Wednesday Video Spotlight: Toby Keith tours Moore tornado damage, talks about the twister striking his sister’s house and benefit plans
Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith, who was born in Clinton, raised in Moore and now lives in Norman, talked with the Associated Press about Monday’s massive EF5 tornado and its impact on his family and hometown in this video interview.
The hitmaker told the AP he will plan a benefit concert to raise money to help the community recover, but his first priority is helping people now, especially his family.
His said his sister-in-law, niece and sister all had their houses hit by the tornado. His sister is now staying with his mom, while the other two are living with him for the time being.
“So it hit three of my direct family members; (their houses are) not wiped off the face of the Earth, but unlivable. No doors. No windows. Roof knocked in. But the shell is still there so they can dig out their photo albums and jewelry and stuff like that, stuff that they’d want and then get it back going. So we’re trying to get around here today and get ‘em all boarded up and get ‘em taken care of,” he told USA Today.
According to the Associated Press, Keith flew out of the Moore area at about noon Monday and said the gathering clouds on the western horizon gave him a bad feeling. After he arrived in his Nashville recording studio Monday afternoon, he watched the storm system on an iPad app. So when he saw the tornado rolling down Fourth Street through his old neighborhood and toward his sister Tonni’s house, he picked up the phone to warn her.
“She said, ‘We’re safe. We’re south of it, but we can see it,’” Keith told the AP. “She was at my mother’s about a mile away. I said, ‘Well, good.’ Then she got to watch it go right through her neighborhood.”
Keith told the AP he had tornadoes pass a few miles to the north and south of his house on consecutive days.
Sunday’s storm damaged parts of nearby Shawnee, killing two. Monday’s storm killed 24 people — including 10 children — in Moore.
During recording breaks, Keith told the AP he fielded calls about putting together a benefit for tornado victims. He said he’s been in contact with the University of Oklahoma about possibly using the football stadium.
“I know as soon as I start sending out some feelers that I’ll get a lot of people in there,” Keith told the AP. “Hopefully, we can use music to heal some of the money problems right away.”
Wednesday Video Spotlight: Blake Shelton talks about Oklahoma-dedicated “Over You” duet, plans to host televised tornado benefit show in Oklahoma City
As previously reported, Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert delivered an emotional tribute to his tornado-ravaged home state to open Tuesday night’s live episode of “The Voice.”
The country music power couple, who live in Tishomingo, performed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
“It was rough. Luckily, Miranda happened to be in town. A lot of different producers came up to me and said do you want to do something for Oklahoma, and I said ‘Absolutely.’ I told Miranda we should just do ‘Over You,’ — that’s a perfect tribute to what a lot of people are going through,” Shelton told Extra in a video interview after the show.
He added, “Everybody that I’m friends with and all of my family made it through, but it still hurts and it’s still home.”
In an interview with CNN, the Ada native said he had family ties to Moore, the community most devastated by this week’s deadly tornado outbreaks.
“I spent three Christmases at my sister’s house in Moore, Oklahoma, and some of those helicopter views of the destruction, you could see her house a quarter of a mile away from there,” Shelton told CNN. “My nieces and nephews would have gone to that school (Plaza Towers Elementary), and when you start putting it in that sort of perspective, and then thinking, ‘Oh my God, I am so glad that they recently moved away from that area.’ And then you go, ‘What about all those people that didn’t?’ It’s hard to put into words, honestly.”
“The Voice” celebrity coach told reporters after Tuesday night’s episode of the show that he and NBC are putting together a benefit for Oklahoma tornado victims. He said the benefit will take place soon in Oklahoma City, according to the Associated Press. Details are said to be coming soon.
Shelton’s fellow coach on “The Voice,” singer Usher, told CNN he hopes to be part of the benefit, since he also has family ties to central Oklahoma.
“I have family in Oklahoma City,” Usher told CNN. “My little sister, Ashira — her family is OK. Unfortunately, that is something that you can’t — all you can do is put your best efforts forward, just let those who have been a part of this tragic reality, this natural disaster, know that we are thinking about them and care about them. I think that is 100 percent the effort.”
Toby Keith, who grew up in Moore and now lives in nearby Norman, also is planning a benefit, with details expected to be released soon. His sister’s house was hit by the tornado.
Wednesday Video Spotlight: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and more Thunder players tour Moore areas hit hard by Monday’s tornado
One day after donating $1 million to victims of Monday’s devastating tornado through his foundation, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant ventured out into the hard-hit community to brighten the day of those suffering through their darkest hours.
My fine colleague Darnell Mayberry reports that KD did anything and everything he could to bring a smile to as many faces as possible. He shook hands and gave hugs. He posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Not once did Durant turn down a request, graciously scribbling his signature on anything he was handed. A pair of shoes. A hat. A Thunder mug. A team program.
“I just feel for these families, man,” Durant said. “They don’t have a home. All their things are gone. I’m just lost for words, to be honest.”
The Thunder and the Thunder Cares Foundation also announced Tuesday a joint donation of $1 million to benefit the local chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army as well. Today, fellow Thunder star Russell Westbrook ventured out to tornado-ravaged parts of Moore on crutches to tour the damage and spread goodwill to the victims.
Today, Oklahoma City police escorted Thunder Coach Scott Brooks, General Manager Sam Presti and players Westbrook, Daniel Orton, Hasheem Thabeet, and Thabo Sefolosha around some of the heavily damaged areas, reports my excellent colleague LeighAnne Manwarren.
The Thunder group also visited with first responders at a command post in the Moore Fire Station, 2400 S Fritts Blvd. Officials took out their cellphones and started taking pictures while the players checked out operations. To read more of LeighAnne’s great story, click here.
Wednesday Video Spotlight: Bill Warren talks about tornado-struck Warren Theatre in Moore, to reopen next Wednesday
Warren Theatres founder Bill Warren got emotional today when he talked about the EF5 tornado that struck his Moore movie theater Monday with 150 to 200 people inside it. He watched the tornado score a direct hit on the theater from his home base in Kansas via his Internet security cameras, reports NewsOK video host Dave Morris.
The theater’s partially repaired marquee now bears the slogan “God Bless Moore.”
“Today I had my architects and three structural engineers in town. They’ve gone through the building; structurally, it’s very sound. There’s going to be half a million to a million dollars in damage, but it’s all on the exterior of the building. Other than a couple of water leaks, there’s no damage on the interior. We do plan to open next Wednesday to the public. And the restoration to the outside is ongoing,” he said.
“We feel very fortunate that the building’s still standing.”
After the tornado tore through Moore on Monday, I spoke to Jill Gottschalk, an assistant in Warren Theatres’ corporate office in Wichita, Kan., who said there were no reports of injuries to theater employees or patrons.
“Obviously, we are just in a loss of words right now,” she said, with obvious emotion in her voice. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone … Anything any of us can do here we’re definitely in gear to go do it.”
Warren confirmed that no patrons or employees were injured in the tornado; in fact, he said the company has received emails from people who said they were driving on Interstate 35 as the twister approached and sought shelter in the theater, safely riding out the storm inside.
Through her Maddie’s Corner charity, Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth is raising money to help the people and animals of her home state recover from this week’s devastating tornadoes.
The Emmy- and Tony-winning actress/singer founded Maddie’s Corner in honor of her beloved Maltese, Maddie. The charity’s mission is to bring attention and support to animals in need and groups working on their behalf, as well as to highlight the many ways animals help people in need and enrich our lives.
Through CustomInk, Maddie’s Corner is selling specially designed T-shirts for $25 each. The campaign’s goal is to sell 1,000 shirts, raising more than $17,500 which will go to disaster relief in Oklahoma.
Here’s more from the campaign website:
Maddie is a little dog but right now she’s got her paws wrapped around her mama’s home state of Oklahoma in a big hug of love and support following the devastating tornado. So many lives, both human and animal, were torn apart. Maddie was IN Oklahoma, with her grandparents, at the time of the storm. You can imagine how this tragedy hits especially hard.
We are going to do whatever we can to help those affected by the tornado to recover and rebuild. We will be sending food, building supplies, medical supplies and veterinarians, if needed. We want to see everyone reunited with lost pets and help families to heal and care for themselves during this difficult time.
To buy a shirt, click here.
In response to the devastation this week’s tornadoes have created in central Oklahoma, Reduxion Theatre Company is donating 100 percent of all ticket and concession sales from its Thursday performance to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.
“This loss touches us deeply and we want to do what we can to spread hope where there is so much sorrow,” Reduxion Artistic Director Tyler Woods told me in an email.
Reduxion is wrapping up its production of “History of Tom Jones, a Foundling,” the company’s adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel. Thursday’s tornado benefit is set for 8 p.m. at its Broadway Theater, 1613 N Broadway Ave. The final performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The new play is developed by Reduxion founders Tyler Woods and his wife, Erin Woods. Written by Erin and directed by Tyler, this world premiere play based on Fielding’s classic novel is set in England and follows the risqué adventures of a handsome young man with a lust for life and an eye for the ladies.
“History of Tom Jones, a Foundling,” is part romantic comedy, part social commentary and all action-adventure. The book has been the subject of many film and television versions including the popular 1963 movie, “Tom Jones,” starring Albert Finney.
The film was so popular that the up-and-coming English singer Thomas John Woodward changed his name to that of the title character, “Tom Jones,” in the early 1960s because he liked the racy persona.
The title character is good-hearted and not concerned with how people see him. The story, which was ahead of its time, offers a commentary on how the appearance of goodness is different from true honesty and integrity. But most people know “Tom Jones” as a sexy, sword-fighting, adventure story.
A bodice-ripper, “Tom Jones” contains sex and violence, and the show is not for younger audiences.
Reduxion has a reputation for creating new art based on classic stories. The production uses experimental movement styles, theatrical pantomime, puppetry, innovative stage-combat practices and RTC’s original brand of “theatre-in-your-lap” audience-interaction. Additionally, the boundary-pushing period costuming includes Marie Antoinette-style tall powdered wigs and giant hoop-skirts. It’s visually stunning, fast-paced, fun and provocative.
As founders of Reduxion, Tyler and Erin share a vision for the theatre company, but “Tom Jones” is the first project they have developed together.
For more information, go to www.reduxiontheatre.com.
Charles Barkley long has said the Thunder won’t win a title until it gets more low-post scoring. Says the Thunder relies on too many jumpshots.
I’d say Chuck is half right. The Thunder could use more low-post scoring. But the Thunder doesn’t necessarily rely on too many jumpers. The Thunder this season ranked 13th in the NBA in points in the paint, 41.8 per game. That’s not a great ranking. But it is more than Eastern Conference finalists Miami and Indiana. In 2011-12, the Thunder ranked 12th in paint points, 41.3.
The Thunder gets a ton of paint points from Russell Westbrook’s drives (and Kevin Durant’s), and even without James Harden’s drives, its paint points went down only 0.5. Still, the Thunder could use low-post scoring. OKC will not get it from Kendrick Perkins or Nick Collison. But the Thunder might get some with improved play from Serge Ibaka.
Scotty Brooks last week defended his team’s low-post threats.
“We use it in a way that we have it with Russell,” Brooks said. “Russell’s really, the last couple of years, in his offensive package, that’s part of the package where he scores down low and he demands a double team, because he’s stronger than most point guards. He does a lot of facilitating from that low post spot. So we have one.
“And then we have KD. KD has also developed in that area. You’re always looking for ways to score. We were one of the leading teams in the league in scoring. I don’t know where we ended up final number, but we were one or two or three (third, 104.9 per game). So scoring, we score different ways. You score with what we have. And we have a good scoring team.”
Brooks said people want the Thunder to get another low-post scorer and another 3-point threat. “Sounds like people (want) to be an all-star team,” Brooks said. “I’ve coached it, I’m pretty good. I’m 1-0 with an all-star team. But we have a good team. And we have a bunch of pieces to the puzzle that we have to figure out. I think our guys have done a good job with that. Our low post scoring is different from Memphis. Not a lot of low post scoring bigs in the league. But I like what we do offensively.”
However, Truehoop blog used ESPN Stats & Information to come up with a primary need for each team, going into the NBA Draft. The blog’s diagnosis for the Thunder? Low-post scoring.
“Post-up plays made up seven percent of the Thunder’s offense this season (the NBA average was nine percent),” Truehoop reported. “Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka are the only Thunder players who rank in the top half of the league in post-up points per play.”
More low-post scoring is going to be difficult to find. Few low-post threats are coming out of college, the Thunder has little salary cap room to add players and outside of Ibaka and Westbrook, no one on the roster has the skill set to score consistently from the low block. And one of those guys is a point guard.
NORMAN — Kass Everett arrived in Oklahoma less than a year and a half ago, but the people have already made a tremendous impact on him.
Everett, an OU senior defensive back, was back home in Philadelphia through the devastating tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma earlier this week.
“Everyone was asking if I was still in Oklahoma,” Everett said. “It was kinda wearing on me. I know a lot of friends that I’ve met in Oklahoma. It’s a big deal. I just want people to know that people not just in Oklahoma care. I care, and a lot of the people in Philadelphia care.”
Everett contacted the Community Service Corps at his high school — Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High — about organizing a relief effort for people in Oklahoma affected by the storms. He started spreading the word for “Kass Everett Oklahoma Relief” on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Wednesday, though, OU compliance officials notified Everett that he couldn’t organize a charitable event with his name attached to it, because that would be a violation of NCAA rules.
“I didn’t know,” Everett said. “I didn’t know that my name couldn’t be attached to it. That’s fine. It’s bigger than me. I’ve got a lot of people involved, and there are a lot of people who can take it way further than I can.”
Everett said the event will begin Tuesday at Roman Catholic High School, and they’ll hope to collect monetary donations, as well as clothing, toiletries and food.
“My high school has been in contact with the Red Cross,” Everett said. “We’re still not sure if they’re gonna be able to ship it out to Oklahoma. That is in the works right now. We’re definitely taking monetary donations, for sure.”
Everett joined Oklahoma via Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif., and appeared in 11 games last season for the Sooners, recording six tackles and forcing one fumble.
“A lot of people here in Philadelphia care,” Everett said. “It’s not just a local, Oklahoma problem. It’s everyone’s problem, and we want to make ourselves part of the situation and give a helping hand.”
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
420 PM CDT WED MAY 22 2013
420 PM CDT WED MAY 22 2013
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK COVERS NORTHERN…WESTERN…
CENTRAL…AND SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA…AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS.
.DAY ONE…THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT…
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS PARTS OF NORTHERN
AND CENTRAL OKLAHOMA OVERNIGHT.
FAIRLY DRY…STABLE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVENT
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT ACROSS OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH
TEXAS THROUGH THIS EVENING.
LATE TONIGHT…ELEVATED THUNDERSTORMS MAY DEVELOP ACROSS THE AREA AS AN
INCREASING LOW LEVEL JET BRINGS DEEPER MOISTURE AND BETTER INSTABILITY
NORTHWARD. LOCATIONS NORTH AND EAST OF A LINE FROM ERICK…TO LAWTON…TO
SULPHUR WILL HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF SEEING THUNDERSTORMS. THIS WILL
INCLUDE THE SOUTH OKLAHOMA CITY METRO IN AND AROUND NEWCASTLE AND MOORE.
ANY STORMS THAT DEVELOP OVERNIGHT MAY BECOME SEVERE…POSING A THREAT OF
LARGE HAIL TO THE SIZE OF GOLF BALLS…AND WIND GUSTS OF 50 TO 60 MPH.
FREQUENT LIGHTNING WILL ALSO OCCUR. STORMS SHOULD GRADUALLY MOVE
SOUTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS…
DIMINISHING IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY BY EARLY AFTERNOON.
VALID THROUGH 700 AM CDT THURSDAY MAY 23.
PROBABILITY OF THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRING IN THE
NWS NORMAN COUNTY WARNING AREA…100 PERCENT.
PROBABILITY OF SEVERE STORMS IF STORMS OCCUR…60 PERCENT.
OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER…
RIVER FLOODING CONTINUES ALONG THE CLEAR BOGGY CREEK NEAR CANEY
IN ATOKA COUNTY…AND ADDITIONAL RAINFALL TOMORROW MORNING MAY MAKE
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY…
THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND
NIGHT ACROSS FAR SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA AND FAR WESTERN TEXAS WITH
DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL AS THE MAIN HAZARDS. WHILE NOT VERY
LIKELY…THERE IS A SLIM CHANCE THAT SOME OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY MOVE
INTO CENTRAL OKLAHOMA DURING THE EVENING HOURS.
THUNDERSTORM CHANCES WILL CONTINUE ACROSS PARTS OF THE AREA THROUGH
MONDAY NIGHT. A FEW STRONG TO PERHAPS SEVERE STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE
EACH DAY DURING THIS TIME FRAME.
OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER…