Today lets meet Chickasha Future Farmer of the week Chapter Farmer Riane Tuthill.
Saturday, Oct. 6th
State Revenue Continues Climb
After yesterday's news of near-record low unemployment in Oklahoma comes another report showing the state's economy is doing well. State revenue for the month of September was the highest ever recorded for that month at $1.2 billion. And it's the 10th straight month that revenues were up by at least 10 percent. Over the course of the past 12 months, state revenues are at the $12.5 billion mark, which is also a record for a 12-month period. Corporate and personal income taxes for the month were up by more than 11 percent and sales tax collections were up by more than 6.5 percent. A tax hike on oil and gas production brought in more than $30 million, the $1-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax collected an additional $9.3 million, and the increase in fuel taxes was responsible for an additional $8.3 million.
Pursuit Suspect in Custody
An overnight pursuit by Chickasha police leads to the arrest of a man who pleaded guilty to a previous charge of eluding. 29-year old Robert Russell Cowan was taken into custody after the chase. We don't have details about what happened, but Cowan was booked into the Grady County Jail early this morning and is being held on complaints of eluding and DUI. Cowan pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of eluding stemming from an arrest in 2013. He was given a two-year deferred sentence, which was completed in 2015.
Arrest Made in Child Abuse Probe
A Grady County woman is in custody after a warrant was issued for her arrest for child abuse allegations. 31-year old Jamie Kay Parker of Tuttle was booked into the Grady County Jail yesterday. The website On Demand Court Records indicates she was wanted for child abuse in a medical setting and for bogus checks. No other details are available.
Vietnam Vet Gets Graveside Monument
A Sterling soldier who was honored for his heroism during the Vietnam War now has a monument at his grave at Ft. Sill National Cemetery. Ira Whitaker was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for what he did during the 1968 fire fight at Fire Support Base Rita. At the time, he was serving as Command Sgt.-Major of 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery. The Lawton Constitution reports that Whitaker was awarded the cross for defending an M109 Paladin howitzer. That howitzer now serves as a marker at Whitaker's grave. Whitaker's widow, Wanda, and veterans who supported the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam were on hand for the dedication. Whitaker passed away in February of last year.
Lawton Woman Sues President Trump
A Lawton woman is suing President Trump for millions of dollars over this week's test of the national wireless Emergency Alert System. Donna Traylor has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the president in Comanche County District Court claiming the alert violated her rights. The test was sent to every smart phone in the country as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's plan to develop a national alert system. The Lawton Constitution reports Traylors’ suit alleges the president violated her due process rights under the 5th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Ampo Claims Softball Title
In sports, the Amber-Pocasset Lady Panther softball team wins the Class A State softball title. The 2nd-ranked Panthers defeated No. 5 Ripley 5-1 at the Ballfields at Firelake in Shawnee last night. Sophomore pitcher Bailey Kite threw a complete game and allowed the one run on three hits. She also had the game-winning hit, an RBI-single in a three-run fifth that put Ampo on top for good. The Panthers got to the title game with a 9-3 win over Canute. Ripley earned its way to the championship with a 3-2 win over top-ranked Binger-Oney. Ripley’s win prevented a No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-up in the title game. The championship is Ampo’s first softball title.
Friday, Oct. 5th
Unemployment Falls Statewide
Jobless rates fell in all 77 Oklahoma counties in August. Statewide unemployment was down to 3.7 percent and regional county unemployment continued showing a solid economy. Grady County unemployment fell from 3.2 percent in July to 3.1 percent in August. It’s also down from 4.1 percent from August of last year. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports that 830 individuals in Grady County were without a job but seeking employment with the agency. That's out of a labor force of more than 26,000 people. In Caddo County, the jobless rate fell from 4 percent to 3.6 percent; Garvin County slides from 3.6 to 3.3 percent; McClain County is down to 2.8 percent; Stephens and Comanche counties were both down to 4.2 percent. Cleveland County was down to 3 percent.
Trailer Dislodges from Semi; Blocks Traffic
A trailer became disconnected from a semi this morning, shutting down a roadway southwest of Chickasha. It happened at State Highway 277 and Lake Burtchi Road about 6:45 a.m. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that both the westbound and eastbound lanes of traffic were closed for about 30 minutes. It wasn’t clear if anyone was injured.
Teen Faces Felony Burglary Charges
Formal charges have now been filed against a man connected to some vehicle break-ins in a Chickasha neighborhood. 18-year old Rayden Kay Quinn is charged with two counts of felony burglary, and a misdemeanor for marijuana possession. A Chickasha police affidavit indicates a resident witnessed Quinn and a 13-year old trying to break in to vehicles near his home. Authorities found a drill, a cel phone, and credit card allegedly taken from several vehicles. Quinn remains in the Grady County jail in lieu of an $8,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney Oct. 19th with a preliminary hearing conference scheduled Nov. 7th.
Medical Marijuana, Workplace Issues Discussion Set
While the use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in Oklahoma, how does that affect the workplace? A short seminar on the issue will be held for business owners, managers, and those who supervise employees next week. Allen Hutson, a lawyer with Crowe and Dunleavy Attorneys, will lead the program. He’ll have information on when to test employees, and practical advice regarding the documentation that is required to discipline impaired workers. This is a free program which will be held next Tuesday, Oct. 9th on the Chickasha Campus of the Canadian Valley Technology Center. The program is scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Advance registration is requested. Contact CV Tech's Business and Industry Services Division to reserve a seat.
Local Youth Wins Big at Tulsa State Fair
It was quite the payday for a young man at the Tulsa State Fair. Baylor Bonham of Newcastle had the grand champion market steer, and the animal brought $30,000 at the premium sale last night. It's the third grand champion he's shown in the nine times he's been to the show. Overall, 147 4H and FFA youth exhibited animals in Tulsa, with about $500,000 paid out from last night's auction.
Spangler to be Honored by National Square Dance Group
For 50 years, a local couple has enjoyed spending much of their time square dancing. Gordon and Pauline Spangler have been members of the local Swingin' Chicks Square Dance Club since 1968. This weekend, the United Square Dancers of America will recognize Gordon for celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Anyone who has ever square-danced with Gordon and Pauline are encouraged to attend this special Barn Dance with the Swingin' Chicks. It will be held at Chickasha’s Borden Park Community Center at 8:00 p.m.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Amanda Wilkerson with the Grady County Emergency Management Office will be on our KOOL Konversation program to discuss her recent deployment to North Carolina where she helped direct recovery efforts following Hurricane Florence. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Harry Birdwell with the Oklahoma School Land Commission will discuss that agency's work, and upcoming auctions of school land leases in this area. We have links to both programs elsewhere on this website. Find them under the Community tab.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX falls to $74.33 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is down to $84.58.
Natural gas dips to $3.16 per million BTUs.
Gold is higher to $1,206 and silver had a gain to $14.67.
Thursday, October 4th
Burglary Suspect Linked to Vehicle Break-ins
We have a follow-up to a story we first told you about yesterday, regarding the arrest of man in connection with a residential burglary. The man in custody is accused of committing a string of vehicle break-ins at several homes around the Chickasha Middle School earlier this week. Police arrested 18-year old Rayden Kay Quinn in connection with the break-ins. One victim said that a purse and a cel phone were taken from one of his vehicles. According to the daily police blotter issued to media, Quinn is a suspect in at least four crimes. It's also alleged a couple of juveniles were involved in the break-ins but we've not been able to confirm that report. Quinn remains in the Grady County Jail. Formal charges have yet to be filed by the district attorney.
Man Faces Child-Stealing Charge
A Caddo County man is accused of child stealing in connection with an incident with his girlfriend's teenage daughter. 40-year old Jose Allen Pool, who lists a Ft. Cobb address, is charged with a felony in connection with the incident that took place two years ago. Documents filed by the Caddo County sheriff's office say the teen was 13 years old when she was checked out of school by her mom and Pool just before Thanksgiving in 2016. Pool and the teen were taken to a rural area of Caddo County where the mother dropped them off and left. It's alleged that Pool kept the teen away from her mother for nearly two days, and that the girl did not get to eat during that time and had to sleep outdoors in cold weather. The teen was reported missing and authorities issued an alert to be looking for the teen and she was located by law enforcement after missing for about 45 hours. Pool remains in the Caddo County jail in lieu of a $60,000 bond. He's also facing an unrelated felony burglary charge, which occurred about the same time as the alleged child stealing incident.
State Election Board Warns of Voter Registration Scam
Here's a warning from the Oklahoma State Election Board. A phone scam has been reported where individuals are being called to register to vote in next month's election. The scam has been reported in several states. The scam is being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Election board officials say voters cannot be registered over the phone. The deadline to register to vote in next month's election is coming up Friday, October 12th. To register, visit your local county election board, or forms are available at the library, tag office, post office, or on-line at www.elections.ok.gov
Police, Firefighters, to Recieve Home Security Cameras
A number of Chickasha police officers and fire fighters will be given free home security cameras from a couple of national companies. 60 first responders will receive these innovative cameras in a joint effort of State Farm and Canary. It's part of what's called the Protect the Protectors campaign. The device alerts the users about motion, air quality, and temperature changes in their homes through a smart phone app. A press release announcing the event indicates the campaign helps to protect the homes of police officers and firefighters while they are protecting others. In the last three years, more than 10,000 of these cameras have been provided to first responders across the country. A formal presentation will be held at Chickasha city hall next Thursday.
4Hers Do Well at State Fair of Oklahoma
A number of Grady County 4H students did quite well at the State Fair of Oklahoma last month. Liz Taylor is the 4H educator for Grady County.
That's more than 115 exhibits to place in the top 10. Taylor reminds 4H youth and their parents that now is the time to enroll in 4H for the current school year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $76.41 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude climbs to $86.29.
Natural gas is up to $3.23 per million BTUs.
Gold is down to $1,202 and silver is down to $14.64.
Wednesday, Oct. 3rd
Van Slams in to Downtown Gym
There were some anxious moments in downtown Chickasha when a van jumps a curb and crashes into a business. It happened about 4:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Steel Monkey Gym in the 400 block of Chickasha Avenue. Fortunately, no one in the gym nor the driver of the van were injured. An unidentified individual at the scene says the van had recently been equipped with accelerator and brake extensions for a disabled driver. It was reported the driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake. It was also stated that the added equipment may not have been calibrated properly. The driver of the van was not identified. We have photographs of the accident on our Facebook page.
Stolen Car Tip Leads to Pursuit, Manhunt, and Arrest
A stolen car spotted in Chickasha leads to a high-speed pursuit, a manhunt, and the eventual arrest of a burglary suspect. The owner of a Lawton business used social media to ask for information about a Mustang stolen from his business on Monday. A tip indicating the car was seen in Chickasha led to a pursuit by the highway patrol westbound on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, then west of Elgin to the Dolese rock quarry where the driver abandoned the car and ran into a field. State troopers, Elgin and Comanche Nation police, and the Comanche County sheriff's office were part of the manhunt, where Steven Anthony Miller was eventually taken in to custody. The arrest also led to the recovery of a second vehicle taken from Sooner Hot Rod and Four by Four. That vehicle was found in Tulsa. Three suspects were arrested in connection with that theft.
Child Sex Crimes Suspect in Custody
A local man wanted for child sex crimes out of Oklahoma County is arrested by Chickasha police. The website On Demand Court Records indicates a warrant for the arrest of 36-year old Larry Don Freed, Jr. was issued back in January. He's charged with two counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16 years old. Records from the Chickasha police department indicate Freed was arrested at a home near 12th and Iowa Monday afternoon.
Burglary Suspect Behind Bars
Chickasha police may have solved a recent burglary with the arrest of a suspect. In custody is 18-year old Rayden Kay Quinn. We don't have details about the allegations against Quinn, but Chickasha police report Quinn was arrested near the middle school at 9th and Florida early Tuesday morning. Quinn is being held in the Grady County Jail on complaints of burglary, possession of stolen property, and having a controlled dangerous substance. Prosecutors have not yet filed any formal charges against Quinn.
Investigation Begins into Prison Death of Sex Offender
A former school administrator and retired preacher, serving time for child molestation, has died in prison. Jody Hilliard died in at the John Lilley Correctional Center in Boley over the weekend. He was 73. Hilliard worked for Ninnekah and Fletcher school districts in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was a retired Duncan pastor. In June of this year, he pleaded no contest to five counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child. He was sentenced to serve seven years in prison plus 18 years of probation. The Department of Corrections is investigating Hilliard's death. The state medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine how Hilliard died.
FEMA to Hold First-ever National Alert Test
A national alert will be sent out to every smart phone in the country this afternoon. FEMA is implementing its first ever national Wireless Emergency Alert System. The notice will come across your phone about 1:18 p.m. central standard time. It should be a message from President Trump indicating that it is a test. Grady County Emergency Manager Dale Thompson tells why the test may have been developed.
Smart phones should have the display "Presidential Alert" with a note saying "This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." You won't be able to opt out of receiving such alerts. They will only be sent in the event of a major national emergency. A couple of minutes after that alert, another test of the Emergency Alert System, normally heard and seen on radio and TV station, will follow at 1:20 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down slightly, to $75.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude was down to $84.80.
Natural gas was up to $3.16 per million BTUs.
Gold went back over $1,200 to $1,208 and silver is up to $14.81.
Tuesday, Oct. 2nd
Duplex Development Voted Down
A plan to build some new duplexes in the south part of Chickasha is denied by the city council. The panel voted 8-0 against a re-zoning measure for the proposed Shadow Valley development on Country Club Road between the Elks Lodge and a city water tower. Several individuals spoke against the development at last night's meeting, including Terrance Spain.
Also opposed to the project was Glen Thompson.
The development was also to include some single-family homes. We asked project developer Phil Hagen for comment but he did not want to answer any questions.
RV Park Expansion, Other Re-zoning Approved
The council did approve a re-zoning request in the 400 block of Almar Drive to expand the Pecan Grove RV Park. Approval was also given to re-zone an area in the 3600 block of South 16th for a pet boarding business, and a use-on-review to operate an RV park in the 700 block of North 13th Street was also approved.
FAA Grant to Help Build Airport Fence
The council also awarded a bid for a fencing project at the city's airport. The bid of nearly $95,000 was from Quality Fence Company of Walters, which was the lowest of five bids received. The cost is about $30,000 below the engineer's estimate. Much of the project will be paid for from a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The city's out-of-pocket expense for the project is only $22,000.
Council Hires Local Heat and Air Maintenance Vendor
The council also awarded a heating and air conditioning maintenance agreement to DeHart Heating and Air. The bid of nearly $54,000 was about $3,500 above the estimate, but it was the only bid received. The agreement calls for crews to make two service calls per year at city buildings.
New Police Car Purchased; Cruiser Repairs Authorized
The council also awarded a bid of $18,000 to Charles Allen Ford to purchase a new Ford Fusion for the police department. The vehicle replaces two that had been damaged. The city received an $18,000 insurance settlement for those vehicles. The panel waived competitive bidding and went through state contract to make emergency repairs to a police car that City Manager John Noblitt said needs to be back on the street as soon as possible. The car was damaged and became undriveable during a pursuit earlier this year. The contract awarded to Warfle Body Shop of Oklahoma City in the amount of $4,600, which is less the $1,000 insurance deductible.
Coffee with a Cop Tomorrow
Chickasha residents are encouraged to meet some of the city's police officers in a meet-and-greet. Coffee with a Cop will be held at Paradise Donuts at 601 S. 4th tomorrow morning from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $75.30 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude climbs to $84.98.
Natural gas is up to $3.09 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,193 and silver is $14.49.
Monday, Oct. 1st
Duplex Development Opposed by Some Residents
Some Chickasha residents oppose a plan to build duplexes in their neighborhood. A number of them spoke against the proposal in last month’s Planning Commission meeting. The development is proposed to be on the north side of Country Club Road between the Elks Lodge and the city water tower. Despite the objections the planning commission narrowly gave it’s recommendation to the proposal in a 3-2 vote. The Planning Commission also recommended re-zoning property in the 3600 block of South 16th Street to operate a pet hotel. The area in question is already zoned local commercial but the request is to change it to general commercial. The commission unanimously voted to recommend that change.
City Council to Review Other Re-zoning Proposals
Another re-zoning issue asks to re-zone property at 410 West Almar Street from single-family residential to a general commercial district. That measure also is being recommended for approval. The council will review a re-zoning request in the 700 block of North 13th Street to open an RV Park with residential office space. The area is little more than three acres which would be located close to some mobile home districts and it also borders a heavy industrial lot. The Planning Commission recommended those changes as well.
Alternate Members Suggested for Planning Commission
The council will also consider adding two alternate members to the Planning Commission. A couple of the group's meetings had to be canceled this summer because of a lack of a quorum. Officials say delays can be costly to developers and residents and that having alternate members with voting powers would be helpful.
Strong Beer, Medical Marijuana Ordinances up for Review
The council is expected to update city ordinances in regards to the new state laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages. The state law changed today to allow retail outlets to sell six-point beer, and the revision would reflect the changes in city ordinances. The council is also to adopt new codes regarding the legalization of the sale of medical marijuana which also are effective at the state level starting today.
Lawsuit, Land Appraisal Part of Executive Session
In more council activity, the panel will go behind closed doors to discuss a lawsuit the city filed against Tom Word of Word Industries. The council is trying to re-coup a $250,000 economic development loan provided to Word and his company. He was going to use the money to move his operation from the Tulsa area to Chickasha but that move never occurred. A second issue in the executive session is to discuss the purchase, sale, or appraisal of property for economic development purposes.
Employee-of-Month, Festivals, Parades
The council is also expected to recognized Kay Perry with the Community Development Department as the city’s employee of the month, approve dates for the downtown Neewollah Festival on October 31st, the downtown Christmas parade on Thursday, December 6th, and an agreement with the Festival of Light for the upcoming season.
Work Session Set Before Council Meeting
In addition to those issues, the council will hold a special work session prior to its meeting. They'll be discussing the sports complex and traffic signals. The work session will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the council meeting to get underway at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Semi Crash Sends Driver to the Hospital
A semi crashes on a Grady County road over the weekend, sending the driver to the hospital. 37-year old Jose Resendiz of Purcell was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 9:00 a.m. Saturday southeast of the Naples Store, about a half-mile south of State Highway 39. The highway patrol reports that Resendiz was traveling south on a gravel road when the semi ran off the road, hit a fence and rolled. It was foggy when the accident happened.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $73.25 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude rises to $82.72.
Natural gas is $3.01 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,190 and silver is $14.61.