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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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Why The Growth Of Wind Energy Worries Weather Forecasters In Oklahoma

Radar systems engineer Redmond Kelley and Caleb Fulton, an assistant professor of engineering, test an experimental phased-array weather radar in Norman.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is now No. 6 in the nation in wind-generated electricity capacity, and last week the state helped set a wind power record for the entire region.

Wind farms are multiplying and expanding in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and throughout the Great Plains, where the nation’s wind energy potential is concentrated.

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Fall Membership Drive
11:16 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Invest in Your Continuing Education

Renee Montagne on assignment in the Middle East.
Credit Tom Bullock

I have a great admiration of journalists. I think it’s a fascinating profession, but more importantly, I believe it is necessary and noble work.

The ability to understand a subject, look at it from all sides and present it in a way that makes sense to the reader, listener or viewer takes skill and knowledge. 

Journalism is a public service dedicated to accuracy and truth.  It is vital for a free society to have reporters asking questions, verifying information and presenting it to the public. 

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Grand Jury
11:02 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Rogers County DA Files Defamation Lawsuit Over Recall Petition

Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley
Credit Oklahoma District Attorneys Council

District Attorney Janice Steidley has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Rogers County leaders who spearheaded a petition drive to get her removed from office.

Steidley filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, Claremore police officers John Singer and Steve Cox and others. The group gathered the nearly 7,000 signatures needed to impanel a grand jury, but a judge ruled this week that improper paperwork was used.

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State Capitol
10:58 am
Thu October 17, 2013

No Surprise, Fallin Wants To Lead Oklahoma Again

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking to the media at the state Capitol earlier this year.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin, who made history as Oklahoma's first female governor, has formally launched her bid for a second term in office.

Fallin announced her bid in an event Thursday morning in Tulsa. She plans stops later in the day at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City and the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton.

Fallin's announcement is no surprise as she's been actively raising money all year.

She reported raising about $550,000 during the second quarter this year and having more than $970,000 in her campaign fund at the end of June.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Thu October 17, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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It's All Politics
10:12 am
Thu October 17, 2013

10 Takeaways From The Fiscal Fight

With the shutdown-debt ceiling fight over, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared to strengthen his hand within the House GOP caucus but weaken it outside that group.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 11:50 am

With the double crises of a partial government shutdown and a potential debt default resolved, it's a good time to consider some of the lessons we learned from the dysfunction and drama of recent weeks.

Here are 10 of them:

Shutting Down The Government Is Not A Winning Political Strategy

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OneSix8
9:57 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Entertaining The Hours of Your Week: Artistic Adventures

Credit Ashley Campbell

Art comes in all shapes, sizes and forms and artistic event opportunities fill this weekend's OneSix8. If you are a natural artists, or just someone trying to learn a new skill, this weekend has an event for your creative side.

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Here and Now
5:56 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Picking The Gridiron Contenders

Bowl Championship Series (PlayoffPAC/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:39 pm

Next season, there will be a new playoff system for big time college football.

A committee, which includes former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, will select the four teams that will play in the semifinals ahead of the championship game.

That system will replace the Bowl Championship Series which has, until now, determined which college teams play for the national championship.

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Movie Reviews
5:54 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ...

In Kill Your Darlings, Dane DeHaan (left) plays Lucien Carr, a man whose charm and wit quickly command the attention of the young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) in their time at Columbia University. John Krokidas' film chronicles the "Libertine Circle" they inhabited — Ginsberg's nickname — and the events that would shatter it.
Clay Enos Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:39 pm

Hollywood's been trying to get a handle on the Beat Poets for years. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac led wild — and influential — lives. But films about them, like Naked Lunch and On the Road, have never really clicked with audiences. Kill Your Darlings may fare better, partly because it stars Daniel Radcliffe, and partly because the story centers as much on murder as on poetry.

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This is KGOU
5:34 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Community And Sense of Place

The "community" of Norman, Ok... gathering for a 2013 Summer Breeze concert.
Credit Jim Johnson

As a junior attending the University of Oklahoma in 1991, “self” was very much my focus. I had time for little else, it seemed. After all, I was working hard to finance my way through school (and life) and wondering what my place in this world would be once I graduated when an opportunity to actually gain some experience in broadcasting came about.

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