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Oklahoma tornadoes: Oklahoma tobacco settlement agency commits funds for tornado after effects

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust board agreed to commit up to $1 million to deal with the intermediate and long-term health and mental health issues from tornadoes that struck Oklahoma in May.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: June 4, 2013
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Board members of a state agency agreed Monday to commit up to $1 million to deal with the intermediate and long-term after effects of last month's tornadoes that struck the state.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust board will decide later how the money will be distributed. The intended emphasis is on health or mental health issues.

“We have witnessed unprecedented damage and destruction,” said Casey Killblane, the board chairman. “Our mission is to improve the health of Oklahomans, and we know there will be ongoing needs as the families and communities pick up the pieces and move forward.”

“The effects of this will be going on for years,” said board member Kenneth Rowe.

The money could go to services or studies by nonprofit or state agencies, board members said.

“We're really just going to look for where our funding can do the most good in the intermediate and long term,” said Tracey Strader, executive director of the agency, which works on ways to fight tobacco use and to promote healthy lifestyles, such as better nutrition and exercise. “We just don't have those answers right now.”

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We have witnessed unprecedented damage and destruction. Our mission is to improve the health of Oklahomans, and we know there will be ongoing needs as the families and communities pick up the pieces and move forward.”

Casey Killblane,
Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust board chairman

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