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Quail Creek Bank, n.a., Oklahoma City, is pleased to welcome Summer Blades as the newest member of their team of audit and compliance professionals. The announcement was made by bank president and CEO Doug Fuller.

Blades formerly worked at Quail Creek Bank for three years early in her career. After a family move to Florida, she was the auditor for a CPA firm and then became the internal audit supervisor with a bank in Jacksonville, Fla.

Later moving to Dallas, Blades became the senior internal auditor for North Dallas Bank & Trust Company.

Edmond City Council members unanimously endorsed a resolution Monday in opposition to State Question 779 in order to protect the city’s general fund. Supporters of SQ 779 defended the measure.

Registered voters in Oklahoma will be asked on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot whether to approve SQ 779. Approving the measure would create an additional 1 percent sales tax in the state to be deposited into the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund.

Part of the funding would provide a $5,000 teacher pay raise across-the-board in Oklahoma.

It is up to the people of Oklahoma to determine how much of their tax dollars government should have, Pastor Paul Blair said at a recent gathering of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Then it’s our responsibility to fund that proper role of government,” Blair said.

Blair and Adam Pugh will face off in the Aug. 23 Republican primary runoff election for Senate District 41 being vacated by Republican Clark Jolley of Edmond.

Blair’s response was after being asked if he would support changes to Oklahoma’s tax structure and if he would support providing tax incentives for the attraction and expansion of businesses in Oklahoma.

The $30 million Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center is getting its foundation in place, said Steve Commons, city manager.

The 158-room hotel will be located at 2833 Conference Drive on the northeast corner of Covell and Sooner. It will be a gateway to Edmond with visibility at the northwest corner of Interstate 35 and Covell.

Further economic development of the Interstate 35 corridor will be spurred by the six-story Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center.

Myriad Insight announced that Marcina Simons has joined the company to further develop their executive coaching and strategic planning services. Marcina comes to Myriad Insight with a wealth of experience after a tenured career with global Human capital firm, Aon Hewitt, based in Chicago and London.

While at Aon, Simons consulted with business leaders on all HR issues in the west region, led and redesigned the sales and accounts operations team, and most recently, established a change management methodology and team for Global Shared Services.

Marcina is certified in LaMarsh Managed Change, Ken Blanchard’s Team Building and Team Working, Bill Bridge’s Personal Transitions and Katie Brazelton’s Life Purpose Coaching.

Registered voters will decide who is the best candidate for House District 81 when they cast their ballots in the Nov. 8 statewide election.

The three Edmond candidates vying for the open House seat left vacant by outgoing Republican Randy Grau include Democrat Dan Myers, Libertarian Steve Long and Republican Mike Osburn.

Each candidate wants the best for Oklahoma. They each have differing views about the state’s funding of Medicaid and the proposed State Question 779 meant to improve the funding of education by a 1 percent sales tax.

Long does not support the sales tax on purchases. The revenue would be deposited into the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund.

“Education needs to be addressed,” said Long, a support specialist for Petra Industries. “But I don’t think throwing more money at the problem is the solution. That’s been done in the past and it’s been shown to be ineffective.”

OKLAHOMA CITY — The state’s economy continues to contract, which likely means more budget woes at the Capitol, the state’s treasurer warned Wednesday.

“There’s nothing to show marked improvement or a recovery in the energy sector,” said Treasurer Ken Miller, of Edmond, during a briefing at the Capitol.

But he also noted “moderation” in numbers that may suggest the worst is over.

The state’s oil and gas economy long kept people at work, and Oklahoma for more than a decade boasted unemployment levels below the national average.

But, for the first time in 13 years, the number of unemployed Oklahomans has reached the national rate, which is now 4.7 percent, Miller reported.

Dena O’Leary, M.D., is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and fellowship trained in urogynecology. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and completed her internship and residency training at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth.

O’Leary furthered her education with fellowship training in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Dr. O’Leary is a member of the International Urogynecologic Society, American Urogynecologic Association and International Continence Society.

Audrey Goodwin, M.D., is a board eligible internal medicine and pediatrics physician. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed her residency there, where she was chief resident.

“Good medical care is rooted in a great medical home, which I hope to provide for my patients,” said Goodwin. “Giving my full attention at every visit, letting my patients discuss concerns and addressing their needs are my top priorities. I want my patients to know we’re both working together to achieve the same goals.”

Goodwin joins doctors Doug Haynes, Caroline Merritt, Brooke Nida, Amie Prough and Grand Wong at INTEGRIS Family Care Edmond Renaissance located at 1700 Renaissance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 844-4300.

Edmond Democrat Tom Guild won the majority of the City of Edmond’s 31 precincts for the Democratic nomination to the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma race.

Registered voters in Edmond awarded Guild with 915 votes to the 793 votes cast for state Sen. Al McAffrey in the June 28 primary election.

The two will face each other in the Aug. 23 primary runoff election. The winner will compete against Republican incumbent Congressman Steve Russell of Choctaw in the Nov. 8 general election.

Adam Pugh said he might have to buy a new pair of walking shoes as he continues his door-to-door campaigning for the Senate District 41 primary runoff election Aug. 23.

Pugh, a former U.S. Air Force Captain, won the majority of Edmond votes cast in Tuesday’s primary election. Of the 24 Edmond precincts listed in Senate District 41, Pugh received 2,902 of ballots cast.

“I’m taking today off to spend some time with my family,” Pugh said Wednesday afternoon. “I will spend the next two months campaigning with the same vigor that I have the last seven months.”

President and Chief Executive Officer George Drew confirmed the announcement in May of Grace Meyer being named senior vice president at Kirkpatrick Bank.

Meyer has been with the bank for 16 years. Prior to joining Kirkpatrick Bank, her banking career included experience as a loan officer with BancFirst. In 2014, she assumed management responsibilities for the bank’s loan administration department. Meyer also served as corporate secretary since 2010.

“Grace is an invaluable asset to the bank and an exemplary role model in professionalism and customer service. Her attention to detail is unparalleled,” Drew lauded.

Meyer is actively involved in her church and volunteers frequently for cultural organizations, such as Edmond Fine Arts and Oklahoma Contemporary.

What some have called a strange year of national politics did not discourage Oklahomans from going to the ballot box for Tuesday’s statewide primary elections.

A closely watched race in Edmond has been for the State Senate District 41 open seat being vacated by state Sen. Clark Jolley due to term limits.

District 41 Republican candidates Adam Pugh and Paul Blair now head to a Aug. 23 primary runoff election.

After nine years as president and CEO of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, Ken Moore informed the Chamber’s board of directors of his plans to step aside.

“I still love coming to work every day, have a great staff to work with and a supportive leadership team,” said Moore. “I’ve been involved in leading chambers of commerce in five different states for 47 years, so I’ve decided to take a break from the day-to-day activities I’m used to.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said he is opposed to the penny sales tax for education promoted by University of Oklahoma President David Boren.

Lamb spoke to members of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce at Oak Tree Country Club Thursday afternoon.

Registered voters in Oklahoma will be asked on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot whether to approve State Question 779. Approving the measure would create an additional 1 cent sales tax in the state to be deposited into the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund.

A penny sales tax for education would hamstring Oklahoma communities, Lamb said. He mentioned that Elk City already has a competing sales tax with a Texas community for the lowest sales tax.

Edmond’s Patrice Douglas has turned down the CEO job offer from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

After originally accepting the job offer and the annual salary of $250,000, second thoughts led Douglas to a different decision.

“After much contemplation and consultation with my family and friends, I have decided the right decision for me and TSET is to allow them to continue their search for a new CEO.

“I appreciate the support of the TSET board and many people in the public and private sectors. The words of encouragement were deeply appreciated, especially when the matter of hiring a CEO at TSET was unfortunately politicized. I stood ready and willing to fulfill the responsibilities of the job, but unfortunately, the TSET board had been informed that others will not permit this to occur.

Adversity breeds innovation and creativity, said House District 39 candidate Michael Buoy of Edmond.

“I just believe that hard work is an important feature that any leader needs to have,” Buoy said at a candidates forum Monday that was sponsored by the Edmond Republican Women’s Club.

A pastor at Victory Church, Buoy was formerly with Life Church and has operated his own real estate and mortgage business.

“You need to be willing to get in there. That’s going to fix a lot of our issues and our broken budget,” Buoy said.

Fewer government regulations would infuse the entrepreneurial spirit with ideas, said Frank Volpe, a retired Navy Commander for 27 years and a candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th District of Congress.

“That’s what I will fight for. That’s how we will help ourselves out of this $19 trillion (debt) and counting that they voted for in December,” Volpe said.

Volpe and other Republicans had an opportunity to hear from their local candidates Monday evening at the Festival Market Place in downtown Edmond.

“We’ve got to break out the entrepreneur backpack,” he said.

“My area of expertise is national and nuclear strategic command and control,” said Volpe, a Harrah resident.

The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, the largest and most active gun rights group in Oklahoma, has endorsed Paul Blair in his Republican Primary for state Senate. Paul Blair is a candidate for the vacant Senate District 41 seat.

“Paul Blair’s character is impeccable,” says OK2A President, Tim Gillespie. “I trust Paul Blair to be a voice people can trust and a champion of the Constitution. He has a proven record of understanding, defending and championing the Second Amendment.”

OK2A actively advocates for Oklahoma’s gun rights with multiple pro-Second Amendment bills during each legislative session. Gillespie says he is confident in telling gun owners they should elect Paul Blair as their newest and strongest ally at the state Capitol.

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Former Edmond mayor and corporation commissioner Patrice Douglas was named the new CEO of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Tuesday afternoon. The salary for the newly created CEO position will be $250,000 a year.

In a statement, the chair of the TSET Board of Directors, Jim Gebhart, said, “Her experience in business, banking, community service and building partnerships across the state will be a valuable asset as we work together to build a brighter, healthier, more prosperous future for Oklahoma.”

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma office of National Federation of Independent Business presented its coveted Guardian of Small Business Award to state Reps. Gary Banz and Randy McDaniel, of Edmond.

The Guardian of Small Business award is the most prestigious honor that NFIB bestows on legislators in recognition of their efforts to support small business issues. The NFIB Oklahoma Leadership Council, an advisory board comprised of NFIB members, voted to present the award to the legislators for supporting small-business issues in the Legislature.

Education leaders across the state have been telling the state Legislature this session that schools wanted more money directed through the funding formula so schools will have more discretion and flexibility. So the state Legislature did just that.

“The Legislature put $33 million previously line item for textbooks into the state-aid funding formula so schools can make spending decisions at the local level based on their own unique needs,” said Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview.

Appropriations Chairman Clark Jolley and Speaker of the House Hickman say they are puzzled as to why Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister in her news release regarding school textbook funding complained that budget appropriations do not earmark money for textbooks.

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A bright and clear morning Thursday in Edmond ushered in the long anticipated groundbreaking of the nearly $30 million Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center.

The 158-room hotel will be located at 2833 Conference Drive on the northeast corner of Covell and Sooner. It will be a gateway to Edmond with visibility at the northwest corner of Interstate 35 and Covell.

Mayor Charles Lamb said the six-story Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center will spur further economic development of the Interstate 35 corridor.

Edmond teachers have agreed to work one day less during the 2016-17 fiscal year starting July 1 to help the district with a $3.6-million shortfall. Lower oil and gas prices have added to declining state monies causing a $1.3-billion state budget shortfall. The ripple effect has caused budget cuts across the board throughout the state including education.

When presented choices of layoffs and increased class sizes, members of the Edmond Association of Classroom Teachers (EACT) voted to shorten the 2016-17 school year by one contract day.

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All of the state’s treasury growth since the last recession has been erased as $20.8 million in gross oil and gas tax collections are the lowest since 1999, State Treasurer Ken Miller said Friday.

The 16-month trend of gross production revenue being less than the same period last year continued in April. Oil and natural gas receipts in April are based on February’s production activity. Miller said average oil prices have improved slightly during the past two months.

Pastor Paul Blair, 53, of Edmond, will face two other Republican hopefuls in his bid for Senate District 41.

The district will be an open seat this year with the departure of state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, due to term limits. Voters may recall that Blair was a 2012 Republican candidate for Senate District 41 but lost that election to Jolley.

“Our state is facing many challenges today,” Blair said. “Being born and raised in Edmond, I have seen our community and state pull together before in times of crisis with common-sense conservative solutions. I am confident that with the right kind of principled leadership, we can do the same today.”

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Republican State Rep. Randy Grau, of Edmond, announced Friday morning he will not submit his name as a candidate for a fourth term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

The time for candidates to file for state and federal offices was set to close at 5 p.m. Friday at the Oklahoma State Election Board at the state Capitol.

At 2 p.m. Friday, three other candidates had filed this week for House District 81.

“Serving my hometown is one of the greatest honors of my life,” Grau said. “I have the deepest respect for the people I represent. They are my friends and neighbors, and I feel blessed just to know them.”

OKLAHOMA CITY — Paycom Software, Inc., (NYSE:PAYC), a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, will host its annual UCO Night from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at its corporate headquarters located at 7501 Memorial Road in northwest Oklahoma City.

Junior and senior-level students at The University of Central Oklahoma will be selected to join Paycom executives and recruiters who will be on site to offer interview tips, help students strengthen their resumes and teach the importance of self-branding for those entering the job market.

WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), of Edmond, and Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) introduced the Senate and House versions of the Free Market Flights Act Wednesday, a bill to terminate the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The EAS was established in the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 with the intention of being a 10-year program to assist small communities in the transition to a free-market airline system. EAS spending has grown 600 percent — in inflation adjusted dollars — in the last 20 years even while half of all seats on EAS flights remain empty.

Instead of phasing down as originally intended, the program continues to grow. For 2016 alone, it received an appropriation from Congress of $175 million in addition to more than $100 million in flyover fees. This adds up to at least $275 million or more that will go toward paying down the national debt under the Free Market Flights Act.

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City of Edmond voters gave their nod of approval to extend two city sales taxes for 10 years each Tuesday night. Both the penny sales tax and the half-cent sales tax were set to expire in 2017.

Supporters of the sales tax initiative gathered at a watch party Tuesday night at the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab to watch the election results.

With all 31 Edmond precincts reporting, Proposition No. 1 passed overwhelmingly with 80.12 percent of the vote. There were 4,894 yes votes to 1,214 no votes with 19.88 percent of votes cast against the proposition, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.

McALESTER — U.S. Sen. James Lankford, of Edmond, made a stop in McAlester Wednesday afternoon to discuss politics and answer questions from members of the community.

The senator provided a brief update on issues he is working on and then spent nearly an hour answering specific questions from those in attendance at the informal session held at The Meeting Place. Affordable care, upcoming elections, U.S. Supreme Court nominations and more issues were discussed.

Lankford made it clear he opposed President Barack Obama nominating a U.S. Supreme Court justice during his final year in office.

Patti Verhille and Jeremy Johnson have joined Arledge and Associates, the Edmond accounting firm announced.

Verhille serves as the firm’s senior tax manager and Johnson joins the firm’s audit staff. Verhille is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst. Her background includes service as tax director, tax manager and assistant controller in the energy and insurance sectors. A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Verhille is a member of the Tax Executives Institute.

Republican businessman Donald Trump and former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, D-New York, each won the lion’s share of their party’s votes as Super Tuesday roared through Oklahoma and 11 other states.

Oklahomans cast their ballots in support of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, to move forward with delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions in July.

With 1,733 of 1,956 precincts reporting, Sanders grabbed 146,650 votes in Oklahoma or 52.13 percent of the vote against Clinton who trailed with 114,611 votes or 40.74 percent, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, also picked up a second win in his home state of Vermont.

Cruz’s victory in Oklahoma helped to foster the state’s Republican hopes to restore a strong conservative Republican in the White House. Trump was in second place with 29 percent of the vote.

Lance Moler, a veteran Oklahoma newspaper executive, has been appointed general manager of The Edmond Sun.

Moler was most recently production director at The Sun, a position he held since 2011. He previously served as publisher of the Midwest City Sun and as sports editor of The Edmond Sun. He began his newspaper career as a photojournalist at the Midwest City Sun and later at the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal.

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Super Tuesday roared through Oklahoma and voters joined 10 other states casting ballots in the Democrat and Republican primary elections to help choose candidates for the President of the United States.

A strong voter turn-out is predicted according to Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson.

“If you look at our early voting here and then our mail-in, it was about double what it was for the last presidential preferential four years ago,” Sanderson said.

Either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders must receive 2,383 delegates in all to win their party’s nomination at the convention floor.

The City of Edmond’s sales tax revenue for the eighth month of the 2014-15 fiscal year was 4.9 percent less than for the same period in 2015, City Manager Larry Stevens reported to the Edmond City Council this week.

February’s earnings represent the last two weeks of December and the first to weeks of January.

“Cumulative for the year now we are about 1.36 (percent) above last year which is below our 2.5 percent budget projection,” Stevens said. “It was slightly below last month’s cumulative total of 1.48 percent.

The Edmond Planning Commission on Feb. 2 agreed to recommend the final plat of Solid Rock Gym to the Edmond City Council. The vote was 4-0 for the plat located on the south side of 15th Street and an eighth of a mile east of Fretz Avenue.

“The site plan has already been approved and a building permit issued,” said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

The Dental Depot is to the north along with a strip shopping center along 15th Street.

“The plat documents utility easements. There is a cross-access easement from 15th Street south onto the property and other easements on the site are for utility lines,” Schiermeyer said.

The lot will be served with city water.

This item will be considered by the Edmond City Council Feb. 22.

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, principal author of Senate Bill 383, and Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, principal author of Senate Joint Resolution 68, issued statements Wednesday about work on those measures which seek to modernize laws in Oklahoma’s statutes and constitution dealing with alcohol sales.

“Oklahoma’s alcohol laws are complex and impact a range of areas involving a variety of businesses. In order to be successful in modernizing our laws, all those entities must be a part of the discussions so that we ultimately bring forward measures that will be comprehensive, thorough, and enable us to bring this modernization to fruition,” Sen. Bice said. 

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The executive director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority said she cannot remember a more volatile year for the state’s economy. One bright spot is the City of Edmond, Janet Yowell said at the 4o’clock 4cast Thursday in a meeting of the Edmond Economic Development Authority.

“We’ve been fortunate in Edmond to have a lot of positive activity in 2015,” Yowell said.

Yowell mentioned several items impacting the local economy in 2015 during a time when the price of oil plummeted to what is now $30 a barrel.

Gateway at 5th Street and Littler added 15 employees and Petra Industries expanded by purchasing a warehouse at 33rd and Kelly Avenue.

Boulevard Alton’s Clothing for Men was approved 5-0 by the Edmond City Council Jan. 11 after consideration was given to its commercial site plan. The store will be located at 603 S. Boulevard.

The Central Edmond Urban District Board approved the plan in December without opposition.

City Planner Bob Schiermeyer said the application includes a 1,244-square-foot addition to the existing 1,960-square-foot space that was previously a coffee shop.

Adequate parking exists at the site, Schiermeyer said. The dumpster enclosure was never finished at the site.

Matthews Funeral Home was granted a request Jan. 11 by the Edmond City Council to rezone from restricted retail commercial use to general commercial limited use.

A curb cut variance was agreed to in order to city staff’s recommendations for the site plan. The driveways will line up with the driveways to the east, City Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell noted.

One of the curb cuts is needed to remain open once the facility expands, said Randel Shadid, representing the applicant. Shadid told Councilman Darrell Davis that the curb cut is the only access to the tract.

The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet will be Friday at the UCO Nigh University Center beginning with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

The banquet will honor the 2015 achievements and contributions of many of Edmond’s finest companies and citizens.

Several awards will be given out including Integris Health Edmond’s Volunteer of the Year, Mercy’s Ambassador of the Year, RCB Bank’s Philanthropic Business of the Year, OU Medical Center Edmond’s Young Professional of the Year, Prosperity Bank’s Woman of the Year, Arvest Bank’s Small Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

To purchase individual tickets or a corporate table, visit edmondchamber.com or contact Morgan Jones at mjones@edmondchamber.com.

The first budget hearing Monday for the Edmond City Council considered zero budget growth for fiscal year 2016-17, said Ross VanderHamm, city finance director. The council took into consideration the low price of oil in its discussion.

The remaining four years would be set at 1.5 percent in the second year followed by 2 percent growth for planning purposes as suggested by Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell. Councilman Darrell Davis said he is concerned about Edmond’s population growth.

The Edmond City Council voted 2-3 Monday night against the appeal of the denial of the site plan for a Walmart grocery store proposed to be located on a 9-acre tract at the northwest corner of Coltrane Road and Covell Road.

Councilman Darrell Davis joined with Mayor Charles Lamb in supporting the measure.

“It would be irresponsible of us to add anything more to Covell until we finish widening the road,” said Nick Massey, city councilman.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto a bipartisan Senate water bill, a move the White House contends would protect wetlands from development and pollution.

The White House claims the Federal Water Quality Protection Act would cause confusion and uncertainty.

“The president has threatened to veto common-sense, bipartisan legislation that would protect Americans’ drinking water sources while also responsibly sending EPA back to the drawing board on the WOTUS (waters of the United States) regulation that is on shaky legal ground,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Oklahoma has dropped another level in drilling rig activity, said Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University.

Evans anticipates seeing some additional cost containment measures among oil and gas firms. But nobody has any idea what the future price of oil will be, he said. There is a lot of uncertainty about planning budgets for 2016 drilling operations, Evans said.

Rig activity in the state has recently fallen from 105-106 rigs down to the low 90s, Evans said at the recent Edmond Economic Development Authority’s 4o’clock 4cast. However, economic anxiety is not distributed uniformly across the state.

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe released the following statement Thursday calling for Congress to continue the fight to defund and investigate Planned Parenthood:

“A ninth video surfaced this week exposing the horrific practices of Planned Parenthood harvesting the organs of the vulnerable unborn for alleged financial gain. These videos show that this is not one or two clinics acting on their own, but these practices are a part of the Planned Parenthood business model.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

R. Lucille Bradford, 93, of Edmond, Okla., passed away Nov. 12, 2019. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at Edmond Road Baptist Church with burial at Fairlawn Cemetery in Elk City, Okla.