Oklahoma City Times / Downtown OKC

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Shoppers can still find places to browse, if they are willing

Want to join a crowd? While many Oklahoma businesses that normally welcome large gatherings of people like movie theaters and...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Council to vote on small-business relief proposal

The Oklahoma City Council will consider a $5.5 million relief package for small businesses hardest hit by interruptions due to...

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OKC Civic Life Journal: Gun shops open as coronavirus business activity limits take hold

City maintains, updates comprehensive guide to coronavirus developments as they relate to local government services.

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OKC Central Chat recap: OKC Mayor David Holt addresses coronavirus-related concerns

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt joined Steve Lackmeyer in this week's OKC Central Live Chat, answering questions related to the...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Camps help city employees stay on the job

Day camps for school-age children are helping city of Oklahoma City employees stay on the job. With schools closed during the...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OKC Mayor Holt to join Friday live chat

With many questions looming about how Oklahoma City proceeds with day-to-day life under the pandemic and what will happen with...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Most Hobby Lobby stores remain open amid pandemic

Many Hobby Lobby stores opened for business as usual Wednesday, with reminders for customers to maintain a 6-foot distance due...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OKC issues revised emergency declaration

Oklahoma City on Wednesday issued the latest revision of Mayor David Holt's coronavirus emergency declaration, extending...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City mayor commends state order that, while limited, broadens metro-area restrictions

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt on Tuesday commended Gov. Kevin Stitt for an order that closes "non-essential" businesses and...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City debunks rumors

Oklahoma City compiles comprehensive list of resources in response to coronavirus.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City limits public access to some offices

Adoption fees are lowered and volunteering suspended at animal shelter.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Pandemic inspiring creative approaches to keeping community alive

Almost two weeks have passed since a Thunder home game against the Utah Jazz was halted just before it could start when a...

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Jerry Drake Varnell sentenced in OKC bomb plot case

Around 11:45 a.m. Monday just south of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, a federal judge sentenced a...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: City warns against flushing wipes

Oklahoma City says all those wipes being used to disinfect surfaces are trouble waiting to happen if they are flushed down the...

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Masks concern firefighters Deputy Chief of Operations Mike Walker of the Oklahoma City Fire Department said over...

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Prairie Wolf Spirits flowing hand-sanitizer instead of vodka

GUTHRIE — As the world braces for a long, winding road to recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Erik Tekell is...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: How to cope with the 'new normal'

"New normal" can be less ominous than it sounds, if we let it be. A week after the novel coronavirus' abrupt intrusion on...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Survey shows city businesses hit hard by pandemic

More details are coming about aid for Oklahoma businesses and non-profits with Gov. Kevin Stitt announcing Friday night the...

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How can the city adapt during the pandemic?

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded reader questions Friday during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Nonprofits won't be left behind by Congress, Lankford says

Sen. James Lankford assured nonprofit leaders Friday that stimulus measures include provisions to keep them afloat through the...

By land and air, weather researchers track tornadic storms

NewsMay 16, 2019

SALINA, Kan. — For the first time in almost a decade, meteorologists from across the Midwest will track and intercept tornado birthing grounds as part of a large-scale collaborative research project. The TORUS Project, or Targeted Observation...

Exclusively from The Oklahoman

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Carpenter Square Theatre shifts shows

"A Funny Thing Happened" will move into the slot originally planned for Mac Rogers' space-travel mystery called “Advance Man,”...

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

Check out the recap of this week's OKC Central Live Chat.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Tenants, landlords and bankers scrambling to survive pandemic's economic ruin

It’s the storm nobody saw coming until it was on the horizon. For 22 years, Jeremy and Kristy Witzke prided themselves in...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Local researchers looking for vaccine

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center launched a research collaboration with biotechnology company Pure MHC to work...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma Shakespeare shuffles dates in response to pandemic

The venerable theater company is moving its Paseo Arts District production of William Shakespeare's "As You Like It,"...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City relaxes employee leave policies

The city is one of the 10 largest employers in the metro area.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Devon Energy confirms positive test for employee

Devon Energy confirmed Wednesday one of its employees who works at the Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City tested positive for...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: City Manager Craig Freeman says emergency closure orders will be enforced

Restrictions apply broadly to restaurants, breweries, bars, gyms, movie theaters and more.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: More on the decision to cancel downtown OKC's Festival of the Arts

The event brings in 5,000 volunteers along with an attendance of an estimated 100,000 festivalgoers per day.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Urban Renewal moving forward with downtown developments during pandemic

The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is set to move forward with selection of a developer for a residential and retail...

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Mayor orders Oklahoma City bars to close, restaurants to limit service to takeout, delivery

Mandate takes effect almost immediately as city steps up effort to control spread of coronavirus.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OKC's downtown Festival of the Arts canceled

The free festival annually brings thousands of Oklahomans to downtown to partake of performing arts on three stages, eclectic...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Time to adapt, but please don't create new math

What happens next? That’s the question for so many of us, who have spent so much of our time and energy into creating a...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Nonprofits navigate unknown territory

Needed now more than ever, many Oklahoma City nonprofits are in a bind. Coronavirus has interrupted the spring calendar, a...

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, March 16, 2020

Water shutoff policies may be adjusted Oklahoma City is working on policy changes to help residential water customers retain...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Count on us to get the facts right

We feel collectively displaced. Kinda lost. Kinda nervous. As the spread of coronavirus dominates our lives, Oklahomans are...

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Chat recap: Page Woodson Phase Three

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded reader questions Friday during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OKC National Memorial Museum to close, Remembrance Ceremony to be altered

"We are working with tour groups to reschedule, but at this time bringing the large amount of visitors into the Museum isn’t...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Steamroller Print Festival postponed to autumn

The Steamroller Print Festival, now in its fourth year, has quickly become an April tradition in Deep Deuce.

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Chamber to act as business information clearing house during outbreak

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is stepping up to act as a clearing house for the business community as all segments of the...

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Banks preparing for pandemic impact

The Oklahoman asked the presidents of the two largest downtown Oklahoma City banks to discuss how they are responding to the...

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Coronavirus: Restaurants work to ensure safety for diners

The Oklahoma Restaurant Association released a statement Friday to encourage diners to continue to eat out and support local...

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer answered questions from readers Friday morning.

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: New meaning in cleaning, Oklahoma City property managers taking extra steps to protect against COVID-19

As ominous as it seems to be, the global COVID-19 pandemic and its effects are temporary worries for commercial real estate...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Downtown hotel where Jazz stayed closing for for 'deep cleaning'

The 21c Museum Hotel closed for a “deep clean” following the discovery Wednesday night that one of its guests, Utah Jazz center...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: City 'paying close attention' to coronavirus developments

Mayor David Holt on Thursday encouraged Oklahoma City residents to be proactive in adopting habits to limit the spread of...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Businesses brace for economic hit

Businesses are doubling up on cleanings, some events are being canceled and concerns are growing about the economic hit to come...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Mahogany closes downtown location for deep cleaning after serving guest with COVID-19

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, 145 W Sheridan Ave., is closed until Friday after serving a guest who tested positive for the...

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Seeing the light: Oklahoma Contemporary showcases acclaimed artists with new home's first exhibit, 'Bright Golden Haze'

Inscribed in white neon, three words glow with a message in Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center's new Eleanor Kirkpatrick Main...

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Downtown OKC hotel closing for 'deep cleaning' following Utah Jazz coronavirus discovery

The 21c Museum Hotel is closing for a “deep clean” following the discovery Wednesday night that one of its guests, Utah Jazz...

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Riversport Adventures opening in time for spring break in downtown OKC's Boathouse District

During spring break, season passes will be available at a 50% discount and will include whitewater rafting, which opens the...

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Interviews, photos and video: Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center opens new downtown OKC home this week

"I think Contemporary immediately takes its place as one of OKC’s leading institutions. I don’t think projects with this...

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Dawning of a new day: Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center opens long-awaited new home

North of historic Automobile Alley, a silvery new landmark gleams just over the horizon. "At sunrise, it is pink and purple,"...

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Bicyclist opportunities await expansion into OKC urban core

When I was a kid, my first job was at a Braum’s store and on most days I rode my bike to and from work. I simply parked my bike...

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, March 9, 2020

Q&A: Census OKC begins The 2020 U.S. Census begins contacting Oklahoma City residents this week. Here's what to know: What...

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Meatloaf Challenge 2020 scheduled for March 29 at Parlor OKC

Picasso Cafe introduces chef Ryan Parrott's championship meatloaf to the March menu, and Parlor OKC will host a challenge to...

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OKC parks tax fails

Oklahoma City voters rejected a citizens' initiative for a dedicated parks sales tax Tuesday, largely on the strength of...

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Voters decide Tuesday on parks initiative

Five times in the past, Oklahoma City voters have approved citizens' initiatives. On Tuesday, voters could approve a sixth....

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, March 2, 2020

Parks vote Tuesday Advocates say a dedicated sales tax would benefit neighborhood parks throughout Oklahoma City. A citizens'...

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Oklahoma City voters to decide parks initiative

Sparrow Park in near-northwest Oklahoma City has a few pieces of playground equipment, a faux Route 66 picnic shelter, a...

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Downtown OKC's lone grocery store set to close

Native Roots Market is closing after an eight-year run. The store is on the ground floor of the Level apartments at 131 NE 2,...

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Urban Hike from Myriad Botanical Gardens to begin in March

Take a hike, literally, with a new Urban Hike beginning this spring at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Immediately after the...

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Sales to start on OKC's Bower, downtown homes for families

You can join Steve online most Fridays at 9:30 a.m. to add your comments and questions about downtown development. Below is an...

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OKC Cinco de Mayo Festival moving to Scissortail Park

The event is expected to draw approximately 20,000 people celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture to the downtown Oklahoma...

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer, Kara Lewallen and Richard McKown

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer and guests addressed Oklahoma City issues Friday morning with readers. Read the transcript.

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Coliseum could get MAPS 3 boost

The MAPS 4 fairgrounds coliseum is in line to receive $9 million from MAPS 3. The MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board on Tuesday...

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Oklahoma City charter review committee studies election requirements, state law

A charter review committee named by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has begun its work with a review of qualifications to hold...

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Holt focuses 2020 State of the City speech on idea of 'collaborative conversation' to improve public schools

Mayor David Holt said Wednesday he would be gathering city, business, educational and philanthropic leaders together with the...

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OKC's deadCenter Film names Alyx Picard Davis its new executive director

Currently deadcenter's director of festival and operations, Picard Davis will succeed longtime executive director Lance...

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Steve Lackmeyer: Downtown OKC has the tourist goods, time to promote as a package

Downtown Oklahoma City is a tourist destination. Naysayers can argue against this all they want, but the numbers don’t lie....

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Mayor aims to rally the community around the idea of better schools for Oklahoma City's children

Facilitating an effort to improve public schools was among Mayor David Holt's goals during his campaign two years ago.

Life

Free Little Library opens at OKC's Scissortail Park

Oklahoma City’s favorite new park last week got a legible enhancement. ReadOKC, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the...

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

Parks initiative voting set Early in-person voting at county election boards begins Wednesday for the March 3 election....

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Initiative would elevate parks, park programs

Pete White says a stream of cash dedicated to parks would assure kids get the greatest possible value from the investments...

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What to do in Oklahoma on Feb. 22, 2020: See Carpenter Square Theatre's production of the drama 'The Library' in downtown OKC

Scott Z. Burns is a successful screenwriter and movie producer known for such films as “Contagion,” “The Bourne Ultimatum” and...

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Republican National Convention asks Oklahoma City to bid on hosting future event

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer was joined by Mike Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, in...

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer and Mike Carrier with Visit OKC

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded reader questions alongside Mike Carrier of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors...

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Sonic to debut new look at busy OKC intersection

Sonic Drive-ins could start looking a little different than what you grew up with, and Oklahoma City will be one of the first...

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More comings and goings from the 405 diningscape

Scottie's Deli will soon be leaving Uptown, but downtown's Parlor OKC has two new concepts arriving soon.

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Big plans: Two largest property owners by Scissortail Park team up

The two largest property owners west of Scissortail Park are joining forces as plans progress on acquiring and clearing the...

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Stop imagining that, Oklahoma City now to be branded as "The Modern Frontier"

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching its first new branding of the city as “The Modern Frontier” after...

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Mixed-use building is planned for Oklahoma City's Midtown district

The recently completed Monarch building in Midtown, home to Ackerman McQueen and Lingo Construction, will soon be surrounded by...

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Oklahoma Contemporary details grand opening festivities for new downtown OKC arts center

Founded in 1989 as City Arts Center, Oklahoma Contemporary's new home was designed by Rand Elliott Architects, and staffers are...

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Interviews and video: Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, OKC Mayor David Holt talk Native American tourism and heritage as Red Earth announces new events

Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell told Monday's gathering of reporters, arts supporters and government officials that the state just hit a...

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'A source of hope': Oklahoma teachers learn impact of child trauma at state summit

Thousands of educators gathered in the Cox Convention Center on Monday and eagerly stared at a model of a brain. With 86...

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Red Earth moves: Native American arts organization moves its venerable festival and announces launch of a new OKC event

Silhouetted against the wide windows overlooking the downtown Oklahoma City skyline, Native American fancy shawl dancer...

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OKC police union leader challenges cutting funds for officers

Oklahoma City's police union president says the optics of cutting funds for five officers "are not good." The Police...

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Elton John intends to continue Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour after walking pneumonia diagnosis

Elton John intends to play his remaining shows in New Zealand and Australia, his tour promoters said Monday, a day after...

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Red Earth Inc. announces plans to move Native American festival, launch new OKC Indigenous Peoples Day event

The organization's marquee event - the long-running Red Earth Festival, an intertribal celebration of Native American visual...

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OKC civic life: What do police reports detail about Scissortail Park?

Voters have returned 1,869 absentee ballots for the March 3 election to the Oklahoma County Election Board as of Friday...

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OKC central live chat recap: Former Borden plant might be ideal for housing

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded reader questions Friday during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve...

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Work continues to shift management of Oklahoma County jail

The process of transitioning management of the Oklahoma County jail may not be on top of the public’s "most interesting" list,...

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United States of Oklahoma podcast: OKC Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice

The Oklahoman's Josh Dulaney chats with OKC Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice. Give it a spin. -DulaneyFollow Josh...

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OKC Civic Life Journal: 'Citizens' sparks a debate

Catching up on Oklahoma City news.

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Food Dude: As Edmond adds to food hall, subtraction continues downtown

The Oklahoman's Food Dude, Dave Cathey covers the 405 diningscape with news about the ongoing food hall trend.

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer addressed questions from readers about issues related to development in Oklahoma City.

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'It was his idea': Former city manager restructured MAPS, hired first black police chief

Glenn Deck, a former city manager and finance director for Oklahoma City, died Saturday. He was 67. Deck served for just two...

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Former Bricktown official to lead Chickasha economic development

Jim Cowan, former owner of the Bricktown Brewery and a longtime leader in the entertainment district, is returning to his...

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Slowdown in store for Oklahoma City?

Russell Evans sees 2020 as a year "on the brink" that will test Oklahoma City. Evans, city government's consulting economist,...

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Study suggests smarter parking needed downtown

To break it down, a six-story, 1,100-space garage owned by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) is...

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OKC civic life for Monday, Feb. 10, 2020

Little Rock eyes MAPS Little Rock, Arkansas, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has proposed a one-cent sales tax to finance quality of life...

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In OKC rally, Mike Bloomberg vows to target states Trump won in 2016

As leading Democratic presidential contenders converged on New Hampshire just days before the nation's first presidential...

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Landing soon: Food, community to return to former Downtown Airpark Terminal

A step inside the former Downtown Airpark Terminal, now part of the Wheeler neighborhood, is a reflection of the past and a...

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OKC Central live chat: Community leaders recognized at Impact Awards

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded questions from readers during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve...

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Feed your fever downtown Feb. 14-16 at the OKC Spring Remodel and Landscape Show

Maybe home is where the heart is, but next weekend, fevered minds (early onset spring fever) will be downtown for the Oklahoma...

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

See what Steve Lackmeyer discussed this week with readers.

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Demolition permits issued for closed eastside OKC grocery

The former Buy for Less shopping center at NE 23 and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue appears to be targeted for demolition, with...

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Dustup over 'citizens' taints MAPS 4 board rollout

Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon sought without success this week to remove the word "citizens" from the name of the MAPS 4...

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Neighbors object to 'pot farm' in west Oklahoma City

Neighbors on Tuesday protested in vain that a landowner’s plans to grow marijuana on a 10.8-acre tract in far west Oklahoma...

Life

Pop-up from the past(a)

Chef Christine Dowd and partner Maggie Howell will resuscitate their Trattoria il Centro restaurant for a two-night pop-up to...

Business

Two downtown apartment projects to start in 2020

Two large-scale downtown apartment projects are cleared to move forward following approval Monday by the Oklahoma City Urban...

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Work to resume on The Hill in Deep Deuce

A developer declared in default of his agreement with the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority to create a neighborhood in...

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Eyesore turned into gem wins at Impact Awards

It shouldn’t surprise regular followers of my weekly OKC Central Live Chat that occasionally questions pop up that I...

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Upgrade set for canal lights implicated in fatal accident

The light bollards implicated in a fatal accident along Oklahoma City's Bricktown Canal will be replaced by safer, pole-mounted...

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OKC Civic Life for Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

Outlining MAPS 4 oversight The MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board will have six standing subcommittees to oversee the 16 projects....

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Farmers, customers dislocated by OSU-OKC are choosing Farmers Public Market over Scissortail Park

When Brad Williams, president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, announced in December his decision to close the...

Life

Interviews and photos: Arts collective Factory Obscura is expanding its home in OKC's Automobile Alley

The arts collective announced this week at a private event for passholders and supporters that it will open a unique...

Life

What to do in Oklahoma on Feb. 1, 2020: Celebrate Lunar New Year in the Myriad Gardens

The festivities will include face painting, music, cultural presentations crafts for children and a special performance by Lion...

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No delays, Oklahoma City's Wheeler District is coming in for a landing at 'urbanism at its best'

The Wheeler District took off on time and — five years in — is on schedule. Totally fitting for a neighborhood arising from...

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Mayor names charter review committee

Councilman Mark Stonecipher and Sharon Vorhees will co-chair a seven-member committee to review the Oklahoma City charter and...

Business

Sonic slashes jobs in Bricktown, won't say how many losses to expect

Sonic Drive-In is slashing a significant number of its corporate jobs in Oklahoma City, laying off some, while asking others to...

Business

OKC Central live chat recap: Construction continues on BancFirst Tower

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded questions from readers during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve...

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Artistic expansion: Factory Obscura is growing its home on Automobile Alley

A giant paper airplane flies over Kelsey Karper's head in a yellow room devoted to exploring the emotion of angst. The new...

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MAPS 4 oversight to include 11-member volunteer advisory board

Council will vote on oversight plans Tuesday.

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Recap: OKC Central Live Chat with Steve Lackmeyer

See what Steve Lackmeyer discussed with readers.

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Week Ahead: Oklahoma concerts and shows for Jan. 31

ON PARADE: Canadian indie rock bands Wolf Parade and Land of Talk will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Tower Theatre, 425 NW...

Business

What was at the bottom of Bricktown Canal?

Electric scooters were the theme of this year’s cleaning of the Bricktown Canal. After draining 3 million gallons of water from...

Life

What to do in Oklahoma on Jan. 29, 2020: Skate at the Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Gardens before it closes Sunday

Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. today and Thursday, 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

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Oklahoma City takes administrative role in Regional Transportation Authority

The RTA's role is to build a regional transportation network for metro Oklahoma City.

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Parks initiative, vetted: Questions and answers for voters ahead of the March 3 election

A citizens' initiative aims to insulate parks from some of the ups and downs as elected officials set priorities.