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oklahoma

The question of whether to expand Medicaid and extend health insurance to thousands of Oklahomans promises to be a major topic over the next year.

The Healthcare Working Group, a bipartisan legislative committee charged with deciding whether to endorse Medicaid expansion or other policy moves, kicked off its work last week and is expected to unveil recommendations before next year’s session. Meanwhile, a signature-collecting drive is underway to put a state question on a 2020 ballot to accept expansion.

Demand For Licenses To Grow Hemp Increases In Oklahoma

Jul 17, 2019
A woman stands in a hemp field at a farm in Springfield, Colo.
AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda

The demand for licenses to grow hemp has exceeded state officials' expectations. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses  profitable aspects of the hemp industry and how Oklahoma hopes to model its certification program on states like Colorado. 

Former Epic Teachers Describe Pressure To Manipulate Enrollment

Jun 27, 2019
Epic Charter Schools' is transforming its testing site in Midwest City to a blended center that will serve students in grades 7 through 12.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Administrators at Epic Charter Schools have been allowing, encouraging or pressuring teachers to manipulate students’ enrollment for years in order to improve employees’ bonus pay, according to at least seven former teachers.

Tom Cochrane is a professional geologist and writer who spent 25 years in Oklahoma working in the oil industry. But the former "Big Oil Insider" has since morphed into an avid environmentalist. He's written a book about his experiences called, Tornados, Rattlesnakes & Oil.

KGOU's Richard Bassett sat down with Cochrane to discuss the work.

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.

OU Price Center for Economic and Management Research

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor speaks with Dr. Robert Dauffenbach about his recent analysis of Oklahoma tax collections dating back to 1990. After adjusting for inflation and population growth, Dauffenbach found that per-capita tax collections remain below their pre-Great Recession peak.

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?

Supporters of Medicaid expansion gather at the state Capitol on April 24, 2019.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

A couple of hundred people rallied in support of Medicaid expansion at the state capitol on April 24. The rally was organized by a coalition of groups called Together Oklahoma, with the goal of pressuring state lawmakers to pass a bill expanding Medicaid in some form this legislative session. Supporters were bused in from Tulsa, Norman, Ardmore, McAlester, and Lawton.

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?

Working In Background, Lawyer Reaps Fees In Opioid Case

Apr 10, 2019
Attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, appeared at a news conference in January 2018 in support of a plan called “Step Up Oklahoma” designed to resolve a legislative budget impasse.
Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman

Attorneys in the state’s sprawling opioid lawsuit have bragged that they slept on cots in their offices and went through millions of pages of evidence.

CDC director Robert Redfield touring the Infectious Diseases Institute at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. The institute is one of two federally funded HIV clinics in Oklahoma; the other is in Tulsa, the state’s second-l
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma may soon see more money to help fight the AIDS epidemic. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently visited health care facilities that offer treatment in Oklahoma, one of seven states where the rural transmission of HIV is exceptionally high.

Oklahoma’s Unrealized Solar Potential

Apr 3, 2019
A worker installs solar panels at Interstate 35 and Franklin Road in Norman.
Journal Record

A recent market report ranked Oklahoma as having the sixth-highest potential for developing solar power, but among the nation’s worst in adding new solar capacity. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses why solar energy in Oklahoma currently falls short of neighboring states and how the cost and benefits of the technology are starting to align.

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?

Oklahoma Watch

Time is running out for efforts to have a bipartisan, citizen-led commission redraw Oklahoma’s legislative and congressional boundaries – a move that would take the process out of the hands of the Legislature.

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. 

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?

The dining room at the Masonic Childrens Home in Guthrie.
Dominion House

One night when Caleb Germany was in high school, he and some friends drove from Oklahoma City to Guthrie to see an abandoned building they had heard was a haunted orphanage. Germany asked How Curious: What’s the history of the building? Is it haunted?

Taylyr Williams, 27, sits on her bed in Oxford House Elmhurst in Norman, where she has lived since January. Williams is one of only 40 Oxford House residents statewide taking medication prescribed to treat opioid addiction.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Addiction-recovery homes across Oklahoma are turning away people who are trying to escape opioid addiction by taking medications considered highly effective for recovery.

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