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AM NewsBrief: Feb. 13, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

Lawmaker Sells House To OTA

A state lawmaker was paid one-hundred-thousand-dollars above the appraised value of her home to sell it to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

The Oklahoman newspaper reports state representative Sherrie Conley of Newcastle was the first to sell her house to the turnpike authority after she noticed it was within an expansion route.

Appraisers visited Conley’s house a week after the turnpike authority revealed its $5 billion expansion plan last year called Access Oklahoma.

Conley is one of only nine landowners that sold their property to the turnpike authority last year.

She was paid more than one-hundred thousand-dollars over the appraised home value, given nearly $26,000 in moving expenses and gets to live in her home rent free for a year.

While OTA records show they have a history of paying more than the appraised home value, critics are skeptical of the agency’s early acquisition of the home of a lawmaker who also sits on the House’s transportation committee.

Labor Secretary Visits Tulsa

The United States' Labor Secretary discussed federal actions he believes will improve Black Americans' economic situation during his recent visit to Tulsa.

During his tour of Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa on Thursday, US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh touted legislation passed under the Biden Administration like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction act, which he believes will help provide Black Americans pathways to economic stability.

His statements were two days after the State of the Union address, in which President Biden pointed out that the unemployment rate for Black Americans was the second-lowest it’s been in recorded history.

"The president has been very focused on, we can talk about celebration and say, ‘We’ve done good things here,’ but our work isn’t done," said Walsh.

During his visit, Walsh met with the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and several small business owners. Cleo Harris, a descendant of a survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre and owner of Black Wall Street tees and souvenirs, said his visit with Walsh was impactful.

Walsh said his visit was “an important history lesson.”

Capitol Insider Preview

The governor has prominently called for the legislature to ban all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors. In the latest edition of Capitol Insider, our own General Manager Dick Pryor and Quorum Call Publisher Shawn Ashley discuss a bill that is moving forward.

"The Senate Rules Committee advanced a bill Wednesday that prohibits health care professionals from providing most gender transition services to children under 18 years of age. Senator Julie Daniels, the bill's author, said, 'This legislation speaks to what we in the legislature believe is the best policy for our state to protect children under the age of 18 from these irreversible medical transitions.' Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd, however, noted in questions and debate on the bill that the legislature is and I quote, 'interfering with a parent's right to make medical decisions for their child. And that's a very slippery slope,'" said Ashley.

More on Oklahoma politics, policy and government on our weekly Capitol Insider podcast. Listen and subscribe at KGOU.org.

Osage Designer At NY Fashion Week

Sky Eagle design is making their debut at New York Fashion Week. OPMX's Allison Herrera spoke with the Osage citizen behind the company and has more.

Dante Biss Grayson started Sky Eagle in 2019. He studied fine art in Spain and Holland and was originally a painter.. But he put his art career on hold after joining the military and returned to it as a way to cope with PTSD. Eventually, his artistic practice became a way for him to raise awareness about issues affecting Native people. He labels his brand as New Native Fashion

"The patterns are like plainswork ribbon work and its really like modernized and contemporary and for everybody to enjoy-not just Natives," said Biss Grayson.

Biss Grayson has shown in Santa Fe during the annual Indian Market and, he's set to make his debut at New York Fashion week. Models will be wearing his line of dresses, shoes, ribbon skirts, scarves and jewelry.

NYFW is one of the four major fashion weeks globally, followed by Milan, London and Paris.

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