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AM NewsBrief: Oct. 28, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

USDA awards nearly $90 million for Oklahoma rural broadband

More than a dozen Oklahoma counties will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to bring high-speed Internet access to rural communities.

Nearly $90 million in loans and grants from the USDA’s ReConnect Program will help develop broadband access for rural Oklahomans in 14 counties including Noble, Osage, Pawnee, McCurtain and Ottawa.

Counties receiving the federal funds will help connect more than 14,000 people, 2,000 farms and 500 businesses to high-speed internet.

The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma is the single largest recipient in the state, with a grant of nearly $25 million.

EPA awards nearly $30 million to Oklahoma school districts for new cleaner school buses

Several Oklahoma school districts have been awarded federal money to purchase new school buses as part of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program.

The grants, totaling $29 million, will enable nearly 20 Oklahoma school districts to purchase new clean school buses as part of the Biden Administration’s plan to accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles.

Districts who received money include: Chickasha, Tulsa, Shawnee and Clinton among 14 others. Those districts can now purchase new buses and eligible infrastructure.

The funding is part of $1 billion spread across some 400 school districts in all 50 states. The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program prioritizes low-income, rural and Tribal communities. The initiative promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money for school districts.

Tulsa police supervisor placed on restricted duty for making inappropriate comments

A Tulsa police supervisor was placed on restricted duty for making inappropriate comments during a Citizen Police Academy session.

A police supervisor for Tulsa’s Citizen Police Academy was placed on restricted duty after a recording of him using an ableist slur and making inappropriate comments about the 2020 George Floyd protests in Tulsa during a session surfaced earlier this week.

The sergeant, who the Tulsa Police Department is not naming due to an ongoing investigation of the incident, made comments that suggested he enjoyed using force against protesters.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin tweeted he was “deeply disappointed” in the sergeant’s comments.

The audio surfaced after a person present for the session sent a recording to The Frontier because the comments made them uncomfortable.

Oklahoma's Labor Commissioner race

Candidates vying for Oklahoma’s Labor Commissioner would oversee workplace rights and safety issues in the state.

Incumbent Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn is the Republican candidate for the race — if re-elected, she says she’d extend efforts to educate high school students on skilled workforce jobs, like electricians or plumbers, to fill labor shortages.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Jack Henderson says he’d work towards getting rid of Oklahoma’s “right-to-work” law if he were elected.

Henderson was a Tulsa city councilor for 12 years until he lost his race for re-election in 2016.

Libertarian candidate Will Daugherty is currently his party’s state Chairman… he says he’d like to get rid of occupational licensing fees for businesses until they make a profit.

Oklahomans will determine who will head the state’s Department of Labor during the general election on Nov. 8.

Learn more about what's on the Nov. 8th general election ballot in our online Voter Guide.

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