Jacob McCleland

Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jacob warns us he won't answer the phone when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing a postseason game. Fun fact: his high school mascot is the Appleknocker.

A short man with a ponytail peeks through a crack in a sheet-metal fence, calling out to see if anybody's home. His name is Dario Garcia and he is checking on some people with HIV to make sure they're taking their meds.

Garcia walks through the muddy yard, past chickens and scrawny dogs, to the cinder block house.

Magalie L'Abbé / Flickr

Officials at Oklahoma's Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry are working on rules to regulate the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Governor Mary Fallin signed bipartisan legislation this week that legalizes the crop in the state.

Industrial hemp is grown for its fiber and its oil, and can be used to make rope, clothes, paper, plastics, insulation and biofuel.

Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) is one of the bill's authors. He says the new industry could create thousands of jobs and pour millions of dollars into the state's economy.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

As Oklahoma's teacher walkout enters its eighth day, the union leading it has a new demand to end it.

Oklahoma Education Association is now saying lawmakers just need to raise another $50 million in revenue for the state budget, and they'll send educators back to school.

Katherine Bishop, OEA Vice President, says it's up to lawmakers to find the money. She doesn't care whether it comes from a wind tax or a repeal of the capital gains exemption, she just wants to see the legislature raise another $50 million to shore up the state budget.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma teachers continued to rally Wednesday at the state capitol, the third day of a planned teacher walkout. Educators filled the capitol to capacity, urging lawmakers to hear their demands for more education funding.

The Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, wants more money for the classroom and it identified legislation they think would achieve that. One is a bill allowing ball and dice games in casinos, another would repeal some capital gains exemptions.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Updated 7:11 p.m.

As House members were preparing to adjourn, Republican Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols announced that he had just been notified by the state Senate that they would hear House Bill 1013XX on Thursday. 

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 5:25 p.m.

Public schools from every corner of the state closed their doors today as teachers walked out of the classroom and marched at the Oklahoma capitol to protest years of cuts to education funding.

Last week, Governor Mary Fallin signed the first statewide tax increase in nearly 30 years to give teachers a roughly $6,100 raise. The nearly $450 million deal increased taxes on cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas production in hopes of heading off the teacher walkout.

CITY OF OKLAHOMA CITY

For the first time in 14 years, somebody other than Mick Cornett will be the mayor of Oklahoma City. But the city’s new mayor-elect already knows his way around the office.

David Holt cruised to victory Tuesday night in a three-way race to replace Cornett. Holt earned 78 percent of the vote in the Oklahoma City mayoral primary, beating Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith. Holt will take the office on April 10.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The new head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says the agency has been spending more than its annual revenue since 2011. Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger said Monday accounting tricks were used to move money between different accounts.

Oklahoma is facing a budget gap of $215 million, and social services and schools are already feeling the impact. State lawmakers are six weeks into a special session on what to do about it.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with KGOU’s Jacob McCleland (@jacobmccleland).

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Senate is trying to break a stalemate between House Republicans and Democrats. On Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution, urging House leaders to include in their budget plans a tax increase on oil and gas production.

The Senate resolution called for a hike in the gross production tax from 2 to 4 percent during a well’s first 36 months of production.

Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, is confident his chamber could reach the required three-fourths majority to pass the tax package.

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