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Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

On Thursday, Oklahoma lawmakers completed the rush to pre-file bills and joint resolutions for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The volume of legislation indicates we can expect an ambitious session when the legislature resumes on February 1. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the work just ahead as ideas move toward becoming laws. 

COVID-19 Continues To Create Challenges For Oklahoma Classrooms

9 hours ago
A display of typical school supplies and electronic devices being distributed to Oklahoma City Public School students is pictured at Eugene Field Elementary School, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Across Oklahoma, many schools are attempting in-person learning despite the continuing challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calculating The Fundraising Backlash Against Oklahoma Congressional Delegation

Jan 19, 2021
Members of Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation are, clockwise from top left, Kevin Hern, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, Stephanie Bice and Markwayne Mullin.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s congressional delegation could see political repercussions after all five of the state’s U.S. House of Representatives members voted against certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.

COVID-19 Causes Unexpected Dip In OKCPD’s Mental Health Calls

Jan 18, 2021
Master Sgt. Corey Nooner, is one of Oklahoma City's first officers trained in crisis intervention. Nooner said he assists other officers with mental health calls across the city.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Despite projections, Oklahoma City Police responded to fewer mental health calls in 2020 than the previous year. 

NIAID Coronavirus Prevention Network/National Institute of Health

As the Spring 2021 school semester is beginning, Governor Kevin Stitt issued new recommendations regarding quarantining of students who have come in contact with a person who may have COVID-19. Under the new guidelines, schools are allowed to lift quarantine requirements if enforcing mandatory mask usage and social distancing unless the person in question shows symptoms of the virus.

Oklahoma Health Officials Respond To Depleted Vaccine Stockpile

Jan 15, 2021
A health care worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

As recently as Wednesday, Oklahoma health officials were hopeful that the state’s weekly vaccine supply would double. But that hope disappeared Friday, when news broke that the federal stockpile fueling that supply surge is gone.

In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

National Guard troops are joining state and federal law enforcement to protect the state Capitol in case violent protesters target the building this weekend. The precautions are a reaction to last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and threats of more violence leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

When the federal government kicked off Operation Warp Speed, the program to administer vaccines, it allowed states to build their own plans. These plans created priority groups, and then sorted those into phases. For example, Oklahoma’s frontline health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients became the first priority group, and composed Phase one. Phase two includes several groups, such as Oklahomans over the age of 65 and health workers not treating COVID-19.

WahZhaZhe, Tsalagi, Español: No Matter The Language, COVID Creates Challenges For Immersion Learning

Jan 14, 2021

In normal circumstances, foreign language immersion instruction requires some classroom creativity to make it work.

Pre-K teacher Elvia Walters heads out the door with a bag with school supplies and an iPad for one of her students Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Eugene Field Elementary School, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Quarantining after a COVID-19 exposure will now be optional in Oklahoma classrooms if students and teachers are wearing a mask.

Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister answers a question at the Central Oklahoma PPE distribution warehouse where supplies for schools are being distributed Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education is asking for a funding increase for the state's schools in this year’s legislative session.

Inmates, Corrections Staff Express Reluctance To Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Jan 12, 2021
A health care worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma inmates are experiencing their own version of pandemic fatigue. 

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

This is the Manager’s Minute.  

Recent events in Washington, D.C. stunned the nation. The rioting in the Capitol also reminded us of the importance of reliable, timely and accurate reporting, especially during adversity.  

 

The 39 Oklahoma legislators who signed a letter asking Congress to challenge the results of the presidential election
Oklahoma Watch

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, hundreds crowded outside of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Some held signs reading, “stop the steal,” “fight for freedom” or “Patriots! Duty Calls.”

CVS Delays Prompt Oklahoma To Step In With Vaccinations For Veteran Centers

Jan 10, 2021
Many of her colleagues chose not to get vaccinated because they feared side-effects. "I'd rather be part of the solution than part of the problem," Valdez said.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

COVID-19 vaccines are being administered at Oklahoma’s veteran centers this weekend because state health officials said the federal program responsible for vaccinating long-term care residents and staff is moving too slow.

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

The first week of 2021 was one of the most stunning weeks in American politics. Controversies over the presidential election, special elections in Georgia that shifted the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, Electoral College confirmation of a new administration in the White House and an unprecedented ransacking of the U.S. Capitol by a riotous mob made it an historic week for the ages. Through all the turmoil, legislators in Oklahoma remained focused on preparations for the legislative session that begins on February 1st. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss how state lawmakers plan to do their work in 2021.

Oklahoma Public Schools See Largest Enrollment Drop In At Least Four Decades

Jan 7, 2021

Public school enrollment in Oklahoma plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to October 1 enrollment data released Thursday by Oklahoma’s State Department of Education.

It's Best To Wait For A COVID-19 Vaccine If You've Had A Positive Test In The Past 90 Days

Jan 7, 2021
Dr. Richard Heigle, left, watches as he is injected with Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, becoming one of the first ten people in the state to receive the vaccine, at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As Oklahoma enters the second phase of its coronavirus vaccination program, most residents are still waiting.

StateImpact Oklahoma Reporters Reflect On Eventful 2020

Jan 7, 2021
Mega Wat said she joined a protest in June because Black Lives Matter.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The coronavirus. Black Lives Matter activism. A presidential election.

The events of 2020 will continue to ripple into 2021.

A nurse draws Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine into a syringe Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Can Oklahomans over the age of 65 get the coronavirus vaccine yet?

It depends on where they live.

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