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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Shots - Health News
12:54 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Family That Tweets Together Stays Together

Snapchatting, Dad? Could be helping you stay close to the kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 12:37 pm

Retweeted by Mom? Teenagers might say they'd die of embarrassment. But teenagers who are connected with their parents via Twitter and other social media have better relationships with them, and fewer behavioral problems.

A study that asked teens if they used social media to communicate with their parents found that half said yes. And 16 percent said they used social media with their parents every day.

Half of the teens in a this study said they used social media to communicate with the folks. Almost 20 percent said they communicated with Mom and Dad that way every day.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Cuba Acknowledges N. Korean Ship Carried Its 'Obsolete' Weapons

View of North Korean vessel at the Manzanillo Port in Colon on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:53 pm

(Updated 9:40 p.m. ET)

A statement from Cuba's foreign ministry says weapons that Panama seized in a North Korean ship were mid-20th Century models that Cuba was sending to North Korea for repair, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters.

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Politics and Government
12:01 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Fallin Rearranges Cabinet, Names Two New Secretaries

Robert Sommers will become Secretary of Education and Workforce Development under Gov. Fallin's new cabinet arrangement.
Credit Governor Mary Fallin's Office

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed two new officials to her cabinet and restructured the posts to add a tourism position and consolidate two others. 

Fallin on Tuesday named Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Director Robert Sommers to the newly created cabinet position of Secretary of Education and Workforce Development.

The governor also appointed the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's Executive Director Deby Snodgrass to the new position of Secretary of Tourism.

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World Views
11:57 am
Tue July 16, 2013

How Women Found A Place At The Table In Conflict Resolution And Peace-Building

United Nations Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet addresses a meeting of the UN Security Council marking the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security - October 26, 2010.
Credit Devra Berkowitz / UN Photo

Listen to Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini's conversation with Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise.

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution requiring states and non-state actors settling conflicts to consider and respect women’s rights, and include women in the negotiating process.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini helped draft UN Security Council Resolution 1325. She’s the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and the author of Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why They Matter.

“Because [women] are in civil society, they’re often not related to political parties or military parties,” Naraghi-Anderlini says. “But they want to have a voice because they’re taking responsibility when others are talking about power. So it’s kind of that duality of power and responsibility, saying ‘We have a voice as well, and we have needs, and we have solutions to bring to the table.’”

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The Salt
9:56 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Community Supported Agriculture: How Big Is Too Big?

Grant Family Farms in northern Colorado launched an organic CSA in 2007 and eventually attracted 5,000 members. But it went bankrupt in 2012.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:43 am

The peak of the summer harvest is approaching, which means that if you have a community supported agriculture share, you may be receiving a daunting amount of fresh produce to cook every week.

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OETA
6:48 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Longtime Broadcaster, OETA Station Manager Bill Thrash Passes Away

OETA station manager William C. "Bill" Thrash died Monday at the age of 73.
Credit Provided / OETA - The Oklahoma Network

Longtime Oklahoma broadcaster and OETA station manager William C. “Bill” Thrash passed away Monday.

Thrash started his career at KTEN in Ada in 1955 while still in high school. An obituary published on OETA’s Facebook page says Thrash began as a camera operator, before becoming the station’s program manager. He graduated from East Central University in 1961, and his alma mater later named its television studio after him.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:45 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Oklahoma Is No. 2 In Oil Spills

Credit Cali2Okie / Flickr Creative Commons

There were 951 oil spills reported in Oklahoma last year, more than every other major energy state state except North Dakota, EnergyWire reports.

The news service has been trying to count the number of spills in the U.S. and measure their impact, but has been stymied by haphazard reporting of spills, which “are scattered amid databases, websites and even file drawers of state agencies across the country”

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Sequestration
2:37 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Inhofe Praises USAF For Getting Pilots Flying Again

USAF Thunderbirds perform at the Kirtland AFB air show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2011. The popular Thunderbirds demonstration team will start flying again after being grounded since April
Credit Ingrid Truemper / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Air Force says many of its combat air forces will start flying again after being grounded since April because of budget cuts.

The Defense Department received authority from Congress to shift about $7.5 billion from lower priority accounts to more vital operations. The Air Force says the restored flying hours represent about $208 million of that allocation authorized by Congress.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says if the Air Force can find the money to put its pilots back in the air, it can also find the money to end civilian furloughs.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

President George H.W. Bush Honored At White House

Former President George H. W. Bush, in a wheelchair, as he was escorted into the East Room of the White House on Monday by President Obama.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush, who spent nearly two months in a Houston hospital during late 2012 and early 2013 for treatment of a variety of life-threatening illnesses, was hailed by President Obama at the White House on Monday.

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Department of Corrections
12:50 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Corrections Department Dedicates Memorial

Credit Oklahoma Corrections Employee Memorial Foundation

A dedication ceremony is planned for this week for a new memorial honoring Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees who were killed in the line of duty. 

The new Oklahoma Correctional Memorial will be dedicated Friday on the grounds of the agency's administration building in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa World reports the memorial honors the 20 Oklahoma corrections employees who were killed on the job.

The first name on the monument is that of Oklahoma State Penitentiary Deputy Warden D.C. "Pat" Oates, who died Jan. 19, 1914, when a prisoner was attempting to escape.

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