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Caroline Halter/KGOU

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission passed a rule barring elected officials and agency heads from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving their positions. It’s the same rule lawmakers rejected during the 2018 legislative session.

Kay Stokes pushes her husband, Roger, in a wheelchair outside of Grace Living Center in Oklahoma City. Grace is one of the nursing homes of which the City of Pauls Valley has become its designated owner.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

A handful of small Oklahoma cities have become owners of dozens of Oklahoma nursing homes across the state in the past 15 months, hoping to tap into a federal program that will bring them millions of dollars.

Marijuana leaf
Wikimedia Commons

On this episode of Capitol Insider, Dr. Amy Goodin of OU Poll joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss polling and focus groups commissioned for Oklahoma Engaged, a collaboration between NPR member stations in Oklahoma. Goodin talks about the general “disillusionment” of voters throughout the state, as well as some of their ideas about how to fund public education, the leading political concern in the 2018 election cycle.

 

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

Political spending by secretive groups that are allowed to hide their donors have already spent what is likely a record amount this year to influence Oklahoma political races.

An Oklahoma Watch review of campaign finance records found so-called “dark money” groups had spent nearly $2.7 million on Oklahoma’s legislative, statewide and congressional races by the end of August.

Laron Chapman visited the KGOU studios in Norman to talk about his film, "You People."
Caroline Halter / KGOU

Oklahoma City filmmaker Laron Chapman premiered his first feature film, "You People," at the deadCenter Film Festival in June and won the award for Best Oklahoma Film. It’s the story of an adopted black college student in Oklahoma named Chad who grew up in a white, middle class family coming to terms with who he is.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh hopes prison reform doesn’t stop with the last round of Legislature’s last round of reform bills.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Every day, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh sits at his desk and tries to make a severely overcrowded, understaffed prison system work.

U.S. Lawmakers Move To Protect Native-Owned Land

Sep 12, 2018
A historic map of Oklahoma and Indian Territories. Tribal land within the purple line belong to the Five Tribes.
Gaylord News

Legislation that would eliminate blood requirements for Native landholders seeking to hold onto ancestral land passed the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utility Division attorney *Mike Velez speaks before the commission inside the Jim Thorpe building in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is seeking documents from a phone company that provides subsidized phones to low income individuals.

Sarah Terry-Cobo reports in the Journal Record that a Corporation Commission complaint against True Wireless alleges more than 2,800 violations and seeks $1.4 million in fines. Many of the violations have to do with verifying the eligibility of participants in the federal Lifeline program, which provides free or discounted phones for people who meet certain income requirements, are members of a Native American tribe, and participates in other federal programs like food stamps, Social Security disability, Medicaid or Section 8 housing.

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs

The Oklahoma Veterans Commission met Tuesday to review a recent audit alleging a culture of “fear and intimidation” within the agency.

Kurt Gwartney/ Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s claim to the buckle of the Bible belt is widely accepted as true. But when it comes to faith and voting, new research shows more residents are letting their political values influence the church they choose.

 

At a recent weekly Sunday morning donut hour at Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa, people are busy talking about the start of school and the college football season while getting their weekly dose of juice, coffee and donuts.

High school students pack into front row seats at the University of Oklahoma stadium in Norman on a muggy Thursday evening, set to watch the city’s biggest rivalry: the Norman High School Tigers versus the Norman North Timberwolves.

Members of the state Senate are shown here in May 2018. Seven of the 48 senators are women.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Before the first vote was even cast in Oklahoma’s elections this year, women had already made history.

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In this episode of Capitol Insider, Dr. Michael Crespin of the University of Oklahoma joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss new research on why some legislators refuse to compromise.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., leaves the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 17, 2017.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

Sen. Jim Inhofe joined the historical ranks of powerful Oklahoma senators as he became the first Oklahoman to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday.

Oklahoma teachers learn about student trauma at a training session at Duncan High School.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kristin Atchley, the Executive Director of Counseling for the State Department of Education, said it’s standard practice for Oklahoma school teachers to yell at kids who are causing trouble, send them to the principal’s office, or tell them to put their head down without much regard for what might be driving their poor behavior.

Now she’s trying to change that.

The University of Oklahoma Medical Center is one of two safety-net hospitals in the state that is facing a loss of federal funds it says it needs to train future health care providers.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

The federal government has clawed back another $32 million in Medicaid matching funds as part of an ongoing dispute over Oklahoma’s use of the money to help fund medical schools that treat Medicaid patients.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services notified state officials Aug. 31 that it disallowed a total of $64.2 million in federal matching funds for the 2017 calendar year. The total includes almost $33 million that was previously disallowed.

An aerial view of the Blue Canyon Wind Farm in southwestern Oklahoma.
Google Earth

Oklahoma ranks No. 2 in the nation for installed wind power capacity, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association.

This electricity — enough, the association estimates, to power the equivalent of 2.3 million homes — is generated by 3,736 wind turbines operating in Oklahoma, a public dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, AWEA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show.

The Minstrel Era exhibit at the American Banjo Museum
American Banjo Museum

Many children of the 1970s and 1980s can trace their first taste of the banjo to Kermit the Frog, sitting alone, forlorn but hopeful, strumming his banjo and singing at the beginning of The Muppet Movie. Kermit’s song, “The Rainbow Connection,” was the breakout hit of the 1979 movie, and served as a positive introduction to the banjo.

Inhofe Named Chair Of Senate Armed Services Committee

Sep 5, 2018
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., stops to speak to members of the media after attending the weekly GOP conference luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Sen. Jim Inhofe became the first Oklahoman to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named him to replace John McCain.

Caroline Halter

Before it happened to her son, Donna Tocknell thought addiction was something that happened to other people.

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