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
The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tense Hours, Then Sighs Of Relief After Huge Quake Off Chile

Scared residents hug in the hallway of an apartment building Tuesday after Iquique, Chile, was rocked by a strong earthquake.
Cristian Viveros AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:32 pm

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:39 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Book News: 'Socks, I've Worn A Few?' Flea Is Writing A Memoir

Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during the group's performance at this year's Super Bowl. He's going to write a memoir.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 6:47 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
new combination of drugs will be injected
6:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Oklahoma Will Carry Out Executions

Credit Hafiz Issadeen / Flickr.com

Ten days after increasing the number of ways in which Oklahoma can carry out executions, lawyers for the state say they'll execute two men this month with a combination of drugs never used in the state.

Lawyers for the state and for inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner said Tuesday the executioner will inject the men with the sedative midazolam, plus pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, which paralyzes victims and stops the heart.

Lockett and Warner had sued to learn more about the drugs and a judge ruled last week they had a right to know.

Read more
Standards will be set by State Board of Education
4:59 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Common Core Repealed By Oklahoma Senate

Credit Edward Dalmulder / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Senate has voted to repeal a set of education standards for math and English that more than 40 states have adopted and replace them with new ones that will be developed by the State Board of Education.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 37-10 on Tuesday for the bill repealing the standards over the objections of some Democrats who argued it is a political decision to roll back Common Core, which has faced fierce resistance from grassroots conservative groups.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
3:07 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

To Frack Wells In Norman, Driller Buys City Drinking Water Right From The Hydrant

Credit alphageek / Flickr Creative Commons

For a fee, most municipalities will give contractors and other industrial users a special water meter and temporary access to a city fire hydrant. The meters and hydrant access are often used for construction sites, and the buyer usually pays a higher per-gallon water rate for the high-flow access.

Read more
State Capitol
1:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Personal, Corporate Income Tax Cuts Pass Oklahoma Senate Panel

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan to cut Oklahoma's corporate and individual income tax rates once certain revenue triggers are reached has passed a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 8-2 on Tuesday for the House bill by Bartlesville Republican Rep. Earl Sears.

The House and Senate each have separate proposals to reduce the state's individual income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, once certain revenue triggers are reached.

Read more
Assignment: Radio
12:38 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

What It Means To "Keep It Local"

Credit alice_henneman

Customers have more choice than ever, with national retailers, local stores, and now internet shopping. Assignment Radio’s Madeline Stebbins examines the effects of local shopping in Norman.

The “shop local” movement has gained momentum the last few years. But beyond the hype, past the fad – does shopping local really matter?

Bryce Bandy:  Up to three times as much of the money stays in your community when you spend it with a local and independent business, as opposed to a big box or a franchise.

Read more
Storm Shelters
11:58 am
Tue April 1, 2014

High Court Upholds Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot

Petitions are completed in December for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization. The group needs roughly 155,000 signatures to place the state question on the November ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says a ballot title written by the attorney general's office for an initiative to place storm shelters in Oklahoma public schools is legally correct but gave proponents more time to gather signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

The high court ruled Tuesday that proponents of the initiative petition, State Question 767, have 90 days to collect the signatures needed to get the measure on the election ballot. Supporters need the signatures of about 155,000 registered voters to get on the ballot.

Read more
Assignment: Radio
11:24 am
Tue April 1, 2014

A New Kind Of Classroom

Credit ota_photos

More than six million higher education students are taking at least one course online, according to a 2011 study by the Babson Survey Research Group. At the University of Oklahoma, approximately 3,000 students are taking advantage of the college’s current online options. Assignment Radio reporter, Molly Evans, spoke with an English major and leaders of OU’s digital initiatives about incorporating online learning into the traditional college experience. A sea of more than 30,000 students floods the University of Oklahoma’s campuses each year.

Read more
Assignment: Radio
11:15 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The Diet Fit For A Caveman

Credit Dollen

As the name suggests the Paleo diet takes you back to caveman days, no preservatives, no processed grains and no fast food at all... Assignment Radio's Hayley Thornton explored what it means to go Paleo.

Emily Groff: From my point of view it’s a very  nutritious kind of back to natural way of eating, which is why the certain foods are included and I have read a lot of books and done a lot of research into it, and its really about eating what’s best for your body.

Read more

Pages