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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State Capitol
5:43 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Parole Board Members Plead Not Guilty

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Members of Oklahoma's Pardon and Parole Board have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of violating the state's Open Meeting Act.

The five board members appeared with their attorneys before Oklahoma County Special Judge Russell Hall Thursday. They are due back in court on April 18.

The charges were filed Wednesday by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Marco Rubio, Rand Paul Bring Charisma, Red Meat To Receptive CPAC

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., addresses the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday in Maryland's National Harbor outside Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:55 pm

The next Republican presidential primary is so far off that some of those attending the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday could be spotted wearing stickers for two potential candidates: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

It's just too early to choose.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Obama's 'Organizing For Action' Inherited His Campaign's Resources

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

While Republicans are trying to bridge their differences, Democrats find themselves broadly united behind the president's second term agenda. That doesn't mean the work will automatically get done, however, so as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, some of Obama's biggest supporters are meeting in Washington to turn the president's campaign momentum into policy.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Conservative Conference A Parade Of Potential Candidates For 2016

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the nation's capitol, today is a day to talk about future agendas. For Democrats, it's about the second Obama term; for conservatives, it's the future of the Republican Party. We'll hear about both in the next few minutes, beginning with CPAC - that's the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that opened today.

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Middle East
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Syrian Rebels Aren't Able To Fill Government's Role As They Take Cities

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. and other countries have hesitated to help arm the rebel groups in Syria, mainly arguing that they don't want those weapons falling into the wrong hands. After nearly two years of fighting in Syria, the number of rebel groups has spiraled into the hundreds. Now, France and Britain are calling for an emergency European Union meeting to end the arms embargo from allied nations to Syria's rebel groups.

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The Papal Succession
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Displays 'Common Touch' On First Day

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 7:42 pm

Pope Francis' spent his first day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday.

The Papal Succession
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Criticized For Not Confronting Dictatorship During 'Dirty War'

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Argentina's Dirty War in the late 1970s and early 1980s was a dark time for both the country and the Roman Catholic Church. Thousands were kidnapped or killed by the military junta in a campaign to crush leftist opposition to the government.

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The Papal Succession
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Seminarian Hopes Pope Francis Will Heal Religion's 'Crisis Of Faith'

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Melissa Block speaks with John Connaughton, a 36-year-old American seminarian studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, about what it's like to witness the transition of popes firsthand.

The Papal Succession
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis' Namesake Was Patron Saint Of Animals, Ecology

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Saint Francis of Assisi is the namesake of the new pope, Francis. To learn about the life of Saint Francis and his legacy in the Catholic Church, Melissa Block talks with with Father Jeremy Harrington. He's guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.

Music Reviews
5:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Lady: Two Soul Stalwarts Find A New Groove Together

R&B singers Nicole Wray and Terri Walker have teamed up as the duo Lady.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 7:59 am

R&B singers Nicole Wray and Terri Walker both had promising starts to their careers more than ten years ago. Wray came up on the Virginia coast under the wing of mentor Missy Elliott. Walker, a Londoner, was classically trained yet released her debut on a Def Jam subsidiary. Both enjoyed early critical success but by decade's end struggled to find a wide audience. Instead, they found each other.

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