Tahlequah Daily Press

September 11, 2013

Extra trooper patrols expected for event

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — State troopers will be out in high numbers this weekend when Diamondhead Resort hosts Medicine Stone, a music festival that’s expected to bring at least a couple thousand visitors to the Illinois River.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Chris Arnall, of Muskogee’s Troop C, said troopers have been attending meetings with organizers of the festival to provide feedback and recommendations to deal with the expected influx of traffic.

Other law enforcement agencies will be handling on-site security at the festival, and troopers will saturate roads that lead to the Illinois River.

“There will probably be eight to 10 troopers working,” said Arnall. “We’ll also probably do some air assignments on U.S. Highway 62. Traffic will be coming in from all over – Muskogee, Tulsa, and other cities.”

Medicine Stone runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Troopers expect the last two days to be the busiest.

“Troopers will be staggered in the area from 3 p.m. all the way until 4 in the morning during the festival,” said Arnall. “We’ll be watching for intoxicated drivers, of course; and aggressive, reckless drivers. We’re mainly going to be looking at traffic violations, with our focus on intoxicated drivers and making sure people going to or coming from the concert are safe.”

Arnall said festival organizers are allowing visitors to camp on-site, so troopers hope those who drink alcohol elect to stay rather than get behind the wheel.

“I don’t suspect a lot of trouble,” Arnall said. “It’s hard to tell being the first year for the event, so we’re testing the waters.”

Arnall said troopers could decide to set up a safety checkpoint during the saturation patrol, though none have been specifically planned so far.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will have signs in place to help visitors navigate State Highway 10 around Diamondhead Resort. Arnall said parking will not be allowed on the rights-of-way or shoulders of S.H. 10, and any cars parked in those places can be towed away.State troopers will be out in high numbers this weekend when Diamondhead Resort hosts Medicine Stone, a music festival that’s expected to bring at least a couple thousand visitors to the Illinois River.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Chris Arnall, of Muskogee’s Troop C, said troopers have been attending meetings with organizers of the festival to provide feedback and recommendations to deal with the expected influx of traffic.

Other law enforcement agencies will be handling on-site security at the festival, and troopers will saturate roads that lead to the Illinois River.

“There will probably be eight to 10 troopers working,” said Arnall. “We’ll also probably do some air assignments on U.S. Highway 62. Traffic will be coming in from all over – Muskogee, Tulsa, and other cities.”

Medicine Stone runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Troopers expect the last two days to be the busiest.

“Troopers will be staggered in the area from 3 p.m. all the way until 4 in the morning during the festival,” said Arnall. “We’ll be watching for intoxicated drivers, of course; and aggressive, reckless drivers. We’re mainly going to be looking at traffic violations, with our focus on intoxicated drivers and making sure people going to or coming from the concert are safe.”

Arnall said festival organizers are allowing visitors to camp on-site, so troopers hope those who drink alcohol elect to stay rather than get behind the wheel.

“I don’t suspect a lot of trouble,” Arnall said. “It’s hard to tell being the first year for the event, so we’re testing the waters.”

Arnall said troopers could decide to set up a safety checkpoint during the saturation patrol, though none have been specifically planned so far.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will have signs in place to help visitors navigate State Highway 10 around Diamondhead Resort. Arnall said parking will not be allowed on the rights-of-way or shoulders of S.H. 10, and any cars parked in those places can be towed away.

--jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com