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PM NewsBrief: Apr. 16, 2024

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for April 16, 2024.

Oklahoma Legislature Passes Bill Increasing Penalties for Strangulation

A proposed law would increase penalties for domestic abuse by strangulation.

Republican Senator Kristen Thompson’s Senate Bill 1211 passed the House floor on Monday with a vote of 86-3.

The bill would raise the maximum sentencing limit for strangulation — a known red flag for escalating domestic violence — from three years to 10.

In a statement, Thompson said strangulation is “an abhorrent crime that should never be tolerated.” She hopes allowing judges to put those convicted in prison for up to a decade will send a strong message to abusers.

There are currently more than 300 offenders currently serving time for domestic abuse by strangulation in Oklahoma.

The bill will now go to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk for signature. If he signs the legislation into law, it would take effect Nov. 1.

New Documentary Explores Lessons Learned From 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing

A new documentary on HBO Max delves into the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.

A survivor said “every April 19th is bittersweet. I remember exactly what I was doing that morning.”

“An American Bombing: The Road to April 19” explores the domestic terrorist attack that took place 29 years ago and what led up to it.

On April 19, Timothy McVeigh ignited a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The tragedy claimed 168 lives, including 19 children.

“McVeigh was a tragic example of a guy who thought our differences were more important that what we have in common,” said Former President Bill Clinton.

The documentary features interviews with key figures including former President Bill Clinton, bombing survivor Nancy Shaw and investigative reporters.

According to a media release, the documentary questions the lessons learned from past acts of domestic terrorism and stands as an essential wake-up call.

The film premieres tonight at 8:00 p.m. CT on HBO Max.

USDA Provides Emergency Funding For Farmers, Ranchers Impacted By Wildfires

More federal funding is available to help farmers and ranchers who were impacted by recent wildfires.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is opening a special disaster sign-up for $1 million in additional funding.

Eight northwest and panhandle counties (Ellis, Roger Mills, Beaver, Harper, Dewey, Woods and Texas counties) are eligible for the emergency funding.

Producers must submit applications to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) by May 10.

The assistance can be used for replacing fencing and water resources as well as land recovery.

The conservation agency says loss of vegetation not only affects forages for livestock and wildlife habitat, but it can lead to increased soil loss due to erosion from wind and water.

Hunters Invited to Assist in Research to Save Oklahoma’s Declining Turkey Populations

Oklahoma’s spring turkey season starts April 16 and runs through May 16.

For the last decade, turkey numbers have been on a mysterious decline across the Southeastern U.S.

Oklahoma hunters are invited to assist with research to help the state’s turkey populations thrive.

Colter Chitwood is a wildlife ecologist at Oklahoma State University. He is working with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to understand the state’s turkey situation and get ideas on how to maintain healthy wild turkey populations.

Chitwood’s research team wants to look at turkey genetics statewide, but it would be difficult and expensive for them to personally gather enough gobblers.

"But what we can do is see if hunters would be willing to donate a really tiny, tiny little piece of meat. I don't even know how to show you how small. I mean, we're talking about, like, the eraser on a pencil," Chitwood said.

If you bag a turkey this spring and want to help, you can reach out to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. They’ll send you a little kit with everything you need.

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