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PM NewsBrief: May 9, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

Election Day Summary

It’s Election Day in 22 counties across Oklahoma.

Garfield County residents will vote on a 0.3% percent sales tax increase to expand and renovate the county jail.

Approval would help ease overcrowding by adding 82 beds and 16,000 square feet. The same proposal was rejected by voters last fall.

Voters in Moore will decide whether the city establishes a curbside recycling program, at a residential rate of nearly $4 per month. A similar proposal was defeated by voters in 2016.

In Norman, voters are deciding whether to increase their hotel room excise tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. The tax will NOT be paid by Norman residents.

Polling places are open until 7 p.m. tonight.

You can check your polling location and view a sample ballot at elections.ok.gov.

Mullin, Lucas Seeking $92 Million For New Pilot Training Center

U.S. lawmakers from Oklahoma are seeking $760 million in funding for state projects this year, with Senator Markwayne Mullin accounting for almost half of the total requests.

The Oklahoman newspaper reports Mullin and Representative Frank Lucas are seeking $92 million to construct a new pilot training center at Vance Air Force Base.

Major highway projects in the state's two metro areas are also on the lawmakers' list of requests.

More than $80 million is being sought for improvements to the I-240 and I-35 interchange in Oklahoma City.

Last year, lawmakers secured more than $650 million in projects for Oklahoma.

FEMA Assistance For Cleveland County

Cleveland County residents and businesses who were impacted by last month’s tornadoes are now eligible for federal disaster relief.

Significant destruction in the Shawnee area and the tiny town of Cole prompted quick approval of a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government for Pottawatomie and McClain Counties in the days following the storms.

Gov. Kevin Stitt in a news release Monday announced Cleveland County residents and businesses can now also qualify for assistance through FEMA to help with housing repairs, get low-interest federal loans to replace damaged property and grants for other necessary needs and expenses.

The statement goes on to say nearly a million dollars in FEMA aid has already been disbursed related to the April storms.

Lost Creek Safari Temporarily Closes

A popular zoo in Stillwater is temporarily closing following an incident between a visitor and an animal.

Lost Creek Safari announced on social media that it will be closing for a few days after an incident that involved one of the animals and a visitor who acted QUOTE "inappropriately".

Zoo officials say they contacted authorities, and will review what happened to decide their next course of action.

The zoo said they hope to reopen soon.


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