First National Center in Oklahoma City
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Stymied Sale Of First National Center Could Proceed After Judge Appoints Receiver

It's September in Oklahoma, which is a pretty lousy time to shut off the air conditioner. That's exactly what happened at the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City this week. The 84-year-old skyscraper in downtown Oklahoma has been for sale for well over a year, and last week employees and tenants that work in the building started moving their belongings out. On Tuesday, the building's utility company shut off A/C, which affected retail businesses and restaurants on the building's...
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The Grand River Dam Authority's coal-fired plant in Chouteau, Okla., which is impacted by the Regional Haze Rule.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Even before the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan was finalized, politicians in Oklahoma were already fighting it in the court of public opinion, and in real court, too. And Gov. Mary Fallin has vowed that Oklahoma will not submit a state compliance plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. Geological Survey

A boom of earthquakes linked to oil and gas production “has and will continue to have sharp economic consequences” in Oklahoma and other states experiencing man-made seismicity,  Standard and Poor’s Rating Services write in a recent report.

High Beef Prices Fueling Rustling Revival In Plains States

Aug 16, 2015
Cattle graze in eastern Oklahoma County.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Record beef prices have led to increases in the number of missing or stolen cattle.

The nearly 5,800 livestock reported stolen in Texas last year was the most in five years. And the value of the animals — more than $5.7 million — was the most in a decade.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association sees the trend this year much the same. The nearly 140-year-old association has a team of 30 Special Rangers that investigates thefts covering 76 million acres in Texas and Oklahoma.

Capitol Steps
capsteps.com / Capitol Steps

August 16, 2015

This is from the Manager's Desk.   

Fall officially arrives in a couple of weeks and summer is almost over. Schools and universities start classes soon and the juggling of summer vacations is almost done.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

Will Rogers stands on the wing of a seaplane, with Wiley Post in front of the propeller, August 1935.
Library of Congress

Saturday marks 80 years since Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in a plane crash.

Aviator Wiley Post was also killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer plunged into a lagoon at Point Barrow, Alaska on August 15, 1935.

Will Rogers Museum Curator Tad Jones says the humorist's Birthplace Ranch in Oologah is marking the anniversary Saturday morning.

“We’ll have a special moment of commemoration for all those that have died in small airplane crashes,” Jones said. “It will start at 9:55 and the official commencement will begin at 10 o’clock.”

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker has been sworn in for his second, four-year term.

More than 1,000 people attended Friday's inauguration at Sequoyah High School in the tribal capital of Tahlequah to watch Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden sworn in.

Tribal councilors Rex Jordan, David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, Dick Lay, Buel Anglen, Bryan Warner, Keith Austin and Wanda Hatfield also took office.

Oklahoma state capitol
LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has voted to suspend enforcement of two new agency rules that prompted a federal lawsuit by the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

The five-member commission voted Friday to suspend the rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

The move comes after the Oklahoma Democratic Party filed a lawsuit earlier this week, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

T'ien-wen Chu's work 'Notes of a Desolate Man'
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Taiwan’s past is complicated, and with that comes a fraught linguistic history.

Dutch settlers colonized the small island nestled between the South and East China Seas during the 17th century, but its former name Formosa actually means “beautiful island” in Portuguese. Just a few decades letter, China’s Qing Dynasty drove European colonists from Taiwan and controlled it for the next two centuries, until they lost control of the island during the war with the Japanese in 1905.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) speaks during Thursday's lunch at the Downtown Club in Oklahoma City.
Senator James Lankford / Facebook

U.S. Sen. James Lankford told business leaders in downtown Oklahoma City Thursday the country is going through a debate right now over whether it wants to governed by Washington, or the states.

“Will this be a nation that has a group of technocrats that are pretty smart people – there are some pretty smart folks in D.C. – that will really decide the policy for the nation?” Lankford asked. “Or will this be a nation that decisions are made close to the people that are affected by that decision?”

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