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PM NewsBrief: Dec. 29, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2022.

Voting Analysis

A Tulsa World analysis of November’s election reveals an abysmal showing for younger Oklahoma voters.

A whopping 76% of Oklahoma voters 30 and younger didn’t vote in this fall’s midterm elections, according to an analysis by the Tulsa World. That’s almost seven points down from the 2018 midterms.

The statistic is at odds with this midterm’s national young voter turnout, which was the second-highest in the last three decades. Analysts partially credit the curtailing of this election’s expected “red wave” to young voters, who overwhelmingly preferred Democratic candidates. But Oklahoma’s voter decline wasn’t exclusive just to young voters - overall voter participation in the state declined by nearly six points from 2018’s midterm. Oklahomans will get another chance at the polls on March 7 to vote on a state question legalizing recreational cannabis..

Don't Call 911 for Fireworks

Oklahoma City is asking residents to avoid calling 911 on New Year’s Eve regarding illegal fireworks. Officials say complaints about fireworks tend to tie up 911 phone lines, leaving them unavailable for emergencies. The City of OKC says residents are advised to contact 911 if someone is injured by a firework or if fireworks start a fire. If residents know the address of the people launching fireworks, they can report it at okc.gov/action, use the city’s mobile app: OKC Connect, or text 405-252-1053. City officials say those who violate the City’s fireworks ordinances are subject to a $500 fine, confiscation of fireworks and a possible jail sentence.

Free Hikes

Oklahoma State Parks is kicking off the new year with free guided hikes. The hikes are being offered as part of the nationwide "First Day Hikes" effort to promote outdoor recreation. Staff and volunteers will lead hikes on New Year’s Day at several Oklahoma state parks, including Lake Thunderbird in Norman. Tourism & Recreation Department Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt says the special day program is a great way to explore Oklahoma’s state parks, and that the agency is looking forward to seeing hikers from all over the state. More information about the hikes, locations and times can be found at KGOU.org.

Delayed Flights

As Southwest Airlines continues to struggle to get back on track with thousands of passengers stranded across the country, Will Rogers World Airport says the airline is the only one who can address issues with flights. The airport says they have received numerous calls from Southwest passengers trying to find a flight or track down their checked bags. Officials at Will Rogers remind travelers that they need to contact the airline directly. According to FlightAware.com, Southwest has canceled nearly 2,300 flights across the nation today (Thursday).


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