Tornado victims can apply for grants
The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency is offering grants for families impacted by tornadoes in 2013. The grants, capped at $2,000 per household, may be used for housing-related expenses including utility deposits, security deposits, hotel rooms and first month's rent. There is no income limit. Applications will be taken at Oklahoma Emergency Management's resource center once it opens. Families applying for assistance must have a valid number from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For more information, call 419-8196.
Williams to triple workers' donations
TULSA — The Williams Cos. Inc. has pledged to triple donations by its employees or retirees interested in aiding relief efforts after this week's deadly tornadoes. The energy infrastructure company will contribute twice as much as its employees to the relief organizations of their choice, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Employees donated more than $15,000 in the first couple of hours after Williams started logging contributions. The company pitched in $30,000, pushing total contributions to $45,000. The fund drive continues until the end of May and Williams will monitor relief efforts to see if it can contribute in other ways.
OSU student selected for award
A graduate student at Oklahoma State University has been awarded the American Oil Chemists' Society Processing Division Student Excellence Award for her research related to canola oil processing. Meizhen Xie, who majors in biosystems and agricultural engineering and food science, was recognized last month at the group's annual meeting. “My research involves collecting canola lecithin from the crude canola oil using the relatively new enzymatic technology,” Xie said. Xie's research already has produced beneficial data and will continue to be useful in the future, said Nurham Dunford, an oil and oilseed specialist at OSU's Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center.
EPA proposes site for cleanup
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed adding a former oil refinery in Creek County to priority list of Superfund cleanup sites. The 125-acre site, which is about 35 miles southwest of Tulsa, was home to the Lorraine and Wilcox Refinery from 1915 to 1956. It still has remnants of the oil refining operations and tank farms, with potentially cancer-causing contaminants. “Cleaning up severely contaminated sites is one of EPA's most important priorities,” EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “By restoring these properties we're protecting people's health and helping to revitalize the community's land and economy.” The Wilcox site is one of eight EPA is trying to add to its national priorities list of Superfund sites, all of which call for extensive cleanup of contamination. EPA will seek public comments for the next 60 days before making a decision.
Stillwater driver wins award
A garbage truck driver from Stillwater was named the public sector's driver of the year by the Environmental Industry Associations on Thursday in New Orleans. Paul Jones was one of eight applicants from Oklahoma among nearly 900 considered for the award. “Paul's record of professionalism, loyalty, quality customer service and dedication to safety has more than earned him the admiration of the waste and recycling industry and distinction as Driver of the Year,” association President Sharon H. Kneiss said. Jones has a clean driving record over his 15 years with the Stillwater Utilities Authority. .
From Staff Reports