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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Jenny Mae Harms / KOSU

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn Visits KOSU

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn visited KOSU's Oklahoma City studios on Friday to get a tour of the station and meet the staff. In this thirty minute conversation, Mohn talks about the importance of non-profit journalism, NPR's recent ratings increase, and the importance of being live and local—in news and in music.
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Supporters and opponents of several state questions on the ballot in Oklahoma have spent nearly $3 million to air television ads on the issues ahead of the November election.

Data released Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity show more than 3,800 ads have aired on proposals to impose a 1 percent sales tax for education, restrict oversight of farming and ranching and change the state's alcohol laws and criminal justice system.

Headlines for Thursday, October 20, 2016:

  • The State Election Board is easing concerns over Oklahoma’s voting system. (NewsOK)

  • An Oklahoma non-profit brings high speed Internet for research and education. (Journal Record)

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections says one of its biggest challenges is recruiting and retaining employees.

During an interim study Wednesday, Prison Director Joe Allbaugh told lawmakers turnover for the agency is roughly 28 percent. Correctional officers in particular, Allbaugh said, are even harder to retain. Turnover for those positions is approaching 40 percent.

He blamed the high-stress nature of the job combined with low-pay and long hours and said many cadets have a false idea of what being a prison officer entails.  

OETA, Oklahoma’s Public Television, is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary after 60 years on air.

KOSU's Michael Cross spoke with PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger who says she's happy to come to the Sooner State and join in the celebration.

You can find out more on the 60th anniversary celebration on the OETA website.

Headlines for Wednesday, October 19, 2016:

  • The State Auditor releases findings from an investigation into Oklahoma County’s Sheriff. (KOSU)

  • Corrections employees are getting a one-time stipend. (NewsOK)

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

The Obama administration is announcing a series of recommendations for ensuring the safety of the nation's more than 400 underground natural gas storage wells.

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.  


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 State Board of Education released the newest A through F School Report Cards at Thursday’s board meeting.

Overall, grades were down this year. This year’s tally included 196 A’s, 455 B’s, 582 C’s, 319 D’s and 213 F’s. By contrast, in 2015, schools earned 212 A’s, 497 B’s, 536 C’s, 333 D’s and 183 F’s.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said she isn’t sure why there's a dip, and said it would be irresponsible to make a guess, but her department will start digging through the data looking for answers.

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.

More Education News

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