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Matt Whittington, of Edmond, enrolled in Epic Charter Schools because the flexibility of online classes fit with his commitment to gymnastics. The family made special efforts to ensure that the arrangement worked.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s largest online charter school is on a track of explosive growth, nearly tripling its enrollment over three years, to almost 8,500.

That pursuit of lightning growth by Epic Charter Schools – a goal affirmed by its co-founder – shows no signs of letting up. Epic officials predict enrollment will near 10,000 by mid-school year.

University of Oklahoma Diplomat In Residence Rob Andrew
Provided

Despite its location in a landlocked, central state, the University of Oklahoma’s serves as the home base for Rob Andrew, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomat in Residence for the Central U.S. region.

He grew up in an internationally engaged family - Andrew’s mother is Canadian. His earlier career as a U.S. Army officer who served in the Middle East during the first Gulf War eventually led him to the Foreign Service.

An artist’s conception of a proposed hotel that would be attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center.
Provided / Omni Hotel and Resorts

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma City Council voted 7-2 to pursue negotiations with the developer Omni for a proposed hotel attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center that’s part of the MAPS 3 series of projects.

An amateur astronomer looks at chart on a red-filtered computer monitor at the 2016 Okie-Tex Star Party near Oklahoma's Black Mesa State Park.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Panhandle is empty and hard to get to. The region attracts few people, very little industry and none of the light pollution that accompany both. It’s a remote location that’s earning a national reputation as the perfect spot to stare deep into space.

Terry Zimmerman adjusts the eyepiece on the 12.5-inch f5 Dobsonian he built from a kit — technical talk for a telescope that’s so tall, you have to climb a stepladder to take a peek.

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.

drone
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:

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.

Oklahoma City Skyline at night
StevenSmith1 / Flickr Creative Commons

While pop-culture references to Oklahoma frequently involve depictions of either tranquil farm folk or tornadic American sharpshooters, few Americans realize the distinctly international role of that the state has. Along with over 200,000 immigrants who call Oklahoma home, both Tulsa and Oklahoma host international delegations through an organization known as Global Ties.

Karen Holp, KGOU General Manager.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

September 25, 2016

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

Well, that is nearly the last time I’ll say “from the manager’s desk” because this is my last week of employment here at KGOU Radio.

But after that, I’ll say, “from the former manager’s desk” because I’m sticking around a bit as a volunteer -- to help with the membership drive, to announce the new manager when that happens, and to keep an eye on things until then. Old broadcaster are frankly hard to get rid of.

Officer Betty Shelby
Tulsa County Jail

The attorney for the Tulsa police officer who killed an unarmed African American man says she had “auditory exclusion” at the time of the shooting.

Attorney Scott Wood told The Tulsa World that officer Betty Shelby has no recollection of fellow officer Tyler Turnbough saying that he was ready to use his Taser on Terence Crutcher. She also did not hear the arrival of other officers’ cars or their sirens.

Supporters wave Trump campaign signs at a rally in Oklahoma City on February 26, 2016.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Recent polling and fundraising numbers seem to confirm that Donald Trump will likely win Oklahoma’s seven electoral votes this November.

Trump has now outraised Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the state for the third consecutive month. And a statewide poll out this month shows Trump leading Clinton by 15 percentage points.

But the data also shows Trump will be hard-pressed to win Oklahoma by as wide a margin as the past several GOP presidential candidates did. That could indicate a lack of enthusiasm for Trump among many conservative Oklahomans.

Officer Betty Shelby
Tulsa County Jail

Tulsa County jail records show the police officer charged with manslaughter in last week's shooting death of an unarmed black man surrendered to authorities early Friday morning.

Officer Betty Shelby was arrested at 1:00 a.m., booked at 1:11 a.m., and released at 1:31 a.m. after posting $50,000 bond.

Shekeyra Goodman sets a table in an event room Tuesday at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association held its annual forecasting luncheon at the Skirvin in downtown Oklahoma City. The group’s figures show hotel demand in the state dropped 3.5 percent, while the supply was up 2.9 percent.

One of the presenters, Jan Freitag, basically said this decline all has to do with the price of oil, and that the demand for hotel rooms used to grow by 8 percent annually.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler speaks to reporters Thursday after filing charges against Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby
John Durkee / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Prosecutors filed felony charges Thursday against a Tulsa police officer involved in the shooting death of an unarmed black man. The charges come less than a week after Terence Crutcher was shot Friday.

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