OMRF Receives $5 Million Grant for Genetics Research Center
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has received a $5 million grant that will be used to begin construction of a genetics research center.
The grant was given by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. OMRF officials said the new building will bear Reynolds' name.
"This generous gift will help OMRF construct its newest center devoted to the study of genetics, which is the newest frontier in biomedical research," Dr. J. Donald Capra, OMRF president, said Friday. "By developing a clearer understanding of DNA, we will acquire a better understanding of human disease and the factors involved in the regulation of gene expression."
The OMRF is a private, nonprofit biomedical research institution that employs more than 400 scientists, physicians, technicians, and administrative and support personnel.
A state Ethics Commission task force has recommended raising the contribution limit a political party can give to a gubernatorial candidate from $5,000 to $50,000.
The group also thinks the limit on party donations to other candidates for statewide office should be increased from $5,000 to $25,000.
It did not recommend increasing the party's contribution limit of $5,000 to legislative candidates.
The group also recommended that the Legislature establish another task force to consider the full range of finance issues.
The recommendations were announced Friday by Gary Copeland, director of the Carl Albert Center and facilitator for the task force.
Other members were Duchess Bartmess, former general counsel for Gov. Frank Keating; state Rep. Larry Ferguson, R-Cleveland; Pat Hall, Oklahoma Society of Association Executives; state Sen. Keith Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City; Gordon Melson, executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party and Robert Pinney, Common Cause of Oklahoma.
Also, O. Gail Poole, Committee on Campaign Finance reform; Joseph Romine, private citizen; Carol Woodward Scott, former president of the League of Woman Voters of Oklahoma; Thelma Smith, private citizen; state Sen. Brooks Douglass, R-Oklahoma City; state Rep. Tommy Thomas, D-Atoka and Steven Edwards, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
Douglass, Edwards and Thomas were not present when the recommendations were adopted.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Library/Learning Center being built with MAPS money is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the southeast corner of Hudson and Park avenues.
Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys and Councilwoman Ann Simank will preside.
The general contractor on the $20.5 million facility is Flintco Construction and the architect is The Benham Group.
Oklahoma City also will have a groundbreaking at 3 p.m. today at the corner of NW 10th Street and Blackwelder Avenue for the project to improve and widen NW10th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Classen Boulevard.
The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma has announced its opposition to U.S. House Resolution 1814. The chamber said HR 1814 is a potential problem for tribal governments' sovereign status and a danger to their ability to restore economic viability.
Authored by Reps. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., and Peter Visclosky, R- Ind., the measure would allow states to collect state taxes on goods and services sold on tribal lands. Failure to collect and remit state taxes would subject the tribe to seeing its land removed from trust status.
U.S. Rep. Tom Coburn said Friday he will fight any effort by a Missouri group to dock a riverboat casino at Webbers Falls on the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma.
Representatives with a group calling itself the Southern Cherokee Nation have held discussions with Webbers Falls officials about the idea. "I am disturbed that the so-called Southern Cherokee tribe, which is not a federally recognized tribe, intends to flout Oklahoma law by docking a full-blown Las Vegas-style riverboat casino at Webber's Falls," said Coburn, R-Okla. …