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State Rep. Josh Cockroft says he was surprised at the lack of financial oversight in agencies like the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

In an interview with Capitol Insider’s Dick Pryor and Shawn Ashley, Cockroft, who is chairing a special investigative committee looking into the health department, said the committee has received more than 60 tips about mismanagement across multiple state agencies.

“It's concerning. You would never run a business like that,” Cockroft said.

Poet Mahtem Shiferraw’s collection of poetry, Fuchsia, examines personal displacement and nomadism from the perspective of immigrants.

Shiferraw, who grew up in Eritrea and Ethiopia before moving to Los Angeles, says she was inspired by poetry as a child. She attended an Italian school in Ethiopia, where she was immersed in a culture that embraced poetry.

Allison Herrera / KOSU

The number of people sentenced to Oklahoma prisons in 2017 fell slightly, but the state remains second in the nation in overall incarceration and could be ranked first by the end of this year.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections data shows that on the last working day of 2017, a total of 28,153 inmates were in state prisons, halfway houses or in jails awaiting transfer to prisons. That was a less than 1 percent decline from the end of 2016.

A group of people take a tour of Bricktown via the canal.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

To know how to attract more visitors to Oklahoma City, the city needs to know what we don’t have.

The Greater Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau is circulating surveys to 800 people to find why people come, and to help identify tourism gaps.

Michael I Schiller / Reveal

In rural Kentucky, a cold case is reopened after 45 years, and investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she might have been killed.

Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening cold cases and using DNA science to try to solve them. There currently are more than 10,000 unidentified men and women in the U.S.

Paul L. McCord, Jr. / Flickr.com

The NBA season is about halfway over and the Oklahoma City Thunder are not performing as well as fans had hoped.

 

KGOU's Claire Donnelly spoke with Jon Hamm, who writes about the Thunder for Bleacher Report and co-hosts the Thunder podcast OKC Dream Team, about the team's struggles, playoff chances and more.  

 

Storme Jones / KGOU

State Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, is the Democratic Caucus Chair for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She says the last year at the state capitol was “the most grueling and intense and frustrating,” of the seven years she has been in office. 2017 may be over, but remnants of last year’s legislative challenges continue.

Preschool teacher, Irene Castell, works on counting with a small group of kids.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kids are scattered around the preschool classroom at Zarrow International School in Tulsa. It’s loud and chaotic, but it’s organized. Some students paint pictures; others write out the letters of the alphabet. The small group sitting around teacher Irene Castell is learning to count and compare numbers.


People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's speech, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.
Ahn Young-joon / AP

Americans tend to be more interested in domestic policy than foreign policy, but they do pay attention and have opinions about international politics.

Workers hammer spikes into place on a new rail spur south of Kingfisher.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A Houston-based company is planning to invest up to $40 million in a rail spur and transportation loading center near Kingfisher.

Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association on Wednesday filed two separate state Supreme Court challenges to a proposed state question that would ask voters to end industry discounts and impose a broad 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher pay raises and early childhood education.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is holding a joint press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House. The two leaders are taking reporters' questions. Their meeting touches on the topics of NATO defense, global security and trade. The meeting is taking place as President Trump is trying to work with Congress on issues of immigration and border security. The Western European relationship with Russia is also important to Norway, and new developments in the investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russia connections may also figure in the conversation.

Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Seven years ago, with Oklahoma stuck near the bottom in key public health rankings, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Gov. Mary Fallin set out to reshape the strategy for markedly improving health outcomes for Oklahomans.

The approach would involve new health department initiatives, partnerships, educational efforts and other programs.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of about 20 parents asked Oklahoma City Public School Board members on Monday to kick former OKC Mayor Kirk Humphreys off the board of a local charter school.

Humphreys recently equated homosexuality to pedophilia while on a Sunday morning talk show, and many John Rex Charter School parents feel his comments were homophobic, and disqualify him from serving on the charter’s board of directors.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On June 26, voters will decide if Oklahoma will become the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. But regulating the new industry could prove difficult.

If State Question 788 passes, licenses will be required for each stage of marijuana cultivation, including dispensaries, commercial growers, processors, and individual medical marijuana cards.

Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel, In the Light of What We Know, covers a broad swath of topics, ranging from friendship, geopolitics, math and science.

The novel opens when an old friend appears at the narrator’s door, and the two men in their early forties have very different stories to tell about their lives.

OKC Bike Rack Map

Since his car was totaled a month ago, Jake Fisher has walked to his job in digital marketing in downtown Oklahoma City. It helps that he lives and works in the same neighborhood.  

“I like to know I’m not overusing resources,” he said. “If I could walk 20 minutes, versus driving two minutes, I would choose walking.”

Fisher has considered buying a bicycle, but didn’t know where he could park it safely downtown.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that black infants in Oklahoma are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white or Hispanic babies, making Oklahoma one of the worst states for black infant mortality.

Reveal: The Tide Is High

Jan 8, 2018
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

Last year saw the most destructive Atlantic hurricane season on record. As climate change pushes ocean temperatures ever higher, scientists predict storms will continue growing more severe.

How did we get here? And what steps are we taking to ensure that rising seas and catastrophic weather don’t swallow American communities whole? This week’s episode investigates.

Dick Pryor / KGOU

 

Oklahoma lawmakers are still in a special session looking to find additional revenue, one month before the next regular session is scheduled to begin. Gov. Mary Fallin called the special session last month, asking lawmakers to provide additional funding for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the State Health Care Authority. The legislature appropriated funds for the health agencies but have not yet found a way to prevent future budget shortfalls.

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