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Bombing Survivors Apply for Government Money Despite $10M Relief Fund
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Survivors of the Murrah bombing apply for government money despite a $10 million dollar disaster relief fund.
Last week, a group of survivors and victim's families asked the governor's office to intervene and divide up the money in the fund amongst them. The group claims the Oklahoma City Community Foundation who oversees the relief fund has unfairly denied assistance.
"We formed a committee to address the needs of the victims and to see that the fund be dispersed among the victims," said Gloria Chipman who lost her husband in the bombing.
Deloris Watson supports her grandson. Now 17, he is the Murrah bombing's youngest survivor. He suffers from severe respiratory problems and brain trauma.
Watson has received some assistance from the relief fund, but says even when approved the foundation makes it difficult for them to get the money they need to afford medical treatment and education. In the past, Watson says the foundation has directed them to the Department of Human Services for assistance.
"Why would we be a burden to the taxpayers when there's $10 million dollars sitting over there to meet our medical needs," said Watson.
The foundation says it must follow IRS regulations which requires anyone seeking assistance to use all reasonable means at their disposal before a disaster relief fund can provide assistance. Spokesperson Cathy Nestlen says every request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
"I think they make rules up as they go," said Watson.
Gloria Chipman's husband was killed in the bombing. Chipman says their daughter was denied assistance from the Survivors Education Fund (a fund within the Disaster Relief Fund).
"She was told since she recieved Cs in college she was not eligible," said Chipman.
Tim Hearn who lost his mother in the bombing shares a similiar experience. He too applied for money to go to college.
"I had to go get a Pell Grant, financial aid, all that to take care of myself to go to school. I called them first and found out later on they said I was too old," said Hearn.
Nestlen says the foundation set the age limit for education assistance at 25 years old with the idea that by that age a student would no longer need their parents help.
"With all these rules and regulations, it's hurting all of us. We're here trying to fight for this. We shouldn't have to go through this," said Hearn.
The foundation has volunteered to undergo an independent audit. It plans to release the findings publically.
Posted: Monday, November 12 2012, 09:41 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tornado watch issued for western, central Oklahoma
May 18, 2013 21:15 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for western and central Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City is within the area that's under the watch until 11 p.m. Saturday. Forecasters say the storm system will progress eastward across Oklahoma on Sunday. The threat of storms with the potential to produce tornadoes is to continue into Sunday night in the state's east.
The Storm Prediction Center says the greatest threat of severe storms Saturday is in northwest Oklahoma, east of the Panhandle. Forecasters warn that the system could also bring large hail.
The storm system is a big one. The moderate risk area for severe storms reaches well into Nebraska. The area with a slight risk stretches from Texas to North Dakota.
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