The recent increase in earthquakes within the state has raised both awareness and the purchase of earthquake insurance, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Kelly Collins, communications director with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
According to Collins, in 2011 only 3 percent of most insurance companies’ customers had earthquake insurance.
That number has now tripled with an estimated 15 percent of customers holding such policies.
The State Board of Education has again voted to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal by three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators from across Oklahoma.
The board voted 5-1 Wednesday to delay action on the plan designed to seek input from subject matter experts, parents and teachers. State Superintendent Janet Barresi was the lone dissenting vote and raised concerns that the education groups wanted to "hijack this process."
The University of Tulsa has been awarded nearly $920,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study methods to improve indoor air quality in tribal areas and reduce asthma triggers in schools.
The award to the school was announced by the agency Wednesday.
Air quality information from the Cherokee Nation of northeast Oklahoma, the Nez Perce Tribe Reservation and surrounding area of west central Idaho and the Navajo Nation in the Shiprock, New Mexico, region, will be used to study the health impacts of climate change and indoor air pollution on tribal communities.
An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.
Over the past week, Oklahoma has secured more than $37 million in federal funding for dam improvements across the state and for water system repairs in communities with aging pipes and treatment plants.
First, on July 18, the federal government announced a national dam assessment and repair program made possible by an “almost 21 fold” increase in funding for watershed rehabilitation under the 2014 Farm Bill. $26.4 million will go to Oklahoma.
More than half of the federal disaster funds being offered to Oklahoma for recovery from the violent storms of 2013 are in the form of community development grants.
But that cash aid comes with strings attached. And those strings have state and local officials scrambling to figure out how to spend the money effectively and whether they can meet federal deadlines in spending all of the grant funds, totaling $146 million. Whatever is not spent will be left on the table.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved two rounds of community development block grants tied to Disaster 4117, which covers the severe tornadoes and storms that struck in 21 counties between May 18 and June 2 last year. These grants can be used for housing, economic development, infrastructure and prevention against future damage.
The state of Oklahoma was awarded $93.7 million, to be distributed to local governments; Moore received two direct awards totaling $52.2 million.
One of the biggest challenges in spending the money is a requirement that more than half of the grant funds be spent to benefit low- to moderate-income people or areas affected by a disaster. Low to moderate income is defined as those living at or below 80 percent of a metropolitan area’s median income level. In Oklahoma City, that equated to $48,000 for a family of four in 2013.
In the year since a series of severe storms devastated Central Oklahoma, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $146 million to the city of Moore and the state to help with recovery. But so far, only a fraction of that has been spent, and spending the money has turned out to be harder than you’d think.
Anybody who possesses a scintilla of good taste (and/or decency) is against the Washington football team using its longtime nickname. I don't have to scrounge for Brownie points by getting all indignant about it.
The one person who is most adamant about keeping the name is Daniel Snyder, who owns the Washington football franchise, and who appears to be either especially stubborn, or insensitive or both.
The obscene nickname is, of course, Redskins, and increasingly it's been suggested that we in the media should stop saying or writing it.