BC-OK--Oklahoma Weekend Planner, Advisory, OK
The AP’s updated plan for the weekend. Members using Exchange stories should retain bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact 405-522-2121.
MOVING ON Saturday March 23:
AUSTIN, Texas _ Rattled by a dreadful midterm election for Republicans — and looking ahead to 2020 — conservative-leaning states including Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina are pouring new money into schools. And to ensure it doesn’t go unnoticed, Republicans are making a show of a renewed commitment to public classrooms, courting voters turned off by years of cost-cutting that catered to the party’s base. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: 800 words by 10 a.m. Eastern, photos.
MOVING ON Sunday, March 24:
PLASTIC BAG BAN
OKLAHOMA CITY _ Legislation pending in the Oklahoma Legislature would stop local communities from levying a tax on the use of plastic bags and other containers, similar to legislation adopted in almost a dozen other states. Many local communities have proposed taxing or banning plastic bags over environmental concerns.
MOVING ON Monday, March 25:
OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR-CANDIDATE CHARGED
OKLAHOMA CITY _ Testimony is set to begin Monday (March 25) in federal court for a former Oklahoma zookeeper and candidate for governor accused in a murder-for-hire plot. Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as “Joe Exotic” and who formerly operated a zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, is accused of trying to hire someone to kill the operator of a Florida-based animal sanctuary.
WEEKEND MEMBER EXCHANGES:
FOR USE Sunday, March 24, and thereafter:
EXCHANGE-HOMELESS-A BETTER WAY
TULSA, Okla. _ Ben Morrison and his friend Tenesha Beasley were cold and hungry and homeless recently, so they stopped by In the Spirit Christian Church hoping to find a welcoming space and a warm meal. What they got was a chance meeting with a 68-year-old former cocaine addict. Call it their lucky day. Many years ago, in the throes of addiction, Gerald Keene spent a year homeless in New York City. These days, he drives the A Better Way van three days a week, offering panhandlers a day’s work, a day’s wage and a chance to turn their lives around. By Kevin Canfield, Tulsa World. SENT IN ADVANCE: 873 words.
NORMAN, Okla. _ Students from eight Norman elementary schools came to the University of Oklahoma recently to do one thing: design the best parade float. That was the challenge handed down by Devon Energy for its second annual Design + Do Competition at the OU Tom Love Innovation Hub. Starting at 9 a.m., groups of fifth-grade students went from brainstorm to prototype and presentation using the various tools and resources the Innovation Hub has to offer. By Adam Troxtell, The Norman Transcript. SENT IN ADVANCE: 604 words.
FOR USE Monday, March 25, and thereafter:
EXCHANGE-OKLAHOMA CITY-DANGEROUS DROP
OKLAHOMA CITY _ On NW 150, in a mostly rural part of Oklahoma City, the aging asphalt pavement of the two-lane road is full of potholes. Farther west of N Morgan Road, NW 150 becomes a gravel road alongside wheat fields and a farm near a one-lane bridge. The road then winds next to the steep banks of Deer Creek. A red traffic reflector is nailed to a barbed wire fence post, warning of a steep drop-off. Illegal dumpers have been here. An industrial-size, disassembled dryer is next to a stack of used carpet padding, eyesores on the narrow shoulder near a ledge above the creek. By Robert Medley, The Oklahoman. SENT IN ADVANCE: 728 words.
DUNCAN, Okla. _ Through diligence and lots of paperwork, the Duncan Emergency Management has secured a rebate program through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Gary Curtis, Deputy Director of Duncan/Stephens County Emergency Management, said the city has qualified but needs a certain amount of residents to take part to help all who apply. According to officials, the program is a rebate for home or land owners who build a storm shelter and could get a portion of the cost back from FEMA. The city has been working on this for some time. By Linda Provost, The Duncan Banner. SENT IN ADVANCE: 527 words.
^The AP, Oklahoma City