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A Local Reporter Standing at "Death's Yellow Door"

[Aired on Monday, February 27th.] On today's show, we speak with Kelly Kurt, a former AP reporter and freelance writer here in Tulsa whose article, "Death's Yellow Door," is the cover story in the current issue of This Land. In this thought-provoking piece, she reflects on her own journalistic experiences as a death-row reporter for the AP --- she's witnessed the execution of 16 different men by the State of Oklahoma --- while also explaining how exactly the ultimate punishment is carried out at "Big Mac" (which is how many refer the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, since it's located in the town of McAlester). As Kurt writes in this powerfully written and carefully balanced article: "What I have heard: a cop's killer begging his victim's family, 'Forgive me as the Lord has forgiven me;' a woman's weeping for her condemned son, whose crimes included the murder of his sister; the warden announcing, 'Let the execution begin;' victims' families clapping after a five-time killer is declared dead. What I have never heard: a condemned man cry." (You can visit [http://thislandpress.com/02/24/2012/deaths-yellow-door/] to read the piece online.) Also on today's ST, our commentator Collin Hinds can't understand why Governor Mary Fallin decided to turn down a $54 million health-insurance exchange grant from the federal government.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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