OKLAHOMA TORNADO-MEMORIAL SERVICE
Memorial service planned for Okla. tornado victims
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Governor Mary Fallin says a memorial and prayer service will be held this weekend to honor Oklahoma tornado victims.
The governor's office says the service will take place Sunday in the tornado-ravaged community of Moore to remember the victims of Monday's massive tornado that killed 24 people and a May 19 tornado that killed two people in Shawnee.
Fallin's office says the service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Moore, though details were still pending Wednesday. It will be open to the public.
A monstrous tornado barreled through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday, demolishing an elementary school and reducing homes to piles of rubble. State authorities say two infants were among the 24 people who perished in the twister.
Officials: All accounted for after Okla. tornado
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Authorities have now accounted for the last six people - all of them adults - who were believed to still be missing after the massive tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb.
Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis says 5 of the six were found safe Wednesday. The other was discovered to be among the dead already accounted for by the state Medical Examiner's Office.
Officials say the tornado that hit Moore on Monday killed 24 people, including 10 children.
Man: Daughter killed in tornado was 'special baby'
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma man whose daughter was killed when a tornado struck Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore says she was his "special baby" who made friends with everyone she met.
Joshua Hornsby's 9-year-old daughter JaNae was among seven children killed when the tornado hit the school Monday afternoon. Officials say 10 children in all were among the 24 people killed in the storm.
Hornsby says he drove to the school after hearing a tornado was headed that way but arrived 10 minutes after it struck. He says he also lost his home.
State officials say the damage estimate from the twister that's been rated an EF5 by the National Weather Service could exceed $2 billion.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-VICTIM IDS
Okla. medical examiner identifies tornado victims
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified all 24 victims of Monday's tornado that ripped across the Oklahoma City area.
The office announced Wednesday that 10 of those killed were children, including two infants.
Among the dead are 4-month-old Case Futrell and 7-month-old Sydnee Vargyas. Both babies died from head injuries.
The eight other children ranged in age from 4 years old to 9 years old. Of those, six were suffocated. The other two died from massive injuries. 7 of the children were pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore.
The medical examiner's office says most of the adults died from multiple blunt-force injuries.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-CENTER CLOSING
Oklahoma emergency operations center to close
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management says an emergency operations center that opened after a massive tornado hit Moore is closing.
ODEM spokeswoman Keli Cain says the center will close at midnight Wednesday.
The center opened to help coordinate the state and federal response after the tornado hit Moore Monday afternoon and killed 24 people - including 10 children. 7 of the children were pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore.
Officials say more than 300 people were injured and an estimated 350 people are staying at American Cross shelters.
Oklahoma Insurance Department officials estimate damages at up to $2 billion.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-SCHOOL SAFETY
School storm protection is spotty in tornado zones
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Communities in the tornado-prone Midwest are increasingly building "safe rooms" in public schools. But this week's deadly tornado near Oklahoma City highlights how storm protection in the nation's schools is inconsistent.
Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven students were killed, did not have a safe room. Several other schools in the area did.
In response to the tornado, Governor Mary Fallin has announced the creation of a state fund to accept donations for the construction of safe rooms. And a state lawmaker proposed a $500 million bond issue to help finance storm shelters.
The rooms are expensive, costing up to $1 million, depending on size. Oklahoma has already distributed federal grants for safe rooms to more than 100 schools. But most schools still lack them.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-EDUCATION WAIVERS
Education board to consider waivers for Moore
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma State Board of Education is expected to consider waivers for public schools in the tornado-ravaged community of Moore.
The State Board of Education meets Thursday in Oklahoma City. It's slated to consider waivers for Moore Public Schools relating to instructional days and filing deadlines for certain reports.
The Central Oklahoma chapter of the American Red Cross is also expected to attend the meeting to discuss storing donated supplies after a monstrous tornado hit Moore Monday and killed 24 people, including 10 children.
7 of the children were pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore.
Okla. men get video of deadly tornado overhead
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Two 19-year-old Oklahoma men who took cover in a cellar during a deadly tornado were able to use their cellphones to get video of the twister as it passed over the home.
Charles Gafford was at the home of friend Alex Rodriguez as the tornado struck Monday. While in the cellar, they got their phones through an opening in the overhead door.
The video shows the tornado approaching and passing over the home. Debris, including tree limbs and a tire, fly past. The video has drawn more than 280,000 views on Youtube.
Rodriguez's mother, Amanda Odom, told The Associated Press that 19-year-olds "do stupid things" and if she had been home, there would be no video.
The tornado is blamed for at least 24 deaths in Moore.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-RELIEF GRANT
Foundations make grant for Okla. tornado victims
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two foundations have teamed up to provide a $2 million grant to the United Way of Central Oklahoma to support relief and recovery efforts to Oklahoma tornado victims.
The grant was announced Wednesday by the Inasmuch Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. United Way will distribute funds without administrative fees to United Way partner agencies working on tornado relief efforts. The fund will serve immediate needs as well as intermediate and long-term care.
Bob Ross, president and CEO of both foundations, says the organizations are hopeful their gift will encourage other corporations, foundations and individuals to contribute to the United Way.
Debby Hampton, president and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma, says the agency will use the money to serve as many tornado victims as possible.
Condolences from Russian president to Oklahomans
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The president of Russia is offering condolences to Oklahomans in the aftermath of a deadly tornado that hit Moore.
A statement for the White House Security Council says President Vladimir Putin offered condolences and unspecified assistance after Russia's Security Council Secretary met Wednesday with President Barack Obama.
Monday's tornado left at least 24 dead and more than 300 injured. The dead includes 10 children - including seven who died when the twister destroyed Plaza Tower Elementary School.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.