PM NewsBrief: May 12, 2023
This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, May 12, 2023.
Preliminary Reports Show EF-1 Tornado Hit Noble, Cole
The National Weather Service is surveying at least 13 storm paths to determine the number of tornadoes that touched down in central Oklahoma last night.
The service reported Friday afternoon that crews found E-F-1 tornado damage in Noble and southeast of Cole.
In Noble, the tornado damaged a few businesses and at least one home in about a one block area along Main Street.
Lawmakers Approve Changes To Who Makes Appointments To OTA Board
Since the Turnpike Authority’s unveiling of its ACCESS Oklahoma expansion project, the agency has drawn increased scrutiny of its practices.
Much of the opposition is from Pike Off Oklahoma, a group made of residents who would be displaced by the project.
Those lobbying efforts seem to be paying off.
Since Pike Off began organizing last spring, they’ve gotten several big wins:
A judge ruled the OTA violated the state’s Open Meeting Act, the Bureau of Land Reclamation barred the agency from building next to Lake Thunderbird, another lawsuit on the OTA’s authority to build in certain areas is going to the State Supreme Court, and the attorney general has called for an investigative audit.
And Thursday, the group’s efforts to reform the OTA Board sailed through its last legislative hurdle and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The board is made up of six members appointed by the governor.
House Bill 2263 would change that to two members appointed by the governor, two by the Speaker of the House, and two by the Senate Pro Tem.
It would also cut down term lengths from eight years to six years, and change who can remove a board member - it was just the governor, now it would also be the Speaker and Pro Tem.
And finally, it bars members from voting on issues in which they have a direct financial interest.
But, whether the governor signs off on sharing his power over the OTA, remains to be seen.
Shawnee High School To Reopen
Shawnee High School will reopen for in-person learning.
School officials say the high school will reopen Monday, May 15. This comes after a tornado struck the school nearly a month ago.
Initially, students were going to finish the school year virtually, but following a slew of safety and structural inspections, the school will reopen.
Some areas will remain inaccessible, but the approved areas have been deemed safe.
Oklahoma City Sues Plaza Inn
Oklahoma City is taking legal action against a hotel due to its alarming history of violence.
According to records, police have responded to the Plaza Inn 784 times between January 2022 and May 10, 2023.
In a lawsuit filed by the city, recent incidents include a kidnapping, a shooting and a stabbing.
Despite warnings, the city says the hotel has neglected to address the issues.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the city is seeking complete closure of the facility or mandatory restrictions to ensure public safety.
For additional news throughout the day visit our website, KGOU.org and follow us on social media.
We also invite you to subscribe to the KGOU AM NewsBrief.