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Crisis (noun): defined as ‘a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger’ or ‘a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.’

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While negotiations to fully fund the government unfortunately remain underway in the Senate, I am pleased to report that lawmakers in both chambers of Congress did recently complete work on bipartisan legislation to improve the federal justice system. Already signed into law by the president…

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Edmond will always have families whose fundamental needs are not met due to an acute emergency.

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Alzheimer’s disease is known by many as the long goodbye, but it’s a goodbye for caregivers that doesn’t have to be experienced alone. That was one of the lessons from a series of articles I’ve written this year.

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Voter turnout during the Nov. 6 mid-term election for the state of Oklahoma was incredibly invigorating with 1,186,385 or 56 percent of citizens casting a ballot in the governor’s election. And while this number has Oklahoma moving in the right direction, another number released by the state…

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Everything that is about to be said can be summed up: Don’t tweet dumb stuff. 

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If you haven’t heard, Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) is searching for a new director. But what this small state agency with a giant bank account really needs is a new direction.

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With the Christmas parades beginning and holiday decorations lining our towns, it is certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas. For my family, Christmas means getting the whole family together to have good food, play games of tag in the yard, and generally, to just be together.

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If you ever want to know what it feels like to hang out with an A-list celebrity, go to a Norman Walmart with former coach and OU legend Barry Switzer. This is what I learned last week when Coach Switzer generously volunteered his time and money to join the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advoc…

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By now, we all know that President Trump is a negotiator. At the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires last weekend, the president showcased his dealmaking skills in yet another trade negotiation on behalf of the American people.

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Oklahoma’s birthday was Nov. 16. On that day in 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt issued the proclamation that made us a state. It’s a fitting time to consider what it means to be a state and to live in a nation made up of states.

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Existing throughout the fabric of our society are the unmistakable threads of Native American heritage. In Oklahoma, those threads are numerous and vibrant indeed.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to watch the new movie, “Instant Family,” a comedy/drama about a couple adopting three foster children into their lives. I recommend that our readers watch this movie over Thanksgiving weekend to help put in focus the need for more foster families in our st…

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Hands down, Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. The November holiday allows us to be with our family without the stress of gift-giving or weeks of preparation trimming the tree and decking the halls. Family is one of the greatest gifts we are given in life and Thanksgiving allows us an…

They say Black Friday is the start of the holiday shopping season, but I don't really get into the spirit of the season until the next day, Small Business Saturday.

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The future of Edmond zoning is facing a critical moment in its evolution over the next few months. Just as we have seen our City Council make an informed and precedent-setting decision regarding zoning and the Lake Arcadia watershed, their ability to legally block bad zoning decisions is bei…

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It’s fall, and just last month, one of Oklahoma’s celebrated, award-winning authors, Lou Berney, released a book appropriately titled for the season: “November Road.”

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I did not intent to write another column so soon, but I am becoming concerned by the lack of recognition of the hundred year anniversary of the armistice of World War I. The nation went all out on the Bicentennial of our nation (for good reason), the same for the 100 and 150 year anniversari…

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Alzheimer's Disease runs through both sides of my family with my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my uncles all facing Alzheimer’s during their lives. When you have a loved one suffering from dementia, it can feel like they are slipping away one day at a time. Each year, I meet with …

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Following the recently ended fiscal year, it was reported that the federal government’s budget deficit increased significantly compared to the previous year. While this is certainly discouraging news, the existence of a deficit is not surprising or unusual. Critics are of course quick to bla…

There’s been a lot of talk lately about which of the gubernatorial candidates is most like the current governor. Let’s look at it.

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The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) has had the opportunity over the past few months to work with state lawmakers on various issues covered in legislative interim studies. If you are not familiar with these, state senators and representatives can request from the presiding offic…

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Beyond the noise of the Beltway and the daily vilification of national media outlets, are community newspapers serving cities, counties and regions throughout the U.S.

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When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law last December, good things started happening.  New IRS withholding tables went into place.  Businesses saw opportunities to invest in their companies and employees.  Americans started keeping more of their own paycheck, rather th…

Many of us may not want to talk about it — but the truth is we’ve all likely been impacted by suicide and we all can play a role in tackling one of our nation’s most pressing health issues.

Nike announced this week that the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign would be led by Colin Kaepernick. This is the same former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick who took a knee in 2016 during the playing of the national anthem to protest.  

The August Congressional recess is a great time for Congress to do important work back in the district and abroad. During the first week of August, I had the opportunity to travel with five of my colleagues to frontline states and important NATO allies in Europe. 

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The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) primarily works on state issues, but occasionally a federal issue will appear that demands our attention. One federal issue that we feel compelled to weigh in on is the Farm Bill, specifically a proposal within the House version that prevents …

In an Aug. 11 editorial, the Oklahoman newspaper argued for greater accountability for some parents who accept free school lunches for their children. “A policy that tells parents they're free to freeload comes with predictable costs to all taxpayers,” the paper writes. The authors point to …

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Oklahoma’s families should be able to keep their lights on at a cost they can afford.  As innovation drives how we produce energy from various sources, the most important piece to remember is that the consumer should be driving the supply and demand. I have always supported an “all-the-above…

How did we get to the point in history when “media” became a derogatory term?

All signs point to ongoing expansion of the Oklahoma economy as July Gross Receipts to the Treasury of $1 billion and 12-month collections of $12.3 billion, both reached unprecedented high levels, State Treasurer Ken Miller announced. Miller said the July and 12-month numbers, which provide …

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In 2016, Turkish militia attempted a coup to overthrow the government and unseat Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Erdogan blamed Fethullah Gulen, who fled to the United States two decades ago. The United States refused to extradite Gulen for lack of evidence of his involvement. 

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Despite much controversy and reporting surrounding the U.S. – Russia summit in Helsinki, Finland, America’s foreign policy with Russia under President Trump’s Administration has been stronger than the previous three administrations. But as the United States continues to fight the advances of…

Farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy.  Unfortunately, they are all too familiar with the negative effects of the federal government’s heavy handed regulations and complicated red tape.  For many of them, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of man…

With the Oklahoma Gay Pride Festival and Parade recently held in Oklahoma City and the inevitable tide of backlash and hate, I contemplate on the reason for all of this hatred and bigotry.

The country has been tangled in many debates lately that seem to create partisan divides in our daily conversations. However, it is important to note that there has been serious bipartisan work completed in Congress. Recently, the House has considered and passed multiple pieces of sweeping l…

“It comes as a great shock at the age of five or six or seven to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you. It comes as a great shock to discover that Gary Cooper killing off the Indians, when you were rooting fo…

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Since 2015, annual taxes and other revenue taken from Oklahomans by the state’s Republican-controlled government has increased by $1.1 billion.

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When I was young my dog Thunder died protecting my little sister from another dog who was attacking her. Thunder was a german shepherd, he was loyal, quiet, sometimes even noble. When I would come home from school with a bloody nose and dirty uniform for being different and not fitting in, I…

As often as not, my dad called my mom “Mother.” It sounded like an endearment to me, and I believe it did to her, too. “Mother,” he’d call out from the bedroom, “which of these shirts do you want me to wear?” The one I laid out on the bed, she might think, but her eyes were smiling when she …

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As the leader on the global stage, the United States is re-entering an era of military preeminence.

I watched the fireworks on the 4th and it was a spectacular display. The bursts of fire with all the colors of the rainbow adorning the sky. People screamed and cheered for the USA and looked on with pride in their hearts. But when I looked up to the sky and felt the heat of the summer night…

It has not been a good year for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), as the agency has been rocked by the discovery of widespread financial mismanagement and neglect, followed by the resignation of several agency leaders.  As was widely reported, tens of millions of dollars were s…

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My mother has lived a difficult life. She shoulders the burden of so many people all at once, often on her own. All mothers experience this but black mothers deal with a unique nightmare.

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Every month I look forward to reading a menu.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is in the process of compiling and publishing a report card on the actions of the Oklahoma Legislature as it pertains to childhood well-being.  Our report card delves into policies dealing with foster care issues, criminal justice reform and i…

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I’ve always considered myself more of a “word” person than a “numbers” person; however, like many parents, I want my kids to embrace math because I know how important it can be for their future success.

The summer kicks off this weekend as we observe Memorial Day, but this day is so much more than just the beginning of backyard barbeques, trips to the lake, and summer vacation for our kids. Memorial Day is when we set aside time to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives so th…

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