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PM NewsBrief: Sept. 15, 2022

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This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

Gov. Stitt joins other GOP governors in criticizing Biden student loan forgiveness plan

More than 20 Republican governors, including Gov. Kevin Stitt, signed a letter to the Biden administration criticizing his plan to pay off student loan debt for millions of borrowers.

The Biden administration is canceling $10,000 in federal student loan debt for Americans earning $125,000 or less per year.

Stitt and his GOP colleagues write that isn’t an equitable distribution, because it only impacts the between 16 to 17 percent of Americans who hold federal student loans. Those percentages represent more than 40 million people.

And in Oklahoma the Biden plan will likely bring relief to many. Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans have federal student loan debt.

Oklahoma wildlife department monitors fatal brain disease in deer, elk

A diseased deer was found a couple of miles outside Oklahoma’s panhandle.

The carcass found along a Texas road near the Oklahoma border tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The fatal disease affects the brains of deer, elk, moose and other members of the cervid family by creating sponge-like holes in their brains.

Big Game Biologist Dallas Barber says the department is ramping up its surveillance because of how close the deer was found to Oklahoma.

“This isn't something that can just be eradicated from a population, we have to know where it's at first to take measures to really manage the disease and prevent it from spreading as much as possible.”

Barber says the wildlife department has monitored the spread of the disease by testing tissue samples of hunter-harvested deer and elk.

He also says this particular disease has not been found to spread to humans or livestock.

Crews inspect fair rides for safety ahead of opening day

The Oklahoma State Fair returns today and crews have worked all week to inspect more than 60 rides for safety.

The Oklahoma Department of Labor as well as two other sets of third party inspectors checked out the amusement rides during the building process and through the test runs. Some rides have traveled nearly 600 miles to be at the fair, according to a spokesperson for the state Department of Labor.

Inspectors will continue to monitor the rides for safety during the fair as well. The state fair runs now through Sept. 25.

Over $2 million will go toward studying heart health in Oklahoma over the next four years

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Kenneth Humphries received two National Institutes of Health grants to study heart metabolism.

One grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will be used to study diabetic cardiomyopathy, which is a condition that can develop as a result of a diabetic person’s heart only being able to metabolize fat, not glucose. It affects the heart’s pumping function and can lead to heart failure.

Another grant from the National Institute on Aging will be used to study how aging affects the heart and why certain parts of cells decline over time, leading to loss of heart function.

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