News to Know: Convicted Oklahoma murderer executed, Wichita company pays employees to substitute teach, and Neosho hires student custodians

The news you need to know before you head out the door

MCALESTER, Okla. – On Thursday Oklahoma executed a man for killing two hotel workers during a robbery in 2001. A small group of people gathered to protest the execution outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Authorities say the now 46-year-old Donald Grant killed Brenda Mcelyea and Felicia Suzette Smith so there’d be no witnesses to his robbery. Mcelyea’s sister spoke to the media after Thursday’s execution. This was the first execution in the U.S. in 2022 and the third in Oklahoma since the state resumed lethal injections in October.

NEOSHO, Mo. – Staff shortages have led to a new way for Neosho High School students to get a jump start on their resume. The Neosho School District is rolling out a new program that will allow students to apply to become a part of their custodial staff. The students will be able to work up to 19 hours a week. David Alan, the custodial supervisor for the school district, says the shortage of custodial staff has impacted their ability to clean the schools properly. So far four students have applied to the program. The custodial team is currently four people short.

WICHITA, Kan. – Another school shortage brought on by the pandemic, not enough substitute teachers. It’s become so dire, some schools have struggled to stay open. In Wichita, Kansas a construction company is stepping in to help. The CEO of Hutton Construction says the plan is to give five extra PTO days to all 275 team members to use to sub or para in classrooms through the end of the year. Some employees are already excited about the opportunity and are getting started with the sub process. They’ll get their regular salary pay on top of pay they earn while subbing.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson is calling for increased funding for higher education in the proposed state budget for next fiscal year. Some of that increased funding would go to Missouri Southern if the budget is passed. One impact would be a $1.4 million dollar increase for the school’s core budget. It would also give the university $30-million dollars for a health science innovation building. The budget would also provide more than $700-thousand dollars for a proposed center for digital media and virtual production.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: The Neosho School District is filling staffing shortages with student employees, specifically in the custodial department. This morning we are asking if you worked while attending school? Join the KOAM Facebook discussion and weigh in at koamnewsnow.com/vote.