U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the Choctaw Nation headquarters in Durant, Okla. on Oct. 6, 2015.
Choctaw Nation

Federal Government, Oklahoma Tribes Reach $186M Settlement

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations agreed to a settlement on Tuesday to end long-running litigation regarding a lawsuit filed by the tribes regarding federal handling of tribal resources and funds held in government trust. Speaking at the ceremonial signing on Tuesday at Choctaw headquarters in Durant, Oklahoma, Bill Anoatubby, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, said the settlement was a milestone in tribal and federal relations. “It is the beginning of a...
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Former Lt. Governor, Jari Askins

Former Democratic state legislator, special judge and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins has been hired to oversee Oklahoma's court system.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Reif announced Askins' hiring on Friday as the state's administrative director of the courts, effective Oct. 1.

Reif says Askins' hiring was a "conference decision" in which all nine justices participated. She will replace longtime administrator Michael Evans, who is retiring.

Reif says Askins will earn the same as a judge on the Court of Civil Appeals, or $138,235.

Gov. Mary Fallin presents BFAC.com President and CEO Brad McMullan a plaque from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce during Friday's announcement.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A national technology firm plans to open a facility in Norman that will bring hundreds of jobs to the state.

The business texting firm BFAC.com is opening its Mobile App Development and Operations Center on the University of Oklahoma's Research Campus, just a few hundred yards north of the National Weather Center.

Gov. Mary Fallin said the company’s CEO Brad McMullan told her he wants technology to be as valuable to Oklahoma’s economy as oil and gas.

The bananas on the right will likely get dumped into the compost pile because most consumers, like those at this Kansas grocery store, prefer to buy pristine produce.
Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

The Obama administration is challenging America to reduce food waste by half in 15 years.

In an announcement Wednesday, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency said they would team up with food retailers, charity groups and local governments to meet that goal. 

(Read the NPR story here.)

Since a Snapchat video of University of Oklahoma football player Eric Striker's response to Sigma Alpha Epsilon's racist chant went viral, ESPN interviewed more than 40 players from 15 programs across the country and surveyed another 99 players anonymously about their reaction to Striker and their own encounters with racism and profiling. Many players applauded Striker for speaking out and were eager to share their own opinions and experiences that mirror his at Oklahoma.

prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of an Oklahoma prison workers group says the stabbing deaths of four white inmates at a private prison in Cushing were the result of violence between two white prison gangs that also spilled over into other state prisons.

Several Oklahoma farmers wander through a field of broad-leafed cover crops during a state Conservation Commission workshop in Dewey County in western Oklahoma.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Generations of tilling and planting on the same land have left Oklahoma’s soil in poor shape. And if farmers don’t change the way they grow crops, feeding the future won’t be easy. As Slapout, Okla., farmer Jordan Shearer puts it: “We’re creating a desert environment by plowing the damn ground.”

Taking A Toll

Oklahoma state flag
J Stephen Conn / Flickr.com

The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded more than $12.5 million to 13 Oklahoma tribes to improve public safety and programs for crime victims.

They grants are among 206 national awards totaling more than $97 million announced Wednesday for American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal consortia and tribal designees.

In the five years since earthquakes first began blitzing Oklahoma, state officials have been hesitant to agree with scientists who blamed the oil and gas industry.

The shaking doesn't appear to be slowing, but the regulatory response is ramping up as more state officials acknowledge the link between increased seismic activity and waste fluid pumped into the disposal wells of oil fields.

To show how an oil and gas boom fueled a massive surge of earthquakes, scientists used algorithms, statistics and computer models of fluid flow and seismic energy.

Court Halts Oklahoma Execution

Sep 16, 2015

1 p.m. Update: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has granted Richard Glossip a two-week stay of execution.

Oklahoma is scheduled to execute Richard Glossip at 3 p.m. Central time today, despite new evidence that suggests he may be innocent.

Glossip was convicted in the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, based on testimony from Justin Sneed, who claimed Glossip hired him for the murder. Sneed was a convicted murder who struck a plea bargain to avoid execution himself.

Supporters of Richard Glossip celebrate outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary after they learned he was granted a stay of execution.
Cheridan Sanders / Twitter

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals granted a last-minute stay of execution Wednesday to Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip, a little over three hours before he was set to die by lethal injection.

Updated 3:03 p.m.

Standing outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean said the two extra weeks will give Richard Glossip’s lawyers time to present what they say is new evidence that will clear his name.