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AM NewsBrief: July 13, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Thursday, July 13, 2023.

New State Water Plan On The Way

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is developing a new Comprehensive Water Plan to ensure the state has enough good water over the next 50 years. The Board is seeking insights on water issues from people across the state.

Although the Water Board has been making comprehensive plans about once a decade since 1975, they didn’t have much funding for studies and public surveys until the most recent one in 2012. Water Board planning director Owen Mills says that plan focused on what water issues mattered most to Oklahomans.

"We've heard a lot about 'the what.' Now we kind of need to talk about 'the how' — how are we going to deal with the issues that people see?," said Mills.

As part of the planning, Mills is using the most recent U.S. Census to project the state’s water supply and demand over the next 50 years.

"It gets pretty tight. And my hope is that people show up and people want to talk about it and people want to look for creative solutions."

Starting in August, the Water Board will host rounds of public input meetings across the state and virtually.

OKC Arts Council Ends Opening Night NYE

The Oklahoma City Arts Council will no longer host the Opening Night New Year’s Eve celebration after 37 years.

OKC Arts Council Executive Director Angela Cozby says the Opening Night event was started with families in mind. 

But as the city grew, entertainment options did too, and new opportunities lay ahead for the arts. Cozby says the decisions were data driven ones that were years in the making. 

"We looked at multiple variables to really make the decision that is best for our organization to effectively achieve our mission," said Cozby.

Along with the end of Opening Night, the spring Festival of the Arts will shorten, going from six days to four. Cozby says that came at the request of artists. 

Sooner Care To Include Doula Services

SoonerCare has expanded its pregnancy care benefits to include doula services.

As of July 1, SoonerCare members are eligible to receive up to eight visits from a doula per pregnancy if they are referred by their obstetrician or other licensed medical provider. The doula may also be present during labor and delivery.

Doulas are non-clinical and do not provide medical care but are instead trained in offering physical and emotional aid before, during, and after pregnancy. They can also assist in creating and carrying out birth plans and help connect clients to other pregnancy resources.

Oklahoma’s is the 11th Medicaid program in the country to include doula services.

Oklahoma Goodwill Finds WWII Documents In Donated Box

A Goodwill in Edmond recently discovered well-preserved World War II documents in a donated box.

According to a press release, the box was donated to the Goodwill on NW 164 and Penn. During a routine inspection of the lockbox, staff found a secret compartment that contained a Navy sailor's discharge papers from 1947, including several medals and a signed letter by then-President Harry S. Truman.

Using personal information from the discharge papers, Goodwill officials located a matching obituary and identified a relative in Edmond.

The items have been safely returned to the sailor's family.

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