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.

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The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a $6.8 billion budget in the waning hours of the legislative session Friday. The bill was narrowly approved with a vote of 52-45 and now goes to Gov.

Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board did not vote on a proposal to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates to providers by 25 percent at its meeting on Monday.

OHCA CEO Nico Gomez originally proposed the cut in March due to the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget dollar shortfall. At Monday’s meeting, Gomez asked the board to delay action because legislators had not yet released a budget. The Oklahoma legislature is in the final week of its session, and a budget agreement had not emerged as of Monday afternoon.

Legislation that would allow students with “deeply held religious beliefs” to use separate restrooms than their transgender peers passed through the Oklahoma Senate’s Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on Friday.

Under the measure, a student, parent or legal guardian would need to approach their school board and request the accommodation. No standard would have to be met to recognize the sincerely held religious belief.

The U.S. Surgeon General visited Oklahoma City on Monday as part the federal response to the rise in opioid addiction.

After touring Catalyst Behavioral Services, Dr. Vivek Murthy said more funding needs to be available for treatment, physician prescribing practices need to improve, and naloxone – a medication which blocks opioids’ effects – should be more widely available. He said the country needs to address the stigma associated with addiction.

The Oklahoma House rejected a proposed $1.50 per-pack tax on cigarettes to help shore up the state's health care system.

Updated May 19, 10:36 a.m.

House Bill 3210 failed on a vote of 59-40 against the measure even after House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, held the vote open for more than two hours Wednesday night to fix what he called a “health care disaster.” Republicans blaming Democrats for the bill's failure.

Canoe and kayak slalom athletes competed in Oklahoma City this weekend for their chance to represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The team trials coincided with the opening of Oklahoma City’s Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center. The new $45.2 million Riversport Rapids center at Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District is part of the MAPS 3 one cent municipal sales tax.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Forty-eight Oklahoma School Districts sued the state education department Monday for allegedly miscalculating the education funding formula for 22 years.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Republican presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump returned to Oklahoma City on Friday for a rally at the Cox Convention Center, where he quickly went on the offensive against his two closest rivals, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Trump criticized Rubio for his attendance record in the Senate, his record on immigration and for his poor debate performance in New Hampshire, which Trump labeled as a “meltdown like I’ve never, ever seen.” He also said Rubio sold a house to a lobbyist for whom he was writing legislation.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton used a theme of togetherness on Sunday night as he campaigned in Oklahoma City for his wife, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to an estimated 750 people at Northeast Academy, the 42nd President said the country needs somebody in office who will open doors of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.