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Journal Record

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

Oklahoma City’s City Council agreed to invest $45 million in the vacant First National Center at Tuesday’s meeting.

Developers Gary Brooks and Charlie Nicholas purchased the building in January for $23 million. They plan to redevelop it as a mixed-use residential and commercial property, according to the Journal Record’s Brian Brus.

Gregg Hostetler, vice president of Infrastructure Engineers Inc. based in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

New software will help engineers at the Oklahoma Department of Transformation determine which bridges require inspection after an earthquake.

Microhospitals On The Horizon In Oklahoma City

Jul 21, 2017
An aerial map illustrates the location of a planned microhospital at 15103 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Courtesy image

Small hospitals with an emergency room and a handful of beds could be coming to Oklahoma City.

Cross Development Acquisitions, a Texas-based developer, is working to build a small-scale microhospital in northwest Oklahoma City.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo writes:

A woman pulls a suitcase along NE 23rd Street near N. Spencer Road in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Oklahoma City residents’ life expectancies vary greatly across the city. Among all ZIP codes, the difference between the highest life expectancy and the lowest is 18 years.

According to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s new wellness report, residents in the  73131 ZIP code have a life expectancy of 82 years, while their neighbors in the next door 73141 ZIP code live for an average of less than 68 years - a similar expectancy as developing countries such as Cambodia and Iraq.

A couple rides a water scooter on Lake Thunderbird east of Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

An internal audit at the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department found fraudulent employee time cards, misappropriation of funds and failure to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Christmas lights still wrap the entrance to Sayre Memorial Hospital, which has been closed for five months. The nearest emergency room is now in Elk City, 14 miles away.
Dale Denwalt / The Journal Record

A commercial brokerage firm has purchased a shuttered rural Oklahoma hospital and plans to accept new patients by the end of June.

Healthcare Properties Transaction Group of Oklahoma, LLC, purchased the building and licenses of the renamed Sayre Community Hospital from the Sayre Memorial Hospital Authority on May 22. The announcement of the transaction was made on Tuesday.

The purchasing group’s CEO is Bob Hicks, according to the Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo.

Service technician Tyler Pabst demonstrates the servicing of a geothermal unit in Norman Wednesday.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

The end of a federal tax credit for homeowners who install Energy Star geothermal pumps has driven down business for Oklahoma companies that install the equipment.

Comfortworks, Inc. has seen a decline in business between 20 to 30 percent since the credit ended in 2016. Chris Ellis, vice president for Comfortworks, Inc., told the Journal Record’s Kateleigh Mills that his company has begun to focus more on commercial sales since the residential credit ended.

Motorists travel past construction on Lindsey Street in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

The owners of some businesses in Norman have seen a decline in sales due to ongoing road and bridge construction along Lindsey Street.

International Pantry general manager Kristen McCall says sales have declined about 30 percent since the spring of 2016 when the I-35 exit closed. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is currently constructing a new bridge over I-35 at Lindsey.

The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes internet sales have also hurt the business.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma legislature wraps up today, as lawmakers pass a final budget deal that will fill a nearly $900 million shortfall. Legislators passed several bills that will have an impact on business in the state. Journal Record editor Ted Streuli and KGOU’s Jacob McCleland reviewed some of the business-related bills.

The Wormy Dog Saloon at 311 E. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

A Bricktown music venue that has showcased many red dirt and up-and-coming country artists is closing its doors.

The Wormy Dog Saloon will close at the end of April. Levelland Productions, which leases the venue, informed the property’s owner, Brewer Entertainment, in December that they will not renew their lease.

John Pansze, of Yukon, applies makeup to get into character as Sponji the Clown.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 


Viral videos of weapon-wielding, scary clowns are hurting the bottom line for local clowns. Event bookings have plummeted, and even adult parties are cancelling because a guest has a fear of clowns.

Voters wait in line at a polling place inside Life.Church in Edmond Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

Voters in Edmond rejected a proposed expansion of the Spring Creek Plaza shopping center on Tuesday.

The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes the proposal would have added 260,000 square feet of retail space at S. Bryant Avenue and E. 15th Street, as well as 325 luxury apartments. The city council approved the zoning change to the 26-acre  property in November.

The Smart Saver grocery store at NE 23rd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

 

A bill that passed the Oklahoma Senate would establish a fund to get more fresh, healthy food into underserved areas.

Senate Bill 507, by Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City,  would create a mechanism to help small retails like convenience stores and grocers to stock fresh, perishable items.

Sparq Natural Gas CEO Norman Herrera fills a pickup truck with compressed natural gas in front of the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority office in El Reno Friday.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

 

 

El Reno installed a compressed natural gas station for its refuse fleet. It’s part of a larger trend of municipalities relying on the fuel for its services.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry Cobo writes Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority owner David Griesel says the dispensers save time and money.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahomans go the polls on Tuesday for a statewide primary. All of Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressmen face challengers from within their own party, and it’s the first test for many of the educators running for state House and Senate seats.

The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley joined KGOU’s Jacob McCleland in the Oklahoma Senate press gallery to talk about the upcoming primary.

 

 

U.S. House primaries

 

A man shops for a tractor at Great Plains Kubota in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting farm incomes nationwide will drop this year to the lowest levels since 2002. Farm equipment dealers aren’t surprised.

Frank Serrano, the manager of the Great Plains Kubota in Edmond, told The Journal Record’s Brian Brus that construction equipment and mowers are selling well, but farmers aren’t buying tractors.

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

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.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley look at turnpike projects at a press conference on October 29, 2015.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

A new turnpike plan will cost the state of Oklahoma nearly $1 billion and add about 30 miles of new toll roads to the state’s road system.

Gov. Mary Fallin and transportation Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley announced the plan at a press conference on Thursday at a press conference at the state capitol.

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.

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