AM NewsBrief: Nov. 7, 2022
This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.
Oklahomans know tornadoes can happen anytime of year. Still, it’s rare to have an outbreak of them the likes of which we saw on Friday night.
One person was killed in McCurtain County, and another in east Texas, as tornadoes tore through the area.
In Idabel, more than 100 homes and businesses were destroyed. Gov.Kevin Stitt toured the damage on Saturday, and posted on Facebook about what he saw and what comes next.
"So a 90-year-old man was killed last night. So our thoughts and prayers are with his family. And so we can rebuild these other homes. And so we’re doing an executive order right now to declare an emergency for these four counties. And we will get all the help we can right down here to McCurtain County," said Stitt.
Early reports say the Idabel tornado was an EF3 according to a statement from PSO, which also says power has been restored to most customers, but that storm damage is hampering the utilities efforts.
Chief Gary Batton has declared a State of Emergency for the Choctaw Nation following Friday's deadly tornadoes.
These declarations allow the tribal nation and the state to seek federal assistance for cities, counties and agencies and homeowners in the affected area. It also provides protection against price gouging as people try to clean up.
It’s election week. In the latest edition of Capitol Insider, KGOU General Manager Dick Pryor talks with Quorum Call’s Shawn Ashley about how the polling for the gubernatorial race is all over the map.
"This late in the campaign season public opinion polls tell us different stories. What have you seen?," said Pryor.
"Really, confusion. Five polls released within the past week show incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt leading by as many as 13 percentage points. But two show his challenger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, leading by three points," said Ashley.
While Oklahomans have big choices to make at the polls, some candidates and issues won’t be on your ballot. Here's more on who and what you’re not voting for.
Though it made frequent headlines over the last year, the fight to get recreational cannabis on this year’s ballot fell through.
State Question 820 would legalize cannabis for adults over 21, and it would allow some people with drug convictions the chance to have their cannabis convictions reversed and criminal records expunged. And though backers collected 69,000 more signatures than needed, an outside vendor took so long to verify signatures that it was too late for the initiative to be included on this year’s ballot.
820 will now appear on a March 7, 2023 special election ballot.
As for who you’re not voting for this year, the list includes nearly 70% of the state’s legislative elections, due to a lack of contested positions. Voters will decide just 31 out of 101 House races, and seven out of 24 Senate races this November.
For more on what will be on your ballot tomorrow, visit our online Voter Guide.
The state’s top financial officer says gross receipts for the past year surpassed last month’s record high of more than $17 billion dollars.
The latest gross receipts report, which provides a timely snapshot of the state’s economy, shows that twelve-month gross receipts through October were up by more than 17% from last month’s record high of $17 billion dollars.
The state’s top financial officer, Randy McDaniel, says gross receipts continue to rise while “inflationary pressures” are offsetting purchasing power of growth. Last week, the federal reserve ordered another hike in interest rates - raising its benchmark by three-quarters of a percent - in an effort to curb inflation.
The treasury reports taxes on income and sales, which are the largest components, saw double-digit growth.
Science Museum Oklahoma has announced plans to build a new planetarium.
According to the museum, the new facility will be where the former ‘Omnidome’ currently sits unused and will replace the existing planetarium.
Museum officials say the new planetarium will include state-of-the-art technology featuring both an optical and digital projector – one of just a few in the world.
The plan also features renovations to the museum to include more astronomy-based exhibits.
The project comes with an estimated cost of $8 million. It’s expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.
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