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 $7.1B general Appropriations Bill.
The Trio also discusses Attorney General Scott Pruitt allegedly misleading the United States Supreme Court and the battle between Pruitt and State Auditor Gary Jones over cleanup at the Tar Creek Superfund Site.
May 2015 already ranks as one of the wettest in state history, and continues to snuff out the four-year drought that dried up cities in southwest Oklahoma. Water rationing helped keep Duncan, Lawton and Altus afloat, but those cities are now scaling back their water-saving mandates.
PRAISE AND WORRY
In Altus on May 19, the city council thanked God for the recent wet weather, and asked for the knowledge to be good stewards of this new bounty of water.
And to many people in Altus, it does feel like a miracle has happened. Craig Nance lives just outside town among greenhouses and young trees, all bursting with life. He says residents have been streaming to area lakes just to take a look at them.
“It’s a parade. And it’s fun to watch,” he says. “People are just driving to the lakes to see the water level. Gotta see it to believe it.”
One way or another, the third grade reading test will be different next school year. The reading committees that lessen the high-stakes nature of the test are slated to dissolve at the end of this school year. But there's a bill in the legislature that could extend them for another three years. However, with that bill comes further changes to the test.
Under Oklahoma’s Reading Sufficiency Act, the third-grade reading test is a high-stakes test. Meaning, if students don’t do well, they could be held back.
"Let's get heavy," Other Lives frontman Jesse Tabish jokes before launching into an explanation of the dichotomies behind the band's new album, Rituals. Conflating old and new styles, while also exploring the balance between humanity's primal nature and an isolating modern world, the Portland-via-Stillwater, Okla., band's densely layered songs still somehow seem light and airy.
Rituals isn't the product of a group going through the motions, either: The group just pared itself down from five members to three (both Josh Onstott and Jonathon Mooney remained and relocated with Tabish), but this is Other Lives' most adventurous set of songs to date. To bring that rich sound to life, the band packed the small KEXP live room with all kinds of instruments — horns, strings, keys, drums, timpani, vibraphone, you name it — for a sensational in-studio performance.