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PM NewsBrief: Oct. 7, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.

Stitt vetoes millions of dollars of ARPA money for state projects

Gov. Kevin Stitt has vetoed nearly $24 million in federal stimulus money that lawmakers set aside for various state projects.

Stitt says American Rescue Plan funding for three projects approved by lawmakers in a special legislative session last week could be better spent elsewhere.

The governor vetoed $10 million for the Oklahoma Arts Council to offer grants to nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also vetoed $8.2 million for the Oklahoma Education Television Authority (OETA) to enhance its emergency communications infrastructure, and $6 million for the Oklahoma State Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to set up nine regional centers to distribute personal protective equipment.

Stitt said in his veto messages there appeared to be no long-term strategic plans for some of the funding. He said he’d rather see the money go toward water or infrastructure projects.

High school athletes in Oklahoma can now profit off of name, image and likeness

High school athletes in Oklahoma can now profit off their name, image and likeness following a new set of guidelines the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association approved.

Quarterbacks selling cars? Softball pitchers recommending plumbers?

College athletes have had that ability – to be paid for promotional purposes – for a while thanks to NIL rules approved by the NCAA.

Now high school athletes can, too.

OSSAA approved guidelines Wednesday to allow high school athletes to sell their name, image and likeness without losing their amateur competitor status.

There are some restrictions. Athletes can’t use school logos to promote businesses and they can’t be paid to play at a specific school.

Oklahoma death row inmate denied competency hearing

The next Oklahoma death row inmate scheduled for execution has been denied a new competency hearing.

Pittsburg County District Judge Mike Hogan found Benjamin Cole competent for execution earlier this week.

Despite having a large lesion on his brain and a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, a psychologist’s report finds Cole, who was sentenced to death for killing his baby daughter in 2002, does not meet the substantial threshold for insanity.

This follows Cole being denied a recommendation of clemency from the Pardon and Parole Board last month.

While Cole’s attorneys say they will appeal the ruling, he is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 20.

Oklahoma music star Jody Miller dies at 80

Oklahoma music star Jody Miller has died. The country and pop star passed away yesterday at the age of 80.

Miller would score six top 10 country hits in the 60s and 70s, beginning with “Queen of the House” in 1965. The song was a response to “King of the Road” by fellow Okie Roger Miller - no relation - and it earned Jody Miller a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance the following year.

Miller would dabble in the genres of pop, rock and gospel music. She retired from the road in the 1980s to spend time with her family and manage her husband’s quarter horse business in her hometown of Blanchard.

Miller’s official Facebook page confirmed she died from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease.

OSU Extension's soil & water testing sale

In an effort to help drought-stricken farmers and ranchers, Oklahoma State University Extension is temporarily reducing prices on water, soil and forage testing

OSU Extension always offers testing for people who need to know what’s in their farm ponds and feed grass.

But during times of drought, knowing is even more important. Plants start to stockpile nitrates, which can poison animals that eat them. Wells and farm ponds might change their chemical compositions or develop algal blooms.

But drought also creates extra financial burdens for ag producers which could put testing out of reach. To address that problem, the OSU Extension Program says it’s temporarily reduced the prices of water, soil and forage testing. Now through the end of the year, those tests cost $5 or less for ag producers.

The Extension Program says it hopes people take advantage of the affordable testing to protect their livestock. But it warns that it might take longer to get test results as more people participate.

For more information, farmers and ranchers can contact their county OSU Extension Office.


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