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Oklahoma Lawmakers Take Another Run at Controversial Topic of District Consolidation

The State Department of Education could be told to take a look at a new form of school district consolidation. The Oklahoma Senate Education Committee passed a bill Monday directing the education department to study administrative services. By Dec. 1, 2018, there would be a list of districts recommended for Regional Education Administrative Districts. Senate Bill 514 author Gary Stanislawski said the biggest change with READs would be a single administration for several districts. "It leaves...

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Brad Gibson

Vaccination Bill Passes after Rebuke of Opponents for Flyers

A Republican state senator criticized opponents of a vaccination bill who distributed what he described as "disgusting" literature that targeted the bill's author, a doctor and state senator from Oklahoma City. Sen. Adam Pugh of Edmond ultimately voted against the bill Monday, but not before chastising opponents for distributing the flyers that likened the author, Sen. Irvin Yen, to notorious dictators, including Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot. Pugh said those who distributed the flyers were not...

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In Religious Freedom Debate, 2 American Values Clash

The collision of two core American values — freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination — is prompting a showdown in legislatures and courts across the country. For some conservatives, religious freedom means the right to act on their opposition to same-sex marriage and other practices that go against their beliefs. LGBT advocates and their allies, meanwhile, say no one in the United States should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation. President Trump is said to be...

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Trump To Lay Out Plans For 'Renewal Of The American Spirit' In Joint Address

President Trump's joint address to Congress on Tuesday night is expected to strike an optimistic tone as he outlines how he plans to begin a "renewal of the American spirit" with his economic goals and priorities. According to senior administration officials who previewed the speech to reporters, that's the theme the president will use to lay out his vision for the American people and explain how his administration will begin solving real problems for real people. He'll tell members of...

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StudioTulsa

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Jessica Nutik Zitter, who practices the atypical combination of ICU and palliative care medicine at a hospital in Oakland, California. She's also the author of a remarkable new book, "Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life." As was noted of this memoir/critique/meditation by Kirkus Reviews: "End-stage patient suffering and distress inspire an early-career watershed moment for a sympathetic physician.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday the 21st, the State Board of Equalization met in Oklahoma City to approve revised revenue estimates for FY 2017 and FY 2018. The revised estimates for FY 2017 are for revenues to be "under" by some $296 million, or 5.7 percent, and thus a revenue failure has been declared. This is the third time since 2000 that there have been revenue failures for the state budget in two consecutive years; it also happened in 2002-03 and 2009-10. How did the State of Oklahoma (once again) get here? And does the budget outlook for next year look any better?

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing the Oscar-nominated documentary feature, "I Am Not Your Negro," which opens locally tomorrow (Friday the 24th) at the Circle Cinema. Indeed, our two guests today -- Hannibal Johnson (a Tulsa-based author and attorney) and Bob Jackson (an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa) -- will both be speaking about this film, and co-leading an audience-wide discussion about it, tomorrow night at the Circle.

On this edition of ST, our guest is psychologist and author Kenneth E. Miller, who has been working with war-affected communities since 1991 as a researcher, clinician, organizational consultant, and filmmaker. He joins us to discuss his book, "War Torn: Stories of Courage, Love, and Resilience." With 200 million people affected by armed conflict or genocide worldwide, refugees are appearing in record numbers; indeed, not since World War II have so many war-affected migrants been relocating around the globe.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Ted Piccone, a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy as well as the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies, and he spoke recently at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations. Piccone is the author of "Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order," and his talk here in Tulsa was basically an extension of this book.

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Wilbur Ross Is Confirmed As Commerce Secretary

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was confirmed as President Trump's secretary of Commerce on Monday night by a vote of 72 to 27 in the U.S. Senate. Ross will divest from the private equity firm he founded, WL Ross & Co., as part of his ethics agreement upon entering government service. He will retain other financial interests but has pledged not to take any action as commerce secretary that would benefit a company in which he holds a stake. Ross, 79, was a registered Democrat for much of his...

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Three of the five people who were aboard a small plane when it crashed into a neighborhood in Riverside, Calif., have died, in a crash that occurred shortly after the craft took off Monday afternoon. Residents were not at home when the plane hit one house; fire destroyed another.

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In 1890, Sir Thomas Lipton arrived on the island of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to purchase a plot of land that would become the first tea estate in his global tea empire. These days, in the Ambadandegama Valley located just a few miles from Lipton's original estate, another experiment in tea production is unfolding.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tressie McMillan Cottom studies for-profit colleges as a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. She's analyzed large data sets, scrutinized financial filings, interviewed students and staff. But she has also helped enroll students at two different for-profits herself.

They're not named, but known only as "Beauty College" and "Technical College," in her new book, Lower Ed.

NPR Ed has covered both the rise, and some of the travails, of this form of education. We called up Cottom to hear her thoughts. Here's an edited version of our conversation.

Californians are in shock that after five years of too little water, the problem now is too much.

All eyes in California have been on Oroville Dam, where a broken spillway forced major evacuations. But the damage from winter storms has gone beyond the dam in the northern part of the state. Downstream, rivers are running high and levees have been breaching.

President Trump and his advisers have begun putting some red meat on the bones of the president's "America First" agenda.

Trump is expected to talk more about that when he addresses a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. As with Brexit and other nationalist movements, Trump sees his election as part of a broader rejection of globalization.

"Erasing national borders does not make people safer or more prosperous," Trump told supporters in Melbourne, Fla., this month. "It undermines democracy and trades away prosperity. We're giving it away."

The collision of two core American values — freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination — is prompting a showdown in legislatures and courts across the country.

For some conservatives, religious freedom means the right to act on their opposition to same-sex marriage and other practices that go against their beliefs. LGBT advocates and their allies, meanwhile, say no one in the United States should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

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