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Oklahoma City, OK in 2006 - A Year in Review

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Last year at this time, About OKC had only been live for a bit over a month. So a year in a review would have been a short one. But in 2006, many events, stories, discussions and debates have transpired.

Here's a year in review with some of the top stories from About OKC in 2006:

Getting Involved in Centennial
Tulsa got most of the early Centennial celebration activities, but late 2006 began the push in OKC. The Centennial Commission had a number of projects going statewide, one of which was an emphasis on student involvement in things such as a poster contest.

Amusement Parks to Stay Open in 2007
It was announced that Six Flags, Inc. was placing OKC's Frontier City and White Water Bay amusement parks on the market. But November brought the news that both would be operational in 2007. OKC residents hope the eventual buyer will keep the parks open longterm as well.

OU in Fiesta Bowl
After a number of early setbacks including an injury to Heisman contender Adrian Peterson, the Oklahoma Sooners went on a winning streak. They finished the season Big 12 Champions, earning the right to play in one of the BCS bowls on New Year's Day.

OSU in Independence Bowl
It was a 2006 season marked by near misses for the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team, including a last-minute loss to OU in the Bedlam Game. Nevertheless, a late field goal against Alabama gave OSU a winning record on the season and a big bowl win.

Water Down at Lake Hefner
Low precipitation levels throughout 2006 made Lake Hefner an eyesore with low water levels. OKC residents were naturally concerned, but the city began to investigate methods to replenish some of the water supply.

Winter Weather Hits
It wasn't unexpected. Schools and businesses began closing long before the storm actually hit. Sleet and snow covered OKC streets for several days, marking the first winter storm of the season and one of the bigger ones in recent years.

Henry Reelected
Many thought the 2006 Election of Oklahoma Governor would be a tight one. But it was anything but. About.com readers gave the edge to Henry over Istook by 9 percent, but the actual results were triple that.

Renovated Colcord Hotel Opens
It was OKC's 1st skyscraper back in 1910, and 2006 saw its grand opening as a renovated hotel. The Colcord was presented in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Mayor Mick Cornett.

Oklahoma Investors Purchase Sonics
Residents have long held a strange love relationship with our adopted NBA Hornets, but a further wrinkle was added to the city's possible future when a group of Oklahoma investors purchased the Seattle SuperSonics.

On Again/Off Again Burn Ban
Wildfires hit throughout the state of Oklahoma for much of the early part of 2006. In response, the Governor's office issued statewide burn bans. The ban was on and off again for various counties as the weather changed throughout the year.

Gas Price Relief
After months of high gas prices all across the nation, the state saw a friendly dip in 2006. They climbed a bit toward the end of the year again, but analysts are unsure whether they'll continue to do so.

Centennial Song Released
While it won't replace "Oklahoma!" as the state song, Jimmy Webb and Vince Gill's "Oklahoma Rising" was released this year as the state's Centennial Anthem. The 2-disc CD is available now for purchase.

100th State Fair a Success
The weather wasn't too hard on us, and thousands went out to enjoy the great rides, food, exhibits and more.

Residents Help Decide State Quarter
Governor Henry asked residents for their opinions on the state quarter design. 10 were chosen as finalists, and Oklahomans got to vote.

Search for the Best OKC Pizza
Not exactly a huge news development, but it was quite fun anyway. After many of you gave me your pizza recommendations, I set off to eat as much as I could stomach in a summer. Afterward, I made my selections of the best pizza in OKC.

Exhibit Shows Oklahoma Bombing Evidence
The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum presented an exhibit entitled Behind the Scene: The OK Bomb Investigation that displayed never-before-seen evidence collected by the FBI including photos, pieces of the Ryder truck and more.

Riverwind Casino Opens
Oklahoma has a number of Native-American casinos around the metro, but Riverwind's opening in 2006 signaled a top entertainment spot as well. The casino regularly features star musical performers.

Rhett Bomar Dismissed from OU Football Team
Although it didn't turn into nearly the disaster many metro OU fans expected, the August dismissal of starting quarterback Rhett Bomar sent shock waves through the national sports scene and brought NCAA investigations to the Norman campus.

67th Senior PGA Comes to Metro
Some of the biggest names in professional golf were at Oak Tree in Edmond during the summer of 2006 for the 67th Senior PGA Championship. I attended every practice and competition round, keeping a daily diary of my experiences and snapping as many pictures as I could.

OKC Broadcaster Passes Away
Such a familiar face to metro residents, "In Your Corner's" Brad Edwards passed away in 2006 after a brain aneurysm. He was only 58 years old.

New Basketball Coach for Sooners
Kelvin Sampson accepted the Indiana job amidst NCAA investigations into recruiting violations, and OU needed a new start. That start came in the former of Jeff Capel.

Eddie Sutton Resigns After DUI
Not just a sports story, longtime OSU basketball coach Eddie Sutton's accident and subsequent citation for DUI surprised many around the metro and sparked varying opinions on his apology.

Restaurant Smoking Ban in Effect
Amidst much debate, the Oklahoma ban on smoking in restaurants went into effect in 2006.

Cornett Reelected as OKC Mayor
It wasn't much of a race as Cornett won reelection quite easily, so much so it was barely mentioned around the city.

Jennifer Berry Wins Miss America Pageant
She's from Tulsa, but we here in OKC won't hold that against her too much...

Powerball Begins
We had the scratch-off cards for a while, but 2006 began Powerball play in Oklahoma, a game marked by big jackpots and thousands upon thousands of players across many states.

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