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BC-OK--Oklahoma Weekend Planner, Advisory, OK

March 22, 2019

Editors,

Wire Editors,

Photo Editors,

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.

............

STAFF/MEMBER STORIES:

MOVING ON Saturday March 23:

TEACHER STRIKES-POLITICS

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.

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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.

EXCHANGE-PARADE FLOATS-DESIGN

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.

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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.

EXCHANGE-STORM SHELTER-REBATES

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