Oklahoma wants to go where no state has gone before: Executing death row inmates with nitrogen gas. Officials say nitrogen will bring quick, painless deaths, but the research is slim — and it has never been used in U.S. executions.
It’s hard to get basic health care like shots and x-rays in rural Oklahoma. The federal government considers all but one of the state’s 77 counties to have a primary care shortage. The problem is driving a legislative effort to allow highly educated nurses to fill that gap — but doctors and nurse practitioners are butting heads on who is qualified to help.
The Oklahoma teacher walkout and educators’ demands for more school funding dominates the news. It’s unclear if lawmakers are willing to meet those demands and quell daily protests. One lingering question: If schools get more money, what happens to other state agencies and workers who need funding, too?
Police Sgt. Jeff Crawford is breaking his routine. He’s leaving the office and climbing into his squad car because Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers and supporters are rallying at the state Capitol to demand more school funding.
Crawford is a school resource officer who normally works out of Douglass Mid-High School. He has left his post temporarily to check on elementary schools and community centers in eastern Oklahoma City that are feeding kids who depend on the meals they get in school.
After months of gridlock and failed deal-making, the Oklahoma House and Senate have passed a nearly $450 million tax package designed to fund raises for teachers and avoid statewide school closures.
Gov. Mary Fallin said she’ll sign the tax package, which fell short of teachers’ demands. Educators still plan to march at the Capitol April 2 to pressure lawmakers to spend more on schools and public employees and continue a debate that has highlighted growing gaps and frustrations over taxes and government.
Gunshots ring through the chapel of First United Methodist Church. An instructional video simulating shooting rampages plays on a projector screen hanging above the pulpit between two banners that read “Good Shepherd” and “Lion of Judah.”
New research suggests people with intellectual disabilities are being turned down for organ transplants because of their disability. A growing effort to take human bias out of the decision highlights a little-known area of medicine.
Shiny red hearts decorate the tables at a restaurant in Moore. It looks like a Valentine’s Day party, but tonight the decor is literal: It’s the 10-year anniversary of Henry Weather’s new heart. Continue Reading
The Dewey County Courthouse is one of the newest in Oklahoma. The offices are spacious, and the courtroom has fresh carpet and shiny wood trim. County Commissioner M.W. “Junior” Salisbury is excited to play tour leader.
“I’m pretty proud of our little courthouse here,” he says. “I really, really am.”
Officials figured they would need 25 years to pay it off, but it took less than five. One major reason: wind farms.
More than 30 people sit uncomfortably on hard, wooden benches under the watchful eyes of Judge Tim Henderson. It’s late morning in Henderson’s courtroom at the Oklahoma County courthouse. Some people have been waiting for hours.
Most of these people are on probation, and they’re anxiously waiting for their chance to make a deal. Judge Henderson says these people broke their plea agreements.
Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.
The Commission on Opioid Abuse released its final report in January.
“The sort of clear and present danger is overprescribing and oversupply, and that was the focus of what we looked at,” Attorney General Mike Hunter, who headed the nine-member commission, said in an interview with StateImpact. Continue Reading