Business Intelligence Report
6:37 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Three Statewide Business And Development Stories We're Watching This Week

Jenks Mayor Lonnie Sims speaks during a press conference on the upcoming vote to renew the Vision 2025 sales tax.
Rip Stell The Journal Record

A Tulsa tax package will be up for renewal by voters this fall, but with a new twist.

Vision2025, a Tulsa County tax plan similar to Oklahoma City’s MAPS project, is a 0.6 percent sales tax passed in 2003. Since then, it has raised over $600 million for various community projects.

But this year, cities affected by the tax plan have the chance to opt out, says Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Read more
Politics and Government
5:13 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Payroll Deductions For Teacher Union Dues

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Senate has passed legislation to prohibit Oklahoma school districts from making payroll deductions to pay teacher union dues.

The Senate voted 27-16 for the House-passed bill Thursday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.

The bill makes it illegal for any state agency to make payroll deductions for employees for membership dues in any organization that collectively bargains on behalf of its members.

Read more
Here & Now
2:02 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Tornado Hits Oklahoma On Anniversary Of Historic 1948 Forecast

This frame taken from video provided by Brenton Leete shows a funnel cloud in part of a storm Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Sand Springs, Okla. The slow start to the nation's tornado season came to a blustery end Wednesday when tornadoes hit Arkansas and Oklahoma. (Brenton Leete/AP)

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:51 pm

A series of severe thunderstorms led to tornadoes across Oklahoma last night, killing one person and injuring several others. More than 75,000 people are without power and numerous schools are closed, as the damage is assessed.

On the same day in 1948, a tornado hit the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, causing considerable damage but few injuries and no fatalities. That is because Air Force Captain Robert Miller and Major Ernest Fawbush predicted the atmospheric conditions that led to the storm, based on another storm that occurred five days earlier.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
11:47 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Oklahoma Running Out Of Room For Oil As U.S. Hoards Crude In Cushing Hub

A tanker truck pulling into a terminal at the oil hub in Cushing, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

A booming U.S. oil industry has led to near-record amounts of oil production, which has helped drive down oil prices. The energy industry has responded by storing crude instead of selling it at discount rates. That has created a unique situation in Oklahoma, where a major oil storage hub is on track to fill up — completely.

One-fifth of the country’s commercial crude oil storage capacity is located Cushing, Okla., a small city of about 7,900 in northeastern Oklahoma. On the city’s outskirts, field after field are filled with hulking steel storage tanks.

Read more
Weather and Climate
9:54 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Fallin Declares State Of Emergency For 25 Counties After Oklahoma Tornadoes

Moore resident Joetta Strain holds her "prized possession," a photograph of her parents she's had since she was 16. The home she's lived in since 1973 is likely a total loss after Wednesday's tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

Updated 2:31 p.m.: National Weather Service issues preliminary report

The Norman office of the National Weather Service spent Thursday assessing the aftermath of Wednesday's tornado and damaging straight line winds, and are surveying damage in southwest Oklahoma City and Moore.

The Weather Service received some criticism on social media for the timing of the tornado warning, and Thursday's report estimates the first tornado warning was issued six minutes after the twister developed over southwest Oklahoma City.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
9:15 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Regulators Issue Tougher Disposal Well Directives As Oklahoma’s Quake Risk Rises

An American Energy Woodford well near Perkins, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to surge in Oklahoma and seismologists warn of more frequent and more damaging shaking, the state’s oil and gas regulator is issuing new orders to companies operating wells in seismically active regions of the state.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s new requirements, known as directives, were mailed March 18 to 92 people or companies operating 347 Arbuckle formation disposal wells in quake-prone regions of the state.

Read more
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
7:47 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Former SAE Member Apologizes For Racist Chant

Levi Pettit, center, walks into the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City with state senator Anastasia Pittman and pastor J.A. Reed, Jr.
Jacob McCleland KGOU

One of the two Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members who was expelled from the University of Oklahoma for participating in a racist chant apologized on Wednesday. Levi Pettit spoke with black politicians, pastors and community leaders for about two hours and later addressed the press at the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma City, but Pettit would not reveal how he learned the infamous chant.

Read more
OneSix8
5:01 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Girls Rock, Ladies Wrestle, Plus Mary Chapin, Aoife Donovan

A concert and arm wrestling tournament raise funds for young women to attend camp July 13-17.
RCGOKC

Girls learn to shred on guitar and drums, slap the bass, groove the keys and rock the mic at a brand new summer camp that aspires to teach self-empowerment through music. Five bands— one bluegrass, two folk, one punk and one rockabilly, play the first benefit show.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Is Charged With Desertion

This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators in August.
Eugene R. Fidell AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:52 pm

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009, after he walked off his military outpost in southeastern Afghanistan. In a controversial move and five years after his capture, the Obama administration cut a deal with the Taliban, securing Bergdahl's release in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Read more
Weather and Climate
2:23 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Tennis Ball-Sized Hail, Wildfires Possible As Cold Front Arrives In Oklahoma

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Updated 2:19 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for much of central and eastern Oklahoma as the threat of severe weather slowly increases.

The Norman Forecast Office says the prime time for storm development should come between 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Read more

Pages