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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 21, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

Oklahoma sets record for emergency teaching certifications...again

Oklahoma broke its annual record for emergency teaching certifications, and there’s still one more month to go. Nearly 3,700 emergency certified educators will be in Oklahoma classrooms.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education met Thursday and approved the latest batch of certifications. As of now, this year’s emergency certification list totals 3,690, which is 74 more educators than all of last year. And the biggest share of those certifications went to elementary education, which made up nearly a thousand of them.

Emergency certifications last for one year and can be renewed twice. They’re for educators who haven’t yet met the state’s teaching qualifications but who do hold a bachelor’s degree.

This school year started with a record number of teaching vacancies, in part fueled by the nearly 2,000 teachers who retired this summer. Districts hope the legislature’s move this spring to offer nearly $28,000 in new teacher incentives will help bridge the ever-widening gap.

Oklahoman among those killed in Colorado Springs nightclub mass shooting

An Oklahoman was among those killed over the weekend in the Colorado Springs nightclub mass shooting, according to a report from ABC News.

The news outlet confirmed that Daniel Davis Aston, who worked as a bartender at the club, was one of the victims who lost their lives in the shooting at Club Q.

This comes after a 22-year-old gunman opened fire in the LGBTQ nightclub late Saturday, killing five people and injuring 25.

Glossip execution update

The second of death row inmate Richard Glossip’s two challenges to his sentence was denied on Thursday.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Richard Glossip’s second request for a new evidentiary hearing, following last week’s decision to deny Glossip’s first request and his claim of factual innocence.

These challenges came after an investigative report by law firm Reed Smith found letters suggesting Justin Sneed, the man who carried out the murder of motel owner Barry Van Trese in 1997, wanted to recant his statement that Glossip had paid him to commit the crime.

Now that both challenges have been denied by the court, Glossip will be executed on February 16 unless clemency is recommended by the Pardon and Parole Board and granted by Gov. Stitt.

Holiday air travel up from last year

Many will be hitting the road this Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA predicts nearly 55 million people will travel this Thanksgiving--a slight increase from last year. Most will choose to drive, but others will take to the skies.

According to the agency, air travel is up nearly 8% over last year, nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Will Rogers World Airport says passengers and visitors can expect longer lines and wait times this year. The airport estimates 35,000 passengers will make their way through Will Rogers leading up to the holiday. Travelers are strongly urged to arrive at least two hours before their flight's boarding time and have their belongings ready to be checked and documentation prepared to minimize delays.

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