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
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Tornadoes In Illinois Cause 'Severe Damage'

A satellite image showing severe weather as it moves through the midwest area of the United States on Sunday.
NOAA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 9:49 pm

(This post was last updated at 5:16 p.m. ET.)

A line of storms moving through the country's midsection has already produced a few damaging tornadoes and the National Weather Service predicts that major severe weather could break out as the system moves east.

Read more
Parallels
3:26 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Like Food And Water, Women's Safety A Priority For Relief Aid

A mother breastfeeds her baby inside a chapel that was turned into a makeshift hospital after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines.
John Lavellana Reuters/Landov

In natural disasters and war zones, food and water aren't the only basic needs, aid and human rights groups say.

Read more
10:21 am
Sat November 16, 2013

All Oklahoma School Report Cards Released Friday

Lead in text: 
After briefly posting the grades for all of Oklahoma's public schools Nov. 6, the state Dept. of Education has released the grades for all of Oklahoma's schools. Critics of the system say it is superficial and needs more work.
The state Education Department released report cards for every public school district in Oklahoma on Friday. Oklahoma City Public Schools, as previously reported, received a grade of F. District schools had 39 Fs and 20 Ds on their report cards.
The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Estimate Of Number Left Homeless By Typhoon Soars

Patients injured during Typhoon Haiyan lie in the halls of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, the Philippines. Despite severe damage to the ground floor and the loss of the roof, the staff of the hospital keep treating patients.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 4:05 pm

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET. Estimate Of Those Displaced Soars:

Read more
Movie Interviews
7:21 am
Sat November 16, 2013

On The Timeless Appeal Of 'Calvin & Hobbes'

Joel Allen Schroeder dove into the world of Calvin & Hobbes for Dear Mr. Watterson, an admiring documentary about the strip.
Gravitas Ventures/Submarine Deluxe

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 5:39 pm

Bill Watterson brought an end to Calvin & Hobbes in 1995, after just 10 years of writing and drawing the comic strip. But to his many devoted fans, that shockheaded boy and his tiger are as important today as they were when they first appeared in daily papers all around the country.

Read more
Indian Times
9:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Chickasaw Cultural Center Observes Native American Heritage Month

Chickasaw Cultural Center
Credit Susan Shannon

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is focusing on healthy living for its young people this year.

The Chickasaw Nation started November with a multi-tribal day. Valorie Walters, executive officer of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, said that was a day to bring in other tribes to share their history and culture.

“Throughout the month of November, including December as well, we have a special exhibit here,” Walters said.

Read more

Pages