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
1:28 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

As One Battle Ends, Another Sparks Between The EPA And OG&E

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's Muskogee Power Plant was part of more than $80 million in renovations done at OG&E coal plants between 2003-2006.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The clash between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oklahoma Gas & Electric over pollution from coal-fired power plants continues to escalate.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and OG&E both asked the 10thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its July decision in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was whether EPA has the authority to usurp the state’s plan for limiting haze on federal land; a plan EPA has deemed inadequate.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:35 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Lacking State Policy, Local Politics Test The Promise Of Wind Energy In Oklahoma

Tammy and Rick Huffstutlar's home near Calument, Okla., is surrounded by the Canadian Hills Wind Farm. The couple says they're considering moving because of the constant noise and shadow flicker.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Many Oklahomans are excited about the promise of wind energy, and the state is moving up the national ranks in wind power capacity.

But some are turning their backs on wind turbines, and the struggle highlights the challenges of regulating renewable energy.

Listen to the Radio Story

When Tammy and Rick Huffstutlar bought their home and acreage 35 years ago, they were excited about living on a farm. But for the last year, Tammy says she’s been living in the middle of an industrial park.

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Cherokee Adoption Case
11:42 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Father Of Cherokee Tot In Custody Fight Surrenders

Credit Cherokee Nation

The father of a Cherokee girl at the center of a custody dispute has surrendered to Oklahoma authorities amid claims he's interfering with parental rights granted to a South Carolina couple.

A secretary for Sequoyah County Judge Jeff Payton said Dusten Brown surrendered Thursday. Gov. Mary Fallin signed an extradition warrant Wednesday, saying Brown wasn't negotiating in good faith with a Charleston, S.C., couple granted custody of the girl in July.

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OneSix8
8:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week With Red Carpet-Worthy Names

"Wicked" comes to the Civic Center Music Hall Sept. 4 - 22.
Credit Joan Marcus / Celebrity Attractions

Big names fill this week’s OneSix8. From a renowned Broadway show to some of Oklahoma’s own, entertainment this week is sure to have something for everyone. 

Characters from The Land of Oz have arrived at The Civic Center Music Hall. The popular Broadway musical “Wicked” returns to Oklahoma City this month for the 2013-2014 Celebrity Attraction season.

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Even Their Seats Are To Be Separated When Putin And Obama Meet

Off they go.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports on the G-20 Summit

Much is being made about the symbolism of the seating at the G-20 summit of world leaders, which begins Thursday in St. Petersburg, Russia, and what it supposedly says about U.S.-Russian relations.

Here's how The Guardian starts its story:

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Thu September 5, 2013

The Syria Vote: A Guide To The Congressional Factions

President Obama gestures during his joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday in Stockholm. The president said the credibility of the international community, Congress and America is on the line with the response to Syria.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:59 am

This won't be a standard party-line vote. Big factions within both parties remain skeptical about President Obama's plans to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria.

If the vote were held today, it might not pass. Obama and his allies — including top House leaders of both parties — have a big selling job yet to do to persuade a majority of members to authorize military action.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Syria Debate In Congress: 4 Exchanges You Should Listen To

Secretary of State John Kerry waves to members during a hearing on Syria before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Today, it was the U.S. House of Representative's turn to question the Obama administration about its plan for a military strike on Syria.

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Native American
5:45 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Fallin Signs Extradition Order For Dusten Brown

Governor Mary Fallin
Credit jadedtom / Flickr.com

A press release from Governor Mary Fallin's office said that today she signed the extradition order for Dusten Brown, the biological father of “Baby Veronica.”  

Brown is contesting Veronica’s adoption to Matt and Melanie Capobianco of Charleston, South Carolina. His arguments have now been rejected by the United States Supreme Court as well as courts in South Carolina and Oklahoma.  

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5,000 Patients Exposed To Infectious Diseases
4:14 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Tulsa Oral Surgeon

Dental instruments
Credit Fred Sharples / Flickr.com

A class action lawsuit has been filed against a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of exposing thousands of his patients to hepatitis and HIV because of unsanitary clinics.

The lawsuit, filed by seven people in Tulsa County District Court, names Wayne Scott Harrington, his corporation, his medical staff and several pharmaceutical companies.

The lawsuit says that the plaintiffs were patients of Harrington's and were exposed to infectious diseases through contaminated propofol vials. Propofol is an anesthetic used if medical procedures.

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State Capitol
11:19 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Oklahoma Rally Pushes For Better Nursing Home Care

Credit ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of Democratic lawmakers is hosting a rally and a legislative study on the condition of the state's nursing homes after Oklahoma recently received an "F'' grade in a national ranking of the states.

A rally to improve the condition of the state's nursing homes will begin at noon Wednesday on the south steps of the Capitol.

That will be followed by an afternoon study that will include a presentation from the executive director of Families for Better Care.

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