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PM NewsBrief: Nov. 15, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

Midwest City Starbucks Votes To Unionize

Another Starbucks in Oklahoma has voted to unionize.

The move comes as the Starbucks Workers Union is increasing its efforts nationwide ahead of the company’s lucrative holiday season.

The Starbucks location on 29th Street and Air Depot in Midwest City voted 13-3 in favor of joining the Starbucks Workers Union.

This will be the fourth store in Oklahoma to unionize since 2021 when national unionization efforts began.

The election results come as hundreds of union Starbucks stores across the country are planning a mass unfair labor practice strike on Nov. 16’s Red Cup Day, which is the company’s yearly holiday promotional event.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Maintains Temporary Ban On Anti-Abortion Laws Pending Lawsuit

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has issued a ruling that puts three abortion-related laws on hold pending legal challenges.

The 5-4 majority ruling came Tuesday.

The ruling is based on three laws that restrict medication abortions and require physicians performing abortions to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

It orders a lower court to keep a temporary ban on the three laws in place while a lawsuit works its way through the courts.

The 2021 suit covers five abortion laws, and the remaining two were blocked by the lower court in 2021. Tuesday’s decision is in line with the court’s position that the state constitution guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion when necessary to preserve her life.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s office says it’s reviewing the court’s decision and will respond accordingly.

Bird Flu Spreading Across Oklahoma

Deadly avian influenza in backyard flocks was found across Oklahoma.

Researchers say owners should remain on high alert.

Migrating birds typically carry a deadly strain of flu leading to a rise of cases in poultry during the fall.

Rossyln Biggs, an Oklahoma State University extension veterinarian, says it's almost always deadly to poultry.

To prevent birds from getting sick, researchers have a few suggestions: Make sure domestic and wild birds don’t share food or water and prevent contact between them.

“If I'm a duck hunter, I don't want to be bringing ducks back to my own operation and then go feed my chickens in the backyard. I want to create time and space because even people and vehicles can transmit the virus that has been seen,” Biggs said.

As Thanksgiving approaches next week, Biggs says so long as poultry products - including that Thanksgiving turkey - are cooked properly, they are safe to eat.

Cameron University Earns Purple Heart Distinction

Cameron University is now Oklahoma’s second Purple Heart University.

Bruce Dwyer is Adjutant with Military Order of The Purple Heart Chapter 602.

He says the distinction brings attention to those who fought and are still fighting for our country.

“It’s going to raise awareness about the plight and sacrifice and the courage of all our past veterans and our current military that’s serving, they’re in harm's way, they’re defending our country either here or abroad against terrorism and we have to keep them in mind,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer said there’s a standard process his organization goes through to recognize entities with Purple Heart Distinction.

Municipalities, hospitals or universities must demonstrate a dedication to military families and veterans to receive the distinction.

The only other Purple Heart University in Oklahoma is Oklahoma State University.

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