• By Sara Orellana-Paape, Executive Director, Youth Services for Stephens County and Rick Paape Jr., Art Director, Fires Bulletin

Communication. That may be one of the harshest, ugliest, and loneliest words of the English language. We would all like to think that we have good communication skills, but truly, does anyone?

  • Editorials are a consensus of The Duncan Banner’s editorial board.

We find it to be crucial that the voters in Duncan approve the passing of both bonds up for election next week.


  • By The Duncan Banner Editorial Board

Comanche winter athletics had a season which should be remembered by their community for quite some time.

  • By Rep. Marcus McEntire

When I was campaigning last year, one of the biggest issues I heard echoed over and over again was a concern for the state of Oklahoma’s education system. It inspired me to run for office and represent House District 50 to ensure my constituents’ voices were being heard. And I was able to vote on two important bills this past week regarding education.

  • Editorial board of The Duncan Banner

Politicians don’t have to work very hard to be embattled by scandal. It is an unfortunate bed fellow of policy production, and a lot of times our representatives are innocent of accusations. 

  • The Duncan Banner editorial board

A December decision from a federal court ruled previous shootings of two dogs by police officers were justified, and since the ruling social media has exploded with misunderstandings that “any cop can shoot any dog should it move or bark when they enter a home.”


Editorials are a consensus of the editorial board of The Duncan Banner. They do not reflect opinions of individual staff members, but a rather collective vision of what the editorial board views as good for the county.

Experience key for incumbent Tom Cole

The prevailing sentiment for this year’s general election may go against long-time politicians, but in Tom Cole’s case we believe keeping the 13-year congressman in office is the right decision. 

As the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s 4th district Cole has been a stellar voice for his constituency. When he is not in Washington Cole is known for hosting multiple town halls across his district giving voters a one-on-one approach that has guided his success. 

Cole has also proven to be a level-headed leader in a time when many shout the sky is falling. Willing to work across party lines, Cole’s bipartisan approach to policy is refreshing for someone who has been a part of congress for more than a decade. 

Although we do not share his sentiment that Iran and Russia are our country’s biggest challenges we applaud his efforts to reduce unelected influences in government. We believe this ideology is paramount to the success of our republic and Cole has promised to be an advocate for our citizens and not special interests. 

Finally, his willingness to break with his party on policy issues if he does not see them supporting Oklahoma is necessary in today’s political spectrum. We believe although Cole favors Republican principles, he would vote against GOP backed legislation if his constituency found such legislation unwarranted. 

Cole’s platform is that of a humble man serving the voters of his district, and his record has shown his commitment to that ideal, which above anything else should result in his reelection. 


McEntire’s dedication to education, economy earns endorsement

As Oklahoma continues to advance through financial turmoil and seek solutions, The Duncan Banner feels Marcus McEntire is the appropriate selection for District 50 State Representative.

McEntire, a local Duncanite, knows what it means to budget. As a small business owner with a locally based company, McEntire and his wife have shown progression with Distinctive Decor and as a result been able to push sales nation wide. It takes a background like this to be able to dig into the nitty gritty of finances and find the light at the end of the tunnel.

As someone who comes from a family where building and sustaining small business is key, McEntire believes job diversification through additional small businesses is the key to helping Duncan, and Stephens County, persevere as energy markets continue to decline. Local, small businesses build the backbone of a community and help keep money where residents live, work and play.

Additionally, McEntire’s children attend Duncan Public Schools. McEntire, “a pro public education candidate,” is exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to making the needs of our teachers and students heard. He has promised to work with the district’s teachers and administrators “to better understand and serve our school districts.”

His clear interest in the success of Duncan, and our region at large will make him an ideal legislature. 


Business owner best fit to represent District 43

In District race 43 we believe Paul Scott is the right choice to help lead the state in the future. 

Scott worked his way from the bottom to create a successful business and wants to make sure other business owners in Oklahoma have their voices heard. 

His major focus is trying to improve the Oklahoma economy, which will help improve the overall quality of life in the district.

Scott also wants to help turnaround the financial issues the energy sector has faced and believes many of the state agencies must be consolidated to reduce to number of duplicate services, which will save money. 

Education is another major issue Scott hopes to help fix if elected to the senate. 

Scott served on the Duncan Education Foundation and his wife is a former teacher. 

He wants to protect small rural schools, while fighting for more compensation fore teachers and funding for classrooms. This has extreme value, as his district has a bevy of small schools that need a champion in the legislature.  

Scott believes in protecting traditional Oklahoma values such as the right to life and promises to lead by his values. This is something his constituency prizes and we believes it’s paramount an elected official represents his or her constituency over anything else.  This is also translates into his part affiliation. Regardless of party Scott wants to fight for Oklahomans and work for the people, not just a party. 


Favorable answers make Gilleland our option

In the race for State District 65, Rick Gilleland has given honest answers and solutions to the questions asked of him. For that reason, we think he is the perfect selection. 

If elected, Gilleland will be active in the community. His plans of working directly with residents of his district and spending time one-on-one with voters is the kind of attention we look for in a candidate. 

Gilleland’s wife is a teacher, so he has constantly seen the hard work that goes in to that profession. He has and will continue the fight for education. If elected, he has said he wants to be on the committee for public education so he can fight for what is right, and that is making education a top priority.

Gilleland also has a solid view when it comes to gun control. He is an NRA pistol instructor and someone who believes in the rights of Americans to own guns. He also believes in teaching citizens to properly use those guns to protect themselves and believes in mental health programs. This is a view is a diversified middle ground approach to the Second Amendment issues that is beneficial for everyone.

Gilleland also has his eye on a bevy of other issues if elected. He’s express interest in servicing on the Agriculture and Rural Development, Appropriations and Budget, Transportation and Public Safety committees. These are lofty aspirations for a freshman representative, but his ambition is inspiring and we are excited to see what he is capable of. 


Concern for school systems and health care ranks Murdock top candidate

With the state of Oklahoma ranking very low on public education and needing reform, The Duncan Banner has chosen to endorse Charles Murdock in the Oklahoma State Representative District 51 race.

Murdock is a local Stephens County product and was an administrator/teacher since 1968 and knows the importance of the local area and the need for education to be a focus for the state of Oklahoma.

Along with being an educator, Murdock in his campaign literature and answers for the political tab for The Duncan Banner said, “… I want to be a part of some solutions, and look at the ‘big picture’ answers rather than temporary, knee-jerk bandaids!”

Education is one of the big issues he wants to attack, but Murdock also is very aware of the local economy and the factor of layoffs and what it does to area residents.

Another issue Murdock believes is a problem is Healthcare and certain federal programs being cut.

He feels the need of programs for the older population are making it harder for them to find places like nursing homes which are fighting for existence and being eliminated due to money issues.

With District 51 having several different school districts in size and over 45 years of experience in a class room setting, The Banner feels Murdock is the best choice to represent Oklahoma as a state representative.


Fresh mind, ideas give Brinegar advantage in State Senate District 31

Although both candidates for State Senate district 31 are strong candidates which would represent the area well, we feel Perry Brinegar should gain the position. 

As a freshman legislature Brinegar would bring fresh ideas to the capital. 

Brinegar has served on boards for the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) and he is currently the Rural Fire Defense Coordinator. He is also the mayor of Empire.

Brinegar has shown he embraces his potential to bring new ideas to the legislature. He looks forward to working with other law makers in an effort to provide funding for public departments while also working to increase private sector job. 

We found his emphases on diversifying employment to bring more competitive job growth and his desire to find  sustainable revenue for services a plus. 

He also has taken aim at issues with our state health care system. This has proven to be an ongoing problem and Brinegar’s fresh set of ideas could just the right touch to move Oklahoma forward in this area. This is why we think Brinegar in the right choice for State Senate District 31. 

  • Editorials are a consensus of the editorial board of The Duncan Banner.

This year’s presidential race offers no perfect candidate, and for the editorial board of The Duncan Banner, deciding whom to endorse has been as agonizing a process as many voters surely face. The lewd, abhorrent comments made by Republican Donald Trump in 2005, which surfaced just last week, reinforce our decision to support Democrat Hilary Clinton for president.

  • This editorial appeared in the Muskogee, Okla., Phoenix. The Banner endorses this message.

There is a reason the architects of the Bill of Rights included freedom of the press and speech in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — our democratic republic couldn’t survive without them. James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and other founders of the nation knew public officials had to be held accountable, and the free flow of information from citizens and journalists provided the best way for that to happen.

Oklahoma’s five major military installations — Altus Air Force Base, Fort Sill, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Tinker Air Force Base and Vance Air Force Base — provide security for our nation and jobs and economic opportunity for our state. Oklahomans have a deeply rooted respect for the m…

Odds are you’ve heard of State Question 777, also know by supporters as Right to Farm and detractors as Right to Harm. But even if you have heard about it, you may not know what it’s about. Below, we’ll break down the basics of SQ 777.

A proposed 25 percent cut in Medicaid payments by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority could be catastrophic for Stephens County and we urge Gov. Fallin to reconsider her position on taking federal support for Medicaid.

  • Banner Editorial Board

Although we would love to support proposed legislation requiring all Oklahomans to subscribe to a newspaper in their county of residence we unfortunately have to oppose “The Paper Informed Public Act.” House Bill 2389 authored by State Rep. Ben Sherrer (D) would do wonders for the status of …

We support the City of Duncan’s decision to continue their work with the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation.

  • Roger Calger Water Advisory Committee Vice Chair

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have recently opened the flood gates at Waurika Lake, freeing a flow of water and a flood of questions. Many people are upset that we are releasing a resource as precious as water to flow away downstream. I understand this sentiment; it could…

  • Clay Cole Water Advisory Committee member

When I play golf there is a very important self-imposed rule that I must follow. When I swing I must keep my head down and keep my eye on the ball. If I should fail to keep my head down and look up too soon, I hit the ball poorly. We can use this analogy, looking toward the Waurika Lake main…

Cute clichés and clever phrases are commonplace at graduation time. Some have more meaning than others. See if any of these make sense today.

Winning the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s Class 5A No. 1 singles state championship has put Duncan High tennis star Alex Bowers in a class by herself.

An item on Tuesday night’s agenda of the Duncan City Council meeting is to consider approving payment of $74,100 to JS Haren for “services rendered” on the Lake Humphreys water pump station improvement project.

  • By Ed Darling The Duncan Banner

It would be hard to imagine a week of more manful or bittersweet regeneration than the week just passed.

Chambers of Commerce in Marlow and Comanche shared community gatherings and highlights of recent successes while the Hruby family, their lives snuffed out even before they reached their prime, were enshrined forever in the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

Historic events are both plentiful and memorable in what nearly 4 million people lovingly call the great state of Oklahoma.

Led by 17 talented seniors, the Duncan High band continued its extraordinary reputation for excellence last week, earning an unprecedented sixth consecutive Sweepstakes Award through the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) statewide competition.

With Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb calling Duncan “a special community,” business executives, decision makers and developers from across the country and Germany got a heavy dose of Oklahoma hospitality here last week.

You likely remember Shannon Miller as a member of the Magnificent Seven, the 1996 Olympic gold medal winning American team that defeated the Russians in Atlanta.

Members of the Duncan City Council have approved a request from the Duncan Youth Baseball Club to pay for the installation of a water well at city-owned Abe Raizen Park,

That the Antique Marketplace and Tea Room has been identified as a finalist in the statewide Main Street Center’s annual competition for best display window is significant.

A community tour, designed to explain the inner workings of economic development, provided a reminder of the importance of an incubator system in the search for new jobs.