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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Severe Storms
1:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Tornado Watch Issued, Greatest Severe Weather Threat 5-11 p.m.

Credit National Weather Service Norman

The National Weather Service says storms will intensify this evening, with the highest tornado potential coming between 5 and 11 p.m. in Central and Southwest Oklahoma.

A Tornado Watch has been issued until 11:00 p.m. for Central and Eastern Oklahoma. The counties included roughly follow the Interstate 44 corridor.

There are still questions about the exact timing of the storms, but the Norman Forecast Office advises residents to not leave work or school this afternoon without checking the weather first.

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OneSix8
11:06 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Entertaining the Hours of Your Week: Exposing Exhibits In The Metro

Lana Del Ray
Credit Bryan Adams

This week on OneSix8, I'm bringing you exhibits by a rock star, a photographer aiming to highlight gender equality, and one comprised of global artwork.  

Oklahoma Contemporary displays Bryan Adams’ “Exposed” exhibit through May 17. Adams may be best known for “Summer of ‘69” or “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” but over the past 12 years, he has also worked as a photographer.

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Assignment: Radio
10:58 am
Wed April 17, 2013

"What About Indian Art?" An Interview With Mary Jo Watson

Mary Jo Watson, director of the School of Art and Art History and curator of Native American Art at the FJJMA.
Credit Brant Morrell

Twenty years ago, a degree in Native American Art and Art History was non-existent. Even today, only a few universities offer Native Art programs, but at the University of Oklahoma Mary Jo Watson is responsible for launching a groundbreaking art program with an emphasis on the indigenous perspective.

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Severe Storms
7:43 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Severe Storms, Tornadoes Possible Across Oklahoma

Severe storms are likely for parts of Oklahoma Wednesday.
Credit Storm Prediction Center

Forecasters say Oklahoma is at a moderate risk for severe weather as a storm system moves through the state.

The term "moderate" as used by the National Weather Service means the area is likely to see some severe storms. Forecasters say the scattered to numerous thunderstorms expected between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday in Oklahoma.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Thatcher, 'A Great Calm' After A Life Of Controversy

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Christopher Furlong EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."

With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

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OKC Memorial Marathon
5:35 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

OKC Marathon Will Go On As Planned, Officials Discuss Security

Team Oklahoma Christian begins the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon - May 1, 2011
Credit Oklahoma Christian University / Flickr

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says there have been no threats or heightened security in the aftermath of a bombing at the Boston Marathon - but that senses are heightened.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett says there are currently no plans to call off this year's Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon - but said events will be monitored daily.

"Obviously this time of the year on the calendar is a heightened alert in Oklahoma City. It has been for 18 years," Cornett says, referencing the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 

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Business and Economy
5:14 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

City of Tulsa Enacts Hiring Freeze

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Lower than expected tax revenues have prompted Tulsa leaders to enact a hiring freeze.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett says the freeze will be in place through at least June 30. The mayor announced the hiring freeze to city employees Monday.

Bartlett tells the Tulsa World general fund revenues are expected to fall short by about $2 million because of lower than anticipated sales tax receipts.

Politics and Government
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

House Passes Tax Incentive Extension

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has passed a bill extending a tax incentive to some pipeline, securities and telecommunications companies.

The bill passed Tuesday on a 70-25 vote. The House and Senate must now work out a compromise because of House changes to the Senate version.

The bill modifies the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program that provides tax incentives to several industries if they operate in the state and meet minimum salary and other requirements. The incentive is calculated based on the companies' wages.

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Assignment: Radio
2:37 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Assignment: Radio April 16, 2013

Brant Morrell

This week on Assignment: Radio, we focus on transcending the list of questions and prepared answers to engage in one-on-one, in-depth conversations with authors, artists, musicians, athletes, leaders and activists. 

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Assignment: Radio
10:36 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Preserving Creek Linguistic Heritage: An Interview With Gloria McCarty

Gloria McCarty, Creek language instructor at the University of Oklahoma.
Credit Ana Noshpal

Even though parts of Oklahoma were known as Indian Territory in the 19th and early 20th centuries, today only a few thousand citizens speak the Creek language. University of Oklahoma Creek instructor Gloria McCarty and her family are a few of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject.

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