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Oklahoma Watch

Calculating The Fundraising Backlash Against Oklahoma Congressional Delegation

Jan 19, 2021
Members of Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation are, clockwise from top left, Kevin Hern, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, Stephanie Bice and Markwayne Mullin.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s congressional delegation could see political repercussions after all five of the state’s U.S. House of Representatives members voted against certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.

COVID-19 Causes Unexpected Dip In OKCPD’s Mental Health Calls

Jan 18, 2021
Master Sgt. Corey Nooner, is one of Oklahoma City's first officers trained in crisis intervention. Nooner said he assists other officers with mental health calls across the city.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Despite projections, Oklahoma City Police responded to fewer mental health calls in 2020 than the previous year. 

Inmates, Corrections Staff Express Reluctance To Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Jan 12, 2021
A health care worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma inmates are experiencing their own version of pandemic fatigue. 

CVS Delays Prompt Oklahoma To Step In With Vaccinations For Veteran Centers

Jan 10, 2021
Many of her colleagues chose not to get vaccinated because they feared side-effects. "I'd rather be part of the solution than part of the problem," Valdez said.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

COVID-19 vaccines are being administered at Oklahoma’s veteran centers this weekend because state health officials said the federal program responsible for vaccinating long-term care residents and staff is moving too slow.

Oklahoma Again Sets Affordable Care Act Enrollment Record

Jan 4, 2021
A syringe is about to be filled with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

More Oklahomans than ever before will be covered by health insurance purchased off of the Affordable Care Act exchange when new plans took effect on Jan. 1.

Oklahoma Inmates And Corrections Staff Will Wait On COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec 28, 2020
Syringes, gloves and sanitizer are seen on a table where nurses are administering COVID-19 vaccines.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma inmates, a group four times more likely to contract the coronavirus than the general population, won’t receive initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

An Oklahoma City Public Schools employee wears a mask while handing food through a car window as part of the district's meal program.

Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans are entering the holiday season with anxiety of how they’ll pay for food, rent and common household expenses, new federal data shows. 

Oklahoma On Pace To Break Affordable Care Act Enrollment Record

Dec 14, 2020

More Oklahomans than ever might sign up for a health care plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange for the upcoming year.

COVID-19 Response, Budget Among Top Priorities For Legislative Leaders

Dec 9, 2020
Oklahoma Senate Pro Tempore Greg Treat, left, and House Minority leader Emily Virgin, right, shared their priorities for the 2021 state legislative session Wednesday.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma lawmakers are preparing for a busy, and uncertain, 2021. 

Legislators will return to the State Capitol at the start of February with a lengthy to-do list waiting for them following the 2020 session that was cut short due to COVID-19 pandemic.

In this file photo, Taylor Lott, who worked as navigator to increase health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, talks to Andrea Chica at the Latino Community Development Agency office in Oklahoma City.
Mashiur Rahaman / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahomans will have more choices and the most affordable health insurance options in years through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. 

School Funding Outlook Distressing In An Already Difficult Year

Nov 29, 2020
As Edmond Memorial High School's Elanna Dobbs and other teachers cope with the challenges of teaching in a pandemic, public school districts across Oklahoma are bracing for budget cuts for the 2021-22 school year.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma public school districts are bracing for additional funding cuts this school year and next, even as they currently struggle to teach students during a pandemic with fewer state dollars.

Despite Fear In Oklahoma, Biden Likely Won’t Be ‘Banning’ Fracking

Nov 29, 2020
Idle drilling equipment as seen in the lot at Helmerich & Payne drilling rig company in south Oklahoma City.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

President Donald Trump offered a warning to Oklahoma and other energy-rich states during the final months of his unsuccessful re-election bid.

Who Will Get Vaccinated First In Oklahoma?

Nov 24, 2020

With announcements earlier this month that two pharmaceutical giants have developed effective COVID-19 vaccines, Oklahoma and other states across the nation are ramping up plans to distribute millions of doses of the potentially life-saving vaccine in the coming months.

Active Coronavirus Cases Pop Up In Prison Towns, Suburbs

Nov 23, 2020
Broken Arrow City Council members listen as city Human Resources Director Russell Gale briefs them on COVID-19 cases in the city and region at a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Rip Stell / Oklahoma Watch

Active coronavirus cases continued their rapid growth in November, with the latest infections popping up in small prison towns and populated suburbs of Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Where Dark Money Flowed In Oklahoma’s Legislative Races

Nov 17, 2020

In the days and weeks leading up to election day, dark money groups pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into key Oklahoma legislative races, with the vast majority of the money helping Republican candidates. 

In the days and hours leading up to Vice President Joe Biden being declared the nation’s next president, Oklahoma Republicans pushed a baseless narrative accusing Democrats, the media and others of attempting to “steal” the election.

Before Election, GOP Gets Boost In Registered Voters

Nov 3, 2020

For the first time in state history, Republicans make up more than half of all of Oklahoma’s registered voters. 

70 Oklahoma Schools Failed To Submit Immunization Data

Oct 27, 2020
Students in an Oklahoma classroom.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

New data showing the percentage of Oklahoma kindergarteners who are up to date on all required vaccines is missing about 7,870 students because their schools did not submit the information.


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

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.