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

Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, speaks before the Oklahoma City Council before a council vote January 5, 2016.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma City Council added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the city's fair housing ordinance at their meeting Tuesday.

Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid introduced the amendment, which passed with a 5 to 4 vote.

Flooding along 36th Ave. NW and Telephone Road between Indian Hills Road and SW 34th Street at the border between Norman and Moore.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma had its wettest year on record in 2015, and the year brought the third highest total for tornadoes in the state and was the 17th warmest year on record.

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City's Asian District.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City’s Asian District and points out some of the Vietnamese-owned businesses north of NW 23rd Street.

 

“We have the hair salon. We have the massage center. We have the chiropractice,” Nguyen said. “We have a lot of Vietnamese restaurants that go up here to 36th.”

 

OKC Drones monthly meetup at Wake Zone Cable Park in Southeast Oklahoma City.
Patrick Smith / KGOU

If a drone winds up underneath your Christmas tree this holiday season, keep in mind that the Federal Aviation Administration now requires registration. All unmanned aerial systems that weight between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered with the FAA.

Nick Brown, the CEO of Oklahoma City-based DroneBois, said the registration requirement keeps hobbyists accountable in case of accident or trouble-making.

National Weather Service

Updated 5:45 p.m.: Winter Storm and Flood Watches Issued 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for western and central Oklahoma as a strong storm system approaches the state.

Republican presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz addresses a crowd at Oklahoma City Community College on Dec. 23, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

  Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz stopped by Oklahoma City Community College on Wednesday to drum up support for his primary campaign.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the standing room only event where Cruz chided Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and criticized Barack Obama’s record. Among other things, he promised to rescind the president’s executive orders, repeal Obamacare, stop ISIS, secure the border and punish cities that do not prosecute undocumented immigrants.

Damage from a May 6, 2015 tornado in south Oklahoma City.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma City council approved an update to the city’s outdoor warning siren system on Tuesday that should reduce over-warnings by up to 68 percent and eliminate false warnings.

Oklahoma City has 182 warning sirens that span three counties. Currently, any National Weather Service tornado warning in Oklahoma, Cleveland or Canadian County would activate all the sirens in that county.

Under the new plan, the city is divided into nine sectors. Sirens will only be activated in the sectors that are under threat of a tornado.

Sade Hill, one of the victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, speaking during a December 11 press conference in Oklahoma City.
Graham Lee Brewer / Twitter

Less than 24 hours after a jury convicted former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of 18 counts of rape and sexual assault, victims shared their stories outside the Oklahoma County Courthouse Friday morning.

 

Updated at 2:47 p.m.: 'You Were Never Alone,' Advocate Tells Victim

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla. 4)
House GOP / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

 

The U.S. Congress if wrapping up the year with several key bills. Last week, the House passed a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, and the Senate sent a highway bill to President Obama’s desk.

On today’s show we’ll talk with Republican Congressman Tom Cole. The veteran lawmaker from Oklahoma spoke with KGOU’s Jacob McCleland on November 24 in his Norman office.

Some excerpts:

Junior quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after scoring a touchdown at Gaylord Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sep. 19, 2015.
Tyler Woodward / The Oklahoma Daily

The University of Oklahoma will have a chance to take down top-ranked Clemson at the Orange Bowl semifinal for the College Football Playoff on December 31. For the Sooners, the semifinal is opportunity to avenge last year’s blowout loss at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

America's death penalty is under scrutiny after a series of botched executions, drug mix-ups and difficulty acquiring lethal injection drugs. Just last month, President Obama called certain parts of capital punishment "deeply troubling."

Some say long waits and repeated last-minute delays are tantamount to torture.

Syrian refguees arrive on the Mediterranean coast, Sept. 2015.
Freedom House / Flickr Public Domain Mark 1.0

 

Last week, the U.S. House passed a bill to halt a program that brings Syrian refugees to the United States. The vote came less than a week after the ISIS attack in Paris that left over one hundred people dead.

Oklahoma has a long history of taking in refugees. Notably, Vietnamese refugees settled in Oklahoma City in the mid-1970s. Now, many Burmese refugees of the ethnic Zomi minority are establishing themselves in both Oklahoma City and the Tulsa area.

French and Lebanese flags fly at the Oklahoma City National Memorial on Tuesday.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Religious leaders gathered in Oklahoma City on Tuesday to honor the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.

The interfaith vigil was held under the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial as La Marseillaise, the anthem of the French Republic, was sung in front of French and Lebanese flags flapping in the wind.

W. Joseph Campbell is a professor in the School of Communication at American University
American University

 

The future began 20 years ago, according to a new book by W. Joseph Campbell. In 1995, Timothy McVeigh’s truck bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City and sparked a debate about security. The Dayton Peace Accords ended a brutal war in the former Yugoslavia. The O.J. Simpson trial captured the imagination of a nation. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski began their affair that led to the President’s impeachment. And 1995 was the year the internet went mainstream.

University of Oklahoma students pose in solidarity with University of Missouri protesters on November 12, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Protests at the University of Missouri, Yale, and other college campuses are forcing universities into uncomfortable discussions about race and diversity. In March, two University of Oklahoma fraternity members were videotaped singing a racist chant on a charter bus. Over the past eight months, the atmosphere has changed on OU's campus.

About 60 University of Oklahoma students, dressed in black, line up for a photo.

In the first picture, their fists are up. They smile in the second. For the third shot, they keep straight faces.

Protests at the University of Missouri and other college campuses are forcing universities into uncomfortable discussions about race and diversity. One school got a head start.

Earlier this year, the University of Oklahoma came under intense pressure when a video showed two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing a racist chant.

Now, students are comparing the reaction of their university with the recent controversies at Mizzou.

Oklahoma Democratic Party chairman Mark Hammons during a Thursday press conference.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Gov. Mary Fallin over three separate issues.

The complaint alleges the governor used private and public funds to cover an undisclosed expenses for a Paris trip with her spouse, Wade Christensen. In addition, it alleges the governor’s daughter received personal gain when she moved her trailer home onto the governor’s mansion property.

“This is the use of taxpayer property,” party chairman Mark Hammons said. “The mansion doesn’t belong to Gov. Fallin. It belongs to the people of this state.”

ACLU of Oklahoma legal director Brady Henderson during a Nov. 9, 2015 press conference, with executive director Ryan Kiesel in the background.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma brought a lawsuit against Gov. Mary Fallin Monday over delays in responding to open records requests.

Attorney Don Knight on the phone with Richard Glossip outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Friends and family of Richard Glossip gather around a cell phone outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester on September 30, straining to listen to the death row inmate’s voice over a tinny speaker. As soon as the connection is made, Glossip is cut off by an automated voice.

“Your call cannot be connected at this time…”

 

The crowd lets out a disappointed groan.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley look at turnpike projects at a press conference on October 29, 2015.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

A new turnpike plan will cost the state of Oklahoma nearly $1 billion and add about 30 miles of new toll roads to the state’s road system.

Gov. Mary Fallin and transportation Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley announced the plan at a press conference on Thursday at a press conference at the state capitol.

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