Oklahoma TV Newsmakers: 2018 Year In Review


Monday, December 31st 2018, 7:11 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois


From the heartbreaking to the most uplifting stories, 2018 was full of surprises for Oklahoma. 

Oklahomans showed their resilience and generosity after wildfires ravaged the western portion of the state. Towns were evacuated and lives were lost, but the community began to rebuild.

Heavy winds and a small twister also wreaked havoc near the metro in the October.

Some heartbreak came not from Mother Nature, but from the hands of Oklahomans themselves.

An active shooter injured a victim in a Norman business in January.

In May, two victims were injured as an active shooter opened fire at Louie's on the Lake, before being shot himself.

WATCH – GRAPHIC WARNING: Lake Hefner Shooter Rants On YouTube

Good Samaritans stepped in for both active shooter situations to save others.

 

The town of Luther was shaken when a 14-year-old girl was stabbed at a school assembly by another student.

 

One life was lost, and another was changed forever, when two men were shocked in the Bricktown canal this fall.

 

Among the tragedies, justice was served in some cases. Bert Franklin was sentenced to life in prison for killing his girlfriend's baby. The controversial former tiger keeper known as Joe ‘Exotic’ was charged in an alleged murder for hire plot that didn’t pan out.

Sometimes more fascinating than the criminals themselves, were their attempted escapes.

Bob Mills Sky News 9 captured several attempted criminal getaways this year, many ending in serious crashes or investigations.

 

As some showed speed on the streets, Oklahoma athletes dominated on the field and court.

Paul George signed on to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Sooner quarterback Kyler Murray took home the Heisman trophy.

Voter and elected officials took charge of their government like never before in Oklahoma this past year.

Special session after special session eventually lead to the highest tax increase package in Oklahoma's history.

However, that wasn't enough to prevent a teacher walkout. In early April, educators from across the state marched to the state capitol and demonstrated for nine days.

The protestors asked for pay and classroom funding increases.

After winning the ball and dice tax, teachers declared victory.

While most returned to the classroom, other educators hit the campaign trail.

Click here to check out Educate Oklahoma stories.

Educators both ran for office and rallied behind pro-education candidates.

Another divisive topic at the polls for 2018 was State Question 788, legalizing medical marijuana state wide.

The bill passed in June, followed by scandals and discrepancies over how the new law would be implemented.

Click here for a Medical Marijuana stories. 

By winter, dozens of dispensaries began popping up throughout Oklahoma City.

Construction also took over downtown.

Businesses and shoppers faced detour after detour this year, as streetcar tracks were installed.

The traffic headache finally culminated in the December opening of the streetcar, with hundreds of pedestrians giving the new mode of downtown transportation a shot.

Celebrating the streetcar opening with Oklahoma City's new mayor, David Holt, who was both elected and took office this year.

New faces were welcome on a state level as well.

Kendra Horn won Oklahoma's fifth congressional seat, the first democrat to do so since the 1970s, and the first democratic woman the state has sent to Washington.

Republican Kevin Stitt will take his place as governor in 2019, leading Oklahomans into what is sure to be another unpredictable, spirited and meaningful year of changes and developments.

 

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