KGOU

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. 

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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.

 

American Energy Partners, LP founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon, who co-founded Chesapeake Energy in 1989.
Provided / The Journal Record

Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy who was indicted by federal authorities Tuesday, died Wednesday morning in a single vehicle accident, Oklahoma City police confirmed Wednesday afternoon. 

The accident occurred just after 9 a.m. along Midwest Blvd. between Memorial Road and NE 122nd Street. A Chevy Tahoe reportedly hit a bridge, and television helicopter footage showed the charred remains of a vehicle.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stumps in Oklahoma City on 2/28
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won Oklahoma’s Democratic Primary Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the Vermont Senator spoke with KGOU over the phone to talk about his policies. 

Sanders acknowledged Oklahoma’s dependence on fossil fuels, but he reiterated his stance that the country should move toward renewable energy.

2016 presidential candidate collage
Photos by Kate Carlton Greer, Emily Wendler, and Brian Hardzinski. / KGOU/Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Four presidential candidates visited Oklahoma over the course of a 48-hour period between Friday and Sunday, and KGOU made sure to cover them all.

Here's a roundup:


Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stumps in Oklahoma City
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made an appearance Sunday in downtown Oklahoma City. The Vermont Senator cheered a “political revolution” during his most recent visit to the Sooner State, which drew thousands of young voters.

Sanders’ appearance in Oklahoma was the second within a week as he tried to gain voters ahead of Super Tuesday.

During his speech at the Cox Convention Center, Sanders highlighted differences between himself and his opponent Hillary Clinton. He boasted the average contribution for his campaign is $27.

Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio during a rally Friday afternoon in downtown Oklahoma City.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio visited downtown Oklahoma City Friday in advance of the state’s primary election on Tuesday.

During a standing-room only event at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, Florida’s junior Republican U.S. Senator launched attacks at Donald Trump, calling him a “con artist” and urging supporters to encourage their Trump-supporting friends to pick another candidate. At one point during the rally, Rubio took out a cell phone and read a series of misspelled tweets from the New York businessman.

Kathryn Decker / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order Wednesday changing the application process for state agency positions. The governor is now requiring all agencies to remove questions regarding felony convictions. 

Oklahoma State Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A bill allowing the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to waive payments by felons before they can receive a provisional license passed out of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee Wednesday. 

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