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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma"

Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms

In honor of Veterans Day, the Oklahoma State football program (OSU) is rolling out a new set of military-style uniforms during their game against the University of Kansas on Saturday.

The team has partnered with Nike on developing custom design uniforms to commemorate all those who have served in the armed forces, according to a team news release – with the team Twitter account announcing, “Saturday is for the troops.”

During the contest on Saturday, the names on the back of their jerseys will be replaced by the words “Cowboy Battalion” with the goal of having the player’s names take a backseat to the base call-outs on the nameplate. Cowboy Battalion is the name of the Oklahoma State’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.

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Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State2 Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

During the contest on Saturday, the names on the back of their jerseys will be replaced by the words “Cowboy Battalion” with the goal of having the player’s names take a backseat to the base call-outs on the nameplate

The official military base crest of the Cowboy Battalion will be located on the right sleeve of the jersey, which the school says represents the historical roots of service by the university. The school’s ROTC program originated when the school was established in 1980 and military instruction was part of the school curriculum.

Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

The official military base crest of the Cowboy Battalion will be located on the right sleeve of the jersey, which the school says represents the historical roots of service by the university.

The American flag was also sewn into the left sleeve.

Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State1 Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

The American flag is sewn into the left sleeve of the jerseys.

The color patterns of the uniform were developed to mirror the design used in helping the military’s F-117 Nighthawk aircraft evade detection during the daylight.

When developing the retired single-seat twin-engine stealth aircraft, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division found the best way to avoid detection during the day was to utilize a paint scheme involving different shades of gray. The use of gray on the jerseys represents the same type of scheme on the aircraft, with the paint stripe mimicking the one used on the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

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Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State3 Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

The use of gray on the jerseys represents the same type of scheme on the aircraft, with the paint stripe mimicking the one used on the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

To honor fallen service members, a Folds of Honor logo will be worn on each helmet and jersey of the players — below the left shoulder and a few inches above the heart. Folds of Honor helps to provide educational scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled U.S. service members and the flag represents a vivid reminder of all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State5 Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

To honor fallen service members, a Folds of Honor logo will be worn on each helmet and jersey of the players — below the shoulder and a few inches above the heart.

The jerseys worn by the players will be auctioned off after the game, with proceeds going to Folds of Honor.

Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State-Uniform Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

Image Taken at the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Football Military Uniform Unveiling, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

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“I have great respect for the people in our armed forces and am excited to honor them for what they do for our country,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said. “These uniforms are a good reminder to our players – and to all of us – the price these people pay every day to protect our freedom.”

Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State-Uniform Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e   Westlake Legal Group Oklahoma-State-Uniform Oklahoma State football team honors veterans with military style uniforms fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 297c9cfe-d769-5666-b74e-405b38e2371e

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Oklahoma county agrees to $12.5 million settlement over death of inmate left in restraint chair for 2 days

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Huff Oklahoma county agrees to $12.5 million settlement over death of inmate left in restraint chair for 2 days Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d45eef0-d011-5e45-a567-7cb4a39d50b5

Officials in Garfield County in Oklahoma announced a $12.5 million settlement over the death of an inmate left in a restraint chair for two days at the county jail, according to published reports.

Anthony Huff was arrested for public intoxication on June 4, 2016. He was held at the Garfield County Jail, where investigators said he was placed in a restraint chair on June 6 and found unresponsive on June 8. He was declared dead later that day.

The Garfield County Board of Commissioners filed suit on behalf of Huff’s family over the death of the 58-year-old. During his time in the chair, Huff was not given “proper amounts of food, water or medical treatment for illnesses he was suffering from,” said a release obtained by KFOR from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter. The lawsuit alleged negligence and violation of Huff’s constitutional rights.

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An autopsy performed days after Huff died said the cause of death had been natural, most likely related to his chronic alcoholism.

In the 2017 federal lawsuit, lawyers alleged jail employees should have been aware of Huff’s medical conditions from his past incarcerations and known that he took medications for heart disease, hypertension, depression and other conditions.

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The lawsuit said Huff started experiencing hallucinations and was placed in the restraint chair. A jail administrator testified that Huff was restrained after he began kicking doors and hitting his head on a wall, according to the Enid News & Eagle.

Jail staff didn’t receive a medical recommendation to use the chair, according to the lawsuit. Jail employees did not check Huff’s blood pressure regularly, didn’t give him his blood pressure medication and did not provide him hydration every two hours.

The board said in a statement Monday it “deeply regrets” Huff’s death and the settlement is “reasonable under the circumstances.”

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Former jail administrator Jennifer Niles pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Huff’s death and received a 55-hour jail sentence. The board said they hoped the hiring of a new jail administrator, along with policy changes, would “serve to promote the well-being of detainees.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Huff Oklahoma county agrees to $12.5 million settlement over death of inmate left in restraint chair for 2 days Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d45eef0-d011-5e45-a567-7cb4a39d50b5   Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Huff Oklahoma county agrees to $12.5 million settlement over death of inmate left in restraint chair for 2 days Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d45eef0-d011-5e45-a567-7cb4a39d50b5

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Oklahoma ‘Sooner Schooner’ horse-drawn wagon flips during game

The Oklahoma University “Sooner Schooner” horse-drawn wagon took a scary spill on Saturday.

The Schooner came out to take a lap after OU scored a touchdown against West Virginia when it took a tight turn and tumbled over.

Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-2-AP Oklahoma 'Sooner Schooner' horse-drawn wagon flips during game Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/sports/ncaa/oklahoma-sooners fox news fnc/sports fnc article 88e77660-1c9a-5d1d-9c6b-3e2c999751b4

The Oklahoma Sooner Schooner flipped over during a touchdown celebration on the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

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Video of the crash from various angles was posted to social media.

According to Yahoo! Sports, everyone involved in the accident was OK.

Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-3-AP Oklahoma 'Sooner Schooner' horse-drawn wagon flips during game Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/sports/ncaa/oklahoma-sooners fox news fnc/sports fnc article 88e77660-1c9a-5d1d-9c6b-3e2c999751b4

A crew helped pull up the Oklahoma Sooner Schooner, which flipped over during a touchdown celebration on Saturday. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

USA Today reported that both the wagon’s occupants got up and walked around following the incident.

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Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-2-AP Oklahoma 'Sooner Schooner' horse-drawn wagon flips during game Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/sports/ncaa/oklahoma-sooners fox news fnc/sports fnc article 88e77660-1c9a-5d1d-9c6b-3e2c999751b4   Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-2-AP Oklahoma 'Sooner Schooner' horse-drawn wagon flips during game Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/sports/ncaa/oklahoma-sooners fox news fnc/sports fnc article 88e77660-1c9a-5d1d-9c6b-3e2c999751b4

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Purple Heart recipient dies after saving granddaughter, 3, from Oklahoma house explosion

A Purple Heart recipient and Army veteran is being remembered for his heroic actions after sacrificing his own life to save his granddaughter after their home in Oklahoma exploded and caught fire last month.

Don Osteen, 69, was with his 3-year-old granddaughter Paetyn when a propane gas explosion leveled Osteen’s house in Maud, Okla. on Sept. 19.

“Not only was the fire devastating, but the entire house collapsed on them both during the fire,” family members wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Papa rushed to cover Pae with his body to save her from the collapsing house and flames.”

FATHER OF 3 KILLED BY LIGHTNING STRIKE WHILE FINISHING 50K RACE IN KANSAS

His son, Brendon Osteen, told Oklahoma City television station KFOR his father was 15 to 30 feet away from the front door, lighting a candle next to the stove when the blast took place.

“He wasn`t worried about himself at all,” he told KFOR. “I’ll leave it at that, but save her was the message he was trying to get across and he did exactly that.”

Westlake Legal Group Don-Osteen Purple Heart recipient dies after saving granddaughter, 3, from Oklahoma house explosion Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 4c24c5af-25b9-52ef-a444-47de3f168c91

Don Osteen died from injuries he sustained while trying to save his granddaughter, Paetyn, left, after his home was leveled in a gas explosion last month. (GoFundMe)

After the blast, family members said the 69-year-old sustained a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body that left “flesh hanging off his body.” Even after sustaining such serious injuries, Osteen grabbed his granddaughter and carried her a quarter of a mile up a driveway to find help.

“He just got out of the house and headed straight to where he knew help was,” Brendon Osteen told KFOR-TV. “He tried to get in his truck and his keys were melted to him. His phone was exploded in his pocket.”

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The two were eventually airlifted to Integris Burn Center in Oklahoma City, with both placed in critical condition. On Sept. 23, family members said he succumbed to his injuries.

“He knew that he did his job by saving the life of his Boo Boo Chicken. He loved my daughter beyond unconditionally. And he gave it all for her to live,” Brendon wrote on Facebook. “He was a great God-fearing man who impacted so many people. And he will be missed dearly.”

Brendon, who said his father was a “very Christian man,” called him a hero.

“He believed he should try his best to live his life to the standard of Jesus Christ and that was his first obligation every day that he woke up,” he wrote. “He lived to be like Christ, and he gave his life in sacrifice of my daughters Like Christ.”

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On Monday, Brendon said on Facebook that Paetyn is “healing up wonderfully’ as she continues to recover at the hospital.

The 3-year-old was moved into her own room on the pediatric floor at the hospital, and on Thursday will have a skin graph during surgery.

“The resilience of this little girl is more than most men I see nowadays. One proud set of parents here,” her father wrote. “We’ve got a special one for sure.”

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A memorial service with military honors for Don Osteen will be scheduled at a later date under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home of Konowa, Okla., according to an obituary.

The 69-year-old served in the U.S. Army and was wounded in Vietnam in the early 1970s. Besides being awarded a Purple Heart, Osteen also received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Marksmanship Medal, and two Bronze Star Medals.

A fundraiser has been set up by the family to help pay for Paetyn’s ongoing medical bills.

Westlake Legal Group Don-Osteen Purple Heart recipient dies after saving granddaughter, 3, from Oklahoma house explosion Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 4c24c5af-25b9-52ef-a444-47de3f168c91   Westlake Legal Group Don-Osteen Purple Heart recipient dies after saving granddaughter, 3, from Oklahoma house explosion Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 4c24c5af-25b9-52ef-a444-47de3f168c91

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Hearing-impaired woman fatally shoots home intruder in Oklahoma

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Hearing-impaired woman fatally shoots home intruder in Oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fnc/us fnc f8fde0b1-06ce-5ede-a508-d98c2d82b70d Associated Press article

Authorities in eastern Oklahoma say a hearing-impaired woman has fatally shot an intruder inside her home near the Arkansas border.

Le Flore County Sheriff Rob Seale said Monday the woman was uninjured when a man broke into her home about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Rock Island, about 190 miles east of Oklahoma City.

Seale says the woman yelled at the man to get out of the house and shot him once when he moved toward her. He says the woman did not know the man and had never seen him before.

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Deputies discovered the suspect’s body in the kitchen area of the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has not been identified and his body was transported to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for identification.

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Hearing-impaired woman fatally shoots home intruder in Oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fnc/us fnc f8fde0b1-06ce-5ede-a508-d98c2d82b70d Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Hearing-impaired woman fatally shoots home intruder in Oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fnc/us fnc f8fde0b1-06ce-5ede-a508-d98c2d82b70d Associated Press article

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Oklahoma woman, 18, threatened to ‘shoot 400 people for fun’ at former high school, officials say

An Oklahoma woman was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot hundreds of people “for fun” at her former high school, investigators said.

Alexis Wilson, 18, was taken into custody Monday after authorities received an anonymous tip that she had told friends and co-workers of her idea to open fire at McAlester High School in Pittsburg County.

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One of Wilson’s co-workers at a pizza restaurant told the sheriff’s office the 18-year-old had been posting videos of herself shooting firearms, KOTV reported. Wilson allegedly claimed she wanted to “shoot 400 people for fun and that there were so many people at her old school that she would like to do it,” according to the person who reported her.

Westlake Legal Group Alexis-Wilson Oklahoma woman, 18, threatened to 'shoot 400 people for fun' at former high school, officials say Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ec1a4334-567f-5509-8eec-bef463471586 article

Alexis Wilson, 18, was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly saying she wanted to “shoot 400 people for fun” at her former high school. (Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office)

Wilson denied such threats to investigators and reportedly admitted she suffered from mental health issues, like suicidal and homicidal thoughts. She claimed she was trying to tell a co-worker that not everyone who owns a gun is bad.

The woman’s mother, according to KOKI-TV, knew her daughter had been saving up for her recently purchased AK-47, but didn’t question it because “Alexis has always shot firearms and had hunted.”

DESIGNER SLAMMED FOR ‘DISGUSTING’ HOODIES INSPIRED BY MASS SCHOOL SHOOTINGS

“You know it may not have been anything — we don’t know 100 percent, but we are glad we got it before it turned into something,” Sheriff Chris Morris said. “In today’s times, you can’t say stuff like that. … Anytime something is said like that we are going to take it serious — and we are going to investigate it to the fullest extent and make an arrest if possible because we do not want any of our schools getting shot up. Nobody does.”

On Sunday, deputies reportedly found an AK-47 with six magazines and a 12-gauge shotgun with a stock sleeve for extra shells in Wilson’s room. She purchased the gun last week with five extra high capacity magazines and 160 rounds of ammunition from a nearby shop, officials said.

Morris said the sheriff’s office is grateful to the person who reported Wilson, and is happy they acted on the tip.

Randy Hughes, the superintendent of McAlester Public Schools, said in a video posted to Facebook Monday that the school district understands someone is in custody, and offered safety tips for students to abide by. “If you see something, say something,” he said. “Do not take anything for granted.”

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“If you overhear a conversation, if you see a post, or just see something that just doesn’t look right — report it,” he said, adding law enforcement “had it under control before we knew anything about it.”

Wilson, who attended McAlester but dropped out in ninth grade, was reportedly jailed on a complaint of making a terroristic threat.

Westlake Legal Group Alexis-Wilson Oklahoma woman, 18, threatened to 'shoot 400 people for fun' at former high school, officials say Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ec1a4334-567f-5509-8eec-bef463471586 article   Westlake Legal Group Alexis-Wilson Oklahoma woman, 18, threatened to 'shoot 400 people for fun' at former high school, officials say Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ec1a4334-567f-5509-8eec-bef463471586 article

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2 Oklahoma firefighters struck by hydroplaning U-Haul trailer at scene of crash, video shows

Westlake Legal Group hydroplane-uhaul-firefighters 2 Oklahoma firefighters struck by hydroplaning U-Haul trailer at scene of crash, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox news fnc/us fnc e68cf7d7-bd55-5a4a-badf-0420a08e7268 article

Drivers in Oklahoma are being asked to slow down on wet roadways after officials released dramatic dashcam video of an SUV losing control and slamming its U-Haul trailer into two firefighters responding at the scene of a crash.

The two men with the Stringtown Fire Department were standing on the side of the road when the oncoming vehicle appeared to hydroplane, shows video posted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The spinning SUV struck the side of a parked first responder vehicle on the shoulder, causing the trailer to whip around and smash into the two men.

MOVE OVER OR GET PULLED OVER: MICHIGAN GETS TOUGH ON ‘MOVE OVER’ TRAFFIC LAW

The firefighter facing the out-of-control vehicle appeared to raise his arms in an attempt to push the other man out of the way before the trailer sent them flying several feet away.

The firefighters “miraculously” suffered no broken bones and walked away with only bruises, authorities wrote on Facebook.

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“This is a graphic reminder to slow down, especially when roads are slick and you see flashing lights,” the police said.

Oklahoma’s “Move Over” law requires drivers approaching emergency and law enforcement vehicles to move over to another lane or slow down to “a safe speed,” dependent on existing road condition.

Westlake Legal Group hydroplane-uhaul-firefighters 2 Oklahoma firefighters struck by hydroplaning U-Haul trailer at scene of crash, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox news fnc/us fnc e68cf7d7-bd55-5a4a-badf-0420a08e7268 article   Westlake Legal Group hydroplane-uhaul-firefighters 2 Oklahoma firefighters struck by hydroplaning U-Haul trailer at scene of crash, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox news fnc/us fnc e68cf7d7-bd55-5a4a-badf-0420a08e7268 article

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TV host apologizes after saying black co-anchor looked like a gorilla

A white news anchor tearfully apologized on live television Tuesday after causing outrage for saying her black colleague looked like a gorilla.

Alex Housden, who hosts the morning news show at KOCO 5 TV in Oklahoma City, sparked the outrage during a segment about a baby western lowland gorilla named Fin recording selfie videos. The initially lighthearted segment quickly turned viral after Housden said to her co-host, Jason Hackett, who is black, that Fin “kind of looks like you when you take a picture.”

Hackett, who briefly pauses, replied “yeah it does, actually, yeah … very close to the camera.”

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The next morning, however, there were no laughs on the set. Housden and Hackett sat beside each other on a couch as Housden tearfully apologized to her colleague and to viewers over her “inappropriate” comment.

“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate and I hurt people,” she said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you all out there and how much I hurt you. I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you.”

Housden described Hackett as her “best friend” and insisted that she would never “do anything on purpose to hurt” him.

Hackett accepted Housden’s apology and said the incident was a “teachable moment.”

“What she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me and a lot of you in the community. The lesson here is that words matter,” he said. “We are becoming a more diverse country and there is no excuse.”

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“We have to understand the stereotypes, we have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” he added.

“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation.”

Westlake Legal Group Anchor-Monkey-Comment-THUMB TV host apologizes after saying black co-anchor looked like a gorilla Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox news fnc/us fnc article 904783b1-d1e8-5f3b-a313-55573057c208   Westlake Legal Group Anchor-Monkey-Comment-THUMB TV host apologizes after saying black co-anchor looked like a gorilla Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox news fnc/us fnc article 904783b1-d1e8-5f3b-a313-55573057c208

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Oklahoma Johnson & Johnson verdict figures to impact other opioid lawsuits

The ruling Monday ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million to clean up Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could impact similar lawsuits seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for overdose deaths across the country.

And the impact could be felt rather quickly.

A federal judge in Ohio is presiding over 1,500 opioid lawsuits brought by state, local and tribal governments, with the first two set for trial in October. The plaintiffs in those two cases are Ohio counties.

The Oklahoma verdict could put more pressure on Johnson & Johnson and the other drug industry defendants in those cases to settle while bolstering the claims of plaintiffs.

OKLAHOMA JUDGE RULES AGAINST JOHNSON & JOHNSON, ORDERS $572M PAYMENT

“Today’s ruling holding Johnson & Johnson liable for Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic serves as another milestone amid the mounting evidence against the opioid pharmaceutical industry who we allege started, fueled and conspired to create the largest public health crisis of our time,” said lead plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Farrell.

Oklahoma convinced the judge that Johnson & Johnson misled consumers about the risks of opioids creating a public nuisance — one of the claims being advanced in the Ohio litigation.

But Jennifer Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Forum Center for Law & Liberty, said the Oklahoma verdict distorts public nuisance law beyond recognition.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238738725141 Oklahoma Johnson & Johnson verdict figures to impact other opioid lawsuits Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc d127dd16-39e6-5e8f-b368-1abdedaf167e article

Judge Thad Balkman arrives to give his decision in the Opioid Lawsuit in Norman, Okla., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Balkman found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid drug crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to help abate the problem in the coming years. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

Judge Thad Balkman’s decision “puts manufacturers of all lawful, but politically unpopular, products at risk,” she said.

Echoing her view was Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, who said if the decision wasn’t reversed “almost any industry could be the target of large-scale litigation.”

The deluge of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, marketers and distributors has been fueled by an epidemic that has killed more than 400,000 people across the U.S. since 2000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control(CDC).

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Last year more than 67,000 drug overdose deaths were reported. In 2017, the number of drug overdose deaths was more than 70,000.

More than 6,000 Oklahomans died from opioid abuse in the past two decades, according to reports.

Westlake Legal Group Oxycodone-AP Oklahoma Johnson & Johnson verdict figures to impact other opioid lawsuits Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc d127dd16-39e6-5e8f-b368-1abdedaf167e article

This June 17, 2019, file photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone. The first judgment is expected Monday, Aug. 26, in a lawsuit from a state government seeking to hold a drug company accountable for a U.S. opioid crisis that has ripped apart lives and communities. More trials and legal settlements are likely to follow the ruling in Oklahoma as the nation looks for answers and solutions to a massive societal and legal problem. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

“Johnson & Johnson was the kingpin behind the nation’s opioid crisis,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said after the verdict.

He said the judge’s ruling was still a victory, even though the judgment amount was much less than the $17 billion the state wanted.

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Johnson & Johson “did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, and neither the facts nor the law support this outcome,” company lawyer Michael Ullman said. He vowed an appeal.

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Oklahoma reached a $270 million deal with Perdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and an $85 million settlement with Teva, both of which faced criticism from state lawmakers, who argued the companies have control over dispersing funds. The Purdue settlement calls for about $200 million to go into a trust to fund an addiction studies center at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Judge-Thad-Balkman-AP Oklahoma Johnson & Johnson verdict figures to impact other opioid lawsuits Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc d127dd16-39e6-5e8f-b368-1abdedaf167e article   Westlake Legal Group Judge-Thad-Balkman-AP Oklahoma Johnson & Johnson verdict figures to impact other opioid lawsuits Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc d127dd16-39e6-5e8f-b368-1abdedaf167e article

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Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment

NORMAN, Okla. — An Oklahoma judge on Monday found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to clean up the problem.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s ruling followed the first state opioid case to make it to trial and could help shape negotiations over roughly 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

“The opioid crisis has ravaged the state of Oklahoma,” Balkman said before announcing the verdict. “It must be abated immediately.”

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Westlake Legal Group AP19238738725141 Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fnc/health fnc b9ebf29d-7406-5c76-98f5-bfea59ea5642 Associated Press article

Judge Thad Balkman arriving to give his decision in the opioid lawsuit in Norman, Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

The companies are expected to appeal the ruling to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Before Oklahoma’s trial began May 28, Oklahoma reached settlements with two other defendant groups — a $270 million deal with OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and an $85 million settlement with Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Oklahoma argued the companies and their subsidiaries created a public nuisance by launching an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that overstated how effective the drugs were for treating chronic pain and understated the risk of addiction. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says opioid overdoses killed 4,653 people in the state from 2007 to 2017.

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Mike Hunter has called Johnson & Johnson a “kingpin” company that was motivated by greed. He specifically pointed to two former Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries, Noramco and Tasmanian Alkaloids, which produced much of the raw opium used by other manufacturers to produce the drugs.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238736472340 Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fnc/health fnc b9ebf29d-7406-5c76-98f5-bfea59ea5642 Associated Press article

Attorneys for the state looking over court documents following Judge Thad Balkman’s announcement of his decision. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

“They’ve been the principal origin for the active pharmaceutical ingredient in prescription opioids in the country for the last two decades,” Hunter said after the trial ended July 15. “It is one of the most important elements of causation with regard to why the defendants … are responsible for the epidemic in the country and in Oklahoma.”

Attorneys for the company have maintained they were part of a lawful and heavily regulated industry subject to strict federal oversight, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, during every step of the supply chain. Lead attorney Larry Ottaway said during closing arguments that opioid drugs serve a critical health need — to address chronic pain that affects thousands of Oklahomans every day.

“This problem of untreated chronic pain afflicts people here in Oklahoma,” Ottaway said.

Oklahoma pursued the case under the state’s public nuisance statute and presented the judge with a plan to abate the crisis that would cost between $12.6 billion for 20 years and $17.5 billion over 30 years. Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson have said that estimate is wildly inflated.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238683360410 Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fnc/health fnc b9ebf29d-7406-5c76-98f5-bfea59ea5642 Associated Press article

Judge Thad Balkman posing for a photo with the sign above his door before the court session to announce his decision in the oipiod lawsuit. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

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Also on Monday, the Kentucky Supreme Court declined to review an earlier ruling, making previously secret testimony from former Purdue Pharma President Rickard Sackler and other documents public. The court record was sealed in 2015 as part of a $24 million settlement between Purdue and Kentucky.

The 17 million pages of documents were being shipped Monday from Frankfort to Pike County, where the case originated. The Pike County Circuit Court Clerk’s office could not immediately say how and when they would be available.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238738725141 Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fnc/health fnc b9ebf29d-7406-5c76-98f5-bfea59ea5642 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group AP19238738725141 Oklahoma judge rules against Johnson & Johnson, orders $572M payment fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fnc/health fnc b9ebf29d-7406-5c76-98f5-bfea59ea5642 Associated Press article

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