Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:39 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Auditing The Storm: Hazard Funds Don’t Always Go To Damaged Areas

An overturned car after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore.
Oklahoma Watch

As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter.

Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

Meanwhile, in Stillwater, people were also on alert because a tornado watch had been issued that day. But the city received only a light rain and no wind damage, according to the National Weather Service.

The destruction and deaths caused by the Moore tornado led many people in the city to believe that a residential storm shelter was essential.

But after the May 20 tornado, when the federal government began approving cash aid for projects like shelters to prevent the future loss of life and property, Moore was shut out of the program, according to data analyzed by Oklahoma Watch in a joint project with KGOU Radio/The Oklahoma Tornado Project.

Stillwater, on the other hand, has so far gotten the largest share of federal “hazard mitigation” funds released under the presidential disaster declaration, records show. Stillwater will spend about $1.9 million, most of it federal money, to help pay for more than 700 safe rooms in residents’ homes. The same program will allow Oklahoma State University there to spend $73,000 to install a lightning detection and warning system, needed partly for sporting events.

Moore has not been left out in the cold.

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Business Intelligence Report
9:32 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Top Business Stories: Tax Holiday, Urgent Care Clinics, And The Push For "Right-To-Farm" Legislation

Santi Kos, manager of Fashion Sport and Uniforms at 1300 NW 23rd St. in Oklahoma City.
Credit Brent Fuchs, The Journal Record

Parents, Cities And Counties Plan For Back-To-School Tax Holiday.

August first through third, shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax on clothing items that cost less than $100. The holiday was implemented in 2007 to discourage shoppers from crossing state lines to save.

That’s good news for family budgets, but it also means the state misses out on $4 million it might have had otherwise.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Auditing The Storm: Why Moore Missed Out On Mitigation Funds

Stillwater resident Hollie Schreiber received a $2,000 storm shelter rebate through the city's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program that FEMA funded following the 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes.
Credit Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Tornado Project

When federal aid started pouring into the state after last years’ storms, FEMA designated $4 million for hazard mitigation – a tool used to protect communities from future severe weather through things like storm shelters. But the communities you’d think might receive this kind of money sometimes don’t. 

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Monkey See
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Appreciating James Garner: TV's Best Unhero

James Garner plays Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in a 1988 photo.
DPA /Landov

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 3:41 pm

I didn't know, watching Isaac Hayes push James Garner around on The Rockford Files, that I was seeing a special character continue an important television legacy.

All I knew, as a devoted fan of Garner's put-upon private eye, was that Jim Rockford seemed like a kind of hero you never saw anywhere else on television.

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Arts and Entertainment
6:55 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

OU President Boren: Garner Will Be Greatly Missed

Mourners leave flowers and other mementos at the statue of James Garner in downtown Norman.
Credit Jim Johnson / KGOU

The president of the University of Oklahoma says Oklahoma native James Garner will be greatly missed.

Garner died of natural causes at his Brentwood, California, home Saturday night. He was 86.

Although he was adept at drama and action, Garner was best known for his witty, low-key style, especially with the TV series "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files."

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says Garner, a native of Norman, was a loyal friend to his hometown and university.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:02 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Debate: Is Death Final?

Sean Carroll (left) and Steven Novella argue that testimonies about near-death experiences are not evidence of an afterlife.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 3:11 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Is there some form of existence after death, or is the notion a product of wishful thinking about our own mortality?

These questions have fascinated humans for millennia. Many approach the concept of an afterlife as a religious one, but in a recent Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, a physicist and three medical doctors put faith aside to debate life after death from a scientific perspective.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

45 Years Ago, Armstrong Took His 'One Small Step'

NASA image taken in 2012 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows astronauts' footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo 11.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) NASA

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.

The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."

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Performing Arts
11:08 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

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Arts and Entertainment
10:53 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Group Hopes To Build Oklahoma Pop Culture Museum

Leon Russell
Credit anyjazz65 / Wikipedia Commons

An Oklahoma group, Project OKPOP, hoping to build a museum highlighting the contributions to popular culture made by musicians, writers and other artists with ties to the state says it will continue pushing for funding for the project.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell and drummer Jamie Oldaker, who performed for years with Eric Clapton, are among those who have donated to the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture's more than 100,000-piece collection.

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Manager's Desk
9:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Covering Government: The Work Of Reporters

Gov. Mary Fallin prepares to deliver her 2013 State of the State address, flanked by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, and House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

July 20, 2014

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

A new study by Pew Research confirms what many of us knew … that the number of full time journalists covering state government continues to decline.  Here’s a link to that study.

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