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StateImpact Oklahoma

$13 Million In Limbo While Stitt, Tribes Battle

Feb 13, 2020

Compacted tribes are sending their gaming money to the state of Oklahoma where it will be held while courts decide on tribal-gaming compacts.

Libby Osburn teaches a gifted and talented class at Cherokee Elementary School in Tahlequah.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Most states don't discover gifted Native American students but Oklahoma has been able to buck that trend.

The Journalist's Job

Feb 2, 2020

This is the Manager’s Minute.

News reporting is messy. Getting facts right, connecting dots and writing an interesting, accurate story on a strict deadline is not easy.

But, the work journalists do is essential to a functioning democracy. We’re obligated to ask tough questions, push for answers and hold public officials and powerful institutions accountable.

Whoever is in power at the time doesn’t often like it when we ask them questions they don’t want to answer, about topics they’d rather not discuss, or expose them for hiding the truth.

Issues To Watch During Oklahoma’s 2020 Legislative Session

Jan 31, 2020

When the legislative session begins Monday, state lawmakers will have more than 4,500 pieces of legislation they can consider. StateImpact reporters have been combing through the bills and have this preview.

Robin Wertz interviews dozens of prisoners to determine who would be a good fit at the Oklahoma City Exodus House.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The outside world was overwhelming when Robin Wertz was released from prison in 2007. Today, she helps others who are having that same experience as the site director of Exodus House, a transitional housing unit that helps people get back on their feet.

State’s attorney Brad Beckworth presents information in the opening statements during the Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman, Okla. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
Chris Landsberger / Oklahoman

The legal fight over who is responsible, and who should pay for the national opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Americans will likely take years.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

People just released from prison could save themselves a lot of time and frustration if they talk to Robert Scott, the director of justice services at HOPE Community Services – a nonprofit that partners with the state to help people with behavioral health challenges.

Oklahoma Lags Behind Country In Monetary Support For Higher Education

Jan 8, 2020
University of Oklahoma students walk to and from class at the school’s campus in Norman.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

As state funding for higher education has risen across the country, Oklahoma has been one of five states that’s seen a decline in the last five years.

Happy New Year 2020!

Dec 29, 2019
KGOU - Dick Pryor

This is the Manager’s Minute.

With the new year beginning, we want to introduce you to a new local host who will be welcoming you every weekday during Morning Edition.

He’s Nyk Daniels, a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Nyk started at KGOU as a student in our Practicum class and was a student employee production assistant before joining our professional staff as Morning Edition host in mid-December.

Erika Buzzard Wright embraces a supporter during a press conference about the future of the four-day school week at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

The fate of the four-day school week, used by dozens of rural districts in Oklahoma, is up in the air.

Happy Holidays From KGOU

Dec 18, 2019
KGOU - Dick Pryor

This is the Manager’s Minute.

As 2019 is nearing an end, we want to take a moment to thank all of you, our listeners and members, for contributing to KGOU’s success this year.

For the tenth time in eleven years, KGOU received the Associated Press Award for outstanding radio news operation in Oklahoma in 2019, and that doesn’t happen without your financial support.

Our recent year-end fundraiser brought in additional dollars that will help KGOU provide the news, information and entertainment programming that you’ve come to expect, in 2020.

The control room of the Canadian County jail.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

In a first-of-its-kind federal class action lawsuit, people who have been locked up in the Canadian County Jail claim the court’s bail system discriminates against people with mental disabilities.

Dr. Alayna Tackett demonstrates one of the devices she uses to measure the health effects of vaping.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's health officials and legislators have been slow to take action to keep teenagers from vaping, even as more cases of lung-related injuries and deaths are reported.

A group of teachers look on as four students tell their stories of living with dyslexia during a November workshop in Tulsa.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of parent and student activists are fighting to add resources in the classrooms of dyslexic students across the state.

A national report found that thousands of gifted and talented black and Latino students aren’t identified by educators in Oklahoma.
Flickr / Jacqui Brown

Thousands of gifted and talented minority students aren’t identified by their schools in Oklahoma, according to a report published last month.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

We have staff changes to tell you about involving KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma.

We recently added Robby Korth to the StateImpact team, as education reporter. Robby grew up in Ardmore and Fayetteville, Arkansas and received his journalism degree from the University of Nebraska. For the last four years he’s covered higher education for The Roanoke Times in Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Virginia Tech University.

Life After Being Released In Oklahoma’s Record Commutation

Nov 14, 2019
Warren Rawls wants to stay completely sober and out of trouble so he can be in his children’s lives.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Prison is not fun anymore for Warren Rawls. The 36-year-old has been in and out of prison six times, and he has decided he’s not going back. He says during a recent statewide prison lockdown he was handcuffed everywhere he went – even the shower.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt hand delivers hundreds of commutation certificates on Friday, November 1, 2019.
TWITTER.COM/OKLADOC

The state of Oklahoma plans to release hundreds of prisoners Monday after their sentences were reduced by the state's Pardon and Parole Board. 462 state prisoners could be sent home, which would represent the nation's largest single day commutation.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The federal government is seeking its slice of Oklahoma’s recent $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and the bill could be millions of dollars.

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?

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