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Sammy Flores is the Funeral Director at Crawford Family Funeral Services. He's originally from Clinton, and has been a part of the Edmond community since 2006. Flores attended the University of Central Oklahoma.

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It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations — a time with family, friends, fireworks, a backyard barbecue, and maybe a trip to the lake. However, this American holiday is also one of the most dangerous.

Flowers and candy are always a pleasant surprise for mom. But this Mother’s Day week, local families will bond with mom over the new craze of coloring. It all started as a new trend with young adults who use coloring to destress. Now research shows coloring has big health benefits for the elderly, too.

This year a local business will introduce families to a new twist on tradition.

SYNERGY HomeCare of Edmond will celebrate Mother’s Day in a most colorful way, with a fun event coloring book event for elderly moms.

Coloring helps with the six Cs including: coordination, creativity, communication, calmness, capability and connection.

James and Laura Endicott of Edmond, Okla. are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Dianna Cathleen Endicott, to Brian Scott Ray, son of Dr. Kevin and Lee Ray of Tulsa, Okla.

Longtime Edmond residents Mary (Combs) Crosson and Leon Crosson were married March 16, 1951, in their hometown of Ponca City, Okla. They met at Buck Rowe’s Drug Store where Mary worked as a carhop, and they married before Leon left to serve in Korea with the US Army. Upon his return, he worked for Southwestern Bell until retirement, while Mary worked in banking.

Jeannie and Michael Merchant of Edmond, Okla., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Amanda Jeanniene Merchant, to Joshua Caleb Mills, son of Garold and Binx Mills of Norman, Okla., and Grant and Cindy Allen, also of Norman.

English Elise Foster and Scott Edward Runyan were united in the covenant of marriage on Friday, June 12, 2015. The double ring ceremony was held at Clark Gardens in Weatherford, Texas at 7 o’clock in the evening. Reverend Jay Gage officiated. Music was provided by cellist and violinist of Serenata Strings. A solo was also performed by Wilson Bell with accompaniment by Sondra Bell, both cousins of the bride.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a public service to our community, today is the first in a series of five weekly articles for the annual Edmond Sun Christmas Samaritan Fund Drive benefiting the HOPE Center of Edmond.

Every single donation is a blessing to the HOPE Center of Edmond, said Chris Sperry, executive director. HOPE Center not only depends on financial donations, but also the 200-plus volunteers donating their time and energy for the welfare of others.

Catastrophic emergencies caused by disease, unemployment, child abuse, homelessness, domestic violence and divorce are among the reasons Edmond residents seek assistance at HOPE, a nonprofit agency. It also provides a prenatal health clinic for mothers.

Operation Christmas Child is collecting donations for shoe-box Christmas gifts through Monday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at First Christian Church, 201 E. Second.

The shoe boxes will be sent to children ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14 in Ecuador, Panama, Ukraine and Madagascar. The boxes are filled with gifts along with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Operation Christmas Child partners with churches worldwide to reach boys and girls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Work to install a sanitary sewer line near a section of Sooner Road will cause a full closure beginning Friday. The project is expected to last through the afternoon of Nov. 25 with cooperative weather. 

The closure will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with the exception of Sunday.

The area of Sooner Road to be closed is between the I-35 on-ramps just south of Danforth Road. Thru traffic will not be able to pass through the area, but motorists will have access to northbound and southbound on-ramps during this work.

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A game-changer for the University of Central Oklahoma’s athletic department came Tuesday with the largest gift in Central’s history. Paycom CEO and founder Chad Richison, a UCO graduate, has pledged to help Central athletics with a $10 million gift to build a north end zone complex.

Central recently kicked off its Keep the Dream Campaign to raise money to build new athletic facilities that were long overdue, said Joe Muller, athletic director. The university realized it would need the help of a lot of people to make the campaign successful.

Mayor Charles Lamb said he hopes the groundbreaking of Spring Creek Trail will foster fundraising for Arcadia Lake Trail.

Saturday morning marked the groundbreaking for the 3.1-mile Spring Creek Trail in Edmond. The groundbreaking was at the site of a proposed wellness park where the trail will begin at the intersection of Fox Lake Lane along the Interstate 35 Frontage Road.

“Trails are a big part of who Edmond is,” Lamb said.

Through the annual Students Against Hunger Food and Fund Drive, schools in central and western Oklahoma are collecting food and fund donations through Nov. 13 to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and its partner agencies. To date, over 230 schools have joined the fight against hunger in Oklahoma.

In Edmond, the following schools are participating in the drive: Angie Debo Elementary School, Centennial Elementary School, Cheyenne Middle School, Cimarron Middle School, Deer Creek Elementary, Deer Creek Intermediate School, Edmond Central Middle School, Edmond Memorial High School, Edmond Santa Fe High School, Grove Valley Elementary School, Ida Freeman Elementary School, John Ross Elementary School, Rose Union Elementary School and Summit Middle School.

Late Saturday night a water main broke at Edmond North High School flooding the main cafeteria, the kitchen, some hallways and about 20 classrooms, thus forcing the cancellation of classes for Tuesday.

Main concerns were of being able to restore water to restrooms.

Staff members will convene for a meeting Tuesday morning.

The cleaning process has been ongoing by a pair of restoration firms and the district’s custodial company.

The water affected 30,000 square feet of the school.

Edmond North High School currently has 2,650 students enrolled.

Sen. Bryce Marlatt said Tuesday he intends to file legislation to give Oklahoma teachers an across the board pay increase in the coming legislative session. Marlatt said the state’s teacher shortage has reached a point of crisis, with school administrators across the state struggling to fill teaching vacancies.

The State Department of Education has received an unusually high number of requests for emergency teaching certifications, which allow candidates who have not completed standard education and training requirements to teach in state classrooms, he said.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) introduced a bill Wednesday to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood for a year while they are investigated for possible illegal practices.

Specifically, the bill, Defund Planned Parenthood Act, would set a one-year moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding from the government, unless the organization ceases performing abortions. This would allow more federal dollars to go toward organizations like community health centers, which serve low-income populations and provide direct health care to women across the country.

OKLAHOMA CITY — OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Rowing Crew members Hannah Malzah, of Edmond, and Edmond Santa Fe student Sarah Ondak were selected by USRowing to represent the United States at the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.

“The World Rowing Junior Championships is the top of the pyramid for junior rowing,” said Brian Ebke, varsity girls coach for the OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew. “It’s an international competition, which is rare for juniors, and we’re excited to have two athletes representing both OKC RIVERSPORT and the United States in Rio.”

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A 30-year-old Edmond man was arrested early Thursday on at least one felony complaint, after he allegedly stabbed another man and held police at bay for five hours.

Tyler Cole Smith faces an assault with a deadly weapon complaint and was set to be transported to Oklahoma County Jail late Thursday. Smith stands accused of stabbing Christopher Hampton, 40, twice in the chest and once each in the back and arm early Thursday. Hampton was taken by ambulance to OU Medical Center-Presbyterian for treatment and is listed in stable condition, officials said.

Road construction is set to begin Monday, July 20, at the intersection of 33rd Street and Broadway, said Casey Moore, spokesman for the City of Edmond.

Improvements will take approximately 330 calendar days to complete, depending on weather being conducive for road construction, Moore said.

Moore noted the following improvements will be made:

A gleaming stainless steel piece of modern art will soon fill the southeast corner of Campbell and Broadway, Koorosh Zahrai said.

“Dancing with Dolphins” by artist Kevin Robb is a 12-foot tall, 44-inch-wide stainless steel sculpture to be installed at a date yet to be announced, Zahrai said Monday.

“Campbell Corner is pleased to be a Visual Arts Commission (VAC) partner through the purchase of ‘Dancing with Dolphins,’” said Zahrai, vice president of business development, Plaza USA, LLC.

A neighborhood connections meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., July 9 concerning Walmart’s proposal to construct a new neighborhood market at the northwest corner of Covell and Coltrane, said Ed Moore of the Edmond Neighborhood Alliance.

In the early stages of planning, plans have yet to be reviewed by the Edmond Planning Commission or the Edmond City Council.

Matthew Lane Durham testified in federal court Wednesday saying he never sexually abused orphans in Kenya. He went to Kenya to help children, not to hurt them, he said.

He pled not guilty last week for 17 charges against him of allegedly sexually assaulting orphans in a Kenyan village. Durham is alleged to have committed the crimes from April to June 2014.

Grove Valley Elementary School students were evacuated in record time Wednesday when the fire bell sounded, according to their principal.

An overheated kiln was the culprit behind the extra time out of school as students were cleared from the classrooms and cafeteria.

“Kudos to the staff. We practice this often so everyone knew what to do. Right now we are cleaning up the smoke and possibly water damage,” said Principal Kelly Faught.

Mayor Charles Lamb said the city would like to ensure business owners and their customers in the general area of 33rd Street and Broadway that access will be maintained to all businesses at all times during the reconstruction of the intersection.

Access to the businesses may be modified at times, Lamb said at a recent meeting of the Edmond City Council.

“We just wanted to assure everyone that those businesses will remain open,” Lamb said.

A specific use permit was approved 4-0 Tuesday for a one-story fellowship hall addition to a mosque. Additional parking will also be provided for the Islamic Society of Edmond and North American Islamic Trust, Inc.

Four surrounding land owners spoke in favor of the project including David Webb.

Jimmy N. Baugh of Edmond, OK passed away April 8, 2015 in Oklahoma City at 70 years of age.  He was born in Morrison, OK to George F. Baugh Jr. and Ruby N. (Eaton) Baugh.  He grew up on a farm along with his five brothers and sisters.  He attended school in Pawnee and later moved to Fairfax …

Bob and Judy Griffis, residents of Edmond for 38 years, will observe their 50th wedding anniversary on April 18, 2015 with a celebration hosted by their children.

Edmond voters opted to ban electronic message signs in city limits Tuesday, reversing a 2014 City Council ordinance that permitted the digitally lighted signs with tight restrictions.

“It was such an uphill battle,” former Mayor Saundra Naifeh said of the election. “I guess I was just preparing in case. It brings me a lot of joy.”

Edmond will continue to be looked upon as the best place to be, she added. Naifeh said she values Edmond citizens for taking the issue to heart.

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Edmond City Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner easily won a third term in Tuesday’s Ward 2 race for City Council.

With all 31 precincts reporting, Waner held the lead with 2,333 votes or 84.41 percent of the count against her opponent Mike Fightmaster, who had 431 votes or 15.59 percent of the votes, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.

“I think that is a vote of confidence and I’m very thankful that Edmond residents felt that way,” Waner said. “I think the honor is mine. I’m very pleased. I’ve learned a lot from my service.”

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GUTHRIE — You might say lightning has struck twice.

Well, in a way it has.

Last year’s 2014 Mrs. Oklahoma was an Edmond resident and the 2015 Mrs. Oklahoma is also an Edmond resident.

Local volunteer and mother representing Greater Edmond won the title of Mrs. Oklahoma America Saturday at the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie.

Ida Freeman Elementary boys pulled on their breeches and put on their cravats and tri-corner cocked hats as the girls dressed in long dresses, aprons and bonnets or caps. They joined fifth-graders from across Oklahoma — 500 total — to listen to re-enactors and to learn the trades of Colonial men and women.

They were part of the 13th annual Colonial Day at Oklahoma’s Capitol Jan. 30 funded in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2014 Annual Awards Banquet last week at the University of Central Oklahoma to honor the achievements and contributions of many of Edmond’s finest companies and citizens. More than 350 members of the Edmond community attended the event.

Kim and David Drinkwater of Oklahoma City, Okla. are thrilled to announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Christina Drinkwater, to Mr. Garrett Mouse, son of Lori and Rick Mouse of Sand Springs, Okla.

Blake Bryan, son of Philip and JaReesa Bryan of Edmond, has completed the requirements for Eagle Scout. Blake is a member of Troop 94 and is a senior at Oklahoma Christian Academy. For his eagle project, he designed and constructed oversized dog houses for the Edmond Animal Shelter. His eagle ceremony was Dec. 14 at Santa Fe Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

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