle of tears. And, you'll come running back for more.

Rolling Stone called it "an emotionally riveting performance."

Headlines for Tuesday, February 1, 2016:

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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 about Governor Fallin's call to protect some corporate tax credits, the general revenue took another hit falling $105M below the estimate in January and just two weeks into the 2016 legislative session there have already been some surprises.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

On Wednesday, three House bills I'm keeping an eye on managed to get through committees. Here's a brief summary of what these bills entail and what happened:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has suspended his campaign for president.

"And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed — that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation," said Christie in a post on Facebook.

The decision comes after a sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, where Christie had banked so much of his political capital.

More News

Weeknights with Ferris

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