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State Legislators have a lot on their plate going into the 2020 Legislative Session next Spring. Oklahoma has the highest rate of incarcerated adults per capita in the nation, our education and healthcare funding ranks near the bottom of the country, and our infrastructure continues to crumb…

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Pro Tempore Harold Wright (R-Weatherford), recently, held an interim study before the House Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee to examine modernization to the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act as a way to address second-hand smoke expo…

This weekend I’m helping to officiate my brothers wedding, and my other brother got married over the summer. So I’m in the wedding mood. I realize that’s probably supposed to be more of springtime thing, but who cares. Weddings are great. They are great in real life and in fiction. They are …

Yogi Berra once famously gave this puzzling advice to a college graduating class, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” The quip became lore, along with other Yogi-isms attributed to the legendary baseball player.

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When U.S. Army serviceman Johnny Messimore boarded a plane to leave Vietnam five decades ago he had no thoughts about returning. Fate and time would prove different.

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The Cherokee Nation has a wonderful housing program and an award-winning housing authority. However, the backlog to repair Cherokee homes has grown over the years, and many of those in need are elderly citizens or Cherokees who live with a disability. That is why I have made it one of my fir…

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Are you kidding me? That seems to be the near universal reaction to the pay increase announced by the Board on Legislative Compensation, which for the average legislator, provides a $12,500 pay raise from the current $35,000, almost 36%. I know I was astounded when I first heard what they we…

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In September, Oklahoma prisons went on lockdown. It began with a gang-related fight in the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita before spreading to prisons throughout the state. A coordinated uprising, which resulted in injuries to correctional officers, the hospitalization of 36…

OKLAHOMA CITY – In an effort to deter future hate crimes and ensure criminals are held accountable, Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation strengthening Oklahoma’s hate crime law. Senate Bill 1083 would allow districts attorney to choose whether to charge hate crime offenders with a misdemeano…

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I know you want the very best for your teens. And if you’re like most parents, you’d do just about anything for them. That can make for some tough decisions when it’s time to talk about paying for college.

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Recently Todd Phillips, director of the Hangover movies and the new The Joker origin story film, recently said in a Vanity Fair article that he decided to move away from comedy because it's impossible to be funny in this new “woke” culture. To be fair, the comedy landscape doesn't look anyth…

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This week, the focus remains on elections and how best to conduct them fairly and securely. The difference is that the subject isn't directly related to passages in the constitution and or any potential alterations to them.

Ken Burns’ documentary series Country Music, like most Ken Burns’ projects, isn’t afraid to cover a ton of ground. It makes the first few episodes feel a little whiplashy as the filmmaker covers the very beginnings of the hillbilly music that would eventually become known as country.. He doe…

As Cherokee people, we have always respected our warriors – people willing to fight for us, for our values and for our way of life. Under my administration, I assure you we will continue to hold the brave men and women who serve our country in the highest regard.

The Cherokee people have spent generations surviving and persevering through a series of federal policies that conspire to destroy our government, break up our families and relegate our people to the pages of history. As most of us know, it has been going on a very long time.

In the midst of a new wave of constitutionally illiterate politicians trying to erase the Bill of Rights, the time is now for conservatives across the country to embrace a bolder, stronger strategy to defending the Second Amendment.

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If you’re a parent, here’s something we’re both passionate about: making sure your kids have a great future. I want to help you and your kids get ready for life after high school so they can continue to college (and beyond) with a plan and a purpose! And a huge part of that is paying for sch…

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When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 18 years ago, our world was thrown into chaos.

Voter identification laws, election security, and term limits are all issues that get significant amounts of attention in any conversation regarding how we conduct elections in the U.S. I've been glad to see another issue come to the forefront over the past decade, as I see it as threat to o…

Today, more than 63 percent of our nearly 380,000 tribal citizens reside outside Cherokee Nation’s legal jurisdiction. One thing we’ve heard loud and clear: Our at-large Cherokees want to be involved with their tribe. To better engage the perspectives of our at-large citizens, Cherokee Natio…

OKLAHOMA CITY- Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, announced Tuesday he had filed Senate Bill 1081 to push back against any proposed red flag laws coming from the federal government. The bill, titled the “Anti-Red Flag Act,” would preempt all current or future proposed red flag laws coming fro…

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I think most TV watchers have some form of “reality TV” that they enjoy. Whether that’s a secret guilty pleasure or something they boldly obsess over depends on the person and frequently the content. Some people are proud to love to Keep Up with the Karashians. Some people watch it secretly …

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(Larry’s Note: Earlier this month word was received of the passing of Lester (Bear) Jensen, beloved and most respected former Claremore High School football coach. While their paths never crossed, the following is another gentleman who answered to “Bear”.)

Greetings from the state capitol! What does “emergency certification” mean to you? We see news reports and editorials focused on the number of emergency teaching certifications in Oklahoma, and how they continue to be a problem, but I’ve come to understand that not all such “emergencies” are…

The 1996 presidential election, pitting President Bill Clinton against Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, was sometimes dubbed the "Seinfeld election" -- an election about nothing. The 2020 election is an entirely different affair. It is an election about everything.

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Every child in Oklahoma deserves to be inspired by the very power of education itself and the potential of a bright future, and Oklahoma’s teachers help to make this possible each day. They invest in children from all walks of life and ultimately leave an impact that extends far beyond the w…

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The past eight years have been the pinnacle of my public service career. Nothing has been more important to me than serving the Cherokee people. I had the privilege of working side by side with a man of great moral integrity, Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden. It has been the blessing…

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My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be …

Random fact about me, I was an English teacher for exactly one year. I didn’t leave the profession because I hated it or anything like that, and I’ve wondered from time to time if I’d find my way back there. Especially this time of year, as my own educating friends gear up for the school yea…

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Obituaries

Helen Louise Wert, age 94, a long-time resident of Claremore, Oklahoma, passed away on November 4, 2019, at home, surrounded in love by her family, who adored her. Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Guy Wert. Over the years, Helen worked at Merle Norman Cosmetics downtown Claremore. …

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