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Coronavirus Updates: Tribal Lawsuit, Norman Lawsuit & Tulsa Furloughs

The Cherokee Nation has joined five other tribes from California, Arizona, Wyoming and Washington in a lawsuit against the federal government, saying they have yet to receive their federal COVID 19 relief funds.

President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27, which required the treasury department to send the money no later than thirty days after the signing.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the federal government owes tribes $8 billion in CARES Act funds.

Hoskin Jr. said with businesses being closed and paying their employees during the pandemic, money is needed to maintain essential government services.

Cherokee Nation closed their casinos on March 16 to limit the spread of COVID 19. They offered employees a voluntary furlough program on April 21.

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Three salons are suing Norman Mayor Breea Clark over not being allowed to open yet.

A judge will listen to arguments Monday afternoon from the owners of Lion Salon, Le Visage Day Spa and Polished Beauty Bar and Salon.

They say their constitutional rights are being violated because of a Norman proclamation keeping them closed until May 15, even though other businesses are allowed to open this Friday.

Clark defended her position, saying during the pandemic it’s not unreasonable to open close-contact industries where social distancing is impossible.

UPDATE: A Cleveland County judge has granted a temporary injunction in favor of the salon owners.

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The City of Tulsa is starting its furlough program this Friday.

About 1,000 city employees will be furloughed for four hours every Friday afternoon from May through the middle of December, cutting their weekly pay 10%. Police, firefighters and other public safety personnel are not affected by the furloughs.

The plan to save the city $4 million comes as sales tax collections are expected to decline because of COVID-19 and dropping oil prices.

Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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