BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Updated: Wed, Aug 20, 2014
SHAWNEE — A central Oklahoma city says it will no longer use its city hall and a fire station as public storm shelters.
Shawnee’s emergency management director recommended the city commission vote to stop using the buildings, citing potential dangers and an increase in private shelters.
A local newspaper reports the Shawnee city commission approved the measure 5-2 on Monday night.
Lynch says he estimates up to 700 shelters have been registered in Shawnee. He says residents usually wait right before a storm hits to travel to a public storm shelter. He says that puts them in harm’s way.
Lynch also noted Norman, Midwest City and Edmond have closed some of their public storm shelters.
BY JULIANA KEEPING, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Aug 6, 2014
Tonia Allen told Oklahoma residents left homeless by the May 19, 2013, tornado that she was there to help build homes. Residents said they gave Allen insurance and FEMA payouts and signed contracts, but most homes never materialized. Now Allen is under investigation and appears to be linked to several aliases and a criminal history in multiple states.
BETHEL ACRES — Tomato plants, clucking chickens and a crepe myrtle bush surrounding Clayton Cook’s new home and storm shelter stand in stark contrast to the scene there a little more than a year ago.
An EF4 tornado destroyed Cook’s mobile home as it ripped into Pottawatomie County’s Steelman Estates community on May 19, 2013. He lived in a tent while waiting for assistance. Most residents who rented in the area left after the tornado, he said, but Cook, who has lived at the property he owns for 23 years, stayed.
The tornado killed two people and destroyed more than 80 homes in the community. More than 200 homes throughout the county were either destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the tornado.
The Oklahoma Baptist University women’s soccer team visited Brazil just days before the FIFA World Cup to compete against Brazilian soccer teams and present the Gospel to youths and families through soccer camps and door-to-door evangelism efforts.
BY CARLA HINTON, Religion Editor | Updated: Sun, Jun 29, 2014
The Rev. Simeon Spitz, a monk at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Shawnee, makes Honey Berry Jam from blackberries he harvests on abbey grounds. The jam, sold at the abbey and the adjacent Mabee-Gerrer Museum, is no named because Spitz’s recipe for the jam includes honey harvested from bee hives at the abbey.