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The Oklahoma Education Association continues to adjust its calls for elected officials to find more public school funding.

Early Tuesday, OEA still wanted the governor to veto the repeal of a $5 lodging tax and the House to take up the Senate bill to end the capital gains deduction.

By the end of the day, Gov. Mary Fallin signed the lodging tax repeal into law, and Republican leaders emphasized the capital gains bill would not come before the House.

OEA President Alicia Priest said another measure is on their radar.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma Republican Rep. John Pfeiffer held a news conference Tuesday to reiterate his party has no interest in hearing a bill to eliminate the state's capital gains income tax deduction.

Pfeiffer said that was part of the deal for Republicans to vote on a revenue package including cigarette, fuel and gross production tax hikes.

Oklahoma's largest school districts will remain closed Wednesday for an eighth consecutive day amid ongoing teacher protests for more classroom funding.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa schools announced class cancellations Tuesday as teachers continue to march at the state Capitol. Jenks, Broken Arrow and Union also announced they would be closed Wednesday.

Owasso Public Schools announced last week it would be closed April 9–13.

State Impact

Led by the Douglass High School marching band, a contingent of education funding advocates arrived at the Oklahoma capitol Tuesday afternoon.

Many in the group set out on the 110-mile walk seven days ago from Tulsa’s Webster High. U-S history teacher Aaron Baker walked all seven days and says he did it for students who are underprivileged because of race, sexual orientation or ability.

"A truly free, truly public education is the great equalizer in our society, but it has to be fully funded," Baker said.

OKC Thunder

 

For the Oklahoma City Thunder, clinching night was reminiscent of their season.

Really bad start.

Really good finish.

Paul George scored 27 points, Russell Westbrook got his 25th triple-double of the season and the Thunder ran wild in the fourth quarter on the way to wrapping up a Western Conference playoff berth with a 115-93 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa area education marchers should reach the state capitol today.
  • The Tulsa School Board discusses how to best make up missed days from the teacher walkout.
  • A waste water injection well is ordered to cut its volume following a new swarm of North Central Oklahoma earthquakes.

How Best to Make Up Missed Days?

Apr 10, 2018
KWGS News/TPS 20

The Tulsa School Board discusses what to do next. The district has now used all of its built-in snow days in the school calendar. The snow days expired on April 5th. Instruction missed since that time, for the teacher walkout, will have to be made up.

The board is looking at a couple of options. One would be to tack the days on to the end of the school calendar. The other would be to extend the length of the current school day.

No firm decision was reached last night. 

U.S.G.S. Photo

 

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has reversed course and released a 2011 state audit into the cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund site in northeastern Oklahoma that suggested the job cost taxpayers five times as much as it should have.

Hunter released two separate Tar Creek audits on Monday after being sued late last year by a Washington based public watchdog group the Campaign for Accountability.

Hunter says both he and federal authorities looked into the allegations raised in the audits and found "no prosecutable evidence of criminal activity."

OEA

 

Oklahoma's two largest school districts say they are canceling classes for the seventh consecutive day as a walkout by teachers demanding more funding for public education continues.

Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state's largest school district, and Tulsa Public Schools said Monday they will remain closed on Tuesday, extending the second week of the statewide teacher walkout.

Serge Melki

A new week brought a new tactic from Oklahoma House Democrats trying to get a vote on repealing the state’s capital gains income tax deduction. 

Rep. Scott Inman tipped his hand a motion to vote on the bill was coming Monday afternoon while talking about his children being at the capitol with him a lot recently.

"My youngest, Sophia, just about 20 minutes ago, leaned over, and she said, 'Daddy, how do you spell "capital gains?"' True story, she did," Inman said. "I said, 'It's SB1086.'"

State Impact

 

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has directed a wastewater disposal well to reduce its volume of injection after more than a dozen earthquakes rattled part of northwest Oklahoma since Friday.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded three quakes Monday, including one near Covington now rated magnitude 4.5 after a preliminary rating of 4.3. Magnitude 3.3 and 2.8 quakes were also recorded Monday in the area about 55 miles north of Oklahoma City.

OEA

Oklahoma's two largest school districts say they are canceling classes for the seventh consecutive day as a walkout by teachers demanding more funding for public education continues.

Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state's largest school district, and Tulsa Public Schools said Monday they will remain closed on Tuesday, extending the second week of the statewide teacher walkout.

Many Oklahoma school districts have been shuttered since April 2 when thousands of teachers traveled to the state Capitol demanding that lawmakers appropriate more tax dollars for classroom needs.

photopedia.com

A group of Republican Oklahoma lawmakers wants to put a hard cap on the state’s zero-emissions tax credit.

Sens. Nathan Dahm and Josh Brecheen and Rep. Jeff Coody propose making the credit, which is popular with wind energy companies, nonrefundable as of Jan. 1, 2019. Dahm said the state needs more money for core services like education, and an annual payout of around $70 million is a good place to start looking.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Members of the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse hope an electronic prescribing law makes it to the governor’s desk this session.

AG Office

 

Several new and expanded probes are underway into Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's conduct.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins is now conducting at least five investigative audits related to Pruitt, including a previously undisclosed probe into outsized spending and alleged timesheet abuse by his swollen security detail. The Associated Press reported Friday that the 20-member team providing day-and-night protection for Pruitt had racked up expenses approaching $3 million in his first year.

Oklahoma City Community COllege

 

Oklahoma's education department is extending the time period for students to take standardized tests as the state's teacher walkout enters its second week.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced Monday that the testing window will be extended by one week for grades 3 through 8 general assessments and grade 11 science assessments.

The testing period began April 2, but tens of thousands of students have been out of class since then because of the teacher walkout that began the same day.

Facebook

 

A 7-year-old is excited she has a textbook that was used by country singer Blake Shelton, but her mom is embarrassed the book is nearly than 40 years old.

Marley Parker saw that "The Voice" star had written his name in "Look Away (Keys to Reading)" in 1982. However, her mother did not share her daughter's enthusiasm. Shelly Bryan Parker wrote on Facebook that she was embarrassed.

The former teacher was critical that the textbook was still in use and she voiced support for teachers who are demanding more funding for Oklahoma schools.

March to OKC Continues

Apr 9, 2018
Deborah Gist-Facebook

Educators continue the march from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Among those making the 110-mile march to draw attention to education funding is Tulsa School Superintendent Deborah Gist.

She says support along the way has been strong. She says the people in the towns they have passed through have been very supportive. 

The spent last night at Wellston and are walking to Jones today. They will spend the night there and walk on to the State Capitol tomorrow.

                

TIA

Frontier Airlines is now operating Tulsa flights to two new destinations:  Orlando and San Diego. 

The first Orlando flight departed on yesterday at 12:31 PM.    Orlando is the sixth most popular destination for Tulsa travelers.

A San Diego flight departed at 8:30 PM on Sunday.  San Diego is the 14th most popular destination for Tulsa travelers.

Both flights will operate three days a week: Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Service to Washington D.C. and San Jose will begin on Wednesday.

In the local news:

  • The Oklahoma teachers' walkout is now into week number 2.
  • A 4.3 quake rattles Oklahoma on Monday morning.
  • New non-stop flights begin for Tulsa.

Monday Quake Upgraded to 4.5

Apr 9, 2018
USGS Map

Monday starts off with a strong earthquake near Perry.  The 4.5 magnitude quake struck at 5:22 this morning. It was centered some 10 miles southwest of Perry, over in Garfield County. It was orginally classified as a 4.3.

The quake was about three miles deep. Like a Saturday quake, it was felt over a wide area, including by some people in Tulsa.

At this point, there are no reports of damage or injuries. 

KWGS Map

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a 47-year-old man has been arrested for the shooting death of his 13-year-old son.

The OSBI says Tony Rutherford was arrested Saturday. Rutherford was booked into the Delaware County Jail for first-degree murder. Court records don't indicate if Rutherford has an attorney.

Investigators say Delaware County sheriff's deputies found the boy dead from a gunshot wound inside a pickup truck shortly before 2 a.m. Officials have not released the boy's name.

File photo

 

Oklahoma lawmakers are slated to return to the state Capitol amid a second week of massive teacher demonstrations for more classroom money.

Leaders of Oklahoma's largest teacher's union said protests would continue Monday unless lawmakers approve a repeal of a capital gains tax exemption and the governor vetoes a repeal of a proposed lodging tax.

Police Investigate Fatal North Side Shooting

Apr 8, 2018
TPD

Tulsa Police are investigating this city’s 10th homicide of the year. A man’s body was found on the driveway of a home in the 5400 block of N. Hartford Place. The 50-year-old man was found by his wife.

It appears he had been shot. Neighbors reported hearing a gunshot about 11 p.m. Friday evening. However, his body was not found until about 6 Saturday morning.

NWS Graphic

Patchy light rain or freezing rain will continue to spread across parts of northeast Oklahoma this morning. Some very light ice accumulation is possible through mid-morning mainly northwest of Interstate 44. Any impacts will be brief and very localized. Warmer temperatures and gusty southerly winds return by mid week. Thunderstorm chances also return for late week into next weekend along with the potential for severe weather.

Google Street View

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that Oklahoma recorded a magnitude 4.6 earthquake that was also felt in Kansas and Missouri.

It was one of four earthquakes in northwest Oklahoma on Saturday morning.

Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg says there are no reports of injury or serious damage following the quakes.

School Closings for the New Week

Apr 8, 2018
File Photo

Click for the list of the latest area schools that have closed for the teacher walkout.

The Oklahoma City Thunder adopted a simple mantra for Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets with their playoff fate still up in the air.

"We just better not lose," Paul George said.

For one night at least, it worked.

George and Russell Westbrook each scored 24 points, and Oklahoma City snapped Houston's 20-game home winning streak with a 108-102 victory.

The Thunder were down one with about seven minutes left before scoring the next 11 points.

OEA

Oklahoma teachers plan to continue massive demonstrations at the state Capitol to keep the pressure on lawmakers to find more money for public education.

Classes were canceled at some of the state's largest school districts last week and will remain closed Monday as thousands of educators, students and their supporters keep up the protest.

Educators in Oklahoma — among the lowest-paid in the nation — have joined a rebellion in several Republican-led states. A strike by West Virginia teachers inspired the movement, which also spread to Kentucky and Arizona.

Strong Saturday Shaker near Perry

Apr 7, 2018
USGS

A strong 4.6 magnitude earthquake rolls residents of North Central Oklahoma out of bed on Saturday. The quake was centered near Perry. The quake happened at 7:16 this morning and was felt over a wide area of Oklahoma and Kansas. It was felt, by some, in Tulsa.

The quake was about three miles deep according to the USGS. There have been no reports of injuries. Officials are checking on damage.

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