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PM NewsBrief: June 6, 2024

Proposed $1 billion arena/entertainment district heads to Norman Planning Commission

Leaders from the city of Norman and the University of Oklahoma met to unveil design plans for a proposed $1 billion entertainment district.

The entertainment district would be located near 24th Ave and Rock Creek Rd.

Preliminary designs were released on Wednesday calling for bars, shops, office space, a hotel and a multi-use arena.

The venue would also host OU events in addition to non-university activities.

The project’s plan will go before the Norman Planning Commission on June 13 before being presented to the City Council.

Norman Mayor Larry Heikkila said he is confident the City Council will approve the project, despite expected resistance.

If approved, the project would establish two Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, which would allow tax revenue from the area to finance the development.

The council could vote on the issue as early as July 23, after two public hearings.

Lawmakers are pushing for a constitutional amendment to strengthen the voting ban on non-citizens

Oklahoma lawmakers are calling for a popular vote to strengthen the ban on non-citizen voting.

On the last day of the legislative session, Republicans passed Senate Joint Resolution 23, which calls for a state question asking voters to change even one word of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Currently, it says all state citizens can vote in Oklahoma elections. That ‘all’ would be changed to ‘only’.

Supporters claim this will clear up potential confusion about allowing non-citizens to vote in the future. Oklahoma City Democrat Carri Hicks doesn’t buy it.

“I don’t understand where the confusion could lie, when it is currently a crime to register to vote in the state of Oklahoma if you are not a U.S. citizen,” Hicks said.

The measure is expected to appear on the November ballot.

State agriculture officials are reminding the dairy producer to remain vigilant against bird flu

Bird flu occurs in dairy cows in at least ten states. But so far it has not been found in Oklahoma.

Still, state agriculture officials are encouraging dairy producers to be vigilant.

Basic biosecurity measures for dairy farms can be as simple as washing shoes or wearing booties.

Alicia Gorczyca-Southerland is an assistant state veterinarian in Oklahoma.

She said state officials are asking dairy farmers to take those precautions and practice hygiene measures.

“I mean, just thinking about all the things that could happen on that farm, and we want to make sure it’s disease-free before it crosses that line. And we don’t want diseases to leave that farm and go somewhere else,” said Gorczyca-Southerland.

Federal officials are requiring testing for lactating dairy cows traveling across state lines. But no such mandates exist for cows traveling within a state.

Despite all this, food and dairy regulators insist that thanks to pasteurization, the milk supply is still safe and the risk to human health remains low.

Three human cases of bird flu have been reported in the US

CDC officials say the people are all dairy workers.

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