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Oklahoma Department of Corrections

An Oklahoma state prison is scheduled to close at the end of the year.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said William S. Key Correctional Center in Ft. Supply is unsafe and too expensive to keep open.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Thirty-four Oklahoma lawmakers are asking Governor Kevin Stitt and the Pardon and Parole Board to begin an independent investigation into a death row prisoner’s first-degree murder conviction.

The legislators believe evidence points to Richard Glossip’s innocence and argue that killing him without being absolutely certain of his guilt will "erode public trust" in Oklahoma’s justice system.

Glossip was convicted of hiring another man to murder hotel owner Barry Van Treese in 1997.

Needle exchange programs can link people to critical treatment and prevent the spread of infectious disease, but they’re often associated with large coastal or European cities. Conservative Oklahoma is opening up to the idea. 

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Epic Charter Schools’ reconstituted governing board met Tuesday night to approve a more than $335 million budget.

An increase in public funding from the state legislature will benefit Epic, as the virtual charter behemoth estimates it will receive a 20% increase in per pupil funding.

That percentage increase comes as enrollment is likely to decline. Epic officials said during the meeting after reaching a high of 55,000 students, they project 45,000 will attend Epic next fall.

Attendees watch short films as part of deadCenter Film Festival’s “Okie Shorts” program at Oklahoma City’s Scissortail Park on June 13, 2020.
deadCenter Film

The 21st annual deadCenter Film Festival runs through Sunday, June 20 in Oklahoma City, featuring a record breaking 180 films. Organizers worked this year to make the state’s largest film festival more diverse and accessible. 

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

The Muscogee Nation will be purchasing the recently closed Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility located in South Tulsa.

New Life Ranch

A Green Country Christian summer camp is on hold and changing its public health protocols following a COVID-19 outbreak.

OKCPS

Oklahoma City Public Schools is offering a $3,000 stipend for teachers who speak the most common second languages in its classrooms.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

With summer approaching, Oklahoma is quickly moving toward resumption of pre-COVID life. In late May, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order rescinding mask mandates in state buildings. The order also prohibits state agencies from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for admission to state facilities. Previously, Stitt had ordered that schools, colleges and universities could not require vaccinations or masks. With the expiration of his state emergency order, Oklahoma is also returning to in-person meetings to comply with the Open Meeting Act. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss how the state is resuming "normal" operations in this week's Capitol Insider.

Jackie Fortier/StateImpact

Oklahoma continues to rank top three in the nation for Hepatitis C deaths, but health officials are hopeful recent policy changes will help reverse the trend.

The Cherokee Nation held tribal council elections on June 5th, which drew 38 candidates for 8 districts and one at-large seat.

Nate Billings/The Oklahoman

The City of Anadarko was without water Wednesday after a major line break. City officials say the repair could take weeks.

Tulsa Voters Approve Massive School Bond Package

Jun 9, 2021
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tulsa voters approved a massive $414 million bond package for the city’s public school district on Tuesday.

The package was broken up into four questions focused on improving Tulsa Public Schools’ building, technology and transportation infrastructure as well as funding learning programs.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Ending just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, Norman city council members unanimously passed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget with no cuts to the police department. 

The city council approved an amendment 5-4 to allocate $500,000 towards a mobile health crisis response unit, but the money will not come from police funds as originally proposed. Instead, the money will be sourced from the city's general fund.  

Ryan LaCroix

The Oklahoma City Council approved more than $227 million for the city’s police budget on Tuesday. The total is a $1.3 million increase over the last fiscal year. The budget approval comes one year after some residents demanded funds be taken away from police and invested in community resources.

Sterling Cosper

The Muscogee Nation approved legislation last week to add a ballot question that could strengthen the tribal nation's free press protections.

The ballot question asks citizens of the Muscogee Nation if they want to make free press protections permanent.

In 2018, Muscogee Media, the tribal nation's news outlet, had their free press protections revoked until July of last year, when it was reinstated.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

About a week into sign ups, 100,000 Oklahomans have enrolled in Medicaid expansion.

This is the Manager’s Minute. 

NPR is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and KGOU is celebrating, too. We’re now in our fiftieth year and will celebrate 51 years on the air in September.  

 

Kevin Lallier / Flickr.com

Rain and abnormal cloud coverage leading to unfavorable drying conditions is delaying the wheat harvest in some parts of Oklahoma.

Governor Kevin Stitt wanted to use a managed care approach to handle Oklahoma's Medicaid program, SoonerCare, with expansion of Medicaid mandated by a vote of the people in 2020. Legislators were skeptical and placed limits on the approach through passage of Senate Bill 131. Now, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has weighed in and invalidated the managed care approach altogether in litigation brought by the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Dental Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists and the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. KGOU's Dick Pryor and Shawn Ashley discuss what happened and what's likely to result in this week's Capitol Insider.

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