KGOU

Jacob McCleland

KGOU News Director

Jacob joined the KGOU News department in March 2015; previously he spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jacob warns us he won't answer the phone when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing a postseason game. Fun fact: his high school mascot is the Appleknocker.

Ways to Connect

Eh Pree (middle) and her brother, Gala Soe, at their family home in Guymon, Oklahoma.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gala Soe and his family sit on their living room floor, watching his infant daughter play with bright plastic balls on a colorful mat. Portraits of family members line the walls of their trailer.

Allen L. Hutson is an attorney with Crowe & Dunlevy law firm in Oklahoma City.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

Attorneys in Oklahoma are telling business-owning clients that they should adapt their drug-testing policies now that the state has adopted medical marijuana.

Landowner David Griesel stands in his property in El Reno.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Residents of El Reno and a Texas-based wastewater disposal company have reached an agreement over the site of a disposal well.

Tifany Brown looks at a new Nissan Rogue on the Hudiburg Nissan lot at 200 E. I-240 Service Rd. in Oklahoma City.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

State legislators repealed a longstanding sales tax exemption on motor vehicle sales during the budget crisis of 2017. The Journal Record reports state revenue collections have since recovered and the economy has improved, so State Sen. Kim David has filed a bill to reverse the motor vehicle sales tax.

Maurice Halperin, in a yearbook photo from the 1926-27 Ranger (TX) College yearbook. Halperin taught at Ranger College before coming to OU.
Ranger College

In the 1930s and early 40s, a young language professor at the University of Oklahoma came under suspicion of being a communist. Maurice Halperin taught at Oklahoma when the state’s governor was investigating communist activities at the state’s universities.

Great Plains Regional Medical Center in Elk City.
Journal Record

A rural southwestern Oklahoma hospital received a $23 million loan to help fund improvements. The Journal Report reports the loan is part of $501 million in United States Department of Agriculture investments in health care services and related services.

FULL TRANSCRIPT  

Melanie Anthony, vice president of development and community engagement at Pivot, points out the design of the nonprofit’s tiny houses. Construction will start by year’s end on the first six homes.
Molly Fleming / Journal Record

Tiny houses could help Oklahoma City teens learn big life lessons. Pivot, a nonprofit that helps teens who do not have homes, plans to build 12 tiny houses at their campus at 201 NE 50th St.

Update: 11:18 p.m.

Republican Kevin Stitt has defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson and Libertarian Chris Powell to become Oklahoma's next governor. The Tulsa businessman is a political newcomer who largely campaigned on his business background.

With nearly 89 percent of the vote tallied, Stitt leads Edmondson as the top vote-getter by a margin of 54.7 percent to 41.9 percent.

Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma voters face five state questions when they vote this month. While this election’s state questions are not as high profile as recent ballot proposals on medical marijuana and alcohol law changes, they do present some meaningful changes in specific areas.

A man walks his dog along Hudson Avenue in the Edgemere Park neighborhood in Oklahoma City.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

A meeting between members of the Oklahoma City city council, hosts for Airbnb and the local hotel industry was cancelled last Friday.

A man walks out of Cox Convention Center on Thursday in downtown Oklahoma City.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

As construction continues on Oklahoma City’s new MAPS 3 convention center, developers are already talking about what will happen with the Cox Convention Center. The old center occupies prime downtown real estate next the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Education is a top focus for many voters. Others, like Jason Retherford, a youth and family minister from Duncan, worry about the lack of economic opportunity. A poll found 57 percent of Oklahomans say jobs and economy are the main problems for families.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

If Daryl Fisher, a supervisor at a group home for young men, could fix one thing in Oklahoma, it would be education.

“Everybody always focuses on kids,” he said in an interview at a gas station in downtown Oklahoma City. “But are we really focusing on kids when we’re opening up more jails, trying to make more room, and not educating them? Are we really focusing on them?”

True Wireless Denies Allegations, Fights Injunction Request

Oct 17, 2018
Public Utilities Director Brandy Wreath, left, looks at a cellphone in 2015 in a True Wireless tent where the company sold subsidized phone service. Regulatory staff members previously dressed in casual clothes during field inspections and investigations.
File / Oklahoma Corporation Commission

A company that signs up people for federally-subsidized cell phones is fighting allegations that it enrolled ineligible customers.

A Carvana vehicle vending machine in Austin, Texas.
Trevelino Keller / Carvana

An online company that sells used cars out of an automated tower – similar to a vending machine -- is eyeing the Oklahoma City market.

Golfers on the 18th fairway at Trosper Golf Club in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

Oklahoma’s sweeping alcohol law changes went into effect Monday. Grocery and convenience stores can now sell cold full strength beer and wine, and liquor stores can stay open later and sell non-alcoholic products like limes and corkscrews.

From left, Hank Binkowski, of Buy For Less Grocery Co., speaks as Susan Binkowski, of Esperanza Real Estate; Daniel Laury, of Udelv; and Mike Patterson, ODOT executive director; listen during a press event Thursday at Uptown Grocery.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

Last week, Amazon announced it would expand its Whole Foods delivery service to Oklahoma City. Shortly after, the local Buy For Less grocery store company unveiled a partnership with Udelv to delivery groceries with autonomous vans.

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.

Two women ride Bird electric scooters past a Spokies bike-share station near Reno Avenue and Ron Norick Boulevard in Oklahoma City Friday.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

Commuters in several cities in Oklahoma have new options for getting around town. Bicycle and electric scooter sharing programs are popping up in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Stillwater. Some, like Oklahoma City’s Spokies, are public programs. Others, like Bird, are private companies.

Matt Pinnell, left, and Kevin Stitt talk to reporters at a watch party in Tulsa on Aug. 28, 2018.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Engaged

A political outsider will be the Republican party's nominee for governor.

Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman, defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Stitt defeated Cornett 55 to 45 percent. 

Paul N. "Red" Adair is seen in a November, 1980 photo, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" show.
Ap Photo

The potential for an explosion exists every time an oil and gas well is drilled. A specialized group of oil field workers, sometimes called ‘hellfighters,’ respond to and control well explosions, like the one in Quinton, Oklahoma in January. The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports it’s a job that requires a high degree of training, but some professionals are concerned about loss of experience in the field.

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