Following Oklahoma's 2013 Tornadoes, Where Does Federal Aid Really Go?

Debris filled the streets in Moore, Okla. on May 20, 2013.
State Farm Flickr Creative Commons

After a string of deadly tornados hit Oklahoma in the spring of last year, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration that paved the way for up to $257 million in aid.

One year later, about one half of that funding has been spent.  The Oklahoma Tornado Project teamed up with Oklahoma Watch to track where all the money went. 

Following huge disasters, there’s always a potential for things to go wrong. In New Orleans, former mayor Ray Nagin was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes from contractors rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. And in New Jersey, there’s been criticism that some Sandy aid money has gone to less needy areas.

So we wanted to look into Oklahoma’s post-storm recovery. State Department of Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood – who has worked closely with FEMA – says outright fraud is less common than it used to be. 

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OneSix8
8:51 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Entertaining the Hours of Your Week: Halloween Horrors and Highlights

"Pumpkin Witch"
Credit Chelly Johnson

Halloween activities are our focus this week, and whether you want a family friendly tick-or-treating event, Halloween arts and crafts or Halloween-themed performances, this week’s OneSix8 has an option for you.

The spooky Peanut’s classic The Great Pumpkin comes to life on Halloween from noon to 8 p.m. at the Bass Pro Shop in Oklahoma City.

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State Capitol
6:20 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Muslim Leader Banned From Police Training Seminar

Credit Council on American Islamic Relations

The head of a Muslim advocacy group in Oklahoma says he's been banned from attending a police training seminar Friday at the state Capitol that the group says includes speakers who have in the past engaged in anti-Muslim rhetoric.

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OG&E May Go To U.S. Supreme Court
4:58 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Federal Court Rules EPA Has Authority Over State

Credit Wright91 4 / Flickr.com

A federal appeals court has denied Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's request for a new hearing in the state's regional haze case against the Environmental Protection Agency.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in July that the EPA has authority to implement its own plan to limit sulfur dioxide emissions by coal-fired generating plants. Pruitt's request for a new hearing was denied Thursday.

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The Protojournalist
3:40 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Peak Halloween: Is The Holiday Over The Hill?

Barbara Helgason iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:13 pm

Is Halloween — our national October obsession with candy, costumes and decorations — over and done?

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Tribal Gaming
1:27 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Oklahoma Casino Money Up; Racing And Lottery Cash Not

Credit peggydavis66 / Flickr.com

Oklahoma's casinos have seen recent increases in income while revenue is down for the state lottery and horse tracks.

Casino City's North American Gaming Almanac says Oklahoma's casinos saw revenue up 6.4 percent between 2010 and 2011. In the same period, lottery revenue was off 2.3 percent and horse racing revenue fell 8.8 percent

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

Dating to the 17th century, this Jewish cemetery may be the final resting place of Heinrich Mueller, the head of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo. A German historian says he has traced Mueller to the cemetery.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:12 pm

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.

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Transit
1:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Bangladesh Capital City Struggles With Traffic, Lack Of Will For Change

Traffic congestion continues to be a major issue in Dhaka, Bangladesh, despite government promises to fix the problem.
Credit joiseyshowaa / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor's Note: The following article comes from Abeda Sultana, a journalist working with KGOU in October. Her reflection on transportation issues in her home city presents a view of life in a growing area of the world.

More than 20 million people live in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. As a consequence, Dhaka city’s traffic congestion problem has grown to alarming proportions, and it is one of the most challenging issues.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:49 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Why Oklahoma City Won’t Tap Water From The Aquifer Under Its Own Feet

The Garber-Wellington Aquifer is part of the Central Oklahoma aquifer, which every major city in the region uses — except Oklahoma City.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Moving water from the southeast Oklahoma to Oklahoma City is highly controversial. The battle over who controls water across most of that part of the state still has the state, city and tribal governments tied up in court after more than two years.

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State Capitol
10:40 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Terrill Out On Bond Awaiting Bribery Conviction Appeal

Former state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

An Oklahoma County judge says a former state lawmaker convicted of bribery can remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction.

District Judge Cindy Truong set a $10,000 bond Wednesday for former Rep. Randy Terrill of Moore. Truong ordered Terrill to surrender his passport and not leave the state. He must also wear an electronic monitoring device and avoid contact with witnesses in the case.

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State Capitol
9:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

New Laws Include Oklahoma Driver's License Cost Hike

Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety

Oklahoma drivers will have to pay an extra $12 for a license renewal under one of about 240 new laws signed by the governor and scheduled to take effect on Friday.

Among the others are three abortion-related laws, one that allows convicted criminals to seek a DNA test to prove their innocence, and another that expands the practice of noodling, or fishing by hand. Other bill topics include criminal penalties, pensions, elections, and the regulation of various professions.

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