Severe Storms
1:12 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

El Reno Tornado, Now EF5, Sets Record

The May 31 El Reno tornado sets a record with its 2.6 mile width. Meteorlogits upgrade strength to EF5.
Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Meteorologists have upgraded the tornado that hit Canadian County, west of Oklahoma City, as an EF5, the top of the ratings. The width of the tornado, 2.6 miles, is being called the widest ever recorded.

The upgrade came after researchers from the University of Oklahoma and meteorologists with the National Weather Service evaluated the tornado using information from a mobile research radar.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:55 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lawmakers Fail to Stop Fee Increases: What You'll Be Paying More For This Fall

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:51 pm

Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon says user fees have gone up by about $100 million since 2007, and he wanted to ban most fee increases this past legislative session.

But in the end, it was more of a technicality than worry over how to fund the government that killed House Bill 1914.

Shannon’s bill passed the House and Senate, but was never sent to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law. So, the fees agencies charge for their services can continue to go up … and they are.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:46 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

What Would Happen if an F5 Tornado Hit Oklahoma’s Cushing Oil Hub?

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:38 pm

It’s hard to imagine a worse setting: A seemingly endless horizon of giant steel storage tanks holding 50 million barrels of crude oil, a spiderweb of pipelines, pumps, compressors and terminals, and a critical confluence of big corporations and international energy market money.

And a city of about 8,000 nearby.

Law enforcement has long feared the Cushing oil terminal would make an ideal target of terrorists, but what about a tornado? Just two weeks before the May 20 tornados devastated Moore, authorities held a worst-case-scenario F5 twister drill in Cushing.

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World Views
2:36 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

VIDEO: Oklahomans With First-Hand Accounts Of Protests In Turkey

Protesters gather in Ankara, Turkey on Monday, June 3 2013
Suzette Grillot KGOU

Monday marked the fourth day that riot police used tear gas in Istanbul and Ankara against protesters.

Demonstrations started Friday over plans to rip out trees and redevelop an area of Taksim Square in Istanbul, but quickly spread as urban, secular Turks vented frustration that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an authoritarian figure who wants to force his religious outlook on them.

KGOU's World Views host Suzette Grillot is in Ankara leading the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies "Journey to Turkey" program.

"We are half-a-mile away from the protests in Ankara – we can hear them from our hotel,” Grillot says.  “But interestingly, life continues as usual outside the protest areas with people shopping and eating at outdoor cafes with little interest in what is happening."

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1:14 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

OU Meteorology Professor On His Friend Tim Samaras

Lead in text: 
University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Howard Bluestein reflects on his friend Tim Samaras, who died Friday in El Reno.
Another round of tornadoes tore through Oklahoma on Friday night. While all of those storm videos popping up on YouTube and television are incredible to watch, they're also obviously very dangerous to film. Thirteen people died in Friday's tornadoes, including veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young.
10:12 am
Mon June 3, 2013

National Geographic's Haunting Last Interview With Storm Chaser Samaras

Lead in text: 
This weekend brought the sad news that Tim Samaras, a high-profile storm chaser, was killed with his son in Friday's twister in El Reno, Oklahoma.
For years, Samaras has driven into the heart of tornadoes, equipment in hand, to learn more about them. Late last month, as tornado season was opening in Oklahoma, Samaras talked to National Geographic about what motivated him to engage in such dangerous work--starting with a boyhood viewing of "The Wizard of Oz." It was our last interview with him, and one of his final interviews before his untimely death.
The Two-Way
10:06 am
Mon June 3, 2013

In Turkey, Protesters Say Prime Minister Has Gone Too Far

The scene at one of the protests in Istanbul early Monday.
Ahmet Sik EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:30 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul

After more violence overnight, protesters and police clashed again in Istanbul on Monday. As the BBC writes:

"Police used tear gas to stop a group of demonstrators marching on the prime minister's office in Istanbul, the private Dogan news agency reports."

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Zhang Jun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:24 pm

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Death Toll From Latest Oklahoma Tornado Rises Further

After the storm: Sheet metal that was torn off a building during Friday's tornado in El Reno, Okla., ended up caught in a tree.
Bill Waugh Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 7:58 pm

There are now reports that as many as 18 people died from injuries they received Friday when the latest in a weeks-long series of tornado-spawning storms tore through parts of Oklahoma.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Death Toll Revised:

An update from Oklahoma's Department of Emergency Management Monday evening reports that 12 adults and 6 children died in Friday night's storms, NPR Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis tells us. Officials say that they haven't identified all of the victims. Our original post continues:

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Severe Storms
10:13 am
Sun June 2, 2013

UPDATE: At Least 10 Dead When Tornado Hits Oklahoma City Area

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has 600 workers assessing damage in the Oklahoma City area battered by tornadoes and violent storms.

Gov. Mary Fallin says crews are searching flooded areas for missing people and the death toll could rise.

Ten people are confirmed to have been killed in Oklahoma as a result of Friday's storms. Five others were killed by flash flooding in Arkansas and Missouri.

More than 75 other people were hurt, five critically.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a mother and child were killed as tornadoes moved through Oklahoma City.

Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph says troopers found the bodies near a vehicle along Interstate 40 west of the city Friday.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews are working closely with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to close interstates and highways metro-wide as necessary. All travel is strongly discouraged as emergency crews continue to respond to tornado damage and flooding.

Tens of thousands of OG&E customers are without power, according to the utility's System Watch.

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