Poppy planting

While Oklahoma’s trial against opioid manufacturers continues, the history of the drugs’ promotion and marketing is getting a fresh look.
Poppy flowers, the plants used to make opium, became an agricultural product nearly 8,000 years ago, and the practice of using them to achieve an altered state of consciousness is nearly as old.

Bitter pills

Arguments heat up in Oklahoma’s case against opioid manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
The first trial of a pharmaceutical company related to the opioid epidemic began May 28 at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman. The lawsuit, brought by Oklahoma attorney general Mike Hunter, will attempt to hold Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, accountable for the high number of overdose fatalities in the state of Oklahoma in the past two decades.

Factchecking Oklahoma: What caused the migrant children crisis?

Back in 2014, the Obama administration housed 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children in Fort Sill, an Army base near Lawton, Oklahoma.

Retroactive law

A new law provides commutation for hundreds of incarcerated Oklahomans with the ability to expunge felonies from their records.
Nearly a thousand Oklahomans will be released from prison early — potentially in time for the holidays.

Factchecking Oklahoma: Is state ed funding up $2 billion?

Former Gov. Frank Keating co-wrote an op-ed claiming state ed funding increased $2 billion, but appropriations numbers tell a different story.
To say that taxes are unpopular among Oklahoma conservatives is an understatement. If the past decade is any indication, Republicans here are willing to hold the line on this issue, even when it comes to educating the state’s children.

Rooted in love

Muslim Oklahomans continue celebrating Ramadan and repelling hate with love amidst growing Islamophobia across the world.
Ramadan is considered the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, a month of high spirituality in which Muslim people fast and focus on reflection and growth.

Factchecking Oklahoma: Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau driving up banking costs for Oklahomans?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might have the driest name in federal government since Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, but drama surrounding the agency that regulates financial services like payday loans is anything but boring. The CFPB was created in 2011 in response to financial institutions’ actions connected to the Great Recession.

Strong foundation

Rep. Kendra Horn raised the most money among the state’s Congressional delegation, but she stays focused on addressing the needs of Oklahomans.
Freshman congresswoman Kendra Horn completed her first 100 days in Congress boasting support for bipartisan legislation and community outreach.

Child care

State and city officials reaffirmed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, and local organizations are working to increase awareness.
April has been Child Abuse Prevention Month since the ’80s, but state and city leaders are making it a point to support the designation.

Figures of speech

Two state legislators are running a bill that purports to protect free speech on college campuses.
Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, and Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore, have coauthored Senate Bill 361, which protects “any lawful verbal, written, audio-visual or electronic means by which individuals may communicate ideas to one another.” Both lawmakers were invited to the White House by President Donald Trump because of their work on the bill.

Standardized testing

Legislation is moving forward to create a uniform way of testing and tracking sexual assault kits.
Senate minority leader Kay Floyd authored three bills that work together to reform the way the Oklahoma agencies handle sexual assault kits, also known as rape kits.

Cover: Prepping schools

After a unanimous vote on the Pathway to Greatness plan, Oklahoma City Public Schools District is working to make sure schools are ready by the first day of next term.
The Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) board of education voted March 4 to adopt a plan that will shut down 15 schools and reconfigure 17 others.

Reform justice

Criminal justice experts are following and supporting reform bills that could upend Oklahoma’s system and tackle the state’s biggest issues.
Criminal justice reform is a major agenda topic in this year’s legislative session.

Beyond February

Black Oklahomans deal with deep, significant challenges that have faced them for decades and will continue to affect them disproportionately without criminal justice reform.
After the abolition of slavery, black Oklahomans continued struggling in the fight for equality.

Black Oklahoma

Black Oklahomans discuss navigating life as marginalized people in the Sooner State.
The history of black Oklahomans is tied to the Trail of Tears, as slaves came with their Native American masters to what became known as Oklahoma.

Finding justice

Anita Hill keynotes a fundraising gala for an Oklahoma university’s new social justice center.
Former University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill entered the national spotlight in 1991, testifying against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, whom she accused of sexual harassment.

Youth protection

An Oklahoma representative introduced a bill that would ban conversion therapy for minors.
Sara Cunningham is the founder of Free Mom Hugs, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

Head start

Rep. Kendra Horn was just sworn in at the beginning of January but is already preparing for the 2020 election as Republicans take aim at her seat.
Kendra Horn pulled off a surprising upset in November after defeating incumbent Rep. Steve Russell for the state’s 5th Congressional District.

Oklahoma turnaround

Kevin Stitt has five pillars to make Oklahoma a top 10 state, but Oklahomans have their own ideas of what he should do.
Oklahoma’s 28th governor took the oath of office last week, right before giving an inaugural address that echoed many of his campaign promises.


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