Rachel Hubbard

Associate Director/General Manager

After three years as a part-time announcer at KTJS Radio in Hobart, Rachel Hubbard started her career at KOSU as a student reporter in 1999. Following graduation from Oklahoma State University, she served as KOSU’s state capitol reporter and news director. Today, in her role as associate director/general manager, Rachel continues to oversee the newsroom but also manages the day to day operations of the station. During her tenure at KOSU, Rachel has won national awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., and the Scripps Howard Foundation for her news coverage. She has also received numerous state and regional awards for news coverage and has been named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40. Rachel loves to cook and is fond of non-traditional her non-traditional travel destinations including Timbuktu, Mali and a pygmy village in Uganda. She lives in Edmond with her husband Matt, stepsons Alex and Rafe and her two dogs, Oscar and Felix.

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LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The panel that sets the salaries for Oklahoma's lawmakers said Thursday that legislative pay should be more in line with the average Oklahoman.

Legislative pay in Oklahoma is second compared with other states in the region, and with per diem, lawmakers make more than $48,000 dollars during the four month session. That’s almost equal to the median annual household income for the state.

Those statistics led the Oklahoma Legislative Compensation Commission to consider cuts in pay between 8 and 20 percent.

Governor Mary Fallin says she's uncertain what she is going to do with the latest budget bill to cover the $215 million shortfall. She has said in the past she would veto any measure which makes cuts to state agencies and spends cash reserves.

With the latest budget fix, Fallin says lawmakers are kicking the can down the road.

Oklahoma State Senate

In the ongoing budget saga at the Oklahoma State Capitol, there was some bipartisan movement on Monday in the state Senate. Lawmakers have already agreed to increase the cigarette tax and fuel taxes, but the sticking point has been the gross production tax on oil and gas wells.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would decrease the tax discounts on oil and gas wells after failing to come to another agreement. That bill only required a simple majority (51 percent) of lawmakers to vote in favor.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Oklahoma is replacing the decks of playing cards they sell in the prison canteens with new custom decks featuring the faces of victims from 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases. Other states have similar programs and the program is working.

During the Iraq war, a surprisingly effective tool for the military was a deck of cards distributed to troops featuring the faces of Iraq’s most wanted. Now, law enforcement officials are hoping inmates in American prisons will help play a similar role in unsolved cases.

Allison Herrera

A case that helps determine whether or not the descendants of Cherokee slaves have the full citizenship rights of native Cherokees was decided in United States Federal District Court Wednesday.

After nearly three years, Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan in his ruling said the paramount question to be considered is whether an 1866 treaty between the Cherokee Nation and the United States granted the Cherokee Freedmen, or the descendants of slaves, "all the rights of native Cherokees."

It was a wild day at the state capitol as lawmakers tried to find new sources of revenue to fill the nearly $900 million budget shortfall and fund teacher pay raises. But, with just three days left to find new money, they’re likely back at the drawing board.

Starting about noon, there were rumors that a budget agreement had been reached between the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate and Governor Mary Fallin. The scheduled an announcement for 2:30 p.m.

At least a dozen wildfires burning in Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida have charred more than 1,700 square miles and remain largely uncontained.

Rachel Hubbard of member station KOSU in Oklahoma City, Okla., reported at least six people have died in the wildfires:

okhouse.gov

A bill that would change some of the criminal justice reforms voters approved in November advances in the legislature.

House Bill 1482 would again make it a felony to possess drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Rep. Tim Downing (R-Purcell) co-authored the bill and says it restores protection for children.

"A person can take heroin on an elementary school playground and do it an unlimited amount of times and essentially pay a ticket for it."

There’s an uproar in the small Oklahoma town of Henryetta after a Valentine's Day dance was canceled. The reason? It would have happened too close to a church.

Joni Insabella just wanted something fun to do in her hometown. She recently opened a vintage shop with an empty second floor. She decided it was good for one thing: dancing. So ,they started planning one for Valentine’s Day.

"We had not thought anything that very old 40-year-old city ordinance. It didn’t even cross our mind."

Thirty-three states have passed criminal justice reform in an attempt to reduce prison populations and save money.

But although voters in Oklahoma approved ballot initiatives enacting reforms in November, some lawmakers have filed bills to repeal the reforms.

Prisons in Oklahoma are at a 109 percent capacity, creating safety issues and budget problems. There's no money for treatment, and things are so dire, many inmates are sleeping in makeshift spaces like the cafeteria.

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