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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Weather and Climate
8:04 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Are The Recent Water Resources Board Changes Fair To Oklahoma's Big Cities?

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 2:39 pm

The makeup of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board will change as current members’ terms end over the next few years. A new law passed in 2013 requires that each board member come from a specific region of the state.

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Kids Count
2:24 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Survey Shows Oklahoma Children's Well-Being Improves

Credit Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

An annual report on the well-being of children in the United States shows improvement in Oklahoma.

The state's ranking improved from 40th to 36th among the 50 states in the Kids Count report released Monday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The foundation ranks states based on four areas — economic well-being; education; health; and family and community issues.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Sends Affirmative Action Case Back To Lower Court

Abigail Noel Fisher, who challenged a racial component to University of Texas at Austin's admissions policy, speaks to the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court building during oral in the case in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 7:39 pm

One of the Supreme Court's most anticipated cases of its current term — a challenge to the University of Texas' affirmative action admissions process — has ended with a ruling that does not revisit the fundamental issue of whether such programs discriminate against whites.

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The Salt
9:53 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Not Local Food, And Not Afraid To Say It

These organically farmed ingredients travel the world to join forces in a Boloco burrito.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 12:17 pm

A burrito is a thing of beauty. Swathed in tortilla, clad in foil, simple ingredients come together and something magical happens.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Where In The World Is Edward Snowden? Still Russia, It Seems

Journalists on board a Moscow-to-Havana flight Monday thought that NSA leaker Edward Snowden would be in that window seat. Instead, the plane left with that spot empty.
Maxim Shemetov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:48 am

After hours of breathless reporting about how "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden would be getting on a Moscow-to-Havana flight Monday, it seems he did not in fact board the jet for what what was thought to be a step toward asylum in Ecuador.

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Business and Economy
8:03 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Supreme Court Ruling Won't Keep Texas From Trying to Buy Oklahoma Water

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:29 am

When the U.S. Supreme Court sided unanimously with Oklahoma in the courtroom war over water that flows into the Red River, Texas’ legal claim to the resource was greatly diminished.

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The Mix
9:01 am
Sat June 22, 2013

The Mix: The Songs Of The Summer

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" is undeniably one of the songs of this summer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:54 am

People have funny ways of describing hit pop songs. A song is "infectious," an "earworm." It "gets under your skin." It's not summer without little annoyances — sunburn, mosquito bites, sweat — just as it's not summer without the Song of the Summer. We're talking about a song (or two, or three) that explodes and quickly permeates pop culture. It runs rampant up and down your radio dial, around your parties and deep in your brain. Perhaps this is why such pop music is described in terms usually reserved for the plague.

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Indian Times
9:30 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

William Thorpe, Son of Jim Thorpe, Says Native American Olympics Was “Dad’s Dream”

William Thorpe, eldest living son of Jim Thorpe
Credit Susan Shannon

William Thorpe, Jim Thorpe’s oldest living son, sat on the reviewing stand with tribal chiefs and other dignitaries from the native world to watch as Native American athletes from 61 tribes from across the nation to participate in the opening ceremonies for the second annual Jim Thorpe Native American Games. 

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Indian Times
9:14 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

61 Tribes Represented at Jim Thorpe Native American Games in Oklahoma City

Basketball in the Abe Lemmons Arena on the OCU campus
Credit Susan Shannon

Native American athletes from 61 tribes from across the nation competed in the second annual Jim Thorpe Native American Games.  Athletes competed in activities such as basketball, golf, martial arts, wrestling and softball at several sports venues.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Online Sales Cost Cities And Counties Billions In Taxes, Mayors Say

A chart shows estimated tax revenue losses due to online sales in 11 U.S. cities. Figures for 2013 are projections.
IHS Global Insight

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:53 pm

Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities, according to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. They estimate the lost revenue for America's largest cities and counties came to about $2.8 billion for 2011 and 2012, combined.

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