MAPS
7:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

MAPS Turns 20

The MAPS logo represents each of the nine elements of MAPS: the new AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, renovation of the Myriad (now Cox Convention Center), improvements at the state fairgrounds, the Bricktown Canal, a new Library/Learning Center, new trolleys, a near-rebuilding of the Civic Center Music Hall, improvements to the North Canadian River, and construction of the Ford Center.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the original Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) program.

By voting for a temporary one-cent sales tax, the citizens of Oklahoma City enabled the city to collect nearly $310 million dollars to help fund nine "quality of life" projects in downtown Oklahoma City.

The resulting development and renovations sparked a genuine revitalization of downtown Oklahoma City. 

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World Views
2:30 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Ukraine Protests Continue, Resolution Elusive

Thousands of Ukrainians protest the scrapping of a trade pact with the European Union on the streets of Kiev - November 24, 2013.
Credit Ryan Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of people have gathered in Kiev's Independence Square over the past two weeks, where Orthodox priests chanted prayers at dawn and demonstrators are vowing to keep up their protests.

The government is showing no signs of yielding, suggesting that the tensions that have gripped the country for two weeks are far from a resolution.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the protests are about two things: The jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, and the president’s decision not to sign agreements with the European Union that would bring them closer to Europe, both economically and politically.

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World Views
11:29 am
Fri December 6, 2013

China Resolved To Enforce Air Defense Zone

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday.
Credit William Ng / U.S. Department of State

China says it is fully capable of enforcing its newly-declared maritime air defense zone above disputed islands in the East China Sea that has drawn strong denunciations from the U.S., Japan and other nations.

“They're [the islands] not all that impressive, but they happen to be on top of what looks like oil reserves or natural gas,” says Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “There are a lot of people in this part of the world that are needing energy, and the demand there rises, so this becomes about resources, and about power.”

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State Capitol
7:43 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Oklahoma Lawmaker Files Hundreds Of Ethics Complaints

State Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City)
Credit www.okhouse.gov

A Republican House member has filed hundreds of ethics complaints against candidates and legislators from both parties for allegedly violating various campaign reporting requirements.

Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City filed the complaints on Thursday with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. He says fines associated with the violations could total more than $7 million.

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State Capitol
7:25 am
Fri December 6, 2013

State Worker Pay Study Ready For Release

The state employee remuneration study ordered by HB1717 is set to be released Friday, depending on the weather, said John Estus, Office of Management and Enterprise Services public information officer.

Estus said if the weather does not cooperate, the study is set to be released Monday.

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State Capitol
7:13 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Dies

Brenda Reneau

Former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau has died at age 58.

Cornerstone Funeral Home in Muskogee — which is in charge of funeral arrangements — says Reneau died Thursday at her home in Oklahoma City. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Reneau was the first woman elected Oklahoma Labor Commissioner when she was elected in 1994.

Funeral services are incomplete.

Reneau is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Gail Houghton, parents Marjorie and Norman Fallen of Muskogee and brother Kevin Fallen of Oklahoma City.

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Oil and Gas
6:48 am
Fri December 6, 2013

GE Picks Site Near Downtown Oklahoma City For New Oil And Gas Research Center

A rendering shows a new GE technology center near downtown Oklahoma City. Construction is scheduled to begin April 2014.
Credit GE

General Electric has picked a site near downtown Oklahoma City for the home of its new research center focused on the oil and gas industry.

The center is one of nine globally for the company. Former Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Mike Ming is the general manager of the GE Oil and Gas Technology Center.

Published reports say the new 95,000-square-foot center will be built at NE 10th and N. Walnut Ave., near the University Research Park.

Ming says the company is in final negotiations with the land's owner, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, OCURA.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Snow, Freezing Rain Move East To Put A Chill On The Weekend

Snow and ice will hit a broad area from Texas to the Ohio Valley on Friday and Saturday, the National Weather Service says. This composite satellite image was taken at 6:15 a.m. ET Friday.
NOAA

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:48 pm

(This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. ET)

Wind-whipped freezing rain were moving through large parts of the nation on Friday, with the major winter storm blamed for a traffic death in Dallas and the deaths of four people from hypothermia in California.

The Associated Press says "more than a thousand flights have been canceled, football and basketball games postponed and holiday celebrations including town tree lightings and parades curtailed."

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Fri December 6, 2013

World Reflects On The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela with South African President F.W. de Klerk in May 1990. Mandela died Thursday at 95.
Denis Farrell AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:18 am

Nelson Mandela, who became an icon of the struggle for racial equality during a decades-long struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, is being remembered across the globe on Thursday following his death at age 95.

Mandela died after a prolonged lung infection, which had been a recurring problem for him since his days as a prisoner of conscience on South Africa's Robben Island. He served 27 years at the notorious jail.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," South African President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the nation.

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StoryCorps
5:53 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Adrift In Frigid Water, Not Caring 'If You Live Or Die'

On a visit to StoryCorps in Ohio, Dennis Hale recounted his experience surviving a shipwreck on Lake Huron to his wife, Barbara.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

It was 1966, and a ship called the Daniel J. Morrell was making its last run of the season, hauling steel across Lake Huron. The crew was eager to head home for Christmas. But one night, caught in a severe storm, the ship broke apart and sank.

Only a few of the crew members made it to a life raft, and only one of them, watchman Dennis Hale, survived.

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