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A 5.8-magnitude earthquake damaged the facade of a brick building in the city of Pawnee, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Only 1 percent of insurance claims were paid in the month following Oklahoma’s largest earthquake on record struck near Pawnee.

The magnitude 5-point-8 temblor centered near Pawnee damaged buildings and injured one person. Of the 274 claims reported to the state Insurance Department, four have been paid, 39 were closed without payment, 17 were denied, two were under investigation and 212 are still open.

A rig hand on a Triad Energy horizontal drilling operation near Alva, Okla. Company CEO Mike McDonald says he likely wouldn't have drilled the well with out a tax break Oklahoma's House Speaker has proposed making permanent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Energy industry experts say Oklahoma’s oil and gas plays could soon become the hottest in the country due to several geological factors that make it a good place for commodities.

The crumbling remnants of Texoma State Park buildings that haven't been in use for years.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

A decade after the government-owned Texoma Lodge and Resort was sold to a private company that never fulfilled its promise to develop a multi-million dollar resort on the former state park land, Gov. Mary Fallin and the Chickasaw Nation on Thursday announced the tribe’s plans to build a resort hotel and casino instead.

Oklahoma Voter Profile: Charito Rodriguez

Oct 28, 2016
Charito Rodriguez
Josh Robinson / Oklahoma Engaged

As KGOU and KOSU began crafting ideas for our collaborative election project Oklahoma Engaged, we were interested in several forms of storytelling. This included informative and in-depth radio stories and video profiles of folks in a south Oklahoma City district.

An October 13 UN Security Council meeting on the threat to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council considered the third report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIS to international peace and security.
Rick Bajornas / United Nations

Raised in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, today’s college students have never meaningfully related to a global security climate that predates ongoing tensions in the Middle East. In a world where constant armed conflict has become a permanent part of collective memory, current events often influence conceptualization of peace as well.

lockers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The State Board of Education released the newest A-through-F school report cards at Thursday’s board meeting.

Overall, grades were down this year. This year’s tally included 196 A’s, 455 B’s, 582 C’s, 319 D’s and 213 F’s. By contrast, in 2015, schools earned 212 A’s, 497 B’s, 536 C’s, 333 D’s and 183 F’s.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said she isn’t sure why there's a dip, and said it would be irresponsible to make a guess, but her department will start digging through the data looking for answers.

A man enters the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the City of Oklahoma City announced hotel/motel tax collections fell for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017, and were down even below the most conservative estimates.

The so-called “tourist tax” was down 5.9 percent compared to FY 16, but 2.7 percent below estimates. The Journal Record’s editor Ted Streuli says the effect was felt city-wide, but the downturn really differs based on geography.

A small group of protestors, who did not want to give their names, stand outside the state Capitol during the first-ever Muslim Day in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Chamber of Commerce officials from Oklahoma's two largest cities told lawmakers Wednesday focusing on social issues can harm economic development in the state.

Tulsa Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Brien Thorstenberg told House and Senate members who gathered for a joint interim study that his organization constantly receives phone calls from businesses about Oklahoma's stance on issues like North Carolina's bathroom bill and Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Heartland Flyer, Amtrak train
meermacatawa / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

On Wednesday, state lawmakers explored the costs and the benefits of passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

State Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, requested the interim study to look at Amtrak's Heartland Flyer line. He's concerned that even though Oklahoma's roughly $3 million annual contribution makes up about 60 percent of the two states' subsidies to the rail service, Texas receives more of an economic benefit.

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Editor's Note: This story originally aired December 10, 2015.

The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.

Bigfoot Getting Bigger

Charles Benton says he knows what he saw five years ago a few miles north of Broken Bow, deep in the woods near Hochatown. It’s where he says a turkey hunt turned into the scare of a lifetime.

Provided

State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, plans to file legislation next year that would prohibit terrorist organizations from operating in Oklahoma, but he didn't offer specifics on what that might look like.

The retired U.S. Marine and former police officer led an interim study Tuesday in the House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee to discuss Islam, Shariah Law, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the radicalization process, the study states:

State Rep. Steve Kouplen speaks during an interim legislative study at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A state lawmaker plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to receive a lethal dose of medicine.

State Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, was partially inspired by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who sought help from doctors in Oregon to end her life two years ago.

Kouplen watched that public drama, with a painful memory fresh in his mind, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Oklahoma County Republican Party Chairman Daren Ward
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Oklahoma County GOP is calling for Sheriff John Whetsel to suspend himself pending the results of an investigation.

 

Chairman Daren Ward says an investigative audit released last week shows possible instances of embezzlement, bribery and corruption. He argued the findings further mistrust citizens have in their officials and said, if true, Whetsel should self-suspend immediately.

Graphic showing stress change after the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck near Fairview in February 2016.
American Geophysical Union

Wastewater injection into clusters of high-rate disposal wells likely triggered a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck western Oklahoma in February 2016, new research suggests.

Attorney Chad Moody specializes in criminal defense cases involving drug charges.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Even though it'll likely be two years before Oklahoma voters can decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana, supporters are already thinking about how to win.

Proponents will start trying to raise at least $500,000 after the presidential election. Chip Paul, the Tulsa-based chairman of Oklahomans for Health, said it could take three times that to make sure enough supporters get to the polls in support of the measure.

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