Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma Prisons Impose Hiring Freeze Due to Revenue Failure

The director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the agency is imposing a hiring freeze to help cut costs as a result of a state revenue failure. Director Joe Allbaugh said Thursday that the hiring freeze is the first of many possible changes in order to cut spending by about $3 million by the June 30 end of the state's fiscal year. Allbaugh says there are 348 vacant positions that will go unfilled during the freeze. He says the freeze does not include correctional officers,...

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Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking a massive cache of classified information to WikiLeaks, testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010.

According to CNN, Manning said at one point during his military custody, he considered suicide. CNN adds:

"He first discussed his arrest in Iraq and his transfer to Kuwait where he was held for a nearly two months before being transferred to the brig at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia in July 2010.

KOSU's Morning Edition host Ben Allen is profiled in a new short documentary from OSU student Michael Molholt.

From across the pond comes Boo Ritson. The City Arts Center in northeast Oklahoma City is hosting an exhibition from the British artist. And the subject is something Oklahomans, and most here in the middle of the country, are especially familiar with – Americana. On opening night, the art wasn’t the only thing with a decidedly American flavor.

An international art exhibition should not have burgers out on the grill.

Or should it?

"I was absolutely fine with that. It’s unusual, but it’s perfect. And very well chosen."

Quinton Chandler

Yesterday Quinton Chandler took you to the front lines of Woodward Oklahoma’s housing market. And we heard from Woodward’s residents how floods of oil boomers are building new RV Parks and tying local hotels up for weeks at a time. Today, we look at the upside to Woodward’s new growth. And we’ll see what is being done to meet the challenge of housing so many people.


Quinton Chandler

Before Oklahoma was a state dozens of makeshift towns sprung from its red dirt to make room for hungry settlers drawn by a fantastic oil boom and promises of a new start. Today Black gold is proving to have the same seductive power, but in this case oil isn’t the only commodity people will pull up stakes for. Crowds are pouring into a town in Northwest Oklahoma, looking for jobs created by the oil, natural gas, and wind industries. But just like 100 years ago there may not be enough room for all of them…

Woodward, Oklahoma has a cycle. Monday through Thursday its busting at the seams and over the weekend the town deflates like a tire losing air. It’s Friday and people are on the way out. Lines of cars and trucks pile up at every stoplight. One of the local gas stations can have a car at every pump any time of day. And anywhere you go there’s trucks from Chesapeake energy, so and so’s pipeline, and such and such drilling.

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live performances. But he's scared to death of standup.

He says he remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

So Hader has stuck with sketch comedy — where he has been wildly successful.

Flickr: comedynose

The Affordable Care Act takes another stab at fixing healthcare for all Americans.  But, one change buried deep in the hundreds of pages of sections and subtitles could make a big difference for one specific group of Oklahomans.

“I’m David Touhty, I’m the Chief Development officer with the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act is going to help us expand and really bring health care into the 21st century."

Next: Broncho

Jun 12, 2012

Chesapeake Energy CEO In Hot Seat Today

Jun 8, 2012

The NBA finals aren't the only big news in Oklahoma City.

This morning, shareholders of Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller at the center of the nation's hydraulic fracturing controversies, are meeting in Oklahoma City, where the company is headquartered. But the buzz at this gathering won't be about fracking or basketball. It will be about Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's controversial CEO.

T. Boone Pickens Owns Drake on Twitter

May 31, 2012
Planet Money

Canadian rapper Drake boastfully tweeted "The first million is the hardest".

This was followed by a tweet from T. Boone Pickens, who issues a mic-drop in the form of a tweet with, "The first billion is a helluva lot harder".

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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.

Stream classical music via our partners at KUCO!

Education News

oksenate.gov

A Senate education committee passed a school choice measure on Monday, which riled a lot of debate from lawmakers.

Education Savings Accounts are a touchy subject. They allow parents to use state tax dollars, that would normally go to a public school, towards private school tuition instead.

Senator Rob Standridge says his ESA bill, SB560, is aimed at helping low-income families afford a better educational option for their child.

oksenate.gov

A Oklahoma Senate subcommittee passed seven bills about teacher pay on Wednesday, each one providing a different solution to the teacher pay problem.

Some of the bills propose $1,000 raises, others $10,000. Some provide funding mechanisms, while others do not.

Senator J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso) says this is just the beginning of the conversation. He says the legislature knows raising teacher pay is the right thing to do and they've just got to figure out the right way to do it.

With a nearly $900 million budget shortfall, Oklahoma lawmakers want accountability for every penny. But within the coffers of private charter school management companies are millions of dollars that lawmakers can't see. 

Senator Jason Smalley wants to know exactly how much schools are spending on administration. He filed a bill to find out, because right now he said it’s not clear.

“Are all the individuals that should be classified as administration costs, actually being reported as that?” he asked. “I think that’s what the greater conversation is.”

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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.