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.

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World Views
2:06 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

'Roadmap Of Peace': Modern Lessons From Mali’s Ancient Manuscripts

Astronomy and mathematics tables on a page from a Timbuktu manuscript.
Credit EurAstro / Wikimedia Commons

Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with Michael Covitt.

For hundreds of years, thousands of manuscripts have been preserved in Timbuktu, chronicling a period from the 12th to 16th Centuries when Mali was the wealthiest nation on Earth.

Michael Covitt is the founder of the Malian Manuscript Foundation, and the producer of the documentary 333 – named after the saints buried in Timbuktu.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:38 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Five Things Oklahomans Need To Know About Earthquake Insurance

Credit viviandnguyen_ / Flickr Creative Commons

Seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently warned that the ongoing earthquake swarm in central-Oklahoma is likely to continue, could get worse, and might be linked to wells oil and gas companies use to store drilling waste-fluid deep underground.

In response, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak advised Oklahomans to buy earthquake insurance.

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Oklahoma Watch
1:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

With Hundreds Of Suicides Each Year, New Offensives Are Under Way To Reduce The Toll

Brandon Magalassi
Credit Provided

The aftermath of a suicide is an endless tunnel – of pain, regrets and questions.

Could something have been done to stop him? Why did she do it? What warning signs were there?

The act of taking one’s life leaves no easy answers for those left behind.

“The majority of people who are survivors spend the rest of their lives not talking about this and suffering in silence,” said Mike Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, which will soon rename itself as as statewide group. “You don’t necessarily get over it, but you can get better.”

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Death Toll Rising After Storms Explode Over Midwest

A firefighter searches through debris in Washington, Ill., on Sunday. Tornadoes and severe weather roared through the area earlier in the day.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:41 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': WCBU's Denise Molina reports on the storms that hit Illinois
  • From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran rounds up the storm news

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. Two Deaths In Michigan:

The number of people killed by powerful storms that pummeled parts of the upper Midwest on Sunday has risen to at least eight.

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History
12:25 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

How JFK Fathered The Modern Presidential Campaign

John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, campaign in New York in 1960.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:33 pm

When John F. Kennedy began his run for the White House more than 50 years ago, there was plenty of excitement and anticipation. He was energetic, handsome and from a famous Boston political family.

But his candidacy was far from a sure bet. At the time, few would have predicted the lasting impact his campaign would have on every election to follow.

Recognizing The Power Of TV

Kennedy made the most of his youth and novelty, says historian Robert Dallek, author of several books about JFK.

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Oklahoma Voices
10:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

How America Became More Politically Polarized

Thomas Patterson

The political polarization of the United States continues to capture the attention of politicians and political observers.

On this episode of Oklahoma Voices we hear more from Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government on the subject.

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Memorial Institute For The Prevention of Terrorism
10:02 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Oklahoma City-Based Counterterrorism Program May Shut Down

Credit Provided / Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism

An Oklahoma City-based institute that offers free counterterrorism training to police officers may be shutting down.

The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism has trained more than 16,000 police officers since 2000. But in September the institute lost its federal funding, which it gets from the Department of Homeland Security, and is now in danger of closing.

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Open Records
8:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Oklahoma Pardon And Parole Board Trial Postponed

Credit Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

Trial has been postponed for members of Oklahoma's Pardon and Parole Board who face misdemeanor charges of violating the state's Open Meeting Act.

The board's five members were scheduled to go to trial in Oklahoma County District Court on Monday. But the board's chairman, Marc Dreyer of Tulsa, said Friday that prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to postpone the trial. No new date has been set.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:34 am
Mon November 18, 2013

McNellie's Pub Raises $28K For Tornado Relief, Motivated By Community Involvement

James E. McNellie's Public House - Oklahoma City
Credit Kate Carlton

Six months after a series of devastating tornados touched down in Central Oklahoma, we’re taking a look back this week at the recovery effort.  In the aftermath of the storms, private charities raised close to $70 million, and tens of millions more in in-kind donations poured into the region.  But some of that aid was more helpful than others.

In part one of our series today, we look at local businesses who donated their proceeds and the balance between good public relations and an altruistic desire to help.

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Remembrances
3:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

How Writer Doris Lessing Didn't Want To Be Remembered

Author Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature for a life's work which included around 40 books and collections of essays and memoirs.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:42 am

In the course of a long and eventful life, author Doris Lessing was many things.

She was a mother — and a self-described "house mother" for a procession of starving artists, writers and political refugees. She was a refugee herself, from bourgeois respectability in 1940s Rhodesia. She was a campaigner against racism, a lover, an ardent communist, and a serial rescuer of cats.

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