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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 29, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

Abortion reversal recommendation

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s task force on abortion policy is pushing for wider access to a controversial medical procedure.

Stitt developed the task force after the Legislature banned virtually all abortion in the state. The group released its formal recommendations this month. Among them: establish a statewide network to dispense abortion pill reversals.

Here’s the idea: Patients undergoing a medication abortion take two pills. The first blocks the pregnancy hormone progesterone, stopping fetal growth. The second empties the uterus. The reversal treatment is for patients who take the first pill, then change their minds. It essentially replaces the blocked progesterone with a new synthetic hormone with either pills or injections.

The procedure is not FDA approved, and the trial to test the treatment had to be stopped early because participants in the study experienced significant bleeding requiring hospitalization. There is debate over whether the treatment makes a successful pregnancy more likely, compared to skipping the second pill alone.

An Oklahoma District Attorney arrested on child pornography charges

An Oklahoma prosecutor was arrested Monday as result of a child pornography investigation.

According to a news release, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington on Child Pornography Charges after searching his home in Stillwater.

Investigators say about a dozen tips pointed them to Etherington.

He had worked as a prosecutor in Logan and Payne counties for eight years.

Continental Resources goes private

Billionaire Harold Hamm is taking his company private. Oklahoma City-based oil and gas producer Continental Resources is now off the stock market.

Hamm’s family already owned about 83% of Continental’s stock, worth around $27 billion. For another $4 billion, Hamm bought out the rest of the company’s shares.

Hamm’s been a big opponent of Democratic policies regulating fossil fuel production. And especially as conversations about climate change mitigation and sustainability have become more prevalent, Hamm says Continental was being underappreciated. He says the move gives the company back its “freedom” to grow and innovate.

But the purchase wasn’t without controversy. Hamm originally proposed buying out Continental at $70 a share, which spurred a lawsuit claiming Hamm was undervaluing the company. But after bumping his offer up to $74 a share, the company’s board accepted.

Norman Public Schools approves bond election

Norman Public Schools could be getting a facelift following the approval of a new bond election.

On Monday, the board approved a $354 million bond question that will be in voters' hands next year.

The district said the money would go toward a number of things, such as classroom upgrades, roof replacements and a new stadium at Norman North. The plan also includes a new all-school performance venue, playgrounds, parking lots and campus security improvements.

The election is set to take place Feb. 14 of next year.

Norman City Council approves $1M in funds for police department

The Norman City Council last week approved over $1 million in funds to be given to the city’s police department.

The Norman Transcript reports just before the Thanksgiving break, the Norman City Council voted 6-3 to fund police equipment including night vision goggles, SWAT gear, and drones. In a separate agenda item, the council voted 5-4 to purchase an armored vehicle priced at over $300,000.

The vehicle, a Lenco BearCat, is not weaponized. The police department says it will be used for rescue and defensive maneuvers. However, in the over five-hour meeting, residents expressed concern the military-style vehicle will escalate tension during incidents.

New Woody Guthrie Center director

The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa has a new director. The hire comes after a national search.

Tulsa-born Choctaw Citizen Cady Shaw will lead the center dedicated to Oklahoma's own Woody Guthrie-which is located in the heart of the arts district near downtown Tulsa.

Shaw brings fifteen years of history and museum experience to the job. She's worked for the Choctaw and Cherokee nations, curated exhibitions for the Municipal Library at Versailles in Paris, France and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Shaw will present major exhibitions, plan events and programming.

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