The Great Listen 2015

Nov 8, 2015

November 8, 2015

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

In the midst of planning your Thanksgiving holiday, Story Corp has another activity that I’m asking you to build into the weekend with family and friends. It’s called the Great Listen of 2015. You know StoryCorps – that great story every Friday morning of a loved one interviewing another about their life.

StoryCorps is encouraging everyone – especially children-- to record an interview with an older relative or friend to preserve a generation’s experiences.

Home health nurse Rita Nuss reads a book to 9-year-old Josiah Melton, who has  chromosomal disorders and is on the developmental disabilities services waiting list.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

After decreasing last year, the waiting list for a state program that provides services to Oklahomans with developmental and intellectual disabilities has grown again, to the highest level ever.

As of Oct. 15, the wait time for those seeking state-paid services for their developmental disabilities was nearly a decade, according to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. The number of people on the waiting list grew from 6,992 in July 2014 to 7,239 in October this year.

(Left-to-right) Benjamin Von Gutzeit, Mateusz Smoczynski, Mark Summer, & David Balakrishnan of the Turtle Island Quartet
Bill Reitzel /

The traditional string quartet has staying power. Austrian composer Joseph Haydn legitimized the combination of viola, cello and two violins during the mid-1700s, and it’s still one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in music. It’s an old format, but one that’s becoming more flexible.

“The Turtle Island Quartet was expressly formed to get us string players off the page, so to speak,” says David Balakrishnan. “That’s the easy way to say (it).”

"...a thoroughly modern sculpture by the Scandinavian artist Clara Sörnäs.   It shows five slave figures, slightly larger than life, chained together in a pit.
missy & the universe / Flickr

Iran only abolished slavery in 1928, but since then, it’s been largely erased from the national consciousness. Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh, who studies Iranian slavery, says the taboo surrounding slavery and Iran’s effort to distance itself from its past is due to its precarious position on the world stage 87 years later.

A 2014 photo of MetroJet EI-ETJ, the Airbus A321-231 that crashed in Egypt Saturday.
Sergey Korovkin / Wikimedia Commons

There’s still no definitive indication as to what caused Saturday’s crash of a Russian passenger jet, despite reports that a bomb caused the plane to disintegrate mid-flight, Russian and Egyptian officials reject the assumption, although the U.S. has said satellite imagery showed a big flash near the plane before it crashed in the Sinai region of Egypt. Islamic State rebels have claimed responsibility for the crash.

Aftermath of an attack by a group of AKP supporters on the Hürriyet newspaper headquarters in September 2015.
Hilmi Hacaloğlu / Voice of America

On Sunday, Turkey’s ruling AKP party surpassed expectations and regained its majority in the country’s parliament. But the elections have been marred by violence and suppression of the media, and Turkey has been dealing with external problems along its Syrian border as refugees continue to flood into the country to escape the civil war.

A sign advertising job opportunities is displayed at the entrance of a Target store at 1200 E. Second St. in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It seems hard to believe, but November 6 marks three weeks until Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and (depending on who you ask) the official launching point of the holiday season.

But retailers across Oklahoma are already starting to hire their seasonal workforce to keep up with the sharp spike in demand for goods and services.

Nationwide, big box retailers like Target say they’ll hire about 70,000 people, and Wal-Mart plans to bring on 60,000 new workers, according to Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan address lawmakers at a legislative study on water Monday, November 2, 2015.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

This spring, Oklahoma faced a problem it hadn’t in a while: too much water. Much of that floodwater flowed into rivers and out of Oklahoma — and that’s sparking big new ideas at the state capitol, and rousing an old fight.


Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 1:21 p.m.: The National Weather Service has canceled the Tornado Watch for Grady and Oklahoma counties, but it remains in effect until 8 p.m. for the rest of eastern Oklahoma.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City in May.
Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons

A report in The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday raised questions about whether Gov. Mary Fallin and then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry improperly colluded in 2013 to pressure the Oklahoma Board of Medical Examiners to drop an investigation into a spinal surgeon accused of bungling operations.

Oklahoma Democrats are now asking for an investigation since Perry had political ties to Dr. Steven Anagnost.