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AM NewsBrief: Aug. 15, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.

Oklahoma County Not At Fault For Death Of An Inmate

Oklahoma County has been found not at fault for the death of an inmate in 2019.

A federal jury has found Oklahoma County is not at fault for the 2019 death of 56-year-old inmate Daryl Clinton. A medical examiner has ruled his death an accident.

Clinton was arrested in August 2019 for possession of illegal drugs after backing his car into a light pole. He was treated at a hospital prior to being brought to the jail and was placed under medical evaluation once there. He was found on the floor of his cell a few days later and was taken to a hospital where he died the same day.

Inmate deaths have been an issue at the Oklahoma County Jail in recent years, with 16 deaths last year and six deaths so far this year.

Oklahoma City Rental Prices Falling

Oklahoma City’s rental market is cooling, according to a new report from a local real estate firm.

Asking prices for apartments of all sizes fell over the last few months in Oklahoma City. That’s per a report from the NAI Sullivan Group.

The 13.3% monthly rent decrease last quarter follows “astronomical rents” in the first quarter of the year.

The report says cooling costs of multi-family housing is not necessarily shocking.

Falling prices and increasing numbers of transactions are indications that inflation-reduction measures taken by the federal government could be working.

The multi-family housing market appears to be slowly stabilizing. OKC residents could see rental prices continue to level off following the past few years’ “COVID premium.”

Clinton Hospital On The Path To Reopening

The hospital in Clinton is another step closer to reopening. The city now has a hospital license in hand from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Interim hospital CEO Reva Burton told the Clinton Daily News the facility is still about two to three months away from reopening, but some variables like supply chain issues could push that back.

Work to prepare the hospital for opening continues on the inside as crews paint walls and make various upgrades.

Officials are assembling a core crew to operate the hospital. That includes directors of labs and radiology among other roles.

The hospital has been closed since the beginning of the year after the previous company managing the facility pulled out and canceled state and federal licenses, leaving the closest hospital about 20 minutes away.

Oklahoma City Heat Mapping Project

More than 250 volunteers collected temperature and air quality data around Oklahoma City in a community science study Saturday. OKC is one of 18 cities that participated in this project to map the urban heat island effect.

Wet weather and cooler temperatures didn’t stop volunteers from coming out to map the effects of heat on the city.

The NOAA funded project has been active since 2017 to collect data on how parking lots and buildings can amplify the impacts of extreme heat while bringing awareness to the uneven distribution of greenspaces in cities.

Sarah Terry-Cobo is an associate planner with the city’s sustainability office. Using a consumer-grade thermal imaging device attached to her iPhone, she’s surprised by the temperature difference between the concrete sidewalk and the prairie habitat at Myriad Botanical Gardens.

"Oh, look at this. I just love the contrast. With the sidewalk at 92 degrees, 93 degrees. And then this tree, maybe it's a spruce. I'm not sure. At 85," said Terry-Cobo. "So what we're seeing right now in the Myriad Gardens is a great example of a potential cooling strategy for urban heat islands.”

She says this could be one way the city tackles the urban heat island effect.

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