StateImpact Oklahoma

StateImpact Oklahoma is a collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU. Jackie Fortier, Quinton Chandler, and Robby Korth travel the state to report on education, health, and criminal justice — and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans.

StateImpact Oklahoma is funded with private contributions from listeners and readers. Donate here.

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Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Prison is not fun anymore for Warren Rawls. The 36-year-old has been in and out of prison six times, and he has decided he’s not going back. He says during a recent statewide prison lockdown he was handcuffed everywhere he went – even the shower.

Rawls is one of more than 450 Oklahomans set free in the nation’s largest single-day commutation on record.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

At the beginning of November, hundreds of new laws took effect in Oklahoma, including a big change to short-term health policies. 

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

John High knows that when he hears a tornado siren, he’s on his own. 

“I just pray. That’s all I can do,” High says while sitting in his motorized wheelchair at his home in Norman, Okla.

That’s because he doesn’t have a safe place to go. 

StateImpact Oklahoma, a collaboration of NPR member stations in Oklahoma, has added a new reporter to their team.

Robby Korth joined StateImpact in October and will be focusing on education issues. He is an Oklahoma and Arkansas native, growing up in Ardmore and Fayetteville. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Journalism degree, Robby reported for several newspapers, most recently covering higher education and other topics for The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Some Oklahomans are dreadfully counting the days until Oklahoma’s new law that will allow most people to carry a gun without a state permit takes effect.

With rallies, lawsuits and a failed attempt to get the issue before voters, the permitless carry law has spawned a lot of fear.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

In between studying for medical school tests, Ashton Gores walks around the Gathering Place Park in Tulsa, asking people to sign a petition to put Medicaid expansion on the 2020 ballot.

“When I first came out here I was like ‘nobody’s going to want to sign this, I’ll just be sunburning for an hour’ but it was actually really receptive, and people are very nice,” she said.

facebook.com/rogerscountysheriffsoffice

Some parts of criminal justice reform can feel risky. If you propose letting someone out of jail who has committed a crime, you reduce jail overcrowding, but does it put the community at risk? That’s a question Rogers County in northeastern Oklahoma has been trying to answer.

With more mass shootings happening every year, protecting kids has become a priority for school administrators in Oklahoma. However, safety looks very different depending on each school district’s budget.

Heidi de Marco / KHN

At some rural hospitals in Oklahoma, a pattern of controversial businesses practices lead to big profits for the management companies – but high risks for vulnerable hospitals.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma County’s jail is run by the local sheriff, just like most counties in the state.

As news headlines about overcrowding, inmate deaths, lawsuits and maintenance issues became increasingly common, county officials and civic leaders called for a change in jail leadership.

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