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AM NewsBrief: Oct. 10, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Monday, Oct. 10, 2022.

Alumni gather at old Northeast High School to honor 1970 student activism

A group of alumni from the former Northeast High School in Oklahoma City returned to their alma mater this weekend to remember their old school and the activism many engaged in more than 50 years ago.

'70s music classics blared as alumni gathered in the new Northeast Legacy Plaza in front of Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast in Oklahoma City.

Terry Fife was a student at a newly integrated Northeast in 1970. She says back then there was pushback from people opposed to white and Black kids going to school together in OKC.

"In essence, many of them wanted to see this fail. And so we began to realize that, wow, we need to make an investment in, you know, supporting integration, supporting public schools."

That year, OKC voters were tasked with passing a tax increase to continue funding Oklahoma City Public Schools. Fife says she was told if it didn’t pass, it’s unlikely that she and her classmates would be able to finish out the school year.

So, students organized. Headlines from the time say as many as 400 marched to the state capitol calling on voters to support the increase, which ultimately passed. 

Alum Brenda Loggins says she hopes modern students take that history of their building to heart.

"We want to encourage you to be aware of the issues that you have and to know that you have power. You have a voice."

Today, Northeast is no more. Its name disappeared when its building was taken over by Classen SAS a few years ago. 

Fife says, a newly dedicated monument and plaza named for the old Northeast is a good first step. Still, there’s a wound in the community around the school in losing the old name and Vikings mascot.

"But we also want to make sure that we support the school. We are big public school supporters. It was public school is is such an American institution. And it's like one of our most brilliant ideas," said Fife.

And so a small group of both Black and white alumni reenacted their march from 50 years ago – maybe walking a bit slower. But still just as determined to fight for their school and their community.

Reduced prices for soil and water testing

In an effort to help drought-stricken farmers and ranchers, Oklahoma State University Extension is temporarily reducing prices on water, soil and forage testing.

OSU Extension always offers testing for people who need to know what’s in their farm ponds and feed grass.

But during times of drought, knowing is even more important. Plants start to stockpile nitrates, which can poison animals that eat them. Wells and farm ponds might change their chemical compositions or develop algal blooms.

But drought also creates extra financial burdens for ag producers which could put testing out of reach. To address that problem, the OSU Extension Program says it’s temporarily reduced the prices of water, soil and forage testing. Now through the end of the year, those tests cost $5 or less for ag producers.

The Extension Program says it hopes people take advantage of the affordable testing to protect their livestock. But it warns that it might take longer to get test results as more people participate.

For more information, farmers and ranchers can contact their county OSU Extension Office.

Indigenous Peoples' Day is October 10

Today, Monday Oct. 10 is Indigenous Peoples Day-a day meant to honor the first peoples of this nation. And there's plenty of places to celebrate.

The holiday is intended for reflection on the legacy and impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities, while also celebrating cultures, resilience and more.

Last week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland kicked the holiday off a little early at a virtual event about how Indigenous knowledge can help address the problems of climate change.

"But nature be our ally in addressing these challenges. There's no better community to ask about nature based solutions than indigenous communities. From wildfire prevention to managing drought and famine for millennia," said Haaland.

The City of Tulsa will host Native American Day with a parade and art activities. Oklahoma City and the First Americans Museum will also host performers, artists and other activities to mark the day.

Oklahoma City voted to recognize Indigenous People's Day in 2017.

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