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PM NewsBrief: May 10, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, May 10, 2023.

Voters In 22 Counties Cast Ballots In Local Elections

Voters in Norman approved an increase of the city's hotel room excise tax in yesterday's election.

The rate will go from from 5 percent to 8 percent. Visitors staying in Norman--not residents-- pay the tax.

For the second time since 2016, voters in Moore said NO to a curbside recycling program, with nearly 55 percent of the vote against.

In Garfield County, voters rejected a 0.3% percent sales tax increase to expand and renovate the county jail.

Voters rejected a similar proposal last fall.

Elections were held in 22 counties yesterday. You can find the results on our website.

Juvenile Sentencing Reform Bill Moves Forward

A bill that could help protect children who are victims of sexual abuse or sex trafficking is advancing through the Legislature.

Republican Representative Marilyn Stark’s House Bill 2210 passed its fourth reading unanimously on Tuesday.

The bill would allow courts to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing for minors convicted as adults for offenses they committed against a person who is found to have sexually abused or trafficked the minor within 90 days of the offense.

The bill also allows the court to suspend portions of the sentence or to send the minor to the juvenile division for further proceedings.

Earlier versions of this bill allowed for a window of one year between the instance of sexual abuse or trafficking and the criminal offense committed by the minor.

Cherokee Nation Helping Tribal Citizens Keep Medicaid Coverage

The end of the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency means an end to Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.

The Cherokee Nation is working to make sure tribal citizens don't lose coverage.

Special pandemic continuous Medicaid enrollment stopped at the end of March. And many states like Oklahoma are terminating coverage for those who no longer qualify.

Cherokee Nation health officials say at least 3,000 tribal citizens could lose their Medicaid coverage as a result.

Cherokee Nation Patient Benefit Coordinators are contacting those tribal citizens who may be at risk of losing their access to health care and helping them get covered.

More information is available on the tribal nation's website.

Stillwater Plans To Turn Abandoned Railroad Into Trails

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has awarded the city of Stillwater a $1.2 million grant to turn an abandoned railroad into hiking and biking trails.

The project will ultimately lead to a 1.25-mile hiking and biking trail near Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater.

City officials say they want to connect it to another rails to trails project, eventually connecting Boomer Lake to Couch Park in southeastern Stillwater, and increasing municipal trail connections in the area.

The city will use eminent domain to claim some of the land, so dozens of property owners may be eligible for federal payments.

Attorneys from the firm Lewis Rice will be holding educational meetings at the Stillwater Public Library next week, discussing compensation.

Tinker Air Show Returns July 1-2

The highly anticipated Tinker Air Show is making a comeback this summer.

The show paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now will return to the base July 1 and 2.

The event will feature the renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels as the main attraction, along with a lineup of other military aircraft.

The last time the air show took place was in 2019.

For additional news throughout the day visit our website, KGOU.org and follow us on social media.

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