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PM NewsBrief: June 7, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

Death Row Inmate Denied Clemency

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 today to deny a recommendation of clemency to death row inmate Jemaine Cannon.

Cannon is on death row for the 1995 murder of Sharonda Clark.

Cannon’s legal team opened the hearing by sharing Cannon’s claim of killing Clark in self-defense.

They also brought up Cannon’s chronic childhood abuse and subsequent diagnosis of Complex PTSD. They also claim the crime scene was not investigated properly.

Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, including AG Gentner Drummond himself, argued Cannon did not act in self-defense and pointed out how he was a fugitive on the run at the time of the murder, having been sentenced to 15 years in prison for assaulting and attempting to kill Awanna Simpkins.

Clark’s two daughters and Pam Salzman, an ex-girlfriend of Cannon’s who claims he physically abused her, asked the board not to recommend clemency.

Cannon restated his self-defense claim to the board and also denied assaulting Simpkins, a charge to which he pled no contest. I’m Hannah France.

Turnpike Cash Rates Going Up

Drivers heading to Tulsa will soon have to pay more to take the turnpike.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Board announced new toll rates for four turnpikes in Eastern Oklahoma as part of the upcoming transition to a cashless system.

Drivers taking the Turner Turnpike from OKC to Tulsa will pay $8.75. The current cash rate is $5 for a 2-axle vehicle.

Those with a PIKEPASS account will not see a rate increase.

The turnpike authority says Plate-Pay rates are higher than the current cash rates due to administrative costs.

The OTA plans to convert all toll roads in the state to 'Plate-Pay" by the end of 2024.

deadCenter Film Festival Begins Thursday

The 23rd annual deadCenter Film Festival begins tomorrow in Oklahoma City.

The state’s largest film festival takes over downtown OKC this weekend.

DeadCenter will feature several movies, including documentaries, narratives and short films.

The festival will premiere the OKCThunder Films’ latest project titled STEPS, which follows one Oklahoma athlete’s journey to the Paralympic Games.

Other screenings include films about the state and others that premiered at Sundance and SXSW.

This year, the festival will also launch a program called Film Future. It will explore what might be next for the film industry, including virtual reality experiences and the use of drones in film.

Oklahoma City took another step toward becoming a more pedestrian and cycling-friendly community.

Pedestrian Bridge Opens In Oklahoma City

A pedestrian bridge opened today over NW Expressway near Wilshire Blvd.

The bridge is part of the Hefner-Overholser Trail to allow safe passage for pedestrians.

Bond programs aimed at improving infrastructure and promoting alternative transportation funded the $5.3 million project.

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