Another long week is almost done. Things move so fast, if you’re not careful, you can miss out on the important details. Be sure to catch up with the Veronicas in your lives … listen to their stories, soak up their wisdom and insight. You won’t regret it.
OKC Central Live Chat resumes today. Same routine as usual. You can log in starting at 9:30 a.m. and submit questions and comments. I’ll log in, the chat will begin at 10 a.m.
Looks Aaron Yashouafar has another extension to paying up the $12 million to Capmark Bank to retain control over First National Center. But what we don’t know is for how long. Yashouafar said we will know what happens “in a few days,” while Capmark attorneys could be heard telling their potential receiver, Jim Parrack, it would be a “few hours.” Either way, all I’m getting from sources is that Yashouafar isn’t ready to surrender yet. Attorneys for both sides and Judge Bill Graves all declined to comment.
Folks, there is no ideal time for me to take a couple days off. When I planned my brief departure from civilization, it appeared as if the extension deadline for Aaron Yashouafar to pay off $12 million to Capmark Bank or lose control of First National to a receiver was to take place on Oct. 4. Instead, it took place on Thursday.
So what happened?
First things first: the judge is Bill Graves. Let me repeat that: the judge is Bill Graves, who was first elected to the bench in 2007. I’ll put his name in bold face capital letters each time I mention him as I detail where things are at.
So Aaron Yashouafar’s attorney showed up for the hearing, Capmark Bank had Jim Parrack ready to claim receivership, and the money was NOT paid up. According to the legal agreement by Aaron Yashouafar, he promised he WOULD NOT contest it going into receivership if he did not pay the $12 million by the May 27 deadline, which was then extended at the agreement of Capmark three times.
During that time, Yashouafar has submitted a guilty plea to felony embezzlement involving a senior citizen condominium complex in Las Vegas. I reported last week he is under federal investigation in connection with documents Oklahoma City officials suspect were faked to claim asbestos removal funding.
So Yashouafar’s attorney shows up in the Oklahoma County courtroom of BILL GRAVES. And the attorney, sources tell me, informed JUDGE BILL GRAVES that the money wire they were awaiting had gotten “lost” and that they need more time to find it. JUDGE BILL GRAVES then extended the hearing – not to Friday – but to 11 a.m. Monday.
Sources say they are concerned Yashouafar may be using this delay to find another source of funding. But here’s the deal: the receivership hearing was already started, and this is a continuation of that hearing. JUDGE BILL GRAVES, sources tell me, has the discretion to call an end to this chapter of the First National story on Monday and have a receiver appointed, as previously agreed to by all sides of this dispute, to sell the property to a new owner. JUDGE BILL GRAVES also could decide to extend this story further and give an admitted felon the chance to find the money to retain control of a property considered one of the city’s most historic important landmarks.
Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake in the courtroom of JUDGE BILL GRAVES:
Renderings for the new downtown elementary planned for Walker and Sheridan are in with the latest agenda for next week’s Downtown Design Review Committee:
See ya next week!
You do not need to be a member of Google+ to view the panel discussion on the development of the Oklahoma Health Center area, and you can be a part of the conversation by entering questions, comments on the OKC Live Chat board that will be adjacent to the Google video display (all of this can be viewed at www.newsok.com/live).
We’ll be discussing development of the area with Jari Askins, associate provost for External Relations at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Chuck Spicer, CEO of The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center; Dean Gandy, University Hospitals Authority and Trust; and Jorge Charneco, Sr. VP – Health Science Technology of Miles Associates.
Tune in at 1 p.m. and join the conversation by posting comments and asking questions. UPDATE: the chat board is up now and you can start entering questions immediately at http://newsok.com/live
VERIZON WIRELESS TO HOST FREE SCREENING OF “TELLING AMY’S STORY” DOCUMENTARY
Carol Stoops to speak on effects of domestic violence in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Okla — In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless is hosting a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story” at the Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens.
Domestic violence awareness advocate Carol Stoops will be the introductory speaker for a free local screening of the powerful documentary “Telling Amy’s Story,” the story of a young mother who died at the hands of her husband as she was trying to leave their abusive relationship.
Free Movie Screening – Telling Amy’s Story
“Telling Amy’s Story” will be shown on the great lawn in the Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City, on Tuesday, October 9, at 7 p.m. Parking is available around the perimeter of the Myriad Gardens.
“Telling Amy’s Story” chronicles the time leading up to the death of Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two who was shot and killed in 2001 by her husband. McGee was an employee of Verizon Wireless.
“There are, on average, 84 domestic violence-related deaths in Oklahoma each year,” said Jan Peery, chief executive officer of the YWCA of Oklahoma City. “That ranks our state as 17th in the nation per capita for the number of women killed by men as a result of domestic violence. Domestic Violence has no boundaries. It affects so many in our society – and the majority of these victims live in silence because they don’t know where to turn for help. It’s our goal to inform our communities of the resources around them so they can reach out for help.”
Documentary Includes Introduction by Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay of NBC-TV’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, introduces the documentary. The Joyful Heart Foundation works with survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
“The act of reaching out for help and breaking the silence is an act of utmost courage,” said Hargitay at a premiere of the documentary last spring held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “The film brings together the power of media with public broadcasting. For so many survivors, the path to safety is sustained by the community.”
Assist Victims of Domestic Violence Through Hopeline
Guests who attend the showing of Telling Amy’s Story are invited to contribute an old mobile phone to Verizon’s Hopeline program.
As a technology company, Verizon Wireless supports victims of domestic abuse through its Hopeline program, collecting no-longer-used mobile phones and accessories from any carrier to be refurbished and donated to domestic violence shelters and other support organizations such as the YWCA or Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (OCADVSA). Since Hopeline was created in 2001, more than 9 million phones have been collected to be repurposed for victims. Phones that can’t be refurbished are sold and turned into Hopeline grants that support these agencies and organizations. Since 2001, more than $14 million in Hopeline grants has been awarded to organizations nationwide. Hopeline collection bins are located in Verizon Wireless stores nationwide throughout the year. To learn more about Hopeline, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
Today’s OKC Central column delves into my first Google hangout scheduled for 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday on NewsOK Live. A couple of things to note: this really isn’t a difficult application to use – you do NOT have to be a member of Google+, and it’s really no more complicated than watching a NewsOK video or participating in one of my weekly OKC Central Live Chats (the chat board will be active, and I’ll be accepting questions for the panel concurrently with the video hangout). Please do not hesitate to participate, or ask in advance how to check in with this new feature.
Another note: I’m thrilled to announce a change in the line-up: former Lt. Gov Jari Askins, Associate Provost for External Relations, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, will be joining the panel discussion. I look forward to learning more about the development of our health sciences district, and I’m happy to share the following video promotion of its major anchor, the OU Medical Center:
Over the past dozen years we’ve seen Chris Johnson proposals for Bricktown come and go, including the most recent controversial effort to build parking and a couple of retail buildings along the Bricktown Canal. To date, we’ve seen nothing but parking.
Now we’ve got another rendering coming to this week’s Bricktown Urban Design Committee. The property, 229 E Sheridan, once home to Joker’s Comedy Club, has been vacant for the past decade. Word on the street has it that it was previously either owned or leased by individuals who thought they could find a way to get around the district’s zoning against strip clubs (I was never able to verify or disprove this story).
Johnson quietly bought the building this past year, and what he’s attempting is a fairly extensive makeover. The former warehouse, built in 1952, is not generally regarded as one of Bricktown’s more remarkable structures, and I’m not sure anyone will really object to the design.
Over at www.okctalk.com, some are questioning why Johnson’s application shows no urgency for parking, referencing the heart of the dispute over his planned canal project that is now on hold.
Looking at Johnson’s track records, others ask whether they can even believe if this project will ever take place….