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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 22, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

OK County jail death

Another inmate has died at the Oklahoma County Jail.

57-year-old Renee Houston was found unresponsive in her cell at the Oklahoma County Jail late Friday night and was pronounced dead at the hospital early Saturday morning after what jail officials say was a medical emergency.

Houston had been at the jail since Aug. 29 and is the 15th person to die there this year. Causes of detainee deaths are determined by the state medical examiner’s office. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations has also been notified.

The death comes as the jail is under investigation by a state multicounty grand jury to look into issues at the facility.

Councilman to propose homelessness ordinance

An Oklahoma City Council Member is proposing two new ordinances targeting homelessness in Oklahoma City.

Councilman Mark Stonecipher will be proposing a trespassing and encampment ordinance at today’s city council meeting. The proposals would change the trespassing law that's already in place in the city and make it easier for police to arrest people on public or private property.

The move has received push back from unhoused advocates. Dan Straughan, Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance, says the proposal creates more problems than solutions. Strauhgan says there should be more funding for behavioral health services and affordable housing. He says the answer is moving people off of the streets into housing, not off the streets into jail.

Following the hearing of the proposals at the city council meeting this morning, there will be a public hearing on Dec. 6, and a final hearing and vote on Jan. 3.

Libertarian Party Chair offers midterm results reaction

Running for office requires a lot of work, and it’s especially tough for third party candidates. The Oklahoma Libertarian Party Chair talked about what it’s like running for office as a third party candidate in the current political climate.

Will Daugherty ran for office for the first time this year as a candidate for Labor Commissioner. He says he knew a victory was unlikely against an established Republican in a deeply red state - but he’s in it for the long-haul.

Those of us who have been in the liberty movement for a long time understand that this is very likely a lifelong battle.”

This year, the Oklahoma Libertarian Party focused on running for statewide offices instead of state legislature seats. And they targeted independent voters.

"There's a lot of people who are saying we're not going to vote Republican and we're not going to vote Democrat. We'll vote for whoever. That other option is kind of like a protest. Or just to say we do not support the two party system," said Will.

The party has doubled in size over the last four years and received an Oklahoma Libertarian record 26% of votes in the Attorney General’s race.

But despite the losses in the November election, Daughtery says he isn’t giving up - nor is Oklahoma Libertarian party.

Osage students will get a chance to talk with NASA astronauts

Astronauts will speak live from space with Osage students on Wednesday. Here's more details on the event, which has an Osage name that translates to "the children are talking to the stars.”

The children are students from Daposka Ahnkodapi Elementary, the Osage Nation Language Immersion School in Pawhuska. And the stars they’re talking to are NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Among them is Nicole Mann, who became the first Indigenous woman to represent NASA in space when she joined the space station’s crew in October.

While students and community members gather at the Osage County Fairgrounds, Mann and her crewmates will join the event via live satellite broadcast to answer their questions.

Patrick Martin, the superintendent of Daposka Ahnkodapi, says students have been gearing up with months of space-related activities, including a rocket launch.

People who would like to hear the conversation can RSVP to attend Wednesday’s event in Pawhuska or watch via NASA TV.

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