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.

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The National Weather Service says another 4 to 5 inches of rain could fall today on areas still recovering from Memorial Day weekend floods that left 14 dead and two missing along the Blanco River in Texas.

Forecasters have issued a flash flood warning for seven counties in southeastern Texas as a Tropical Depression Bill makes its way inland. As the storm heads north, it could drop up to 9 inches of rain on parts of Oklahoma, a state still waterlogged from record-setting rainfall in May.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma’s Libertarian and Green parties announced Monday they will launch a joint signature campaign to get both of their parties recognized for the 2016 election – with a goal of making it easier for voters to choose the parties’ nominees.

The Interstate 35 bridge over the Red River an the Oklahoma-Texas state line at 7 a.m. Friday.
Chris Jones / Facebook

Updated 1:54 p.m.: The National Weather Service says the Washita River in western and southern Oklahoma, and the Red River along the Texas border, experienced record flooding overnight. It's likely to continue through the weekend.

At 2:30 a.m., the Red River at Gainesville, Texas set a new record by reaching 40.16 feet, beating a 28-year-old record. It passed 41 feet by 5:30 a.m., and was expected to crest Friday afternoon. The major flood stage conditions will likely continue through Sunday morning.

National Archives And Records Administration

Jim Thorpe. One of the greatest athletes of the 20th century – if not the greatest. After winning two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics, Sweden’s King Gustav V reportedly told him, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”

Thorpe’s response? “Thanks.”

Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A construction crew working on a school in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery earlier this month. Behind the walls at Emerson High School, they found old chalkboards containing class lessons, written in chalk almost a century ago. And chalk drawings, in remarkable condition.

Math teacher Sherry Read’s classroom is a total mess. Light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The floor has a layer of dust. Down the hallway, workers make a racket in another classroom.

Pixabay

Oklahoma City's police chief says new guidelines outlining the types of video footage open for public records will pave the way for the use of body cameras in Oklahoma's largest city.

The new law permits the release of body camera videos but allows certain exemptions. Videos containing death are exempt from release, unless the death was caused by law enforcement.

Oklahoma State Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr

The 55th Oklahoma Legislature wrapped up its first session a little over two weeks ago on May 22, one week ahead of the constitutionally required deadline to adjourn.

Lawmakers passed bond issues for widely publicized museums in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. But the $611 million shortfall in the state budget dominated the conversation from January to May, even though details of the $7.1 billion agreement didn't emerge until shortly before the gavel fell. To plug that gap, lawmakers cut most agency budgets by five to seven percent, and also used monies from the state's Rainy Day Fund and state agency revolving accounts.

Despite flooding and erosion on the South Canadian River, Toby Bogart hopes to rebuild his farm on the outskirts of Oklahoma City.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Toby Bogart looks out over the South Canadian River from his farm near Oklahoma City. Normally, it’s a quiet river, a good spot for fishing. But after May’s torrential rain, the river is sprawling and wild, and it’s forging a new path right through Bogart’s farm.

“The river is supposed to be 200 yards, the bed is 200 yards over there,” Bogart said. “It’s got to stop because we’re right here where there’s nothing to block it now. If we get enough rain, it’s just going to gladly eat more and just eat it up as we go.”

Sandra Massey at a press conference in Oklahoma City on June 3, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Members of the Sac and Fox tribe announced a campaign to bring the remains of athlete Jim Thorpe back to his home state of Oklahoma on Wednesday.

Thorpe was buried in 1953 in Pennsylvania after his widow reached a deal with a pair of boroughs to place his remains in a mausoleum there. The two Pennsylvania towns consolidated and renamed themselves Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

30-day rainfall totals from Oklahoma Mesonet stations as of May 31, 2015.
Oklahoma Mesonet

No surprise here - May went down as the wettest month in Oklahoma history.

The final statewide average rainfall for May was 14.4 inches. State climatologist Gary McManus said that's nearly 9.6 inches above normal, and obliterated the 74-year-old previous record of 10.75 inches set in October 1941. The Oklahoma Climatological Survey has kept records since the 1890s.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Emergency Management director Albert Ashwood meet with first responders in Purcell on May 27, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Clean-up continues across Texas and Oklahoma after days of heavy rain and flooding. In Oklahoma, May is already the wettest month on record and the rains aren’t done yet. More water means more flooding in a state where the soil is already saturated and rivers are overflowing.

Justin Nimmo walks up the muddy front steps of his rent-to-own store in Purcell, Oklahoma, a little town about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City. Inside, fans and dehumidifiers purr as they strain to dry out his showroom.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

There have been a number of weather-related deaths in Oklahoma since storms and flooding began on Friday, including a firefighter who died during a water rescue, and a 48-year-old woman who was killed after a tornado struck her home.

Nearly two years ago, a powerful tornado – the widest on record – struck the rural outskirts of Oklahoma City. Fortunately it missed heavily populated areas, but the ensuing flash flood killed 13 people in Oklahoma City, including nine Guatemalan immigrants.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 9:02 p.m. The National Weather Services says, "Strong to severe storms seem to be increasing in coverage as winds just off the surface (low level jet) is intensifying. Most of these storms are becoming severe quickly, with large hail and very heavy rainfall the primary concerns. Storms may eventually merge into one or more clusters and move north and east. Stay alert as we head into the overnight hours in case storms intensify in your area."

 

Wace Police Department Facebook Page

The same outlaw motorcycle club that was at the center of a deadly shootout in Waco, Texas has a strong foothold in Oklahoma.

The Bandidos motorcycle club has members scattered through Oklahoma, with a presence in Oklahoma City, Lawton, Shawnee, Tulsa, Elk City, Poteau and Bartlesville. Other biker gangs in some of those communities include the Mongols, the Outlaws and the Rogues, as well as several small groups.

Meteorologist Jesus Lopez demonstrates some of the weather forecasting software at the Telemundo studios in Oklahoma City.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma’s Spanish speakers have more access to severe weather information now than they did two years ago when tornadoes ripped through Moore and other parts of the Oklahoma City metro. But despite the improvements, gaps in communication remain.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole / Flickr

 

President Barack Obama is seeking fast track approval from Congress to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership. If Congress grants the president fast track authority, the 12-country trade deal can be approved with a simple up or down vote, and there are no amendments or filibusters. This issue has some Republicans siding with Obama, while Democrats are largely against it.

 

Doug Williams examines a polygraph test on his computer.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A former Oklahoma City police officer faces federal witness tampering and mail fraud charges for teaching people how to pass the polygraph test. Doug Williams was indicted last year after an undercover sting operation and his trial begins Tuesday in the Western District of Oklahoma Federal Court.

Williams meets clients at his tiny, spartan rented basement office on Main Street in Norman, where he charges $1,000 for one-on-one training sessions.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Preliminary damage reports from Wednesday’s storms show multiple EF-2 tornadoes hit the metro area. The severe weather injured dozens of people and killed at least one. Residents across the state are trying to get back on their feet. 

Left-to-right: Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Oklahoma City school board member Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City coucilwoman Meg Salyer
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma Watch and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication presented a public forum on April 16 about challenges in low-income neighborhoods in south Oklahoma City.

The Q&A forum with local leaders focused on the needs and concerns of south Oklahoma City communities and is tied to a mobile video news project, “Talk With Us: Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods.”

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