Caroline Halter | KGOU
KGOU

Caroline Halter

KGOU Producer/Reporter

Caroline produced Capitol Insider and did general assignment reporting. She joined KGOU after a stint at Marfa Public Radio, where she covered a wide range of local and regional issues in far west Texas. Previously, she reported on state politics for KTOO Public Media in Alaska and various outlets in Washington State.

Caroline has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Seattle University and speaks Spanish proficiently. As part of her degree, she edited for a Tibetan newspaper in Northern India and conducted independent research in rural Kenya.

Ways to Connect

Kevin Stitt, candidate for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma Governor, speaks in Guthrie, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Attorney General Mike Hunter approved Gov. Stitt’s conflict of interest plan late last week. Stitt submitted his plan in early January, focusing mostly on separating himself from Gateway Mortgage Group, the lending company he founded in 2000.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss a whirlwind week at that state capitol. The two discuss the new powers of Oklahoma's governor, new regulations on medical marijuana and controversial abortion legislation. 

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley interview Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City. Floyd explains her opposition to the Republican plan to give the governor more authority over state agencies and her hopes for increasing education funding.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Feb. 28 was the first major deadline since the the 2019 Oklahoma legislative session convened. In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss bills gaining traction at the state capitol, as well as one piece of legislation that has already been signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt. 

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Oklahoma is one of 11 states that gives each school a letter grade. The State Board of Education approved and released school report cards using a new grading formula Thursday.

After deliberating for half a day, a jury convicted 24 year-old Jerry Varnell of attempting to use of an explosive device and a weapon of mass destruction on Feb. 25. Varnell could spend the rest of this life in prison.

Oklahoma state Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, works in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat speaks with Dick Pryor about key issues in the 2019 legislative session, including Medicaid expansion and his proposal to increase government transparency. 

Caroline Halter

Jerry Varnell’s lawyers called his mother, Melonie Varnell, as their first witness after the federal government rested its case Thursday. Her testimony painted a picture of her son’s schizophrenia, a focal point for the defense.

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma will have $574 million more to spend in fiscal year 2020, which begins in July. That’s 7.5 percent more than the current fiscal year, but half a percent less than estimates from Dec. Those estimates did not account for decreasing oil prices, which plunged nearly 40 percent from Oct. to Dec.

Encyclopedia Brittanica

 

Oklahoma City suffered worst domestic terrorism attack in American history when a man named Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal government building on April 19, 1995.

 

Now 24 year old Jerry Varnell of Sayre is on trial for attempting to bomb the BancFirst building, just a few blocks away from what is now a memorial dedicated to the 168 people McVeigh killed. Evidence clearly shows Varnell participated in the plot but his agency and wherewithal are in question.

24-year-old Jerry Varnell is on trial for attempting to bomb the BancFirst building in downtown Oklahoma City. Attorneys questioned two men involved in the “domestic terrorism investigation” that led to Varnell’s arrest during his first week in federal court.

Dick Pryor/KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat speaks with Dick Pryor about the most pressing issues facing the legislature during the 2019 session, including retaining Oklahoma teachers, gun laws and state revenue. This is the first of a two part interview. 

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Gov. Kevin Stitt stood before the Oklahoma legislature to deliver his first State of the State address Monday. He outlined key pieces of his executive budget for fiscal year 2020. The legislature will craft its own budget during the 2019 legislative session.

AP Photo/Adam Kealoha Causey

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss Gov. Stitt and other Republican leaders' shifting stance on expanding Medicaid in Oklahoma. The two also preview the governor's budget proposal, which will be unveiled Feb. 4 following the State of the State address.

Legislative Black Caucus

Senator George Young said the Legislative Black Caucus met Thursday with University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly to discuss recent racial incidents on campus. Young, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, chairs the caucus.

“I had some concerns after leaving our meeting,” Young said. “He’s [Gallogly] trying, but I see some room for a lot of work with what he needs to understand about social issues and how to go about addressing them.”

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

In this episode of Capitol Insider KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley unpack executive orders signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt during his second week in office. They also discuss an interesting budget proposal from the Dept. of Corrections. 

Caroline Halter

Hundreds joined the University of Oklahoma’s Black Student Association (OU BSA) Thursday afternoon in a march across campus after a video of a person wearing blackface near campus surfaced Jan 23. This is the second such incident within a week. Another video of a student in blackface using a racial slur began circulating Friday, Jan 18.

Oklahoma has some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country. Women must wait 72 hours after deciding to have an abortion, they cannot use insurance— public or private— to pay for the procedure in most cases, and each woman seeking an abortion in Oklahoma is required to have an ultrasound. And yet, an Oklahoma court case set the stage for legalizing abortion in the United States.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley recap key parts of Governor Kevin Stitt's inaugural address. 

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