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Pryor man killed in wreck between motorcycle and semi

MAYES COUNTY, Okla. – A Pryor, Oklahoma man dies in motorcycle accident Thursday afternoon.

According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the in happened around 2:52 p.m. on OK-69A at Stretch Film Way in Mayes County, Oklahoma. Police say 30-year-old Ethan Foster died from massive injuries sustained in a wreck with a semi.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation

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News to Know (07/09/2021)

Springfield, Mo – Pfizer says it’s now ramping up efforts to roll out a Covid-19 booster shot to help increase immunity. They are also working on a newer version of its vaccine to target the fast-spreading Delta Variant. That comes as the CDC Director says more than 9 million Americans now live in parts of the country where Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are spiking significantly among people who have not been vaccinated.

Jefferson, Mo – Missouri Governor Parson works to tamp down rising concerns as Missouri becomes the nation’s leader in Covid-19 caseload. Data from Johns Hopkins University show that Missouri’s case load is 15 and a half new cases per 100-thousand people daily. Those numbers are fueled, in part by the fast spreading Delta Variant. The variant  was first recorded in Branson, Missouri, and now has been found in nearly every part of the state. That’s sparking warnings from health officials that what’s happening in our region, could happen in other parts of the country.

Oklahoma City, Ok – A U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe’s office is requesting 4 million dollars in Federal Funds to help combat illegal Oklahoma marijuana growing operations. Inhofe’s Chief of Staff says the Republican Senator has requested a direct appropriation through the U.S. Justice Department. He says the money would allow the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to establish a unit to combat “transnational and national drug organizations”. Sheriffs and other Law Enforcement groups say illegal marijuana growers are setting up in rural parts of Oklahoma and funneling cannabis into the illegal drug trade.

McDonald County, Mo – The McDonald County Sheriff’s office, Wednesday arrested a kidnapping suspect. Authorities say 28-year-old Edmundo Cordero of Noel, Missouri was wanted on charges of kidnapping, domestic assault, and first degree burglary. When Officers tried to arrest him he ran but was caught. He is being held at the McDonald County Jail.

 

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News to Know (06/30/2021)

Surfside, FL- In Surfside, Florida, rescue efforts continue six days after the collapse of a 12-story beachfront condo. The official death toll rose by 1 yesterday, with 149 people still unaccounted for.

Pea Ridge, AR- Officials have charged a second suspect in connection with the death of a Pea Ridge, Arkansas, Police Officer. 22-year-old, Shawna Cash, is charged with a number of crimes including capital murder, criminal mischief and aggravated assault. The other suspect 18-year-old Elijah Andazola is also charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Officer Kevin Apple. Authorities say the two ran over Apple, with a car.

Edna, KS- Authorities are investigating the cause of a mattress factory fire in Edna, Kansas. It happened around 9:30 Tuesday morning. Authorities say the factory is a complete loss. The nearby retail facility did not appear to be damaged. No one was hurt in the fire.

Grove, OK- Oklahoma, is taking action aimed at getting people back to work. Starting this week, the sooner state is offering a one-time incentive for Oklahomans returning to work following the end of State Unemployment Benefits. Anyone returning to work at least 32-hours a week is eligible to apply for a 12 hundred dollar payment. For an area that relies heavily on tourism like Grove, Oklahoma, getting more people to work is crucial. The Area Chamber says some Grove, businesses have only a fraction of the employees they need, and hope this incentive will help fix that

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NEO A&M to keep tuition flat another year

MIAMI, Okla. – Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) will not be raising tuition for the second year in a row.

“It has been a tough year for everyone involved in education, and we felt it was in the best interest of students and their families to hold tuition flat as we rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Kyle Stafford, NEO President. “We appreciate our legislators for their work to increase state appropriations for higher education, which helped make this possible.”

State appropriations were increased by just over 4.5% for fiscal year 2022, this translates to an increase of around $300,000 for NEO. However, many institutions have announced tuition increases due to enrollment downturns during 2020-21. NEO Administrators did approve a 3.1% increase for some food service options.

“We are committed to quality, affordable, and face-to-face courses,” added Stafford. “We are excited to resume normal operations and a full schedule of activities.”

NEO’s fall semester begins on August 23 and enrollment is available now. Over 85% of NEO students receive some form of financial assistance and federal financial aid limits have been increased for the 2021-22 school year.

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Oklahoma Guard troops to transition out of COVID-19 response

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma National Guard troops who have been assisting the state’s response to COVID-19 will begin ending their assignment this week.

The State Health Department said in a statement Monday that the troops will begin transitioning out of the agency beginning Thursday. Over a 15-month deployment, Guard troops helped sanitize long-term-care facilities, distribute personal protective gear and transport testing specimens and supplies across the state.

Meanwhile, data from Johns Hopkins University shows Oklahoma’s seven-day rolling average of daily deaths and daily new cases have both increased over the last two weeks, from 120.29 new cases per day June 12 to 196.43 new cases per day June 26.

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Oklahoma jobless rate drops

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports a drop in the state’s jobless rate in May even as the numbers of initial unemployment claims and the moving average of initial claims rise.

The OESC reports a May unemployment rate of 4% on Friday, down from 4.3% in April. Initial claims for the week ending June 12 increased by 1,680 to 10,614 and the four-week moving average of initial claims rose by 493 to 10,158. OESC Director Shelley Zumwalt noted the May rate is still higher than the 3.1% reported in February 2020, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Oklahoma high court strikes down governor’s Medicaid plan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan to privatize much of the state’s Medicaid program is unconstitutional.

The court determined in a 6-3 ruling Tuesday that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority did not have the legislative approval to move forward with the plan. The Republican governor has pushed the plan to outsource management of the state’s Medicaid system to for-profit insurance companies. He maintains that approach will maximize health care quality while cutting costs. But a group of medical organizations filed suit in February seeking to stop the plan.

Plaintiffs included the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the Oklahoma Dental Association.

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G.A.R. Cemetery holds socially distant Memorial Day Ceremony

MIAMI, Okla. – The G.A.R. Cemetery in Miami, Oklahoma hosted an in person event, but social distancing was encouraged.

The event was open to the public, and of course local veterans organizations. G.A.R. Office manager Nancy Bro says more and more veterans take part.

“I think they are very honored,” said Bro. “We get a large group of veterans that participate and show up for the ceremony every year and that number is growing every year.”

This year’s guest speaker was ben Loring. Loring is a former district attorney, Oklahoma State Representative and current Miami city attorney. His sons, David and Ian, served in the U.S. Army.

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Viewers submit photos of area flooding

Local residents share their flood photos with KOAM News. You can submit yours below.

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1 dead; 5 injured in wreck north of Fairland, OK

FAIRLAND, Okla. – A Fairland, Oklahoma woman is dead following a crash in Ottawa County.

Authorities with the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol say it happened Monday just before 6:00 p.m. on OK-125 three miles north of Fairland. They say a vehicle driven by 42-year-old Karin Roach of Fairland crossed the center line and collided with 39-year-old Alicha Smalley of Fairland.

Roach was pronounced dead at the hospital. Roach’s two juvenile passengers and Smalley, along with her two juvenile passengers, were last reported to be in fair condition.