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PM NewsBrief: Aug. 30, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.

While some celebrate student debt forgiveness, others question fairness of the plan

Last week, President Biden announced his long-awaited plan to provide financial relief for those struggling to keep up with student loans.

While some are celebrating the debt forgiveness, others are questioning the fairness of the plan.

Cynthia Campbell oversees the entire financial counseling department for BALANCE, a national nonprofit and housing agency. She said interest rates and the cost of tuition were exponentially less expensive when she was in school - so it wouldn't be fair to compare the price of college from then to now.

“When I was in school it was so much cheaper. The credit hours were so much less than they are now. So, I don't think we are comparing apples to apples and the cost just keeps going up,” said Campbell.

During his announcement, President Biden said the cost to attend a four-year university has nearly tripled over the last 40 years.

While the plan is expected to help relieve a large burden from loan borrowers, Campbell said she doesn't believe that the money forgiven will create a demand-pull inflation dynamic where the need for products or services exceeds production capacity.

“The fact that it was forgiven doesn’t put money directly back into their pocket. They haven’t been paying for it in 2 ½ years. So, it’s not like a rush of money is going to hit. It’s just that instead of putting that 250 towards their loans, they’re putting 250 towards their own business or a down payment on a house.”

The pause on federal student loan payments is being extended for the "final time" that lasts through the end of 2022. According to the U.S. Department of Education, some may qualify for relief automatically based on the income data the department already has.

Those with student debt can visit StudentAid.gov to check on the status of their loans.

New OSBI Director

The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation’s new director is making history for the agency.

Aungela Spurlock, who has served as The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation’s interim director since her predecessor Ricky Adams retired earlier this month, officially became the new director last week.

She is now the nearly 100-year-old agency’s first female director.

Spurlock has been with OSBI since 2002 and served as a Major in the agency’s Investigative Division before becoming the interim director.

The OSBI Commission voted unanimously to appoint her as the new director on Friday.

Livestock health measures help ensure safe fairs in Oklahoma

Fair season is here, and many young people in Oklahoma’s 4-H and FFA programs are gathering to show off their animals to fair-goers and judges. Here’s what people can do to help keep animals and each other healthy at the fair.

The cute cows you plan to pet at the fair could be going home sick from being around so many other animals and people. But Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, a beef cattle specialist with Oklahoma State University Extension, says you can help prevent that.

“Take advantage of that petting zoo, but make sure we wash our hands and use that hand sanitizer if we don't have soap and water readily available before we go out and eat or drink.”

Taking steps like these are good biosecurity practice.

Biosecurity refers to the steps farmers take to protect their animals and others from spreading diseases to one another. Dr. Biggs explains what young livestock exhibitors can do.

“Make sure, first and foremost, that we're bringing healthy animals into the event that we have all our documents in order. And then while we're at the show, keeping things as clean as possible.”

Biggs also advises young exhibitors to quarantine their animals after the show, ideally for 30 days. That will help prevent other livestock and house pets from getting sick

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