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PM NewsBrief: Oct. 18, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, October 18, 2023.

Oklahoma City Motel Gets Ultimatum

A southeast Oklahoma City motel with a troubled past is being asked to increase security or be forced to shut down.

An Oklahoma County district judge has declared the Plaza Inn motel a public nuisance.

Now, the owners of the Plaza Inn have until Oct. 27 to ramp up surveillance and security or shut their doors.

According to a consent decree, owners of the motel must install at least 22 more surveillance cameras and have two licensed security guards on site 24/7.

For many years, the Plaza Inn has been a hotspot for criminal activity.

Crimes committed at the motel range from drug dealing and prostitution to kidnappings and murder.

The motel owners’ attorney told the Oklahoman newspaper they are confident they can abide by the consent decree’s terms.

Lawmakers Discuss Elderly Care Issues

A state representative from Norman hosted an interim study on elderly care in Oklahoma on Tuesday.

Topics included staffing shortages, care complaints and service connection issues.

The AARP recently ranked Oklahoma 46th in the nation for its long-term services and support.

Democratic Rep. Annie Menz says she wanted to create a platform for experts to discuss ways to improve quality of life for Oklahoma’s aging population.

The main discussion points included how Oklahoma families need to know more about available services to better serve the state’s growing population of seniors.

Jeromy Buchanan, the executive director of Community Living, Aging and Protective Services, says Oklahoma agencies are working to spread awareness and meet needs.

“We're trying to prioritize what's important for Oklahoma and develop that future vision for where we want to be,” Buchanan said.

Experts also discussed how Oklahoma must prioritize staffing its long-term care facilities through better wages and support after the COVID-19 pandemic.

New NBA Arena Poll

A poll from Emerson College shows proponents for a new NBA Arena in downtown Oklahoma City have their work cut out for them when it comes to public opinion.

Emerson pollsters asked people from across the state and in OKC their thoughts on a tax increase to pay for a new arena.

More than half of those surveyed in Oklahoma City were against the idea, while just shy of a quarter either didn’t have an opinion or supported it.

Regardless, voters will decide in a December special election whether or not to fund the arena.

The proposal costs about $900 million dollars and the vast majority of that will be paid for with taxpayer money.

Advocates for the new arena say it’s a critical piece to retaining the Oklahoma City Thunder for years to come.

 EPA Seeks Feedback On Herbicide Strategy

Agriculture producers have until Sunday to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft Herbicide Strategy.

The agency made a new plan for many states, including Oklahoma, to protect endangered species.

The plan is to reduce agricultural herbicide exposure from 900 species and designated critical habitats.

It’s part of the EPA’s renewed policy to meet its responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act. It’s designed to protect things like the red-cockaded woodpecker, which is found in Southeast Oklahoma.

The move comes after lawsuits from environmental groups claimed the agency violated the act.

Mitigation regulations such as limiting spray drift and preventing runoff and erosion are practices in the proposed strategy.

Attorneys with the National Agricultural Law Center say, producers can expect to see new restrictions on pesticide labels as the policy rolls out.

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