Oklahoma Voices

Oklahoma state Capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahomans go the polls on Tuesday for a statewide primary. All of Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressmen face challengers from within their own party, and it’s the first test for many of the educators running for state House and Senate seats.

The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley joined KGOU’s Jacob McCleland in the Oklahoma Senate press gallery to talk about the upcoming primary.

 

 

U.S. House primaries

 

Mike McGrath speaks at the Myriad Botanical Gardens on April 21, 2016.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Native bees provide a valuable service to gardeners, and there’s no downside to giving them a welcoming home in the garden. That’s the message Mike McGrath, the host of public radio program You Bet Your Garden, brought during a presentation on April 21 at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City.

KGOU broadcast portions of McGrath’s presentation in coordination with International Pollinator Week, which runs June 20 to June 26.

Oklahoma state Capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to wrap up by 5 p.m. Friday, and both House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, say they don't expect a special session as they grapple with a $1.3 billion shortfall.

Hickman said nothing on the legislature's agenda is more crucial than finalizing the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

An airman kneels and prays in the Moore neighborhood south of Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

Tornado season is upon us. Oklahoma saw powerful storms last week, and state and local emergency management leaders continue to grapple with questions about preparation.

What else can local governments and the state do to improve public safety? Are there new ways to fund private, school or community shelters? What can individuals do beyond the obvious to protect themselves, and what does the research show?

United States Secretary of War Newton Baker pulls the first draft number on July 20, 1917
U.S. National Archives

 

Not long before America’s entrance into World War I, James Montgomery Flagg, one of the nation’s most successful illustrators, worked on a cover photo for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly newspaper. Flagg hastily drew the image of Uncle Sam, which he borrowed from a British recruitment poster. It would be adopted by the U.S. government as a recruiting tool and would go on to endure as an iconic symbol of American patriotism.

Ashley Combs (left), Sam Flowers, Jacob McCleland, Jeanette Schreiber, Keith Lough and Lauren Jenks (not pictured) talk about presidential candidates at KGOU on Feb. 26, 2016.
Laura Knoll / KGOU

Oklahoma will play a big role in both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday, and four candidates hit the state over the weekend. On Friday, Republican hopefuls Donald Trump and Marco Rubio stopped in Oklahoma City. On Sunday, Democrat Bernie Sanders rallied supporters in Oklahoma City while Republican Ted Cruz barnstormed the state, including stops in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, in Edmond on Saturday.

 

The Oklahoma state budget is facing a crisis. Legislators face a $1.3 billion shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year that will result in cuts to agencies. At the same time, several state leaders have floated proposals to fund a pay raise for Oklahoma teachers.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla. 4)
House GOP / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

 

The U.S. Congress if wrapping up the year with several key bills. Last week, the House passed a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, and the Senate sent a highway bill to President Obama’s desk.

On today’s show we’ll talk with Republican Congressman Tom Cole. The veteran lawmaker from Oklahoma spoke with KGOU’s Jacob McCleland on November 24 in his Norman office.

Some excerpts:

Syrian refguees arrive on the Mediterranean coast, Sept. 2015.
Freedom House / Flickr Public Domain Mark 1.0

 

Last week, the U.S. House passed a bill to halt a program that brings Syrian refugees to the United States. The vote came less than a week after the ISIS attack in Paris that left over one hundred people dead.

Oklahoma has a long history of taking in refugees. Notably, Vietnamese refugees settled in Oklahoma City in the mid-1970s. Now, many Burmese refugees of the ethnic Zomi minority are establishing themselves in both Oklahoma City and the Tulsa area.

W. Joseph Campbell is a professor in the School of Communication at American University
American University

 

The future began 20 years ago, according to a new book by W. Joseph Campbell. In 1995, Timothy McVeigh’s truck bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City and sparked a debate about security. The Dayton Peace Accords ended a brutal war in the former Yugoslavia. The O.J. Simpson trial captured the imagination of a nation. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski began their affair that led to the President’s impeachment. And 1995 was the year the internet went mainstream.

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