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Guards make their rounds on the eighth floor of the Oklahoma County Jail in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The body entrusted with running the Oklahoma County Jail reconsidered a vote to remove an ICE agent from the jail on Monday. The vote occurred as the jail trust faces a lawsuit demanding cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ACT Scores Continue To Decline In Oklahoma

Oct 20, 2020

Oklahoma's ACT scores are continuing to decline. Recently released numbers from the tester show the state’s average score fell for the second straight year.

Shutterstock

Nearly 100% of Oklahomans were counted in the once-every-decade Census, which saw its data-collection period that came to an end Thursday. 

Ward 3 Councilmember Alison Petrone
City of Norman

The Norman City Clerk announced in September Unite Norman had submitted the number of valid signatures needed to initiate recall proceedings for Ward 3 Councilmember Alison Petrone, but that the group fell short of the signatures required for Mayor Breea Clark. But matters related to the recall effort seem to be far from over. 

Oklahoma GOP

Already sporting a 270,000 registered voter lead over Democrats in Oklahoma at the beginning of 2020, the state GOP has seen a big surge in registrations heading into the November 3rd General Election. KGOU's Dick Pryor and Shawn Ashley discuss that and more from the GOP perspective with Oklahoma Republican Party Chair David McLain. 

Edmond resident Jay Mandraccia casts her primary ballot during early voting Thursday at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections. Regular voting will be held Tuesday.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

Each Monday in October from 1 p.m. 2 p.m. KGOU features Oklahoma Engaged LIVE: Voice of the Voter hosted by KGOU General Manager Dick Pryor and Managing Editor Logan Layden. The program focuses on what’s motivating voters to get to the polls this fall. Episode 2 from October 12th includes a discussion with StateImpact Oklahoma reporters Catherine Sweeney and Quinton Chandler on State Question 814 and State Question 805. 

 

State Officials Say Oklahoma Is On Track To Resume Executions

Oct 16, 2020

Executions by lethal injection are usually carried out in six to 12 minutes.  

On April 29, 2014, it took 43 minutes for Clayton Lockett to die. 

SQ805 Attacks Lengthy Prison Sentences; Opponents Say There Would Be Unintended Consequences

Oct 15, 2020
Voters line up to cast ballots shortly after precincts opened in Oklahoma City on Election Day in 2012.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s standards for punishing people convicted of crimes are shifting. In 2016, voters chose to reduce punishments for drug possession and some property crimes often associated with addiction.

A Guide To State Question 805 And Its Potential Impact On Oklahoma Criminal Justice

Oct 15, 2020

As the Nov. 3 general election date draws near, public confusion regarding State Question 805—a ballot initiative which would amend the Oklahoma Constitution and end the use of sentence enhancements against some repeat offenders—remains high.

Health experts have repeatedly recommended the use of face coverings, to go along with social distancing and other guidelines meant to stunt the spread of COVID-19. But those measures have become politicized. Kateleigh Mills with Oklahoma Engaged talked with two Oklahoma voters about how masking and voting in the age of the coronavirus have impacted them.

A little girl plucks petals in the 1964 “Daisy” ad, which aired on behalf of incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson, warning viewers of the possibility of a nuclear war if his Republican opponent Barry Goldwater were to be elected.
YouTube

Candidates have appealed to voters’ fears by using negative political advertisements throughout the nation’s history, but in modern politics, fear ads have become a crucial part of campaigns. They can be made quickly and come from a variety of sources, but there’s a science to candidates’ use of fear as a political tool.

This is the Manager’s Minute.  

Public broadcasting stations across the country have seen listening habits change in 2020 – largely because fewer people have been commuting to work and listening while they drive. We’ve been concerned about how the coronavirus might change the amount of private giving we receive, so it’s been gratifying to see the results of our fall fundraiser. 

An Epic advertisement at an Oklahoma City mall.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s Statewide Virtual Charter School Board started the process to end its contract and support for Epic Virtual Charter Schools Tuesday afternoon.

 

Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory Relocation Plan Draws Blowback

Oct 13, 2020
The Oklahoma State Department of Health building in Oklahoma City.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s sudden announcement last week that the state’s public health laboratory will move to Stillwater quickly garnered opposition.

State Board Of Education Demands Epic Virtual Charter Schools Return $11.2 Million

Oct 12, 2020
A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Monday was not a good day for Epic Virtual Charter Schools.

The virtual charter behemoth is facing fresh scrutiny from Oklahoma leaders in the wake of an investigative audit report that says they owe millions of dollars to the state.

 

Four Takeaways From The First Horn-Bice Congressional Debate

Oct 11, 2020
he debate between the contestants in the 5th Congressional race was sponsored by OETA, the Oklahoma City chapter of the League of Women Voters and Oklahoma Watch.
Provided

The two candidates in Oklahoma’s closely watched 5th Congressional District talked health care, foreign policy and policing during their first debate ahead of November’s election.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

On Friday, October 9, the State Department of Health reported the largest one-day total for number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma - 1,524. The new number pushed the seven-day rolling average for new cases in Oklahoma to 1,075. And, statewide hospitalizations reached a record high for the second time in a week.

In this May 23, 1944 file photo, the organism treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis, is seen through an electron microscope.
AP

Over the past six months, we’ve gotten pretty familiar with terms we hadn’t heard regularly before, like contact tracers and infectious disease intervention specialists. But they’re not new. Before the coronavirus, many of Oklahoma’s workers in that sector had their eye on another disease: syphilis.

Oklahoma is finally getting a new public health lab, but it won’t be in Oklahoma City.

Two Oklahoma Voters Discuss How Protests, Police Budget Cuts Have Impacted Them

Oct 8, 2020
Protesters on NE 36th and Kelley in Oklahoma City, Okla. in June 2020.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Outrage and unrest following the killings of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement has pushed the conversation about police brutality to the forefront as the 2020 election looms. The killing of George Floyd, the 2017 acquittal of a Tulsa officer in the shooting of Terence Crutcher and the police budget reduction in Norman this year are all shaping the way Oklahomans vote. Kateleigh Mills talked with two voters about these issues for Oklahoma Engaged.

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