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Workers install a stone façade outside one of four Senior Wellness Centers being built as part of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 program.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Several Oklahoma City civic leaders gathered Tuesday evening for a town hall meeting to discuss the city’s 10-year general obligation bond issue, which voters won’t decide until next year.

Oklahoma City’s water treatment facility at Lake Stanley Draper.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma City Council approved contracts Tuesday that could help bring more water to the metro from southeast Oklahoma.

The council approved seven separate construction design contracts worth more than #13 million, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

The city of Oklahoma City’s Chisholm Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at Coffee Creek Road and N. Western Avenue in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The company that agreed to pay a nearly $1 million fine for water problems in Hugo earlier this week could soon get a new contract. The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust Authority unanimously approved the proposed contract with Severn Trent Services on Tuesday.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports Councilman Pete White, who sits on both bodies, said he’s convinced the problems in Hugo were an aberration, not a pattern:

Workers erect scaffolding outside the First National Center building in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council discussed making changes to the tax increment finance district, or TIF, for the area affected by MAPS projects.

The council wants to increase the budget for the downtown MAPS district – adding $40 million to bring the total to $165 million.

“The says that the investment so far has already brought in $1.8 billion in private money, and adding the $40 million would bring in another $1 billion,” said The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks.

The site of the MAPS 3 park in downtown Oklahoma City.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Ever since the 2009 passage of the MAPS 3 sales tax incentive that would fund a series of civic project in Oklahoma City, residents have been waiting for the park.

The so-called "core-to-shore" vision would connect the Myriad Botanical Gardens with the Oklahoma River, with an already-built pedestrian bridge bisecting Interstate 40 and connecting the two halves of the 70-acre greenbelt.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett during the January 13, 2016 State of the City address during a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber luncheon.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett was upbeat during Wednesday’s 2016 State of the City address.

Cornett touted a 10 percent decrease in the crime rate, and ran through a number of publications that ranked Oklahoma City as one of the best places in the country to start a business or visit.

The Obama administration plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, despite criticism that they could present a security hazard. Few Syrians have been settled in Oklahoma, but 40 years ago, a wave of refugees from Vietnam arrived in the state. Those Vietnamese newcomers helped reshape a dying part of Oklahoma City. Jacob McCleland from KGOU reports.

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City's Asian District.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City’s Asian District and points out some of the Vietnamese-owned businesses north of NW 23rd Street.

 

“We have the hair salon. We have the massage center. We have the chiropractice,” Nguyen said. “We have a lot of Vietnamese restaurants that go up here to 36th.”

 

For most of its existence, Oklahoma City has been an oil-fueled place, ringed and riveted by superhighways and boulevards unsullied by shoulder or sidewalk. It was a city built to make cars happy. Parking was effortless, walking unnecessary and suburbs sprang like fungi across the unfruited plain.

Ben edits a track in Ableton
Sarah Hurd / KGOU

The sound of Oklahoma City musician Askanse defies easy categorization. It’s electronic music, but computers are just a tool producer Ben Hill uses to find, make, layer and manipulate every sound he can imagine.

“I get a lot of ideas just throughout the day biking around or when a lot of times when I'm taking showers for some reason that's a zone in which I have a lot of musical thoughts,” Hill says. “I just hear ideas or sounds or even whole song structures in my head and I try to realize that.”

Mayor Mick Cornett announces Oklahoma City is in talks to bring Google Fiber's high-speed internet service to the city.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Mayor Mick Cornett and representatives from Google gathered on the rooftop of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art Wednesday to announce Google Fiber, a high-speed internet service, might come to Oklahoma City.

On a clear, blue afternoon with the Oklahoma City skyline as his backdrop, Cornett said Google has been in town for weeks, exploring the sophistication of the city and gathering data about infrastructure and the ease of doing business.

Lake Thunderbird, near Norman, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Norman voters in January approved a water rate increase to pay for much needed improvements at the city’s water treatment plant, and in 2014, the city council decided to meet Norman’s future water needs through reuse and wells, rather than rely mor

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A week ago, the so-called “panhandling ordinance” dominated the Oklahoma City Council meeting, with several residents taking advantage of the public comment period to voice their concerns.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City covers more than 600 square miles, and completely surrounds several communities. That can lead to lost or delayed revenue, which is becoming even more problematic with the rise of so-called “gig economy” businesses like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Oklahoma City’s assistant treasurer Matt Boggs said Oklahoma City recapture $1.1 million in lost revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

oil pump jack
Paul Lowry / Flickr

There’s an interesting side effect of the downturn in energy prices that started late last year – a strong trend in business sales.

After being laid off from the oil and gas sector, many former employees look to something completely different. In a lot of cases they have savings, plus a big severance package, and The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks says a business can be a good investment, and it’s a good time to buy.

A motorist drives by a police barricade placed along Sheridan Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City in advance of a visit from President Barack Obama Wednesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

President Obama’s visit to Oklahoma dominated the news cycle this week, and basically shut down small portions of downtown Oklahoma City, Durant, Interstate 40 – pretty much anywhere inside a one-block radius of the president.

The White House provided only a six day heads up Obama was headed to Oklahoma, and that caused some rapid rearrangement of events in the area, according to The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt:

A view of Broadway Avenue from the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Four months ago, Oklahoma City hit a snag on the long-awaited MAPS 3 convention center in downtown. In March, the city dropped a land bid for the location they wanted just south of the Myriad Gardens.

Oklahoma City budgeted $13 million for land acquisition, and the current owners wanted $100 million, so they had to figure something else out.

The city hired the consulting firm Populous to do that, and on Tuesday the group unveiled its site evaluations and made its pitch to the city council.

Guests at Remington Park horce racing track in Oklahoma City could soon have a 180-room, $22 million destination hotel to stay in.
Kiddo27 / Wikimedia Commons

Two empty lots that bookend the core of Oklahoma City could soon see massive quality-of-life projects take shape.

Developer Neal McGee, who bought the dozen-plus acres along Interstate 35 at NE 50th Street, plans to sign a deal with Holiday Inn to build a 180-room, $22 million hotel. The destination hotel would serve the area the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation refers to as the "Adventure District," with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, the ASA Hall-of-Fame softball stadium, and the Remington Park horse track all nearby.

Left-to-right: Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Oklahoma City school board member Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City coucilwoman Meg Salyer
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma Watch and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication presented a public forum on April 16 about challenges in low-income neighborhoods in south Oklahoma City.

The Q&A forum with local leaders focused on the needs and concerns of south Oklahoma City communities and is tied to a mobile video news project, “Talk With Us: Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods.”

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

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