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PM NewsBrief: Nov. 22, 2022

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This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority under fire for purchasing domain names

During proceedings of a lawsuit alleging the OTA violated the state’s Open Meeting Act, an email was produced that showed an OTA official directing its public relations firm to buy up 23 oppositional domain names, two weeks before the rollout of the ACCESS project.

Some examples of the websites are StopAccessOklahoma.com and NOTA.com. The OTA denies allegations the move was an attempt to silence opposition, but says it’s common industry practice to ensure the public gets accurate information.

I asked OU Public Relations professor Jensen Moore about this, and she wrote while it is standard practice to buy domains that could defraud or misinform the public, it is not standard practice to purchase names of hypothetical oppositional organizations.,

“From a public relations standpoint, this is unethical of the OTA to do because they are purposely attempting to limit any information that publics need to make decisions about this project.”

Libertarian Party Chair offers midterm results reaction

Running for office requires a lot of work, and it’s especially tough for third party candidates. The Oklahoma Libertarian Party Chair talked about what it’s like running for office as a third party candidate in the current political climate.

Will Daugherty ran for office for the first time this year as a candidate for Labor Commissioner. He says he knew a victory was unlikely against an established Republican in a deeply red state - but he’s in it for the long-haul.

Those of us who have been in the liberty movement for a long time understand that this is very likely a lifelong battle.”

This year, the Oklahoma Libertarian Party focused on running for statewide offices instead of state legislature seats. And they targeted independent voters.

"There's a lot of people who are saying we're not going to vote Republican and we're not going to vote Democrat. We'll vote for whoever. That other option is kind of like a protest. Or just to say we do not support the two party system," said Will.

The party has doubled in size over the last four years and received an Oklahoma Libertarian record 26% of votes in the Attorney General’s race.

But despite the losses in the November election, Daughtery says he isn’t giving up - nor is Oklahoma Libertarian party.

Sporting goods store set to open first location in Oklahoma

SCHEELS announced it plans to open in Tulsa in fall of 2024.

The employee-owned store is planned for the Woodland Hills Mall after a full demolition and expansion of the current space.

The new location will become home to entertainment attractions, specialty shops and boutiques showcasing top brands.

Tulsa will be SCHEELS' 34th location.

Oklahoma State Department of Education addresses learning loss with math tutoring

Educators looking to make some extra money have until Wednesday afternoon to sign up to be virtual math tutors.

Teachers and professors can earn $50 an hour, and full-time college students can earn $25 an hour to teach math online to 7th through 9th graders.

Tutors will meet with small groups of students for three 50-minute sessions a week outside of regular school hours. The program runs from January until mid-April.

The department started this program last school year, and it says more than 80% of its students ended up with more confidence in their math skills. From pre-pandemic until now, 8th graders in Oklahoma saw the biggest setback compared to anywhere else in the country.

Educators have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to sign up for the program on the state department’s website. Parents have until December 1 to register their students.
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