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AM NewsBrief: Aug. 5, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.

11th monkeypox case confirmed in Oklahoma

Another case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Oklahoma.

A spokesperson with the Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed that eleven cases have now been identified in the state.

Four of the cases are in northeast Oklahoma, while the other seven are located in the central part of the state.

This comes after the White House Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency. According to the CDC, there have been more than 7,000 cases detected in the U.S.

Illegal and hazardous septic systems lead to emergency order from the Department of Environmental Quality

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an emergency order against a man for installing unlicensed and hazardous septic systems in northern Oklahoma.

That man’s name is Garrison Shann. He installed at least 70 illegal, unpermitted aerobic septic systems in Payne and Noble Counties. Erin Hatfield with the DEQ says fifteen of those systems posed an imminent threat to human health.

"They were having extreme issues where you were having the sewage back up in the house, sewage back up in the yard," said Hatfield.

When working correctly, aerobic septic systems treat sewage and release the leftover water, often using lawn sprinklers. But some of the systems Shann installed were releasing untreated wastewater.

"If you have a sprinkler system applying just raw sewage, that's a bad situation."

The DEQ’s investigation is ongoing.

Tribal nations participate in World Breastfeeding Week

This week is World Breastfeeding week, an event promoted by the world health organization and UNICEF to encourage and remove the stigmas around breastfeeding. Here in Oklahoma, tribal nations are also participating in the event.

Breastfeeding week is celebrating its 30th year with the theme "Step up to breastfeeding".

This week, the Chickasaw Nation and the Osage Nation's Women Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition program or WIC held events with mothers and nutritionists to provide support, education and gift bags to help those who are breastfeeding.

Chickasaw Nation's WIC programs provide breastfeeding clients with registered lactation consultants and a 24-hour breastfeeding help line.

Manon Taylor is the director of the Osage Nation's WIC department-they did outreach all week where they gave out bras that make it easier for moms to breastfeed.

"Breastfeeding is so much more convenient. It's not for everyone... in today's world, there's not as much stigma around it," said Taylor.

For WIC participants living within the Chickasaw nation, breastpumps are made available at all clinics.

Oklahoma Wildlife Diversity Program seeks help in tracking rare species of animals throughout the state

Oklahoma’s Wildlife Diversity Program seeks the public’s assistance in tracking rare species of animals throughout the state, including the federally-endangered Whooping Crane and the increasingly rare Texas Horned Lizard.

Whooping Cranes are the tallest birds in North America, known for their snowy white plumage and crimson cap. They’re known to migrate through the state.

So-called Texas Horned Lizards are most active in Oklahoma from early April through September. This native species of lizard has a relatively short and squatty body; two apparent large ‘horns’ surrounded by additional spike-like features at the top and back of the head; and a short, pointed tail. They’ve been described by some as resembling tiny dinosaurs.

Horned Lizards usually inhabit open areas containing sandy or loamy soils with moderate gras or shrub cover. They are traditionally found across all but the far southeast corner of Oklahoma.

Those who observe migrating Whooping Cranes and/or Texas Horned Lizards are encouraged to submit details and images online using the respective ‘sighting report forms’ at the wildlife department's website.

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