Quinton Chandler

StateImpact Oklahoma

Quinton Chandler joined StateImpact Oklahoma in January 2018, focusing on criminal justice reporting.

He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with degrees in Economics and Marketing. Chandler was a student reporter at KOSU, and later a host and reporter at KBBI Radio in Homer, Alaska and education reporter at KTOO Public Media in Juneau, Alaska.

Quinton loves writing, reading and has an intense relationship with his Netflix account.

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Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Addiction is a bitter enemy that has haunted Angie White’s family for decades. White has watched her 49-year-old brother struggle with drug abuse most of his life.

“We have birthdays without him,” she said. “We have holidays without him. It’s hard on my mom and dad. They miss him more than anyone.”

White said her brother is missing out on his family’s lives. One thing that hurts her the most: She doesn’t even know where her brother is.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahomans voted in 2016 to reduce penalties for drug possession and this year approved a state question welcoming medical marijuana into the state. Officials in two cities recently reacted to those decisions. 

Oklahoma City, the state’s largest municipality, has chosen to reduce fines and eliminate jail terms for marijuana possession. 

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.

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.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Council heard public testimony Tuesday on an ordinance that would eliminate jail terms and reduce fines for possession of marijuana and some drug paraphernalia.

If the proposed ordinance is adopted, Oklahoma City’s punishments for marijuana possession would fall from a maximum $1,200 fine and up to six months in jail to a maximum fine of $400 with no jail time. Police would also cite people up to $200 for having some types of drug paraphernalia.

A political outsider will be the Republican party's nominee for governor.

Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman, defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Stitt defeated Cornett 55 to 45 percent. 

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kelly Vierling said her son had a “huge heart.”

Vierling’s eyes watered as she described her 21-year-old son Alex in her office on the Oklahoma State University campus. 

Alex was killed in Stillwater in 2014.

Vierling said her son carried a gun to protect himself. He had it with him when he went to a friend’s party the day he died.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

When Frank Taylor moved to Taft, Oklahoma from California six years ago, his friends asked how he could live in a town of about 300 people right next to two prisons. He laughed it off. 

“I got two big pit bulls,” Taylor said. 

Taylor says the small Oklahoma town is a place where he thought he could leave his doors unlocked. His home, near the center of town, is less than a mile from one of the prisons, Jess Dunn Correctional Center.

The minimum-security men’s prison has a problem.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

If you follow your nose to the back of Boots Cafe, you’ll run into swinging wood doors hanging underneath a metal script sign of the word ‘Blessed.’

Inside, you’ll find the kitchen and a staff of two, including owner Sylvia Wilson who immediately recites the days special: “We got loaded baked potatoes today, we got lasagna and salad …”

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s been three weeks since Sarah Sinkinson last saw her children and she’s ready for a visit from her daughter, Madeline. Sinkinson lights up as her daughter is escorted into a small visitation room and sits down at a desk opposite her.

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