Friday, January 17, 2020

PART I: Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Stop Traffic Citation Quotas

A Broken Arrow, Oklahoma lawmaker has introducing a new bill to stop police from having to issue a certain amount of traffic citations. He said it would allow police officers to stop focusing on their traffic quotas and focus on protecting the community. Senate Bill 1264 would prohibit any plan that requires officers to meet certain quotas when it comes to traffic citations. It also prohibits quotas on the amount of money a judge can collect from people convicted of traffic offenses. The bill says those who violate this provision would be removed from their jobs. Right now, this is just a proposal. The bill still has to go up for a vote, which is expected to happen when the session resumes next month. (News On 6)


PART II: An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed a bill that would create “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” license plates in Oklahoma

Senator Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has also filed Senate Bill 1384, which would create special “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” Oklahoma license plates. Senator Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, is co-author of the bill. Each purchase of the specialty license plates would donate $10 to the Folds of Honor Foundation and $10 to the Warriors for Freedom Foundation. The fee for special license plates is $35 per year, in addition to all other registration fees required by the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act. Twenty dollars of the plate fee supports the charity, foundation or fund designated by the special plate. There are currently 98 special license plates available in Oklahoma. (KOCO)


PART III: Bill filed to align Oklahoma with federal minimum age to buy tobacco products

An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed legislation that would bring Oklahoma’s tobacco laws in line with the new federal law raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. State Senator Greg McCortney has filed legislation to reflect recent changes in federal law raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Congress passed legislation in December, prohibiting the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. The Tobacco-Free Youth Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Senate Bill 1423 would ensure that Oklahoma’s statutes will mirror the new age requirements enacted at the federal level. The Senator said raising the age for tobacco to 21 could have a huge impact on the health of Oklahomans. Currently, state law sets a minimum age of 18 for tobacco sales and use. Under SB 1423, the minimum age would be raised to 21 for purchasing or using tobacco products, and it would be illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone younger than 21. (KOCO)


Man requests ‘trial by combat’ with Japanese swords to settle dispute with Iowa ex-wife

A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies. The 40-year-old man of Paola, Kansas, said that his former 38-year-old wife of Harlan, Iowa, and her attorney had “destroyed (him) legally.” They have been embroiled in disputes over custody and visitation issues and property tax payments. The judge had the power to let the parties “resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” he said adding in his filing that trial by combat “has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States.” He also asked the judge for 12 weeks’ time so he could secure Japanese samurai swords. The ex-wife’s argued that because a duel could end in death, “such ramifications likely outweigh those of property tax and custody issues” and asked the judge to reject the request for trial by combat. The Judge said that he won’t be issuing a decision anytime soon, citing irregularities with both sides’ motions and responses. “Until the proper procedural steps to initiate a court proceeding are followed, this court will take no further action concerning any motion, objection or petition filed by either party at this time,” the judge said. (The Des Moines Register)


Employment better, wage growth not

Workforce statistics have recently been a source of good news, with the number of discouraged workers falling by 98,000 and the all-inclusive unemployment rate the lowest in nearly three decades. Yet wage growth for 2019 was just 2.9%, which is the lowest level in about two years. Additionally, it’s well below the 2018 average of 3.3%. Some analysts say the fall in wage growth suggests competition for workers is not stiff despite signs of a tight labor market. (Axios)


Amazon lifts FedEx ban

Sellers on Amazon may again use FedEx for orders placed as part of its Prime service. The tech giant had banned its merchants from using the shipping company’s Ground and Home services before the end-of-the-year rush. The e-commerce giant cited poor on-time performance for the ban. The two companies had already allowed direct shipping contracts totaling $900 million to expire. (The Wall Street Journal)


An ex-Navy SEAL and Harvard doctor is now the first Korean-American to become a NASA astronaut

Graduating from Harvard Medical School and being a part of the Navy SEALs must not have been enough accomplishments for Jonny Kim. The 35-year-old is now the first Korean-American to become a NASA astronaut. Kim, along with 12 others, graduated last week from NASA’s Artemis program, allowing the astronauts to be eligible to participate in missions to the International Space Station, to the moon and even Mars. Two of the candidates were from the Canadian Space Agency, but the 11 others, including Kim, were selected from an initial pool of more than 18,000 applicants, NASA said. (NASA)


Man takes 15-ton joyride in stolen forklift

A man driving a stolen forklift lead police on a chase through the streets of Enid, Oklahoma Tuesday. One Enid resident were frantic after he saw a forklift flying through the fence of a construction site. “The fence is out in the middle of the road. He just plowed through it. I’m actually behind him. I decided to turn and follow him,” the man told a 911 operator as he was tracking the lift through downtown streets while driving a minivan. Police had trouble finding the forklift because it was weaving in and out of parking lots. “It was a very low-speed pursuit, probably 10 to 15 miles per hour. Clearly, you can’t stop the vehicle. It’s like the size of a tank,” said Lt. Eric Holtzclaw of the Enid Police Department. Before taking the forklift, police say the forklift thief broke into the construction site and shattered windows. Police also say there are dents and dings in the forklift, but no one was hurt. (KFOR)


Arizona woman claims found memorial necklace with son’s ashes

An Arizona woman was searching for the person who had lost a piece of irreplaceable jewelry at a local grocery store. The woman works at the Fry’s Food Store near Hunt Highway and Bella Vista in San Tan Valley, says she found a tiny black satchel within the store’s lost-and-found collection. The store sends lost items like credit cards and other valuables to their corporate center, but donates smaller items to a nearby Goodwill store after they go unclaimed. On her latest trip to Goodwill, she said she got an urge to go through the bag that she normally just drops off to be sorted later. That urge led her to find a tightly knotted bag which she brought home, thinking it was something valuable that she may need to send to corporate. And it was valuable. She said the bag contained a silver necklace with two charms:  one that says “son” and another that says “I still need you close to me” — along with a small canister of ashes. She said she teared up when she realized what it was and said a little prayer. She kept it safe at her home, thinking it would be safer and more respectful than keeping it in a store drawer. She contacted the local news station and they aired a story about the finding. Afterwards, it didn’t take long for the owner to step forward. The mother said after she saw the story, she immediately recognized the necklace. She says her family members each got matching necklaces after losing her son to liver failure about a year ago. (KGUN 9)


Police officer suicide rate more than doubles line-of-duty deaths in 2019

The number of police officers who died by suicide in 2019 was more than double the number killed in the line of duty, according to a study. The Blue H.E.L.P. study showed 228 officers died by suicide, while 132 officers died in the line of duty in 2019. Texas ranked third with 19 suicides in 2019, behind New York with 23 and California with 21. The organization has aimed to call attention to mental-health concerns among law enforcement, with H.E.L.P. standing for “Honor. Educate. Lead. Prevent.” States with the most suicides are:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Florida
  5. Colorado, Illinois, & Virginia (Tied)

(Blue H.E.L.P.)


Friday Flashes In With:

  • Cable Car Day
  • Hot Heads Chili Days
  • International Fetish Day
  • International Mentoring Day
  • Judgment Day
  • Kid Inventors’ Day
  • National Bootleggers Day
  • Popeye Day

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