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With the shift in majority control of the House due to the outcome of the midterms, the newly sworn-in 116th Congress will represent a challenging era of divided government. Especially in divided government, there is no room for one-sided debate. In order to get things done for the American …

On Monday, Oklahoma welcomed in new leadership in our executive branch. Gov. Kevin Stitt was sworn into office and followed the oath with his inaugural speech. Highlights of the address could be divided into four key parts: government accountability, education, criminal justice reform and ec…

Last year was a busy and deeply rewarding year for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. The primary mission of OICA is to advocate for children in the state of Oklahoma and to ensure that laws passed and policies implemented by governmental agencies are beneficial for all our children.…

The 2019 Oklahoma legislative session is now less than one month from convening and conducting official business. We at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) are anxious to see the long list of fresh ideas submitted by lawmakers. We have been monitoring much of the progress and fe…

In spite of a highly polarized and partisan political environment in 2018, Congress actually had a surprisingly productive year.

Is this week's Picture This column, Photographer Richard R. Barron explores the value and future of educating photography students.

A few days before Christmas, I did my favorite thing that I dread to do. I rang the Salvation Army bell at a local retailer for an hour. I guess the dread comes from not knowing when you sign up how the weather will be when you go to ring the bell; knowing that something else may come up, an…

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 preside…

As Congress continues to finish its work this year, I am encouraged that lawmakers in both chambers recently finalized and approved legislation that is vital to the success of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Introduced under various titles over the years but known generally as the Farm Bi…

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…

The holidays are usually a busy time at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and this year is no exception. We are working hard to make the OK Foster Wishes holiday gift drive a success, and we were excited to assign the last “wish list” submitted by a foster child to one of the thousa…

While much has been accomplished this year, there are still several items left to complete. As the current Congress concludes, lawmakers must come together to finish the remaining work.

Over the weekend, communities across the country had the opportunity to participate in Small Business Saturday. While this annual shop local event encourages Americans to get out and show support for small businesses in their neighborhoods, it also serves as a reminder that a thriving econom…

With Thanksgiving behind us, ‘tis the season for holiday decorations, non-stop Christmas music on the radio and a lot of hard work for the public employees, OICA staff and volunteers working to get holiday presents for the roughly 8,000 Oklahoma children in foster care.

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 sta…

Existing throughout the fabric of our society are the unmistakable threads of Native American heritage.

Throughout our history, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have answered the call to serve in the United States military. For those who volunteer, this choice comes at a cost unlike any other. But it is because of their willing service and sacrifice on our behalf that we get to enj…

Veterans Day is a wonderful and necessary holiday and a great time to give thanks to those that serve our nation. However, as we move on from this day, it is important to keep the needs of our veterans and active military personnel – as well as their families and children – on our minds all year.

No matter the outcome of Tuesday’s election (this column was penned on Monday), early voting indicates there is a huge, nationwide surge of interest in American politics and government this year. As of Monday afternoon, totals showed more than 31 million Americans and counting had already vo…

In too many communities across the nation, opioid addiction has destroyed and claimed lives, causing unexpected grief and loss for families.

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That’s right, beetles. I had planned a column about something else, but everyone seems to be talking about those pesky little multicolored Asian lady beetles, so here we go.

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Although the fall colors have peaked, there are still some great autumn photo opportunities around us.

The museum began in a conventional fashion until the staff realized that they were simply duplicating what many other institutions were doing. That's when they took things out of cases with labels and made the museum a more hands-on experience.

Just one week to go before Election Day!

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…

I am sure most of you are pretty tired of this election cycle. The relentless barrage of campaign ads ahead of the Nov. 6 general election is not new, but there does seem to be an increasingly hostile, personal and, in many cases, nasty tone. I am seeing the fatigue in the faces of many vote…

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, the country has undoubtedly been better off. Wages are steadily on the rise, unemployment has reached its lowest level in nearly 50 years, jobs are being created and the economy is booming. Since thi…

I have had the privilege of taking a class inside a prison here in Oklahoma this semester. Going into the class I wasn’t scared but rather intrigued. As a future journalist, I wanted to be knowledgeable about everything. Taking this class was more of a fun learning experience for me. 

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy 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 officer of t…

President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on Oct. 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans — known as Medicare-for-All — in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.

It is around this time of year that I get excited about new opportunities. We are less than a month away from the general election in Oklahoma (the deadline to register or change your registration is Friday), and next year we will see a dramatically different Legislature and governor’s offic…

The Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, which have largely centered on decades-old allegations of sexual assault, have led many Americans to come forward and share their own stories about past traumas.

Last week, Congress responsibly fulfilled its most fundamental duty to the American people by funding some of the nation’s most critical and pressing needs. The legislation signed into law by the president not only provides funding to strengthen and support our national defense, but it ensur…

For many youngsters, grandparents play a significant role in raising us and molding us into the people we become. I often think about my extended family and how lucky I was to have so many people in my life who cared about me and helped me grow and develop. Many Oklahoma children, unfortunat…