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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Win Tickets to Science Museum Oklahoma's Science Camp Night for Adults

Enter before midnight on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 for a chance to win tickets to attend SMO 21 on Friday, June 22, 2018 at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Fun isn't just for kids — and neither is camp! Relive the fun of summer camp without the mosquito bites, sun burns, mess hall food (or kids!) during Camp SMOnawanna: Salute Your Science . For one night only, dive into the science of summer camp with a giant slip 'n' slide in the museum, ghost stories in the Kirkpatrick Planetarium,...

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Previously unmapped faults in Oklahoma could be contributing to an intense uptick in earthquakes triggered by oil-field wastewater disposal, a new study suggests.

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.

President Trump is enacting a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods "that contain industrially significant technologies," after months of exchanging threats amid concerns over a potential trade war.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6. A second set of imports subject to tariffs is still under review.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Poltical Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Forrest Bennett about arguments before the state Supreme Court on a repeal of a tax paying for raises to teachers, school support staff and state workers and a new study places Oklahoma number one in the nation and number one for countries with a population of more than 500,000 in incarceration.

Headlines for Friday, June 15, 2018:

Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET

A federal judge ordered Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to jail on Friday following allegations by prosecutors that he tampered with witnesses in his case.

"You've abused the trust placed in you six months ago," said Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this."

But Berman Jackson said she could not turn a blind eye to the charges that Manafort had attempted to contact witnesses in his case after he was on bail.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Amid an unceasing series of revelations about alleged ethical misconduct, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is rapidly losing support with influential Republican lawmakers and conservatives who, until now, have strongly backed Pruitt and the pro-fossil fuel deregulatory agenda he's implemented.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its board of directors over what she calls "extensive and persistent violations of federal law," her office announced Thursday.

The directors of the foundation named in the suit are President Trump and three of his children: Donald J. Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.

Enter before midnight on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 for a chance to win tickets to attend SMO 21 on Friday, June 22, 2018 at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Bill Broiles / Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Repair crews on Tuesday restored water service to Oklahoma State Reformatory in southwestern Oklahoma. 

Oklahoma Department of Corrections officials said a leak in a local water line drained the prison’s water tower Sunday night.

The leak drained multiple water towers near the town of Granite, including the prison’s. But, state prison officials say malfunctioning pumps at a nearby water treatment plant added to the problem. Without the pumps it was difficult to refill the empty water towers. 

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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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