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ACLU of Oklahoma director to resign


ACLU of Oklahoma director to resign

The executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma plans to step down this summer.

Ryan Kiesel, who has led the Oklahoma affiliate of the ACLU for more than eight years, will step down in June, according to a news release.

The attorney and former state legislator plans to continue his legal and political policy work in private practice.

“While I am stepping down, I am not bowing out," he said. "I intend to remain fully in the arena, committed to defending our progress and to demanding a better future for all, not just the few.”

Kiesel made criminal justice reform a priority for the ACLU of Oklahoma and helped lead the campaign to pass State Question 780, which dropped low-level drug and property crimes from felonies down to misdemeanors.

He currently is helping to lead a campaign to put on the ballot a state question that would legalize recreational marijuana and make further criminal justice reforms. If the petition qualifies for the ballot, it will be State Question 807.

Staff reports

Oklahoma County resident dies from flu

State officials recorded another flu death in the past week, bringing the statewide total to 23 confirmed deaths.

The victim was in Oklahoma County and in the 50-to-64 age group, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health data.

An additional 239 patients were hospitalized for flu-related symptoms in the last reporting week. Since the start of the flu season in September, 1,431 people have been hospitalized because of the virus.

Influenza spreads annually, usually between October and May, through coughing, sneezing and close contact.

The flu strikes suddenly and can last several days, and the Health Department recommends the flu vaccine as the No. 1 defense against contracting the virus or lessening its symptoms.

Tulsa World