Top Stories


  • Oklahoma mental health conference focuses on treatment, suicide

    BY NATE ROBSON, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    Suicide and how law enforcement deals with mentally ill people were among the key messages discussed at a mental health conference in Tulsa on Thursday and Friday. About 700 people — including advocates, funders and professionals in mental health and law enforcement — attended the event.

  • Oklahoma tribes increase minimum wages, fueling pay debate

    BY M. SCOTT CARTER, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sat, Sep 13, 2014

    The wage boosts have occurred over the past few years, even as state lawmakers were working on legislation to prevent minimum wage increases.

  • At least one Oklahoman will die today from prescription drug overdose

    BY WARREN VIETH, JACLYN COSGROVE, ANDREW KNITTLE and PHILLIP O'CONNOR | Updated: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    In 2012, unintentional prescription drug overdoses claimed the lives of 534 Oklahomans. State health authorities say about half of them had taken drugs prescribed by their own doctors. And, had it not been for complaints from the public, their prescribing practices might never have been discovered. While much of Oklahoma’s enforcement efforts are aimed at drug-seekers, far less effort is dedicated to identifying, investigating and pursuing the problem providers — the doctors who supply the sometimes deadly dosages. In the past 12 years, Oklahoma has seen the overall number of overdose deaths from prescription drugs more than double, and the number of deaths due to hydrocodone and oxycodone more than quadruple.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Forum focuses on ways to make Oklahoma schools stronger

    BY NATE ROBSON, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: A “Teachers Matter” forum was held Thursday in Oklahoma City. Speakers included author and journalist Amanda Ripley, teacher of the year Peter Markes, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu and Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard. The event was organized by Stand for Children, which advocates for stronger schools.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Q&A with Michael Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association Oklahoma

    BY ANGELA CHAMBERS, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: Mental Health Association Oklahoma, based in Tulsa, is now the state’s most prominent nonprofit to focus on mental health services beyond the local level.

  • Oklahoma governor applies for federal grant provided by Obamacare

    BY WARREN VIETH, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Thu, Aug 21, 2014

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin showed she is willing to pursue federal funding opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act, despite her opposition to some of its main provisions. The $3 million grant application targets four pervasive health problems: obesity, diabetes, hypertension and tobacco use.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Many Oklahoma prisons are over capacity after inmate shift

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: The Oklahoma Corrections Department is placing many inmates in designated “temporary” beds in various common areas of prisons, such as a gymnasium or day room.

  • Oklahoma health officials worry about rise in unvaccinated students

    BY NATE ROBSON, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Thu, Aug 14, 2014

    Oklahoma records show the percentage of kindergarteners whose families refused vaccinations under Oklahoma law increased from 0.7 percent in the 2005-06 school year to 1.4 percent, or at least 572 students, in 2013-14.

  • Hotel near Oklahoma City's Bricktown struggles with costs from storm damage

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Updated: Mon, Aug 4, 2014

    Troubles linger for Bricktown Hotel and Convention Center, which sustained damage in the 2009 and 2013 tornadoes.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Oklahoma to remain on sidelines as Washington hands out health care money

    BY WARREN VIETH, Oklahoma Watch | Updated: Fri, Aug 1, 2014

    The latest developments represent another twist and turn in a testy three-year relationship between the Obama administration and Gov. Mary Fallin

  • Oklahoma Watch: Federal disaster loans is one avenue tornado victims took on path to recovery

    By Clifton Adcock and Nate Robson, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: The total amount loaned by the U.S. Small Business Administration was $21 million, or 42 percent of the approved total amount. About half of the total amount approved was for applicants in Oklahoma City and Moore, which took the brunt of the damage from the May 20 and May 31, 2013, storms.

  • Dark money group opposing Janet Barresi fails to file spending report

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Updated: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Groups that spend more than $5,000 in political advertising during a campaign must file pre-election reports, and violations can result in civil penalties of more than $50,000.

  • Cities in Oklahoma scramble to spend community storm grants

    By Clifton Adcock, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    More than half of the federal disaster funds being offered to Oklahoma for recovery from the violent storms of 2013 are in the form of community development grants.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Oklahoma cities must navigate hazard mitigation plans before weather disasters

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: The hazard-mitigation money provided by FEMA is calculated by taking 15 percent of the total amount spent on both individual and public assistance aid related to a disaster.

  • Federal requirements leave many Oklahomans without emergency aid they expected

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Updated: Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    Many requests for emergency aid in Oklahoma were ruled ineligible because they did not meet federal regulations or project requirements, some aimed at preventing waste or abuse. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s strict requirements caused many who thought they would get aid to do without.

  • Moore's Plaza Towers rises from storm rubble

    BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    The new incarnation of Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children died in the May 20, 2013, tornado, is set to open this fall.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Mississippi man gets charges in 1982 Oklahoma rape

    By Shaun Hittle, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    Cleveland County First Assistant District Attorney Susan Caswell said her staff began actively pursuing the case against Gilbert Duane Harris, 58, of Biloxi, Miss., after being notified last year about a new DNA match linking Harris to the 1982 rape of a University of Oklahoma student in Norman, Oklahoma.

  • At a glance: Top recipients of public assistance after Oklahoma storms

    Published: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    Of the $42 million in public assistance awarded by early June by FEMA, Moore and Oklahoma City had received the largest amounts. More applications are pending.

  • Oklahoma Watch: Rebuilding after disasters takes time, money

    By Clifton Adcock, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: Public assistance after devastating weather strikes can take long time to complete

  • Oklahoma Watch: State's residents still are rebuilding after storms

    By Clifton Adcock, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sun, Jul 13, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: Severe weather in 2013 leads to $257 million in disaster assistance funds for Oklahomans.