Norman

A Norman Forward sign on Flood Ave. across from McKinley Elementary.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

For months, drivers around Norman have probably noticed red-and-blue "Norman Forward" signs adorning medians, parking strips, and front lawns.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance to put a half-penny sales tax on the ballot this fall that's more or less Norman's version of Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 proposal.

Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks says the 15-year sales tax extension's goal is to raise $209 million to fund revenue bonds.

Storm debris piled along 36th Ave. NW just north of Tecumseh Road in Norman
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The City of Norman is starting debris collection Wednesday after tornadoes and straight-line winds caused heavy damage in the northwest part of the city a week ago.

The city is working with TFR Enterprises of Leander, Tex. to remove tree branches, vegetation, trash, and other debris from the street right-of-way, which is definied as an area 15 feet behind the edge of the street. 

Kevin Anders, standing at the lectern, who represents Midwest City on the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District board, engaged in an exchange with council members Tuesday about whether he would support the water reuse plan.
Sarah Terry-Cobo / The Journal Record

Tuesday night the city council in Midwest City approved a non-binding resolution rejecting a water proposal that would put treated wastewater back in Lake Thunderbird.

The large reservoir about 10 miles east of Norman is shared by the two communities, as well as Del City. All three draw raw water from the lake, but two city officials disagree over how and where to treat the wastewater in the supply chain.

Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

With concern over drought at a high point and plans to get water from southeast Oklahoma falling through, the City of Norman decided in 2014 to pursue a plan to clean water that has been used by customers and return it to Lake Thunderbird — the city’s main water source — to be used again.

Demonstrators outside the Norman City Hall before a city council committee met to discuss changes to oil and gas drilling rules.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

About 60 demonstrators gathered in front of the Norman City Hall Wednesday evening before the city council’s oversight committee met to discuss changes to the Norman’s oil and gas drilling regulations.

The Central Oklahoma Clean Water Coalition hosted the rally. Organizer Casey Holcolm says the current ordinances were written before fracking became so widespread.

Welcome to Norman sign.
Oklahoma Chapter American Planning Association / Creative Commons/Google Images

Some Norman residents fear the city could lose a quaint part of the community if a 1950's neighborhood is razed to make room for a 4.2-acre apartment complex.

Developers want to build 555 apartments that would include 915 beds in studio apartments or units with from one to four bedrooms. A parking garage would be built in the middle of the complex.

The site is within walking distance of the University of Oklahoma campus.

Joy Hampton / The Norman Transcript

The Lowry Room at the Norman Public Library filled to capacity Monday night, and a mass of people packed into the hallways to listen to a forum on hydraulic fracturing that included an OU scientist, an assistant city attorney, and a lawyer from upstate New York who’s helped communities there ban fracking.

StateImpact’s Logan Layden moderated the event as each panelist made a presentation, and read questions from the audience.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

It was 1:00 a.m. when the Norman City Council gave its approval to a zoning change that would allow a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Southeast Norman.

The council told numerous residents speaking against the zoning request that Norman needs the sales tax revenue from the proposed big-box retailer that would be built at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Ave. SE and Classen Boulevard (U.S. 77) just south of State Highway 9.

Sooner Theatre

Central Oklahoma feels the rhythm with a musical that’s a family favorite and two long-awaited returning acts. 

Families can travel to a land far, far away, or actually just to Main Street in Norman, to watch Sooner Theatre perform Shrek The Musical this weekend.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Cleveland County commissioners say the former county detention center will be demolished this fall.

The Norman Transcript reports that the former jail site will likely be used for parking while a facilities study is completed. The county's new $26 million jail opened in January 2012.

The building opened in 1984 but was closed two years ago after a new detention center was built. Since then, the building had been used as a temporary holding facility for inmates who were transported to the courthouse for hearings.

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