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PM NewsBrief: Feb. 2, 2024

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, February 2, 2024.

Monitoring Plan For Water Quality At Zink Lake

As Tulsa puts the finishing touches on a new low-water dam in the Arkansas River, some residents have expressed concerns about water quality. The city has announced plans to monitor pollution.

Tulsa is prepping to open Zink Lake to the public on Labor Day weekend.

But throughout planning and construction of its dam, Tulsans have raised concerns about setting up a water recreation facility downstream of multiple refineries.

As recently as 2022, the section of the Arkansas River that will become Zink Lake had too much cadmium to be considered fishable or swimmable under the Clean Water Act.

Now, city officials say they will test the water twice a week in five different locations. They’re on the lookout for bacteria, heavy metals and oil byproducts.

Eric Lee is with the Tulsa Water and Sewer Department.

"We would be the first utility or first city in the state of Oklahoma to have kind of a water quality dashboard for a portion of a water body," Lee said.

He says that dashboard will make up-to-date water quality results easily available to the public.

Community members can share their feedback on the water monitoring plan in a public meeting on Feb. 27.

Report: Oklahoma Leads Nation In Long Covid Cases

A recent study finds Oklahoma leads the nation in long Covid.

HelpAdvisor.com reports its research found 34% of adults in Oklahoma are suffering from long Covid.

Long Covid is defined as having symptoms lasting more than 28 days.

OU’s Dr. Dale Bratzler says Oklahoma had one of the lowest Covid vaccination rates in the country.

Doctors say they aren’t exactly sure what causes long Covid in some individuals.

Those who are experiencing persistent symptoms are urged to seek out medical attention.

Health experts also encourage Covid vaccinations.

State Supreme Court Takes Up Initiative To Raise Minimum Wage

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments this week on an initiative petition seeking to raise the minimum wage.

State Question 832 seeks to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2029 from the current rate of $7.25.

Minimum wage has not been raised in nearly 15 years and supporters say it has not kept up with inflation.

Opponents say the petition is unconstitutional and should be tossed out.

The nonprofit newsroom Oklahoma Voice reports the measure faces strong opposition from the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation.

Several bills over the years that would increase the minimum wage failed to garner legislative support.

Cherokee Nation Officials Visit Tech  Map Makers

Officials from the Cherokee Nation stopped by Google and Apple company headquarters in California this week to meet with their map making teams.

The purpose of the visit was to talk about how digital maps reinforce tribal sovereignty.

When using the tech companies’ map apps, Tribal nations such as the Cherokee Nation can be seen.

On Apple Maps, the nation’s name is also listed in the Cherokee language.

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

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