OKC Bombing: 20 Years Later
10:03 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Air Force Sergeant Stood In Police Lineup With Timothy McVeigh

Air Force senior master sergeant Gary Kirby stood in a police lineup with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995.
Credit Jacob McCleland / KGOU

It was supposed to be Gary Kirby’s day off when the senior airman in the United States Air Force got a call from his first sergeant. The request: Come back to Tinker Air Force Base dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a white t-shirt and white socks.

Kirby, now a senior master sergeant, showed up at the headquarters building to find a big, blue Air Force bus. He climbed on board, where he found between 40 and 50 guys --- and all of them looked like him.

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Oklahoma News
6:10 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

State Lawmakers To Introduce Reserve Police Training Requirements Bill

State Rep. Mike Christian (R-OKC)
Credit okhouse.gov

A group of Oklahoma legislators say they plan to introduce a bill that will require more law enforcement training for volunteer officers following the shooting death of an unarmed man in Tulsa by a 73-year-old reserve deputy.

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Race and Diversity
5:06 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

University Of Oklahoma's New Diversity Chief: 'We Can Do Better'

Tape with the word "UNHEARD" covers the mouth of the sculpture "The Sower" at the University of Oklahoma on March 11, 2015 in Norman, Oklahoma. The statue was marked by the black student group OU UNHEARD at the university. (Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 2:23 pm

The University of Oklahoma’s first chief diversity officer starts his new job soon, three months after the university kicked out a fraternity and expelled two students who were seen on video leading a racist chant.

University president David Boren was praised for acting swiftly once the video was made public last month. But the University of Oklahoma is one of only four schools in the Big 12 Conference without a chief diversity officer.

Some minority students at the university are asking, what took the university president so long to hire one?

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Oklahoma News
5:01 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Asbestos Cleanup Bill

Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague, left, and Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello witness Governor Mary Fallin sign Senate Bill 658.
Credit Provided

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill she says clarifies the state Department of Labor's role in asbestos removal projects in buildings and structures.

The measure signed Monday eliminates language related to asbestos abatement in private and public facilities. It clarifies that the Department of Labor is the primary authority for asbestos abatement on job sites.

In addition, the agency has signed a cooperative agreement with the Department of Environmental Quality clarifying jurisdictional authorities in asbestos cleanup projects.

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Oklahoma News
12:27 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Tulsa County Sheriff Says Robert Bates' Training Records Were Not Falsified

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz
Credit tcso.org

The Tulsa County sheriff says he doesn't believe training records were falsified in connection to a volunteer deputy who fatally shot a man after mistaking his handgun for a stun gun.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz said Monday he's known the volunteer, insurance executive Robert Bates, for about 25 years.

Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris, who was shot after running from officers during a sting investigation.

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OKC Bombing: 20 Years Later
10:28 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Legacy Of The Oklahoma City Bombing

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on May 19, 1995, exactly one month after the bombing. It was demolished four days later.
Than217 Wikimedia Commons

What does the Oklahoma City bombing mean now, two decades later? Will the memory and meaning of April 19, 1995, gradually recede into a distant echo?

That's hard to believe as one considers the extensive observances and media coverage this month. The grief and shock of what happened are as palpable as ever: On a sunny Wednesday morning, a terrorist bomb ripped apart the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 men, women and children. Those who saw it will never forget the black smoke rising in the sky, the bloody images of the  injured, and the wreckage of the  building marring the downtown skyline.

This multimedia story, including a video and a podcast, revolves around a question: What has changed because of the bombing? Oklahoma Watch spoke with several experts or leaders about their views on the impact of the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

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Education
8:01 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Student Population Growth A Major Concern For Some Oklahoma School Districts

A class in the assistant principal's old office at Burcham Elementary in Weatherford.
Emily Wendler KOSU

Oklahoma has gained 40,000 new students since 2008, but funding from the legislature hasn’t kept up with the growth. More students and less money means some schools are running out of space and have been dipping deep in to their savings accounts. They are making do, but it’s at a tipping point for some districts. Either they get more funding and add more space, or the class sizes get bigger and bigger.

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Oklahoma News
7:29 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Attorneys Release Sheriff's Deputy Training Records, Protesters Want Sheriff To Resign

Attorneys for Robert Bates released some of the training records Saturday for the 73-year-old volunteer sheriff's deputy charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect in Tulsa.

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All Tech Considered
6:26 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Social Media Can Help Track Tornadoes, But Was That Tweet Real?

Purdue University students are testing new software that may track and warn about tornadoes, such as this one which struck Rochelle, Ill., in early April.
Walker Ashley AP

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:49 am

Last week, as a big storm bore down on Rockford, Ill., students in a Purdue University classroom prepared to track its effects using Twitter.

Using software jointly developed by Purdue, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service, they huddled around laptops to analyze a tiny sample of the tweets from the storm's immediate vicinity. They were looking for keywords like "damage" or "tornado" and for pictures of funnel clouds.

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Around the Nation
4:20 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Murrah Building Bombing Prompted Oklahoma City's Downtown Revival

A general view of downtown Oklahoma City as basketball fans gather outside Oklahoma City Arena. The once run-down area has undergone a major transformation over the past 20 years.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 5:33 pm

It's been 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more.

As Oklahoma City prepares to look back on the bombing, one thing is clear — downtown is a far different and much better place than it was in 1995. And it's hard to deny the role the bombing played in the area's resurgence.

Even on a weekday, visitors line up in downtown Oklahoma City to take a tour of the area.

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