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AM NewsBrief: Aug. 8, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

Cherokee Nation announces program to help Cherokee ranchers amid hay shortage

High heat is taking a toll on Oklahoma’s hay production, making it more expensive for cattle ranchers to feed their animals. A Cherokee Nation Reservation program aimes to help out Cherokee ranchers.

The “Relief for Cherokee Ranchers” program is a $1 million fund aimed to support Cherokee ranchers struggling to keep livestock fed.

The Cherokee Nation announced it will help up to two-thousand ranchers — one per Cherokee Household — with a one-time payment of five hundred dollars.

Eligible ranchers must live within the tribal nation’s reservation boundaries and currently be impacted by the hay shortage.

In a press release, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he hopes the fund helps Cherokee ranchers cover the high prices of feed supply.

Applications to sign up for the program will open Monday, August 8th and close on Friday, August 19th — or will stay open until funds last. More details can be found on this story here.

Tulsa school board president asks state to reverse accreditation warning over HB 1775 violation

A week after Oklahoma’s State Board of Education downgraded Tulsa Public Schools for violations of the state’s so-called Critical Race Theory ban, TPS is asking for its decision to be reversed.

In a letter to the state board members Wednesday, Tulsa School Board President Stacey Woolley asked for them to change her district’s accreditation status.

Woolley writes she believes the State Department of Education erred in even determining a violation of House Bill 1775 - a law that bans teaching divisive concepts in the classroom.

She says the implicit bias training that a teacher reported to the state does not actually violate the letter nor spirit of the law.

It’s unlikely the state will do anything in response. The Tulsa World reports state officials have not reversed an accreditation deficiency mid-year in recent memory.

OU football assistant coach Cale Gundy resigns

University of Oklahoma assistant head football coach Cale Gundy has resigned.

According to a post on Twitter, Gundy says his resignation comes after an incident during a film session last week.

The coach said he noticed a player distracted and picked up the player’s iPad. Gundy said he read the words from the screen and said the words on the iPad had nothing to do with football.

In his letter Gundy stated, “One particular word that I should never – under any circumstance – have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified.”

Gundy said the words he read aloud were not his own words and he takes responsibility for what he calls a mistake and apologized.

In a statement, head football coach Brent Venables said he accepted Gundy’s resignation. Venables said L’Damien Washington will coach wide receivers on an interim basis.

70th Annual Tulsa Powwow

For one of the oldest powwow clubs in the nation, festivities this past weekend were a welcome return. Because of COVID-19, the event has been on hiatus for two years.

Robert Anquoe has been involved with the event for most of his life. His uncle Kenneth Anquoe founded the club in his backyard in midtown Tulsa in 1947. He said it wasn't always mainstream like it is today:

"Indian culture at that time was, as we say forbidden. It was not practiced, there was still those policies of assimilation in place for Native people."

This year's incoming Tulsa Powwow Princess was also crowned- 19 year-old Leigha Easely of Pawhuska.

"Being a powwow princess, I feel like it's so important. I'm so honored for this position."

The Tulsa Indian Club, the organization that puts on and organizes the powwow is one of Tulsa’s oldest Native American cultural organizations.

State's record high Rainy Day Fund

New revenue figures show fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30, was a very good year for the state of Oklahoma.

During KGOU’s Capitol Insider segment, Quorum Call publisher Shawn Ashley said the Office of Management and Enterprise Services reports that General Revenue Fund collections came in high enough over the year to fill the state’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund.

“Collections topped the estimate by $1.9 billion or 2.83%. And that meant $575.7 million was deposited in the Rainy Day Fund, the maximum that could be put there. The funds balance is now $1.1 billion, the highest it's ever been. And combined with cash on hand and other reserve funds, the state now has $2.8 billion in savings,” said Ashley.

The previous record high for the Rainy Day Fund balance was $806 million set in fiscal year 2019.

Hear the full interview on this week’s edition of Capitol Insider and on theCapitol Insider Podcast. New episodes are posted on Friday afternoons.

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