Saturday, Sept. 23rd
Couple Pleads Guilty to Profiting from International Scheme
A Tuttle couple has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to an international scheme where they made millions off of pirated telephone system software. The Oklahoman reports that Raymond Bradley Pearce and Dusti Pearce conspired with a New Jersey man to commit wire fraud which involved generating and then selling stolen software licenses. The licenses had a retail value of more than $88 million. The software was used to unlock features of a popular telephone system used by thousands of companies around the world. That licensing system has since been de-commissioned. The couple was accused of using their illegally-gained profits to buy large quantities of gold bullion and other valuables. The Pearces agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They face up to 20 years in prison and must forfeit a money judgement of at least $4 million as well as gold, silver, collectible coins, crypto-currency, and a vehicle. Full restitution must also be paid to their victims.
Congressman Frank Lucas Works to Miminize
Impact of Foreign Investment in U.S. Farm Land
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Cheyenne) hopes his recent efforts will help to better scrutinize foreign investment into U.S. agriculture. A house committee recently passed Lucas's Agriculture Risk Review Act. It calls for adding the nation's ag secretary as a permanent member of the House Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. A report on the website OK Energy Today indicates that currently the secretary and ag department can be designated as a lead agency for transactions on a case-by-case basis. The panel reviews transactions related to the purchase of agriculture land, ag bio-technology, or other purchases related to the ag industry. Lucas said the move is long overdue.
A memorial service for Beth ‘Elaine’ Tanos, 72, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26th at Ferguson Funeral Home. She worked as a loan officer and served on the board of directors for the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center. Memorial contributions may be made to the nutrition center.
High School Football Scores
Weatherford 35, Chickasha 15
Blanchard 46, Harrah 13
Tuttle 30, Bethany 10
Bridge Creek 27, Classen SAS 7
Anadarko 62, Mannford 22
Minco 45, Cashion 0
Dibble 82, Wynnewood 17
Ringling 14, Rush Springs 6
Apache 49, Mangum 29
Hinton 36, Christian Heritage Academy 7
Hobart 56, Carnegie 24
Laverne 50, Alex 0
Cyril 28, Hollis 20
Ryan 52, Mt. View-Gotebo 6
Lindsay 60, Comanche 7
Marlow 22, Pauls Valley 7
Elgin 54, El Reno 21
Friday, Sept. 22nd
Chickasha Man Reported Missing
Authorities are asking for assistance in finding a disabled Chickasha man who has not been seen nor heard from in more than three weeks. 46-year old Richard Clarence Houston - whose right leg is amputated below the knee - was last seen on Thursday, August 31st around the post office in the 700 block of Kansas Avenue. Houston's photo is posted on the Chickasha Police Department's Facebook page. He is Caucasian, about 5-feet-5-inches tall, and weighs about 300 pounds. The photo shows him with short brown hair with a brown mustache and a short goatee. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chickasha Police Department by calling 405-222-6050 or any local law enforcement.
Grenade Found Near Chickasha Home
There were media reports that a grenade was found in a Chickasha neighborhood last night. KFOR TV reported that the Chickasha Police Department requested help from the highway patrol bomb squad. It was not immediately known if the grenade was live. The grenade was found in the area of Country Club Road and Flanders Drive some time before 8 p.m.
Grady County Consumer Spending Down Slightly
Consumer spending in Grady County was down slightly to end the first half of the calendar year. It's estimated that spending for the month of June was just under $9.7 million - which was off about 5.2 percent from May. June was the second highest month for consumer spending in the first six months with May holding down the top spot. The June number was more than 15 percent ahead of the same period in 2022. We estimate consumer spending when we see sales tax revenue for the county. The county received about $727,000 in sales tax collections in August which represents the purchase of taxable goods and services from June.
How is the sales tax revenue spent?
Here's how the sales tax revenue is distributed. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $242,000; Grady Memorial Hospital, $214,000; The 20 Grady County Fire Districts shared $121,000 with each one getting $6,000; the seven Senior Nutrition Centers shared $121,000 with each one getting $17,000; Tuttle EMS collected $23,000; and Rush Springs EMS received $5,500.
City of Chickasha numbers
For the city of Chickasha, sales tax revenues for August were just over $1.1 million which were paid on just over $29 million on the purchase of taxable goods and services at Chickasha retail outlets in June.
Tribes Consider Coalition to Create Broadband Service Firm
Officials with The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma are gathering with leaders of other tribes to form a coalition in order create their own broadband service provider. Kiowa Tribal Chairman Lawrence Spottedbird says the coalition could pool federal money and state funds to establish their own internet company. Spottedbird said the Kiowas have struggled to attract a reliable and affordable provider because of the tribe's small population. He has reached out to the Comanche and Caddo Nations as well as the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe. He said he didn't want to overlap into the other tribes' plans but did want to coordinate and cooperate with them in order to enhance and support each other. Spottedbird said they hope to form the coalition soon and have a grant application ready by the end of January.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $89.63 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.60.
Natural gas is $2.84 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,944 and silver is $23.94.
A graveside service for Nolan Rogers, 67, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, Sept. 21st
Ninnekah School District Voters to Decide Bond Issues
Proposals to build a new gymnasium and make some improvements at the Ninnekah High School and purchase some new buses for the school system will be decided by Ninnekah school district voters next month. The two bond issues total nearly $20 million. The first proposal is a nearly $19.6 million plan to build a new gymnasium in phases and the second is a $400,000 transportation bond. Officials say property taxes would not increase if the bond issues are approved. The special election will be on Tuesday, Oct. 10th.
Speakers Set for USAO's Social Justice, Racial Healing Center
A prison-reform advocate along with an author who was a finalist for the National Book Award will be keynote speakers for a USAO event next month. Both will be addressing a program hosted by the Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing. Prison-reform advocate Reginald Betts is a poet and legal scholar who earned a Masters in Fine Arts Degree after serving more than eight years in prison for an armed car-jacking when he was 16. He founded an organization called Freedom Reads which gives prison inmates access to books. The other keynote speaker will be Arlie Hochschild, professor-emeritus of sociology at the University of California-Berkley. Hochschild has written nine books including Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. The event is part of the Sipuel-Fisher Center's Building Bridges 2.0; Liberty, Justice, and Equality program Oct. 23rd through 25th.
Theatre Group to Celebrate Anniversary of Re-organization
The Chickasha Community Theatre is gearing up for its final show of the year. Rehearsals recently began for The Sound of Music which will be performed over two weekends in November. The theater is also preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary year of its re-organization. It was originally active from about 1968 to 1976. Fast forward 18 years to 1994 where supporters came together to re-start the theatre and it’s been going strong ever since. Kristy Jarnagin was among those helping to provide new life to the group. She serves on the governing board and still performs occasionally. With the help of numerous donors and fund-raising campaigns Jarnagin says there have been a lot of improvements made to its home - the historic Washita Theatre downtown.
The group has already announced its 2024 schedule which can be seen on its website. There is one event at the theatre prior to The Sound of Music. There will be an evening of ghost stories during the downtown Fright Night which is set for Friday, Oct. 13th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $90.28 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.52.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,944 and silver is $23.47.
Richard Souders, Jr.
Funeral service for Richard Souders, Jr., 58, of Pocasset will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22nd at the First Baptist Church of Mustang. He worked for Delta Airlines and for the City of Oklahoma City. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Joy Bollman, 85, of Chickasha and formerly of the Alex and Blanchard area will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26th at Epworth Methodist Church. She was a volunteer at Grady Memorial Hospital. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Sept. 20th
Two Injured in Separate Traffic Accidents
Two people were hospitalized following separate traffic accidents early Tuesday morning. 26-year old Emily Johnston of Newcastle was hurt when she crashed her Jeep near the junction of U.S. Highway 62 and the Alex Highway just after 5 a.m. That was before a thunderstorm moved through the area. The highway patrol reports that Johnston tried to pass a vehicle and didn’t have sufficient clearance. She swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, left the highway, and rolled three times. Johnston was last in fair condition in an Oklahoma City hospital.
One critically hurt in multi-vehicle crash
One person suffered life-threatening injuries in an accident on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike southeast of Chickasha about 6 a.m. Tuesday - which occurred after a storm moved through that area. A pick-up ran off the highway and hit a legally-parked car that had its emergency flashers on. The pick-up then was hit by a semi. 36-year old Johnathan Price of Princeton, Missouri was a passenger in the pick-up. He was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was last in critical condition. The driver of the pick-up, 40-year old Michael Frakes of Lawton was treated and released from a hospital. Two people in the car - 51-year old Donald Tharp of Apache and 48-year old Johnny Fields, Jr. of Fletcher - were also hospitalized briefly but were treated and released. The driver of the semi was identified as 49-year old David Evans of Norman who was also treated and released.
Cancer Survivor Urges Congress to Support Research for Cure
A three-time cancer survivor is spending some time in the nation's capitol this week advocating on behalf of the American Cancer Society. As a young man, Howie Jackson of Chickasha survived two bouts with leukemia and earlier this year he won a battle with prostate cancer. For the last several years he has been going to Washington, D.C. to encourage Congress to support funding to help find cures for cancer.
Jackson’s work in Washington started in 2010. His efforts include supporting local Relay for Life campaigns which raise funds for the American Cancer Society to support ongoing cancer research.
Chickasha Fall Clean-up Campaign Begins
Chickasha residents are encouraged to do some fall clean up this week. The city's public works headquarters will be accepting all kinds of trash, limbs, furniture, appliances, and any unwanted items that may be cluttering up yards, garages, and sheds. There will be large roll-off dumpsters at public works, which is on Genevieve Street north of the animal shelter. Shae Mortimer with the city says residents will have to show they live in the city limits in order to use the free service.
Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. There is a separate area for limb and brush disposal and it does not have to be cut down to a smaller size. Refrigerators and window air conditioning units will have to have the Freon removed by a certified technician and individuals will have to show that documentation in order to drop them off. Items that won't be accepted include tires, batteries, motor oil, paint, or items considered to be hazardous materials.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.20 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $94.34.
Natural gas is $2.85 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,953 and silver is $23.56.
Billy Bob Tryon
Funeral service for Billy Bob Tryon, 76, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21st at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Sept. 19th
Changes to Planned Downtown Chix Park Approved
The Chickasha City Council put its stamp of approval on changes to the proposed downtown park being planned near the Rock Island Railroad Depot. Pat Brooks with the Chickasha Community Foundation outlined the changes in a 20-minute presentation during last night’s city council meeting. Brooks said among the most noticeable changes is a mini-train which will circle the six-acre park. There will also be a train station, playgrounds, pickleball and sand volleyball courts, and an area to show outdoor movies. There is also a large stable for developer Chet Hitt to keep his Town's End draft horses in. Hitt plans on offering wagon rides during special events. Brooks said another round of fund-raising for the park will begin soon and they are hoping to begin construction on some of the projects by this time next year. Further down the road there could be an area for a carousel and perhaps a community flower and/or vegetable garden. The park will be open year-round and will be locked at night.
New city park regulations approved
The council approved changes to a couple of city ordinances which may be targeted at the homeless. The council established hours at city parks to be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and that no overnight camping will be allowed. Police could give a ticket to anyone violating the new rules. It wasn't clear what the fine might be but most tickets cost about $175. The new regulations would not impact camping or overnight stays at Lake Chickasha. Another ordinance change prohibits trespassing and illegal entrance on public or private property. Emergency clauses on all of the changes were approved meaning they will go into effect as soon as they are published.
Chicken limit established; roosters banned
The council also approved a limit on the number of chickens or other fowl a household could have. Officials say residents can have a maximum of five chickens but it bans roosters. Residents must get a city permit and have annual inspections. The permit fee would benefit Animal Control.
USAO Board of Regents Has New Face
The newest regent for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) has taken her oath of office. Sulphur pharmacist Amanda Conley took her seat on the panel recently. She was appointed to the post by Gov. Kevin Stitt and the state senate approved the appointment. Her term is for seven years and she takes over the post previously held by David Ferrell. The Conley family has been in the cattle business for five generations. She works as a contract pharmacist for the Chickasaw Nation and she also currently serves as a board member for Arbuckle Memorial Hospital.
University gets more national publicity
In other university news, USAO has been named a top-20 public liberal arts university by U.S. News and World Report for the second straight year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.48 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $94.43.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,956 and silver is $23.59.
Funeral service for James Odom, 95, of Amber will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21st at the First Baptist Church of Amber. He was rancher and dairy farmer and spent many years on the Amber-Pocasset school board. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Amber.
A memorial service for Dellas Anderson, 91, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23rd at the First Baptist Church of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Army veteran and worked for the Soil Conservation Service for nearly 40 years. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Gideon’s International.
A memorial service for John Periman, 88, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25th at First Baptist Church of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran, was a store manager for Humpty Dumpty and Dunn’s, and sang bass with the church choir and barbershop quartets. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Monday, Sept. 18th
Two Critically Injured in Weekend Accident
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating a weekend crash which critically injured two young women. An un-named 16-year old from Chickasha and 22-year old McKayla Rodriguez of Alex were in a small SUV which was involved in a collision with a pick-up about four miles west of Marlow. The accident happened just after 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Both were air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. Details of the crash were not reported. The pick-up was driven by 33-year old Eldon Nihipali of Marlow who was not hurt. The OHP reported that seat belts were being used in both vehicles.
Violent Threat Issued Toward Friend School
Friend School officials say classes will be held today as usual today after the school received a violent threat. A post on the Grady County Sheriff's Office Facebook page - attributed to Friend Superintendent Trevor Rogers - says a student made the threat after school last Friday. Rogers says the school's new resource officer and the sheriff's office were notified. Rogers said patrons should rest assured that the situation was thoroughly investigated and addressed effectively in conjunction with state and federal laws.
Chix Sewer Line Replacement Cost Increases
The price tag for repairing a sewer line just west of downtown Chickasha is getting more expensive. The city council tonight will consider some added costs to the project that is near 16th Street and U.S. Highway 62 (Choctaw Avenue). Officials say they have to move the sewer line 20 feet west of the original location. While digging to install the new line it was discovered that there was an existing pipeline in that same area that could not have been found in the original work plan. The additional materials will add $27,000 to the cost of that project.
Ordinance proposed to limit number of chickens at households
The council will also consider some changes to city ordinances including one that pertains to having chickens and other fowl in the city limits. The proposal calls for a maximum of five birds per household and roosters would not be allowed. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Lincoln School Sets Conferences, Book Fair, Fund Raiser
Lincoln Elementary School will have parent-teacher conferences after school both today and tomorrow. There will also be a special fund-raiser and scholastic book fair during those times. Conferences will run from 3:45 to 7:15 today and tomorrow afternoon. The fund raiser is with Nothing Bundt Cakes out of Norman which will be giving some proceeds of their sales to the school. The scholastic book sale will be held at the library.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $90.77 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.93.
Natural gas is $2.64 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,984 and silver is $23.43.
A graveside service for Loretta Burton, 86, of Alex will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19th at the Alex Cemetery. She worked at Grady Memorial Hospital and the highway department. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Kevin Quillin, 53, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19th at Full Gospel Church. He owned and operated Chickasha Upholstery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Natalie Pearson, 72, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22nd at Abundant Life Christian Church in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.