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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Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

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.

UPDATED 6:46 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh strongly pushed back on an allegation of sexual misconduct from more than 30 years ago. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said in a statement.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Saturday

Tropical Storm Florence is still a slow-moving giant that poses danger to people in North and South Carolina, as its storm surge and intense rains bring high floodwaters to towns both on the coast and inland.

The storm has been linked to at least five deaths, a toll that is expected to climb.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Democratic State Representative Forrest Bennett.

President Trump may soon double down on his strategy of releasing secret documents to undercut the Russia investigation by unveiling one with still fewer redactions — or none.

In July, the administration released the top secret application made by the FBI in 2016 to collect the communications of a onetime Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. It was heavily redacted, with entire pages blacked out.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is close to reaching a plea deal that would avert a trial scheduled to start later this month in Washington, D.C.

No details were immediately available about the charges to which Manafort might plead guilty or whether he might cooperate with prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person asked not to be identified.

The tentative deal was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

President Trump denied the death toll of nearly 3,000 from hurricanes Maria and Irma, which swept across Puerto Rico a year ago, in a series of tweets Thursday morning.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," he tweeted. "When I left the island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths."

Trump then blamed Democrats for the figures, "to make me look as bad as possible."

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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.”

More Education News
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Hear Ferris O'Brien every weeknight, from 7 p.m. to midnight, on The Spy.

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