'Revive the Hive' — Cameron Public Schools wins $13 million settlement from insurance companies to pay for Aug. 29-30, 2017, fire damage

From left, attorneys Mark Engel and Belva Barber, Cameron Superintendent John Long and attorneys Joe E. White Jr. and Charles Weddle III. Not pictured — Attorneys Kate White and Steve Mansell. Photo Courtesy John Long
David Seeley
PDN Editor

On Aug. 29-30, 2017, Cameron Public Schools probably had the most destructive thing happen — a fire that destroyed the gym and school. The district had a groundbreaking last year for a new gym to be built along with a new school, but the item keeping the construction from happening was getting the insurance companies to pay the district for the damages caused by the fire — until Friday morning.
A weeklong trial started Monday at the LeFlore County Court House that was officiated by the Honorable Judge Jon Sullivan ended Friday when the insurance companies settled to pay $13 million in damages done by the fire — and allow construction to truly get started.
"Those kids deserve a school," said Mark Engel, the lead attorney of the six-team lawyer group defending Cameron Public Schools. "It was obvious they deserved a school. The insurance companies finally recognized they were going to have to pay for it. The reason the school is so successful is because they have a very strong Board (of Education). Everyone of them refused to be walked over by the insurance companies, and they stood firm for their school — and they're now going to get it."
"This has been a long time coming, and our kids deserve as nice of a facility as we can give them now," Cameron Superintendent John Long said.