In Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, ethanol is most often seen as Midwestern manna, an alternative fuel that eats up the area's biggest crop by the billions of bushels. But here in Oklahoma, the oil and gas industry is big business, bringing in $52 billion a year and creating one of every six jobs. The state's Republican senator, Tom Coburn, leads the fight against ethanol subsidies in Washington.
The Norman Music Festival descends upon downtown Norman this weekend. Over 300 bands perform over the span of the three-day event. One Oklahoma singer-songwriter, JD McPherson, grew up in Buffalo Valley. He says living in such a small town encouraged him to pursue music.
“Where I grew up, there wasn’t a lot down there. It was pretty rural. My dad was into music and I developed an affinity for music. There’s little pockets of musicians down there, but probably the best thing that happened to me was being isolated like that. All you want to do is just play guitar and listen to music and read about music,” says McPherson.
Woody Guthrie’s relationship with his home state has always been complicated. The singer-songwriter left dust bowl Oklahoma and traveled the nation, composing some of the best-known songs of his time and ours.
But to many in the state, his progressive political views did not fit with a strong conservative streak during the Cold War period, but his reputation is now closer to a full restoration as Tulsa prepares to host his archives.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma juvenile justice system will set up its own foster care system under a bill signed by Gov. Mary Fallin.
The bill was one of a dozen measures Fallin signed Tuesday. It requires the state Office of Juvenile Affairs to recruit licensed foster parents for children in its custody and specifies that any foster child have access to a court-appointed advocate.
Another corrections bill says some inmates granted parole for nonviolent offenses would be supervised for nine months after release.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A member of the state Board of Education is resigning to pursue a potential statewide race for the job currently held by State Superintendent Janet Barresi.
Joy Hofmeister announced her resignation Wednesday and says she's thinking about running for the very position she oversaw as a board member.
Hofmeister says she is an advocate for implementation of meaningful reforms for Oklahoma's education system. Hofmeister says that has led her to strongly consider seeking the position of state superintendent.
With two festivals and a major marathon, the Oklahoma City metro stays busy this weekend. Here are some things you may not want to miss.
The Norman Music Festival takes over downtown Main Street Thursday through Saturday. Thousands of people and over 300 bands flood the stages to deliver a free, family-friendly event. Steven White, co-chairman of the festival, says this year’s headliners like The Joy Formidable and JD McPherson are doing “incredible” things across the country.
U.S. Army Spc. Rebecca Buck provides perimeter security outside an Iraqi police station in the Tarmiya Province of Iraq, March 30, 2008.
Credit Technical Sergeant William Greer / United States Air Force
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sign a memo to lift the ban on women in military combat operations during a press conference at the Pentagon, Jan. 24, 2013.
Hear Rebecca Cruise's full interview with NPR's Rachel Martin
In January, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of the U.S. military’s 19-year-old ban on women officially serving in combat roles.
“Every time I visited the warzone, every time I've met with troops, reviewed military operations, and talked to wounded warriors, I've been impressed with the fact that everyone - men and women alike - everyone is committed to doing the job,” Panetta said. “They're fighting and they're dying together. And the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality.”
Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin covered national security issues for NPR from 2010-2012. She told KGOU’s World Views the change in policy recognizes the reality on the ground, but also will afford women the opportunity to compete for top-level spots in very elite military units.