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Stories and interviews produced by Oklahoma Public Radio.




OKC schools work to improve grad rate, send kids to college

The Oklahoma City school district is making changes this year to help more kids graduate from high school and go to college. The changes include a partnership with Tulsa Public Schools after both districts were put on probation by the State Department of Education earlier this year. KOSU's Michael Cross reports.

OK making most of stimulus funds so far

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed in late February, and while the president says it will take time to see results, many people still question its $787 billion price tag. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

More Oklahomans applying for concealed-carry license

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says somewhere between 82 and 83,000 Oklahomans currently have concealed-carry licenses and that number is growing. New and renewing applications jumped from about 18,000 in 2008 to nearly 34,000 in 2009. KOSU's Michael Cross reports.

Boone Pickens tours finished west end zone project

OSU alum T. Boone Pickens toured the newly renovated Boone Pickens Stadium Monday morning and says the project was well worth his money. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

Cash for Clunkers program picking up steam in OK

More than 250,000 so-called "clunkers" have been traded in around the country since the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program began the end of July. Also known as the Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS, the program was given another $2 billion to keep it going well into September. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

OSU's renovated Old Central ready for students

Oklahoma State University will re-open four renovated or expanded buildings in time for the academic year to begin on Monday. One of those buildings includes the oldest higher education structure in the state. KOSU's Gideon Thompson has the story of grand Old Central.

Scientists test new blood clot medication

Every year, 900,000 people in the United States develop blood clots after joint replacement surgery, and a third of them die from complications. Now, a group of Oklahoma scientists is testing a new drug, which could reduce the number of clots and complications from previous treatments. KOSU's Michael Cross reports.

Record Number of Oklahomans on Food Stamps

The number of food stamp applications in Oklahoma continues to break records. Yesterday, the Department of Human Services announced more than 500,000 Oklahomans received assistance in July, and that number is uncharted territory. DHS officials say food stamp applications are clear indicators of a suffering economy - especially in a state like Oklahoma with high levels of poverty. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

U.S. Census reaching out to African American communities

The U.S. Census Bureau is reaching out to leaders in the African American communities of the state. Oklahoma officials are wanting to improve overall participation in the once per decade survey taking place next year. KOSU's Michael Cross reports.

Why Route 66 still matters

Route 66 is an American icon, but today it serves more as a tourist destination than a crucial path for transporation. KOSU's Jordan Nelson set out to ask why Route 66 is still so special and what the future might hold for the Mother Road.

Prue plans for 4-day school week

A new state law allows Oklahoma school districts to choose how they calculate a school year. In the past, students were required to spend five six-hour days a week in the classroom, but for the first time this year, districts have the option of switching from 180 days to 1,080 hours a year. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

State DHS faces budget cuts

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services faces cuts in the 2010 budget of about 1.5 percent. KOSU's Michael Cross reports on how DHS is coping with the downturn in the budget and the economy.

Local emergency workers conduct terrorist simulation

After the Murrah Federal Building bombing and especially after 9-11, local law enforcement and first responders teamed up to train for any and all terrorist situations. One such scenario took place on Wednesday, and KOSU's Michael Cross was there to catch all the action.

More Oklahomans discovering community transit

Community transit systems have been around for a long time, but as gas prices fluctuate and Americans look for ways to save money, more people are experimenting with local transit routes. KOSU's Gail Banzet reports.

State's immunization rate improving

Oklahoma used to be ranked in the bottom five in child vaccinations until efforts picked up a few years ago from state and local health departments. Now, Oklahoma ranks 25th, and officials hope to keep increasing the number of immunized children. KOSU's Michael Cross reports.

Cherokee Nation citizens bike to remember

Last week, a group of Cherokee Nation Citizens completed a long journey with special significance ... on bicycle. KOSU's Jordan Nelson reports.

Cronkite's Oklahoma Connection Remembered

NBC National Correspondent Bob Dotson remembers the story of Walter Cronkite's broadcasting debut with WKY radio.

OK ranks 40th in adequacy of prenatal care

KOSU's series on children's issues looks at why Oklahoma lags behind other states in adequacy of prenatal care. Gail Banzet reports on this installment of "Children of the Heartland."

OK group works to improve child literacy

Literacy advocates say every year, 35 percent of American children enter kindergarten lacking the basic language skills they need to learn to read. Now, a growing movement in Oklahoma hopes to turn around statistics to create a brighter future for today's youth. KOSU's Michael Cross reports on another installment of "Children of the Heartland."

Group of Picher residents say they're staying

Last week, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe put a hold on $135,000 of stimulus money that was set for the Picher Housing Authority because the town is closing in September. The northeast Oklahoma town is a hazardous waste site after years of heavy metal mining in the area, but as KOSU's Gideon Thompson reports, not everyone is leaving.
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