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Capital City newsletter coming Monday

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Outgoing city manager Jim Couch laughs along with the crowd as Mayor Holt gave him one last time to change his mind before the swearing in ceremony of new City Manager, Craig Freeman in the city council chambers, January 2, 2018.  Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
Outgoing city manager Jim Couch laughs along with the crowd as Mayor Holt gave him one last time to change his mind before the swearing in ceremony of new City Manager, Craig Freeman in the city council chambers, January 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

Coming next Monday is the launch of the Capital City newsletter.

My name is Ben Felder - I'm a political reporter at The Oklahoman and the author of this new daily email newsletter that will feature news and insight into Oklahoma's political world. 

Got feedback, ideas or complaints? Email me at bfelder@oklahoman.com

Outgoing city manager Jim Couch laughs along with the crowd as Mayor Holt gave him one last time to change his mind before the swearing in ceremony of new City Manager, Craig Freeman in the city council chambers, January 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
Outgoing city manager Jim Couch laughs along with the crowd as Mayor Holt gave him one last time to change his mind before the swearing in ceremony of new City Manager, Craig Freeman in the city council chambers, January 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

Couch leaves OKC city hall

After 31 years with the city, the last 18 as city manager, Jim Couch officially retired last week, ending a career many praised for keen negotiating skills. 

"When he announced his retirement ... it's the first time I've seen him smile in years," former Mayor Ron Norick said at a reception last month. "Color came back into his face."

The Oklahoman's Bill Crum recently wrote about the former city manager and his legacy on the city. New city manager: Craig Freeman, who was Couch's finance director, took over as city manager last Wednesday.

State makes deals on pricey drugs

In the two months since Oklahoma got the right to negotiate pay-for-performance deals with drug makers, operators of the state's Medicaid program have signed off on four, including one where the state will pay less if patients stay on the same drug. (Read more from The Oklahoman's Meg Wingerter)


Foster case system needs remain

The state has shown “marked improvement” recently in how it cares for foster children, but there still are several areas in which good-faith efforts are lacking, according to an oversight panel (Tulsa World).

The three national experts released a report last week that knocked the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in areas involving child maltreatment, and the numbers of therapeutic foster homes and caseworkers from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2018.


The registration deadline to vote in February elections is Jan. 18. Register to vote here

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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