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...
Read More
Dep. Sheriff Red Edgman, Dep. Sheriff Dave Harlan, Sheriff Orin Johnston and Henry Troup break up a still near Purcell, Oklahoma in 1933.
Purman Wilson Collection / Oklahoma Historical Society


Oklahomans are considering some of the biggest changes to the state’s liquor laws since the end of prohibition. If approved, State Question 792 would amend the state constitution and alter a system with roots planted during the days of Indian Territory.

Matt Rourke / AP

A legislative panel explored the rules and regulations governing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Oklahoma during an interim study Wednesday.

The Senate's Public Safety Committee examined the pros and cons of unmanned aerial vehicles, and what policies or regulations to consider when drafting legislation before the 2017 session.

State Sen. Frank Simpson wants to address the constitutional questions and public safety issues that come with using drones without stifling economic development.

"When is the deadline to register to vote in the general election?"

"What races will be on my ballot?"

"Can I vote early, or by mail?"

These are the kinds of questions answered by the 2016 Oklahoma Voter Guide, published by a partnership of news media, including KGOU, and nonprofit organizations. The guide is a non-partisan resource to help Oklahoma voters know who and what will be on the ballot Nov. 8. The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and the Kirkpatrick Foundation spearheaded the effort.

Protesters marched from the Greenwood Cultural Center to Tulsa City Hall in a demonstration over Terence Crutcher's death.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Protesters demanding justice for an unarmed black man shot by Tulsa police earlier this month marched to Tulsa's city hall Tuesday.

The demonstrators gathered at the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, marking a day of justice called for last week by Crutcher's family, their attorneys and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was on hand to lead the march. The national civil rights leader praised Tulsa police for releasing video of the shooting but said there are more steps to take.

Attorney John Hunsucker stands next to a breath testing machine.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A court decision earlier this week might keep the state from revoking thousands of driver’s licenses.

Monday's ruling means the outcome of a breathalyzer test that leads to criminal charges can't be used to take away someone's driving privileges, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

The U.S. government has agreed to pay a total of $492 million to 17 American Indian tribes for mismanaging natural resources and other tribal assets, according to an attorney who filed most of the suits.

Wine bottles in The Spirit Shop in Norman
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

“There he is!” Bryan Kerr said with a laugh, as he greeted a customer at his liquor store in Moore. ”You’re always showing up at exactly the right time.”

The customer navigated through rows of bottles at Moore Liquor, while Kerr slipped outside. He took a few steps to an adjoining storefront to another business he owns: Party Moore.

“A lot of people mistake it for like a Party Galaxy or Party City. It is not that,” Kerr said as he cracked open the store’s door. “It is a party store that is exclusively built for parties that have alcohol in them.”

Attorney Dan Smolen (center) announced Monday he's researching a potential lawsuit based on violations of Terence Crutcher's civil rights. Smolen is also questioning why no video is available from Officer Betty Shelby's car.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The attorney for Terence Crutcher’s widow believes there should be more video of his death at the hands of a Tulsa police officer.

According to a TPD policy manual, officers are able to trigger dash cam video recording five different ways, including by pressing a button on a microphone worn on their duty belts or elsewhere. Attorney Dan Smolen wants to know why there’s no video from Officer Betty Shelby’s car when she was there two minutes before anyone else.

Former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon was killed in an automobile accident March 2nd, a day after being indicted on corruption charges.
Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

One of Oklahoma City's most prominent energy executives was also a prolific philanthropist, and his death earlier this year left many charities with unpaid pledges.

Even though Aubrey McClendon owed thousands of dollars at the time of his fatal car crash in March, the charities aren't fighting it, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Two dancers practice in an empty lot next to their International Dance Studio (IDance) in Capitol Hill.
Josh Robinson / Oklahoma Engaged

43 states had a higher voter turnout than Oklahoma in the last presidential election in 2012. We wanted to know more about why the state’s voter turnout is so low.

With support from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, KGOU and KOSU are collaborating on a series called Oklahoma Engaged. In the first of several stories, we focus on the state’s changing electorate.