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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 7, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Field Questions From Producers About Farm Bill

Congress is barnstorming across the country to answer questions and hear concerns from farmers and ranchers. Oklahoma producers were in Oklahoma City to hear from Congressional leaders about their progress on the bill.

Lawmakers have already missed their first deadline for the Farm Bill.

Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson is the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and he says there are three main obstacles to the bill: The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t given them enough numbers, the USDA hasn’t given proper technical assistance and funding.

Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas says farmers and ranchers need a cushion.

"An extension provides certainty, and certainty is one of those things we need badly," said Lucas.

Thompson and Lucas hosted the forum in Oklahoma City where officials had questions on everything from broadband connectivity and water savings to insurance.

Report Offers Ways To Address Problems When Solving Crimes Involving Indigenous People

A 200-page federal report is offering up new ways to address problems facing law enforcement when trying to solve crimes involving Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

The commission visited seven communities, including Tulsa where they heard excoriating testimony from community members, survivors and even law enforcement.

One of the key findings the commission reported was a lack of funding. Not only for programs helping victims and their families but for tribal law enforcement to do their jobs.

Another key finding: the lack of tribal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute violent crimes decreases trust within the community. The report calls on Congress to change a 1978 law that prohibits tribal nations from exercising criminal jurisdiction within their reservation. The report also called on Congress to fix the 2022 Supreme Court ruling in Castro-Huerta v. Oklahoma, which clawed back some of the protections in the landmark 2020 McGirt v. Oklahoma decision.

ODOT Approves $5 Million Plan To Improve Safety On I-35

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has approved a nearly $5 million project in an effort to reduce the number of wrong-way accidents on interstates.

The plan will add warnings along Interstate-35 to alert wrong-way drivers.

The department says flashing lights, more warning signs and pavement markings will be added to ramps across Oklahoma.

Transportation officials say 36 locations will get the improved warning signs. Once started, the project is expected to take about seven months to complete.

OKC Zoo Provides Update On Baby Giraffe

The Oklahoma City Zoo is providing an update on a new baby giraffe.

She doesn’t have a name yet, but zoo staff are excited their newborn giraffe is hitting important milestones.

“She was born three weeks ago now and is already growing really fast. First one that we're looking for is that she's able to walk. Now, we hit that milestone within 10 minutes of being born," said Brian Frank, assistant curator of hoofstock at the zoo.

Frank says this birth is monumental for the zoo’s giraffe conservation program because she is the third generation, born to giraffe mom Julu, and granddaughter to the herd’s matriarch, Ellie.

“It's going to allow us to continue to grow our herd and being a calf of Julu’s it's another one in the family," he said.

Frank says her birth was perfect timing since the giraffe family just moved to the zoo’s brand new habitat, Expedition Africa.

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