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

Southeastern and central Oklahoma will see a chance for strong winds, large hail and a possibility of tornadoes Sunday afternoon and evening.
National Weather Service

A storm system will develop over northern Texas and southern Oklahoma this afternoon and evening that could produce damaging winds and large hail, and the potential for tornadoes. 

The most likely area for severe weather this afternoon runs south and east of a line from Clinton to Ada. The strongest storms could produce baseball to softball size hail, 60 to 70 mile per hour winds and a low potential for tornadoes. The possibility for tornadoes is greatest in southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Air Force senior master sergeant Gary Kirby stood in a police lineup with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

It was supposed to be Gary Kirby’s day off when the senior airman in the United States Air Force got a call from his first sergeant. The request: Come back to Tinker Air Force Base dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a white t-shirt and white socks.

Kirby, now a senior master sergeant, showed up at the headquarters building to find a big, blue Air Force bus. He climbed on board, where he found between 40 and 50 guys --- and all of them looked like him.

Family members and friends of Oklahoma City bombing victims gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial to commemorate the bombing's 20th anniversary.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated 10:31 a.m.: Ceremony concludes as dignitaries, survivors reflect

As rain started to fall on the Oklahoma City National Memorial Sunday morning, former President Bill Clinton delivered powerful remarks that drew a standing ovation from the thousands who gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

"For a whole country, you burned away all the petty squabbles in which we engage, leaving only our basic humanity. I mostly came here to thank you today," Clinton said.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

It's been nearly 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. The aftermath of the tragedy continues to reverberate through the city and shape the character of the state.

Friday morning at 11 a.m. KGOU will debut a new documentary called That April Morning: The Oklahoma City Bombing. We've produced this sneak peak:

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) says the United States shouldn't "accommodate" Iran in ongoing nuclear talks.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Steve Russell’s new career is a lot different than his previous one. 

The first term Congressman from Oklahoma’s fifth district is settling into his new job after spending 21 years in the Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He served all over the globe, including in Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. His unit played a key role in the search for Saddam Hussein. Russell wrote a book about it, We Got Him! A Memoir of The Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein.

KGOU’s Jacob McCleland spoke to Russell, a Republican, following a town hall meeting at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on April 2, 2015.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Sexual assault survivors and agencies that advocate on their behalf gathered at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Thursday to share their stories of sexual violence in Indian country.

American Indians are two and a half times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to any other group, and one third of native women will be raped during her lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma school districts won’t be able to automatically deduct teachers’ union fees from their paychecks if Gov. Mary Fallin signs a bill that was passed by the Senate last week. The legislation has drawn the ire of educators and some Republicans.

Levi Pettit, center, walks into the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City with state senator Anastasia Pittman and pastor J.A. Reed, Jr.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

One of the two Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members who was expelled from the University of Oklahoma for participating in a racist chant apologized on Wednesday. Levi Pettit spoke with black politicians, pastors and community leaders for about two hours and later addressed the press at the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma City, but Pettit would not reveal how he learned the infamous chant.

The exterior of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on the University of Oklahoma campus, shortly before the letters were removed from the building March 9, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The executive director of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national office announced plans Wednesday morning to combat racism and insensitivity within the fraternity at a press conference in Chicago.

Those steps include the hiring of an executive director of diversity and inclusion, a mandatory online diversity and education program for all SAE members and staff,  a national advisory committee on diversity and inclusion, and establishment of a confidential hotline to report offensive, inappropriate or illegal behavior.

Duct tape with the word "Unheard" covers the mouth of the Seed Sower statue on the University of Oklahoma's South Oval
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A small group of black students at the University of Oklahoma were thrust into the national spotlight last week after a video surfaced of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing a racist chant.

In the days after that video surfaced, member of black social justice group Unheard seemed to be everywhere, including CNN, ABC and NPR.

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)
Flickr

U.S. Senator James Lankford probably won’t vote in favor of the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

The Republican from Oklahoma lauded Lynch’s work as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but her statements on immigration have raised some concerns for him.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Too few peers in the classroom. A lack of minority professors. Insensitive jokes. These were a few of the issues raised at a race and diversity town hall forum on Wednesday night at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The forum was hosted by Unheard and the Price College of Business.

Demonstrators gather outside Evans Hall on the University of Oklahoma campus Monday morning to protest the video with racist chants allegedly by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated 8:05 p.m.: Apologies from two students involved

Two students involved in the video where a bus full of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members participated in a chant with racial slurs and derogatory language against African-Americans apologized in separate statements Tuesday evening.

The Dallas Morning News reports both teens are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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