Oklahoma County Republican Party Chairman Daren Ward
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahoma County GOP, County Assessor Call For Sheriff's Suspension

The Oklahoma County GOP is calling for Sheriff John Whetsel to suspend himself pending the results of an investigation. Chairman Daren Ward says an investigative audit released last week shows possible instances of embezzlement, bribery and corruption. He argued the findings further mistrust citizens have in their officials and said, if true, Whetsel should self-suspend immediately. “It is not only inexcusable, but a complete violation of trust the citizens of Oklahoma County have invested in...
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Trout Unlimited's Scott Hood prepares to release this small trout he caught during the group's fishing trip to the Lower Illinois River near the Lake Tenkiller dam in eastern Oklahoma.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Question 777 — also known as ‘right-to-farm’ — would give agricultural producers in Oklahoma the constitutional right to raise livestock and grow crops without interference from future regulations by the state Legislature, without a compelling state interest.

Opposition to the state question comes from multiple sources, but a diverse coalition urging a ‘no’ vote is united by a shared concern: water.


ITT Educational Services headquarters in Carmel, Ind.
Michael Conroy / AP

Lawmakers discussed Oklahoma’s for-profit colleges and sexual assaults on college campuses during a pair of interim studies Wednesday in the House Higher Education and Career Tech Committee.

State Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, requested the study, and Education Secretary Natalie Shirley agreed with his assessment that private vocational schools play an important role in Oklahoma's education system.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma's execution practices were under the national spotlight when the 2015 legislative session began. A few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging the state’s three-drug lethal injection cocktail, Oklahoma state Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 31.  

This year’s campaign ads might seem negative, but archivists at the Julian Kanter Political Commercial Archive at the University of Oklahoma say that’s nothing new.

The country’s largest archive of political ads includes more than 160,000 local, state and national campaign advertisements going back to 1936.

Tulsa Race Riots Of 1921 Echo Tensions Today

Oct 4, 2016

In 1921, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted in race riots that left up to 300 people dead. Homes and businesses were burned.

The riot has been mostly ignored by history. But a recent fatal police shooting of an African-American man in Tulsa has re-focused attention on the city’s past.

Bruce Fisher, retired curator of the African-American projects at the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Kate Carlton Greer, a reporter for KGOU, join Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss Tulsa’s past and present.

Another earthquake shook Oklahoma today. It measured 3.1 on the Richter scale, and struck just after 7 a.m. near Stroud, 65 miles from Oklahoma City.

That’s one of more than 500 this year, compared to California’s 156. Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s sharp increase in earthquakes in recent years to the underground injection of wastewater during oil and gas production.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with Joe Wertz, KGOU’s StateImpact reporter, about Oklahoma’s earthquake trends.

From its state legislature and governor to its congressional delegation, Oklahoma is a solidly Republican state. So while polls and political analysts predict a Trump victory, several key ballot questions are causing a stir.

One of them, called “Right to Farm,” limits government restrictions on farming. Another focuses on alcohol sales.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with StateImpact Oklahoma reporter Logan Layden for the latest in Oklahoma politics.

Dr. Larry Burns sits in a courtroom as he waits for a hearing to begin in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 9, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a state law that would’ve placed new restrictions on abortion providers.

In a unanimous ruling, the state’s high court said the law Gov. Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 violates the Oklahoma constitutional requirement that laws deal with only one subject.

“A legislator voting on this matter could have been left with an unpalatable all-or-nothing choice,” the decision says.

Paycom employees participate in a group training session at the company’s corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City on Monday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Employers have about two months until new federal overtime rules go into effect unless Congress or courts put a halt to them, but experts are telling Oklahoma companies to plan for the rules, anyway.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt has joined several other states’ attorneys general in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Sen. James Lankford has introduced a bill to delay the December 1 deadline.

A Devon Energy disposal well near Stillwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson both say energy policy needs to be included in the national political debate, but they disagree on a transmission line project that would move wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to western Tennessee.

Fallin currently chairs the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and Hutchinson takes over that role next year. Both spoke Monday at the group's annual conference in Little Rock.

Fallin says she supports the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project designed to move up to 4,000 megawatts of wind energy.