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Workers construct new homes at 12th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Home Construction Slows Despite Site Boom; Why Rentals Near Military Bases Make Good Investments

National figures out this week from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed sales of new single-family homes rose more than 12 percent between June and July. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units is the highest since October 2007 - right around the time the housing bubble burst. But home construction is showing in the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB economist Robert Dietz said home construction is...
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A female supporter of the Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi flashes a victory sign during a July 17, 2009 rally.
Unknown / Obtained By AP

Iran flirted with democracy during the early part of the 20th century, but it didn’t quite stick.

Supporters of medical marijuana gather petition signatures in front of the Oklahoma state capitol on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Supporters of an initiative petition that would legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma delivered boxes of signatures to the Secretary of State’s office Thursday, but they aren’t sure if they have enough signatures to put the measure on November’s ballot.

The group Oklahomans for Health needs nearly 66,000 signatures. Chip Paul is a medical researcher and co-chair of the organization. He says at last count - about a week and a half ago – volunteers had 50,000 and continued to gather signatures right up to the deadline.

Texas is taking the Obama administration to court again on Friday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a federal judge in Fort Worth to temporarily block federal rules that would let transgender kids use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity. The Obama administration says Texas is jumping the gun.

Chief of Choctaw Nation Gary Batton, from left, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and the Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby listen to a speaker during a press conference at the Oklahoma Heritage Center in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Alonzo Adams / AP

After five years of court proceedings and confidential negotiations, two Native American tribes have reached an agreement with the state over control of water in southeast Oklahoma.

Midwest City’s Heritage Park Mall.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been about six years since the last few tenants moved out of Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City.

A lone retailer remains – Sears – and a local megachurch also holds it services there, but city leaders hope to revitalize the property and have issued a request for proposals to rehabilitate it.

The Journal Record’s editor Ted Streuli says the idea has been in the works for years, but recently the city council in Midwest City approved a matching $27,000 grant for requests for proposals. The money would come out of Midwest City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

People watch an Olympic Games event on television at the Homeless Alliance day shelter in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A survey of Oklahoma City's homeless population shows a 16 percent increase in people living on the streets.

The Oklahoma City Planning Department's Housing and Community Development Division released the results of the 2016 Point-in-Time study Wednesday.

The city's annual census of the homeless population took place on January 28, and counted just over 1,500 people. It's estimated the community's homeless population for the entire year is about four to five times higher than the one-night tally.

Black vulture
KELLY COLGAN AZAR / Flickr (CC-BY-ND 2.0)

This is the centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty. The compact between the United States and Canada assures many birds can travel undisturbed, but the international agreement protects one species that’s a menace to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.

Hated, But Protected

Frank Lawrence is sick of the black vultures he’s been dealing with his entire life as a rancher in southeast Oklahoma.

empty classroom
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Leaders of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration are supporting a legal challenge filed in the state Supreme Court this week by Oklahoma City attorney David Slane.

Jimmy Hendershot, owner of 23rd Street Vapes in Oklahoma City, said he would consider converting his business to serve medical marijuana clients if the petition gets on the ballot and is approved.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The group Oklahomans for Health still needs several thousand signatures for its medical marijuana initiative petition by Thursday afternoon's deadline.

While the group has been collecting signatures, others have been thinking about how pot could be big business here, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Attorney David Slane talks with media outside the Oklahoma Supreme Court clerk's office, August 9, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Attorney David Slane is suing Gov. Mary Fallin over $140 million in unspent state funds he contends should go to state agencies. Slane filed the lawsuit Tuesday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on behalf of six clients who receive state services through the Department of Human Services.

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