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PM NewsBrief: May 17, 2024

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, May 17, 2024.

Governors Seek Release of U.S. Citizens Detained in Turks and Caicos Over Ammunition Incidents

Three U.S. citizens were arrested in Turks and Caicos following separate incidents of ammunition being found in their luggage. Gov. Kevin Stitt has joined two other governors in asking for their release.

Stitt, along with the Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia, sent a letter to the Governor of Turks and Caicos on Wednesday asking for the release of three men, one from each state, who have recently been charged with ammunition possession.

None of the men were carrying firearms and claim the ammunition found in their luggage was unintentionally left in their bags after legal recreational activities in the United States.

In the letter, the governors write they recognize the importance of upholding the law and acknowledge the men made mistakes. However, they write the men had no apparent malicious intent and so request they be released back to the United States.

Their charges come with a minimum sentence of 12 years.

Stitt Approves Plans For Capitol Arch, Amphitheater

A new landmark is coming to the south side of Oklahoma’s Capitol building. Gov. Kevin Stitt approved the $4.3 million project earlier this week.

Stitt signed a bill to build an arch on the south side of the state Capitol complex.

The purpose of the arch is to honor the work and sacrifices of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Early plans for the arch addition were drafted in 1917 but did not go forward because of a lack of funding at the time.

The arch is expected to be 30 feet tall and 60 feet wide.

An amphitheater seating 100 people and a veteran’s park will also be constructed.

Funding for the project will come from Legacy Capital Financing Fund to the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority.

U.S. Census Bureau Report: Oklahoma City Among Fastest-Growing Cities

The U.S. Census Bureau has a new breakdown on where populations are growing and shrinking in the country.

Overall, the state population grew by about 1% or about 34,000 people.

Oklahoma City netted more than 7500 new residents year-over-year in mid-2023 — that includes newborn babies and people who moved here. They pushed the city’s population over the 700,000-person threshold and made OKC the 14th-fastest growing city in the country last year.

Tulsa only grew by about 150 people. But its suburbs are booming. Bixby’s population grew by 3%; Owasso by nearly 5%.

Of Oklahoma’s 15 largest cities, only Lawton’s population declined. It lost about 600 residents.

Turner Turnpike Closure

A portion of the Turner Turnpike will be closed this weekend for bridge construction.

Starting Friday, the westbound lanes will be closed between State Highways 99 and 18 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday for the installation of bridge beams over the Old Stroud Bridge Road. Detours will be in place.

Similarly, the eastbound lanes will be closed Saturday night through 6 a.m. Sunday.

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