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BC-OK--Oklahoma News Digest 1:30 pm, OK

December 18, 2018

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Oklahoma. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Oklahoma City bureau at apoklahoma@ap.org or 405-525-2121.

Oklahoma Administrative Correspondent Adam Kealoha Causey can be reached at acausey@ap.org or 405-996-1589.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times Central.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org




OKLAHOMA CITY _ Early projections from state finance officials show Oklahoma’s newly elected governor and Republican-led Legislature will have a budget surplus of close to $612 million for the upcoming fiscal year. The increase is due in part to an improving state economy and more oil and natural gas production. The State Board of Equalization will meet Wednesday to certify the estimate. 130 words. A longer version is not planned.


MADISON, W.Va. _ If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, West Virginia is a good place to start. The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally. Earlier this fall, U.S. health officials released for the first time life expectancy predictions at a neighborhood level. An Associated Press analysis of the data found wide disparities in cities and towns. Among states, the AP found, Hawaii had the highest life expectancy. West Virginia was the second lowest, behind Mississippi. Mississippi, Oklahoma and a few other states suffer death and disease rates that are about as bad _ or sometimes worse. By Mike Stobbe. SENT: 2,330 words, with photos.


_ MED--LIFE EXPECTANCY-NEIGHBORHOODS. By Nicky Forster. SENT: 480 words, with photo.



STILLWATER, Okla. _ Faculty and staff at Oklahoma State University will have to wait for performance-based pay raises after low enrollment numbers resulted in a budget shortfall. The Oklahoman reports that university officials announced Monday that the school will need to postpone the 2.5 percent merit-based pay raise program, which was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. 250 words.


_ BANKER INDICTED-SENTENCE _ The former president and CEO of a shuttered Oklahoma bank has been sentenced to four years in a federal prison and ordered to pay more than $137 million in restitution for making false statements.





Creighton plays Oklahoma at Lloyd Noble Center. UPCOMING: 600 words, more on merit.



College football fans used to treat the first Wednesday of February like a virtual national holiday. Now that recruiting ritual and all the madness surrounding it has shifted to December. Most schools are signing nearly all their incoming recruits the week before Christmas. The arrival of an early signing period last year enticed the vast majority of last year’s top seniors to finalize their college plans in December. “I just think everybody sees (December) as the new signing date, in my opinion,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. This year’s early signing period begins Wednesday and runs through Friday. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 800 words, with photos.


If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apoklahoma@ap.org and follow up with a phone call to 405-525-2121.

If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867.

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