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

Norman, Oklahoma residents Elika Bahrevar and Amir Arshadi on Jan. 29, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

Amir Arshadi and Elika Bahrevar met a decade ago, when they were engineering students at a university in Iran. Later, they both came to the United States for grad school.

“We were still boyfriend and girlfriend at the time, and we got married in Cleveland,” Amir says while laughing.

“We were students so we couldn’t afford to have a wedding,” Elika chuckles.

 

Moving to a rural Oklahoma town can be hard selling point for the state’s tribes, especially for high-demand, skilled professions like doctors and chefs.

The Journal Record newspaper released a special issue this week, Building Bridges, that looks at the tribal impact on Oklahoma’s economy. As part of the issue, reporter Catherine Sweeny noted that tribal healthcare facilities have to compete with metropolitan areas to attract doctors.

Suzette Grillot talks to Rebecca Cruise about British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech outlining Brexit. And as we continue our month-long series on international literature, Suzette talks to University of Toronto literature professor Dragana Obradovic about experiencing war as a child.

Dragana Obradovic, left, with her colleague Christina Kramer
University of Toronto

 

War broke out in the former Yugoslavia when Dragana Obradovic was only eight years old. Her family fled the region as refugees. By the time she was in her 20s, she felt a void about her childhood in the Balkans: She was old enough to remember the war, but too young to grasp its significance. Obradovic began asking questions about her own identity.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

Oklahoma’s legislative session begins in a couple of weeks. Lawmakers will have to grapple with an estimated $900 million budget shortfall, low levels of education funding, and a crowded prison system, among other problems.

KGOU’s Dick Pryor spoke with eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley about the upcoming session.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On filling a $900 million budget hole:

Emergency Department director Dr. Robin Mantooth and Chief Operating Officer John Manfredo lead a tour of the department at Norman Regional Health System’s new hospital building in Moore on January 17, 2017.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

One of Oklahoma’s health information exchanges will close. Coordinated Care Oklahoma announced on Monday that the non-profit organization plans to fold.

Health information exchanges let healthcare providers share and access records across hospitals. Journal Record reporter Sarah Terry Cobo writes that Coordinated Care  as in the process of merging with a competitor called MyHealth Access Network before making its sudden decision.

National Weather Service

Areas of northwestern Oklahoma will continue to  see more freezing rain Sunday, while residents in southern and central Oklahoma may see a line of severe storms bring rainfall of up to 1.5 inches in some areas.

The National Weather Service has extended an Ice Storm Warning for northwest Oklahoma until 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. Meteorologists say ice will continue to accumulate on trees and power lines, and surface temperatures have not risen above the freezing point.

Dubravka Ugrešić
Jerry Braun

 

Dubravka Ugresic’s books focus on what she calls “the literariness of literature.” She’s fascinated by literature and likes to play with form and style, as she did in her 1993 novel Steffie Speck in the Jaws of Life, which references authors such as Gustave Flaubert and romance novels.

She is the recipient of many awards, including the University of Oklahoma’s Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

 

 

Suzette Grillot talks to Rebecca Cruise about Malta assuming the presidency of the European Union. They also talk about the violent counterinsurgency and growing refugee problem in Myanmar.

And as we continue our month-long series about international literature, Suzettes interviews Croatian writer Dubravka Ugresic,. Ugresic fled her home after criticizing the nationalist movement that engulfed the former Yugoslavia.

Toby Keith performs during the American Country Countdown Awards at the Forum on Sunday, May 1, 2016 in Inglewood, Calif.
Vince Bucci / Invision/AP

Country music star Toby Keith will be among the performers at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration concert.

Other performers added to the music lineup include 3 Doors Down and Jennifer Holliday.

Keith, a native of Moore, Oklahoma, was a registered Democrat until 2008, when he registered as an independent. In a 2015 People interview, he said he liked both Trump and Carly Fiorna, but also expressed that he admired Bernie Sanders.

Roy Diehl removes the “Open” sign from the entrance to Urban Agrarian at 1235 SW Second St. in Oklahoma City Tuesday , Jan. 10, 2017.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

One of the anchors of Oklahoma City’s Farmers Market District is shutting down. Urban Agrarian is a local food distribution hub. Its owner announced this Monday that he is closing the business.

Urban Agrarian owner Matt Burch worked with Oklahoma farmers to bring their products to Oklahoma City and other cities’ farmers markets. In Oklahoma City, he sold products directly to consumers and to restaurants that wanted locally-grown produce.

National Weather Service

Some roads and highways in western Oklahoma are icy and hazardous following a second round of freezing rain and ice.  Gov. Mary Fallin has issued a state of emergency for all 77 counties in the state. A complete, comprehensive list of closures can be found on the website of our severe weather partner, KOCO News.

 

Updated January 14, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

 

National Weather Service

A dangerous winter storm will bear down on parts of Oklahoma and north Texas, beginning on Friday and continuing until Sunday. Significant ice accumulation is expected, which will cause dangerous travel conditions and downed trees, and the potential for power outages.

Some areas of northwestern Oklahoma, including Woodward, could receive up to one inch of ice. Parts of central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City metro, may receive anywhere between 0.1 to 0.25 inch of ice.

National Weather Service

A slow moving winter storm is forecast to move into Oklahoma early Friday morning and linger in the state through the weekend. The National Weather Service in Norman has issued a Winter Storm Watch which will be in effect from Friday morning until Sunday. Heavy rainfall, rain, freezing rain, and a mixture of freezing rain and rain are all expected and may disrupt travel this weekend.

The construction site of an apartment complex at Chisholm Creek at N. Blackwelder Avenue and W. Memorial Road in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A new forecasting survey from Associated General Contractors of America finds builders are having a difficult time filling skilled labor positions. Among 20 firms surveyed in Oklahoma, half said they have hard time finding craft workers, and 40 percent have difficulties putting workers in salaried and craft positions.

Molly Flemming reports in the Journal Record:

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) speaking during a 2013 town hall meeting.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine / Facebook

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, met with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and is under consideration to be NASA’s top administrator.

The Oklahoman reports that Bridenstine’s office confirmed that the congressman met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and members of the transition team to discuss space and national security.

25-year-old Adacia Avery Chambers
Stillwater Police Department

Adacia Chambers, the woman who is charged with driving her car into the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade in 2015, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Chambers accepted a plea agreement on the first day of her trial, when jury selection was scheduled to begin, Kyle Schwab write in The Oklahoman. She pleaded no contest to four second-degree murder charges and 39 counts of assault and battery.

Rep. Will Fourkiller, D-Stilwell
Oklahoma House of Representatives

A special committee in the Oklahoma House of Representatives that is investigating the wrongful termination claim of a former aide will expand its scope to a second lawmaker.

Updated Jan. 10 at 3:56 p.m.

The House's Special Investigations Committee released information Tuesday at it is investigating Rep. Will Fourkiller, D-Stilwell, after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him.

In an email from the Oklahoma House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, Fourkiller said the complaint was filed in April 2015 and involved a high-school page.

Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Ed Lake.
Public Radio Tulsa

The head of Oklahoma’s social safety net agency requested lawmakers provide an additional $45.8 million in supplemental funding for the current fiscal years.

The Tulsa County jail isolation unit.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Misappropriation of funds and mistaken or undetected accounting errors led to an undetermined amount of missing money from 2007-2012 at the Tulsa County Jail, according to a new state audit released on Monday.

State auditor Gary Jones’ office found few records during the years 2007 and 2008. During the years 2009-2012, auditors discovered many receipt books and drawer reports were missing. Receipts books were filed in random order, and many were unreadable.

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