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.

Cooking dreams

The Education and Employment Ministry, TEEM, offers inmates the chance to gain cooking skills.
Deborah Palmer and Joby Johnson were two of 10 incarcerated Oklahomans who found hope and healing in the kitchen this fall.

Declining health

Researchers find a link between expanding Medicaid for low-income adults and insuring children.
A damning statistic has been making headlines across the nation since its release in November.

Labor pains

Criminal justice reform in Oklahoma sheds light on what life is like for female inmates.
Twenty-six-year-old Kayla Jo Jeffries remembers the night she gave birth to her now 2-year-old daughter, Emersyn, the way most women do — as if it were yesterday.

Opportunity overlooked

Education advocates hope to raise awareness of career technology programs.
During his three decades as an educator, Mid-America Technology Center administration superintendent Dusty Ricks said he has seen no educational opportunity in the state that is quite as valuable yet underrated as a local career technology center.

Glory road

A look back at Oklahoma’s leading female corporate executive sheds light on the state’s road to feminism.
A story or two has been told of an Oklahoma girl who grew up and made her small town proud.

Taking time

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform plans on moving forward with commutation and possible expungement efforts.
She has been called the face of a movement.

Painful consequences

A new law created by Senate Bill 1446 aims to reduce opioid dependency but might have unintended negative effects on sufferers of chronic pain.
In October, chronic pain sufferer Dan Freeman (not his real name) received a letter from his pain management doctor stating that a severance of treatment was necessary due to a new law on the horizon.

Oklahoma divided

Results from Oklahoma’s Nov. 6 elections reflect a divide between urban and rural counties.
Results from Oklahoma’s Nov. 6 elections caused emotions to stir across a state that ushered in new governor Kevin Stitt and turned representation in Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district over to a Democrat for the first time in 43 years.

Smooth voting

While other areas of the country faced long lines and technical errors, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties saw few Election Day problems.
Election officials are pleased with yesterday’s smooth operations at polling sites.

Giving tree

A new program transforms an old shelter into a one-stop-shop for parents working toward family reunification.
Nicole Lopez is no longer the perfect wife of her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Essential testing

Work is being done to force Oklahoma to test more than 7,000 untested rape kits.
Sexual assault advocates say the revelation that thousands of rape kits have been left untested in Oklahoma is serving as a catalyst for reform within a state that is finally joining a national movement towards justice for victims.

Sonic sale

With the sale of Sonic Corp. to Inspire Brands, Oklahomans hold tight to their memories and the beloved ice.
On Sept. 25, Oklahoma City-based Sonic Corp. officials announced the sale of their company and its more than 3,600  Sonic Drive-In locations to Inspire Brands Inc., owners of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, for $2.3 billion.

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Diploma Prep 24/7 @ Opportunities Industialization Center of OK County, Inc. (OIC)

Diploma Prep 24/7 @ Opportunities Industialization Center of OK County, Inc. (OIC)

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