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

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.

Oklahoma prosecutors have filed child prostitution charges against state Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, after police found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy.
Cleveland County Sheriff's Office via AP

State Senator Ralph Shortey’s attorney says his client will resign from the legislature.

The Oklahoman reports Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, hired Ed Blau as his defense attorney. Blau said Monday night that he has advised Shortey to step down. Blau said Shortey agreed and will resign on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

Oklahoma prosecutors have filed child prostitution charges against state Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, after police found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy.
Cleveland County Sheriff's Office via AP

 

Leaders in the Oklahoma senate wasted little time to strip state Sen. Ralph Shortey of most of his privileges last Wednesday when allegations emerged that the Oklahoma City Republican had allegedly offered money for sex with a teenage boy.

“Abruptly, late Wednesday morning, the Senate took a recess and the Senate Republicans began caucusing behind closed doors,” eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley told KGOU during his weekly Capitol Insider interview.

A demonstration of workers from the Putilov plant in Petrograd (modern day St. Peterburg), Russia, during the February Revolution.
State museum of political history of Russia

 

Women played a central role in the Russian Revolution, but their importance was largely erased from history after the Bolsheviks took power.

Historian Rochelle Ruthchild wants to change that.

“Women went out on the streets to for International Women's Day to demonstrate. And that actually sparked the Russian Revolution which led to the toppling of Tsar Nicholas II,” Ruthchild told KGOU’s World Views.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the outcomes of the Dutch elections, and a food poisoning case that has sickened thousands of children in Egypt.

Then, Rebecca interviews historian Rochelle Ruthchild about the women’s movement in Russia and the Soviet Union. Ruthchild wrote the book Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917. She’s also a member of The 888 Women’s History Project, which recently produced the documentary film Left On Pearl about the 1971 International Women’s Day March in Boston.

Royden Freeland Jr. tests equipment at International Crystal Manufacturing, 10 N. Lee Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

Royden Freeland, Sr. founded International Crystal Manufacturing in 1951 in Oklahoma City’s FIlm Row district. Later this year, the company will close its doors.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey was charged with three prostitution-related felonies on Thursday in Cleveland County Court.

 

Shortey was charged with engaging in child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution/lewdness. A warrant for arrest has been issued. Judge Steve Stice set bond at $100,000.

 

Police found Shortey alone in a room at the Super 8 Motel in Moore on March 9 with a male juvenile.

 

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talk about International Women's Day and protests that occurred around the world, Nike's new advertisement featuring athletic wear for Muslim women, and the second version of President Trump's travel ban.

Then, Suzette talks with filmmaker Luis Argueta about his documentary films about the immigration raid in Postville, Iowa. 

Maya Media

 

An immigration raid at a slaughterhouse and meat-processing plant in Postville, Iowa in 2008 launched a Guatemalan-American filmmaker’s career in an entirely new direction.

When Luis Argueta heard about the raid in Postville, he went to investigate.

“What I thought would be a four day trip has turned into eight years,” Argueta told KGOU’s World Views.

His experience in Postville transformed during that time into three documentaries that tell the story of the small farm town and the immigrants that call it home.

A helicopter is shown on a landing pad at OU Medical Center, 700 NE 13th St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

Oklahoma City’s two largest hospital systems chose not go ahead with proposed merger earlier this week. The University of Oklahoma Medical Services and SSM Health, the parent company that operates St. Anthony’s Hospital, announced on Monday that their proposed merger had fallen through.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma state House of Representatives furthered a bill Thursday that would roll back part of a state question that was approved by voters in November.

Oklahomans voted in favor of State Questions 780 and 781 last year, which reduced simple drug possession from a felony crime to a misdemeanor.

In debate on the House floor, Republican Representative Tim Downing, R-Purcell, said House Bill 1482 would give district attorneys the discretion to enhance simple drug possession to a felony if it occurs within 1,000 feet of a school

Oklahoma state Sen. A.J. Griffin speaks at a committee meeting at the Oklahoma state Capitol.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will be required to investigate all deaths in Oklahoma’s prisons and jails under a bill that passed through the state senate on Monday.

State Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, who authored Senate Bill 250, said she wants to understand why the state is losing people who are incarcerated.

“Anytime we have a vulnerable population, I think it’s important for us to take a systemic look,” she said.

Woodward Department of Civil Defense and Homeland Security

Wildfires spread across larges swaths of northwestern Oklahoma Monday, leading to evacuation warnings for several towns.

Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Laverne, Buffalo and Fort Supply in Woodward and Payne Counties. The evacuation order in Fort Supply only applied to community members and not to the William S. Key Correctional Center, according to Matt Lehenbaur, the emergency management director for the city of Woodward.

Suzette Grillot talks to Joshua Landis about the latest in Syria.

Then, Suzette interviews Andrew Horton about his new documentary Laughter Without Borders. The film tells the story of clowns who visit children in stressed environments, like refugee camps.

Students listen during a class titled “Land and Lease” at Oklahoma City University’s School of Law in downtown Oklahoma City Monday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

It’s been nearly 70 years since Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher made history when she became the first African American law student at the University of Oklahoma. Today, there are still few African Americans at law firms.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry Cobo writes Sipuel Fisher was a pioneer who challenged segregation.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation on Thursday that will bring Oklahoma into compliance with the federal 2005 REAL ID Act. 

 

House Bill 1845 will allow Oklahomans to choose between a REAL ID-compliant drivers licence, or one that is not. A REAL ID-compliant license or identification, or a federally-issued ID such as a passport, will be required to board commercial airlines or enter federal facilities.

 

Tamiko Cabatic prepares blood samples for blood typing and screening at the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

 

Oklahoma City’s biotech industry is budding, but politics, investment and education are hampering its growth.

The Journal Record’s Catherine Sweeney reports the industry attracts billions of dollars annually. However, some pieces of legislation have branded the state as “anti-research,” poor education funding limits the number of students who can work in STEM field, and investors are leery of the state.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talks about nominees in the Best Foreign Language films category at the 2017 Oscars.

Then, Joshua Landis discusses Iran with Narges Bajoghli, an anthropologist and filmmaker. She’s a researcher in International Public Affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University.

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