KGOU

Tulsa

katsrcool / Flickr.com

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.

The program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, involves setting up automated high-speed cameras on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184, according to the District Attorneys Council.

StickWare / Flickr

One week after federal Election Day, Oklahomans headed to the polls to vote in local races in more than 30 counties, including three special elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature.  The results came in late Tuesday night.

Republican Paul Rosino won the seat of former State Senator Kyle Loveless in District 45, which includes parts of Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties. Rosino beat Democrat Steven Vincent with 57 percent of the vote.

Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

A jury on Wednesday acquitted a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man who had his hands up. Many of the jurors and the family of Terence Crutcher were in tears as the not-guilty verdict was read for Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Samantha Vicent (@samanthavicent), courthouse reporter for The Tulsa World.

Oklahoma is suffering through severe cuts to public services. But the city of Tulsa is making do. The Economist reports that increased donations from philanthropists, as well as a sales tax increase with revenues dedicated to police, museums and public transportation have kept Tulsa running while a budget crisis ravages the rest of the state.

Sherry Laskey stands near land she bought in a north Tulsa neighborhood. Laskey is hoping to turn the empty lot into a profitable community garden that provides healthy food for the area.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Low-income areas of rural Oklahoma are blotched with food deserts, where fresh, healthy food options are scarce. It’s a problem in cities, too, but entrepreneurs, educators and legislators say newly signed legislation could help fill grocery gaps with community gardens.

School just let out at Walt Whitman Elementary in north Tulsa and a group of third and fifth graders is eager to brag about the garden they helped plant on a hillside behind the school.

Oklahoma Schools Beset by High Principal Turnover

Apr 18, 2017
Brad Gibson / Oklahoma Watch

For decades, principals have come and gone at Tulsa’s McLain High School so frequently, it’s nearly unheard of for a student to complete all four years of high school without seeing a new face in the principal’s office.

The school has had at least 11 principals or co-principals since 2000 and now is losing yet another one, who, after three years in the job, is leaving after the school year.

An investigation by Buzzfeed News alleges extensive abuse of patients at Shadow Mountain Behavorial Health, a live-in facility owned by Universal Health Services, the country’s largest psychiatric hospital chain. The report contains allegations that employees manhandled children as young as eight years old, and to have ignored patients’ attempts to inflict self-harm. The investigation also alleges understaffing, sexual abuse and patient riots. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is now investigating the Tulsa hospital.

Tulsa Race Riots Of 1921 Echo Tensions Today

Oct 4, 2016

In 1921, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted in race riots that left up to 300 people dead. Homes and businesses were burned.

The riot has been mostly ignored by history. But a recent fatal police shooting of an African-American man in Tulsa has re-focused attention on the city’s past.

Bruce Fisher, retired curator of the African-American projects at the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Kate Carlton Greer, a reporter for KGOU, join Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss Tulsa’s past and present.

Attorney Dan Smolen (center) announced Monday he's researching a potential lawsuit based on violations of Terence Crutcher's civil rights. Smolen is also questioning why no video is available from Officer Betty Shelby's car.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The attorney for Terence Crutcher’s widow believes there should be more video of his death at the hands of a Tulsa police officer.

According to a TPD policy manual, officers are able to trigger dash cam video recording five different ways, including by pressing a button on a microphone worn on their duty belts or elsewhere. Attorney Dan Smolen wants to know why there’s no video from Officer Betty Shelby’s car when she was there two minutes before anyone else.

Floaters navigate their homemade raft down the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Okla., during the annual Great Raft Race on Labor Day 2016.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.

Study: Tulsa Head Start Program Produces Lasting Positive Effects

Aug 18, 2016
classroom floor
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

An analysis of participants in a Tulsa Head Start program found many indicators that the federal early-education program works — and the positive effects last into middle school.

Overall, participants in the Community Action Project Head Start program had higher math scores, lower rates of grade retention and were less likely to be chronically absent.

The findings are significant because they contrast with other research showing the program’s positive effects fade quickly.

A rendering of the pop culture museum in Tulsa.
OKPOP

The Oklahoma Historical Society has applied to possibly build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in downtown Tulsa across from the ONEOK Field. The vacant lot, owned by the Tulsa Development Authority, is one of two publicly-known sites for the museum.

Bob Blackburn, the director of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s, told The Tulsa World’s Curtis Killman the organization is considering all of the options.

Mayoral candidate Paul Tay argues with debate moderator Royal Aills while Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Councilman G.T. Bynum look on Wednesday evening.
Rogers State University Public Television

Incumbent Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett and city councilman G.T. Bynum, who’s challenging him for the post, squared off in a debate Wednesday night, and the forum’s conclusion turned contentious.

The candidates sparred over the jail, the education sales tax, and city mowing cycles, according to the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange’s John Durkee.

Downtown Tulsa from the banks of the Arkansas River.
Mike Davis / Flickr

It’s been decades since Tulsa decided the portion of the Arkansas River that runs through the city was too dirty and dangerous to swim in. The river is much cleaner now, but convincing the public it’s OK to hop in won’t be easy.

The Arkansas River is an iconic feature of Tulsa, cutting across downtown and winding through the west side of the city. But it has a bad reputation.

Former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

Updated 4/14, 12:56 p.m.: Bates turns himself in

An Oklahoma reserve sheriff's deputy charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a man who was subdued on the ground has surrendered to authorities.

Robert Bates turned himself in Tuesday morning at the Tulsa County Jail. The 73-year-old insurance executive was charged with second-degree manslaughter Monday in the April 2 shooting.

Jenks Mayor Lonnie Sims speaks during a press conference on the upcoming vote to renew the Vision 2025 sales tax.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

A Tulsa tax package will be up for renewal by voters this fall, but with a new twist.

Vision2025, a Tulsa County tax plan similar to Oklahoma City’s MAPS project, is a 0.6 percent sales tax passed in 2003. Since then, it has raised over $600 million for various community projects.

But this year, cities affected by the tax plan have the chance to opt out, says Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Pedestrians walk in front of Cafe 7 at the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Downtown Oklahoma City has been buzzing about the fate of First National Center.

The 84-year-old Art Deco skyscraper heavily inspired by the Empire State Building dominated the Oklahoma City horizon for four decades. But it’s had a rocky quarter century since its namesake bank folded in the mid-80s after the oil bust, and occupancy has been down since Devon Energy consolidated its operations in its flagship headquarters on Sheridan Ave.

Phil Moyer / Flickr.com

The threat of Ebola has caused some Tulsa organizations to rethink their mission efforts in west Africa.

David Rogers with Youth Vision International tells the Tulsa World that he's directed his leaders to stop holding weekly Christian youth meetings in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Those nations have suffered some of the heaviest casualties from the deadly disease.

Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr.com

More than 100 Tulsa police vehicles have yet to be outfitted with dashboard cameras four years after the process of installing them began.

The project began in 2010 after officials agreed to pay more than $4 million to purchase and install cameras in all police vehicles as part of the settlement of a long-running racial discrimination lawsuit against the city.

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