Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

State Question 790: The Case For and Against A Ten Commandments Monument

Just over a year ago—under the dark of night—a Ten Commandments monument was removed from the state Capitol grounds. Representative Mike Ritze paid for it. Governor Mary Fallin supported it. But its placement prompted a public debate—and ultimately a lawsuit—that forced its removal. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled it had to come down and based their decision on a section of the Oklahoma Constitution—Article 2, Section 5—that says public money and property may not be used to benefit religion....
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Josh Robinson

How New Residents Have Changed The Business, Voter Makeup In South Oklahoma City

Pete White drives slowly through his old neighborhood in south Oklahoma City. The 78-year-old Oklahoma City councilman has lived in the area his entire life. “This is the house I grew up in right here,” White said as he drove through a tree lined neighborhood of modest homes. He pulled onto Southwest 25th Street in the business district of an area known as Capitol Hill. White pointed out the location of former businesses. Department stores, a doctor’s office, and pharmacies. All of them are...
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Like most farmers, Mark Nelson, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Louisburg, Kan., is getting squeezed. He's paying three times more for seed than he used to, while his corn sells for less than half what it brought four years ago.

"It's a – that's a challenge," Nelson says. "You're not going to be in the black, let's put it that way."

Low commodity prices are rippling up and down the farm-economy food chain — from the farm to the boardroom — and it has many of the huge companies that control farm inputs looking to a new future.

Headlines for Tuesday, October 18, 2016:

  • Authorities investigate the crash which killed former football player Dennis Byrd. (Tulsa World)

Earlier this month Here & Now visited the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma — a center not only for culture and history, but also the preservation and revitalization of the critically endangered Chickasaw language.

Among the 30 or so remaining native speakers we met was Jerry Imotichey. He grew up speaking Chickasaw, and called the language and culture his “soul.”

As KOSU and KGOU began crafting ideas for our collaborative election project Oklahoma Engaged, we were interested in several forms of storytelling. This included informative and in-depth radio stories and video profiles of folks in a south Oklahoma City district.

Headlines for Monday, October 17, 2016:

  • Oklahoma political experts are already looking at statewide elected races in 2018. (NewsOK)

  • Tulsa police paid more than $216,000 in overtime after the fatal shooting of Crutcher. (Tulsa World)

Dennis Byrd, the former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended by neck injury, was killed Saturday in a car accident. He was 50.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Byrd was killed in a two-vehicle collision on Oklahoma 88 north of Claremore.

The Tulsa World first reported Byrd's death. He starred at Tulsa before playing for the New York Jets.


Oklahoma's medical examiner says the Oklahoma State University basketball player who died in July following an outdoor team workout suffered from an enlarged heart and died of natural causes.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released Friday the findings of the autopsy on 22-year-old Tyrek Coger. The forward collapsed July 21 following a 40-minute team workout on the football stadium stairs when the temperature was 99 degrees.

Headlines for Friday, October 14, 2016:

  • NTSB releases report on the OSU Homecoming Parade crash which killed four people. (Tulsa World)

This week in Oklahoma Politics,  KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about State Question 780 to reclassify certain property and drug crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies, Donald Trump's slip in the polls and Governor Fallin continues to support the Republican nominee.

The trio also discusses a push by state lawmakers to comply with the Federal Real ID Act after an extension request was denied and Governor Fallin announces changes to her staff.

Stillwater Police Department

The woman accused of driving her car into spectators at Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade and killing four people sped up as she approached the parade route, according to a federal report released Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that co-workers who saw 26-year-old Adacia Chambers before the crash said she seemed distracted. The agency said her "emotional distress" was the probable cause of the crash that also injured dozens of people on Oct. 24, 2015.


Join us in our collaborative series with KGOU focusing on election issues in Oklahoma.

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

Education News

The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System is creating a new program to give easier access to OCPS students.

KOSU's Michael Cross talks with library spokesperson Kim Terry about One Card.

You can find out more information on the Metro Library website.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Oklahoma leads the nation in cuts to per-pupil funding for the third straight year.

According to a new national comparison conducted by the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, the amount of money the state spends through the funding formula on each student’s education has dropped by nearly 27 percent since 2008.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Economists from the University of Oklahoma studied the potential impact that State Question 779 would have on city governments, and found that small cities may have reason to worry, but larger cities shouldn’t.

State Question 779 proposes raising the state sales tax one cent in order to fund $5,000 raises for teachers, and other aspects of education. But many city governments oppose the measure because they rely on sales tax increases too, to build streets, fire stations, and other things.  

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