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AM NewsBrief: Aug. 26, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.

Oklahoma executes James Coddington, the fifth death row inmate to be killed since the state resumed capital punishment

For the third time in 2022 and just the fifth time in seven years, Oklahoma has executed a death row inmate.

James Coddington was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 10:16 Thursday morning at the state penitentiary in McAlester.

Witnesses said Coddington's execution appeared to go without issue.

Despite a history of botched executions, Corrections Director Scott Crow said he expects the state to be able to handle two dozen over the next two years.

Oklahoma's next execution is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Conservative organization calls for Oklahoma lawmakers to reconsider their stance on the death penalty

Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, a national organization advocating for the end of capital punishment announced it is launching a chapter in Oklahoma in a press conference at the State Capitol on Thursday.

The organization is also calling for a new moratorium on the death penalty and says state officials have ignored the advice of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

Adam Luck, former chairman of the state Pardon and Parole Board, challenged elected officials to reexamine their beliefs and to read the commission’s report.

"The stakes are too high for us all not to apply the highest levels of intellectual integrityand moral aspirations when deciding whether or not to use the death penalty and whether or not we want the state of Oklahoma killing in our name," said Luck.

Oklahoma education board declines re-hearing Tulsa and Mustang accreditation status

People from Mustang and Tulsa rallied around their districts Thursday asking Oklahoma’s State Board of Education to reverse an accreditation warning for discussing race, sex and equity in the classroom.

The State Board of Education decided not to hear an appeal of the districts' accreditation penalty for violating Oklahoma’s law banning controversial topics, HB 1775.

Public comment lasted about 40 minutes. Parents, educators and administrators from Tulsa and Mustang begged for a chance to be heard.

But the state board was having none of it.

Three members quickly voted down the request. That leaves Mustang and Tulsa still accredited with a warning and students and teachers still confused about how to discuss difficult topics.

Wind turbine remanufacturing facility comes to Enid

A wind turbine remanufacturing facility is coming to Enid.

South Dakota-based RENEW Energy announced it will begin construction on a facility that will remanufacture wind turbine drive trains.

The building will be able to hold the largest capacity in North America in regards to the size of the turbines that will be serviced.

The company says the facility at its peak will be able to offer more than 90 full-time jobs to the community.

Osage Nation receives federal money to improve internet access

Earlier this month, the Osage Nation received more than $40 million from the federal government to improve their internet access.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program committed nearly $1 billion to help improve internet access to tribal communities in rural areas where internet access remains difficult.

So far, the program has funded 43 projects.

The money will be used for fiber buildouts in 12 areas within the Osage Nation. Tribal Nation officials say this will help with economic growth in the area and provide more jobs.

Tribal officials anticipate that once the infrastructure is put in place for better high speed internet access it will have positive impacts on health care, public safety and education.

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