Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

In Business-Friendly Oklahoma, Optometrists Bring Potential 'Corporate Control' Into Focus

Brendhan Fritts’ optometry practice in Duncan is filled with brightly colored displays of models in designer glasses, pamphlets on the importance of routine eye care — and posters against State Question 793. It doesn’t look like a scene for political discussions, but with the November election looming, Fritts is having more and more conversations with his patients. “‘How do you want me to vote?’ Is basically what they ask me. ‘What do you want me to do?’ And I say, ‘I want you to vote no for...

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Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Can Oklahoma Learn From Louisiana's Criminal Justice Reform?

Every day, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh sits at his desk and tries to make a severely overcrowded, understaffed prison system work. “I’ve been preoccupied with trying to figure out where we’re going to put all these people because we’re way over capacity,” Allbaugh said. This year, Oklahoma became the nation’s top incarcerator — a title that formerly belonged to Louisiana. But officials in the Bayou State said it reduced its prison population by 7.6 percent in less...

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Anita Hill's Challenge To Clarence Thomas: A Tale Of 2 Lives And 3 Elections

Brett Kavanaugh is not the first presidential nominee to have his run to the Supreme Court frozen at the finish line by a woman's accusations. Throughout this week of turmoil in Washington, the historical backstory has been the 1991 confrontation between Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and a former colleague named Anita Hill. The classic clash of his and her testimony forced the reopening of Thomas' confirmation hearings and mesmerized a national TV audience for days. Hill won many...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

oksenate.gov

Former Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Monday after pleading guilty to one count of child sex trafficking.

A federal grand jury indicted Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, in late 2017 for emailing and producing child pornography in addition to child sex trafficking. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop the pornography charges when Shortey pleaded guilty to trafficking.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward on Sunday for the first time telling her story alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her 35 years ago when the two were both in high school.

So how is this different from the sexual harassment allegations made against now Justice Clarence Thomas by law professor Anita Hill in 1991 at his confirmation hearing?

I know because I was there. I broke the story and then watched in amazement as events unfolded.

There are big differences and similarities in these two events.

Updated on Sept. 20 at 5:20 p.m. ET

The woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault revealed her identity Sunday in an interview with The Washington Post.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

In a sign that America's two centuries-old democracy is under strain, nearly 2 in 5 American voters do not believe elections are fair, according to a new NPR/Marist poll. Nearly half of respondents lack faith that votes will be counted accurately in the upcoming midterm elections.

Updated at 3:55 a.m. ET on Monday

Tropical Depression Florence is continuing to bring relentless, torrential rain to much of the South. Florence has already set a record for rainfall in the state of North Carolina, and thousands have evacuated to shelters in North and South Carolina to ride out the storm.

More than 500,000 remain without electricity in North Carolina.

Updated at 9:41 p.m. ET

A vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court was at risk of delay on Sunday as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from both parties said allegations of sexual assault from 35 years ago may require additional review.

This week in the Russia investigation: Paul Manafort turns state's evidence ... what will he tell the government?

St. Paul

After a long career as an advocate for political animals of nearly every kind across the world, Paul Manafort is now going to work for the United States government.

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Education News

To millions of parents and students, they're magical words: free college.

But is the idea pure fantasy?

More than a dozen states now offer grants, often called scholarships, promising to help qualifying students pay for some or all of their college education. In fact, that word, "promise," shows up again and again in these programs' official names: Nevada Promise, Oklahoma's Promise, Oregon Promise, Tennessee Promise ... you get the idea.

You're reading NPR's weekly roundup of education news.

Schools and colleges are coping with extreme heat

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kristin Atchley, the Executive Director of Counseling for the State Department of Education said it’s standard practice for Oklahoma school teachers to yell at kids who are causing trouble, send them to the principal’s office, or tell them to put their head down without much regard for what might be driving their poor behavior.

Now she’s trying to change that.

“We didn’t know what we didn’t know,” she told a group of teachers in a training session at Duncan High School. “Well now we know it, and we can’t do it.”

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.