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For the first time ever, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to dismantle discrimination of LGBTQ people. The Equality Act would grant women and the LGBTQ community rights already guaranteed for all Americans. With a passage of 236-173, the U.S. House sends the bill to the Senate for possible amendments, debate and vote of final passage.

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We’ve experienced a lot of flooding recently, and the latest forecasts call for additional rain this week.

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Last week, Gov. Kevin Stitt inked a new law that could help nonviolent felons find decent jobs after their release from prison. It's a move that's long overdue, and one an increasing number of Oklahomans sanction.

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Emergency management officials did the prudent thing Monday and Tuesday morning when they mobilized in anticipation of violent weather.

The U.S. House passed H.R.5, the "Equality Act" bill, on May 17, sending it on to the higher house. This bill is purveyed by Democrats as similar to the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, while others view it as threatening. The bill is rightly being referred to as "dangerous" and "unsafe" by many who have read and understand what it could potentially accomplish.

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Eight years ago today we found out just how vulnerable our area was as we hid in bathtubs, under mattresses or in closets.

There’s a lot of crowing at the State Capitol about the proposed budget lawmakers will be voting on during the coming days. 

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Missouri lawmakers made the right decision this year when putting together the state budget for fiscal year 2020.

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For Normanites who remember the awful rhetoric in our community in 2010 surrounding the Norman City Council passing a proclamation naming October Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, the recent Norman Pride festival was evidence that we’ve made progress as a community.

The school year is winding down and has, in many cases, already ended, opening the door to a blissful summer away from books and lesson plans for students and teachers alike.

I’ll never forget when my grandpa, Riley Jackson Christy, told me about his daddy being a Texas Ranger. It was something I’ll never forget because my grandpa — known in Waukomis and Enid as R. Jack Christy Sr., and why he shortened his name I’ll never know — died of a heart attack not long after telling me this when I was just 11 years old.

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Joe Mack and I agree on several things, but probably the most important is this: People who don't like music are serious goobers - and not the kind of people most normal folks would want to hang out with.

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It's possible Alyssa Milano wanted to raise awareness about what she terms "ridiculous" abortion bans, as she now says of her tweet calling for a "sex strike." Or maybe she thought a sex strike would change hearts and minds on what it means to be "pro-choice." Or it's possible she just burned through a copy of "Lysistrata."

Since April 20, medical marijuana prescriptions increased in Oklahoma by 14,000 over two weeks. Oklahoma has more than 1,400 dispensaries and 2,700 commercial growers. The numbers grow daily. April's state excise tax coffers totaled $1.2 million.

Many Americans find it hard to discuss their financial situation in an open setting because most of us are deep in debt. Likewise, owing more than can be quickly paid back seems to be one of the most common similarities among American homes. Debt that exceeds income has become somewhat of an epidemic in our nation, and we should be doing more to curb the issue.

Mother’s Day is celebrated once per year, but mothers are awesome 24-7, 365. You may give your mom a gift Sunday or take her to dinner or make her dinner. But her job never ends from the moment she knew she was pregnant.

History is not necessarily a static thing, where we know everything about a certain event, a certain person, a certain battle ad infinitum.

In a country that says it values and supports military veterans, the way the Department of Veterans Affairs is treating atomic veterans is bordering on shameful.

With freedom comes responsibility, and even constitutional guarantees have their limitations. This is why hate speech isn't always protected by the First Amendment, and it's why the Second Amendment doesn't give every gun owner the right to carry a piece anywhere he wants.

It's been said that one person's freedom stops at the end of another's nose. The realization of how they stepped into personal space may explain why all four white supremacists involved in the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty last week.

On Oct. 20, 1973, in what would be known as the Saturday Night Massacre, President Richard M. Nixon ordered U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused to fire Cox, and when acting Attorney General William Ruckelshaus refused to fire Cox, Ruckelshaus resigned. U.S. Solicitor General Robert Bork carried out Nixon's order and fire Cox.

When President Obama took credit for improving the U.S. economy through policy after it was decimated by the collapse in the waning months of George W. Bush's presidency, Republicans shouted him down. Presidents, everyone said, have little bearing on the direction of the economy, and even less of an effect on the stock market.

President Trump has made headlines again by granting a full pardon to former U.S. Army soldier Michael Behenna. Some news outlets have reported the president has pardoned a "war criminal" to make the former first lieutenant sound like a crazed madman.

Editor's note: The following column is written by a valedictorian of an area high school. The Phoenix will be running a series of columns to give valedictorians in the area a chance to share their thoughts and stories.

Senator Maureen Walsh from the State of Washington made the following statement recently about nurses. She was discussing legislation that would change nurse's work and break hours, “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.” I’m sure she had no idea of the hornet's nest she had just aroused. As it sometimes happens, she did us nurses a favor. We are suddenly united in our defense of what we do. The memes that have been produced are priceless.

My time at Fort Gibson High School was pleasant as much as it was challenging. In my four years of being a student, not only have I learned volumes of important information in preparation for college, but I have also tested my knowledge by reaching above my own expectations. Offering myself a challenge has continually been a priority. I often opted to take an AP class if I knew it wouldn’t overwhelm me, and if an assignment or a class encouraged creative freedom, I took advantage of it as much as possible. I encourage every future student at Fort Gibson to do the same.

Oklahoma's governor vetoed a bill its proponents say would reduce the costs of prescription drugs and protect local pharmacists from one segment of the pharmaceutical industry that has squeezed out profits at consumers' expense.

Editor's note: The following column is written by a valedictorian of an area high school. The Phoenix will be running a series of columns to give valedictorians in the area a chance to share their thoughts and stories.

Monday marks the start of Teacher Appreciation Week, and we'd like to kick things off by thanking all the teachers out there for their tireless work and dedication to their profession and to their students.

In a story about examining travel by the Payne County Sheriff’s Department, a lot of people got caught up in the first-class air fare. That’s probably because most of us don’t fly first class. That method of travel was the main point of emphasis in a meeting of the sales tax oversight board and it was the main policy tweak proposed by County Assessor James Cowan.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

There will be a private interment at Rose Hill Cemetery for the family followed by a memorial service at the Epworth United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served by the Susanna Wesley Circle following. A viewing will be held at Sevier Funeral Home on W…