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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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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May Be An Imperial or Columbian Mammoth
4:37 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Prehistoric Mammoth Found By Gas Line Construction Crew

Columbian Mammoth
Credit greaterumbrage / flickr.com

Nearly two dozen Oklahoma State University students are helping excavate the remains of a prehistoric mammoth found near Enid.

The remains were discovered by Access Midstream workers who were installing a high-pressure natural gas line northwest of Enid. The remains are now being moved to a lab on the OSU campus in Stillwater where they're being studied and will be reconstructed.

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State Dept. of Education
11:05 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Another Democrat Joins State Superintendent Race

Jack Herron
Credit Jack Herron

Former school administrator and assistant state superintendent Jack Herron has kicked off his campaign for the superintendent of public instruction job held by first-term Republican Janet Barresi.

Herron, a Democrat from Norman, launched his campaign Wednesday at the state Capitol. He joins at least three other Democrats and a Republican who have announced plans to seek the education post in 2014.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt And KISS Among Rock Hall Nominees

Gene Simmons of KISS during a 2009 concert in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Have years of complaining by fans (and The Two-Way) paid off?

The nominees for this year's of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees have been announced and the band that many love to hate (or hate to love?) is back on the list.

Yes, KISS is up for consideration.

So, soldiers of the KISS Army, here's your chance to show your support.

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The Salt
10:06 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Banksy's Latest Work Takes On The Meat Industry ... With Puppets

Banksy's "Sirens of the Lambs" started its tour of New York City in — naturally — the Meatpacking District.
BanksyNY Youtube

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:55 am

Banksy, the mysterious British graffiti artist known for his satirical work, has been making mischief around New York City this month.

His latest artwork makes a statement about the meat industry, or lost innocence — or something like that. In any case, it'll certainly make you stop and look.

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State Capitol
9:57 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Ralph Ellison Portrait Planned For Oklahoma Capitol

Ralph Ellison
Credit http://www.ralphellisoncentennial.com

UPDATE: The Ralph Ellison Centennial Gala is Feb. 8 at the Oklahoma History Center. 

KGOU's Kurt Gwartney talks with state Sen. David Holt and Ralph Ellison literary executor John Callahan.
John Callahan discusses Ralph Ellison's literary heritage and connection to Oklahoma (recorded Oct. 9 at Oklahoma City University).

Portraits hanging on the walls of the state Capitol building provide a glimpse of the people who helped make Oklahoma what it is today.

You can see Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Robert S. Kerr, Carl Albert, Woody Guthrie and Angie Debo.

But Ralph Ellison, one of Oklahoma’s most famous writers, is not honored in this way, and that is about to change.

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Grand Jury
9:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Judge Tosses Rogers County Grand Jury Petition

Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley
Credit Oklahoma District Attorneys Council

A judge has dismissed a petition calling for a grand jury to investigate Rogers County leaders, finding that backers of the measure used an unauthorized form to gather nearly 7,000 signatures from registered voters.

Tulsa County District Judge Jefferson Sellers dismissed the grand jury petition on Tuesday, ruling that the petition summary included language that had not been approved by the court.

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Flu
8:34 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Oklahoma Seniors Encouraged To Get Flu Shot

Credit NHSE / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma health officials are urging seniors to get a flu shot because they have a higher risk for developing flu-related complications.

Health officials say people with a weakened immune system, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and cancer are at the highest risk. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older.

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