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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Kurt Gwartney / Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s claim to the buckle of the Bible belt is widely accepted as true. But when it comes to faith and voting, new research shows more residents are letting their political values influence the church they choose.

At a recent weekly Sunday morning donut hour at Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa, people are busy talking about the start of school and the college football season while getting their weekly dose of juice, coffee and donuts.

In a new bid to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, two Native American communities are suing the Trump administration, saying it failed to adhere to historical treaty boundaries and circumvented environmental impact analysis. As a result, they are asking a federal judge in Montana to rescind the 2017 permit and block any further construction or use of the controversial pipeline.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In Charleston, S.C., a major interstate is reversing direction for about 100 miles, sending every lane inland — even earlier than originally scheduled.

In the Outer Banks, N.C., where tourists and residents rely on a few bridges and ferries for access to the mainland, authorities are warning residents to get out immediately. The state's governor has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a state-level, mandatory evacuation order, instead of relying on local governments.

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward has written about every U.S. president since Richard Nixon — nine in total. But in all his years covering politics, he has never encountered a president like President Trump.

Woodward's latest work, Fear: Trump in the White House, paints a portrait of Trump as uninformed and mercurial. The book describes moments when staff members joined together to purposefully block what they believe are the president's most dangerous impulses — sometimes by surreptitiously removing papers from the president's desk.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

Headlines for Tuesday, September 11, 2018:

(Courtesy Jenny Graham)

The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" pulls out all the stops: romantic ballads, all-cast dance sequences, a villain and two classic romances.

But in an adaptation of the show being performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, there's a twist: one of the romances is between two women protagonists named Curly McLain and Laurey Williams, and the other between two men named Will Parker and Ado Andy.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Hurricane Florence is growing in size and strength as it barrels toward the Southeastern U.S. for an expected landfall in the Carolinas later this week as an "extremely dangerous hurricane," according to the National Hurricane Center.

Headlines for Monday, September 10, 2018:

Just in the past few months, elections in the U.S. have been decided by hundreds of votes.

The 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, with a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016.

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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.