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Over the past decade, language classes have been disappearing from Oklahoma public schools, reports Oklahoma Watch.

As of last year, a quarter of high schools across the state had eliminated world language classes altogether. The result: hundreds of graduating classes filled with students who’ve missed out on a key component that could better prepare them for college and higher earnings in the job market.

Lottery Funds Helping Outdoor Colorado

Jan 16, 2018
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Lottery proceeds in are benefitting open-space projects in Colorado, making it more likely that a proposed bill to make the state lottery permanent will pass.

As The Denver Post reports, a new study found that grants from Colorado Lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado directly supported 11,800 jobs, providing $507 million in labor income and, by protecting land and water and open space for recreation, helped spur $392 million in spending on sporting goods over the past decade.

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it’ll spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.

The latest drought report shows that all of Kansas is drying out, with the southern parts of the state now being considered in extreme drought.

But what impact could this weather pattern have if it sticks around?

More than 50 percent of the state is currently seeing drought conditions, up from only 1.5 percent three months ago. And assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp says the outlook for the next three months isn't much better.

A push by the Brownback administration to keep turning to private firms to run its Medicaid program for years to come faces resistance from key Republican lawmakers.

Those legislators have signaled they want existing problems repaired with KanCare — particularly application backlogs, delays in provider payments and disputes over services for Kansans with disabilities. Only then should the state go ahead with Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to launch KanCare 2.0 and its new lifetime limits, work requirements and other policy changes.

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For months, political prognosticators in the Lone Star State have been predicting a possible “blue wave” of successful Democratic candidates in upcoming elections.

Now, as The San Antonio Express-News reports, that same blue wave may soon result in a surge of newly elected gay officials in Texas. The ballots for 2018 contain a record number of LGBTQ candidates. In fact, the number of gay candidates on this year’s ballot is double the previous record.

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It’s no secret that rural Americans don’t have enough options when it comes to health care. In fact, life expectancies for rural Americans have been dropping. Meanwhile, rural Americans are at more likely to die from each of the five leading causes of death in America.

National Western Stock Show Underway In Denver

Jan 15, 2018
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The National Western Stock Show is underway in Denver and as the Denver Post reports, 750 cowboys and cowgirls from across the country are expected to participate in all things rodeo between now and when the finals are held on Jan. 21.

From Texas Standard.

Texans don’t care about primary elections – at least if history is any indication. Single-digit turnouts are not uncommon in non-presidential election years. But there’s reason to think conventional wisdom could be turned on its head this March.

An unlikely coalition of business groups and educators are coming together to get out the vote, and they appear to have rattled allies of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Today, about three of every 20 students in Kansas fail to graduate from high school. Gov. Sam Brownback contends that in five years only one will fall short.

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Determined not to let the momentum die, protesters once again converged on hundreds of cities — at home and abroad — for the second annual Women's March, seeking to unite in a call for social change but also to channel their fury into voter action.

Nationwide demonstrations from New York to Washington, D.C., to Oklahoma City to Los Angeles were planned on the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration. And overseas, protesters were coming out in France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Nigeria and Ghana.

Paul Bocuse, whom the French president called "the epitome of French cuisine," died Saturday at the age of 91.

"Today French gastronomy is losing a mythical figure that profoundly transformed it," the Élysée said.

Thai police toppled an accused kingpin in the global multi-million-dollar wildlife black market, with the arrest on Friday of Boonchai Bach in Nakhon Phanom, near the Laos border along the Mekong river.

At Boston's Mei Mei Street Kitchen, a small crew led by Ellie Tiglao rearranges tables, turning the Chinese-American restaurant into a pop-up Filipino banquet hall. About 30 people mill about, sticking with the groups in which they came. A line forms to buy beer.

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