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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 18, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

DOJ investigation into state, OKC, OKCPD

Oklahoma leaders are under federal investigation. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports their alleged failure to provide mental health care resources could be a civil rights violation.

CS: The Department of Justice announced Thursday it’s investigating state officials, as well as the Oklahoma City government and its police department. The area doesn’t have enough community-based mental health services, and it doesn’t have enough resources for mental-health related 911 calls. The DOJ release says that could cause unnecessary admissions to psychiatric hospitals and interactions with police.

The Department will investigate whether those unnecessary admissions and police calls constitute rights violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and whether it violates civil protections regarding law enforcement conduct authorized in the 1994 Crime Bill.

Richard Fairchild executed Thursday

Oklahoma executed its seventh death row inmate since resuming the death penalty.

Richard Fairchild was pronounced dead at 10:24 yesterday morning marking the fifth execution in the state for 2022.

Fairchild was convicted in the 1993 murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son after a heavy night of drinking by Fairchild and the victim’s mother.

Oklahoma has one more execution scheduled this year, and 22 total before the end of 2024.

Inhofe's farewell speech

Republican U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe gave his farewell address on the Senate floor earlier this week after 28 years representing Oklahoma in that chamber.

Inhofe told stories of old colleagues and friends, and the work they did during his decades in Congress, including with members across the aisle on issues like defense and infrastructure. He also reflected on lessons he learned along the way.

"Senator Byrd came up to me and said, 'Young man, the Senate doesn’t work like the House. Let me tell you about the Senate.' That date happened to be November the 17th 1994, of which was my 60th birthday. And until the day he died I was still 'the young man'," said Inhofe.

Inhofe spoke of his affection for African countries, his faith, family, and took a final swipe at efforts to curb climate change.

"It’s no shock to anyone that The Washington Post has dubbed me public enemy number one for the radical environmentalists for decades now."

Newly elected Republican Markwayne Mullin will finish Inhofe’s unexpired term.

American Indian Physicians vaccination drive

The Association of American Indian Physicians is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among American Indian and Alaska Native children.

The Association of American Indian Physicians is encouraging families to schedule an appointment at their local Indian Health Service clinic to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19. It's part of a national push during Native American heritage month to encourage vaccinations.

Doctors with the organization want to assure parents vaccines are safe and effective for their children and they can be given to children ages 6 months and up.

Officials warn that even though the vaccine has been available for nearly two years, elders and other community members are still dying from the disease.

Grammy nominations include Oklahoma musicians Reba McEntire, Zach Bryan and more

Several Oklahoma musicians were honored with Grammy nominations this week.

Former Oklahoma resident Miranda Lambert earned four nominations, including Best Country Album, which she co-produced -- and co-wrote much of -- with Luke Dick of Cogar and Yukon.

Reba McEntire’s updated rendition of her 1993 hit "Does He Love You" with Dolly Parton earned a nomination for Best Country Duo or Group Performance.

First time nominees include Kitt Wakeley of Holdenville and Edmond for his work with Starr Parodi and Jeff Fair in the Best Classical Compendium category and Oologah's Zach Bryan also earned his first Grammy nod for the song "Something In The Orange" in the Best Country Solo Performance category.

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