Special Report: Auditing The Disaster Aid For 2013 Tornadoes And Storms

Federal public-assistance funds are paying for the rebuilding of Plaza Towers Elementary School, in which seven children died in the May 20, 2013, tornado. The school is expected to open next month.
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

The tornadoes and storms that devastated Oklahoma and killed 34 last year triggered the release of tens of millions of dollars in federal and state aid that will keep flowing for years.

To date, the federal government has approved up to $257 million in disaster assistance of various kinds to help re build damage and help victims of the winds and flooding that struck between May 18 and June 2, 2013, and to mitigate future risks.

The state has contributed an additional $10.5 million, and private insurers are paying about $1.1 billion. Charities also have pumped in aid.

The relief aid stemming from Disaster No. 4117, as it is called by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is arriving through several channels, heading ultimately to state and local agencies, contractors, businesses and individuals.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:06 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.S., EU Lift Some Iran Sanctions After Assurances On Uranium

An IAEA team checks the enrichment process inside the uranium enrichment plant Natanz in central Iran on Monday.
Kazem Ghane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:46 pm

This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.

The United States and European Union say they will lift some sanctions against Iran after reports from international inspectors that Tehran has suspended high-level enrichment of uranium under an interim pact to scale back its nuclear program.

The Associated Press reports:

Read more
U.S. Senate
9:54 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Cole, Pruitt Decide Not To Run For U.S. Senate Seat

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)
Credit U.S. House of Representatives

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cole and Attorney General Scott Pruitt are taking their names out of contention as a possible successor to retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

Both Cole and Pruitt released statements late Sunday saying they would not seek the open seat in 2014, and instead plan to run for re-election to their current posts.

A six-term congressman from Moore, Cole said his seniority in the House and seats on major committees make him more valuable to Oklahoma than he could be as a freshman senator.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:48 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.N. Rescinds Offer For Iran To Take Part In Syrian Peace Talks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media during a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sunday.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:06 am

This post was updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn an invitation to Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks after groups opposing President Bashar Assad's regime threatened a boycott of the discussions if Tehran got a seat at the table.

Read more
Higher Education
9:44 am
Mon January 20, 2014

New Oklahoma Website Shares Research

Credit SHAREOK

The libraries at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma have joined together to create a website that makes published research results easily accessible to the public.

The website includes digital dissertations, faculty publications and research, open-access publications and more.

The project is called SHAREOK and is an effort to make federally funded research results freely available to the public. The White House has called for greater transparency in scientific research projects.

Read more
Tax Cuts
8:41 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Experts Disagree With Movement To Cut Oklahoma Income Taxes

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Cutting income taxes. The state's been here before, and quite recently.

"The [Oklahoma] Supreme Court threw the legislature a lifeline by striking down 2032," said Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt at the organization's budget summit last week. 

As passed, House Bill 2032 would have cut the state income tax to 5 percent in 2015 and 4.85 percent after that. The state Supreme Court threw it out in December because it also provided money for capitol repairs.

Read more
Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Animal Welfare Groups Seek Clearer Chain Of Command After May Tornadoes

Credit Animal Resource Center

In the days and weeks following the May 20 tornado, an estimated 850 pets were lost and shuffled between individuals’ homes, triage clinics and shelters. Most of them were eventually reunited with their owners, but eight months later, nearly a third have been adopted by new families, since their original owners were never able to be found. 

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:39 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies?

You tried burping. You tried bouncing. You tried swaddling. Now what?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:53 pm

When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.

Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.

"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Obama: Marijuana Is Not 'More Dangerous Than Alcohol'

President Barack Obama.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 3:02 pm

The New Yorker has just dropped an extensive profile of President Obama by David Remnick, who wrote a major book on the president published in 2011.

It's nuanced and touches on issues like gay marriage and Israel and Palestine. But Obama also drops this bombshell about marijuana: "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Obama goes on to add more nuance to the statement. Here's the context for the statement:

Read more
The Salt
12:43 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Cooking With Conifers: An Evergreen Trick That's Newly Hip

Gabrielle Hamilton prepares pine needles at Prune Restaurant in New York City.
Julia Gillard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:17 pm

If you still have your Christmas tree up in your living room because you just can't bear the thought of throwing out all that fine pine scent, then you may be an evergreen addict. If you still have it up because you're too lazy to take off the ornaments, then you may be a hoarder, but that's another post.

Fear not, conifer connoisseurs. You don't have to wait for the holidays to surround yourself with spruce. American chefs from coast to coast are using evergreens to develop unique flavors in dishes, from white fir and sorrel broth to pine needle vinegar to smoked mussels.

Read more
Manager's Desk
6:00 am
Sun January 19, 2014

KGOU Students For Spring 2014

The main entrance to KGOU's operational area -- the doors through which our students will pass on their way to learning.
Credit Karen Holp and Laura Knoll/KGOU

Student participation in the life of KGOU kicked off last week.

In the Radio Practicum class, we have Becca Buckner, Jeremy Choat and Nick Masopust.  These three will be learning and completing a wide range of activities behind the scenes including writing, announcing and producing a range content for broadcast.

Read more

Pages