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Latest from Glenn Schroeder

    The cost of borrowing for a home keeps going up, a potential obstacle to would-be buyers at a time when home prices are at all-time highs in more than half of major U.S. markets. Average long-term mortgage rates have been rising steadily this year and are now at the highest level in almost four years. That translates into higher mortgage payments and more money paid out over the life of the typical 30-year home loan. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.38 percent this week, up from 4.32 percent last week. That’s the highest rate since April 2014. At the start of the year, the average rate was just under 4 percent. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 3.84 percent from 3.77 percent last week. The pickup in mortgage rates dims prospects for would-be homebuyers struggling to compete in a housing market where a thin inventory of homes for sale continues to drive up prices. The median U.S. home price climbed 5.3 percent in the last quarter of 2017 to $235,400, according to the National Association of Realtors. The trade group said that prices for single-family homes hit record highs in 114 of 177 major metropolitan areas that it tracked.
  • McDonald’s will soon banish cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants. Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid’s meal, but the fast-food company said that not listing them will reduce how often they’re ordered. Since it removed soda from the Happy Meal menu four years ago, orders for it with Happy Meals have fallen 14 percent, the company said. The Happy Meal has long been a target of health advocates and parents who link it to childhood obesity. McDonald’s has made many tweaks over the years, including cutting the size of its fries and adding fruit. Most recently, it swapped out its apple juice for one that has less sugar. It’s been especially important as the company tries to shake its junk-food image, since McDonald’s is known for getting more business from families with children relative to its traditional rivals, such as Burger King and Wendy’s. The Happy Meal is a key part of that. The latest changes will occur in the United States by June. McDonald’s said Thursday that it wants all its Happy Meal options to have 600 calories or fewer and have less than 650 milligrams of sodium. It also wants less than 10 percent of the meal’s calories to come from saturated fat and added sugar.
  • Oregon’s Legislature took a step Tuesday toward enshrining the right to health care in the state Constitution, a move that would be unprecedented in the United States but raises serious funding questions. The House of Representatives’ 35-25 endorsement of the bill sends it to the state Senate, whose approval would put the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for Oregon voters in the November election. The move comes as the Trump administration has tried to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s health care law. If the Senate passes the bill, voters would be asked to consider amending the state’s 160-year-old Constitution to declare: “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, medically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.” Oregon is one of the most liberal U.S. states and was the first sanctuary state protecting immigrants in the country illegally and the first to legalize suicide for the terminally ill. The state also expanded coverage on abortions and other reproductive services regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity. Both chambers of the Oregon Legislature are controlled by Democrats.
  • Marijuana users’ self-proclaimed holiday is linked with a slight increase in fatal U.S. car crashes, an analysis of 25 years of data found. The study lacks evidence on whether pot was involved in any of the April 20 crashes, but marijuana can impair driving ability. Previous studies have shown that many pot-using motorists drive after partaking and think it’s safe to do so. The researchers analyzed U.S. government data on fatal traffic accidents from 1992 — shortly after 4/20 was popularized as a pot holiday in High Times magazine — through 2016. They compared driver deaths on that date with deaths on a day the week before and the week after during the study period. Deaths increased slightly in most but not all states, amounting to an overall increased risk of 12 percent — or an extra 142 driver deaths linked with the holiday, said lead author Dr. John Staples at the University of British Columbia. Other studies have found a similarly elevated risk linked with alcohol and driving on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve. Most accidents had no police data on drug testing so there’s no way to confirm that marijuana was involved, but researchers think the drug was responsible for some crashes. The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
  • Cold feet can’t stop naked models from parading around New York City. Dozens of body-painted models walked through the chilly streets and posed for photos in a drizzle on Saturday as part of the Polar Bear Paint, a nude spin on the traditional polar bear plunges that see people in swimsuits dive into frigid waters to celebrate the New Year. The Polar Bear Paint was organized by artist Andy Golub, who uses body painting as a way to promote human connection through art. The models were painted in a Times Square studio and then gathered outside, where the temperature was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a fairly heavy rain subsided and then stopped. Golub says the Polar Bear Paint models “almost brought the sunshine” with them.
  • President Donald Trump will propose lowering prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by allowing them to share in rebates that drug companies pay to insurers and middlemen, an administration official said Thursday. A senior administration official outlined the plan on condition of anonymity ahead of the release of Trump’s 2019 budget plan next week. Pharmaceutical companies now pay rebates to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to help their medications gain a bigger slice of the market. Insurers apply savings from rebates to keep premiums more manageable. Under Trump’s proposal, seniors covered by Medicare’s popular “Part D” prescription benefit would be able to share in the rebates for individual drugs that they purchase at the pharmacy. Trump’s budget would also expand Medicare’s “catastrophic” drug benefit so that many seniors with very high costs would not face co-payments. Seniors with high drug bills are currently still responsible for 5 percent of the cost of their medications. With some new drugs costing $100,000 a year or more, patient costs add up quickly.
  • An Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle was forced to return to Anchorage early Wednesday after a passenger locked himself in the bathroom, took off all his clothes, and refused to follow crew instructions. Kate Danyluk, a passenger on the flight, told The Associated Press she knew something was wrong because the flight attendants kept going back and forth in the aisles and had put on rubber gloves. “Alaska Airlines flight 146 from Anchorage to Seattle returned to Anchorage due to a passenger not following flight attendant’s instructions. While no emergency was declared, the decision was made to return to Anchorage,” Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson said in an email. Airport police and FBI met the plane when it landed shortly before 3 a.m. “The police came on and took him out the back door,” said Danyluk, an Anchorage teacher who was taking a “green escape” to attend a garden show in Seattle. It wasn’t immediately clear if the man was arrested.
  • U.S. health authorities say an herbal supplement promoted as an alternative pain remedy contains the same chemicals found in opioids, the addictive family of drugs at the center of a national addiction crisis. The Food and Drug Administration analysis, published Tuesday, makes it more likely that the supplement, kratom, could be banned by the federal government. The FDA also said it has identified 44 reports of death involving kratom since 2011, up from 36 reported in November. Sold in various capsules and powders, kratom has gained popularity in the U.S. as a treatment for pain, anxiety and drug dependence. Proponents argue that the substance is safer than opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, which have contributed to an epidemic of drug abuse. More than 63,000 Americans died in 2016 from drug overdoses, mostly from opioids. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reiterated that there are no FDA-approved medical uses for kratom, which is derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia. “Claiming that kratom is benign because it’s ‘just a plant’ is shortsighted and dangerous,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “It’s an opioid. And it’s an opioid that’s associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it’s being formulated, sold and used recreationally.” FDA scientists analyzed the 25 most common chemical compounds in kratom and concluded that they behave like those found in opioids including morphine.
  • Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests. The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don’t always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like “them” instead of “he” or “she.” “Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” said lead author Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who studies transgender health. The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens. Nearly 2,200 identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. The study found that these kids reported worse mental and physical health than other kids, echoing results seen in previous research. Bullying and discrimination are among possible reasons for the differences, Rider said, although the survey didn’t ask. Rider said it’s a study based on a statewide population of teens in ninth and 11th grades and that the results can be used to estimate numbers of trans and gender nonconforming teens in those grades across the United States. The study was published Monday in Pediatrics.
  • In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter’s semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine guns. With that push stalled at the federal level, a handful of states and some cities are moving ahead with bans of their own. Massachusetts and New Jersey — two states led by Republican governors — as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the devices, which were attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter who in October killed 58 people and injured hundreds more attending a nearby outdoor concert. A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans on bump stocks. Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge. For Zach Elmore, the issue is deeply personal. His sister among those wounded in the Las Vegas attack. He finds hope in the statewide and local efforts to ban bump stocks.
  • Glenn Schroeder

    KRMG Morning News Anchor

    Glenn is a self-described news and sports junkie. His passion for radio dates back to 1975. That's the year he got his first taste of life behind a microphone, handling play-by-play duties at his high school radio station. The University of Michigan graduate's circuitous journey to KRMG began at a very small radio station in Alamogordo, New Mexico. After stints at stations in Las Cruces, Mexico and Pueblo, Colorado, Glenn moved to Tulsa is 1991. It didn't take long for the Detroit native to realize that this is where he wanted to plant his roots. The Edward R. Murrow award winning journalist, who spent 10-years at KVOO, cites the Oklahoma City bombing as the most profound and difficult story he's ever covered. "The misery of those who lost loved one was deep and unrelenting. Yet, their strength and faith allowed our emotional scares to heal." Glenn's hobbies include running, gardening, Michigan football and NASCAR. "It's the only sport my wife enjoys." Glenn met Beth, the love of his life, in 1999. The two were married less than two years later.

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  • A motorist spotted a body in the street around 11:27 p.m. Saturday night. The discovery happened near Young and Quaker. Tulsa Sgt. Dave Walker tells us the medical examiner was called out to help. “They were able to determine he had a gunshot wound to the back of the head,” Walker said.  “That is the reason he died.” Investigators believe a shots fired call about an hour before the body was found is related to this case. The name of the victim hasn't been released. Police don’t have a suspect or motive for the homicide.  Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.   Walker adds this is Tulsa’s fifth homicide of 2018.  
  • Today will be perfect for outdoor activities. National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Hodges says we have a nice day ahead of us in and around Tulsa. “Should be topping out in the lower 60’s,” Hodges said.  “We’ll be kicking up a little more wind.” The low Sunday night will be closer to 57 degrees. If you get an extra day this weekend for Monday's holiday, make sure an umbrella is nearby. NWS is reporting we could see a few thunderstorms.   The high for Monday will be close to 61 degrees.  
  • In the wake of a fresh round of indictments in the wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and Sunday to repeatedly express his frustration with the probe, again proclaiming his innocence, attacking his critics, and demanding attention instead on actions of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton. “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election,” the President tweeted on Sunday morning – though Mr. Trump has been very slow to embrace the concept that Russia was at fault, as he derided the investigations into Russian interference in 2016. “They are laughing their asses off in Moscow,” the President said on Twitter. “Get smart America!” Those were just a sampling of a number of tweets from this weekend, as the President let off steam on a number of fronts. I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Finally, Liddle’ Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 The President even rebuked his own National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, over a point that Mr. Trump and his supporters have zeroed in on repeatedly – a lack of evidence that ties any Russian operation to the Trump Campaign. “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians,” as the President again tried to switch the attention of the moment to questions that the GOP has raised about Hillary Clinton, the Steele Dossier, and the Democratic National Committee. General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018 Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018 “The Fake News Media never fails,” the President wrote on Saturday, repeatedly making the argument that any Russian interference in 2016 did not tip the scales of the election in his favor. “Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President,” the President added. “The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!” he tweeted. Critics of the President noted what was missing in his Saturday and Sunday tweets about the Russia investigation was any pledge by Mr. Trump to implement tougher sanctions against Russia which were approved by the Congress, or to order tougher measures to stop any Russian meddling. Last week, the nation’s top intelligence officials all agreed that Russia was going to try to repeat their 2016 effort in the 2018 election – asked by Democrats if there was any specific order from the President to focus on that threat, the intelligence chiefs only indicated that they were focused on the matter. “Look, this is pretty simple,” said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the National Security Agency. “The Russians objective was to mess with our heads.” “Based on his late PM – this AM joint Twitter meltdown, it’s safe to say “Trump” is having a nervous breakdown as Mueller’s walls close in,” said John Schindler, a former U.S. intelligence official who has been highly critical of the President’s statements on the Russia probe. Late on Saturday night, the President also drew in the Russia investigation to criticize the FBI over the mass shooting at a high school in Florida last week. ” They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign,” the President said. Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Here is the latest Russia indictment from last Friday.
  • A man is dead following an auto-pedestrian collision Friday night in Tulsa. Officers at the scene tell us the crash happened around 10 p.m. near 21st and Memorial. “The pedestrian was crossing the street from the north to the south and was struck by a vehicle,” police said.  “The vehicle was heading eastbound.” The driver did stay at the scene. Investigators don't believe the driver was at fault for the collision.   Investigators reports the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the hospital.  As of early Saturday morning, his name hasn’t been released.  
  • When you look outside this morning, expect to see soggy conditions. However, National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Hodges says the Tulsa area won't remain wet all day. “We’ll probably get some filtered sunshine later in the day,” Hodges said.  “Temperatures should be topping out pretty close to 60.” The low Saturday night will be around 34 degrees. Sunday is probably the better bet for outdoor activities.  NWS is reporting cloudy skies and the high will be close to 67 degrees.   The Tulsa area could reach 72 degrees by Monday.