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In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, Julie Ezell, speaks to the Oklahoma Board of Health in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The former lawyer for the Oklahoma State Department of Health faces felony charges accusing her of sending herself threatening emails related to Oklahoma’s recently adopted medical marijuana rules.

Oklahoma County prosecutors filed three separate charges Tuesday against Julie Ezell. The criminal complaint accuses Ezell of sending threats to her own government email account earlier this month and reporting the threats to health department investigators.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

“Don’t be a stinker, use your blinker.”

 

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission requested roughly $3 million dollars for the 2019 fiscal year, which began July 1. But the legislature told the commission to use money collected through agency fees in its own revolving fund— some $700,000— to continue operating.

Now the commission is suing Governor Mary Fallin and other elected officials, alleging a violation of Oklahoma’s constitution, which requires the legislature to “sufficiently” fund the commission’s duties.

 

Two groups of Oklahomans have filed lawsuits to block last-minute additions to the state’s first-ever medical marijuana rules.

Pedro Figueras/Pexels

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley talk through the process and politics of the controversial health department rules for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, including a ban on products intended for smoking. These rules can be amended, but as Ashley explains, Republicans lack the political will to return to the capitol before the next legislative session. Democrats will likely turn it into a campaign issue.  

 

  FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s been three weeks since Sarah Sinkinson last saw her children and she’s ready for a visit from her daughter, Madeline. Sinkinson lights up as her daughter is escorted into a small visitation room and sits down at a desk opposite her.

medical marijuana
David Trawin / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahomans will have many legal questions about medical marijuana, but attorneys say existing rules might make it difficult to answer them. Marijuana is illegal at the federal, and rules of professional conduct in Oklahoma prohibit attorneys from counseling or assisting clients in criminal or fraudulent conduct.

Voters approved the sale, cultivation and transportation of medical marijuana by passing State Question 788 in June 2018.
Mia Mamone / KGOU

On Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law emergency medical marijuana rules, including two controversial amendments approved by the state board of health earlier this week.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Engaged

Long before the Tonight Show, late night TV icon Johnny Carson was hosted a game show entitled “Who Do You Trust?”

A sign advertises recreational and medical marijuana outside a dispensary in Colorado.
David Anderson / David Anderson

The Oklahoma State Board of Health on Tuesday approved emergency rules to regulate medical marijuana, which Oklahoma voters approved in June.

Crescent Public Schools Superintendent Bart Watkins said while his district spend a relatively high percentage of its funding on instruction, it has been forced to make cuts, including in number of positions.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Amid an intensifying drumbeat of political promises to propel schools to spend more of their dollars in the classroom, Crescent Public Schools stands out.

Candidates lined up at the State Capitol on April 11 to file to run for office.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

When Oklahomans return to the polls to select the state’s next governor and a host of statewide and legislative officers, they will be making their choices without potentially decisive information.

Former state Rep. Joe Dorman meets with voters on the University of Oklahoma campus during his 2014 campaign for governor.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

 

In this episode of Capitol Insider, former state representative and 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Dorman joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss what political candidates are doing following the June 26 primary election. Dorman gives an insider perspective on day-to-day campaigning, local versus statewide strategies and the necessity of fundraising in today’s political system.

 

Ainsley Hoover, a teacher in Enid Public Schools, says the nine-day teacher walkout helped her realized that she has to stay politically engaged if she wants change.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

On the night of the primary elections, Ainsley Hoover was at a small watch party at the Chili’s restaurant in Enid. She had helped her friend, a fellow teacher, campaign for House District 41,  and they were anxiously awaiting the results.


An albino western diamondback rattlesnake is one of about 35 reptiles on exhibit at the OKC Rattlesnake Museum.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A museum showcasing some of the nation’s deadliest snakes opened Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates, 2018
Oklahoma Watch

All of a sudden last week, 15 candidates in the Oklahoma governor’s race were pared to five: one Democrat, two Libertarians, two Republicans.

Inmates walk their training dogs at Mabel Bassett Correction Center in McLoud.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahoma has now overtaken Louisiana as the state with the highest incarceration rate in the country, according to data from the Prison Policy Initiative.

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with John Carl, a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Oklahoma, about how the rate got so high and what kind of overhaul is in motion.

Interview Highlights

Joe Allbaugh is director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections was a frequent topic for lawmakers during this year’s legislative session. The department was given an additional $8.75 million to balance its books for fiscal year 2018 and more than $517 million for fiscal year 2019 that began July 1. 

My Second Closet in downtown Wewoka sells new and gently-used clothing to everyone “from fashionistas to cowboys,” says owner Kay Wallace.
Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Engaged

Kay Wallace holds up a denim Gucci jumpsuit as she sorts through a pile of clothes behind the counter of her shop in downtown Wewoka.

“Of course it’s not my size —it’s an extra large,” she said. “This is one of my favorites.”

Cheryl Hooper sells TNT Fireworks from her stand near Route 66 and Westminster Road in Arcadia.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

As America gears up to celebrate Independence Day this year, it’s important to know where you can legally set off consumer-grade fireworks in Oklahoma.  

 

Use of fireworks like firecrackers is prohibited within city limits in the following Oklahoma City metro municipalities:

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