Jacob McCleland

Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jacob warns us he won't answer the phone when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing a postseason game. Fun fact: his high school mascot is the Appleknocker.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Update: 11:18 p.m.

Republican Kevin Stitt has defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson and Libertarian Chris Powell to become Oklahoma's next governor. The Tulsa businessman is a political newcomer who largely campaigned on his business background.

With nearly 89 percent of the vote tallied, Stitt leads Edmondson as the top vote-getter by a margin of 54.7 percent to 41.9 percent.

Oklahoma voters face five state questions when they vote this month. While this election’s state questions are not as high profile as recent ballot proposals on medical marijuana and alcohol law changes, they do present some meaningful changes in specific areas.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

If Daryl Fisher, a supervisor at a group home for young men, could fix one thing in Oklahoma, it would be education.

“Everybody always focuses on kids,” he said in an interview at a gas station in downtown Oklahoma City. “But are we really focusing on kids when we’re opening up more jails, trying to make more room, and not educating them? Are we really focusing on them?”

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. 

Todd Russ Facebook page / Jacob McCleland, Oklahoma Engaged

Emily Tuck walks through the backroom aisles at Carrol’s Shoe Corner in Elk City. She works here and at a record store next door in this city’s bustling downtown district of coffee shops, clothing boutiques and gift stores.

“Downtown kind of looked like a ghost downtown with the oil-field bust, and so just in the past few years it's really started thriving,” Tuck said.

Tuck likes working in Elk City. But there are a couple of things she would like to change. For instance, she would like more art in the downtown area.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Sue Campbell and her husband David stand under a tree at a dog park along a busy highway near Lake Hefner. Their dog is here, too — a 3-year-old ball of furry energy named Louie.

“Louie is a miniature schnauzer and Staffordshire terrier mix,” Sue said.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Polls have closed in Oklahoma. We'll be updating this post as results come in.

Updated 12:28 a.m.

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor.

Cornett, Stitt and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb were all polling closely leading into Tuesday's primary election. There had to be an odd man out to reach to the runoff. The odd man out was Lamb.

Cornett finished with near 29 percent of the vote. With 1948 of 1951 precincts reporting, Stitt led Lamb 24.43 to 23.88 percent.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Roy Lenz tidies the bar at the Brandin’ Iron on a Saturday afternoon. His wife, Barbara, fires up the grill, filling the place with the smell of hamburger patties, grilled onions and bacon.

 

“This place was built back in the late 20s, early 30s, and it’s been a bar from the late 30s, early 40s,” Roy said.

 

It’s only bar in Laverne, a little town of 1,344 people in Harper County in far northwestern Oklahoma.

 

A short man with a ponytail peeks through a crack in a sheet-metal fence, calling out to see if anybody's home. His name is Dario Garcia and he is checking on some people with HIV to make sure they're taking their meds.

Garcia walks through the muddy yard, past chickens and scrawny dogs, to the cinder block house.

Magalie L'Abbé / Flickr

Officials at Oklahoma's Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry are working on rules to regulate the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Governor Mary Fallin signed bipartisan legislation this week that legalizes the crop in the state.

Industrial hemp is grown for its fiber and its oil, and can be used to make rope, clothes, paper, plastics, insulation and biofuel.

Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) is one of the bill's authors. He says the new industry could create thousands of jobs and pour millions of dollars into the state's economy.

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