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Oklahoma ScissorTales: A milestone to celebrate

Brittani Githiri accepts the keys to her house from Ann Felton Gilliland, chairwoman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Brittani Githiri accepts the keys to her house from Ann Felton Gilliland, chairwoman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity celebrated quite a milestone this week — dedication of its 1,000th house.

That’s 1,000 families whose lives have been impacted for the better during the past 33 years. It results from the families’ work — considerable sweat equity is part of the deal — and help from church groups, civic organizations and other volunteers, along with financial and material support from businesses throughout the Oklahoma City area.

The milestone house, at 8121 NW 74, went to a single mother with two young sons and a child on the way. “I really don’t have words,” she said, choking up.

The house was paid for by Maxwell Supply of Oklahoma, which had done the same five other times since 2009. In the two decades before that, Maxwell Supply provided foundation packages for rebar on Habitat builds.

“Families and futures. That’s what we’re all about here today,” said company Chairman Jerry Thomasson. He added that with so much turmoil in the world, it’s important to “support something good.” Amen.

Anyone interested in doing the same can call Habitat for Humanity at (405) 232-5592 or visit www.cohfh.org.

High court’s decision not the end for Holtzclaw

The sister of former Oklahoma City police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw says Holtzclaw won’t stop fighting to reverse his convictions on multiple rape charges. “We have to continue to stay strong and remind ourselves that this process is a marathon, not a sprint,” she said on Twitter. Her post followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal Monday to consider Holtzclaw’s complaints about his trial. He was convicted in 2015 of rape and other sex crimes committed while on the job, and is serving a 263-year prison sentence. He has denied the accusations from the outset, but last summer the state Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the convictions. In a December filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, Holtzclaw’s attorney said prosecutors misrepresented DNA evidence and shouldn’t have been allowed to present so many witnesses at the same trial. The high court’s decision wasn’t a surprise, nor was a promise from Holtzclaw’s sister that “THIS IS NOT THE END.”

New twist in race for OK County sheriff

We have written about how a crowded field will make for an interesting race for Oklahoma County sheriff this year. Four men are looking to unseat Sheriff P.D. Taylor. The race added a twist this week when Taylor fired one of those seeking the job — sheriff’s deputy Mike McCully. Last month, McCully, who has been critical of Taylor, filed a lawsuit to block “any further acts of retaliation” against him over his candidacy. In a response, an assistant district attorney representing Taylor called the lawsuit an effort to gain publicity for his campaign and avoid being fired for misconduct. That misconduct, according to the response, includes insubordination, disobedience to the chain of command and the improper arrest of a black man in February. McCully says he was fired for being a whistleblower. Things are already heated, and it’s only March.

Next act for Weinstein: a prison sentence

Harvey Weinstein is headed to prison for sexual assault. As one of the highest-profile producers in Hollywood for many years, Weinstein, 67, held tremendous sway over the fortunes of actresses and others in the movie industry. Allegations against Weinstein by dozens of women fueled the #MeToo movement and led to him being charged. His trial in New York dealt with two women. In February, Weinstein was convicted of third-degree rape and sexual assault. This week he was sentenced to 23 years behind bars. “I’m just genuinely confused,” Weinstein, who also is charged with rape and sexual battery in California, told the court. “Men are confused about this issue.” Some men may be, but most are not — they understand that intimidation in the workplace and unwanted advances are not OK. Perhaps his stretch in prison will help Weinstein grasp that point.

The Oklahoman Editorial Board

The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Kelly Dyer Fry, Publisher, Editor and Vice President of News; Owen Canfield, Opinion Editor; and Ray Carter, Chief Editorial Writer.. To submit a letter to the editor, go to this page or email... Read more ›

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