Allison Herrera

A Bike Ride that Honors the Past and Looks Towards the Future

It’s one of the most painful chapters in Cherokee history: the Trail Of Tears. Forced to make way for settlers looking for gold in Cherokee homelands in the Southeast, thousands were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Today, Cherokee people honor their ancestors who were on the trail by re-tracing their steps...by bike. It’s a grey Saturday morning and light rain is falling. But that doesn’t stop a team of fifteen cyclists from pumping up their tires, tying their shoelaces and...
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Exploring Modern Native America in Oklahoma

Headlines for Monday, May 2, 2016:

  • Lawmakers are getting ready for possible bills to fix the upcoming budget. (NewsOK)

  • Opponents of a tax increase on cigarettes say it won’t raise the revenue the state expects. (Tulsa World)

Every month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities around this country to name a new favorite song and, this month, KOSU featured Oklahoma City natives Skating Polly.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the state question coming to the ballot in November to raise state sales tax by one penny to pay for education, a suggestion to GOP Presidential front runner that Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin would make a good running mate and new bills signed by Fallin into law.

The trio also discusses the budget and a new education program through the Oklahoma Policy Institute to educate people on the budget through humor.

Headlines for Friday, April 29, 2016:

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday approved Oklahoma Gas and Electric’s plan to install air scrubbers at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock. In order to comply with the federal Regional Haze Rule, OG&E needs to reduce emissions at the plant.

The state’s largest utility says it needs the commission’s approval for the $500 million dollar scrubber plan by early May. OG&E’s detractors, including the Sierra Club, say making a half-billion dollar investment in coal flies in the face of industry trends toward renewable forms of energy, like wind power.

Flickr / alamosbasement

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is telling schools to brace for one more round of cuts before Summer. 

She said because of lower-than-expected gross production tax revenue, $13 million to $17 million will be lost from the school funding formula. 

"This is really going to be gut wrenching for districts to receive this news at this time," Hofmeister said. 

She said this will affect school’s abilities to pay their bills, and will cause them to dip into any savings they may have.

Headlines for Thursday, April 28, 2016:

  • A Tulsa Jury sends a former volunteer lawman to prison. (Tulsa World)

  • Governor Mary Fallin signs into law a number of criminal justice reform bills. (NewsOK)

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File

A former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy who said he mistook his handgun for his stun gun when he fatally shot an unarmed suspect last year was convicted of second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.

Jurors handed down the verdict in the case of 74-year-old Robert Bates, a wealthy insurance executive accused of fatally shooting Eric Harris while working with Tulsa County sheriff's deputies last year during an illegal gun sales sting. Harris, who had run from deputies, was restrained and unarmed when he was shot.

Photo provided

Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a number of criminal justice reform bills Wednesday. The legislation is part of recommendations from a steering committee that met in the fall.

The governor signed:

Ted Cruz announced Wednesday he is picking former rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a last-ditch move designed to shake up the GOP primary race in which he badly trails Donald Trump.

Calling his decision "one of the most solemn choices you make" as a candidate, at a rally in Indianapolis, Ind., Cruz praised Fiorina's business experience, character and past ability to stand up to the Republican front-runner.

"She doesn't get overly excited," Cruz said. "She doesn't get rattled over what is being thrown at her."

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.

Weeknights with Ferris

Hear Ferris O'Brien every weeknight, from 9 p.m. to midnight, on The Spy.

Education News

Flickr / alamosbasement

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is telling schools to brace for one more round of cuts before Summer. 

She said because of lower-than-expected gross production tax revenue, $13 million to $17 million will be lost from the school funding formula. 

"This is really going to be gut wrenching for districts to receive this news at this time," Hofmeister said. 

She said this will affect school’s abilities to pay their bills, and will cause them to dip into any savings they may have.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

The Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education voted to cut ties with Superintendent Rob Neu at Monday night’s board meeting.

The separation agreement said, “Disagreements have transpired during [Neu’s] employment that have led parties to reconsider [Neu’s] continued employment with the district.”

Board members said they could not comment any further because it was a personnel matter. Bob Hammack was the only board member to vote against the agreement.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

This November, Oklahomans will decide whether they want to raise sales taxes one cent in order to fund education in the state.

University of Oklahoma President, David Boren, and his group, Oklahoma’s Children-Our Future, have been leading the charge on this, and were required to collect 123,000 petition signatures in order to get the initiative on the November ballot.

On Thursday they delivered about 309,000 signed petitions to the Secretary of State. Boren says this indicates that the idea is wildly popular.

More Education News
A weekly two-hour show of Oklahoma music, from across the state. The show opens a window of Oklahoma music to the rest of the world.