Mollman Media News

2017 November 13th - 17th

Your Local News

Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is Deborah Reed

Tune in to hear Deborah’s story!



Friday, November 17th


Festival of Light Begins Silver Season

Chickasha's Festival of Light will open its 2017 campaign this weekend. This is the 25th year for the attraction, which features about 3 million lights at Shannon Springs Park. Among the new features this year are a new animated display, and a new design for the archway that enters the park. There's also a Christmas village and food truck vendors. However, Jen Jantzen with the festival is really enthusiastic about one particular addition.




Of course, you can't miss Oklahoma's tallest lighted Christmas tree, which is more than 160 feet tall. The festival opens tomorrow night, and runs every night through New Year's Eve.


Family Recovering After Fire

The joy of the holidays, however won't be as happy for one family. Three generations, though, are counting their blessings after a fire leaves them homeless. Betty Austin had lived in the wood-framed home for nearly 40 years. Now she, her daughter, two grandchildren and a nephew are picking up the pieces. Austin said she was sleeping when the fire started. Her nephew was able to wake her up and get her out, and neither were injured. Austin said many household items were damaged or destroyed, however said those can be replaced. She did lose alot of family photos, including some of her late husband. The Red Cross and Salvation Army have helped to provide a room at a local motel as well as some clothing for her family, which includes granddaughters who are 10 and 16. The fire came just a few days after another tragic loss - the death of Austin's mother-in-law. The funeral was just held last Friday. Austin and the family are trying recover on a limited income. She's a three-time cancer survivor and on disability, and her nephew is also disabled. Her daughter works at a local convenience store.


Railroad Work to Temporarily Close Highway

U.S. Highway 81 between Chickasha and Minco will be closed to through traffic Monday and Tuesday, November 20th and 21st. Union Pacific Railroad will be doing some maintenance on their line just north of the junction of Highways 81 and 62. The highway will be open to local traffic, however passenger cars and trucks will have to detour at Reding Road. Southbound truck traffic will be detoured at Minco, east on Highway 37 to Tuttle, then south on Highway 92. Northbound truck traffic will be detoured downtown Chickasha, at Highway 62, east to Highway 92, and north to Highway 37. The maintenance work is expected to be completed late Tuesday afternoon.


Sheriff's Office Food Drive Underway

The Grady County Sheriff's Office will again help to make sure hungry children have enough to eat over the Thanksgiving holiday. For the last several years, the agency has partnered with Chickasha's Homeland grocery store to help youth that participate in the backback programs at their schools. Lisa Hatchett with the sheriff's office says they work with every school in the county.




Last year the drive provided food to about 1,000 children. When you shop at Homeland, you can pay an extra $5 to donate a bag of food to the drive. Sheriff Jim Weir and some deputies will be at Homeland for the drive tomorrow, from 10 to 1.


Dogs and Craft Show at County Fairgounds

Today marks the second of four days of the Sooner Circuit Cluster of dogs shows at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Today is the final day for the show hosted by the Canadian Valley Kennel Club of El Reno. Tomorrow and Sunday are set aside for the Sooner Kennel Club out of Norman. Also at the fairgrounds is the Grady County OHCE Celebration of Crafts show. That’s a two-day event today and tomorrow in the north exhibit building. More than 40 vendors on hand, and a concession stand will be open. Admission is free to both the dog shows and craft show and sale.


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX down to $55.14 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude falls to $61.35.

Natural gas down to $3.05 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,283 and silver is $17.09.


Thursday, November 16th


Three File for State House Seat

Two Republicans and one Democrat are seeking the post in the state House of Representatives vacated by Chickasha's Scott Biggs last month. The three-day filing period ended yesterday for House District 51, where Chickasha restaurant owner Dustin Payne and Marlow Mayor Brad Boles filed on the Republican side. Retired educator Chuck Murdock, also of Marlow, filed for the Democrats. A primary election for the Republican candidates will be held January 9th. The winner will face Murdock in a special election March 6th. The term runs through 2018.


Meet Another Candidate for Governor

Another Republican gubernatorial candidate will be in Chickasha tonight. State Auditor Gary Jones is on the program for USAO's on-going meet-the-candidate forum. All candidates are given the opportunity to discuss their background and reasons for running, and there is time for questions from the audience. The forum gets underway at 7:00 p.m., and takes place in the USAO ballroom. The public is invited to attend.


Man Faces Charges in Bat Attack

A Tuttle-area man accused hitting two people with a bat has been charged with two felony counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. 35-year old Gentry Jay Peery was arrested this past weekend, the day after the attack is alleged to have taken place. An arrest warrant affidavit indicates Grady County deputies were called to a home near Tuttle Saturday, when a woman said Peery hit her in the head. She suffered a knot on her head and refused medical treatment. It's also alleged Peery used the bat to hit a male victim in the head and shoulder with the bat. Peery left the home after the attack. Authorities caught up with Peery when he returned to the home the next morning. Perry is out of jail after posting a $15,000 bond. He's to be back in court Nov. 29th to announce his attorney.


Pinging GPS Helps Police Find Stolen Van, AWOL Soldier

A GPS signal from a stolen van leads to the arrest of a Ft. Sill soldier who was AWOL from basic training. Early Tuesday morning, Chickasha police were called by authorities in Lawton about the vehicle. The van's GPS tracker indicated it was near the 1600 block of South Shepherd. Police found the van and the AWOL soldier in the Wal-Mart parking lot. 25-year old Matthew Taylor McGonigal told investigators he was trying to get back go his home in Kentucky. McGonigal was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. He remains in jail pending a $50,000 bond. The van was released to its owner. No word on whether McGonigal could also be court-martialed.


Old Mo' Betta Store Collapses

A historic building in Apache has collapsed. The former location of the Mo' Betta store was damaged beyond repair when a wall fell in earlier this week. The building had been empty for several years, and the roof had already fallen in. The shirt was made famous by country music artist Garth Brooks, and were popular among many other country stars, and well as pro rodeo cowboys. Owner Maury Tate was sad to see the building fall. He said people in town would rush to the store to see whose tour bus or limouisine was parked in front of the store. The remnants of building, built in the early 1900s, will be demolished by the City of Apache.


Top Dogs Show in Chickasha

Top dog breeds across the country will be in Chickasha the next several days. It's the Sooner Circuit Cluster of Dog Shows, with some 1,500 dogs expected to be judged at the Grady County Fairgrounds. among the exibitors, Odebt Massy from Colorado.




Kennel clubs from El Reno and Norman are hosting the show once again this year, about the 10th year for the show to be in Chickasha. Showing begins at 9:00 a.m. today, tomorrow, and Saturday mornings, at 8:00 a.m. Sunday. The show is free and open to the public. There are numerous dog product vendors on site, and you're welcome to talk the the exhibitors and take photos.


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX down Wednesday to $55.33 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude slips to $61.87.

Natural gas down to $3.08 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,278 and silver is $17.05.


Wednesday, November 15th


Unions Air Complaints about School Board, Superintendent

Leaders of the two unions that represent many Chickasha school employees give their reasons for recent "no confidence" votes of the school board and Superintendent Emeritus Dave Cash. The statements were made during a standing room-only meeting of the Chickasha Board of Education last night. Renee Stallings, president of the Chickasha United Teachers Association (CUTA), read a prepared joint statement from both CUTA and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees. The complaint addressed the school board allowing Cash to take a leave of absence to work with the Oklahoma Public School Resource Company, while still working part-time for the Chickasha school district.




Stallings asked that the district retain a neutral investigator in order to determine if Cash has engaged - or is engaging in - activities which constitute a conflict of interest with respect to his dual positions. Following Stallings’ statement, there was a brief exchange between her and school board attorney Richard O'Carroll, who was hired by the school board recently. O'Carroll asked about the number of employees who participated in the recent no-confidence votes. Stallings said about 215 individuals cast ballots. O'Carroll said that's less than half of the 440 employees in the district. In a prepared statement, the school board said the vote unfairly isolated many employees, and that no evidence of wrong-doing that would merit a no-confidence vote was adequately presented to employees. School board president Chris Ludwell was asked to make a public comment, but declined.


Opportunity Center to Shut Down

The Chickasha Opportunity Center will close its doors at the end of the month. Director Thomas Hannon tells RANCH News one reason is the funding crisis facing health care as a result of an impasse among state lawmakers. For 55 years, the center has provided employment opportunities for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. As many as 45 individuals are affected. Hannon says the center would probably lose about $500,000 in funding because the on-going budget talks at the state capital. The center has contracts with Green Bay Packaging, HSI Sensing, and the Festival of Light. Hannon has been the director of the center for the last 14 years. He hopes to keep the socialization aspect of the center alive, perhaps having workers meet every couple of weeks so they can keep in touch with their friends. Hannon said the goal of the center has always been to integrate those with disabilities into the community, and hopes to find competitive employment for those who want to continue working.


Tuttle, Bridge Creek Voters, Approve School Bonds

Voters in Tuttle and Bridge Creek overwhelmingly approve school bond issues in yesterday's special elections. In Tuttle, nearly four out of every five voters approved two bond issues totaling about $3.2 million. Proposition 1, a nearly $1.6 million bond issue, passed 407 to 107. It will allow the district to purchase iPads and lap tops for students and upgrade Internet technology. Proposition 2, a nearly $1.6 million bond issue, passed by an almost identical vote, 407 to 108. It will allow the purchase of school buses and SUVs. In Bridge Creek, more than 70 percent of voters approve a $3 million bond issue. The vote was 394 to 164. The funds will be used to improve classrooms, upgrade concession stands and restrooms at athletic facilities, and install a new track around the football field.


Stokes Wins Fire Protection District Post

Bridge Creek voters also elected Anthony Stokes to fill an unexpired term on the Fire Protection District Board. Stokes picked up 65 percent of the vote, defeating NaRissa Anderson, 360 to 191.


Farmers Should Report Grass Acreages Today

Today is the last day for farmers to report next summer's grass acreages. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency encourages producers who have not yet done so, to call and schedule an appointment today in order to avoid a fine.




Jackson said today's deadline also applies to alfalfa acreages. He said even though alfalfa stands normally last about five years, it still must be reported every year.


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX down to $55.70 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude down to $62.62.

Natural gas down to $3.10 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,285 and silver is $17.12.


Tuesday, November 14th


Complaints to be Aired Regarding School Board, Superintendent

Officials with the two unions representing many Chickasha school employees will tell why they gave votes of "no confidence" to the district's superintendent and the school board tonight. The Chickasha United Teachers Association, and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees are to give statements. The unions are unhappy that Superintendent Dave Cash was allowed to take a leave of absence in order to pursue another career, but still have control of school finances and policy on a part-time basis. Also on the agenda, a proposed contract with attorney Richard O'Carroll, which will be followed by a closed-door meeting with O'Carroll to discuss a  pending lawsuit by some patrons and employees of the district. The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the school adminstration building.


Three File for Open House of Representatives Seat

Three candidates have filed for the vacant House District 51 seat in the state Fouse of Representatives. On the first day of filing Monday, two Republicans; 35-year old Dustin Payne of Chickasha and 34-year old Brad Boles of Marlow; entered the race. One Democrat, 71-year old Chuck Murdock of Marlow, also filed. The candidates are seeking the house seat vacated by Scott Biggs who resigned his post to take a new position with the Farm Service Agency with the United States Department of Agriculture. The filing period runs through tomorrow. A primary election will be held in January.


Special School Bond, Fire District Elections Today

Special bond elections are getting underway today for voters in the Tuttle and Bridge Creek school districts. There's also a general election for the Bridge Creek Fire Protection District board. In Tuttle, voters are deciding two issues totalling nearly $3.2 million. The first is a $1.6 million upgrade for technology and textbooks. The second is a nearly $1.6 million bond for student transportation, including buses and SUVs. Superintendent Bobby Waitman says there would be no increase in property taxes should both measures pass. For Bridge Creek schools, officials are seeking a $3 million bond to upgrade classrooms; and to make improvements to rest rooms and concession stands at the football field. It will also allow the district to build a track around the football field. For the Bridge Creek Fire Protection District, NaRissa Anderson and Anthony Stokes are running to complete an unexpired erm in Office No. 4. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.


Open Streets Planning Begins

Some community groups are beginning preparations for the Chickasha's next Open Streets program. Open Streets is an international program promoting outdoor activities and exercise. Officials with the TSET Healthy Living Program Serving Grady County held their first meeting yesterday. Initial plans are to hold the event the first Saturday in May, with events happening around the railroad depot. The hope to utlitize space better next year, and to do more aggressive marketing to increase attendance.


The Big Turkey Thaw About to Begin

We're a little more than a week away from Thanksgiving. For those of you charged with preparing the annual feast, take care that you thaw out the turkey properly.




Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension.


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.76 a barrel.

London-based Brent crudeis  $63.17.

Natural gas is $3.16 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,273 and silver is $16.93.


Monday, November 13th


Veterans Receive Honors

Veterans Day ceremonies nationwide this past weekend paid tribute to those who served and are serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt addressed those gathered at the Grady County Veterans Memorial in Shannon Springs Park.



Noblitt also thanked the families of military veterans who made sacrifices to support those whose service helped protect our freedom and values.


City Codes on Council Work Session Agenda

Zoning codes are among the issues to be discussed during an informal work session of the Chickasha City Council later today. The council got a lot of feedback over controversial city codes during last week's council meeting. The panel will also discuss the possibility of leasing a city-owned building. There have been talks with military veterans groups to lease the old police department and city hall at 6th and Chickasha Avenue. The council will also discuss a police and fire consultant; the city's bid process; and the sports complex. The work session gets underway at 5:30 this afternoon at city hall.


Filing Period Underway for Vacant HD 51 Post

Candidates interested in the seat in the state House of Representatives left vacant by the recent resignation of Scott Biggs can begin filing for the office today. It's House District 51, which includes eastern Grady, western McClain, and northeastern Stephens County. Candidates who have already announced they are running include Republican Dustin Payne, a Chickasha businessman; and Democrat Chuck Murdock, a retired educator from Marlow. The filing period runs through Wednesday. Candidates file at the state election board. 


Gubernatorial Candidates Schedule Chickasha Stops

Two Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates will be in Chickasha this week Republican Kevin Stitt of Tulsa will have a meet-and-greet at the Chickasha library today, from 1:30 to 2:30. On Thursday of this week, State Auditor and inspector Gary Jones, also running as a Republican, will speak at USAO. Jones is part of the on-going public forums being offered by the university over the next several weeks. Jones will discuss his platform and will also field questions. That program is Thursday night at 7 o'clock at the USAO ballroom and is open to the public.


Energy Sector Still Doing Well

There is still alot of activity in this region in the oil and gas indsutry. Jay Freede with the Oklahoma Division of the National Assocation of Royalty Owners says there is an increasing number of leases coming about in Grady County.



Freede said the Oklahoma School Land Commission recently announced their group received about $7,500 an acre in bonus money for mineral rights leased in Grady County. 


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is 56.74 a barrel.

London-based Brent crudeiso $63.52.

Natural gas is $3.21 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,279 and silver is $16.89.  


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