The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s plan to spray chemicals and biological agents in simulated terrorist attacks at an abandoned school has alarmed residents and caused a stir on both sides of the Oklahoma-Kansas border.
The wind blows strong and steady in Calumet, a small town about 40 miles west of Oklahoma City.
It’s the wind that’s prompted companies to build turbines here. A natural gas company also built a plant nearby.
In northeastern Oklahoma, Google built a large data center in Pryor. And the city of Cushing is flanked by fields of large steel tanks that hold millions of barrels of oil.
These industries bring in abundant property tax revenue for nearby schools — enough that 37 districts don’t receive any funding from the state.
In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.
Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.
The first lawsuit filed against Oklahoma oil companies over earthquakes is now settled.
Sandra Ladra was injured by rocks that shook loose from her fireplace during the 5.7-magnitude temblor that struck near the city of Prague in 2011. The quake is one of the strongest ever recorded in Oklahoma and was the first one scientists linked to wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry. Continue Reading
On the playground at Chattanooga Elementary School some kids are pretending to be pirates, a few boys are climbing on a baseball dugout, and another group is belting out the words to various pop songs as they wriggle across the monkey bars.
This is the students’ third 15-minute recess of the day, and they’ll get one more before the end of the school day in the tiny southwestern Oklahoma town of about 450.
Added up: That’s an hour of recess a day — double what these kids got two years ago, and double what most kids in America get.
Oklahoma City’s decades-long quest for a permit to pump water out of southeastern Oklahoma is over. This week, state regulators approved a key part of the city’s $1 billion-plus project to meet the metro’s long-term water needs, but residents and water rights groups say the urban victory marks a milestone — not the end of the road.
Soon-to-be-released statewide test scores are expected to be much lower than they were in the past, but top education officials say the drop is due to a more difficult grading system, not poor-performing students.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the state has a new way of measuring student proficiency.
“This has been a time of recalibrating,” she said in an interview after a press conference held with reporters to explain the declining scores.
Polls suggest this is one of the the most politically divided moments in American history. There are now tip sheets on how to survive Thanksgiving without disowning your family, and the comment sections of online news articles are full of vitriol.
Schools are not immune to the tension, but not everyone thinks that’s a bad thing.
Stephanie Henson admires her colorful backyard garden in Edmond. Approaching a pink-and-white plant, she squeals and laughs and she spots some butterflies.
“Oh look, they’re itty-bitty,” she says. “Look at ’em!”
Henson doesn’t know much about gardening, but she’s doing what she can to attract butterflies, which is what conservation specialists and government officials are trying to encourage here in Oklahoma and across the country.
Many people say the former massive federal education law, No Child Left Behind, was a failure. When President George W. Bush signed it in 2002, he set a huge goal for the country: Every child would meet the proficiency standard on state tests by 2014.
But, that never happened.