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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.

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On Wednesday a U.S. Supreme Court decision reversed a 1992 precedent that said businesses were only required to pay sales tax if they had a physical presence in the state. It was welcome news for Oklahoma, which has been trying for years to force online companies to pay sales tax., which made up 31 percent of state revenue in 2017.

 

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.

Oklahoma Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

Online retail giant Amazon could soon start charging sales taxes to Oklahoma customers – a move that would help fill a sizable state budget shortfall for next fiscal year, Oklahoma Watch has learned.

An Oklahoma Tax Commission official said the agency is in discussions with online retailers to voluntarily collect sales and use taxes, and two state legislators said they expect agreements could be struck in coming weeks or months with Amazon, the country’s largest e-commerce site.

In this part of the Amazon rain forest, they call it "the war over wood."

It has front lines.

One of them is here, in Machadinho d'Oeste in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia.

The self-described "Guardians of the Forest" defending the land don't look like fighters, at least when we first meet them. But they are pitting themselves against criminal logging gangs that have infiltrated their protected reserves.

Last week, a drone delivered 24 packages of medicine and supplies to a health fair in rural Virginia. The delivery marks the first FAA-approved delivery by drone and more are in the planning stages.

This is sure to interest a Silicon Valley startup, which has teamed up with the Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo. Matternet and the Swiss companies are joining in testing the commercial use of logistics drones.

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.