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Tulsa

EPA Announces Grants For Environmental Cleanup In OKC And Tulsa

Jun 12, 2019
Oklahoma City’s Brownfield Revolving Loan program was a factor in revitalizing a former Bricktown steelyard complex into The Steelyard retail and apartment community.
(Steelyard/NE Property management)

The Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded grants to Oklahoma City and Tulsa for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how the EPA defines a brownfield site, the history of the program in OKC and how communities across the nation are benefiting from the grants. 

The River Spirit Hotel and Casino has floodwaters surrounding it on the Arkansas River in Tulsa.
Tom Gilbert / Tulsa World via AP

Recent flooding and dam releases are affecting businesses and key industries in Oklahoma. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how the flooding has effectively shut down the Port of Catoosa, impacted the state's agriculture industry and postponed the reopening of the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa.

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?

The Oklahoma City skyline is seen from Skydance Pedestrian Bridge on Feb. 20.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

A new federal tax incentive to encourage long-term investments in low-income areas includes most of downtown Oklahoma City and Tulsa and other pockets of prosperity in the state, but excludes many areas that are impoverished.

The vertical water playground was designed so that children have to work together.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Gathering Place in Tulsa is the rare local park that’s made national headlines.

The $465 million project opened in September, transforming 66 acres alongside the Arkansas River into a theme park-like space. It was built mostly through private donations and is free to the public.

Kurt Gwartney/ Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s claim to the buckle of the Bible belt is widely accepted as true. But when it comes to faith and voting, new research shows more residents are letting their political values influence the church they choose.

 

At a recent weekly Sunday morning donut hour at Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa, people are busy talking about the start of school and the college football season while getting their weekly dose of juice, coffee and donuts.

New Curriculum Will Teach History of Tulsa Race Riots

Feb 21, 2018
Tulsa Historial Society and Museum

The Tulsa Race Riots lasted two days. Thirty-five blocks of black neighborhoods were destroyed and at least 39 people died. Historians now agree it was among the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. However, state Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, says many Oklahoma teachers often brush over the topic, or teach it incorrectly. He hopes a new Tulsa Race Riot curriculum can change that.

Is A Teachers Strike Imminent?

Feb 20, 2018
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Budget cuts to education are mounting. And on Monday, the Oklahoma House moved to reduce funding for state agencies for the current fiscal year.

The state Education Department stands to lose $16.2 million. Combined with higher education and other education agencies, the losses would be nearly $22 million.

Attempts to raise revenue have so far failed, including a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax and a proposal by a coalition of business and civic leaders called Step Up Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma teachers say they are fed up, and there is talk of a strike.

Preschool teacher, Irene Castell, works on counting with a small group of kids.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kids are scattered around the preschool classroom at Zarrow International School in Tulsa. It’s loud and chaotic, but it’s organized. Some students paint pictures; others write out the letters of the alphabet. The small group sitting around teacher Irene Castell is learning to count and compare numbers.


katsrcool / Flickr.com

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.

The program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, involves setting up automated high-speed cameras on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184, according to the District Attorneys Council.

StickWare / Flickr

One week after federal Election Day, Oklahomans headed to the polls to vote in local races in more than 30 counties, including three special elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature.  The results came in late Tuesday night.

Republican Paul Rosino won the seat of former State Senator Kyle Loveless in District 45, which includes parts of Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties. Rosino beat Democrat Steven Vincent with 57 percent of the vote.

Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

A jury on Wednesday acquitted a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man who had his hands up. Many of the jurors and the family of Terence Crutcher were in tears as the not-guilty verdict was read for Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Samantha Vicent (@samanthavicent), courthouse reporter for The Tulsa World.

Tulsa Finds A Way To Survive The State Budget Crisis

May 8, 2017

Oklahoma is suffering through severe cuts to public services. But the city of Tulsa is making do. The Economist reports that increased donations from philanthropists, as well as a sales tax increase with revenues dedicated to police, museums and public transportation have kept Tulsa running while a budget crisis ravages the rest of the state.

Sherry Laskey stands near land she bought in a north Tulsa neighborhood. Laskey is hoping to turn the empty lot into a profitable community garden that provides healthy food for the area.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Low-income areas of rural Oklahoma are blotched with food deserts, where fresh, healthy food options are scarce. It’s a problem in cities, too, but entrepreneurs, educators and legislators say newly signed legislation could help fill grocery gaps with community gardens.

School just let out at Walt Whitman Elementary in north Tulsa and a group of third and fifth graders is eager to brag about the garden they helped plant on a hillside behind the school.

Oklahoma Schools Beset by High Principal Turnover

Apr 18, 2017
Brad Gibson / Oklahoma Watch

For decades, principals have come and gone at Tulsa’s McLain High School so frequently, it’s nearly unheard of for a student to complete all four years of high school without seeing a new face in the principal’s office.

The school has had at least 11 principals or co-principals since 2000 and now is losing yet another one, who, after three years in the job, is leaving after the school year.

An investigation by Buzzfeed News alleges extensive abuse of patients at Shadow Mountain Behavorial Health, a live-in facility owned by Universal Health Services, the country’s largest psychiatric hospital chain. The report contains allegations that employees manhandled children as young as eight years old, and to have ignored patients’ attempts to inflict self-harm. The investigation also alleges understaffing, sexual abuse and patient riots. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is now investigating the Tulsa hospital.

Tulsa Race Riots Of 1921 Echo Tensions Today

Oct 4, 2016

In 1921, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted in race riots that left up to 300 people dead. Homes and businesses were burned.

The riot has been mostly ignored by history. But a recent fatal police shooting of an African-American man in Tulsa has re-focused attention on the city’s past.

Bruce Fisher, retired curator of the African-American projects at the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Kate Carlton Greer, a reporter for KGOU, join Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss Tulsa’s past and present.

Attorney Dan Smolen (center) announced Monday he's researching a potential lawsuit based on violations of Terence Crutcher's civil rights. Smolen is also questioning why no video is available from Officer Betty Shelby's car.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The attorney for Terence Crutcher’s widow believes there should be more video of his death at the hands of a Tulsa police officer.

According to a TPD policy manual, officers are able to trigger dash cam video recording five different ways, including by pressing a button on a microphone worn on their duty belts or elsewhere. Attorney Dan Smolen wants to know why there’s no video from Officer Betty Shelby’s car when she was there two minutes before anyone else.

Floaters navigate their homemade raft down the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Okla., during the annual Great Raft Race on Labor Day 2016.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.

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