KGOU

Jacob McCleland

KGOU News Director

Jacob joined the KGOU News department in March 2015; previously he spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jacob warns us he won't answer the phone when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing a postseason game. Fun fact: his high school mascot is the Appleknocker.

Ways to Connect

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the violent demonstrations in Venezuela against the Nicolas Maduro regime, and Australia's new, more stringent tests to earn citizenship.

Then, Suzette will talk with Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib, about foreign investment in his country and the role of women in modern Afghan society.

National Weather Service

Areas of central and southeastern Oklahoma could receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain today, and the National Weather Service is forecasting hail up to the size of golf balls. Winds up to 70 miles per hour are possible.

The Wormy Dog Saloon at 311 E. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

A Bricktown music venue that has showcased many red dirt and up-and-coming country artists is closing its doors.

The Wormy Dog Saloon will close at the end of April. Levelland Productions, which leases the venue, informed the property’s owner, Brewer Entertainment, in December that they will not renew their lease.

John Pansze, of Yukon, applies makeup to get into character as Sponji the Clown.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 


Viral videos of weapon-wielding, scary clowns are hurting the bottom line for local clowns. Event bookings have plummeted, and even adult parties are cancelling because a guest has a fear of clowns.

Suzette Grillot talks to Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis about recent developments in Syria and how the Trump administration's policy toward Syria and Russia is changing.

Then, Suzette talks to Temple University education and sociology professor Sara Goldrick-Rab about challenges facing higher education.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., attends an organizational meeting of the House Rules Committee, January 7, 2015.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, says he and a bipartisan group of Congressmen will send a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan this week to request a new Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force.

The request comes after U.S. ships fired missiles at an airbase in Syria last Thursday. The country’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad, used the airbase to deploy apparent chemical weapons against Syrian citizens last week.

This satellite image released by the U.S. Department of Defense shows a damage assessment image of Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017.
DigitalGlobe/U.S. Department of Defense via AP

 

American forces launched over 50 missiles at a Syrian air base Thursday night, to retaliate against the Bashar Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

Joshua Landis, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, told KGOU’s World Views he doesn’t expect President Donald Trump to get involved in regime change.

“Regime change would not be good for America,” Landis said.

World Views: April 7, 2017

Apr 7, 2017

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the President Trump's strike against Syria, following Bashar Assad's apparent use of chemical weapons.

Then, Suzette talks with Mosaic Theater founding artistic director Ari Roth about inclusion in the theater and plays from conflict zones.

Voters wait in line at a polling place inside Life.Church in Edmond Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

Voters in Edmond rejected a proposed expansion of the Spring Creek Plaza shopping center on Tuesday.

The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes the proposal would have added 260,000 square feet of retail space at S. Bryant Avenue and E. 15th Street, as well as 325 luxury apartments. The city council approved the zoning change to the 26-acre  property in November.

In this May 19, 2010 file photo taken near Kingfisher, Okla., storm chasers and spectator vehicles clog the road and shoulder of Highway 81.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

 

 

Storm chasers continue to have a central role in documenting tornadoes, according to a leading Oklahoma meteorologist.

Gary England told KGOU that storm chasers give forecasters and meteorologists “eyes on the ground” that radars and other technological advances cannot provide. A human in the field sends back an immediate eye witness account of what is occurring during  storm, like a wall cloud, a funnel cloud or a tornado on the ground.

The Smart Saver grocery store at NE 23rd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

 

A bill that passed the Oklahoma Senate would establish a fund to get more fresh, healthy food into underserved areas.

Senate Bill 507, by Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City,  would create a mechanism to help small retails like convenience stores and grocers to stock fresh, perishable items.

Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis talk about the offensive in Syria, and protests in Russia.

Then, Suzette Grillot talk to University of Oklahoma College of Earth and Energy dean Mike Stice about global oil production.

In this Wednesday, June 8, 2011 file photo, sun sets behind an oil pump in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain.
Hasan Jamali / AP

 

In 2003, Mike Stice was the chairman of the National Petroleum Council’s supply committee. They reached a consensus on the status of oil in the United States: The country was out of oil and gas.

“Of course, you can see today, we were so wrong,” Stice said.

Now the dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Earth and Energy, Stice says emerging technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing, have created a whole new supply of oil and gas in the United States.

 

National Weather Service

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flash floods are possible Tuesday and Tuesday night across most of Oklahoma.

The highest risk for severe storms will be in southwestern Oklahoma, including the communities of Lawton and Altus, where the chance is greatest for isolated supercells with large hail and possible tornadoes this afternoon and evening.

As the storms move east, the main threat will be damaging wind, though large hail and tornadoes will remain possible.

A tornado in Wynnewood, Oklahoma on May 9, 2016.
J.R. Hehnly / OKStorms.com

 

Oklahomans should brace for a storm season was an above-average number of tornadoes, according to meteorologist Gary England.

England told KGOU that a weak La Niña phenomena typically leads to an active tornado season.

“There’s been a bunch of years with a weak La Niña, we had a lot of tornadoes,” England said.

A weak La Niña occurs when temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are slightly below normal.
 

 

As an oil-rich country on the border of Southeast Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Azerbaijan has drawn from a variety of cultures and influences.

Azerbaijan is the only country to border both Iran and Russia. Other neighbors include Georgia, Turkey and Armenia.

Its location makes it a cross roads.

 

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talk about the attack in London, the ban of electronic devices on flights from several countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and the impeachment of South Korea's president.

Then, Joshua Landis interviews Azerbaijan's ambassador to the United States, Elin Suleymanov.

A customer pays a bill at the customer service window at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

A bill that passed the Oklahoma House on Tuesday would create a task force to evaluate the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

 

The Corporation Commission is charged with regulating the oil and gas industry, utilities telecommunication, and other industries and endeavors such as the dismantling of cotton gins.

A burned field in northwestern Oklahoma.
Facebook/Oklahoma Forestry Services

 

 

A massive wildfire burned more than a thousand square miles earlier this month in northwestern Oklahoma, killing one person and countless animals, torching building and forcing evacuations. And this week, a fire in eastern Oklahoma has burned at least nine homes.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A bill that would increase the amount of unpaid maternity leave time available to state employees passed out of the Oklahoma Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 549 by State Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, would increase unpaid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 20 weeks. The bill failed a Senate vote last week, but Holt brought the bill back to the floor on Monday. It passed the second time, 31 to 8.

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