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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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Obama Cancels One-On-One Meeting With Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Obama when they sat down together in June at a G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Alexi Nikolsky EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:12 am

President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.

It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Yemeni Government Says Al-Qaida Plot Was Foiled

A Yemeni soldier stands guard Tuesday near Sanaa International Airport.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:02 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Iona Craig, in Yemen, talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Yemen is still the focus of concern as the U.S., its allies and countries across the Middle East and North Africa remain on alert for possible terrorist attacks.

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Politics and Government
5:53 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Inhofe Accuses President Of Trying To "Disarm The Armed Services"

Maintenance Personnel service E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS)
Credit Department of Defense Image Collection - expertinfantry / Flickr.com

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma says the nation's military is taking more than its fair share of budget cuts due to federal sequestration.

 

The Republican senator made the comments Tuesday to the Air Force Association, a group of active duty and retired Air Force personnel that advocates air power.

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Weather and Climate
4:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Four States And Six Tribes Send Firefighters To Pacific Northwest

Fire In Oregon
Credit Oregon Department Of Transportation / Flickr.com

Officials say 100 firefighters from Arkansas, Louisiana,Oklahoma and Texas are in Oregon to fight wildfires in the Pacific Northwest.

  

The agency said Tuesday that moist and relatively cool conditions in the Southwest have diminished the fire danger in the region. That enabled the firefighters to be free to help out in the Northwest.

Officials say the firefighters left from Fort Smith on July 24 to begin the two-week mission. They're being housed in tents at Redmond, Ore., and sent as needed to wildfire sites.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:41 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Oil and Gas Helped Fuel Record Year for Oklahoma Tax Revenue

Oklahoma's economic recovery continues with oil and gas revenue.
Credit CALI2OKIE / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Over the last 12 months, the state has collected $11.3 billion in tax revenue — an all-time high, State Treasurer Ken Miller said Monday.

The record tax receipt — $12.6 million higher than the previous record set in December 2008 — is an indication that Oklahoma has recovered from the Great Recession, Miller said.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:04 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Oklahoma Moves Up, Now No. 6 in Wind Power Generation

Wind turbines near Woodward in northwest Oklahoma.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma remains one of the top states for wind power generation, U.S. Department of Energy officials said Monday.

Oklahoma ranked No. 6 in wind power capacity in 2012, an improvement from the No. 8 position the state held in 2011, according to an update of the agency’sWind Technologies Market Report.

A press release from the U.S. Department of Energy highlights Oklahoma’s importance in the growing trend toward a greater reliance on wind power:

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Business and Economy
1:40 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Spirit AeroSystems Leaving Oklahoma

Inflatable Spirit AeroSystems Airplane
Credit Kevin KB35 / Flickr.com

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings says it plans to shed its operations in Oklahoma and postpone filing its second-quarter earnings report.

Shares of the Kansas-based aircraft parts maker fell 8 percent following the announcement before regaining some of the loss.

Spirit says it has started a process to divest its Oklahoma operations, which includes sites in Tulsa and McAlester. That's part of a broader strategic and financial review it announced in May. The company has hired a financial adviser to help with the process.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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Weather and Climate
1:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Certified Wheat Seed Scarce Due To Drought Conditions

Wheat Field
Credit Palouse / Flickr.com

Exceptional drought conditions and untimely freezes that have left some southeast Colorado winter wheat fields with nothing to harvest have also limited the certified seed supply for next season.

The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation predicts there will be enough seed available if farmers get in touch with dealers early.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

PBS Names Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff Co-Anchors Of 'NewsHour'

Gwen Ifill, left, and Judy Woodruff.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:14 am

PBS says Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will share the job of anchoring public television's News Hour.

"The veteran correspondents were also named managing editors of the weekly news program," PBS reports on the Newshour blog.

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