News

Headlines for Friday, July 29, 2016:

  • Oklahoma Democrats are returning home today energized by the National Convention in Philadelphia. (NewsOK)

  • An Oklahoma GOP Congressman says Trump would be better on foreign policy than Clinton. (Tulsa World)

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s primary environmental agency made a private contractor pay just under $1 million earlier in a settlement over improperly treated water in a small city in southern Oklahoma. But the state’s budget shortfall swallowed up the money before the city of Hugo had a chance to use it.

AMK713 / FLICKR

Oklahoma remained No. 4 in the U.S. in installed wind power capacity during the second quarter of 2016, but a national industry group expects the state to move up the ranks by the end of the year.

No new wind farms have been completed in recent months, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association, but more than 1,000 megawatts are currently under construction, The Oklahoman's Paul Monies reports:

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

State officials are considering what to do with $140.8 million dollars that was cut from state agencies in the middle of last fiscal year, but can now be spent. The money is available because General Revenue Fund reductions required by the FY 2016’s midyear revenue failure were deeper than necessary.

Governor Fallin said in a press release that she is considering using the money to fund teacher pay raises.

Headlines for Thursday, July 28, 2016:

  • Governor Fallin considers a special session to give teachers a pay raise. (NewsOK)

  • School athletic programs take hit amid state budget cuts. (Tulsa World)

  A new album from the Adventure Road provides a soundtrack for traveling across Oklahoma.

The Chickasaw Nation Tourism initiative launched an album of original songs last year, but musician Don Juntenen says this year he wanted to create an album of classic songs.

oksenate.gov

Family members say Oklahoma's first black state senator, who held a sit-in at the state Capitol with civil rights icon Clara Luper and fought to keep the state's only historically black university open, has died.

Sonya Porter says her father, E. Melvin Porter, died Tuesday at his Oklahoma City home after contracting a fever while in hospice care. He was 86.

Oklahoma Forestry Services says it's closing four offices and reducing services as part of a restructuring program forced by budget reductions.

Forestry Services Director George Geissler says the agency plans to reallocate resources to maximize its remaining services. While some services will no longer be available to landowners in western Oklahoma, all 77 Oklahoma counties will continue to receive wildfire suppression support.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Supporters of a state question that would change Oklahoma’s alcohol laws launched their campaign today Wednesday. The group Yes On 792 is advocating on behalf of a ballot questionthat would allow convenience stores to sell full strength beer and wine. Liquor stores would be able to sell cold beer.

Oklahoma’s four primary environmental agencies have lost more than $15 million in state appropriations and tens of millions of dollars in legislatively directed reductions to revolving funds, OETA reports.

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