Anxiety About Teacher Pay Raises Grows As Tax Repeal Effort Builds and Legal Questions Mount

When the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 1010xx in March, it was the first time lawmakers had increased state taxes in 28 years. Both the House and the Senate applauded themselves. The governor acted swiftly to sign the bill, and at first, it seemed like a reason for school leaders to celebrate. They had been begging lawmakers to increase teacher pay for years, and it finally happened. But the excitement quickly faded. Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite, a group backed by former Republican U.S....

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'Is This What I Want to Be Doing For The Rest of My Life?': Changing Careers To Fight Homelessness

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Oklahoma City in early 2018, and we're bringing you some of the stories that were recorded here. Locally recorded stories will air Wednesdays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KOSU. On April 19, 1995, Dan Straughan went to work at the Federal Reserve Bank in Oklahoma City, just across from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. He wasn’t a victim of the bombing, but that day, the impact, changed his life forever. He came to the StoryCorps...

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Could Deep, Previously Unmapped Faults Be a Source of Oklahoma's Earthquake Uptick?

Previously unmapped faults in Oklahoma could be contributing to an intense uptick in earthquakes triggered by oil-field wastewater disposal, a new study suggests. Scientists have linked thousands of earthquakes to the energy industry practice of pumping oil-field waste fluid into underground disposal wells in recent years, but t he new research helps explain why much of the shaking doesn’t line up with maps of known faults, most of which detail fault formations within a mile of the surface. ...

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Chesapeake Energy CEO In Hot Seat Today

Jun 8, 2012

The NBA finals aren't the only big news in Oklahoma City.

This morning, shareholders of Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller at the center of the nation's hydraulic fracturing controversies, are meeting in Oklahoma City, where the company is headquartered. But the buzz at this gathering won't be about fracking or basketball. It will be about Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's controversial CEO.

T. Boone Pickens Owns Drake on Twitter

May 31, 2012
Planet Money

Canadian rapper Drake boastfully tweeted "The first million is the hardest".

This was followed by a tweet from T. Boone Pickens, who issues a mic-drop in the form of a tweet with, "The first billion is a helluva lot harder".

Next: John Fullbright

May 30, 2012

Hailing from Okemah, Okla., with a serious talent for writing Americana music, John Fullbright is often compared to Woody Guthrie. But Fullbright isn't riding on the coattails of the great folk artists who came before him; in fact, he describes himself as a songwriter, not just a musician, because he's determined to play his own music.

Residents across a huge swath of the U.S. were left shivering in Arctic-like temperatures a day after a 2,000-mile-long winter storm barreled through, dumping record or near-record amounts of snow, downing power lines and caving in roofs.

Wind chills dipped to nearly 30 below zero in some parts early Thursday as people began digging out from the sprawling system. It unloaded as much as 2 feet of snow, crippled airports and stranded drivers in downtown Chicago. Much of Texas was under a hard freeze warning Wednesday; light snowfall stubbornly lingered into the night in Maine.

In Central U.S., Fears Storms Will Continue

May 23, 2012

More than a dozen people died after violent storms swept across Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas, unleashing tornadoes and high winds just days after a massive twister razed much of a Missouri city.

In Oklahoma, hardest hit by the storms that struck Tuesday night and early Wednesday, officials said nine people, including a child, were killed when several twisters touched down in Oklahoma City and its suburbs. At least 70 other people were in critical condition.

The Agony Of The Heat

May 23, 2012

The eastern U.S. felt the full, blazing brunt Thursday of a heat wave that began in the Plains and has strained tempers and electricity grids from Tulsa to Boston amid record temperatures and stifling humidity.

I met Anthony Shadid on a ruined airstrip in western Afghanistan in the winter of 2001-'02. He was sporting a beard and longer hair in those days that made him look a little like a crusading Arab warrior. We spoke briefly and exchanged a few bits of useful news about the place. As I recall his face now, I realize Anthony's secret: His sincerity was piercing, disarming and infectious.

Okemah, Okla. — the birthplace of Woody Guthrie — has another musical native son to call its own. John Fullbright's recordings mix folk, country and blues, and his lyrics often tackle big-picture topics.

"I grew up with a lot of questions that couldn't really seem to be answered," Fullbright tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "Why are we here? Did some higher power make all of this? Did he make me? And songwriting is kind of your own voice, your strongest voice, that you can use to ask yourself those questions."

The first days home from war are filled with joy, but it wears off. The lucky ones go back to work. Others find putting two feet on the floor every morning as difficult as nine hours in an office.

Brian Allen served in Mosul, Iraq for a full year, starting in January 2009. He’s in a therapy program for post traumatic stress disorder. On top of that a mic, guitar and some high powered computer programs have helped Brian empty his mind.

North Dakota may be about to go where no state has gone before. On June 12, voters will decide the fate of a ballot measure that would eliminate all property taxes in the state.

"We think it's a horse race," says Bob Harms, spokesman for a coalition of business, local government and farm groups that are opposed to the measure. "It has a real possibility of passing."

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Education News

When the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 1010xx in March, it was the first time lawmakers had increased state taxes in 28 years. Both the House and the Senate applauded themselves.

The governor acted swiftly to sign the bill, and at first, it seemed like a reason for school leaders to celebrate. They had been begging lawmakers to increase teacher pay for years, and it finally happened.

But the excitement quickly faded.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday over the legality of a petition to overturn new state taxes.

The petition, which is being circulated by an anti-tax group called Oklahoma Tax Payers Unite, seeks to overturn HB1010xx, a $430 million tax package lawmakers passed this year. The legislation raises taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, imposes a new tax on cigarettes and little cigars and increases oil and gas taxes from 2 percent to 5 percent.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Deborah Gist cried as she stepped across the small stage in front the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools and a group of educators had just finished a 110-mile walk from Tulsa to Oklahoma City to highlight their fight for more school funding.

It was the seventh day of Oklahoma’s teacher walkout, and thousands of supporters rallied to greet the group as it finished the final mile.

“This is not a rally,” Gist yelled to the crowd. “This is not a protest. This is a movement!”

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