Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Anthony
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

A member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will temporarily serve as the agency's director of administration.

Commissioner Bob Anthony says he'll take on the additional duties until the commission completes its transition.

Anthony says Commissioner-elect Todd Hiett takes office on Jan. 12 and will help the three-member commission find the most qualified candidate to permanently fill the position.

State Senator Jabar Shumate, a Democrat from District 11, is stepping down from his position.
Wikipedia Commons

A Democratic state senator from Tulsa has announced plans to resign from office next week.

Sen. Jabar Shumate announced Wednesday that he would step down from his District 11 seat effective Tuesday.

The Democrat from north Tulsa says he plans to pursue an opportunity in the private sector, but that he can't yet disclose details.

Shumate previously served in the Oklahoma House and was in the final two years of his term. He would not have been able to run again because of term limits.

Santiaga Quiñónez won the Human Rights award for her life’s work dedicated “to helping men and women in prison.” She visits prisoners and corresponds with them, work organizers of the recognition described “very large, but few people know.” For her work helping the local Hispanic community, Dr. Claudia Rossavik was another award winner. Adam Soltani, executive director of CAIR Oklahoma, was lifted up for his work on behalf of the Sooner State’s Muslim community. Carlos Tello was honored for his mural, “Beyond the Centennial,” and as “the first Hispanic to have a work of art displayed so prominently in our state capitol.”

ben alexander / Flickr

On the first episode of KGOU’s World Views this year, Suzette Grillot, Rebecca Cruise, and Joshua Landis look ahead to 2015 and some of the biggest international stories they expect to follow in the coming months.

Jim Johnson / KGOU

The year 2014 saw the deaths of a beloved actor born in Oklahoma and a forensic anthropologist who worked on cases including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Actor James Garner, who grew up in the Norman area, died in July at age 86 at his home in Los Angeles.

Garner was known for a low-key, wisecracking style, especially on his hit TV series "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files."

When Garner received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award in 2005, he quipped, "I'm not at all sure how I got here."

He remained popular in his home state, attending the unveiling of a statue of him in Norman in 2006, where he said that early in his career some people gave him grief for being from the Sooner State.

"They'd say, 'oh, you're from Oklahoma,' and I'd say, 'damn right, I am. What are you going to do about it,'" Garner said.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April has been voted Oklahoma's top story for 2014.

Lockett's execution prompted the state to impose a moratorium on executions and led to new discussions on the future of the death penalty.

Court action legalizing gay marriages was voted second by Associated Press members, and a workplace beheading in Moore is third.

A series of sexual-assault charges against Oklahoma lawmen is fourth and troubles within Oklahoma's public school system is fifth.

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2015
Merlin2525 / Creative Commons/Google Images

January 1 is KGOU’s anniversary and we are marking 32 years of public radio service. 

KGOU’s longevity is a combination of support from the University of Oklahoma, the availability of the annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the support from KGOU listeners.  The constant support from these three sources has enabled KGOU to grow. 

KROU serving Oklahoma County turns 22 in June.  The translators serving Seminole and Ada turn eight in July and August. The Chickasha translator turns five in August.

Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of Oklahoma death row inmates scheduled to die early next year say a federal judge erred when he failed to stop their pending executions and are asking an appeals court to temporarily halt their executions.

Attorneys for the four men filed their opening brief Wednesday in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Many cultures greet the new year with a feast that symbolically sets the table for the year ahead. As they sit down to traditional dishes, people often try to metaphorically eat their hopes and goals for the coming year.

Kat Masback / Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health reports three new deaths due to influenza this season and more than 160 people hospitalized in the past week due to the flu.

The department said Wednesday that the number of flu deaths this season now stands at nine. The department says one of the new deaths is in the 18 to 49 age group, while the other eight are in the 65 or older age group.