People gather for the Fiesta de las Americas in Oklahoma City on Oct. 1, 2016.
Josh Robinson / Oklahoma Engaged

How New Residents Have Changed The Business, Voter Makeup In South Oklahoma City

Pete White drives slowly through his old neighborhood in south Oklahoma City. The 78-year-old Oklahoma City councilman has lived in the area his entire life. “This is the house I grew up in right here,” White said as he drove through a tree lined neighborhood of modest homes. He pulled onto Southwest 25th Street in the business district of an area known as Capitol Hill. White pointed out the location of former businesses. Department stores, a doctor’s office, and pharmacies. All of them are...
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Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby discussed water rights, language efforts, and the tribe’s economic development during his annual State of the Nation address Saturday.

He told the crowd gathered in Tishomingo the August agreement between the state, the city of Oklahoma City, and the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations maintains tribal sovereignty and resolves long-standing issues over water rights and regulatory authority.

Dan Ellis with Comfortworks Inc. explains the installation of a geothermal heat pump at the Gulfport Energy Corp. headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Several Oklahoma businesses are joining a national energy trade group to lobby Congress to extend tax credits for renewable energy.

Representatives from the geothermal heat pump sector want an extension of tax credits that are set to expire in December. Members of the geothermal industry say extending the tax credit will allow their businesses to keep growing.

Carol Barnes, of Ponca City, says that one of her greatest fears was losing her vehicle, cutting off her only access to mental health treatment.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

There was a time in Carol Barnes’ life when the prospect of losing her car would have worsened her already severe anxiety and depression.

When she was struggling with her disorders during the mid-2000s, Barnes said, losing her only means of transportation would have meant losing access to her mental health providers.

House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-Okla.) sits in the Oval Office with President Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Editor's Note: This program originally aired June 29, 2015.

Southeast Oklahoma is an unusual place, politically. Many southerners settled in the area after the Civil War, leading to its nickname “Little Dixie.”

Through the 20th century, it became the center of political power in Oklahoma, and the Democratic Party dominated politics well into the late 1990s. Decades after the formerly “Solid South” had switched to the Republican Party, Democrats enjoyed an 8:1 voter registration advantage in southeast Oklahoma.

Ryan Kiesel is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Even though it won't be this fall, Oklahoma voters will decide whether or not to approve medical marijuana issue in a future election.

When the campaign for medical marijuana turned in its petition, they had more signatures than they needed, but only about 1,800 more.

So if someone challenged the signature count, it wouldn’t take much to invalidate the months of work. But Thursday was the last day to object and no one did.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, before the House Financial Services Committee investigating Wells Fargo's opening of unauthorized customer accounts.
Cliff Owen / AP

Congressman Frank Lucas criticized Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Thursday as the banking executive testified before the House Financial Services Committee.

Thousands of bank employees have been fired for setting up illegal and unauthorized accounts as part of a sales incentive program.

Matt Whittington, of Edmond, enrolled in Epic Charter Schools because the flexibility of online classes fit with his commitment to gymnastics. The family made special efforts to ensure that the arrangement worked.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s largest online charter school is on a track of explosive growth, nearly tripling its enrollment over three years, to almost 8,500.

That pursuit of lightning growth by Epic Charter Schools – a goal affirmed by its co-founder – shows no signs of letting up. Epic officials predict enrollment will near 10,000 by mid-school year.

University of Oklahoma Diplomat In Residence Rob Andrew

Despite its location in a landlocked, central state, the University of Oklahoma’s serves as the home base for Rob Andrew, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomat in Residence for the Central U.S. region.

He grew up in an internationally engaged family - Andrew’s mother is Canadian. His earlier career as a U.S. Army officer who served in the Middle East during the first Gulf War eventually led him to the Foreign Service.

An artist’s conception of a proposed hotel that would be attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center.
Provided / Omni Hotel and Resorts

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma City Council voted 7-2 to pursue negotiations with the developer Omni for a proposed hotel attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center that’s part of the MAPS 3 series of projects.

An amateur astronomer looks at chart on a red-filtered computer monitor at the 2016 Okie-Tex Star Party near Oklahoma's Black Mesa State Park.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Panhandle is empty and hard to get to. The region attracts few people, very little industry and none of the light pollution that accompany both. It’s a remote location that’s earning a national reputation as the perfect spot to stare deep into space.

Terry Zimmerman adjusts the eyepiece on the 12.5-inch f5 Dobsonian he built from a kit — technical talk for a telescope that’s so tall, you have to climb a stepladder to take a peek.