StateImpact Oklahoma
1:48 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Oklahoma’s Economically Vital Seaport Still Struggling After Rains Scuttle Shipping

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Tulsa office snapped this photo of the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam in late May 2015.

Two and a half million tons of wheat, fertilizer, steel, and manufacturing goods pass through the Port of Catoosa each year.

But not in 2015. The nation’s most inland seaport, located near Tulsa, shut down after historic spring rains and is still struggling to rebound.

From the Port of Catoosa, barges makes their way down the Verdigris River, to the Arkansas River and east to the Mississippi along the McClellan-Kerr Navigation system, Oklahoma’s water link to the Gulf of Mexico and river towns to the east like Pittsburg and Chicago. The waterway was the most expensive civil works project the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had ever built when it opened in 1971, and it was pushed by powerful Senator Robert S. Kerr, of Oklahoma.

“There’s over a billion and a half dollars of private investment, just at this port,” says David Yarbrough, the port’s deputy director. “8,000 maritime jobs in Oklahoma.”

Read more
9:00 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Headlines: Planned Parenthood Funding, Satanic Statue & H&8th Competition

Headlines for Thursday, July 23, 2015:

  • Oklahoma Senator James Lankford wants to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. (The Hill)

  • A new report ranks Oklahoma City’s roads as the 16th worst in the nation for large cities. (KOSU)

  • Oklahoma ranks second in heart disease deaths. (NewsOK)

Read more
Local News
8:00 am
Thu July 23, 2015

OKC Roads Costing Drivers

Credit by Jonathan Youngblood

A new report from the transportation group known as TRIP finds Oklahoma City roads are among the roughest in the nation.

KOSU's Michael Cross spoke with Associate Director of Research and Communication Carolyn Kelly about the study.

For more on the report visit

8:14 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Headlines: Sheriff Grand Jury, AG Power Expansion & OSU Football

Headlines for Wednesday, July 22, 2015:

  • A grand jury against Tulsa’s Sheriff with 12 people including three alternates is getting to work today. (Tulsa World)

  • A new proposal is getting considered for a new Oklahoma County Jail. (Journal Record)

  • A state Senator wants a lawsuit against him put on hold. (Tulsa World)

Read more
8:03 am
Wed July 22, 2015

How The Big New Education Law Could Cut Testing Time

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 11:36 am

Both houses of Congress have now passed versions of the bill that would update the largest federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, for the first time since 2001. They are big, meaty and complicated, and now they have to be reconciled into one messy Dagwood sandwich of a bill to go to the president.

Read more
A Prairie Home Companion
6:05 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Keillor Says He's Done After Next Season's 'Prairie Home'

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor, creator and longtime host of the popular "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, says he means it this time: He's retiring.

In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Keillor said he plans to step down as host after next season, following four decades of entertaining listeners with his baritone voice and folksy comedy sketches about Lake Wobegon, his mythical Minnesota hometown "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

Read more
Sample Size
5:42 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

New Mix: Wilco, RP Boo & Thundercat


This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney.

Today, we play music from the surprise new Wilco album, hip-hop and house mash-ups from RP Boo, and a funky new song from Thundercat.

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

StateImpact Oklahoma
4:06 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Stillwater Approves New Oil and Gas Rules, Industry Says They Might Violate New Law

Stillwater resident Tammy Mix's sons play on the sidewalk as a drilling rig peeks above the tree line behind her Stillwater home in 2014.
Credit Tamara Mix

After months of debate, drafting and deferring, the Stillwater City Council on Monday approved a stricter oil and gas ordinance.

The council unanimously approved the new rules, which were crafted with the input of residents, the energy industry and Senate Bill 809 — legislation that goes into effect in August preventing municipalities from enacting ordinances that ban fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:

The ordinance applies only to new wells. It imposes a 660-foot setback from the property line of “protected use” properties, including homes, churches, parks, schools, libraries and hospitals. It also forbids new structures being built within 400 feet of oil and gas wells put in after the ordinance becomes effective.

Ambient noise from drilling operations at the setback boundary will be limited to 69 decibels, which is about the same noise level as a vacuum cleaner. The ordinance includes higher variances from that sound level for limited periods of time.

Operators will be required to carry general liability commercial insurance policies of at least $1 million and environmental impairment insurance of at least $2 million. General umbrella liability coverage of at least $5 million also would apply.

Read more
Local News
8:22 am
Tue July 21, 2015

New Survey Reveals Poverty Indicators Worsening For Oklahoma Children, Teens

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Oklahoma ranks in the bottom quarter of states in childhood wellbeing according to an annual survey out Tuesday morning from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The state's placement remained steady from last year.

The Kids Count Data Book shows 24 percent of Oklahoma children live in poverty, and the new survey ranks the state 39th in the nation when it comes to the overall wellbeing of children.

Read more
8:16 am
Tue July 21, 2015

Headlines: Stillwater Drilling, Historic Chalkboard & Tulsa Shock Moving

Headlines for Tuesday, July 21, 2015:

  • Stillwater City Council approves rules for oil and gas drilling. (NewsOK)

  • A 4.4 magnitude earthquake shakes most of Oklahoma as one of several over the past 24 hours. (News9)

Read more