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Monday, May 7th
Weather Service Confirms Grady County Tornadoes
The National Weather Service reports that eight tornadoes struck the Sooner State in those strong thunderstorms that hit last Wednesday night. Two of them were confirmed in Grady County. Both were considered EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds between 86 and 110 miles per hour. The first tornado hit about 4 1/2 miles north of Chickasha and destroyed a recreational vehicle and stayed on the ground for about five miles. The second tornado touched down briefly just east of Amber, causing damage to several homes. Strong storms west of Rush Springs destroyed an unoccupied mobile home and damaged several other homes, but there's no report on whether that was a tornado or straight-line winds.
Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Train Identified
A follow-up now to a story we aired a couple of weeks ago about a pedestrian struck and killed by a train just west of Chickasha. The state medical examiner has identified the victim as 36-year old Dustin Kauley. No home town for Kauley was available. Authorities say that Kauley died from multiple blunt force trauma and that his death was an accident. The highway patrol reported that Kauley was a pedestrian on or near the tracks in the area of 29th Street and U.S. Highway 62 when he was hit by a train with three engines pulling 55 cars.
Semi Rollover Blocks State Highway for Hours
An overturned semi shut down State Highway 39 between Tabler and Dibble for several hours on Saturday. No one was injured when the big rig crashed. The highway patrol has not released the name of the driver nor any information on what caused the driver to lose control of the semi. The crash happened near the Grady-McClain county line about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Traffic was detoured around the crash site all day. The highway was shut down for 12 hours.
City Council to Auction Leases for Mineral Rights
A closed-door meeting of the Chickasha City Council tonight, to consider bids which may be received for mineral rights on city-owned property. The council will hold a public auction to lease the mineral rights on just over 47 acres of property near the Chickasha Airport when it meets for a regularly scheduled meeting tonight. After the public auction, the panel will go behind closed doors to review the bids, then return to open session to announce their decision. The council is also to select a vice-mayor to serve in place of Mayor Chris Mosley when he is absent. The panel will consider approving a final payment of nearly $9,000 to Bordwine Development for recent improvements made to the amphitheater at Shannon Springs Park. Also to be reviewed, the request for a Special Use permit for Life Church of Chickasha to move to 2403 Ponderosa Drive; waiving fees for Bible Baptist Church to use Shannon Springs Park for a community event on June 3rd; a request from the Elks Lodge to hold its annual kids fishing derby at Shannon Springs on June 9th; and the city's annual fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th. Administrative Assistant Beth Cranton will be recognized as the city's Employee of the Month. The city council meets at 6:30 p.m. this evening at city hall.
City Waives Yard Sale Permit Fees for Swap Meet
The spring swap meet for the Chickasha Antique Club is this weekend. In conjunction with that event, the city will waive the permit fees normally required for garage sales. Residents are normally supposed to purchase a $5 permit whenever they hold a yard sale. No permit will be necessary during the swap meet, which will run Thursday through Saturday.
Chickasha Public School Foundation Projects Reviewed
Last Friday night was purple pride night for the Chickasha Public School Foundation. Attendees wore Chickasha purple, and were greeted by high school cheerleaders and drum corps. Foundation director Jen Jantzen said the foundation has provided more than $1 million in grants since it began in 1986 and that over the last three years has provided $100,000 in school supplies which have been distributed to every student in the school district. A live auction helped to bring in an additional $20,000 to the foundation. Among the items sold were a pair of autographed running shoes from Camille Herron of Oklahoma City, who is the daughter of interim Chickasha school superintendent Jack Herron. Camille Herron holds five world records for ultra-marathons including the fastest time for a man or women running 100 miles.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.72 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.87.
Natural gas is $2.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,314 and silver is $16.49.
Saturday, May 5th
Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Train Identified
We now know the name of the man who died after being hit by a train in Chickasha last month. The state medical examiner identifies the victim as 36-year old Dustin Kauley. No home town for Kauley was available. Kauley was struck and killed by a Union Pacific train near 29th and Highway 62 on April 22nd. The highway patrol said Kauley was a pedestrian on or near the tracks when he was hit by a train with three engines pulling 55 cars. The medical examiner reports that Kauley died from multiple blunt force trauma and that his death was an accident.
Escaped Inmate Captured
An inmate who escaped from the Garvin County jail in Pauls Valley last weekend is back in custody. 32-year old Jason Glen Willis attacked a detention officer and ran out of the Garvin County courthouse last Sunday night. It wasn't clear where or when Willis was found. He was awaiting a court appearance on a firearms charge when he escaped.
Chix School Foundation Gala Raises Thousands
Supporters of the Chickasha Public School Foundation literally put on their school colors for the foundation's annual gala last night. It was a Purple Pride Pep Rally to reflect on the foundation's efforts this past year and its 32-year existence. Foundation director Jen Jantzen said the foundation has provided more than $1 million in grants since it began in 1986. Over the last three years, $100,000 in school supplies has been distributed to every student in the school district. Supporters donated another $20,000 to the foundation last night. Four donors each paid $2,500 to purchase school supplies for one classroom for next year, eight donors each paid $1,000 to purchase crayons, and another eight donors contributed $100 each to supply one student with needed school items next year. Donated items sold at a live auction included a pair of autographed running shoes from Camille Herron of Oklahoma City. She is the daughter of interim Chickasha school superintendent Jack Herron. Camille Herron holds five world records for ultra-marathons, including the world record time for running 100 miles.
Open Streets Program Today
Area families are invited to play in the streets of downtown Chickasha today. The second annual Open Streets Chickasha program is part of a world-wide event to encourage families to live healthier by adding a little physical activity to their lives. A couple of blocks of Chickasha Avenue near the railroad depot will be blocked off to allow walking, running, riding bikes, or skateboarding. There will be demonstrations of tai chi and crossfit programs, face painting, a sand pit treasure hunt, and touch-a-truck activities. The Chickasha Area YMCA will also have its healthy kids day. The event is free, unless you want to visit one of the food truck vendors that will be on hand. Open Streets runs from 10:00 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. today.
Down Payment Assistance Available for Home Buyers
Oklahomans looking to buy a new home or even their first home might be able to get some free money to help with their down payment and closing costs. The Oklahoma Home Finance Agency has added the federal agency Freddie Mac to its line of homebuyer down-payment assistance products. Depending on income, eligible home buyers may receive as much as $2,500 from the Freddie Mac HFA Home Possible program to go toward closing costs. The home buyer may also qualify for an additional 3.5 percent of the total home loan amount from the state agency. As an example, individuals wanting to purchase a $100,000 home could get $3,500 in OHFA assistance. Deborah Jenkins is the director of the Oklahoma Home Finance Agency. In a press release, she said the main barrier first-time home-buyers face is the lack of these up-front funds. Potential home buyers will have to qualify with an OHFA mortgage lender. Homes must be used as the buyer's primary residence. Find more information on the website www.ohfadownpayment.org
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer are preparing for their annual pilgrimage to Stillwater. The couple walk 125 miles from Chickasha to Stillwater to benefit Special Olympics. The Meyers and Elip Moore are guests on this week’s KOOL Konversation program. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, this week's guest is Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson. He'll give an update on this week's severe storms, and the FEMA storm shelter rebate program he's working on. We have links to both programs elsewhere on this website. Find them under the Community tab.
Friday, May 4th
New Homes Top Chickasha's April Building Report
April was another multi-million dollar month for new construction in the City of Chickasha. 53 building permits totaling nearly $4.9 million were approved through the city's Community Development Department. 35 of those permits are for new single-family homes to be built by Lance Windel Construction. These are all homes valued around $100,000 which will all be built in various locations in the north part of town. City Planner and Building Inspector Gene Winsett says the contractor plans on starting five homes every couple of weeks. In commercial construction, a nearly $1 million project for USA Storage was approved. That is being developed by Bryce Binyon next to Jake's Rib. Another commercial project is a $100,000 upgrade for the strip mall next to Brandt's Ace Hardware, where owner Jack Weaver is putting on a new facade. One other commercial project is a $45,000 remodel of one of the stores in the Southland Shopping Center, where a finance company currently officed in the downtown area will be relocating. The $4.9 million in new construction is the best month to-date in 2018. It was slightly better than March which was $4.7 million. For the first four months of the year, new construction in Chickasha is nearly $16 million.
Wednesday Twisters Not Yet Confirmed by NWS
Grady County Emergency Management officials say two tornadoes may have touched down in the severe thunderstorms that moved through the area Wednesday night. Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said they are awaiting official word from the National Weather Service (NWS) on whether damage was straight-line winds or tornadoes. Thompson said NWS radar indicated possible tornadoes north of Chickasha – which also tracked to the Amber area – and a second possible tornado west of Rush Springs. Thompson said a recreational vehicle was destroyed four miles north of Chickasha. That same storm is blamed on damage at a couple of homes in Amber. The storm four miles west of Rush Springs destroyed an unoccupied mobile home and damaged several homes.
Man Wanted for Alleged Bomb Threats in Two Cities
A Caddo County man is accused of calling in bomb threats to a hospital and two schools. Officials in Lawton have issued an arrest warrant for 18-year old Keelan Ray Landers of Carnegie for making bomb threats to two Lawton schools. Landers is in custody in Weatherford, in connection with a bomb threat to a hospital there. KSWO-TV cites court records that allege Landers and a friend were smoking meth when they thought it might be a joke to call in the threats, all of which occurred on the same day in February. Weatherford police arrested Landers after investigators say they traced the hospital bomb threat to Landers cell phone. Landers is facing felony charges of making bomb threats and conspiracy.
Top Chix School Employees, Retirees Honored
With the school year winding down, a number of long-time Chickasha school employees, as well as the district teacher and support employee of the year, were recognized at the district's end-of-year reception. Veteran teachers Gary Sampson and Mary Jeffries are retiring. Sampson, a 40-year veteran, has taught physical education at Grand School, and also spent many years as the high school track coach. Jeffries has taught language arts for 35 years at Lincoln Elementary. Michael Voyles, language arts teacher at the middle school was recognized as the district teacher of they year. Roberta Greenway, who has spent 48 years with the district as a teacher and support employee, was named Support Employee of the Year. Greenway currently is the in-school remediation instructor at the middle school. Principal of the Year award was shared by Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander at Lincoln Elementary and Rhonda Snow the high school.
Top 10 Warrant List
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.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.43 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.62.
Natural gas is $2.72 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,309 and silver is $16.42.
Thursday, May 3rd
Tornado Damages Amber Home
At least one Grady County home was damaged by a tornado as strong thunderstorms moved through central Oklahoma last night. A tornado was reported to have touched down near Amber causing some damage. There were no injuries reported. Much of the Chickasha and Rush Springs areas received about two inches of rain while Minco collected more than three inches. Flash flood warnings were issued due to heavy rainfall. Additional heavy thunderstorms moved through the area this morning between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Schools Receive Heart Association CPR Kits
School districts in Grady and Stephens counties now have a unique way to teach students the life-saving skill of CPR. Several businesses have combined efforts to provide the funding to put American Heart Association-certified CPR kits in the schools. Contributions from the Byford Auto Group, Le Norman Properties, and GoldKey Service Center made the kits possible. Denise Castelli with the Heart Association says they want to train a generation of life savers.
It's part of an effort to help school districts comply with an un-funded state law which requires all high school students complete CPR training before graduating. Each kit cost $5,000 and contains 10 modern versions of Annie, the inflatable mannequin used in CPR training. Up to 20 students can take the training at the same time. Costelli says the training only takes about an hour. Randy Byford, owner of the Byford Auto Group dealerships in both counties as well as in Major County, tells why he was compelled to make the contributions.
About half of Oklahoma school districts have these kits and Costelli hopes that all districts will eventually have them.
Rush Springs Businessman
Announces County Commish Candidacy
Democratic voters in the southern portion of Grady County will have three candidates to choose from for District 3 county commissioner in next month's primary. Incumbent Ralph Beard is being challenged by Jeffrey Cramer and Lee Dorman. Cramer runs a small business and holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology. He previously worked as a diesel mechanics instructor at a community college, and worked as a diesel mechanic for construction and oil field companies.
Cramer says he understands how roads are built and how to maintain them. Cramer's wife Renessa is the principal at Rush Springs Middle School and they have an 8-year old daughter, Lorelei, who is a second grader at Rush Springs.
CHS Student Earns a Top State FFA Award
A Chickasha FFA member wins a top award at the state FFA convention held in Oklahoma City this week. Clay Grossnicklaus won the proficiency award for Agriculture Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship. His agriculture instructors at Chickasha High Schools are Kolby and Emily Schmidt.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.93 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.36.
Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,312 and silver is $16.51.
Wednesday, May 2nd
Amber Community Mourns Death of a Child
Hearts are heavy in Amber this week, as the community comes to grips with the death of 8-year old Landrie Turner. She's the little girl who died in a UTV accident last weekend. Landrie was a second grader at Pocasset Elementary school. Principal Angie Morrison says she was sweet and helpful to others. She also said Landrie's smile could light up a room, and her antics kept students and teachers constantly laughing. Ampo Superintendent Jerime Parker said that on Monday, which was the first day of school after the fatal accident, teachers and administrators talked with students. Many of them wrote notes saying they loved her and would miss her. Parker said a therapy dog - a labradoodle named Clyde - was also helpful in comforting the students. Landrie was active in the 4H program as a Cloverbud, where she showed animals at the county junior livestock show this spring. She played softball, was proud to be an Ampo Panther, and especially loved Oklahoma State University and Pistol Pete, where she gave a whole new meaning to “Pistol's Firing”. Landrie is survived by her parents, Grant and Tiffany Turner, and older brother, Ladd. The funeral for Landrie Turner will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 3rd at Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Ampo schools will be closed Thursday to allow students and school personnel to attend the funeral. Teachers and others will wear orange in her honor. Memorial contributions may be made to the Landrie Turner Memorial Fund at Liberty National Bank, and will be used to support participants at the Oklahoma Youth Expo and Pocasset Elementary School.
School Bus Driver Suffered Broken Bones in Crash
The driver of that Chickasha school bus involved in a traffic accident this week suffered broken bones. Alton Rawlins says that his left collar bone is broken in three places. Both Rawlins and the driver of the other vehicle in the accident, identified by Chickasha Police as Steve Wilmon, were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where both were treated and released. Rawlins has been driving a Chickasha school bus for about two years. He said he was relieved that none of the students suffered serious injuries. Chickasha police say Rawlins was issued a ticket for failing to yield from a stop sign.
Dana Murphy Stumps for Lt. Gov. Seat
Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy is among seven total candidates, including four Republicans, who running for lieutenant governor this year. Murphy was in Chickasha for a meet-and-greet and fundraiser yesterday. She discussed one group's protest of the state legislature's tax increase for teacher pay hikes. The opposing group, which includes former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, calls for the elimination of wasteful state spending. Murphy says state agencies are supposed to develop long-range plans, but nothing seems to take root.
Murphy is facing Republican challengers Eddie Fields, Dominique Block, and Matt Pinnell in the June 26th primary election.
Tuttle Students Prepare for National Wind Power Competition
Some Tuttle High School students will be competing for a national title next week. The teens are taking part in the National KidWind Challenge. It’s a wind turbine engineering contest. The team finished runner-up at the national competition last year. Their teacher, Daneice Foster, tells what they've been working on.
Foster says they have completed most of their fundraising, but still need about $2,000 to pay for general expenses once they get to Chicago. They'll leave on Monday, with the competition to run next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Contact Foster at Tuttle High School, 405-381-2396.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.25 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.13.
Natural gas is $2.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,310 and silver is $16.38.
Tuesday, May 1st
Loaded Chickasha School Bus Involved in Crash
A pickup slams into a Chickasha school bus loaded with children. None of the estimated 20 children on the bus were seriously hurt, although two were taken to the hospital as a precaution. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to the hospital by ambulance with unknown injuries. The accident happened about 2:30 p.m. Monday in a residential area at 8th and Dakota. The children were mostly middle school students who had just gotten on the bus a few minutes earlier. Rachael Cooper says her 14-year old son was on the bus, and was complaining that his back hurt.
The bus driver was identified as Alton Rawlins, while the name of the pick-up driver was not available. Many Chickasha school officials rushed to the scene, including interim Superintendent Jack Herron, Middle School Principal Dan Turner, and Lincoln School Principal Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander. An official police report was not immediately available. It appeared the school bus may have pulled out from a stop sign. An extended cab pick-up crashed into the left-front portion of the bus. We have video of the crash site on our Facebook page.
Pursuit Starts in Elgin, Ends in Chickasha
A high-speed chase that started in Elgin early Sunday morning ended in Chickasha when a vehicle crashed into a field. A Chickasha police affidavit indicates Elgin police tried to make a traffic stop on a van and the vehicle sped northeast on the H.E. Bailey turnpike at speeds estimated at 130 miles per hour. A Chickasha police officer saw the van exit the turnpike at Highway 81, and pursued it north on 4th Street then west on Missouri, speeding through neighborhoods. During the pursuit, the van slowed just enough for a passenger to jump out, but the chase continued. It ended a few blocks later when the van crashed at 20th and Missouri. A female driver fled on foot and police were unable to find her, but found some identification in the van. Police did arrest the passenger who jumped out of the van. He was identified as 26-year old Jacob Daniel Farley who lists a hometown of Jay. Ha had active Grady County warrants.
Garvin County Jail Escapee Considered Armed, Dangerous
A Garvin County jail inmate is on the run and authorities say he should be considered armed and dangerous. Authorities are looking for 32-year old Jason Glen Willis. Media reports indicate he attacked a detention officer Sunday night and ran through an emergency exit of the Garvin County courthouse in Pauls Valley. Willis is a convicted felon from the Davis area who was awaiting a court appearance on a weapons charge. Willis is Caucasian, about 5-feet, 11 inches tall weighing 150 pounds. He has a stocky build, hazel eyes and short brown hair and a slight brown beard. He also has tattoos on his chest and the back of both arms. If you have information about Jason Glen Willis, you're asked to call Garvin County Crimestoppers, 855-211-7867 or 9-1-1.
Arrest Made in Lawn Mower Theft
A Chickasha man wanted in connection with a residential burglary is in custody. 60-year old Steven Alan Parks was arrested by a Grady County sheriff's deputy over the weekend. The warrant for Parks arrest was issue last month, after a residential burglary March 20th where some lawn mowers were taken from a home in the 1200 block of Georgia. Parks is charged with felony burglary and a misdemeanor of knowingly concealing stolen property. He remains in jail pending $20,000 bond.
Silver Alert Issued for OKC Woman
A Silver Alert has been issued for a missing Oklahoma City woman. 66-year old Paula Jaurez was last seen at her apartment in the 5900 block of South May last Saturday afternoon. There's not much of a description, other than she's Caucasian with very short gray hair. The Oklahoma City Police Department reports she left a suicide note and turned off her cell phone so she couldn’t be pinged. She may be driving a 2008 Dodge RAM 1500 pickup with Oklahoma tag AVB-478. If you have information about Paula Juarez, call Oklahoma City or local police.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.47 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.17.
Natural gas is $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,309 and silver is $16.28.
Monday, April 30th
Child Dies in UTV Rollover
A sad story out of Amber today, as an eight-year girl has died in a UTV accident. It happened on private property southeast of Amber just before 3:00 p.m. Sunday. The Highway Patrol reports the child was driving a 2018 Polaris Ranger and tried to make a turn. The vehicle overturned and rolled nearly two times, coming to rest on its passenger side. The child was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where she died from head injuries. The girl was not wearing a helmet. State troopers did not release the girl’s name.
Semi Driver Critical After Fiery Crash
A truck driver remains in critical condition following a fiery crash in Caddo County. That accident happened at I-40 and U.S. Highway 281 which is north of Hinton, around mile marker 101. The highway patrol reports the driver fell asleep and ran of the interstate. The semi crashed into two retaining walls and caught fire. The driver, 61-year old Jose Manzanares of California was first taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, then transferred to a Tulsa hospital where he was last in critical condition. Portions of the highway were shut down for more than five hours.
Woman Arrested on Charges
of Child Neglect, Harboring Teen
A family found to be living in squalor, and a Grady County woman is facing charges of child neglect and harboring a runaway teen. The home was in such horrible condition that one investigator called it one of the worst he's seen in 10 years, saying every step was like slipping on mud. In a joint investigation by Minco police and the Caddo County Sheriff's Office, authorities found a Cogar home with piles of animal feces and a rancid odor of urine and waste. A cage with as many at 25 chickens was in one of the bedrooms. Acting on a tip called in to Minco police, authorities there called in Caddo County investigators since the home is in the Cogar area, in Caddo County just west of Minco. The Lawton Constitution reports that 48-year old Evelyn Posey of Minco was taken into custody, and was alleged to have been hiding a 13-year-old runaway. She faces both felony and misdemeanor charges in Caddo County District Court. Her bond was set at $50,000. Posey has prior convictions in Georgia for child sexual abuse and failure to register as a sex offender.
Funding Available to Weatherize Low-Income Homes
Two Grady County groups are combining efforts to help low-to-moderate income residents make their homes more energy efficient. The Grady County Home Finance Authority and Grady County Emergency Management are offering the service. Cody White with the home finance authority discusses some of work that might be done.
There's a minimal amount of funding left in the program. Officials say they can probably help about 20 more families. Applications are available at many senior nutrition centers and at the Grady County Emergency Management Office, 315 W. Pennsylvania, Chickasha, Okla.
Tips to Control Pests in Garden, Landscape
Controlling bugs in the garden and landscape seems like a never-ending battle. In addition to spraying pesticides, you can do things like getting rid of infested plant and trash materials and cultivating the soil to expose and destroy pests that might be living just under ground. Shiann Burns with Grady County OSU Extension says the pests do have some natural enemies.
If you do decide to use a pesticide you might have to re-apply after two or three days. Burns encourages gardeners to limit pesticide use.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.10 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.64.
Natural gas is $2.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,317 and silver is $16.43.