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....
Read More
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Legal Complications of Oklahoma’s State Question to Constutionally Protect Farming

State Question 777 would create a constitutional right to farm and ranch in Oklahoma, giving the agriculture industry unique protection from the state legislature. The ballot question concerns livestock and crops, but legal experts say the statewide measure will likely come down to lawsuits and courts. In the weeks leading up to the November election, officials in cities and towns across the state have urged Oklahomans to vote no on SQ 777. The Oklahoma City Council in September voted 6 to 2...
Read More
Allison Herrera

Long before the gushers of Glenpool, before any oil mansions dotted the tree-lined Arkansas River and before the automobile-ruled the streets of Tulsa, there were the Locv Pokv people, or as some know them- the Muscogee Creek. Locv Pokv was the daughter of the old town in the deep south of Georgia and Alabama, the Turtle Meeting Place.


The state auditor’s office released findings Tuesday from an investigation into the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office. The findings say the sheriff’s office unlawfully spent department funds under Whetsel’s leadership.

According to the review, the department failed to pay healthcare contracts even though money was available at the time. Auditors also determined Whetsel purchased nearly one million dollars worth of vehicles while other obligations weren’t met.

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s prisons are crowded, and the state continues to incarcerate offenders at the second- highest rate in the nation, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Two state questions on the November 8 ballot aim to ease both of those strains.  

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.


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.  

More Education News

Stream classical music via our partners at KUCO!