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PM NewsBrief: May 17, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Oklahoma City Animal Shelter Sees Influx of Animals

Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is facing a new challenge after reopening this week.

The facility is now over capacity for dogs, and is asking the public for help by making adoptions.

The shelter took in 269 abandoned animals since it reopened on Monday.

The facility was closed for more than six weeks due to a rapidly spreading upper respiratory infection among the animals.

To encourage adoptions, the shelter has waived all dog adoption fees.

Public Safety Bill Fails

A bill that would give the Governor the power to launch investigations through the Department of Public Safety failed on Tuesday.

Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey’s House Bill 1976 was met with bipartisan opposition during its fourth reading on Tuesday.

The bill would have given the Commissioner of Public Safety, who takes direction from the Oklahoma Governor, the ability to launch investigations on anyone “reasonably believed to be engaged in terrorism, threats to public safety, organized crime, criminal conspiracies, or any other threats of violent crime.”

Democratic Rep. Jason Lowe spoke in opposition and said the bill was full of unconstitutional provisions and due process violations.

"You can be investigated for anything. We’re not just talking about terrorism. Anything," said Lowe.

The bill failed with a vote of 30 to 63.

Lawsuit Filed Over Tribal Regalia Issue

A high school senior has filed a lawsuit against the Broken Arrow School district after school officials wouldn't let her wear an eagle plume during her graduation ceremony.

Student Lena Black is Otoe-Missouria and of Osage descent. She says the plume was damaged, and that the school district violated her right to freedom of speech and her right to exercise her religion.

Gov. Kevin Stitt recently vetoed Senate Bill 429. The legislation would have affirmed and clarified Indigenous students' rights to wear tribal regalia like eagle feathers during graduation ceremonies.

New Resort-Style Casino Coming To Central Oklahoma

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is partnering with Caesars Entertainment to open a new resort-style casino.

The new resort and Casino will be built off of the 1-44 turnpike between Tulsa and Oklahoma City and will be Harrah's branded.

It will feature various dining options and a hotel.

Caesars has partnered with other tribal nations before and the new casino means more jobs for Oklahomans and tribal citizens.

The tribe says more details about the business will be announced soon.

Thursday Funerals Planned For Unclaimed Vietnam Veterans

Two unclaimed veterans will be laid to rest in Southwest Oklahoma Thursday.

U.S. Army Private William T. Jones and U.S. Air Force Airman 3rd Class Gerald G. Quick both served during the Vietnam War era.

They will be buried Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.

The funerals will take place at Shelter 2.

Cemetery officials say the community is invited to attend these funerals, so the veterans are not laid to rest alone.

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