Mollman Media News

2017 December 11th - 16th

Your Local News

 

     Our Chickasha Schools Academic Person of the week is Jamie Bennett! Tune in to KOOL 105.5 Friday at 7, and 8AM to hear Jamie’s story!

 


Saturday, December 16th

 

Allegations Announced vs. Suspended School Employees

Some of those suspended Chickasha school employees are accused of embezzlement and failing to report child abuse. The allegations are included in a written statement from an attorney for the Chickasha Board of Education. On Friday, a one-sentence statement was released by school board attorney Richard O'Carroll. The statement did not indicate which of the four suspended employees were accused of the specific actions. Administrators Yohance Brown, Pete Bush, and Pam Huggins, and administrative assistant Stacy Crutchfield were all suspended with pay this week. O'Carroll says an independent investigation of the allegations will be held over the next several days by a school administrator. In the mean time, the suspended employees are not allowed on school grounds.

 

Former School Board Member Explains Resignation

A former school board member says personal reasons led to his decision to resign from the panel. Amos Franco suddenly stepped down from his post this week. In a letter Franco personally delivered to the 106.1 The Ranch studio on Friday, Franco wrote that he had some family issues to deal with. The school board is acting quicky to fill Franco's post. A special meeting is scheduled for Monday night to appoint his replacement. the name of the individual has not been announced.

 

Grants to Benefit Cities, Counties

Several communities will be able to install or repair storm sirens thanks to grants from a regional agency. The Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments awarded several thousand dollars in what are known as REAP Grants. REAP stands for Rural Economic Action Plan. Grady County District 1 and the City of Tuttle will receive about $40,000 for storm siren projects. Cyril will use $45,000 to continue work on improving its sewer system.

 

They "Still Do" After Seven Decades

The date was December 15th, 1947. A soldier and grocery store clerk married, and as the late Paul Harvey used to say were on their way to forever, together. Fast-forward 70 years and Delbert and Juanita Jump of Cyril said "I Still Do". The couple renewed their vows at the Lawton-Ft. Sill Veterans Center. Delbert was 22 and serving in the Navy during World War Two. Juanita was beginning a long career at what was then Anderson Grocery. Juanita worked there for 40 years, while Delbert would work at the oil refinery, then as a Highway Patrol trooper. in retirement he drove a school bus for Cyril Public Schools.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. He's a school principal, a city councilman, and a pastor. Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander is on this week's KOOL Konversation on his work to give back to his community.

 

On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, we have Andy Mayer, the new director at the Grady county Fiargrounds and Events Center, and grady county fair board president, Steve Standridge. We have links to both interviews on our website. Go to KOOL 1055. fm - dot - com. Find the links under the news tab.

 

Friday, December 15th

School Employees Suspended; No Reason Given

Four Chickasha school employees were escorted off school property during school hours this week, suspended for unknown reasons. Three administrators including special services director Pam Huggins, athletic director Yohance Brown, and transportation and maintenance director Pete Bush were suspended. Stacey Crutchfield, an administrative assistant at the bus barn was also suspended. The suspensions are for 10 days with pay. Richard O'Carroll, an attorney for the Chickasha school board, said an independent investigation will be held to determine if there has been any wrong-doing. KOOL News spoke with O'Carroll.

 

                

 

A letter sent by interim superintendent Cindy Schmidt to the suspended employees alleges that some of the school district's concerns may relate to a violation of criminal statutes, but gave no indication of what they might be. Woody Glass is an attorney representing the suspended employees. In a letter he sent to Schmidt, he writes the she failed to provide information to support the suspensions, and that while the allegations are serious, they should be substantiated by credible and believable evidence. He also questions how any investigation could be independent, with Schmidt or anyone acting on her behalf leading the probe. Glass also alleges the suspensions were in retaliation for the employees being vocal in their protests and concerns about the district’s Personalized Learning Curriculum.

 

Firefighters Walk to Support New Cadets

An interesting sight yesterday, where a number of firefighters were seen walking along U.S. Highway 81 north of Chickasha in full bunker gear, carrying a large American flag and being escorted by a fire truck and ambulance. The walk signified the end of a five-week training session for new cadets. Chris Dennis with the Chickasha Fire Department said the trainees were taken out to the Chickasha airport where they were told there was a fire. However, there was not a fire. The recruits and co-workers donned their bunker gear and oxygen tanks, and walked back to Fire Station No. 1. Among those taking part in the more than three-mile walk was Dustin Myers, who had been on the walk before.

 

                

 

While there were four cadets in the program, other fire fighters joined the walk in a show of solidarity. It took about an hour for the crew to walk with their 70 pounds of bunker gear and added equipment. The new cadets will be recognized in a formal ceremony this afternoon.

 

Sheriff's Office Most Wanted

Each week, the Grady County Sheriff’s Office issues a list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here’s Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett

 

 

If you have information regarding any of these individuals, you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

 

Cement FFA'ers Active

The Cement FFA put together a great community project this year. Rhylan Coker is the sentintel for the chapter.

 

                

 

The chapter also received  $3,000 in a National FFA Living to Serve Grant. The group is using those funds to plant an orchard to include peach, apple, pear, and apricot trees.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX was higher to $57.04 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude rose to $63.31.

Natural gas was down to $2.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,260 and silver is $16.02.

 

Thursday, December 14th

Chickasha School Board Member Resigns

A Chickasha school board member has stepped down. Amos Franco announced his resignation at the end of Tuesday's board of education meeting. Franco submitted a one-sentence letter announcing his decision, in which he says the resignation was effective immediately. Franco had served the post for about six years. He ran unopposed for the office in 2016. The term was to run through the spring of 2021. Franco served in Office No. 1 which includes most of the south-central parts of Chckasha. That's generally from 12th Street west to 29th Street, and from Georgia Avenue south to Pikes Peak Road. It's not clear if the school board will need to schedule a special election. A former school board member we talked to said the board could appoint someone to the fill the vacancy on a temporary basis. We reached out to the state election board, but have not heard back from them.

 

Interim Chickasha Superintendent May be Hired Soon

That new long-term interim superintendent for Chickasha schools could be hired as early as next week. According to a Facebook post from a group calling itself Friends of Chickasha schools, the board of education may have special meeting Monday, December 18th to interview candidates for the post, with those interviews done behind closed doors. Then, another special meeting may be scheduled Tuesday, December 19th to announce the new administrator.

 

PSO Schedules Tree Pruning Program

Chickasha residents will be seeing contractors pruning trees around PSO powerlines in the coming weeks. Last month, the utility made contact with residents regarding its safety campaign. PSO customers also are receiving notices in their monthly statements that indicate the work will begin in mid to late January. The letter states that the work should improve electric service reliability by removing trees and limbs that may cause power outages. PSO says the work is part of it's regulatory obligation to maintain a four-year vegetation maintenance cycle. PSO is working with guidelines developed by national organizations to protect the health of the trees that are to be pruned. Property owners may hire a private tree maintenance contractor to perform the work, but the property owner will be reponsible for paying that firm, and those firms need to be certified to perform work near energized power lines. Contact PSO if you choose that method.

 

"It's Time to Fly"

2018 will have an aeronautical theme for the Chickasha business community. It's Time to Fly will be the phrase used most often by leaders of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. The group is preparing for its 95th annual banquet that will be held in February. It's the largest fund-raiser of the year for the chamber. The chamber board is looking for members to sponsor the event, and to provide items for a silent auction. Ed Stanton is the 2018 chairman-elect for the chamber board, who will take over for current board chairman Jeff McClure. The chamber also still looking for nominations for several top awards that will be issued, including two Hall of Famers, Volunteer of the Year, and Citizen of the Year. Nominations are due by Jan. 12th, and candidates do not have to be affiliated with the chamber.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX down to $56.60 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude falls to $62.44 a barrel.

Natural gas up to $2.71 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,258 and silver is $16.09.

 

Wednesday, December 13th

Grady County Man Dies Making U-Turn on Turnpike

A man trying to make a U-turn on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike dies when his vehicle is hit by a semi hauling cattle. 28-year old Sean McCoy of Ninnekah died in the crash early Wednesday. The driver of the semi, 36-year old Stephen Long of New Mexico, was not injured. The accident happened about 4:30 Wednesday morning near Mile Marker 104 which is just south of the Newcastle city limits. The Highway Patrol reports that both vehicles were westbound on the interstate, when McCoy attempted the U-turn, and was hit by the big rig.

 

CPS Unions Still Concerned about Superintendent's Post

Leaders of the two unions which represent Chickasha school teachers and support staff are again questioning why the school board wants to hire a long-term interim superintendent. Representatives of the Chickasha United Teachers Association and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees issued a joint statement on the matter during last night's school board meeting. The groups are asking why the board wants to hire a long-term interim administrator during a time of budget insufficiencies. The statement said when former Superintendent Jim Glaze took extended leave when was battling leukemia, that school employees picked up the slack without having to hire an interim. The statement also said the individual who would be hired should be required to notify school employees before major decisions are made, such as starting a Personalized Learning Curriculum. The individual should be a staunch supporter of public schools, with a critical awareness of under-mining forces. The person should hold a balanced and reasonable position on the role of technology and on-line curriculum, in regard to site-based leadership and age-appropriateness. The unions also asked to be part of the process when it comes to interviewing candidates.

 

Man on Probation Drives in to Cemetery Fence

A man on probation for burglary and carrying contraband into jail is back behind bars after crashing his car into a fence at a cemetery. Chickasha police were dispatched to Rosehill Cemetery last week to investigate the crash at 9th and Alabama. A probable cause affidavit alleges the driver admitted drinking five or six beers and that he didn't see the stop sign. The report indicates officers found a loaded handgun in the man's waistband. The suspect was arrested on numerous complaints including DUI, though he refused to take a breathalyzer exam. Prosecutors have formally charged 22-year old Leobardo Maldonado with felony possession of a weapon after conviction, and misdemeanors for DUI and not having a driver's license. Prosecutors also want to accelerate punishment on Maldonado's previous guilty pleas. It wasn't known how much damage was done to the cemetery's fence.

 

Banker Retiring

A long-time Chickasha banker is calling it a career. David Herndon is retiring next week after a nearly half century of work with First National Bank and Trust. Herndon has been with the bank for 45 years starting his career in 1972, shortly after he graduated from college. His first job at the bank was sorting checks. For the last several years he's served as vice president of lending at the downtown Chickasha bank His 45 years is about one-third of the 125 years the bank has been open.

 

Restaurants Offer Free Christmas Day Meal

A couple of local restaurants will serve free dinners on Christmas Day. The Paw-Paw's restaurants in Chickasha and Tuttle will open their doors to everyone for what they call No Hunger Holidays. Owner Dustin Payne says families can attend for any reason. This is the third year for the event and Payne is hoping to feed about 1,500 people. Payne says he's getting a lot of response from individuals and businesses who are donating food or volunteer their time, and that more of each are needed. Contact managers at either Paw-Paws restaurants to help with No Hunger Holidays. Both locations will be open Christmas Day from noon to 6 p.m. or until the food is gone.

 

Energy Prices

Crude oil on the NYMEX down to $57.14 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude down to $63.64

Natural gas down to $2.67 per million BTUs.


Tuesday, December 12th

Interim-Superintendent Again Part of School Board Talks

The Chickasha Board of Education is still in search of a long-term interim superintendent. The post is up for discussion tonight during the regular monthly meeting of the school board. The panel met behind closed doors for about 2 ½ hours during a special meeting just last week to go through a number of applications and resumes. The school board will again go behind closed doors tonight to discuss the matter. During the open portion of tonight's meeting, leaders of the two unions which represent school employees, the Chickasha United Teachers Association and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees, are on the agenda to present the qualifications and characteristics of what they would like to see in a candidate for the post. The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. at the administration building at 9th and Choctaw.

 

Caddo County Accident Victim Dies

A man critically injured in a Caddo County crash last month has died. 27-year old Alexander Belsome of  Winnsboro, La. passed away in an Oklahoma City hospital this past weekend. The highway patrol reports he suffered internal injuries in the crash. Belsome was driving a car that was speeding down a county road east of Lookeba on Nov. 29th, when the car ran off the road and hit a tree.

               

Trucker Critical After Tollgate Crash

Now, an update on that commercial vehicle crash at the toll booth southwest of Chickasha  on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike over the weekend. A Yukon truck driver was last in critical condition after the Sunday morning accident. 49-year old Howard Skinner, II was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with numerous injuries. The highway patrol reports Skinner failed to slow down, hit the attenuator, a concrete wall, and part of the toll gate building. No toll booth employees were hurt. It wasn't known how much damage was done to the building. However, that gate will be closing over the next few weeks, as a new one will be opening near mile marker 68 next month.

 

Police Continue Motel Shooting Probe

There still have been no arrests made in connection with last week's shooting at a Chickasha motel. Authorities had detained three persons of interest for questioning. The shooting victim, Austin Brooks, has been released from the hospital after being shot in the face. Police say he could not identify the person that shot him.

 

Burglary Suspect Faces Formal Charge

Here’s another update on a story regarding a suspect arrested in connection with a Chickasha burglary. A home video surveillance system caught the suspect in the act. Chickasha police were called to a home in the 200 block of South 6th Street last Wednesday evening. Court documents indicate the video showed a man taking a chain saw and large gas can out of the victim’s pick-up. The officer is said to have recognized the suspect. An arrest warrant was issued for 18-year old Dalton Cordell Null of Blanchard, who was arrested by a sheriff's deputy over the weekend. Null was charged with felony burglary in Grady County District Court on Monday. He is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney Dec. 21st, and a preliminary hearing conference is on the calendar for Jan. 3rd.

 

Special-Use Permits Back up for Discussion

Changes to the City of Chickasha's special-use permit regulations will be re-visited by the city's Planning Commission today. Earlier this year, the city council turned down some planning commission recommendations that officials felt would be more resident-friendly. A public hearing on the revision will be held by the planning board at 4 o’clock this afternoon at City Hall.

 

Nursing Home Receives State Honors

A Chickasha nursing home is among several state facilities recognized for their quality of care. Shannon Springs Nursing Home is one of about a dozen nursing homes honored by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The Quality Initiative Recognition Program honors facilities for meeting goals like reduction of hospitalization rates, staff retention, and increased customer and resident satisfaction.

               

Holiday Decorations May Harm Pets

Festive decorations adorn most homes this time of year. However, a curious family pet could create havoc. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension has a recommendation that may help minimize any damage.

 

                

 

She also suggests trying to keep lights out of the reach of pets, as they could be seriously injured or even die from chewing on them. Also, mistletoe and holly can cause pets to get sick if they eat them.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $58.43 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude up to $64.69

Natural gas was up to $2.82 per million BTUs

Gold is $1,245 and silver is $15.81.

 

Monday, December 11th

Children, Adults Hurt in Crash

A four-year old boy is hospitalized and several other children and two adults were injured in a traffic accident in Grady County last night. The unidentified four-year old was last in good condition at an Oklahoma City hospital, suffering from what officials called trunk internal injuries. Two five-year old children riding in the same vehicle were treated and released, and a teenager in the other vehicle was also allowed to go home. The accident happened about 6 o'clock last night, about three miles west of Minco. The OHP reports that a pick-up driven by 43-year old Ryan Schneider of Minco was hauling some hay, and had slowed to turn in to a private drive. The trooper said the pick-up’s brake lights and turn signal were defective, and the third brake light was obstructed by the hay. An SUV driven by 66-year old Gale Miller, also of Minco, rear-ended the pickup. Miller and Schneider were both taken to Oklahoma City area hospitals, where they were treated and released with minor injuries. The roadway was closed for over an hour.

 

Commercial Vehicle Slams into Turnpike Toll Booth

A commercial vehicle hits the toll booth on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike southwest of Chickasha early Sunday. The OHP reports there were injuries but no details of the accident were provided. It wasn't known if any of the toll booth employees were hurt. The accident happened about 2:45 Sunday morning. The commercial vehicle was westbound on the interstate when it struck the toll booth and debris was thrown into both the westbound and eastbound lanes. Parts of the turnpike were shut down for more than three hours.

 

Burglary Suspect in Custody

A Blanchard area man is arrested on a warrant for burglary. 18-year old Dalton Cordell Null was taken into custody by a Grady County Sheriff's deputy mid-morning Sunday. The website On Demand Court Records indicate that Null is charged with second degree burglary, in connection with an investigation by Chickasha police. The warrant was issued late last week. No information was immediately available from Chickasha authorites regarding the accusations against Null.

 

Commissoners to Discuss Beer Sales at Fairgrounds

Grady County Commissioners may take formal action that would allow beer to be served at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The measure to be considered when the commissioners meet this morning. The panel will review the proposal to sell 3.2 beer during special events.

 

Real Estate Commission Handles Complaints

Individuals who may have issues when selling residential or commercial real estate can report those issues to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. Sherry Keifler is an investigator with the commission, and says they will look into other aspects of a firm should they be called in.

 

                

 

The investigator can recommend whether an associate should be placed on probation or have their license suspended, should the commission determine that a law was broken. If so, the information would be passed on to the district attorney. Keifler says for many complaints there is a mis-communication between parties that can be handled without any commission action.

 

Robotics Teams Compete at State Level

Robotics teams for Chickasha's Middle and Lincoln schools were among those competing at a state level competition in Shawnee over the weekend. The middle school team played 21st out of 50 teams, and the Lincoln school team was 36th. Instructor Brandon Willis said their scores were not high enough to advance to the world championship. Some of the students will continue working with robotics, though. The worldwide high school First Robotics Competition season will begin next month, and several middle school students will be joining the high school team for the project.

            

Energy and Metals            

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.36 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $63.40.

Natural gas is $2.77 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,252 and silver is $15.88.

   

 

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