KGOU

Business Intelligence Report

Wednesdays

A weekly feature produced in partnership with the Journal Record, Oklahoma's weekday newspaper and website specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Editor Ted Streuli and Journal Record reporters discuss business and economic development in the state.

Ways to Connect

From left, Hank Binkowski, of Buy For Less Grocery Co., speaks as Susan Binkowski, of Esperanza Real Estate; Daniel Laury, of Udelv; and Mike Patterson, ODOT executive director; listen during a press event Thursday at Uptown Grocery.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

Last week, Amazon announced it would expand its Whole Foods delivery service to Oklahoma City. Shortly after, the local Buy For Less grocery store company unveiled a partnership with Udelv to delivery groceries with autonomous vans.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utility Division attorney *Mike Velez speaks before the commission inside the Jim Thorpe building in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is seeking documents from a phone company that provides subsidized phones to low income individuals.

Sarah Terry-Cobo reports in the Journal Record that a Corporation Commission complaint against True Wireless alleges more than 2,800 violations and seeks $1.4 million in fines. Many of the violations have to do with verifying the eligibility of participants in the federal Lifeline program, which provides free or discounted phones for people who meet certain income requirements, are members of a Native American tribe, and participates in other federal programs like food stamps, Social Security disability, Medicaid or Section 8 housing.

Two women ride Bird electric scooters past a Spokies bike-share station near Reno Avenue and Ron Norick Boulevard in Oklahoma City Friday.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

Commuters in several cities in Oklahoma have new options for getting around town. Bicycle and electric scooter sharing programs are popping up in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Stillwater. Some, like Oklahoma City’s Spokies, are public programs. Others, like Bird, are private companies.

Paul N. "Red" Adair is seen in a November, 1980 photo, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" show.
Ap Photo

The potential for an explosion exists every time an oil and gas well is drilled. A specialized group of oil field workers, sometimes called ‘hellfighters,’ respond to and control well explosions, like the one in Quinton, Oklahoma in January. The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports it’s a job that requires a high degree of training, but some professionals are concerned about loss of experience in the field.

A worker repairs a utility line in Puerto Rico in late February. He is among 700 utility workers who are members of Edison Electric Institute and are in Puerto Rico as part of a mutual assistance program.
Brian Reil / Edison Electric Institute

Mammoth Energy Services reported second quarter net income of $42.7 million this week. The oil services company signed a $900 million contract in May to continue electric restoration work in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Journal Record senior reporter Sarah Terry-Cobo spoke with KGOU’s Jacob McCleland about the Oklahoma City-based company.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Former Talihina Veterans Center Director Roy Griffith, left, shakes hands with Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton at a fall 2017 open house of the veterans nursing home. Former Mayor Don Faulkner watches at right.
Talihina Chamber of Commerce

The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs put out a request for proposals last month for site selection for a new Talihina Veterans Center in southeastern Oklahoma. The veterans nursing home came under scrutiny following the deaths of two veterans. The new center can be located within 90  miles or 2 hours of Talihina. The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports residents of Talihina are fighting to keep the facility in their small town.

Members of the aircraft maintenance section, help move a T-38 Talon Nov. 1 out of the Vance Air Force Base
United States Air Force

Tony Weedn’s app helps active military service members and their families connect with one another and solve problems that are common to most military families. The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports the BaseConnect app is an invitation-only, military-only network that includes local business listings. He plans to include job openings for spouses, and ride-sharing and home-sharing features, among other things.

TRANSCRIPT

medical marijuana
David Trawin / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahomans will have many legal questions about medical marijuana, but attorneys say existing rules might make it difficult to answer them. Marijuana is illegal at the federal, and rules of professional conduct in Oklahoma prohibit attorneys from counseling or assisting clients in criminal or fraudulent conduct.

Oneok headquarters in downtown Tulsa.
File photo by Rip Stell / Journal Record

A company is asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to stop a driller from fracking near an underground natural gas storage facility.

SandRidge Energy held its annual shareholder meeting at 123 Robert S. Kerr Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

SandRidge shareholders elected four of Carl Icahn’s nominees to the company’s seven-member board of directors Tuesday, giving the activist investor a slim majority on the board. The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo writes the company will likely be sold, but it is not clear if Icahn will first break SandRidge up into pieces.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jim Collard, economic development director with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, speaks during the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization Conference at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Before the formation of boundaries between the United States and Canada, indigenous tribes would trade freely with one another. An organization called the Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization, or ITTIO, is trying to restore those connections.

Attorney Jack Fite, representing Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, addresses the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Four companies have agreed to support a proposed $4.5 billion wind power project. The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, Oneta Power LLC, South Central MCN and Tri-County Electric Cooperative reached an agreement with Public Service Co, or PSO, who announced the Wind Catcher project last summer. Wind Catcher could provide up to 2 gigawatts of electricity and could potentially be the largest wind farm in the country.

Mercy athletic trainer Zane Brugenhemke works on OKC Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi Tuesday in Edmond.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

Professional athletic trainers will be required to obtain at least a Master’s Degree in order to sit for the National Athletic Trainers Association exam. Sarah Terry-Cobo writes in the Journal Record that the new, more stringent requirements will go into place for an industry that is expanding beyond sports teams and into the world of the military and industrial workplaces.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Students Faith Thomas, left, and A’Riyah Stepeny prepare bagels to give to students as part of a free breakfast program at Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High School in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Many students at Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High in northeast Oklahoma City often don’t eat breakfast. And when students are hungry, they don’t pay attention and their grades can suffer.

Devon Cuts $75M Deal With DowDupont

May 15, 2018
Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A commodity hedge deal between Oklahoma City-based energy company Devon and  petrochemical/agriculture giant DowDupont could be a sign of a new trend.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo writes the deal will provide “low-risk cash” to Devon, and DowDupont will receive natural gas that will be used to produce plastics, chemicals and other products.

The $75 million deal will last 5 years, according to the Journal Record.

Tudor Crossing Apartments at 1346 SW 74th St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Investors were putting money into multifamily housing complexes during the first quarter of 2018, but higher interest rates could slow future investment according to a report by the Journal Record’s Molly Fleming.

This week on the Business Intelligence Report, Fleming talks with KGOU about apartment investments, and a program at the University of Oklahoma School of Law that provides pro bono legal services to tenants who are facing eviction.

An American Eagle jet comes in for a landing in the background behind land at 9201 S. Portland Ave. in Oklahoma City, the site of a future Amazon.com fulfillment center.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

The Oklahoma City Airport Trust is in negotiations with Amazon to open a fulfillment center near the Will Rogers World Airport. The city is considering incentives to bring Amazon to Oklahoma City, but some city leaders are questioning whether incentives are necessary.

Workers at a site of a pipeline under construction along state Highway 75 north of Horntown.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Today on the Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record senior reporter Sarah Terry-Cobo talks discusses conservation credit programs that are designed to protect the American burying beetle. She also talks about the Choctaw Nation’s recycling efforts.

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

Crude oil prices continue to rise, but Oklahoma’s oil and gas companies are not necessarily popping any corks. Sarah Terry-Cobo writes in the Journal Record that crude oil hit its highest levels in three-and-a-half years on Friday, but it is more difficult to drillers to make a profit, even though prices have been near or above $60 per barrel since January.

Trucks pass each other along a rural road just off south of Kingfisher.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

A bill that would change how Oklahoma oversees trucking is drawing conflict of interest questions because the legislation’s sponsor owns trucks as part of his business.

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