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Journal Record

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.

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.

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.

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.

goat
Mike Baird / Flickr Creative Commons

Eastern Red Cedar trees are a menace to Oklahoma.

As StateImpact has reported, “the volatile oils they contain can cause the trees to explode during wildfires… They also crowd out other plants, force wildlife off their habitats, and hoard rainfall.”

350.org / Flickr Creative Commons

A Sept. 21 protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline attracted 74 people who walked a portion of the pipeline’s proposed route, The Journal Record reports.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Tourism Commission on June 26 voted to strip Hugo Lake of its state park status, citing low attendance.

The commission acted “quietly,” but State Sen. Jerry Ellis (D-Valliant) responded loudly, The Journal Record’s M. Scott Carter reports:

On Aug. 2, Ellis sent a letter to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin asking that the Tourism Commission reconsider the status of the park using factual information.