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AM NewsBrief: July 29, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, July 29, 2022.

Tulsa and Mustang Public Schools face consequences for Oklahoma’s so-called critical race theory ban

Tulsa and Mustang Public Schools were given an accreditation warning for violating Oklahoma’s House Bill 1775, a law governing the teaching of racial and sexual concepts.

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education spent hours lobbing thinly veiled political attacks and arguments in a meeting primarily about accrediting the state’s K-12 schools.

The board voted to add a warning to Tulsa Public Schools’ accreditation Thursday. The move comes after Memorial High science teacher Amy Cook complained to the state Department of Education about what she said was a violation of HB 1775.

The warning is the first official repercussion for a school since the passage of 1775. The implications for the future and students are still unclear.

In addition, Mustang Public Schools was another district called out. It was ultimately accredited with warning by a 4-2 vote, along the same lines as the Tulsa vote.

Update on Monkeypox in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is up to nine cases of monkeypox. Cases are growing across the country, and federal health officials could soon declare a public health emergency.

A spokesman for the State Department of Health says there are six confirmed cases in central Oklahoma and three in the northeastern part of the state. Symptoms vary but typically include rashes that start out flat but become raised.

In this outbreak, the virus has often presented as a sexually transmitted disease.

The department urges anyone who could have the virus to seek out a health provider.

The World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency last week, but the United States hasn’t done so. Politico reported on Wednesday that the Biden Administration is expected to declare one in the coming days.

The health department says this could lead to increased funding for supplies and personnel.

Mooreland wildfire update

Progress is being made on a wildfire still burning in Northwestern Oklahoma.

Forestry officials say the fire near Mooreland is now 60% contained.

The blaze has burned around 20,000 acres since it began Monday afternoon.

State revises lawsuit against Swadley's

State attorneys have presented new information in the lawsuit against Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department filed an amended petition in its lawsuit against Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen, which the department paid $13 million to renovate and run restaurants in different state parks.

The petition alleges Swadley’s overcharged the state for several items, submitted invoices for equipment that was never delivered, and failed to produce financial documents.

In a counterclaim, Swadley’s denies the allegations and says the state’s claims against them are misleading.

Following the resignation of Tourism Director Jerry Winchester, the Tourism Department’s CFO Katherine Nichols also stepped down citing personal reasons earlier this month.

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