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AM NewsBrief: July 3, 2024

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors Seek Reconsideration of Dismissed Lawsuit

The last two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre are hoping to get the Oklahoma Supreme Court to reconsider its recent dismissal of their lawsuit. The survivors’ attorneys are also calling for a federal probe.

At a press conference, attorneys representing the two living Massacre survivors announced they’ve filed a petition to get their public nuisance case back to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

In an emotional plea, Lead Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons is also calling on President Biden and the U.S. Justice Department to begin a federal investigation.

“Well, now that we have been failed by the courts, now that we’ve been failed by the Congress, we’re calling upon President Biden to fulfill his promise to these survivors, to this community and to Black people throughout this nation," said Solomon-Simmons.

The state’s highest court dismissed the survivors’ lawsuit last month (in June), which sought damages from the city of Tulsa and the county for the destruction of the neighborhood known as Black Wall Street.

One of the last two survivors, Lessie Benningfield Randle, attended Tuesday's press conference with her granddaughter.
She and fellow survivor Viola Fletcher are both over 100 years old.

Deadly Standoff In Oklahoma City Under Investigation

Oklahoma City police are investigating a deadly standoff that lasted several hours Tuesday morning.

Police say officers were met with gunfire when they went to a disturbance call at a home near Northwest 36th and Pennsylvania.

One officer was shot, and is expected to recover from injuries.

Police shot the suspect during an exchange of gunfire. Two women and three children were inside the home during the standoff. They were not hurt.

The identity of the suspect and the motive behind the incident are still under investigation.

Study Reveals Which States Oklahomans Travel to for Abortions Amid Near-Total Ban

A near-total abortion ban in Oklahoma means residents are traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion. A new study looks into where they are going.

The Guttmacher Institute’s monthly abortion provision study found Oklahomans are most frequently traveling to Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Illinois to obtain an abortion. In 2023, an estimated 4,000 Oklahomans got abortions in these states. Over 80% of them occurred in Kansas.

Broken Arrow Senator Nathan Dahm introduced an abortion travel ban this spring against anyone who helps a minor obtain an abortion, but a committee never took it up.

The Guttmacher Institute’s study will continue tracking abortions provided by a clinician in states without a near-total ban each month. Its data does not include self-managed abortions, where people obtain abortion pills outside of a clinician.

New Smartphone App Helps Students Learn Muscogee Language

A new tool to learn the Muscogee language is available on smartphones.

The Muscogee Language Dictionary App is a quick and easy tool for students learning Muscogee.

Julia Mainzinger is a Muscogee Nation citizen and the app’s developer. She says she became involved in the project as a student herself.

“I grew up away from the reservation, so I just got interested and was starting to learn. And then I took classes online at the College of the Muscogee nation during the pandemic," Mainzinger said.

Now, this tool helps her continue learning the language faster.

“It takes a while to look up each individual word alphabetically, and so being able to search quickly from the phone and just have it on the go is really helpful for learning and just being in life," she said.

The Muscogee Language Dictionary App is available on all mobile devices.

NOTE: The next episode of the KGOU AM NewsBrief will be on Friday, July 5.
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