In The Know: Closing arguments in state opioid case, Summer meal program grows, County Jail Trust to hold planning workshop

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-]related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

(Capitol Updates) To address opioid crisis, expand Medicaid: I recently read a piece by Tulsa University President Dr. Gerry Clancy advocating for full Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma. Dr. Clancy had visited New Mexico to learn from national experts about new research in the treatment of opioid addiction. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

In The News

Attorneys make closing arguments in state case against opioid manufacturer: Attorneys for the two sides made that clear Monday during closing arguments in a case where the opioid maker has been accused of helping cause the crisis through false and deceptive marketing that understated the addictive and overdose risks of opioid painkillers while overstating there therapeutic benefits. [The Oklahoman] Lawyers for the state of Oklahoma urged a judge Monday to find health-care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson culpable for the consequences of the state’s opioid epidemic and assess the company as much as $17.5 billion to help clean up the damage. [Washington Post]

County Jail Trust to hold planning workshop, decide on end goals and path forward: It’s time for the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority to create a game plan. At least, that was the call to action by trustee M.T. Berry at the jail trust’s fifth meeting, which was echoed by other members of the nine-person body. Berry said he wants to see the trust hold a strategic planning workshop to better understand what its end goals are, what big-picture issues must be addressed and what decisions need to be made to get trustees there. [The Oklahoman]

Summer meal program grows: A report released last week by the Food Research and Action Center shows Oklahoma had the nation’s third-highest increase in summer meal participation from 2017 to 2018 with a 14.9 percent increase, but still ranks last overall. Approximately 570 summer meal sites served 16,612 Oklahoma kids daily in July 2018. [Public Radio Tulsa] Free Summer Meals Help Reduce Hunger When School is Out, Report Finds [Food Research & Action Center]

Insurance recovery doubled in Oklahoma: In the first six months of 2019, the Oklahoma Insurance Department recovered double the amount of money for policyholders compared to all of last year. More than $5.1 million in claims disputes have been settled with the Department’s help. [Public Radio Tulsa]

ODOT seeks public input, survey participation for long-range transportation plan: The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is seeking public input on developing its 2020-2045 Long Range Transportation Plan. The plan doesn’t focus on specific projects such as ODOT’s Eight-Year Construction Work Plan but rather encompasses overall transportation priorities and goals. [Tulsa World]

Special Report: What Oklahoma leaders say needs to be done to reduce chronic childhood traumas: Leaders from government, education, and mental health and social services say there is a growing consensus to attack the root causes of Oklahoma’s extraordinary rates of incarceration, divorce, child abuse, heart disease and cancer deaths. [Tulsa World] Last year, Dr. Kim Coon at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa said something that stuck with me: The ACEs will get you, one way or another. For survivors of childhood trauma, overcoming tragedies has always been measured by professional or personal achievements. [Ginnie Graham / Tulsa World]

Civil trial in fatal Mayes County deputy-involved shooting begins: The civil trial of a Mayes County deputy who fatally shot a man in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2014 began Monday in federal court in Tulsa. Mayes County Deputy Kyle Wilson shot and killed 33-year-old Shane Bridges at his rural home near Chelsea. [The Frontier]

After 15 years, Tondalo Hall clears commutation hurdle: Tondalo Hall, an Oklahoma City woman serving 30 years in prison for permitting child abuse, had her application for sentence commutation advanced to a second stage during an Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board meeting Monday. [NonDoc] Tondalao Hall, 35, has been in custody for the past 15 years. Her former boyfriend, who admitted to breaking the leg, ribs and toe of their 3-month-old daughter, was released after two years in the Oklahoma County jail. [The Oklahoman]

Activist group calls for Tulsa to reconsider community policing practices after Town Square encounter: A group of local activists is calling for the city to reconsider its community policing practices in the wake of a Tulsa Police Gang Unit operation at the Town Square Apartments last week. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa Tech has orchestrated a massive expansion of its off-campus programming to meet students where they are: When many high school students no longer could attend the career and technical training programs at Tulsa Tech, the technology center began bringing the programs to them. The number of Tulsa Tech’s off-campus programs has ballooned in the past seven years. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa Public Schools holds race massacre institute for teachers: Dozens of Tulsa teachers will take part in an institute where they’ll learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre which is also known as the Tulsa Race Riot. Tulsa Public Schools says nearly 50 teachers from 30 of its schools will take part in the Race Massacre Institute this week. [New9]

Bryant named to finance post: Brent Bryant was named Oklahoma City’s finance director, in City Manager Craig Freeman’s second major executive move in a week. Freeman filled the police chief’s slot last week, promoting Wade Gourley from deputy chief to succeed Bill Citty. [The Oklahoman]

MAPS 4 process offers transparency, connections: The time invested isn’t cheap. The first two sessions lasted for several hours each, and the next two likely won’t end any quicker. The original MAPS was revolutionary for not just Oklahoma City, but perhaps anywhere in that it established the idea of asking voters to pass a limited term sales tax to tackle challenges and make dreams become a reality. [The Oklahoman]

Mayor says immigrants welcome in OKC: On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that four nonwhite women in Congress should “go back” to their countries, repeating racist rhetoric that nonwhite citizens are not Americans. Hours later, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt tweeted his support of the city’s immigrant community. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma woman to lead National Parent Teacher Association: An Oklahoma City businesswoman will lead the nation’s largest child advocacy group. The Oklahoman reports Anna King has been elected president of the National Parent Teacher Association for a term starting in 2021. [San Francisco Chronicle

Mullin backs Trump ‘100 percent;’ Cole ‘deeply disappointed’: Two members of Oklahoma’s mostly Republican congressional delegation have expressed largely opposite views of President Donald Trump’s latest Twitter controversy. [Tulsa World]

Horn fundraising outpaces GOP hopefuls: U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn raised nearly $584,000 from April through June, outpacing two Republicans who hope to take on the freshman Democrat next year. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“Americans love the Horatio Alger stories of people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps; people who had chaotic childhoods but ended up with college degrees, careers and healthy relationships. The Adverse Childhood Experience measure shows that to be a statistical myth. No one can do it alone; traumatic and destructive behavior can become generational and even successful people will often show signs of struggle somewhere in their lives.”

– Tulsa World editorial writer Ginnie Graham, as the World wraps up an eight-part series on Adverse Childhood Experiences in Oklahoma. Oklahoma ranks No. 1 in the percentage of children with high ACE scores [Tulsa World

Number of the Day


The percentage of inmates released in FY 2018 who the Department of Corrections assessed as needing cognitive behavioral treatment but did not receive that treatment in FY 2018.

[Source: Oklahoma Department of Corrections]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Inside the Elementary School Where Drug Addiction Sets the Curriculum: Inside an elementary school classroom decorated with colorful floor mats, art supplies and building blocks, a little boy named Riley talked quietly with a teacher about how he had watched his mother take “knockout pills” and had seen his father shoot up “a thousand times.” Riley, who is 9 years old, described how he had often been left alone to care for his baby brother while his parents were somewhere else getting high. Beginning when he was about 5, he would heat up meals of fries, chicken nuggets and spaghetti rings in the microwave for himself and his brother, he said. “That was all I knew how to make,” Riley said. [The New York Times]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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