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Dan Williams, a former GIS analyst in the House Redistricting Office, created a Facebook group called "Oklahomans Redistrict Oklahoma." The group is dedicated to creating a public maps submission to the legislature for the deadline on April 4th.
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Oklahoma lawmakers have a state constitutionally-required deadline on May 28th, the end of their current session, to pass new legislative district maps. But this isn’t just the case in Oklahoma. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 12 other states with constitutions calling for redistricting in the year after the census.

Justin Neely, director of language for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, grew up among elders who told him that if the Potawatomi language is lost, so are the Potawatomi people.

OKCPS Predicts It Will Lose Millions Of Dollars After Recent Funding Resolution

Mar 29, 2021
The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools predicts it will lose millions of dollars after the State Board of Education adopted a resolution to equally fund traditional public and charter schools.

Oklahoma Historical Society

One-hundred years ago this June, violence devastated one of the most prosperous Black communities in the nation – Tulsa's Greenwood District. The area known as “Black Wall Street” was the site of the deadliest race riot in American history.  

As we near the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, KGOU is urging greater understanding of the tragedy and its significance in state and national history.  

Congress Gives Oklahoma Cash Infusion For Expanding Medicaid

Mar 26, 2021
More than 300,000 signatures submitted to the Secretary of State's office in support of medicaid expansion were the fuel for Oklahoma voter's approval of a state question expanding health coverage to an estimated 200,000 Oklahomans.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Last year’s vote to expand Oklahoma’s Medicaid program will provide the state with a half-billion-dollar windfall thanks to the recently passed federal stimulus bill.

Robby Korth - StateImpact Oklahoma

The State Board of Education voted 4-3 to accept an offer to settle a lawsuit with the Oklahoma Public Charter Schools Association after State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister warned that the settlement was unconstitutional. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss that story and more from the last week at the state Capitol in Capitol Insider.

After convening for hours in a closed meeting, Oklahoma’s State Board of Education flipped public school funding on its head.

OU Health

You might have seen the full page ad that OU Physicians took out in The Oklahoman, which argued that BlueCross and BlueShield undervalues its workers. You might have seen the dueling web pages about the dispute, on OU Health’s website and on BlueCross’ website — the latter aiming to dispel so-called myths about the fight. 

Oklahoma spent approximately $4.3 million to rent and staff its contact tracing operation at Shepherd Center through October. The state has closed that Oklahoma City location, which opened in June with approximately 400 employees
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s boost to its COVID-19 contact tracing efforts led to no insights and was marred by technology problems and a failure to collect the proper data, a new legislative report finds.

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

About two-thirds of Oklahoma prison workers and just under half of the inmates have opted not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the state Department of Corrections, a sign that vaccine hesitancy remains high and some facilities may not reach the immunity threshold necessary to prevent future outbreaks.

Oklahoma Opens Vaccine Eligibility To Everyone Over 16

Mar 23, 2021
Janene Stewart, director of operations at Norman Regional Hospital, administers a COVID-19 vaccine in Norman last month on the day teachers and adults with comorbidities became eligible to receive the vaccines.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

About four months after Oklahoma administered its first coronavirus vaccines, it will end its phased release program and open the opportunity to all residents over 16. Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed announced in a media availability that starting March 29, everyone over 16 can register for a vaccine. 

Library Of Congress Updates Tulsa Race Massacre Language

Mar 22, 2021
The Rev. Robert Turner of Vernon A.M.E. Church prays at Oaklawn Cemetery after learning that scientists found a mass grave during an excavation in the search for victims from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Bethany Mollenk / National Geographic

The Tulsa Race Massacre will be stripped of its old name - the Tulsa Race Riot - in libraries worldwide. The University of Oklahoma played a pivotal role in the new moniker.

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

The week of March 15th was an abbreviated week for Oklahoma legislators due to spring break. The House of Representatives took off on Wednesday and Thursday; the Senate did not work on Thursday. Typically, Friday is a regular day off for legislators until the final month of the session. Lawmakers have an ambitious schedule ahead of them with eight weeks down and ten weeks to go. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss how the next few weeks are shaping up in Capitol Insider. 

Nick Brooke, an Oklahoma City resident and data scientist, is suing the state health department over records he requested last year. Brooke is seen here working in his home office on March 18, 2021.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Welcome to Custer County, Oklahoma, where emailing a public record is apparently a burden for the local sheriff’s office.

Tim Tiller, director of security at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The head of security at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City took the internet by storm when he was tasked with running the museum’s social media accounts at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the security director turned internet star has an exhibition of his own at the museum.

House Makes Significant Moves For Women During Women’s History Month

Mar 18, 2021
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is surrounded by staff and security as she arrives at a news conference on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The House used the Women’s History Month to serve as the backdrop for passing legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and to remove the 1982 deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

Calumet Elementary School
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindy Renbarger had to reinvent everything.

The principal of Calumet Elementary is accustomed to doing it all. In her decade at the helm of the school with less than 200 students she’s taken it from a school that scored a “C” on the state report card to regularly getting an “A.”

Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale calls a play in an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Waco, Texas.
Jerry Larson / AP Photo

The University of Oklahoma’s women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale announced Wednesday she is retiring after 25 years in the position. Coale is credited with revitalizing the OU women’s basketball program, leading the team to six Big 12 regular-season championships and three Final Four appearances.

No Letter Grade: Evaluating Oklahoma Public Schools Without A-F

Mar 17, 2021
Two students walk toward the enterance of Jones Elementary school in Tulsa moments before classes start on Sept. 13, 2019.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

There will be no school report cards this year, one of many disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

What You Don’t Know And Should About Nursing Home Care

Mar 16, 2021
In this file photo are Earl Prigmore, left, and Norm Lancaster, residents of Beadles Nursing Home in Alva. When interviewed last last year, both said they would rather take their chances with COVID-19 than be confined to their rooms any longer.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

After a year of COVID-19 restrictions, Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities are beginning to reopen to visitors. It could still be weeks or months before families are reunited.

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