Oklahoma News

Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:33 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Following Oklahoma's 2013 Tornadoes, Where Does Federal Aid Really Go?

Debris filled the streets in Moore, Okla. on May 20, 2013.
State Farm Flickr Creative Commons

After a string of deadly tornados hit Oklahoma in the spring of last year, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration that paved the way for up to $257 million in aid.

One year later, about one half of that funding has been spent.  The Oklahoma Tornado Project teamed up with Oklahoma Watch to track where all the money went. 

Following huge disasters, there’s always a potential for things to go wrong. In New Orleans, former mayor Ray Nagin was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes from contractors rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. And in New Jersey, there’s been criticism that some Sandy aid money has gone to less needy areas.

So we wanted to look into Oklahoma’s post-storm recovery. State Department of Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood – who has worked closely with FEMA – says outright fraud is less common than it used to be. 

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Oklahoma News
8:40 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Oklahoma Correctional Officers Concerned About Prison Overcrowding

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

A group that represents Oklahoma correctional officers says state prisons could end up dangerously understaffed if proposed cost-saving measures take effect.

In a letter to Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton, the Oklahoma Corrections Professionals says it has "grave concerns" about plans to eliminate 12-hour shifts by reducing the number of officers required on security posts.

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Oklahoma News
4:47 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Multiple Earthquakes Rattle Central Oklahoma

Credit Ray Bouknight / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Geological Survey says at least four earthquakes have rattled central Oklahoma, including a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Langston.

The earthquake struck shortly after noon Saturday about five miles southwest of Langston. Earlier, a 3.2-magnitude quake was recorded about 6:30 a.m. in about the same area near Langston. No damage or injuries were reported following either quake.

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Immigration
12:54 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Immigrant Children Could Be Housed At Fort Sill Until 2015, Rep. Cole Says

Credit Republicanconference / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole says federal officials want to expand the use of military facilities like Fort Sill to house an increasing number of children from Central America who are caught trying to enter the country illegally.

The Republican from Moore said in a statement Friday that the Department of Health and Human Services wants to increase its capacity for the number of children being held at temporary shelters and extend the use of facilities until 2015.

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Oklahoma News
6:53 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Aeronautics Commission Concerned About Legislature's Raid Of Their Fee-Based Fund

Credit P. Alejandro Díaz / Wikipedia Commons

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission members expressed concern about a $3 million withdrawal from the agency’s revolving fund by the Legislature. The agency’s revolving fund was one of several lawmakers tapped for funds to appropriate for fiscal year 2015.

Aeronautics Commission Executive Director Vic Bird noted the agency was the only one from which money was taken that does not receive appropriated funds. He said the general appropriations bill was drafted without input from the commission and the agency received no notice the money would be taken. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:44 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Four More State Parks At Risk As Budget Cuts And Low Revenue Loom

Credit Christopher Caldwell / Flickr Creative Commons

Four state parks in northeastern Oklahoma could be sold off, leased out or closed due to state budget cuts and low park revenue.

Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation hasn’t made a final decision on three of the parks, but is considering selling or leasing Disney/Little Blue Area at Grand Lake, Snowdale Area at Grand Lake and Spring River Canoe Trails.

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Oklahoma News
11:18 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Oklahoma Workers Comp Commission Lays Off More Than A Dozen Employees

Back injuries are a common workers' compensation claim.
Credit Darcie / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's Workers Compensation Commission has laid off 16 employees as the organization transitions from a court-based system to an administrative one.

Commission Executive Director Rick Farmer confirmed the layoffs Wednesday but declined to identify the employees. Wednesday's layoffs bring the total number of staff from 74 to 58.

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OneSix8
10:33 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week With Golf, Woodyfest, A Disney Play And Opera

Two-time Major Champion and internationally recognized golfer Vijay Singh competes at the U.S. Senior Open on the Oak Tree National Golf Course in Edmond.
Credit www.TourProGolfClubs.com / Flickr Creative Commons

In the wake of Independence Day the family fun keeps rolling with golf and some on-stage delights.

Organizers at Oak Tree National Country Club and Golf Course in Edmond expect more than 120,000 spectators throughout the weekend for the U.S. Golf Association’s Senior Open.

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Immigration
9:07 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Former Oklahoma House Speaker, Governor Push Immigration Reform

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating
Jim Greenhill Flickr Creative Commons

Several Oklahoma Republican leaders have joined a nationwide coalition of business and manufacturing groups in urging Congress to pass immigration reform they say is vital to the nation's economy.

Former House Speaker Kris Steele and former Gov. Frank Keating wants the GOP and President Obama to work together to enact federal legislation on immigration.

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Environment
1:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Gov. Fallin Criticizes EPA For Cutting Fire Department Vehicle Agreement

Credit Office Of The Governor

Governor Mary Fallin added her voice to the Oklahoma lawmakers who oppose the discontinuation of a program that supplies vehicles to rural fire departments. Fallin wrote a letter Wednesday to an administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency criticizing the discontinuation. 

"The decision to terminate this successful program was clearly made without thought to the adverse effects to local firefighting efforts and the ability to protect the lives and property of our citizens," Fallin said. 

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