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

SandRidge Energy Lays Off Over 150 Employees At Oklahoma City Offices

SandRidge Energy Inc. confirmed Wednesday morning it laid off 172 people at its Oklahoma City headquarters this week. CEO James Bennet said in a press release that the company would not waver from making tough decisions to protect the long-term stability of the business. SandRidge was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year because its share price had been below $1 for too long. Late last month, the company borrowed $488 million and hired new legal and financial advisers ...
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University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor and political scientist Mackenzie Israel-Trummel

Just weeks before voters caucus in Iowa and head to the polls in New Hampshire, who will become the two major parties’ standard-bearers and win the nominations is still anyone’s guess. But race and ethnic identity will likely play a much larger role on the Republican side of the aisle – the field is more crowded, there are several minority candidates, and immigration has become a key campaign issue along both the U.S.

Concerned residents address lawmakers during a hearing Friday in the House chamber of the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scores of worried residents sounded off to state lawmakers at a pair of public meetings Thursday and Friday about Oklahoma’s earthquake boom.

Republicans and Democrats each held their own earthquake hearing, and both were rowdy.

People spoke out about home damage, insurance problems and potential injuries. They also chastised state officials for failing to rein in oil and gas activities linked to the shaking. At the Edmond meeting organized by Republican state Rep. Lewis Moore, people interrupted and yelled things like, “pack of lies!”

A float passes the intersection with Robert S. Kerr Ave. along E.K. Gaylord Blvd. in downtown Oklahoma City during the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
Rena Guay / OKC MLK Coalition

Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 87 on Friday, and Monday marks 30 years since the beginning of the annual national celebration of his life and legacy.

Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement saying there's still unfinished business on the way to achieving King's dreams.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity is just as relevant today as it was when he lived," Fallin said. "He believed in freedom and equality of opportunity for which the United States of America still stands."

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm at the 2012 Time 100 gala.
David Shankbone / Flickr

This week, the price of oil fell below $30 for the first time since December 2003. It’s also down 72 percent from $107 just 18 months ago.

But Oklahoma’s wealthiest resident and the head of Continental Resources says he expects crude prices to double by the end of the year. In a Wednesday interview with The Associated Press, Harold Hamm said even though he thinks oil hasn’t bottomed out just yet, it will hit $60 by this time next year:

A day after many sanctions on Iran were lifted under the international nuclear pact, the U.S. Treasury department has imposed new sanctions — over Iran's ballistic, not nuclear, weapons.

The sanctions target 11 companies and individuals who have been involved in procuring goods for Iran's weapons program, the Treasury Department says.

"This action is consistent with the U.S. government's commitment to continue targeting those who assist in Iran's efforts to procure items for its ballistic missile program," the department said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole introduced legislation this week authorizing the use of military force against Islamic State militants.

Under the bill to fight the group known as ISIS, there wouldn't be any geographic restrictions on the U.S. military, or a prohibition on sending U.S. ground troops into the region.

During his video response to President Obama's State of the Union address this week, Cole said the president didn't lay out a strategy to defeat ISIS.

A man exits the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City Thursday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The renovation of downtown Oklahoma City's First National Center is expected to be long and expensive.

Oklahoma City-based developer Gary Brooks and Texas contractor and developer Charlie Nicholas are leading a team that signed a contract on Monday to buy the one-million-square-foot building for $23 million.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Income tax cuts approved by governors and legislators of both parties over the past decade reduced this year’s state revenue collections by more than $1 billion, according to an independent data analysis.

The calculation by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington suggests that past income tax cuts contributed significantly to the state’s current budget shortfall. State officials have tended to place most of the blame on falling oil prices.

Oilfield trucks line up at Overflow Energy's Oakwaood No. 1 disposal well in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Four stories that were trending or generated discussion online or on KGOU’s social media platforms during the past week.

Uppala University anthropologist Don Kulick.
Drew Reynolds / University of Chicago Magazine

It’s probably not something most people think about on a daily basis, but people with severe intellectual or physical disabilities often have the same sexual needs and desires as the able-bodied.