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.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Health Problems Compound For Aging Homeless

Tony Lithgow, 49, and Andrea Mayer, 51, live together on the streets of Baltimore. Researchers say the aging homeless population is due to younger baby boomers who came of age during the 1970s and '80s, when there were back-to-back recessions.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:27 pm

Tony Lithgow and Andrea Mayer have been living under a highway overpass in downtown Baltimore since last year. He's 49 and has been homeless on and off for eight years. She's 51 and has been homeless for 10 years.

Living on the streets has clearly taken a toll on the couple, both physically and mentally. While they're standing at a corner waiting for a free city bus to take them to a soup kitchen, Tony shouts at a passenger staring at them from a car stopped at the light.

"We're homeless!" he calls out to the man.

Read more
The Salt
4:13 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Sorry, But Bananas Won't Calm Your Caffeine Jitters

Some baristas swear that bananas can cure your coffee jitters, but the science just doesn't add up.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 8:43 am

It happens to the best of us. You drink one too many cups of coffee and, for the next few hours, you end up acting like a hyper preschooler who just can't sit still.

Which can be pretty inconvenient if it's, say, noon and you're at the office, or if it's midnight and you can't fall asleep.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were something quick and easy that you could take to combat the effects of over-caffeination? Something like ... a banana?

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Postpartum Depression Affects 1 In 7 Mothers

A JAMA Psychiatry study found that 1 in 7 mothers are affected by postpartum depression.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:09 pm

It's well documented that some women suffer depression after having a baby. But it's less well-known just how many do.

The largest study to date shows that as many as 1 in every 7 women suffers postpartum depression. And the study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, finds that among women followed for a year after delivery, some 22 percent had been depressed.

The study also recommends that all pregnant women and new mothers be screened for depression.

Read more
The Papal Succession
4:12 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Transcript: Pope Francis' First Speech As Pontiff

Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, gave his first speech as pope Wednesday on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Here is a transcript of his speech, which was made in Italian, according to Vatican Radio.

Brothers and sisters, good evening.

Read more
All Songs Considered
3:50 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013

Twin Horns Of Joy? Members of the band The Bottom Dollars play on the street in Austin, Texas, during the opening night of the South by Southwest music festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 8:55 am

Listen to Stephen Thompson's conversation with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered by clicking the audio link.


The South by Southwest music festival kicked off Tuesday with the first of five straight nights of music overload: The clubs, makeshift music venues and front porches of Austin, Texas, were overrun with little-known discoveries-in-waiting and big names alike, as well as tens of thousands of fans who have flocked to the city in search of epiphanies.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: What Happens After A Papal Election

After Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pontiff, he chose the name Pope Francis. His installation Mass could come early next week.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:53 pm

As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of Pope Francis, anticipation built for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

On Message: The Battle To Define 'Balanced' Budget

A member of the House Budget Committee holds a copy of the Republican budget proposal on Tuesday in Washington.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:12 pm

In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.

This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.

What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

VIDEO: Fan Accompanies Billy Joel; 'Greatest Moment Of My Life,' He Says

Michael Pollack, right, getting a handshake and blessing from Billy Joel. Pollack asked Joel if he could come on state to accompany the pop star on "New York State of Mind." Joel said yes and the video has gone viral.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:52 pm

It's taken about a month to hit the mainstream media's websites.

Read more
Religion
3:10 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Cardinals Elect Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio As New Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:18 pm

Cardinals at the Vatican chose Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. He will take the papal name Francis and is the first pope from South America. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about the significance of the event around the world.

Assignment: Radio
2:31 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

"Hope. We instill hope." Beyond The Resumé At The Goodwill Job Connection Center

The Goodwill Job Connection Center in downtown OKC.
Credit Kate Carlton

In February of this year, Governor Mary Fallin delivered her State of the State address. In that speech, she praised Oklahoma for its job growth. The state currently boasts a 5.1 percent unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the nation. While Oklahoma residents have a better chance of finding a job, there are still many who need help.

Read more

Pages