Business Intelligence Report


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

Members of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission meet Friday in Oklahoma City.
Catherine Sweeney / The Journal Record

In this week's episode of the Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses a recent proposal by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, which, if approved, would allow the agency to begin controlling so-called indirect lobbying. A rule change that Ray says "has sparked a heated debate over the need for transparency versus the need for privacy."

A commercial airplane makes its final approach into O'Hare International Airport
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Images

In this week's episode of the Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how the ongoing partial government shutdown is affecting Oklahoma, and why the Federal Aviation Administration Registry in Oklahoma City has remained open. 

Students inside Shannon Dragoo’s third-grade class at Thelma Reece Parks Elementary School in Oklahoma City.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

In this week's episode of the Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses Oklahoma City Public Schools’ effort to redesign its system, which could include closures and consolidations. Ray also talks about the decrease of fine arts classes available to Oklahoma students across the state.

City Manager Jim Couch, center, was among the first riders of Oklahoma City’s new downtown streetcar system following a ribbon-cutting ceremony launching the service last Friday.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

The Oklahoma City streetcar is officially open. In this week's episode of the Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses the history of the project and what to know about its services. Ray also talks about the opening of ShowBiz Cinemas in Edmond and the new entertainment options it brings to the metro.

Allen L. Hutson is an attorney with Crowe & Dunlevy law firm in Oklahoma City.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

Attorneys in Oklahoma are telling business-owning clients that they should adapt their drug-testing policies now that the state has adopted medical marijuana.

Landowner David Griesel stands in his property in El Reno.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Residents of El Reno and a Texas-based wastewater disposal company have reached an agreement over the site of a disposal well.

Great Plains Regional Medical Center in Elk City.
Journal Record

A rural southwestern Oklahoma hospital received a $23 million loan to help fund improvements. The Journal Report reports the loan is part of $501 million in United States Department of Agriculture investments in health care services and related services.


Melanie Anthony, vice president of development and community engagement at Pivot, points out the design of the nonprofit’s tiny houses. Construction will start by year’s end on the first six homes.
Molly Fleming / Journal Record

Tiny houses could help Oklahoma City teens learn big life lessons. Pivot, a nonprofit that helps teens who do not have homes, plans to build 12 tiny houses at their campus at 201 NE 50th St.

A man walks his dog along Hudson Avenue in the Edgemere Park neighborhood in Oklahoma City.
Jay Chilton / Journal Record

A meeting between members of the Oklahoma City city council, hosts for Airbnb and the local hotel industry was cancelled last Friday.

A man walks out of Cox Convention Center on Thursday in downtown Oklahoma City.
Emmy Verdin / Journal Record

As construction continues on Oklahoma City’s new MAPS 3 convention center, developers are already talking about what will happen with the Cox Convention Center. The old center occupies prime downtown real estate next the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

True Wireless Denies Allegations, Fights Injunction Request

Oct 17, 2018
Public Utilities Director Brandy Wreath, left, looks at a cellphone in 2015 in a True Wireless tent where the company sold subsidized phone service. Regulatory staff members previously dressed in casual clothes during field inspections and investigations.
File / Oklahoma Corporation Commission

A company that signs up people for federally-subsidized cell phones is fighting allegations that it enrolled ineligible customers.

Golfers on the 18th fairway at Trosper Golf Club in Oklahoma City Wednesday.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

Oklahoma’s sweeping alcohol law changes went into effect Monday. Grocery and convenience stores can now sell cold full strength beer and wine, and liquor stores can stay open later and sell non-alcoholic products like limes and corkscrews.

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.


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.


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.