Kate Carlton Greer

KGOU News Reporter

Kate Carlton Greer is a general assignment reporter for KGOU. She previously covered Oklahoma's efforts in tornado response and recovery as part of KGOU's "Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project." Kate also served as the Community Calendar Producer from January to August in 2013. She grew up in Flower Mound, Texas, and studied broadcasting and electronic media at the University of Oklahoma. 

Ways to Connect

Cassie Cramer works with 8-month-old Mastiff mix Kingston on April 15, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Cassie Cramer takes a break from walking the prison yard at Oklahoma’s Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. She’s training an 8-month-old Mastiff mix named Kingston. Cramer pulls treats out of her pocket and encourages the puppy to show off.

“Down. Good girl! Bang,” Cramer told the dog. “This is her new trick: you shoot her and she'll fall over. She's so smart!”

Pups In Prison 

Survivor Tree, 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.

A multicounty grand jury indicted Wagoner County Sheriff Robert Steven Colbert and Deputy Jeffrey T. Gragg on felony charges Thursday. Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced the panel also asked for the “immediate suspension” of Colbert. 

Members of the Fifteenth Multicounty Grand Jury allege Colbert and Gragg committed three felonies: conspiring to receive a bribe or extort by using threats, receiving a bribe or extortion using threats, and extortion induced by threats.

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry during a FEMA press conference in Oklahoma City following a December 2007 ice storm.
Earl Armstrong / Federal Emergency Management Agency

A dozen Oklahoma attorneys and business leaders are donating their time to independently review Oklahoma’s capital punishment practices. Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry is co-chairing the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

“Oklahoma has an opportunity to lead the nation by being the first state to conduct extensive research on its entire death penalty process, beginning with an arrest that could lead to an execution,” Henry said in a press release.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

Oklahoma’s three privately-operated prisons house roughly one-third of the state’s imprisoned population and cost the Department of Corrections more than $92 million last year. But a recently released video offers a glimpse into a series of violent disturbances at one facility.

 

The video, from what appears to be a contraband cell phone, shows a group of inmates throwing another prisoner over a balcony onto the floor below.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

Oklahoma lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin have made a number of significant changes in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system over the past few weeks.

Fallin issued an executive order to all state agencies to ban the box on job applications that asks about a criminal history. State representatives passed a number of reform bills on the House floor, and they’ve now moved to the Senate.

The Oklahoma House of representatives voted Thursday to remove license requirements for individuals wishing to carry firearms openly. 

Rep. Jeff Coody, R-Grandfield, authored the House Bill 3098, which prevents felons from carrying guns. Coody called the Second Amendment the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights.

House members considered and debated the bill for nearly two hours Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union's Ryal Kiesel (left) and former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry (right) sign initiative petitions for State Questions 780 and 781
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform launched a petition drive Thursday aimed at reducing the prison population and redirecting savings to create treatment and rehabilitation programs. 

Former House Speaker and current chair of the coalition Kris Steele stood with political, faith and business leaders and argued the importance of helping convicted felons.

Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders announced an agreement on Wednesday to help state schools and prisons avoid additional mid-year cuts. The state will withdraw $51 million from the Rainy Day Fund for the Department of Education and another $27.5 million for the Department of Corrections.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma finance officials have announced an additional $235 million in cuts amid the slump in oil and natural gas prices, saying schools, prisons and other state agencies will have their budgets slashed by 7 percent for the rest of the year.

 

Public schools alone will have nearly $110 million cut from their budgets for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

 

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