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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.

Stillwater Regional Airport

A study indicates that a north-central Oklahoma community could support daily commercial airline flights from its airport to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The Journal Record reports the study by the city of Stillwater is the latest in a three-year effort to obtain commercial air service at the Stillwater Regional Airport.

A Stillwater Chamber of Commerce official says the goal is to begin providing jet service for 50 passengers at the airport.

Norman Police Department

A Norman police officer has been cleared in the shooting death of a 34-year-old man who approached the officer with a hammer.

In a letter sent this week to the Norman Police Department, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said his office's review of the Dec. 14 shooting determined the use of force was "justified and appropriate under the law."

epSos .de
Flickr

Despite record-setting job creation, and the U.S. stock market's value tripling since 2009, the global economy ends the year on a sour note due to the currency crisis in Russia and plateauing growth in China.

"Europe has languished, and Japan has really swooned. Inflation fell everywhere thanks to oil prices going down," says KGOU's World Views contributor Joshua Landis.

Landis says there are dark clouds on the horizon, especially in East Asia and Europe.

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