Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is Lincoln Elementry school, Cafeteria Supervisor …. Rosa Halcomb.
Saturday, December 9th
Shooting Suspect Still at-Large
While a man shot in the face continues recovering from his injuries, police are still looking for the shooter. 24-year old Austin Brooks of Chickasha was last in good condition at an OKC hospital after the shooting at a local motel Thursday morning. Police had detained three persons of interest who were witnesses to the shooting. Brooks told police he couldn't identify the shooter.
DA Files Charges after Drug Bust
Two people arrested for having thousands of dollars in illegal drugs in their car are formally charged with drug trafficking. 54-year old James Dale Scott of Ninnekah is being held on $200,000 bond and 25-year old Brittany Dawn Alexander of Chickasha is being held on a $25,000 bond. Police made a traffic stop on their vehicle and allegedly found a large amount of meth and marijuana and about $8,000 in cash. Scott has a history of run-ins with the law, which include pleading guilty to having a firearm after felony conviction, as well as drug possession. He also was convicted of operating a chop shop.
Longtime Auctioneer Dies
For nearly 50 years, his voice rang out at auctions and livestock shows throughout the region. Larry Howard has died. He was 63 when he passed away Thursday. He was associated with Charlie Brown Auction since he was 16 years old, and had continued working there until he died. He volunteered his voice to many groups. He and Charlie Brown were the long-time auctioneers for the premium sale for the spring Grady County junior livestock shows. His honors include Grady County Volunteer of the Year and Ninnekah Citizen of the Year. He also served on the Ninnekah school board and was an honorary school board member. Survivors include his wife Carolyn, son Codey and extended family. Funeral for Larry Howard will be at 2 o'clock Tuesday, Dec. 12th at the Ninnekah First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the church.
Higher Ed Task Force Approves Merger Plan
USAO is included in a proposal that could move a number of colleges and universities under the authority of one of several larger governing boards. Right now, USAO is guided by its own Board of Regents. A higher education task force has recommended the changes, saying it could help students make an easier transition to four-year schools. the Associated Press cites a report from The Oklahoman saying the plan has its critics. Some say the change would increase tuition at two-year colleges and wouldn't be beneficial to students. Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said local governance is important with the colleges. He says they have different student bodies to deal with, and that it would be counter-productive. The recommendation will be reviewed by the state regents for higher eduction early next year. If approved, the governing boards of the school would have until June of 2019 to merge with either the OU Board of Regents; the OSU and A and M Colleges Board of Regents; or the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.
Senior Citizens to Benefit from Grant
A program designed to keep older Oklahomans in their homes has been awarded a nearly $70,000 grant to help with its work. The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma awarded the funds to the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments. ASCOG serves eight counties, including the area from Blanchard to Chickasha and Anadarko, and south to the Marlow, Duncan, and Lawton areas. ASCOG officials say the funding is not intended to provide continuous support for individuals but would be a one-time payout, where other aid sources may not be available to senior citizens who need help. Applications will be available on the ASCOG website at www.ascog.org beginning Jan. 3rd and should also be available at senior nutrition centers.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. He's talking about the statewide fire training program in Chickasha, and other issues with the department. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, the guest is Sherry Keifler with the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. We have a links to both interviews elsewhere on this web site. Look for the KOOL Konversation and Real Estate Today under the News tab.
Friday, December 8th
Persons of Interest Questioned About Shooting
Three persons of interest are detained in connection with yesterday's shooting at a Chickasha motel. Chickasha police Lt. Scott Weaver says a man was shot in the face, and remains hospitalized with his injury. Police were called to America's Best Value Inn just before 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Weaver said there were several people in a room, when one of them drew a weapon and shot the victim in the left cheek. The victim has been identified as 24-year old Austin Brooks of Chickasha. Brooks told police he couldn't identify the shooter. Weaver says investigators have not determined a motive. Authorities are not releasing the names of the persons of interest.
Drugs, Cash Seized in Traffic Stop
Chickasha police seize thousands of dollars in pot and methamphetamine along with more than $8,000 in cash following a traffic stop. Authorities found the drugs inside the vehicle, with the help of a K9 officer. 54 year old James Dale Scott of Ninnekah and 25-year old Brittany Dawn Alexander of Chickasha were arrested on drug trafficking and other complaints. Both could be formally charged today.
Killer Gets Life
A Caddo County man convicted of murder receives a life sentence and additional 15 years for his role in a Lawton homicide. Joshua Codynah of Apache was convicted for his role in the death of Michael Mithlo, which occurred in Lawton last year. During testimony in the sentencing, Mithlo's father said words could not describe the void and emptiness he's felt since his son died. Codynah also took the stand and apologized to Mithlo's family. Codynah won’t be eligible for parole until 2068.
Firefighters will Train In Chickasha
More than 50 volunteer firefighters across the state will be in Chickasha this weekend for an intense training program. The Oklahoma Forestry Service offers a Red Card Certification program. Once completed, firefighters would be qualified to assist in battling major wildland fires, like what's happening in California. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department says the training includes a physical agility test.
The training is offered in conjunction with the Volunteer Firefighters Association of Oklahoma.
A ground breaking ceremony was held Thursday afternoon for Chickasha's next hotel. A Best Western Plus will be built near the Grady County Fairgrounds next year. It's an $8 million development for Hirem and Pinakin Patel, who have similar facilities in Duncan, Lawton, and Wichita Falls. Hirem was on hand for the ground breaking.
He says they hope to employ about 18 staff once they open.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX went back over $56 to $56.69.
London-based Brent crude up to $62.20
Natural gas down to $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold down to $1,248 and silver is $15.80
Thursday, December 7th
New Construction Slows
New construction projects typically slow down in late fall, and that was the case in Chickasha for November. The city's Community Development Department issued just over $500,000 in new construction permits last month. Only eight permits were awarded, and all were for residential projects. Among them were three new single-family homes, each valued near $150,000. Two of them are in the southeast part of town around Trinity Baptist Church in the Alli Circle area. Home Creations was given approval to build another home in the Sleepy Hollow Two addition. Other building permits were issued to Aaron and Angie Miller for $19,000 for a new carport near 20th and Minnesota; Tom Phillips received a $15,000 remodeling permit at 36 Village Drive; and David and Kim Payne received a $10,000 remodeling permit at 34 Ridgecrest Drive. For the first 11 months of 2017, more than $49 million in new construction have been approved.
Update on School Board Filings
Only two Grady County school districts will have school board elections in February. Chickasha and Rush Springs schools were the only ones to have multiple candidates file, after a three-day filing period that ended Wednesday. In Chickasha, incumbent Julie Badgett-Sinn is being challenged by Zack McGill. In Rush Springs, Tommy Jordan and Del Ford filed. Candidates who filed unopposed and will take office in the spring are Rusty Garrett at Ninnekah; Keegan Doke at Amber-Pocasset; Norman Wood at Verden; Tommy Ketchum at Alex; Lisa Schneberger and Brad Bute at Minco (separate offices); Gary Laird at Tuttle; and Charlie Dunbar at Bridge Creek. For the K-8 schools, Seth DeHart at Pioneer, Scott Taylor at Friend and Kendall Carr at Middleberg.
In Caddo County school districts, three candidates have filed for the Anadarko school board post. They are Justin Myers, Brett Stephens, and Ronald McLemore. Two candidates filed at Carnegie, Ryan Clark and Michael Longhat; a pair of candidates also filed at Apache, Troy Lewis and Katrina Wetselline. Filing unopposed were Shelly Mink at Cement; Delbert McCurley at Cyril; Alese Savage at Gracemont; Cassi Crowell at Ft. Cobb-Broxton; Casy Horn at Lookeba-Sickles and Dustin Tacket for the Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center school board.
In McClain County, Tim Sluder and Gabe Green filed at Blanchard; and Steve Long and Gene Shiflett filed at Dibble. Doyle Greteman of Lindsay filed un-opposed for the Mid America Technology Center school board.
House Candidate Visits Chickasha
One of the candidates running for House District 51 met with business leaders in the area yesterday. Marlow Mayor Brad Boles stopped by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce to talk about why he's interested in state government. Boles says he'd like to scrutinize state agencies to make sure they are spending money wisely. Boles will face Chickasha businessman Dustin Payne in the Republican primary election Jan. 9th. The winner will go on to face Democrat Chuck Mudock in March.
Chickasha Christmas on Tap
Hundreds of people expected to gather in downtown Chickasha tonight for the lighted Christmas parade. The Main Street Assocation will be doling out some awards for the top entries among floats, bands, business groups, riding clubs, and churches. A few main street merchants will be open before the parade for holiday shoppers. The parade route will run from the YMCA to the railroad depot.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX falls below $56 to $55.95.
London-based Brent crude down to $61.22.
Natural gas fairly steady at $2.92 per million BTUs
Gold is $1,257 and silver falls below $16 to $15.91
Wednesday, December 6th
Council Rep Says Civil Rights Icon Deserves Recognition
A Chickasha woman's impact on desegregating higher education at the national level needs to be recognized more by the community. Chickasha City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander wants the city to do more to highlight the efforts of Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher, who broke the color barrier at the OU Law School back in the 1940s. Here is Ashanti-Alexander discussing the issue at this week's city council meeting.
Sipuel-Fisher's case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, in which she was eventually allowed to be the first black woman to attend the OU Law School. While the city has a street named after Sipuel-Fisher, Ashanti-Alexander believes there should be something else to promote her accomplishments.
Grady County School Board Races Develop
A race has developed for a seat on the Chickasha Board of Education. Zach McGill will challenge incumbent Julie Badgett-Sinn for Office No. 3 on the school board. McGill filed his application to run yesterday. There is also a race for Rush Springs Board of Education, where Del Ford and Tommy Jordan have filed. A few candidates in other county school districts have filed un-challenged, though candidates can still come forward today, the final day of the three-day filing period. New filings from yesterday include Keegan Doke at Amber-Pocasset; Norman Wood at Verden; Brad Bute and Lisa Schneberger for separate offices in Minco; Scott Taylor at Friend and Kendal Camp at Middleberg. Earlier candidates who have filed include Seth DeHart at Pioneer; Tommy Ketchum at Alex; and Gary Laird at Tuttle.
Caddo County School Board Filings
In Caddo County, there are still no filings for Anadarko School Board. New filings from Tuesday show Katrina Wetselline signed up in Apache; and Casey Horn at Lookeba-Sickles. Also, Tom Horn filed to challenge Carol Garrison at Hinton.
McClain County School Board Filings
In McClain County, there's a race for Dibble School Board, as Steve Long and Gene Shiflett both filed yesterday. At Blanchard, Tim Sluder and Gabe Green have filed. Also, Doyle Greteman of Lindsay has filed for a seat on the Mid-America Technology Center school board.
Chix School Board to Review Interim-Supe Candidates
Another special meeting of the Chickasha school board will be held to find a long-term interim superintendent. The panel will meet Thursday evening in a closed-door session to review resumes of those who have applied. In open session, the panel will discuss and possibly take action to determine how to proceed with the search process. Currently, Cindy Schmidt is serving as temporary interim superintendent. She's serving in that role since her predecessor, Dave Cash, was allowed to take a controversial leave of absence, but still serve as superintendent emeritus, while he works with another company. Cash has an agreement with the school board to return as full-time superintendent July 1, 2018.
Nominations Sought for Chamber Honors
The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce is looking for nominations for a number of awards that will be presented during its annual banquet in early 2018. Officials will honor a Citizen of the Year; a Volunteer of the Year, and Hall of Fame-Living Icon and Legacy award recipients. Chamber president Mark Rathe said candidates do not have to be chamber members to be nominated. Deadline for nominations is January 12th, with awards being presented Feb. 23rd.
OHCE Recognizes Top Members
The Oklahoma Home and Community Education groups of Grady County issued some awards during their annual meeting on Monday. Jyme Tyner of Rural Neighbors received the Heart of OHCE award. Peggy Eiss of Spring Creek was named Rookie of the Year. Anna Edens of Rural Neighbors was recognized for her life story submission on Germany during World War Two; and Patty Ennen of Friend won first place in photography. OHCE has been around for more than a century in Grady County. Rural Neighbors celebrated its 104th anniversary and Lucile Bluebonnet marked its 102nd year. Collectively, the OHCE groups distributed more than $7,500 in scholarships in 2017.
Deadline Approaches for Wheat Producers
Wheat producers have about a month before they need to meet a deadline. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency.
Many FSA county committes in the region will meet tomorrow to count ballots in the recently completed county committee elections.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX up slightly to $57.62 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude up to $62.82.
Natural gas was down to $2.91 per million BTUs.
Tuesday, December 5th
Police Officers to Continue Working Long Shifts
Chickasha police officers will continue working 12-hour shifts, in a new agreement between the city and Fraternal Order of Police No. 129. After a 15-minute closed-door meeting, the Chickasha City Council unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement for the current fiscal year. The agreement calls for officers to continue working the longer shifts, due to a shortage of officers. It also calls for the city to pay for cell phones for some officers for business purposes. The agreement runs through June 30, 2018.
Police Department Receives Body Cam Grant
The police department was recently awarded a large grant to pay for body cameras for new officers. The $5,000 grant comes from OMAG, which is the city's insurance carrier. Kevin McCullough with the agency was on hand or a formal presentation at last night's council meeting.
Interim Police Chief G.G. Music said the grant will be used to purchase five body cameras for five new police officers that have recently been hired.
School Board Candidates File
A handful of candidates have filed for school board posts in the region. As of late yesterday, no races had developed in Grady County school districts. Julie Badgett-Sinn filed for her post on the Chickasha school board; Seth DeHart filed at Pioneer; Tommy Ketchum filed for re-election at Alex; Tommy Jordan at Rush Springs; and Gary Laird files at Tuttle. In Caddo County, no candidates had filed at Anadarko; at Cyril, Delbert McCurley filed; at Ft. Cobb-Broxton, Cassi Crowell; at Binger-Oney, Seidina Caldwell; at Carnegie, a race developed between Ryan Clark and Michael Longhat; at Hinton, Carol Garrison; and Dustin Tackett has filed for re-election for his seat on the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center school board. School board filings run through tomorrow.
Hotel Ground-breaking Finally Set
After several years of delays, officials are ready to break ground on another new hotel in Chickasha. The Best Western Plus will be built just southeast of the Grady County Fairgrounds. Economic Development Director Christy Elkins announced the ground-breaking in an e-mail. The formal ground-breaking will be held at 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon.
Woman Arrested for Second DUI in Five Months
A Chickasha woman arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident is charged with her second DUI in the last five months. 40-year old Rebecca Erin Kinslow was arrested by Chickasha police over the weekend, after a hit-and-run accident near 8th and Grand. Court documents indicate witnesses told police they saw Kinslow side-swipe a vehicle, and that she did not stop. The witnesses called police and even followed Kinslow to her home. Kinslow told police she did not know she hit another vehicle. Just last week, Kinslow pleaded guity to a misdemeanor DUI following an arrest in June. A judge gave her a five-year deferred sentence. Kinslow is now facing a felony DUI, and could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and a $2,500 fine if convicted.
One Injured in Minco Crash
One person is hospitalized when a car and a pick-up collided southwest of Minco. 31-year old Joseph Mitchell of Chandler was last in critical condition in an Oklahoma City hospital with trunk and internal injuries. Theh Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports Chandler was hurt when his car was hit broadside by a pickup driven by 62-year old Randall Jensen of Pocasset. Jensen was not injured. The accident happened about 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, three miles south and one mile west of Minco.
Site Teachers Recognized in Chickasha Schools
Chickasha schools are recognizing their site teachers of the year. One teacher from each school was selected for the honor. At the high school, it’s Spanish Teacher Karen Tillman. She's taught in the district for eight years. At the middle school, its 7th grade language arts teacher, Michael Voyles, his third year at the school. At Lincoln, its Tish Kennedy, a 6th grade teacher for 13 years. At Grand Avenue, its 4th grade teacher Janie Bennet, her second year at the school. And at Bill Wallace, it's Kourtney Lively, who has been teaching 1st grade for the last four years. All are now in the running for the district teacher of the year, which will be awarded in the spring.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX drops to $57.47 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude down to $62.45.
Natural gas falls below $3 to $2.98 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,279 and silver is $16.35
Monday, December 4th
School Board Filings Begin
School board filings begin today in public school and technology school districts statewide. At least one office in each district is up for grabs in most districts. For Chickasha Schools Board of Education, it's Office No. 3 currently held by Julie Badgett-Sinn. Candidates will file at the election board office in the county in which the district is located. For instance, while Blanchard has students from both Grady and McClain counties, candidates will go to the McClain County Election Board in Purcell to file. There are also school board posts up for election for Canadian Valley Technology Center in Chickasha and El Reno, Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb; and Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne.
12-Hour Shifts for Chickasha Police Officers May Continue
A closed-door meeting to discuss a contract with the Fraternal Order of Police is part of tonight's regular meeting of the Chickasha City Council. Among issues to be reviewed are the status of current negotiations for the current fiscal year; and to continue the temporary 12-hour shift officers have been working the last several months. The council will also discuss providing cell phones to some police officers for business purposes. The council will also discuss selling a home at 1621 Park that was part of a settlement. The council is expected to declare the property as surplus, and allow a real estate broker to sell the home. The council is expected to approve advertising for bids to expand the sewer line around 9th and Country Club Road, due to the proposal to enlarge the Sleepy Hollow II residential area next year. Estimated cost is upwards of $500,000. The council will also schedule next year's city council election, for April 3rd of 2018. The filing period will be in February.
Grady, Caddo County Extension Office Changes
Some changes made at the OSU Extension Offices in Grady and Caddo counties. David Nowlin, who had been splitting time between both offices as ag educator, has returned full-time to Caddo County. He'll be working as both ag educator and with 4H Youth Development. In his monthly newsletter mailed out last week, Nowlin said budget cuts will not allow the Caddo County office to hire a full-time 4H educator. However, he said his efforts to split time between the counties over the last 16 months allowed both areas to save some money, and both will be in better financial shape for 2018. Nowlin's departure from the Chickasha office leaves Grady County without an ag educator for the time being. Nowlin did say he'll still be helping out with a few Grady County projects. Also, specialists from the extension office in Duncan will be available.
Community Blood Drive this Week
KOOL and RANCH radio stations are teaming up with Standley Systems to host a community blood drive this week. Zelda McCall with the Oklahoma Blood Institute says donations lag a bit during the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year, so she urges all who are eligible to donate. She says if you know of a cancer patient or other individual who needs blood, you can credit your donation to that person.
The blood drive is this Thursday, Dec. 7th at Standley Systems headquarters at 6th and Iowa. It runs from 9 am. to 1:30 p.m.
Church to Hold Community Christmas Meal
A local church will open its doors for a free community Christmas dinner. Full Gospel Church will serve the meal this Saturday, Dec. 9th. At the same time, the church will have a coat drive, and offer Blessing Bags to some families. The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the church, 722 N. 10th. If you can help with donations for the meal, the coat drive, or the blessing bags, contact Rita DelaCruz, 999-8725 or Gina Orum, 638-4775.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX down slightly last week, to $58.46.
London-based Brent crude drops to $63.73.
Natural gas was higher, to $3.08 per million BTUs.
Gold was down last week to $1,275 and silver falls to $16.34.
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