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AM NewsBrief: July 21, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Federal officials slam Stitt management of federal education COVID-19 relief grants

Federal auditors have recommended clawing back hundreds of thousands of dollars disbursed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as part of federally funded coronavirus relief grants.

The auditors published a 69-page report that lays out a number of failures by Oklahoma in distributing a governor-managed coronavirus relief package.

Their review found $650,000 in purchases they say were misspent and included items like Christmas trees, smart watches and hundreds of televisions.

They also accuse Oklahoma of failing to follow the law in four out of five programs overseen by the Stitt administration.

That GEER fund was given directly to governors across the country as part of the CARES Act. Stitt used it to pay for private school scholarships and a grant program for individual families, where the hundreds of thousands appear to have been misspent.

In a statement to StateImpact Oklahoma, Gov. Stitt's spokeswoman says the governor's office is reviewing the report and will work in "collaboration" with federal auditors.

Edmond officer honored after being killed in line of duty

The community of Edmond comes together to remember a fallen police officer.

The Oklahoman reports Sgt. C.J. Nelson was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday afternoon when his motorcycle and four other vehicles were struck by a utility truck stopped at a red light.

The 38-year old officer was taken to OU Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

According to the Edmond police department, Nelson is the first officer to die in the line of duty.

Fairview bakery owner arrested in connection to Jan. 6 riot

A woman from Fairview has been arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The owner of a bakery in Fairview was arrested on Tuesday for several offenses related to the January 6 Capitol riot including destruction of government property.

The FBI identified Dova Alina Winegeart after three of her friends sent them photos of her at the Capitol holding a long wooden pole with pieces of metal attached which she allegedly used to break a window of the House of Representatives. The Department of Justice says the estimated damages exceed $1,000.

The FBI also received text messages from Winegeart’s friends in which she admits to participating in the insurrection.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland praises Oklahoma District Attorneys for their work on prosecuting crimes in Indian Country

When the Supreme Court ruled tribal reservations in Oklahoma were never disestablished in the 2020 McGirt vs. Oklahoma decision, the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Oklahoma saw its caseload triple.

Garland praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shannon Cozzoni, Ryand ROberts and Edward Snow for their handling of the increased workload and prosecutions as the criminal jurisdiction shifted inside the boundaries of Muscogee Nation's reservation, the original center of the decision and later the Quapaw and the Cherokee Reservation.

Garland praised the prosecutors for their commitment to public safety and dedication.


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