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
All Tech Considered
9:39 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

Read more
Oklahoma City Mayor Limit Two Terms
6:45 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Activist Wants Term Limits On Mayor And City Council

Credit JTobiason Photography / Flickr.com

A conservative activist says he's launching an initiative petition campaign to limit the terms of Oklahoma City's mayor and City Council members.

Bob Dani says he needs about 6,000 signatures of Oklahoma City voters to have the proposal placed on a citywide ballot. Dani is the moderator of the "High Noon Club," a weekly political forum at a local gun club, and a Republican who lost a race for an Edmond-area House seat in 2012.

Read more
7000 Oklahomans Complete Applications
4:27 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Oklahomans Are Managing To Enroll For Health Insurance

Credit Omono / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials say 346 Oklahomans managed to enroll for health insurance last month by using the problem-filled federal website for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were even lower than recent estimates for the 36 states, including Oklahoma, that are using the federal insurance exchange.

Read more
Native American
3:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

VIDEO: Tribal Leaders Gather For White House Conference

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaking during the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference - November 13, 2013
Credit The White House / livestream

Native American leaders are gathered in Washington, D.C., to express their needs to officials in President Obama's administration.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell welcomed the leaders Wednesday to the White House Tribal Nations Conference held at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The audience includes representatives invited from 566 tribes.

Read more
Native American
12:16 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Oklahoma Tribal Leaders Meet With President Obama

President Obama meets with a group of tribal leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2013.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House

Two tribal leaders from Oklahoma were among 12 Native American officials who recently met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes President Terri Parton were among the leaders who met with Obama on Tuesday, the day before the White House Tribal Nations Conference.

Read more
Elections
9:41 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Tulsans Put Bartlett Back In Office, Norman Voters Approve Sewer Rate Hike

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett
Credit Dewey Bartlett for Mayor Facebook

Tulsa voters have re-elected Dewey Bartlett as their mayor.

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Bartlett with 55 percent of the vote in his race against Kathy Taylor, who preceded Bartlett in office.

The mayor said at a victory party Tuesday evening that Taylor had called him to concede the race. He told supporters he would work to ensure the city creates jobs, fights crime and lives within its budget.

Taylor said that while she may have lost, Tulsa won because of an honest discussion about its future.

Read more
Corrections
9:35 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Ada Woman Found Dead In Jail Cell

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities are investigating after a 23-year-old inmate was found dead in her cell at the Pontotoc County jail.

Sheriff John Christian says a jailer discovered Tammy Jordan of Ada unresponsive in her cell Monday. The sheriff tells The Ada News that Jordan was pronounced dead by emergency responders.

Christian says there were no signs of foul play and that Jordan was alone in her cell when she died. The state medical examiner's office will determine Jordan's cause of death.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:39 am
Wed November 13, 2013

In Shattered Philippine City, A Fight For 'Sheer Survival'

In anguish: Tears ran down the cheeks of a man as he waited with other survivors Tuesday for a flight out of Tacloban in the Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:44 pm

  • Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn on the scene in Tacloban

(We updated this post at 10:40 a.m. ET to include the latest official death toll of more than 2,300.)

As some trucks loaded with food and other aid arrive in the Philippine city of Tacloban, they're being looted by residents struggling to survive in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Wednesday on Morning Edition.

Read more
Law
8:10 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Victims' Relatives To Face Whitey Bulger At Sentencing Hearing

James "Whitey" Bulger was captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 9:59 am

It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.

Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. There is little suspense around Bulger's sentencing — even the minimum would be enough to send the 84-year-old away for the rest of his life.

To many victims, Wednesday's sentencing hearing is less about Bulger than it is about them.

Read more
Expand Authority To Prosecute Non-Indians
6:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Report Released Today On How To Make Tribal Communities Safer

Credit Indian Law And Order Commission

A national panel of judicial and law enforcement experts has released recommendations on how to make tribal communities safer.

The Indian Law and Order Commission traveled around the country for two years to hear about criminal jurisdiction, tribal courts, grant funding and other topics. The result is a 324-page report that addresses gaps in public safety.

Read more

Pages