Sometimes it’s easy to miss an event, so here’s a look back at the past week or so to help bring you up to date:
School districts statewide are taking stock as rising fuel prices force reevaluation of transportation policies, staffing and other expenses. In the 2006-2007 school year, the state provided $27.8 million in transportation money, although the actual costs were about $175 million.
Congress passed a $290 billion farm bill, preserving crop subsidies and adding billions for nutrition programs. The bill is headed for a veto, but each house had more than the two-thirds needed to override.
A ship carrying relief supplies to Myanmar’s 1.5 million cyclone survivors sank on its way to the disaster zone. The Red Cross has estimated the death toll in the Myanmar cyclone may reach 128,000. The Myanmar government says more than 43,000 are dead and almost 28,000 missing.
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province in the worst quake to rattle the country in three decades. The death toll may be as high as 50,000, the Chinese government said. The official Xinhua News Agency reported the quake had damaged 391 dams, including one upstream of the city of Dujiangyan. The Civil Affairs Ministry said the number of homeless could easily be in the hundreds of thousands and half a million homes have collapsed.
A team of doctors from Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City will be helping repair the trauma, and Edmond-based Love Without Boundaries was planning how to help damaged orphanages.
The Oklahoma Association of Realtors reports that the state’s home prices rose 3.5 percent in the first quarter of this year over the same period in 2007, but the number of homes sold was down 12 percent.
The U.S. House approved expanded GI benefits, essentially guaranteeing a full-ride scholarship and housing stipend for anyone who served at least three years in the military. It would be the most dramatic expansion of college aid for veterans since World War II. The plan would be paid for with a surtax on incomes over $500,000.
The price of a first-class stamp rose to 42 cents, although millions of 41-cent Forever stamps were sold in the weeks leading up to the price rise.
Oklahoma County voters approved buying the old General Motors plant to lease to Tinker Air Force Base. They also approved flood-control improvements and renovations to the country courthouse.
In Muskogee, a 19-year-old University of Oklahoma freshman was elected mayor. John Tyler Hammons received more than 70 percent of the vote in a runoff.
The state’s monthly general revenue fund collections fell short of estimates for the fourth consecutive month. Inflation is a greater threat to the nation and the state than recession, a member of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee said in Oklahoma City.
With one in 922 households in foreclosure, Oklahoma ranks No. 22 among the states in home foreclosures. Nevada was No. 1, with one in 146 households in foreclosure.
Hillary Rodham Clinton won the West Virginia primary, 2-1, but it was unlikely to stop Barack Obama from winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama leads in every category: state contests, delegates selected in primaries, superdelegates and the popular vote.
Former Democratic president hopeful John Edwards endorsed Obama, but Clinton said she wasn’t giving up yet.
A Texas man, Jeffrey Don Detrixhe, made a court appearance on charges he tried to swap 100 pounds of cyanide for a pound of methamphetamine. The deal to sell the cyanide to a buyer in Oklahoma City fell through, an affidavit said.
A breach in an Oklahoma State University computer server in March exposed the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of about 70,000 students, faculty and staff, the university disclosed.
The California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage. The ruling could allow same-sex marriage in the nation’s biggest state as soon as a month.
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