Oklahoma Voices

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Oklahoma newsmakers talking about the issues that affect the Sooner state and beyond.

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Oklahoma Forum: Mental Health

Aug 25, 2014

Following the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, Oklahoma Forum host Dick Pryor leads a discussion of mental illness, depression, and suicide with:

StickWare / Flickr Creative Commons

Two combat veterans, a contentious state schools superintendent race, and Oklahoma's first African-American female Senate candidate face Oklahoma voters this week.

Early voting began Thursday and continued into the weekend, and the winners in Tuesday's runoff advance to November's election to square off against nominees who found out their fate just over two months ago after the June 24 primary.

KGOU News Director Ben Fenwick gathered University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie, Oklahoma Watch political reporter M. Scott Carter, and eCapitol News Director Shawn Ashley to discuss some of the implications of what's left on the ballot.

Here are three contests they're keeping an eye on:

Joy Hampton / The Norman Transcript

The Lowry Room at the Norman Public Library filled to capacity Monday night, and a mass of people packed into the hallways to listen to a forum on hydraulic fracturing that included an OU scientist, an assistant city attorney, and a lawyer from upstate New York who’s helped communities there ban fracking.

StateImpact’s Logan Layden moderated the event as each panelist made a presentation, and read questions from the audience.

Roman Burleson / U.S. Senate

In January, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) surprised political observers and constituents when he announced he would step down with two years left on his second term.

The state’s junior Republican – who’s also a practicing physician – has earned the nickname “Dr. No” for being one of the chamber’s most ardent budget and debt hawks.

Coburn will return to private life at the end of the current session before the first of the year, and throughout August he’s holding his final series of town hall meetings across Oklahoma.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Nineteen years after the Oklahoma City bombing, unanswered questions resurfaced last week. A four-day trial in Utah sought to determine if the FBI has done an adequate search for additional videos of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Jim Johnson

Storytelling is an innate human trait.

Long before the written word, stories were conveyed audibly through voice and music, and/or visually through art. They were used to explain significant events like natural disasters, conflicts, and histories. Myths, legends, fairytales, fables, ghost stories, heroic tales, epic adventures, religions, and origin stories grew from acts of storytelling.   

riveraa8 / Flickr Creative Commons

Author and Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program fellow Jennifer Bradley argues that cities like Oklahoma City are vital to a post-recession economy. During Oklahoma City’s 2014 Mayor’s Development Roundtable in May, she said she admires Oklahoma’s progress and improvement.

“When it comes to building a livable, sustainable, and economically viable place, there’s no such thing as finished,” Bradley says.

Oklahoma City Skyline at night
StevenSmith1 / Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2002, Oklahoma City’s mayor has hosted a Development Roundtable to bring together local leaders and outside experts for conversation about the city’s expansion, progress, and improvement.

Oklahoma Forum: Primary Election Wrap-up

Jun 30, 2014

We analyze Tuesday’s Oklahoma Primary Election results and discuss campaign strategy and issues for the 2014 election season with:

  • Keith Gaddie, Chair, Political Science Department, University of Oklahoma
     
  • Sheryl Lovelady, former political pollster and campaign strategist  
     
  • Nate Webb, political analyst and former Congressional Chief of Staff for Mary Fallin
University of Oklahoma Press

Overzealous railroad builders and near-constant debates over the merits of gold vs. silver led to the worst financial crisis the United States had ever seen toward the end of the 19th century.

By the time the dust had settled after the Panic of 1893, the U.S. comptroller of the currency's annual report indicated 573 national, state, private, and savings banks as well as loan, trust and mortgage companies failed during the year.

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