KGOU

Business Intelligence Report

Fridays at 6:44 a.m., 8:44 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 5:44 p.m.

A weekly feature produced in partnership with the Journal Record, Oklahoma's weekday newspaper and website specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Editor Ted Streuli and Journal Record reporters discuss business and economic development in the state.

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The recently opened Bleu Garten food truck park along NW 10th Street in Oklahoma City
Corbin Greer / KGOU

One side effect of Oklahoma City’s urban renewal has been a booming food truck industry.

The popular monthly H&8th festival closes out its seven month-long 2014 season October 31, and last month a permanent food truck park opened along NW 10th Street between the Midtown and Automobile Alley areas of Oklahoma City.

Cattle at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Wednesday Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus released figures showing it's been a dry September. Oklahoma only averaged 2.6 inches of rainfall, which is roughly 33 percent below normal.

A townhome at The Hill at Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Over a seven-year period, the number of homes in downtown Oklahoma City will more than quadruple, and almost none of them will be for sale.

Oklahoma City Assistant City Planner Ian Colgan says 96 percent of the homes downtown are rentals - demonstrating a growing trend of lease properties, as opposed to traditional, single-family homes for sale.

American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

Time stretches on for the unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum near downtown Oklahoma City. The silvery struts jut up into the sky, the grass grows on the Cahokia-style mound and the river runs past the site, just north of the intersection of Interstates 40 and 35.

Remington Park Bets On New App

Sep 12, 2014
AveryO / Wikimedia Commons

With casino-goers graying, Remington Park racetrack and casino is playing the odds that a younger crowd will find betting on the races more interesting by using their smartphones, according to the Journal Record this week.

“Mobile wagering” allows casino patrons to bet on the horses from the comfort of their seat at the slot machine, at the Casino’s “Silks” restaurant, or anywhere else on the site—as long as it’s at the track. The app knows if the patron leaves the property.

Growth Is 'Goal' For Metro Soccer Programs

Sep 5, 2014
A member of the Rose State College Raiders women's soccer team goes in for the kick.
Kenneth Beachler / Rose State College

Rose State College recently established both men’s and women’s soccer teams, hoping to kick off new interest in their college.

Called the “Raiders,” named for daring, barn-storming World War II bomber pilots; the teams compete in Division I, Region II of the National Junior College Athletic Association. But they also hope to garner interest in the college in the hearts and minds of would-be students and their parents.

East And West, Health Care Expansion Spurs Growth

Aug 29, 2014
A new interchange has been proposed at Interstate 40 and Frisco Road in Yukon.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Where retail growth might have once sprung from a mall, progress now may be heralded by a health care facility, as shown in recent developments in both Yukon and Shawnee, according to the Journal Record newspaper.

Skulls Unlimited

An Unusual Oklahoma City Business Expands To Another State.

The Museum of Osteology signed a 15-year lease in a new entertainment district in Orlando, Florida.

The museum, which is on Sunnylane Road, grew out of a business called Skulls Unlimited. Jay Villemarette started the company in 1986. It sells more than 100 types of animal skulls and full skeletons through catalogs.

The new museum, called “Skeletons” will be near a Ferris wheel, a wax museum and an aquarium.

The Oklahoma Gas and Electric power plant in Muskogee.
Rip Stell / Journal Record

OG&E Says Cleaning Up Emissions At Its Coal-Fired Power Plants Could Cost $1 Billion.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued the company in 2009, claiming pollution from OG&E creates smog in national parks.  The courts agreed and gave OG&E until 2019 to clean it up.

Karen Hickman, Oklahoma State University professor of natural resource ecology and management, displays what the leaflets of a healthy and growing kudzu plant look like.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

An Invasive Plant Threatens Oklahoma’s Agriculture Industry.

Kudzu is a vine known for taking over huge areas of states like Alabama and Mississippi. It can cover abandoned buildings and take down utility wires. It can grow 18 inches a day, and some experts joke that it grows so fast you have to be careful falling asleep near it.

The problem is that it also can kill off native species and can carry diseases that damage crops such as soybeans, which produces up to $130 million a year in Oklahoma.

Kudzu has been found in 50 places around Oklahoma.

Santi Kos, manager of Fashion Sport and Uniforms at 1300 NW 23rd St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs, The Journal Record

Parents, Cities And Counties Plan For Back-To-School Tax Holiday.

August first through third, shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax on clothing items that cost less than $100. The holiday was implemented in 2007 to discourage shoppers from crossing state lines to save.

That’s good news for family budgets, but it also means the state misses out on $4 million it might have had otherwise.

T.J. Coley, with the Choctaw Fire Department, checks the engine on a firetruck. The truck was a surplus from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Oklahoma’s Rural Firefighters Can Keep Using Surplus Equipment.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently warned that it was going to prevent the Department of Defense from giving surplus equipment to the departments, saying much of the equipment fails to comply with EPA standards.

Bryan Richter, Journal Record

Despite Last Year’s Devastating Tornado, Business Is Booming In Moore.

Sales tax revenues for the first part of the year are 8.7 percent higher than in 2013. In fact, collections grew more than in other metro cities. Norman grew 5.7 percent, and Edmond and Oklahoma City each posted 2.7 percent gains.

Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said the surge comes from more than just reconstruction.

He said growing retail activity made up 6 percent of the growth. Sales tax collections in June were
12.3 percent higher than a year ago.

Two Lawsuits Are Challenging Bills That Were Signed Into Law By Governor Mary Fallin.

A group of parents, teachers and members of the state Board of Education are fighting the repeal of Common Core standards.

They say the bill violates the state Constitution by letting the Legislature take over an executive function.

The bill repeals the Common Core standards, which Fallin initially supported. It says new standards will be developed. Opponents say the language of the law gives the Legislature too much power to review the new guidelines.

USGS / www.earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes

Strong Earthquakes In Central Oklahoma Have Some Looking For Insurance That May Be Difficult To Get.

About 100 companies offer quake insurance in Oklahoma, the state insurance commissioner says. But most of them won’t start a policy until we have gone without a quake for 30 days.

Since November, there have been more than 265 events between magnitude 1 and 4.3 in Central Oklahoma.

Samuel Perry / Journal Record

An Energy Company Drilling A Well In Norman Changes How It’s Getting Water.

Finley Resources is putting in a well on Franklin Road in Norman. At first, the company ran a line directly to a fire hydrant. That led the city to raise the prices it charges high-volume commercial users. The more water someone uses, the more it costs per thousand gallons.

As Finley moves into the completion phase – including hydraulically fracturing the well – it has also run a line into nearby Little River Creek.

Matt Howry / Flickr Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, the Oklahoma City Council agreed to consider giving incentives to Cabela’s, an outdoor retailer.

Then, the company announced that it will build an 80,000-square-foot store in the new Chisholm Creek development. That project is coming together near the John Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Avenue.

The city admitted that it was negotiating with the store before the announcement.

Dan Straughan, right, executive director of the Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance, fields questions after presenting the results of an annual survey of the city’s homeless population at United Way headquarters in Oklahoma City on Friday.
Samuel Perry/The Journal Record

The number of homeless people in Oklahoma City appears to be falling, but advocates say they could help more people find a place to live, if they had more workers to help.

A recent survey found about 1,400 homeless people in Oklahoma City. That’s about 380 people less than last year.

The Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance said that it has enough housing for 10 people each month. But it only has enough caseworkers to help two people a month manage the change.

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