Category Archives: Oklahoma Horizon TV

On the Horizon: Manufacturing Empire

A successful family business is one of the reasons our country is so great. The satisfaction of knowing you built something from the ground up with your family and it is thriving and creating jobs is quite the accomplishment. I grew up in a three-generation auction company. It was amazing to be a part of something that had a great deal of meaning and purpose with my family’s name on it.

In today’s video blog, we take a look at a family that has built an exporting empire in southern Oklahoma and now employs much of the community.
By Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Society Awards

On the Horizon: Society Awards
Anyone that knows me knows that I have an interesting fascination with awards shows. I enjoy watching an obscene amount of television and I like to consider myself a movie buff, so naturally I find it especially fun to see all my favorite stars dressed in their best and in the same place.

Even though I have enjoyed watching awards shows for years, I’ve never considered the question of where the actual awards are produced. I was able to meet up with the founder and CEO of a company called Society Awards where they make prestigious entertainment awards, many of which I’m sure you’ve heard about.

In this video blog, we see why a company like Society Awards is finding a home in Oklahoma.
Kela Kelln

On the Horizon: Geography’s Revenge

It is often said demographic’s is destiny, and I could not agree more. A new book by Robert Kaplan says we also need to look a geography when it comes to everything from international relations to a changing political landscape. In his book THE REVENGE OF GEOGRAPHY Kaplan attributes our country’s growing Latino population to nothing more than an artificial boundary line that has separated a people into the haves here in the U.S. and the have nots South of the border.

It is only in the last five years we have seen a slowing of what was the greatest immigration wave to ever roll though the U.S. Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico’s economy is increasingly linked to ours. This has provided jobs in Mexico that slowed the march of people heading Northward for work.

A University of New Mexico professor predicts that by 2080 the Southwestern states of the U.S. will band together with the Northern state of Mexico to form “La Republica del Norte.” While I may disagree, I think the professor makes a good point. That part of our country has long been culturally similar and, with economic ties growing, it only makes sense that a blurring of nationalities will occur.

In this week’s video blog I travel into the heart of Texas to examine demographic trends that could be headed our way.

Rob McClendon

On the Horizon: Diverse Learning

I grew up in a very productive agricultural area. Because of that we had a large population of migrant workers. My hometown is predominantly Hispanic as a result. Although this has been the norm for years, there is still a big language gap. Looking back, I wish I would have learned Spanish at a much younger age.

In today’s video blog, we take a look at a school that teaches its students both Spanish and English and the importance of diversity.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Oklahoma’s Emergency Medical Services are in Crisis Mode

Recently, a legislative interim study was done to look at Oklahoma’s emergency medical system. What is known is that it’s hard to keep an EMS system funded. Many communities have lost their EMS system due to lack of funds and that puts lives in danger. Funding our EMS system is something that many people agree upon but little has been done to do so. A bill was put into place that should have helped but unfortunately, before it reached the governor’s desk, the funding mechanism was stripped from the bill so there is a mandate to fund it but no way to do so.

In steps Senaca Scott with the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was able to put together an interim study where all concerned could voice their concerns in the attempt of finding a solution. There were a few solutions presented and even some good examples where communities have combined their resources to create their own EMS system that seems to be working. It’s ideas like that, that the upcoming legislature will need to look at in the attempt to shore up our failing EMS system.

In this week’s video blog, we explain the problem and talk about some solutions.
Alisa Hines

On the Horizon: Mission to Planet Earth

A few months ago I was invited to travel with some teachers from Oklahoma down to the NASA Johnson Space Center. Since I had never been there before, I was excited to go even though it meant giving up a weekend, I didn’t care. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The teachers were going as part of the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium’s Mission to Planet Earth training that happens each summer. It’s an eleven day intense training to enable teachers to teach the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math) in their every day classrooms. As part of that training, the teachers go to NASA Johnson Space Center to see how NASA does STEM. The teachers love it!

I wish that some of my teachers would have had the same opportunity when I was in school. Who knows, I may have gone into a different field of work. I’m not the greatest at math and only a little better at science but if I’d had hands-on training like these teachers are now doing, I may have understood it better and enjoyed it enough to maybe have made a career in one of the sciences. But while I may not be in a STEM field I can certainly showcase it.

In this week’s video blog, see how NASA is training teachers in the attempt to create a new NASA workforce.
Alisa Hines

On the Horizon: Einstein for a Day

As the world progresses and things become even more technical, it is vital for our youth to be well versed, not only with computers, but in sciences. They will be looking for jobs where skills in science, technology, engineering and math are necessary. I was not the best in those subjects so I focused on English. But it’s now at a point where these subject areas are no longer an option.

In today’s video blog, we take a look at an organization that leads students through the STEM fields in an interactive, hands-on approach.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Can we move forward?

This past summer, I was able to drive through the Midwest and was shocked and saddened by the vast amounts of corn, soybean and wheat fields that were already dried out in early summer from no rain. Having experienced the severe drought the previous year, I knew what farmers and ranchers were going through. I spoke with one gentleman in Illinois who was feeding his cattle in a feedlot because there wasn’t enough grass to last the summer.

This story is the same for most producers up and down the Midwest. Now that the election is over, agriculturalists hope lawmakers will begin focusing on issues facing their industry. The big two are the drought and the lack of a new farm bill.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at those two topics and how farm broadcasters feel about them and what they are doing to speak up for agriculture.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Ag Grads Needed

Agriculture has always been a part of my life. Growing up on a farm and knowing the importance of where our food comes from is something that my parents and grandparents instilled in me since I was young. When the time came to look into colleges, I knew I wanted to do something with media and if possible also gain a better understanding of agriculture and the world around me. Agricultural Communications seemed like the obvious solution.

Upon coming to the conclusion that this degree choice was for me, I looked more in-depth at how I could benefit from studying this topic and was pleasantly surprised to find out that graduates with an agricultural degree have a higher job placement rate than many other degree choices.

In this week’s video blog, see how a demand for agricultural graduates in today’s workforce is causing an increase in enrollment numbers at colleges.
Kela Kelln

On the Horizon: Cash It In–Tribal Impact

We all see them as we drive down the road. Huge buildings, with flashing lights, and parking lots that are always full – casinos. Once inside, the sound of slot machines turning and cards shuffling offers an appealing atmosphere to those who wish to participate. While an individual hopes to win the next mega jackpot, Native American tribes automatically win money every time someone walks through the door. And with every dollar made from the casinos, Oklahoma’s economy grows too.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at the how the gaming industry brings growth and entertainment to the state.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Hire Our Veterans!

Many of our veterans are returning to civilian life but what are they returning to? Jobs that had been promised to them just aren’t there. I’m not sure really how employers are getting away with that. Yes they did hire someone to replace that man or woman who willing placed themselves in harm’s way for our freedoms but shouldn’t they have been told this is a temporary hire and as soon as that brave soul returns from wherever they have been stationed, the job will be theirs. Now yes, that would displace them, but if they were told upfront that it was only temporary, they would be expecting it and have a chance to begin looking for another job as soon as they heard the veteran was returning.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and in this economy, jobs are scarce. So what’s a veteran to do? Well a group of Oklahomans was concerned about that very problem and decided to do something about it. The Oklahoma Department of CareerTech partnered with several other state agencies and entities across the State of Oklahoma to create a one of a kind hiring event geared towards Military personnel preparing for separation from active service, Guard & Reserve members and veterans (anyone who has ever served in the U.S. Military and received an honorable discharge).

In this week’s video blog, see how they are helping those who served our country and sacrificed all they had, including their jobs, to do so.
Alisa Hines

On the Horizon: Dust to Dust

I am really looking forward to the upcoming Ken Burns PBS film on the Dust Bowl. I grew up hearing the stories of the “Dirty Thirties” from my parents who lived through what is referred to in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name as the “worst hard times.”

While such hardships are a lifetime away, I believe we can learn valuable lessons from the Dust Bowl. The calamitous dust storms did wreak havoc, but the great migration depicted in “The Grapes of Wrath” was just as much about the economy as it was the environment.

In truth, less than seven percent of the migrants who moved to California did so because of the wind-ravaged Dust Bowl; the majority were refugees of a changing economy. A recession in farm country had farmers borrowing on the easy credit of the 1920s. Then in the 1930s, landowners began phasing out tenant farming and the sharecroppers it supported in favor of seasonal wage labor.

With unemployment during the Great Depression hovering around 30 percent, there were just no jobs to be had. Such an unforgiving economy had little room for the downtrodden, let alone an environmental disaster. We slipped into one of the bleakest moments in our nation’s history.

Today, we face our own set of challenges — probably nothing as severe as we saw in the 1930s, but still a transitioning economy. Jobs that once supported entire families on a single income have been blown away by the winds of change. A global economy and the rapid rise in technology have made today’s workplace quite different than the one I entered not that long ago.

As we continue to emerge from what was the worst recession since the 1930s, I can only hope we rise to the occasion as Americans, dust ourselves off, and face the challenges of today with the same character our forefathers showed.

In this week’s video blog, I want to share my family’s personal story of the Dust Bowl. My parents still inspire me. I hope they will inspire you too.
Rob McClendon

On the Horizon: Chicken or the Egg

There’s a natural gas boom under way – and an interesting dilemma comes with it.
The United States produced a record amount of natural gas in 2011 – twenty-three trillion cubic feet — largely because of hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. Pennsylvania more than quadrupled its natural gas output between 2000 and 2010 to 573 billion cubic feet – enough to heat every home in the state for eighteen months. Shale gas well output grew faster still, quadrupling nationwide between 2007 and 2010.

For the first time in my lifetime, it is possible that our country could become energy independent. American natural gas has the potential to fuel our cars and heat our homes. At less than half the price of imported gasoline, it will be a welcome relief at the pump.

But here is the dilemma. Which comes first, the cars that run on CNG or the gas stations that will carry it? CNG must be piped in rather than trucked, so every CNG pump along the side of the road needs significant infrastructure to get fuel. Oklahoma is leading the way in making the transition. With 90 fueling stations statewide, the state has per capita more than anyone else.

In this week’s video blog, we look at how state government and private industry are working together to take some of the pain out of the pump.
Rob McClendon

On the Horizon: A Marine’s Love Story

My experience with doing stories with war veterans is those who have seen the most, talk the least. I think there are some memories they had just rather forget.

Put Charles Migliorino in that category. It was only by chance I heard his story. He was interviewing for an associate district judge appointment, and I was a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission interviewing him. It was after the interview was over, he added, almost as epilogue, the thing he was most proud of in life was letting a sister hear her dead brother’s voice for the first time in 40 years.

I was fascinated, as I think you will be in this week’s video blog, with this Marine’s Love Story.
Rob McClendon

On the Horizon: Home in the Heartland

I work with a lot of soon to be college graduates, so I often find myself dispensing a fair amount of advice; none of it sage, but most of it time proven. One thing I find myself telling these students as they are about to embark on the great adventure of life is this: A lot of places can be home.

Here in Oklahoma we live in a culture that puts a lot of value on land; having our own spread, broken fence and all. Which may be the reason we are a little late in the urban living game.

It is remarkable the renaissance downtown Oklahoma City has experienced in the last decade. A place that was a virtual ghost town after 5 p.m. in the early 90’s is bustling these days 24/7; restaurants, movie theaters, sports teams, and a growing number of residences. People who are trading in their wide open spaces for an apartment up in the sky. In this week’s video blog, I look at the trend of urban living in OKC and see how an eclectic group of Oklahomans are turning a business district into a mixed use neighborhood. Hope to see you this Sunday at 3pm on OETA when we examine where we live and why.
Rob McClendon

On the Horizon: Heart of the Community

For centuries, a community’s downtown has been the heart of the city. With unique shops and restaurants populating the area, downtown offers its citizens and visitors a taste of the community.

Studies show that if a downtown is prosperous so is the community. Growing up in a tiny community, I was able to see our town go from struggling to vibrant. The reason for the change was our community decided to focus on our main street area. Now people can find unique shops, restaurants and a lot of culture.
In today’s video blog, we take a look at how Stillwater, OK, is focusing on revitalizing its downtown area. From apartments above shops to one-of-a-kind restaurants, the downtown district is getting a makeover.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Education Funding

I had the chance to sit in on a meeting with educators and legislators at the state capital and quite frankly, I learned quite a bit about our state’s education system.

Interim Sessions are held each Fall at the state capital and they are done in order to help legislators gain a deeper understanding of the issues that are facing Oklahoma. I didn’t realize there was concern between higher education and CareerTech centers and the problems their students are facing. Now that I have witnessed the discussion and have done my research I can see that a change needs to be made in order to give these students a more even playing field when entering into the workforce.

Take a look at this video blog to get a better understanding of the issue at hand.
Kela Kelln

On the Horizon: Lower Taxes – At What Cost?

Politics have always interested me. Whenever a major piece of legislation is on the books, I try to stay involved and apprised of the situation. This year, a bill is heading to the people about Ad Valorem Tax. It will have differing affects on education and agriculture. I have been involved in agriculture my whole life. With my wife studying to be a teacher, I’m torn about what to think.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at the different impacts this piece of legislation could have on the two industries and speak with two people who both advocate for rural Oklahoma, but have differing views of this bill.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Senior Co Housing

Being young and still in college, I never really sat down and thought about where I want to live my life after retirement. Of course a lot of things come to mind when I start to paint the picture of myself in 30 plus years but after covering this particular story I now have a clearer idea of where I would like to see myself.
I love people, I am fiercely independent and I really enjoy having my own space. With all of this being said co-housing sounds like the perfect solution. The houses in this community are smaller but honestly after talking with the residents it makes sense to make them smaller because they have no need for a larger home. They refer to their homes as being “right-sized” and that’s exactly what they are. Not only are they the right size but they are also very well thought out in layout and design.
Take a look at this video and see for yourself just how awesome this fun new community is!

Kela Kelln
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On the Horizon: Drum Corps Living

Music has always been a part of my life. From piano lessons when I was little to marching and concert band in high school to church praise band as an adult, I’ve always played an instrument. And I liked it!

While in high school, I had the opportunity to go and see a drum and bugle corps but unfortunately, I didn’t take that opportunity. I’ve always regretted it. But this year, I got to live vicariously through my nephew. He is a fantastic trumpet player and incredibly talented. And when he had the chance to see a drum and bugle corps, he took it and ran with it. Not only did he see one, he tried out for one and got in.

For one day this Summer, his drum and bugle corps was in Oklahoma and when I had the chance to follow him around, I took it! It was a really enjoyable day and the 150 kids involved in the corps were amazing! In 104 degree heat, you never heard a complaint. They got out on the field and played their hearts out. In this week’s video blog, see what these kids go through each day for months and the dedication each and every one exhibit. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Alisa Hines