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AM NewsBrief: July 14, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, July 14, 2023.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Faces Lawsuit From 2022 Apartment Fire

OG&E and its contractor Red Dirt Electric are facing a lawsuit of over $60 million from the developers of the Canton at Classen Curve apartments, which were destroyed in a massive fire in February of last year.

The fire broke out just weeks before the complex was due to open, resulting in the complete loss of the building. An investigation concluded that the blaze was possibly caused by an electrical malfunction.

The lawsuit claims negligence from both OG&E and Red Dirt Electric for failing to properly install and inspect the power connections to the building.

OG&E says they are reviewing the lawsuit and will not comment on pending litigation. The developers of the Canton declined to comment.

According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, the blaze is the largest known commercial fire in the history of Oklahoma City.

Drought Conditions Continue To Improve

After most of the state received days of heavy rainfall, Oklahoma’s drought report looks refreshing.

Just a quarter of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought, although another third is still classified as “abnormally dry.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor calculates the severity of drought on a scale from 0 to 500, where 0 would indicate a drought-free state and 500 would mean exceptional drought everywhere.

Last October, Oklahoma hit 412 on that Drought Severity Index. This week, the state dropped below 100 on that scale for the first time in over a year.

That’s largely thanks to recent rains — the past month has been wetter than normal for this time of year across most of the state.

Still, about half a million Oklahomans remain in a drought, most of them in the northern and southwestern parts of the state.

Oklahoma City Rec Center Opens Saturday

Oklahoma City will open its first recreation center in over 40 years Saturday.

The Willa D. Johnson Recreation Center will open in Northeast Oklahoma City, honoring the former Ward 7 council member. Johnson was the first Black woman to serve on city council, representing Ward 7 for 14 years.

The $17.5 million facility includes a gym, lounge, two multipurpose rooms, kitchen and an indoor swimming pool. The center will have a mural titled “Freedom to Dream” that was created by three artists with Douglass High School students.

Adult memberships will cost $15-$25 a month and youth $10-$15. The facility will be fully opened to the public next week.

A grand opening celebration for the new Johnson Rec Center will be Saturday and include tours, vendors and food.

Oklahoma Emmy Nominations

The Emmy Nominations are out and a few Oklahoma productions were recognized.

Among the nominees were Prey, Tulsa King and Reservation Dogs.

Prey, was released on the streaming platform Hulu. It’s about a young Comanche warrior named Naru and received six nominations including one for outstanding television movie and one for outstanding directing a limited series or movie. The film was widely praised for it's representation of Comanche culture — with parts being spoken entirely in the Comanche language.

Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone is about a New York mob boss exiled to Tulsa. It received one nomination for stunt coordination.

Reservation Dogs, the first of its kind series about Native teens shot entirely on the Muscogee Nation reservation, received only one nomination for sound editing. That pales in comparison to the past as the series landed on a number of best of lists last year.

The awards ceremony will take place this fall.

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