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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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Donald Trump has released the names of his economic advisers, a list heavy with Wall Street and real estate industry figures, but short of actual economists.

The names include several people from the world of hedge fund and private equity firms, including Steven Feinberg, chief executive and co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management; Thomas J. Barrack, chief executive of Colony Capital Management; and John Paulson, president of a hedge fund company bearing his name.

Superintendent Aurora Lora has officially signed a three year contract with the Oklahoma City Public School District. The new superintendent of the state’s largest school district will make $220,000 a year. Her predecessor, Rob Neu, made $240,000 a year.

The contract, signed on July 29th, states that the Superintendent and Board of Education shall discuss and mutually agree on district goals, that will then be a part of the Superintendent’s evaluation. Lora will be evaluated on those goals no later than June 30th of each year of the contract.

SandRidge Energy headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been a rocky year for Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy.

The company started 2016 learning it would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and had to shut down many oil and gas wells in northwest Oklahoma due to seismic directives by the Corporation Commission.

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley and Renee Alvarado Porter at the announcement for the new Cristo Rey high school on Aug. 4, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A new Catholic high school geared toward low income students will open in Oklahoma City in the fall of 2017. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced Thursday that the new Cristo Rey school will be located on Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma City campus.

 

The Cristo Rey model heavily uses work-study. All students work at a partner corporation one day a week.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is greeted by fans as he arrives for a news conference to announce that he has signed a contract extension with the Thunder, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Russell Westbrook era in Oklahoma City will continue for at least three more years.

The All-Star point guard signed a contract extension with the Thunder on Thursday. The Associated Press reports the deal is worth $85.7 million.

Fans cheered Westbrook’s name as he entered the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday for a press conference to announce the extension. He told reporters there’s no place he would rather be than Oklahoma City.

Kids from a local youth organization laugh and splash in cold, spring-fed pools at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The National Park Service turns 100 this year, and many states are celebrating top-tier environmental landmarks that are a big source of local pride. About half the U.S. states don’t have a national park — including Oklahoma.

That wasn’t always the case, and the story of what happened illustrates a changing view of what national parks are for.

State Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. At left is Rev. Lori Walke, Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Business and community leaders in Oklahoma called on Congress Wednesday to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“We can ask, we can petition, we can do all that we are constitutionally allowed to do,” said state Sen. Brian Crain. His district in Tulsa includes a significant Hispanic population. “I think this is an excellent time for us because the debate is ongoing, and it’s time for us to take action. “There's probably never been a better time - in our lifetimes at least - for us to look at immigration reform."

Oklahoma County led the country in oil industry job creation in 2015, according to a Headlight Data analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. On the other end of the spectrum, Washington County in northeastern Oklahoma ranked No. 6 in oil industry job losses.

Oklahoma Watch

As Oklahoma schools prepare to start classes in coming weeks, they are dealing with the impact of having less money – fewer teachers, cuts in arts and music programs and tighter budgets for classroom supplies.

But according to state and local officials, the pain might be less if state and county governments took steps to ensure collection of school-related county taxes that are being lost because of incorrectly assessed property values.

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