News

Chris Lane was murdered in Duncan, Oklahoma in August 2013.
gofundme.com

An 18-year-old who was an accomplice in the murder of an Australian baseball player in Duncan, Oklahoma was sentenced to over a decade in prison.

Stephens County District Judge Ken Graham handed down a 25 year sentence to James Francis Edwards, Jr. on Tuesday. Ten years of his sentence was suspended, and Graham credited him with 3 years for time already served. Edwards will have 2 years of probation following his release.
 

A rendering of the pop culture museum in Tulsa.
OKPOP

The Oklahoma Historical Society has applied to possibly build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in downtown Tulsa across from the ONEOK Field. The vacant lot, owned by the Tulsa Development Authority, is one of two publicly-known sites for the museum.

Bob Blackburn, the director of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s, told The Tulsa World’s Curtis Killman the organization is considering all of the options.

With Robert Neu's departure, Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora has stepped into the superintendent's job on an interim basis.
Ilea Shutler / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools acknowledged Tuesday that acting superintendent Aurora Lora has been working for nearly two years without the required certification.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

FBI agents raided a Norman bed-and-breakfast last week to look for evidence that the inn’s owners have been holding a Cambodian woman as an indentured servant.

The Cambodian woman works at Whispering Pines Inn, and her employers have allegedly subjected her to mental abuse and coerced her into giving up a child for adoption, according to a report by Brianna Bailey in The Oklahoman.

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland stands outside Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing in June 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections uses three private prisons, run by two companies, to help ease overcrowding. There are contracts in place to ensure the facilities abide by state rules, but the state doesn’t always take options available to it when private facilities fail to live up to their obligations.

‘Very dangerous prison’

 

Rally goers greeted each other with hugs at the Freedom Oklahoma offices in Oklahoma City on June 12, 2016.
Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

Freedom Oklahoma held a candle light vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting Sunday evening at their offices in Oklahoma City. The state’s LGBT advocacy organization welcomed about 500 people to the event.

Peggy Johnson opened the vigil with a song and was followed by local religious leaders, legislators and gay community advocates speaking about peace, healing and love. The June 12th shooting in Orlando comes during Pride Month, and Freedom Oklahoma director Troy Stevenson said that has not been lost on the people in attendance.

President Lyndon Johnson, left, shakes civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s hand immediately after signing the Voting Rights Act, August 6, 1965.
Yoichi Okamoto / LBJ Library Photo (Public Domain)

Next week marks the third anniversary of an incredibly consequential U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down key provisions of landmark civil rights legislation. The high court’s 5-4 ruling in Shelby County vs. Holder meant that Alabama and many other southern states no longer had to seek federal approval to change their election laws under the Voting Rights Act.

But what happened, and how we got there, is so much more complicated. To really understand the narrative arc of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, you have to go back 100 years to the end of the Civil War and the three so-called “Reconstruction Amendments” to the U.S. Constitution. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments outlawed slavery, established citizenship for blacks, and gave them the right to vote.

Gov. Mary Fallin
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed a bill mandating pardon and parole board hearings for inmates convicted of crimes requiring payment of 85 percent of a sentence. 

House Bill 3159 earned almost unanimous support in both the House and the Senate during the 55th legislative session.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed the budget bill that will fund state government for the next fiscal year on Friday.

June 12, 2016

This is from the Manager's Desk. It is a busy time at KGOU so I want to highlight a couple of things this week.

First, don't forget that the Jazz in June concerts and clincis run this Thursday through Friday. Come visit us at the KGOU booth at the concerts.

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