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PM NewsBrief: May 1, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Monday, May 1, 2023.

Gov. Kevin Stitt Says He Won't Further Stay Execution of Richard Glossip

Oklahoma Death Row inmate Richard Glossip is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution.

Following the Pardon and Parole Board’s decision against recommending clemency last week, Richard Glossip filed an unopposed application for stay of execution to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has stayed Glossip’s execution in the past to allow time for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to examine claims of innocence and prosecutorial misconduct, says he will not attempt to further stay Glossip’s execution.

“This person has been through two different trails and was convicted by a jury of their peers twice. And unless the courts intervene or act, we’re going to follow the law,” Stitt said.

Glossip is scheduled to be executed on May 18.

Proposed Heartland Flyer Extension Update

It’s still going to be a while until passenger rail connects Oklahoma City to Kansas. But there’s some movement on the proposed Heartland Flyer Extension.

The Kansas and Oklahoma Departments of Transportation are hoping to connect Oklahoma City with much of the rest of the country via Amtrak.

The states are applying for the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor Identification and Development Program - paid for by the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

K-DOT’s Cory Davis says there’s still a long way to go.

"Right now we’re in the planning phase where we are developing a service development plan that kind of provide a roadmap for moving the service forward… Our goal right now is to get in that pipeline to be able to access those federal fund," said Davis.

If the states do get the federal funding, the development of the project would still be years away.

If and when the program is completed, the Heartland Flyer Extension would reconnect Oklahoma and Kansas communities north to the national Amtrak network.

Federal Agencies Working To Preserve Indian Boarding Schools History

Two federal agencies are partnering to ensure the history of federal Indian Boarding schools is preserved and documented.

The Department of the Interior and the National Endowment for the Humanities announced a partnership to expand the Federal Boarding School initiative by collecting oral histories from survivors and digitizing records from 408 boarding schools throughout the United States.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has committed $4 million for the project.

The effort will culminate in a permanent collection that documents the experiences of survivors.

The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative is an ongoing effort by the Department of the Interior to recognize the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding schools.

An initial report was released last year and was followed by a listening tour where Interior Secretary Deb Haaland heard from survivors of some of these schools.

Oklahoman's Journey On American Idol Concludes

Lawton native PJAE’s American Idol Journey has concluded, but he’s not done with music.

PJAE made it to the Top 26. He says his American Idol journey was fun, but there’s more on the horizon he’s excited about.

"From what I can say, I have more music coming, which is exciting to say, so that’s one thing that’s next. There’s more that I can’t necessarily share. But I think honestly a fresh attitude is the biggest thing," PJAE said.

PJAE says he was touched by the support of the Lawton-Fort Sill Community.

“It was really awesome to kind of see the community band together and support me… it taught me a lot about community and my hometown honestly.”

PJAE’s time on American Idol ended in Hollywood when the top 20 contestants were announced last week.


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