City of Tulsa

Special taxing districts the City of Tulsa uses to support new developments brought in 30% less than expected in fiscal year 2020.

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A new program will seek to encourage area college students to choose Tulsa and start their lives in the region after graduation.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber, City of Tulsa and George Kaiser Family Foundation will officially launch Campus Tulsa on Oct. 1. Representatives of each organization announced the initiative Thursday during the chamber's State of Education event.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Several predominately white Tulsa churches have painted "Black Lives Matter" messages on their properties.

At least four churches painted their messages Wednesday, four years to the day after a white Tulsa police officer shot and killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man. More are expected to paint "Black Lives Matter" on their properties in the coming days.

We're pleased to welcome the Tulsa-based attorney, historian, and author Hannibal B. Johnson back to StudioTulsa. An active and well-respected expert on matters of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, Johnson is also the education chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. He joins us to discuss his newest book, "Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma." As was noted of this volume by Dr.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Tulsa City Council will consider adopting a hate crime ordinance with protections for sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

State law covers crimes motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability.

The ordinance was proposed by Councilor Crista Patrick. She said as isolating as the past several months have been for many Tulsans, it would be good for everyone to hear that they are safe.

"I think that it’s important that all of our residents hear from us, the city leaders, that we are standing against hate," Patrick said.

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The City of Tulsa has made few tweaks to an incentive program credited with landing several big employers.

The Economic Development Infrastructure Fund gets money from voter-approved sales tax measures. It’s used to pay for public improvements like roads and water lines companies want at new sites.

The new requirements say companies must offer basic health insurance and paid time off to qualify, and they must pay at least Tulsa County’s prevailing average wage from the prior year. That’s $51,945.

The City of Tulsa has made it easier for restaurants to set up outdoor dining spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New ordinances will let them apply for a temporary sidewalk café or parklet permit through a simplified self-certification process. Downtown Coordinating Council Assistant Director Maggie Hoey said the goal is helping restaurants hurt by the pandemic bring back customers who are still leery of indoor settings.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

City councilors approved on Wednesday more than $2 million in spending from Tulsa’s allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds from the state.

The bulk of the spending approved, $1.5 million, goes to support city efforts to help people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. That includes things like funding operations at the old juvenile justice center that’s been repurposed as a shelter and continuing to pay for hotel rooms for people who need to quarantine. Those are usually paid for out of other federal funds.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The Tulsa City Council recommended Wednesday the Black Lives Matter mural on Greenwood Avenue stay — for now.

Councilors approved a recommendation to Mayor G.T. Bynum saying the $20,000 it will take to remove the street painting is wasteful when a street resurfacing project is in the works. The mural is in City Councilor Kara Joy McKee’s district.

Monday the 31st will bring the first day of classes for Tulsa Public Schools, and given the current pandemic, this is certainly going to be a very different school year. All TPS students, for starters, will be participating in either of two distinct programs: Distance Learning or Virtual Academy. How do these differ? And what should TPS parents be expecting -- and/or planning for -- as the new school year begins?

City of Tulsa

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum won a second term Tuesday night, taking 51.9% of the votes, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board's unofficial results.

Candidates in Tuesday's elections needed more than half the votes to win outright. Contests where no candidate received more than half the votes will go to a runoff between the top two.

Community organizer Greg Robinson, Bynum's main challenger, won 28.8% of the votes. Project manager Ken Reddick, who painted himself as a more conservative option than Bynum, got 13.8% of the vote. All other candidates got less than 3%.

Courtesy Gary Hamer / City of Tulsa Finance Department

The first two months of the new fiscal year have yielded higher than expected sales tax revenue for the city of Tulsa.

"Right now, things are better than we had hoped," said Gary Hamer, grants and capital planning manager for the city's finance department, on a Tuesday virtual meeting of the Sales Tax Overview Committee (STOC).

"Still not where we would have been prior to COVID-19, but we're optimistic," Hamer said.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

By all accounts, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has been a fast-rising political star in Oklahoma.

Part of a political dynasty whose uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather all served as mayor of the state’s second-largest city, the mild-mannered, bespectacled 43-year-old worked as a staffer for former U.S. Sens. Don Nickles and Tom Coburn, both GOP icons in the state.

He defeated a fellow Republican in the nonpartisan mayoral race in 2016 in part by reaching out to the city’s Black community. Many assumed his reelection this year was all but automatic.

Tulsa Flag

Tulsa’s mayoral candidates have different views on how to boost economic opportunity for residents.

In a virtual forum, restaurant owner Ty Walker called for bolstering vocational opportunities in trade schools and high schools.

"We’ve taken and mortgaged Tulsa’s future off to outside companies by giving them large tax credits. How can we not take the same amount of money and invest it in our people here?" Walker said.

Land-use expert Craig Immel called for removing barriers to Tulsans earning certifications to advance their careers, and not just financial ones.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa’s Downtown Coordinating Council has received $675-,000 in coronavirus relief funding to help businesses offer more outdoor space.

The money comes from Tulsa County’s allocation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act funding. DCC Executive Director Brian Kurtz said while the City of Tulsa is waiving permit fees for businesses that want to temporarily expand to sidewalks, parking spaces and other rights of way, it may still cost them something to buy materials and other items to ready the spaces for patrons.

On this edition of ST, we continue our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest today is Ty Walker, who owns and operates Tulsa's well-known Wanda J's Next Generation Restaurant. Mr. Walker was born and raised in North Tulsa; he is the father of six daughters, a 1983 graduate of McLain High School, and a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during Desert Storm. Further, per the Walker campaign website: "Tulsa faces a world of economic issues. While we are maintaining as a city, we are not growing.

Today on StudioTulsa -- in advance of the August 25th mayoral, city auditor, and City Council election -- we continue our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest is Craig Immel, who's running as an Independent. Immel's "Move Tulsa Forward" website lists the following key "values and priorities" at its home page: education, local control, public safety, accountability, social justice, and economic development.

Should schools reopen? Should we be playing (or practicing) team sports right now? And which type of mask is the safest one to wear? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak about these and other matters with Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department. Dr. Dart, who last appeared on our show back in March, offers an update on COVID-19 in our community at present.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa intends to stand up around a dozen programs over the next few months with its allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds from the state.

In an announcement on Thursday, city officials said spending would fall into five major areas: addressing unbudgeted costs of the public health emergency, safety modifications, supporting vulnerable Tulsans, helping workers displaced by COVID-19 and helping small businesses.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we begin a series of programs featuring conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. With a non-partisan primary coming up on August 25th, voters will either elect (or re-elect) Tulsa's next mayor -- if any one candidate gets over 50% of the vote -- or the field will be narrowed down to two mayoral candidates, who will in turn appear on the November ballot.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Water in the river.

It’s been a Tulsa idea since 1964, and it was still a major theme in community forums held by then-Mayor Bill LaFortune in 2002 to gauge what citizens wanted the city to invest in most.

"Here’s what they concluded, and I quote: 'It's the river, stupid,'" said Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith.

Pixabay

The City of Tulsa has established a major piece of its four-year strategy to address a shortage of affordable housing.

It seeded an affordable housing trust fund with $4 million from a downtown revolving loan fund and has set a goal of raising up to $20 million. City Housing Policy Director Becky Gligo said that won’t cover all 4,000 units needed.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa broke ground Thursday on its newest fire station.

Fire Station 33 is at 41st Street and 134th East Avenue. Tulsa Fire Chief Michael Baker said a close study of call data led them to that location.

"Primarily because Fire Station 27, which is at 31st just to the east of Garnett, is our busiest station and has a lot of workload. So, that contributes to firefighter fatigue, risk of injury, potential for delayed response times," Baker said.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt continues to say Oklahoma is handling the coronavirus pandemic well and is months ahead of other states.

During the Tulsa Regional Chamber State of the State on Tuesday, Stitt compared the state’s hospitalization numbers from earlier in the pandemic to now.

“You know, on March 30, we had 560 people in the hospital being treated for COVID across the state of Oklahoma. Yesterday, we had 504 people in the hospital with capacity well above that,” Stitt said.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

State and local officials joined company executives at a Thursday groundbreaking for truck-part maker Muncie Power Products’ north Tulsa plant.

The 250,000-square foot facility is the first going up on the Peoria-Mohawk Business Park, a Vision sales tax–funded project intended to spur economic opportunity in the community. Muncie is promising to hire new employees from the community and pay a living wage.

City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said that’s vital to correcting disparities her district and Black Tulsans face.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa city councilors resumed work on policies that might close gaps identified in the city’s Equality Indicators reports with a deep dive into municipal court fines and fees.

Their discussion was part of a special council committee meeting on Wednesday. A rethinking of the entire fine structure is one possibility. Councilor Kara Joy McKee said set amounts are inherently inequitable.

Tulsa Police

The Tulsa Police Department is on track to phase out its more than 40-year-old records management system late next summer.

TPD said it will allow them to collect more data to help recognize crime trends and could integrate with dozens of other area agencies’ systems to help with information sharing, but the upgrade will pose some challenges.

On this edition of ST, we learn about Tulsa Innovation Labs, or TIL, which, per its website, "was founded to develop a city-wide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub and leader in the future of work.

With COVID cases now spiking across Oklahoma, and indeed, across much of the nation, it seems unlikely that Americans will be able to safely gather in large numbers anytime soon to hear music in a concert hall, arena, or auditorium. But the show, as they say, must go on -- and thus many gigs are lately being performed on Facebook Live, while others are being presented at drive-in movie complexes. Or via YouTube, etc. On this edition of ST, we talk to two local arts administrators on how they're planning to offer concert/orcheestral music to their audiences this fall.

City of Tulsa

The Tulsa Route 66 Commission showed interest Tuesday in a proposal to revitalize west Tulsa’s Howard Park by opening an RV park there.

Tulsa County Deputy Treasurer John Fothergill made the pitch for putting out a request for proposals to build an RV park with up to 70 spaces. Fothergill said a set of Vision-funded limestone monoliths installed at Howard Park in 2017 hasn’t done enough to boost tourism.

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