Today opens a new chapter in the journal of life. Call it day one, 2007.

We joined the rest of the world in bidding farewell to 2006 last night. It was truly an eventful year as most election years are. Nationally, Democrats took control of the U.S. House and Senate. All eyes and ears will be on them as voters expect policy changes, most notably in the direction of the war in Iraq.

In Oklahoma, Republicans kept control of the state House and locked 24-24 with Democrats for control of the state Senate. Senate leaders have pledged to work together, even establishing co-chairs for all committees.

That looks good on paper but we think the power may ultimately flow to newly-elected lieutenant governor Jari Askins. The former Democrat House member from Duncan can break ties in the state Senate. Her election has given much of the state a civics lesson.

The new year will bring a new mayor and city manager for Norman. City manager Brad Gambill has retired and Mayor Harold Haralson has announced he will not seek another term in office.

Over at the county courthouse, there are some personnel changes, too. Greg Mashburn will be sworn in as our district attorney on Wednesday and Rusty Sullivan will take the oath to represent District 3 on the Board of Commissioners. Both defeated long-term incumbents for their jobs.

The football Sooners -- never resting on excuses -- captured the Big 12 title and will play Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl tonight.

Happy New Year.

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