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An amateur astronomer looks at chart on a red-filtered computer monitor at the 2016 Okie-Tex Star Party near Oklahoma's Black Mesa State Park.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Why A Remote Corner Of Oklahoma’s Panhandle Might Be The Perfect Place To Throw A Star Party

The Oklahoma Panhandle is empty and hard to get to. The region attracts few people, very little industry and none of the light pollution that accompany both. It’s a remote location that’s earning a national reputation as the perfect spot to stare deep into space. Terry Zimmerman adjusts the eyepiece on the 12.5-inch f5 Dobsonian he built from a kit — technical talk for a telescope that’s so tall, you have to climb a stepladder to take a peek. “Right now I’ve got it set on M13,” he says,...
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Police say 5 people were killed after a shooter opened fire inside a Macy's at a shopping mall in Burlington, Washington on Friday evening.

Authorities are searching for the suspected shooter, who they say left the scene at Cascade Mall before police arrived. He was last seen walking toward a nearby interstate highway. Skagit County's Department of Emergency Management cautioned people to stay indoors and "stay alert."

U.S. Native American tribes and Canadian First Nations are banding together to "collectively challenge and resist" proposals to build more pipelines from tar sands in Alberta, Canada. At least 50 First Nations and tribes signed a treaty on Thursday at ceremonies held in Vancouver and Montreal.

The Department of Education released statewide student assessment scores at Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting and the results show an overall upward trend of improvement. But a slight one. 

Overall, Oklahoma students are performing better at reading than they are in math. On average, 70 percent of third through eighth-grade students are proficient in reading, and 65 percent of students are scoring proficient in math.

Officer Betty Shelby
Tulsa County Jail

Tulsa County jail records show the police officer charged with manslaughter in last week's shooting death of an unarmed black man surrendered to authorities early Friday morning.

Officer Betty Shelby was arrested at 1:00 a.m., booked at 1:11 a.m., and released at 1:31 a.m. after posting $50,000 bond.

Shekeyra Goodman sets a table in an event room Tuesday at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association held its annual forecasting luncheon at the Skirvin in downtown Oklahoma City. The group’s figures show hotel demand in the state dropped 3.5 percent, while the supply was up 2.9 percent.

One of the presenters, Jan Freitag, basically said this decline all has to do with the price of oil, and that the demand for hotel rooms used to grow by 8 percent annually.

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler speaks to reporters Thursday after filing charges against Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby
John Durkee / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Prosecutors filed felony charges Thursday against a Tulsa police officer involved in the shooting death of an unarmed black man. The charges come less than a week after Terence Crutcher was shot Friday.

Farmers Wayne and Fred Schmedt watch a combine harvest wheat on their fields near Altus, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma voters will decide in November whether to change the state constitution with new language protecting the agriculture industry.

OWRB Executive Director J.D. Strong (left) addresses members of the water board at its Oct. 23, 2013 meeting.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

One of Oklahoma's top water officials will have a new job a little less than a month from now.

J.D. Strong will become the state Department of Wildlife Conservation’s executive director after six years leading the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

He’ll transition in October after the Governor’s Water Conference is over, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

The Rev. Al Sharpton, center, speaks to the media at the National Action Center in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 about the shooting death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa. He's joined by Attorney Benjamin Crump (right), and Crutcher's father (bow tie).
Joseph Frederick / AP

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he's planning a rally in Tulsa on Tuesday to demand justice for the family of an unarmed black man killed Friday by a white police officer.

The civil rights leader called allegations Terence Crutcher may have been under the influence of drugs "bogus."

"Let a jury hear the facts,” Sharpton said. “But don't try and smear this young man in death as you smeared his blood in that highway."

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