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PM NewsBrief: Sept. 29, 2022

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This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

Democratic state superintendent candidate Jena Nelson wants to debate Republican opponent Ryan Walters

Nelson has agreed to several debates proposed by various groups including the Oklahoma League of Women Voters.

Walters has yet to respond. Nelson, who is on the campaign trail, says Walters owes it to constituents to speak up.

Nelson says during the debate she would ask Walters about his support of a school voucher plan that would use public money to fund private schools.

The Frontier has reported that Walters makes upwards of 100,000 dollars a year as the director of an organization funded by voucher proponents.

Signs pop up in Oklahoma City encouraging people to 'close the library'

Mysterious signs have been popping up in the Oklahoma City metro this week calling on residents to vote to close the library on election day and attend a “book burning party.” They appear to borrow from a Michigan campaign in reverse psychology.

The signs’ message is simple: close the library and come on down to a book burning party.

That’s the exact goal of a 2012 ad campaign in Troy, Michigan that encouraged people to support a local tax increase to keep their local library open. The successful, award winning campaign used reverse psychology, too.

In the likely case that’s what’s going on here, the Metropolitan Library System’s Communications Director Angel Suhrstedt says it isn’t exactly helpful.

"We live in a confusing time. I don't want to make anyone any more confused."

To be clear there’s nothing on the ballot this November related to the library system. And a message with the Facebook page owner advertised on the sign makes it clear that it’s more a commentary on the state superintendent’s race.

New Google app helps preserve tribal language

The Citizen Potawatomi Language will get a boost thanks to a new language learning app created by Google.

A new app called Woolaroo uses AI technology to scan objects and give the translation in real time. Justin Neely, Citizen Potawatomi's language director partnered with Google to help with the translation and a word database users can access through their phones. He said the software company gave him a list of the 3500 of the most googled words and he started from there.

"They made it a point to tell me that they understood that we may not have all these words in our language. Our language is a very descriptive language in nature, so it really wasn't that difficult to describe different concepts that we didn't have an earlier word for."

The app also translates objects in 17 other languages including the Kumeyaay/Digueno language of people living along Baja California.

Currently, there are less than 5 Potawatomi first language speakers and between 15-20 second language speakers.

OKCPS announces new video and film program

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced a new film and video production education program Wednesday.

The program, known as Scissortail Studios, gives students a chance to work with industry professionals while learning about video and film production in the classroom. It is a partnership between the school district and the Film Education Institute of Oklahoma.

District Superintendent Sean McDaniel says he wants students to find something they love that they can do for a living and stay in Oklahoma.

The program has already started at both Douglass and Northwest Classen high schools. Officials said Capitol Hill High School will be joining the film and video program, with others in the district soon to follow.

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