Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

ENCORE: Bigfoot Is Scaring Up Stories And Tourism Dollars In Southeastern Oklahoma

Editor's Note: This story originally aired December 10, 2015. The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists. Bigfoot Getting Bigger Charles Benton says he knows what he saw five years ago a few miles north of Broken Bow, deep in the woods near Hochatown. It’s where he says a turkey hunt turned into the scare of a lifetime. “Behind me I...
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Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Just over a year ago—under the dark of night—a Ten Commandments monument was removed from the state Capitol grounds.

State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Tulsa, paid for it. Gov. 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.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Authorities across the state are in the middle of a manhunt for a suspect who shot six people, including two Wellston police officers, late Sunday and early Monday. He then fled west along Interstate 40.

Updated 12:36 p.m.


An Oklahoma County judge issued a warrant for Michael Vance’s arrest Monday morning.


classroom floor
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma leads the nation in education cuts based on per pupil spending, and those cuts are nearly double those of the next-closest state.

A report out last week by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows Oklahoma's per-pupil funding fell by nearly 27 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2017.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon speaks during the opening of a compressed natural gas filling station in Oklahoma City, Sept. 8, 2009.

Claims against the estate of Chesapeake Energy's founder and former CEO have topped $1 billion.

The creditors who filed claims against Aubrey McClendon’s estate include banks and other lenders. At least two of those claims stem from lawsuits. One of the lawsuits is ongoing, but the other claim involves a purported settlement agreement between McClendon and the company he founded, Chesapeake Energy, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Al Jazeera English Channel staff prepare for a broadcast in the Doha newsroom in Qatar on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006., the day before the network's launch.
Hamid Jalaudin / AP

A decade ago, retired U.S. Marine and current Al Jazeera English journalist Josh Rushing’s life looked significantly different. Rushing frequently served as an interview subject representing the Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom, a position he describes as “selling the war.”

“I would now call it ‘casting’ without much sense of irony,” Rushing said of his selection as a spokesperson. “I was cast for the position. I was a young Marine. I had a certain look. I had a young family. I fit exactly the bill they were looking for.”

Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II speaks at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s State of Aerospace luncheon Tuesday at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Earlier this week the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber held its annual State of Aerospace luncheon to update the business community on both the military and civilian sides of the industry.

Tinker Air Force Base wants to work with small businesses, but The Journal Record’s senior reporter and digital strategist Sarah Terry-Cobo says the federal government’s seven-year budget impasse means defense contractors suffer from a pay delay.

People gather for the Fiesta de las Americas in Oklahoma City on Oct. 1, 2016.
Josh Robinson / Oklahoma Engaged


Pete White drives slowly through his old neighborhood in south Oklahoma City. The 78-year-old Oklahoma City councilman has lived in the area his entire life.


“This is the house I grew up in right here,” White said as he drove through a tree lined neighborhood of modest homes.


Goats on a farm near Covington, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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.

Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh speaks to members on the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee on October 19, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

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.  

Road construction continues on NW 164th Street between May and Portland avenues in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City is preparing for midyear budget cuts because of low sales tax revenue.

Mayor Mick Cornett and city councilmembers had been hoping for growth in the sales tax, but revenue to the city is down 4 percent.

Weak consumer spending means the city will have to cut back on its own spending by about $10 million halfway through the fiscal year.