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PM NewsBrief: April 25, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

Oklahoma AG Requesting Clemency for Death Row Inmate Richard Glossip

The state’s top prosecutor is requesting clemency for death row inmate Richard Glossip.

The Associated Press reports, ahead of Richard Glossip’s Wednesday clemency hearing, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond wrote a letter to the Pardon and Parole Board requesting they vote for clemency.

This follows the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denying Drummond’s request to vacate Glossip’s conviction last week.

Earlier this month, Drummond’s office released an independent report highlighting the issues with Glossip’s case, including undisclosed documents and prosecutorial failures during his murder-for-hire trial.

If a majority of the five-member board votes to recommend clemency, the decision whether to commute Glossip’s sentence to life in prison or allow the execution to proceed will go to Governor Kevin Stitt.

House Lawmakers Pass Paid Maternity Leave for State Workers

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday to provide six weeks of paid maternity leave for full-time state employees following the birth or adoption of a child.

Under Senate Bill 193, mothers must be full-time state employees for at least two years before being eligible for the leave.

Representative Nick Archer says paid maternity leave will help state agencies recruit and retain state workers.

According to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, employee turnover cost the state more than $100 million in 2021.

The bill now returns to the Senate for further consideration.

“America’s Teacher of the Year” Ceremony at White House

A Tulsa teacher was honored as America's Teacher of the Year at a White House ceremony Monday.

Rebecka Peterson, a Union High math teacher, met with President Biden and the First Lady in the Rose Garden.

Peterson is a Swedish Iranian immigrant. She thanks her family and her teachers who she said channeled their influence for good and inspired her to follow their path.

“I want to bring the good news of joy and hope to my students and to reciprocate that gift of education that my teachers gave me,” Peterson said.

Peterson is the third Oklahoma teacher to win the award since the 1960's.

Passenger Traffic Sets Record at Will Rogers World Airport

Will Rogers World Airport set a record for travelers last month.

The airport says more than 391,389 people used the airport in March, which is 22% higher than last year at this time.

There were also a record 980,188 people who flew in and out of OKC from January through March.

The high passenger traffic returned the airport to pre-pandemic travel levels.

The previous record for travelers was set in March 2019.

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