Phillip O'Connor
Enterprise Desk Enterprise Editor
O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently about the military and has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Israel and several other countries.

  • Gov. Fallin puts down bet on OU-Texas game

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: 4 hr ago

    The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin are wagering on Saturday's Red River Rivalry game. The winner will get BBQ donated to a charity in their state.  If OU wins, Abbott will send a shipment of Railhead BBQ from Fort Worth to City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City.

  • People Magazine alleges Ranger course "fixed" to graduate first women

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    A People Magazine story claims that two women who recently became the first to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling Ranger school received special treatment. That prompted what described as a "blistering denial" late Friday from the U.S. Army that the course was “fixed” to allow women to pass and earn the coveted Ranger tab. In a statement, Brig. Gen. Malcom B. Frost, the Army’s chief of public affairs, said that the People Magazine article charging that Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were given special treatment was “flat-out wrong” and “pure fiction,” reported.

  • Oklahoma-bound KC-46 successfully completes first test flight

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Defense News is reporting that the KC-46, the next generation of aerial refueler, completed it first test flight Friday after months of schedule delays and cost overruns. The new KC-46 Pegasus will be serviced at Tinker Air Force Base and flight crews for the new plane will train at Altus Air Force Base. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first planes to Altus in 2017. "After a slight delay due to weather, the test aircraft took off in the early afternoon and landed four hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, according to a company statement. During the Friday flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems.

  • 25 things we learned about Donald Trump at the state fair

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    Leading Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump stormed the Oklahoma State Fair Friday to a raucous reception. Here's some things we learned along the way. 1. Supporters of The Donald arrive early. Even hours before his scheduled appearance. [pagebreak] 2. Not all of his supporters follow the rules. Fair officials said signs were banned. 3. Trump rides in style. He arrived at Will Rogers Airport in sleek, shiny, white twin-engine jet, not that hulking airliner that he flew into Mississippi a few weeks back. 4. Not everybody loves Donald Trump. Protesters gathered outside the fairgrounds to express their displeasure with the GOP candidate. [pagebreak]5.

  • West Point women call for Rep. Russell's Ranger records

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right. A group of female West Point graduates is asking the Army to turn over the Ranger records of Oklahoma congressman Steve Russell, Stars and Stripes is reporting.  The Republican freshman reignited debate this week over women in combat by requesting performance records to prove the first two women to graduate Ranger School at Georgia's Fort Benning, First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, were not given special treatment when receiving tabs in August. Russell asked the Secretary of the Army for paperwork documenting the women's performance to make sure that soldiers who passed the course deserved

  • Air Force wants KC-46 work exempted from short-term budget deal

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    If Congress fails to reach a deal on a long-term budget and instead continues to operate under a so-called continuing resolution next year, the U.S. Air Force will likely ask lawmakers for an exemption for the KC-46 tanker program, Defense News is reporting. Congress has until Oct. 1 to reach agreement on a long-term deal to fund the government. Failing that, the Pentagon most likely will be confronted with the continuing resolution, a stop-gap spending measure that temporarily funds the government at prior year levels. Air Force officials argue that such a move could slow delivery of the KC-46, prompting a breach of contract that could force them to break their contract with Boeing, which is building the next-generation

  • Is America's newest fighter jet already obsolete?

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    China's cyber spying could be closing the technological advantage that the American F-35 Strike Fighter enjoys over its Chinese counterpart, the J-31, Defense One is reporting. For now, the American jet still holds the upper hand, but for how long is unclear. Senior Pentagon officials and experts believe American technology superiority is shrinking. That means the U.S. military’s weapons will not overmatch adversaries for as long as they have in past decades, reports Defense One, which covers U.S. defense and national security issues.

  • Former Edmond resident stabbed to death in East Austin

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    A man was arrested after he admitted to officers that he stabbed a former Edmond resident to death at an East Austin apartment, the Austin American Statesman is reporting. According to the Statesman: James Robert Miller Jr., 66, is charged with the murder of Daniel Spencer, a 32-year-old film editor who moved to Austin from Los Angeles last year, according to police and relatives. Spencer graduated from Edmond Santa Fe High School in 2002 and received a Bachelor's of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 2006, according to his obituary. "I think I killed someone.

  • Disgraced anchor expected back on air today

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

    Disgraced former NBC News anchor Brian Williams is expected to make his return to television duties today as a breaking news anchor on MSNBC. The "Peacock Network" suspended Williams from his high-profile assignment as anchor of the "NBC Nightly News" four months ago after evidence emerged that he had made things up about his coverage of certain events. Williams had helmed the evening newscast for a decade.

  • Routine sexual abuse of children by Afghan forces draws Congressional ire

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

    A disturbing report this week by the New York Times that U.S. military commanders turned a blind eye to the rampant sexual abuse of young children by men in the Afghan security forces is now drawing the attention of Congress, according to a story in the Army Times. "For months, the military has faced a series of questions about how troops and their commanders responded to Afghan military men’s abuse of young boys, which is widely accepted in Afghanistan and known as “bacha bazi,” literally "boy play," the Army Times reported. Some of the abuse is reported to have occurred on American bases. Several American service members who spoke out about the problem were punished, according to the reports.

  • Stage lineup for tonight's prime-time GOP debate

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Wed, Sep 16, 2015

    During tonight's prime-time debate among Republican presidential contenders, real estate mogul Donald Trump once again will be center stage, this time flanked by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field, will also be on the main stage tonight for the first time. The debate will be televised on CNN.

  • Widow's heartbreaking video highlights military suicide epidemic

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Wed, Sep 16, 2015

    The Virginian-Pilot posted a heartbreaking story and video Wednesday of a Navy widow telling the story of her loss. // Since today is World Suicide Prevention Day, I made this video to share my story. Please forgive the tears. I hope someone who watches this sees the pain of what suicide can cause! RIP Anthony Lembo #worldsuicidepreventionday http://www.gofundme.

  • Budget impasse could jeopardize KC-46 contract, Air Force general says

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Wed, Sep 16, 2015

    An Air Force general is warning that a looming budget impasse in Congress could create a “very large problem” for the KC-46 aerial refueling plane. Congress must pass legislation funding the government before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Failing that, lawmakers can pass legislation called a continuing resolution to keep federal operations going at current spending levels. But Defense News is reporting that Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, the program executive on the Air Force’s next-generation tanker program, this week said such a move could lead the Air Force to break its contract with Boeing on the KC-46 tanker.

  • Take a video tour of the last flying "Superfortress"

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Mon, Sep 14, 2015

    Courtesy of The Aviationist, take a visual tour of Fifi, the last flying B-29 Superfortress. The heavy bomber was used primarily in the Pacific theater in World War II, including the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ushered in the war's end.

  • Coburn, Switzer reported to have asked governor to halt execution

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    The Huffington Post is reporting that former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer are among the signatories of a letter sent to Gov. Mary Fallin asking that she stay the execution of Richard Glossip scheduled for next week so that "deep concerns about his guilt can be addressed." Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the 1997 murder of Oklahoma City motel manager Barry Van Treese.

  • American spies claim their ISIS reports are being altered

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Thu, Sep 10, 2015

    A report today in the Daily Beast says that dozens of intelligence analysts inside the military's Central Command are complaining that their reports are being skewed and that the war against the Islamic State isn't going as well as portrayed. According to the report , two senior analysts at CENTCOM complained in writing to the Defense Department inspector general in July that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are.

  • Satanist group files to place monument at Arkansas Capitol

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Sep 8, 2015

    The New York-based Satanist group that sought to have a monument placed on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is now seeking permission to do the same in Arkansas. The organization, The Satanic Temple, announced in a press release today that it sent a letter via certified mail to Arkansas' Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission requesting to place a Baphomet monument alongside a Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol in Little Rock The organization said it made the request in reply to the approval of an Arkansas Senate bill which allowed for a privately donated Ten Commandments monument to be placed at the Capitol.

  • The next ice bucket challenge? Video

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Thu, Sep 3, 2015

    Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has challenged people to record themselves dancing to help raise money for kids and families dealing with pediatric cancer. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority recently took up the challenge and produced a memorable video. The health care authority then called out the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to show their stuff.

  • Oklahoma Counties with highest and lowest median-household incomes

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Wed, Sep 2, 2015

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  • Former Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips charged with killing cellmate

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Wed, Sep 2, 2015

    Former Nebraska and NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been charged in California with the April death of his prison cellmate.