KGOU

Claire Donnelly

KGOU Host/Producer

Claire comes to KGOU from WBEZ in Chicago, where she was an intern on the city desk. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School. Claire has reported on street performers, temp workers, criminal court cases, police dogs, Christmas tree recycling and more.

Claire went to college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. She’s originally from Richmond, Virginia. When she’s not working, Claire loves listening to podcasts and cooking. Follow her on Twitter @donnellyclairee.

Ways to Connect

Land surveyor Aaron Morris stands with his equipment on "Magnetic Hill" near Springer, Oklahoma.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

On a special stretch of road near Springer, Oklahoma, it feels like gravity doesn’t quite work--  when you shift a car into neutral gear, you feel like the car is rolling backwards up the hill. KGOU listener Vicki Weiss asked How Curious: Does this spot really defy gravity?

Oklahoma state Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, speaks to reporters Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, about plans to seek a public vote on whether to reject the state's new permitless carry law.
Sean Murphy / AP Photo

Supporters of a petition drive to repeal Oklahoma's permitless carry law fell about 22,000 signatures short of their goal. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss what happens when the law takes effect November 1, as well as the new Department of Health Commissioner and pay raises at the Department of Human Services.

OU researcher Miranda Vesy holds a Texas horned lizard, often called a horny toad.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

KGOU listener Gabe Denton remembers seeing horny toads all the time when he was growing up in Choctaw, but he hasn’t seen one in decades. Denton asked How Curious: What happened?

Owner Audrey Falk looks through Thunder t-shirts at Shop Good in Oklahoma City.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma City Thunder fans are still processing the loss of star guard Russell Westbrook, who was officially traded to the Houston Rockets Tuesday.

Stillwater's Boomer Dam is one of more than 4,700 in Oklahoma.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma has more than 4,700 dams. At least 30 percent of these flood control structures are at the end of their 50-year design life. With climate change expected to bring more heavy precipitation, can they hold up?

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday a campaign to expand government health insurance for low-income residents can move forward. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the court's decision, which came just hours after hearing oral arguments.   

The Magicicada cassini cicada species is the only member of Brood VIII, a group recently documented for the first time in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Cicadas

A group of colorful cicadas has been documented for the first time in the state. Naturalist Robert Sanders explains what these insects are and how you can hear them.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Republican leaders in Oklahoma's Senate and House of Representatives announced an agreement on the state budget last week. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the deal, some of its sticking points for Democrats and what's next for legislators. 

Photograph used for a story in the Daily Oklahoman newspaper June 28, 1984. "Tony Sinclair applies makeup in his dressing room."
Doug Hoke / Oklahoma Historical Society

Listener Daniel Humphrey heard Oklahoma City’s drag performances used to be famous nationwide and that celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson visited the city to see shows. So he asked How Curious: Was Oklahoma home to one of the country’s most renowned drag scenes?

KGOU listener Adam Cotton heard the famous “talking” horse’s final resting place is in the Sooner State. He asked How Curious: Is that true?

Highway 62, west of Hollis in southwest Oklahoma.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

George Bogaski is trying to walk the entire perimeter of Oklahoma, about 1,450 miles. Bogaski estimates he’s hiked about 25 percent of the total distance, and he has a tradition of smoking a cigar at each of the state’s corners. He’s lit up at all of the others--but could not find the state’s southwest corner. He asked How Curious: Where is the corner? Is there a marker?

Writer Louis L'Amour sits at a desk.
Unknown

Western author Louis L’Amour is said to have lived in Choctaw, Oklahoma during the 1930s and 1940s. One listener wanted to know if the rumor is true, and, if so, where exactly was his home?

Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce neighborhood was home to many listings in The Green Book.
Unknown

The Green Book was a guide for African Americans traveling during segregation. It listed businesses that did not discriminate on the basis of race. KGOU listener Luciana Simmons asked How Curious: Where were Oklahoma’s Green Book entries? Do they still exist?

The first QuikTrip store opened in Tulsa September 25, 1938.
QuikTrip

KGOU listener Nick Jungman  heard a rumor that an old agreement between business owners is keeping the Oklahoma-based QuikTrip out of the state’s capital city. He asked How Curious: Is this story true?

Oklahoma City Ballet's Principal dancers Miki Kawamura and Alvin Tosvstogray are seen dancing onstage.
Oklahoma City Ballet

After nine years with the Ballet, Miki Kawamura is stepping down as Principal dancer. She gives her final performances this weekend at the Civic Center in the company’s production of “La Sylphide.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt stands at a lectern as he is applauded during his State of the State address in Oklahoma City, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the start of Oklahoma's 2019 legislative session, including a proposed bill that would allow residents who meet certain requirements to carry a handgun without a permit. 

University of Oklahoma junior and Black Student Association member Miles Francisco speaks at a rally on the OU campus Thursday.
Caroline Halter / KGOU

University of Oklahoma officials say they’re taking action after two blackface incidents near campus in less than a week. But it’s unclear whether they will be able to meet some students’ demands.

Oklahoma school districts 2018- 2019. Boundaries based on information provided by the Oklahoma Department of Education.
Center for Spatial Analysis / University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma has more than 500 school districts--up to three times more than some states with similar student populations. KGOU listener Beverly Funderburk emailed How Curious and asked: “How did Oklahoma end up with so many districts?”

 

A photo from the Daily Oklahoman in December 1964 shows a tower atop Byron's liquor store.
Dave Heaton, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection / Oklahoma Historical Society

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse in Oklahoma City has been around since the state legalized alcohol in 1959. Listener Adam Hicks heard the store had a machine gun turret on its roof in its early days. Hicks asked How Curious: Is this true? And if so, why did the business need a gun?

Workers use 200 sticks of dynamite to uproot trees as they start work on the Bluff Creek Reservoir, 1941.
Unknown / Oklahoma Historical Society

When John Hiller moved to Oklahoma City, he noticed a lot of businesses near May Avenue and 63rd Street have “lakeside” or “lakeview” in their names. His friend told him it was because developers thought Lake Hefner’s shore would be closer to that area. Hiller asked How Curious: Is Lake Hefner in the wrong place?

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