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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Three Years Later, Norman Residents Still Wait For Storm Shelter Rebates

Karen Stark stands in her newly installed safe room in her garage in Norman.
Credit Kate Carlton

Tornado season has returned once again, and after the experience of last year, many Oklahomans are re-assessing their safety plans and prepping their designated refuge areas. 

For some people, that just means cleaning out their safe room. But for others, this weekend’s tornado scare was a reminder that they still haven’t gotten funding they were promised to build safe rooms.

Karen Stark has lived in Norman for decades. She’s seen her fair share of storms. But it wasn’t until just a few years ago that she finally decided it was time to install a safe room in her house.

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Oklahoma Watch
6:46 am
Mon April 28, 2014

With Nearly Lowest Pay In U.S., Oklahoma Schools Struggle To Recruit Teachers

ECDC Public School's class watches intently as teacher Sommer Lyons shares the story of the Easter Bunny.
Nick Conroy Oklahoma Watch

Like leaks in a levee, teacher shortages are springing up faster than Oklahoma school districts can respond.

Now, instead of shortages mainly in math, science and special education, schools are grappling with vacancies in all departments and grade levels, according to lawmakers and district recruiters.

Oklahoma City Public Schools has 403 teaching vacancies that need to be filled before next school year, up from levels three years ago, recruiters said. Tulsa Public Schools is struggling to fill 84 positions, up from the typical 30 to 40 vacancies. Smaller districts are also struggling to recruit.

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Severe Storms
6:05 am
Mon April 28, 2014

One Killed, More Injured During Sunday Tornado Outbreak In Northeast Oklahoma

A house destroyed by the Sunday, April 27 tornado that devastated Quapaw, Oklahoma.
Kurt Gwartney Eastern Oklahoma Region - American Red Cross

Updated at 10:58 a.m. with the name of the victim, and declaration of a state of emergency

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for Ottawa County following a tornado that struck Quapaw that destroyed the fire station and at least five businesses and other structures. Damage assessments continue Monday.

Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions to deliver materials and supplies to needed jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance.

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OKC Memorial Marathon
3:42 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

After Severe Weather Delay, Norman Runners Win Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Norman resident Jason Cook crosses the finish line Sunday during the 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
Provided Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

A pair of runners from Norman have won the 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Severe storms forced organizers to delay the Marathon just before runners were set to take the course.

Sunday's race was scheduled to start at 6:30 a.m., but inclement weather that formed west of the city moved into the area around sunrise. Organizers pushed the start of the race by nearly two hours to let the storm move through. Downtown buildings opened to provide shelter to the runners.

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Double Execution
12:58 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Oklahoma Double Execution Set For Tuesday

The death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Two death row inmates who sued the state Department of Corrections over the secrecy surrounding its execution protocol are scheduled to die this week in Oklahoma's first double execution since 1937.

Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, set to die Tuesday, sued the state of Oklahoma in February. After a lengthy battle that took the case to four different courts, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Oklahoma County District Court had erred in siding with the inmates.

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Oklahoma Politics
2:43 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

A Week Of Discord Among Oklahoma's Legislative Branches

Oklahoma's State Capitol

Long-running tension among Oklahoma's three branches of government reached a boiling point last week after a court decision in two death row cases.

Gov. Mary Fallin accused the state's Supreme Court of overstepping its bounds and some Republican lawmakers were so upset by the court's ruling that they called for the impeachment of justices.

The high court temporarily delayed the pending execution of two death row inmates, then later dropped the stays.

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Indian Times
10:45 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Summer Programs Available For Native Students Interested In Medicine

Credit Susan Shannon

In 1971 a group of fourteen American Indian and Alaska Native doctors formed the Association of American Indian Physicians, or AAIP, with the primary goal of improving the health of native communities by, among other things, giving support to native doctors in training. Today, the group has taken this mission further by encouraging future medical students.

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Restrictions on sale of e-cigarettes
6:14 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Fallin Signs Over Two Dozen Bills Into Law

Credit Michael Dorausch / Flickr.com

Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed two bills and signed more than two dozen others, including one that prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes or vapor products to minors.

Fallin's office announced the signings Friday afternoon.

The e-cigarette bill places into statute a definition of "vapor product" and restricts their sale, including a ban on sales to those younger than 18.

Other bills she signed deals with taxes, adoptions, school district residency and hazardous waste.

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Using It to teach history and arts in high school
5:16 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Mustang School Board Votes In Museum Of The Bible's Curriculum

Credit NYC Wanderer / Flickr.com

A high school curriculum billed as a way to teach archaeology, history and the arts through Bible stories also tells students God is always there in times of trouble, but that sinners must "suffer the consequences" of disobeying.

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World Views
3:24 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Difference Between Latin American And U.S. Protests? Natives, Religion, And Karl Marx

Thousands demonstrate against state violence in Venezuela in February 2014.
andresAzp Flickr Creative Commons

Translator, filmmaker, and author Clifton Ross says most Latin American social movements began among the indigenous people and urban poor during the 1970s and 80s as a response to neoliberal economic policies and limited citizen access to the political process.

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