Today Let’s meet Canadian Valley Technology Center “Spotlight person of the week is Alex Junior Dustin Tolson. Who is from Rush Springs, and studying “Pre-Engineering, at CV Tech. Tune in Friday the 19th, to KOOL 105,5 FM, (the 7AM and 8AM News) to hear the story.
Monday, April 22nd
USAO to Host State History Conference
A statewide conference for historians will be held on the USAO campus this week. The Oklahoma Historical Society will host its annual Oklahoma History and Preservation conference. The three-day event will include a number of guest speakers, tours, and the induction of several new members into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. The featured speaker will be Ladonna Harris, a member of the Comanche Nation. She's an American Indian activist and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity and an advocate for women's rights. Harris was an original member of the National Women's Political Caucus, and served as the United States representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. She also serves on the board for the Smithsonian insititute's National Museum of the American Indian. The historical society is partnering with the Chickasaw Nation to celebrate famed storyteller Te Ata, USAO's most famous alum who traveled around the world sharing Native American culture. The conference runs Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Membership to the state historical society is not required to participate. Information is available on-line at: www.okhistory.org
Sheriff's Office Closed for Second Day Due to Storm
Storm damage at the Grady County Sheriff's Office has forced officials to close the business office there for a second day. Storms Thursday night damaged an air conditioning unit on the roof and the office was closed Friday. Sheriff Jim Weir said the work does not impact the 911 or dispatch services for the office. Weir is hoping the repairs can be completed today.
Gas Line Repair to Affect 9th and Grand Traffic
A reminder that the intersection of 9th and Grand Avenue in Chickasha will be affected by a gas line repair project. Centerpoint Energy will be working to repair a gas line leak in that area. Southbound traffic on 9th Street off of Grand will be shut down for several days. Any traffic northbound on 9th Street from Country Club road will be detoured at Almar Drive. The work is expected to take about a week.
Rig Count Falls in Oklahoma and the Nation
In energy news, the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas was down both in the state and across the country last week. In Oklahoma, the rig count fell by two to 102. That number is also down from the same time a year ago. With the drop, the Sooner State falls to third nationwide for the number drilling rigs - behind Texas and New Mexico. Nationwide, the rig count fell by 10 to 1,012. That number is down by one rig from the same time a year ago, according to a report released by Baker Hughes of Houston.
Chix YMCA to Host OKC Thunder 'Hustle Camp'
Each summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team joins YMCA programs across the state to offer what's called a Thunder Hustle camp. The Chickasha Area YMCA will be the first stop of the camp next month. Michelle Matthews is the manager of youth basketball operations for the Thunder and tells why Chickasha was selected.
The one-day camp will be Thursday, May 30th and is for youth 6 to 14 years old. There are a limited number of spots available. There is a $65 fee for the camp. Sign up on the Oklahoma City Thunder website: www.okcthunder.com/youth basketball.
Other camps are scheduled for the Lawton and Oklahoma City areas.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.97.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,280 and silver is $15.09.
Saturday, April 20th
Cyclist Rides for Breast Cancer Research
He's a man on a mission. Bob Hood is spending nearly three months on a campaign to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research - while riding his bicycle across the country. Hood was in Chickasha this morning on the 31st day of his nearly three-month effort for what's called the Three Country Ride. Woods left Tijuana, Mexico south of San Diego, California on March 20th. His more than 4,000 mile trip is scheduled to end in Saint Stephens, New Brunswick, Canada on June 10th. Hood, who is the CEO of a California technology firm, is a former marathoner and tri-athlete and says he’s been training for this ride for a year. He's the volunteer executive director for Three Country Ride, which is a non-profit group working to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Hood says he's had family and friends stricken by the disease, and the ride is his part to help more than 300,000 women in the U.S. diagnosed with breast cancer every year. He said 40,000 women are expected to die from the disease this year. Hood is looking for cycling enthusiasts to join him for part of his journey. Each day, the group broadcasts three live videos - morning, noon, and evening. His first video today was with Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley at the Rock Island Railroad Depot. To help Hood with his cause, here is the link: http://www.3countryride.org/donate.html
Turnpike Crash Injures Two
A man and a 7-year old escape serious injury following a crash on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 34-year old Dustin Bacon of Wichita Falls, Texas and the little girl with him were hurt when the SUV ran off the interstate, traveled up an embankment of an overpass and hit the underside of a bridge. Bacon was trapped in the vehicle for about an hour and a half. Bacon was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with leg injuries, where he was admitted in good condition. A state trooper drove the child to the hospital and she was treated and released. The accident happened about 11:00 a.m. Friday morning in the eastbound lanes of the highway near mile marker 58, not far from Fletcher. The trooper investigating the crash said the cause of the accident was driver inattention. Bacon was wearing his seat belt and the little girl was in a child restraint seat.
Suspect Arrested After Throwing Chair at SUV
There were some frightening moments in Anadarko for a woman and a child, when a man throws a chair at their moving SUV, shattering the window where the child was sitting. Anadarko Police were called out to investigate the incident Wednesday morning. Authorities issued a felony arrest warrant for 35-year old Raymond Horace Nibbs who was taken into custody Thursday. Nibbs has been formally with a felony for throwing or dropping an object onto a motor vehicle, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Nibbs previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and battery in 2016 and domestic abuse in 2017. He remains in the Caddo County jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond.
Crews Align Headstones at Ft. Sill National Cemetery
The country's national cemeteries for military veterans are always kept in pristine condition. One of most detailed procedure is working to make sure that the headstones are as perfectly aligned as possible. At the Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin, a two-man crew works on about 10 head stones per day. They carefully measure the distance between the monuments, the height of each one, and move it left or right if needed. Bill Rhoades is the director of the cemetery. He tells KSWO-TV that they take the process seriously. He said it’s a sacred trust, and a promise they made to the veterans that they would care for their gravesites. The process includes using a tape measure, a string, and a lot of muscle to adjust the 230-pound head stones.
Sheriff's Office Most-Wanted List
The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has released a new 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 by calling 405-222-5085.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Lt. David Brittle with the Salvation Army which serves Grady and Caddo Counties is on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, guests are Lewis Knicely with the Chickasha Area YMCA and Michelle Matthews, the manager of youth basketball operations with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Part of that discussion is about a Thunder Hustle Camp for kids that will be held at the Chickasha YMCA next month. We have links to these programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, April 19th
Marking the 24th Anniversary of the Murrah Bombing
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 168 people died in the bombing. A formal ceremony was held at the OKC bombing memorial this morning. Among the Grady County families forever changed by the tragedy was the Spurlin family. Mary Spurlin's daughter, Peggy Clark-Spencer was among those who died. Peggy was a veterinarian with the United States Department of Agriculture, whose office was on the 5th floor. Mary Spurlin wrote of her family's grief. Spurlin said it was 10 days before Peggy's body was found and that she one of the last victims to be recovered. She says the only items they found were her purse and wedding rings.
Rush Springs Voters to Decide Special School Bond Issue
A new gymnasium and the renovation of the school auditorium are part of a $17 1/2 million bond issue that will be decided by voters in the Rush Springs school district next month. Superintendent Robbie Burch says the new gym would seat about 1,200 spectators. The new gym would allow the school to host a number of basketball tournaments - including the Grady County tournament - as well as post-season basketball tournaments. Upgrades to the auditorium would include new seats and flooring, a new sound system and new lighting. The bond would also allow the district to build a new agriculture show facility, visitor vestibules for the high school and elementary school, and improve security features throughout the district. Burch said it’s a 10-year proposal and that ad valorem taxes would increase about 15 percent. He also said that most of the proceeds would be paid by outside entities like the oil and gas and wind energy sectors. Burch said those areas would fund 77 percent of the bond issue. Voters will decide the issue on May 14th.
Gas Line Repairs to Close Part of Chickasha Intersection
Part of a busy Chickasha intersection will be shut down for a few days next week. Traffic in the area of 9th and Grand Avenue will be congested, as crews with CenterPoint Energy repair a gas line leak. Officials with the City of Chickasha say the company will have to access the line on 9th Street just south of Grand, so southbound traffic will not be allowed. Northbound traffic on 9th Street from Country Club Road will be detoured at Almar Drive. Also, eastbound traffic on Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane starting at 10th Street and ending about 8th Street. The gas line repair will start on Monday, and the work is expected to take perhaps a week, but the exact time frame is not known. You'll be able to get updates on the City of Chickasha's Facebook page and its website: www.chickasha.org
Gov. Signs Bill to Increase Some Speed Limits
Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a bill that increases the speed limit on some Oklahoma turnpikes and state highways. HB 1071 raises turnpike speed limits to 80 miles per hour in selected areas. It would increase the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on some state highways. Officials say while they wanted to increase the speed limit, they are also working to ensure the safety of drivers. Lawmakers worked with the state department of transportation on the proposal. Officials are to use traffic and engineering studies to determine where the speed limits could be safely increased. Parts of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike are included in the plan.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.97.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,276 and silver is $14.96.
Thursday, April 18th
Tuttle PD Investigates Attempted Abduction
A lot of extra eyes are in Tuttle neighborhoods this morning, after a report of an attempted kidnapping yesterday. Authorities say a 12-year old girl was walking to school Wednesday morning, when an older man asked her to come over to him. The girl refused but the man reached out and grabbed her sleeve. The frightened girl quickly got away and ran to school nearby, with the man chasing after her. Tuttle police say the man stopped when they got close to the school and saw other kids in the area. The suspect is said to be an older white male, perhaps in his 60s. He's about 5’ 8" tall with a medium build. He has short, light brown or perhaps gray hair. He's also said to have bad teeth. The suspect was wearing a dark hoodie with no markings, dark colored jeans and bright blue slip-on shoes. It was also reported that the man walks around the areas of the intermediate and middle schools almost every day. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tuttle Police Department by callnig 405-381-4467.
Mickey Edwards Named Verden School Superintendent
A new superintendent will take the reins at Verden Public Schools next year. Mickey Edwards will be the new administrator. Edwards has been an educator for 12 years, including a 10-year stint at Chickasha where he was a teacher and a coach. He also spent a year in an administrative role. Edwards left Chickasha for Verden just last year, and he has been working as a science teacher and the district’s athletic director. Edwards follows long-time superintendent David Davidson. Davidson has been the superintendent at Verden the last 14 years. For the last three years he has been splitting time between Verden and Cement schools. Davidson has now been hired as full-time superintendent at Cement. The changes at both schools will take affect the first of July.
Governor to Review School Bus Camera Bill
A lot of school districts have cameras to monitor the activities in and around school buses. State lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Kevin Stitt which would allow the installation of cameras in school buses to watch for drivers who unlawfully pass them. HB 1926 calls for anyone pulled over for driving through a school bus stop sign to be fined at least $100. Most of the money would go to a fund which would help school districts pay to install those cameras. The fund would be monitored by the state department of education.
Washed-Out Road Near Alex Closed for Repairs
A county road near Alex has been closed because of a washed-out tin horn. District 3 Grady County Commissioner Ralph Beard said it’s a two-mile stretch of CR 1470 between CS 2880 and 2900 which is southeast of Alex. Beard said he's notified schools and the sheriff's office about the road closure. Beard said the tin horn is nearly half the length of a football field long and 36-inches in diameter. He said county crews will use metal pipe they have in inventory to replace it. If things go well, Beard said the road could be re-opened in about a week.
Apache Welcomes Rattlesnake Festival Visitors
Some slithery activity in Apache over the next few days, as the annual Rattlesnake Festival gets underway. This is the 36th year for the event and it's estimated that 30,000 visitors stop by every year. The brave can head to the hills outside of town to hunt for snakes with the help of a trained professional. Serious hunters will try to bring in the largest snake. There's a rattlesnake den where fangmasters carefully stroll through a pit of rattlers and non-venomous snakes alike providing demonstrations. There's a huge flea market in town where the theme is ”if it's not here, you don't need it.” If you're squeamish, you don't even have to see the snakes at all. The event through through Sunday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is$63.76 per barrel.
London-based Brent is $71.62.
Natural gas is $2.51 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,277 and silver is $14.94.
Wednesday, April 17th
More Improvements OK'd for Shannon Springs Park
Tens of thousands of dollars in additional upgrades to Shannon Springs Park were approved by the Chickasha City Council this week. At the recommendation of the city manager, the council gave its blessing to an additional $64,000 to install some lights along the north trail of the park. The council approved a revised bid of more than $265,000 for electrical upgrades at the park, needed for the Festival of Light. The bid was awarded to Barrington Electric. The council also approved a bid for improvements at the bath house at Shannon Springs, but not without opposition. A more than $140,000 bid was awarded to Bordwine Development. Councilman Oscar Nelson voiced concern about Bordwine's work on other city projects. City Manager John Noblitt said he plans to have more supervision over the contractor on this project.
The bid was approved by a 6-2 vote, with Nelson and Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander opposed. Noblitt said some the work at the park could begin within a few weeks.
GOP Senator Responds to Dems Criticism
Regarding No COLA Increase for State Retirees
A state lawmaker from Grady County responds to criticism regarding a decision to postpone a cost-of-living increase to retired state employees. Republican State Senator Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle says despite the rhetoric of Democrats, senate Republicans are following the law and protecting those pensions. In a press release, Paxton says reforms by the GOP have been instrumental in saving the state pension systems from financial ruin, and are ensuring their long-term solvency. Paxton said for years, Democrats raided the pension funds to balance the budget or pay for pet political projects which severely left those systems underfunded. Paxton said that Republicans ended that practice and over the last seven years have invested more than $3.4 billion above and beyond the normal employer contributions to fix the Democrats' past mistakes.
Dispatchers Recognized for Their Work
Those who work behind the scenes in law enforcement get some recognition this week. It's Dispatchers Week, and the Grady County Sheriff's office provided their crew with some props on the agency's Facebook page. There are nine dispatchers for the sheriff's office. Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett says dispatchers are the voices that deputies and residents rely on in times of crisis. Undersheriff Phil Blevins posted a Facebook reply saying dispatchers do all they can to take care of deputies and that their hard work does not go unnoticed.
A Walk in the Park Upcoming for Grand School
Students at Chickasha's Grand Elementary School are preparing a morning of exercise and fund-raising. The third annual Grand "Go" Walk is coming up in early May. Teachers and the Parent Teacher Organization are putting together a walk-a-thon to raise money for projects for second, third, and fourth graders. Students are asked to get a minimum of $20 but any amount more or less is welcome. The Grand “Go” Walk will be on Thursday, May 2nd at Shannon Springs Park. The students who bring in the most money, and walk the most laps will receive prizes. There will also be games and activities while the kids are at the park. For information contact a teacher or administrator at Grand School.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.05 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.72.
Natural gas is $2.47 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,278 and silver is $14.97.
Tuesday, April 16th
Zoning Change OK'd for New Development
Plans to build another new hotel, some additional retail and office space, and residential properties for Chickasha were discussed during last night's city council meeting. Eric Fleske is the developer for the property south of Grand Avenue from 4th Street to 9th Street. The city council approved a request to re-zone the property as a planned unit development, which Fleske says will give him needed flexibility in his proposal.
Fleske says he's already invested about $3 million in the area with plans to spend another $1.5 million to address the flood plain concerns along Congo Creek. No time-line was given on when any work might begin.
'Ladies Retreat' Home Passes Hurdle
The city council approved a use-on-review to operate a home-based business as a 'ladies’ retreat'. The panel unanimously approved the request from Marilyn Lawson, who owns an historic home in the 1100 block of South 8th. City Planner Gene Winsett said Lawson has not yet received an occupancy permit as she was awaiting use-on-review approval. Winsett said the fire marshal has visited the home several times and that other city officials have thoroughly checked out compliance concerns regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.
'Road Rage' Led to Police Facebook Post
Here’s an update about that Facebook post by Chickasha police last weekend which led to an arrest. We've learned that officers were dispatched to the Gas and Go Convenience Store next to the Grady County Fairgrounds Saturday morning about a possible road rage incident. The victim was an older, vulnerable man. Court documents say the victim suffered a scrape on one side of his face and his glasses were broken. It's not clear what sparked the road rage, but a probable cause affidavit alleges the suspect jerked the car door open, pulled the victim out, pinned him against the vehicle, and at one point had his hand on the victim's throat. Authorities obtained video surveillance of the incident, and posted pictures on Facebook of the suspect and his SUV. It wasn't long before the suspect turned himself in. Authorities arrested 47-year old Eric Akins of Chickasha. He spent the weekend in the Grady County Jail and yesterday, prosecutors formally charged him with misdemeanor assault and battery. Akins is out of jail after posting bond. He's to announce his attorney May 23rd, with the case scheduled for the misdemeanor disposition docket Jun 7th.
One Arrested in Tuttle School Threat
A teenager is arrested after a couple of threats were reported at Tuttle High School. Tuttle police questioned three teens after two incidents of threats were alleged. The teen that was taken into custody is reported to have posted the threat on SnapChat. Two teens were questioned in connection with the other threat. It's reported that officers went to their homes and took them to the police department for questioning. Investigators were told one of them made a threat on social media. But after providing his on-line account information and an emergency disclosure request was sent to the social media platform, nobody could provide a screen shot of any threat. Officers even searched the teens’ backpacks, but they were released to their parents after no evidence was found. However, authorities say that the youths are still under investigation.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.40 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.78.
Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,286 and silver is $14.90.
Monday, April 15th
Former Chickasha School Employee Alleged
to Have Had Inappropriate Contact with Student
For the second time this school year, Chickasha school officials are dealing with situation where a former employee is alleged to have had inappropriate contact with a student. School administrators sent a letter to parents on Friday which stated they were looking into the allegations. The letter was on school district letterhead and indicated it was from Assistant Superintendent Kim Haney and High School Principal Rhonda Snow. The letter said they are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation. Last fall, an unidentified school employee was terminated after a previous investigation of inappropriate contact with a student.
Social Media Credited for Assisting Police with Arrest
Chickasha police are crediting social media for the arrest of a suspect in an assault investigation. Authorities were looking for a man in connection with the assault of an older, vulnerable male. Police posted a photograph of the suspect and an SUV he may have been driving on the police department’s Facebook page Saturday morning. The photos were taken from video surveillance of an unidentified convenience store. Authorities say the suspect turned himself in. The identity of the suspect has not yet been released.
Car Dangles on Turnpike Overpass
A traffic accident northeast of Chickasha yesterday leaves a car dangling from an overpass on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. The accident happened on County Road 2900, which is about five miles northeast of Chickasha. It's not clear how the accident happened. At least one person was taken to the hospital, but their name was not released and it wasn't clear how seriously they were injured. Debris from the accident fell on to the turnpike which caused a couple of minor wrecks, but officials did not have to shut down traffic.
Council Reps to be Sworn In
Four Chickasha City Council representatives will take their oaths of office in a special meeting of the council tonight. There won't be any changes to the panel. Ward 2 council representative Kim Loggins and Ward 4 councilman Jim Hopkins both won re-election to their posts earlier this month. Tom Rose in Ward 1 and Oscar Nelson in Ward 3 ran un-opposed. The special meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. tonight in the council chambers at city hall, ahead of the council's regular meeting.
Council to Discuss Park Upgrades
During the regular council meeting, the group will consider spending nearly $350,000 for improvements at Shannon Springs Park. About $200,000 is to upgrade electrical outlets throughout the park for the Festival of Light. It's the lowest of two bids received for the project, and it’s from local firm Barrington Electric. The higher bid was nearly $300,000. The group will also discuss renovations to the bath house at the park. A local company is expected to get that bid as well. Bordwine Development had the lowest of two bids at about $143,000. The higher bid was more than $300,000. The council will take a look at spending more than $200,000 to allow the police department to upgrade its Report Management System. The group will also consider a proposal to re-zone several acres of property south of Grand Avenue between 4th and 9th streets to allow for a planned unit development. The council will have a closed-door session to discuss two issues. One, a lawsuit filed against the city and two, an economic development proposal.
Employers, Job Seekers to Meet at Career Fair
Employers and individuals looking for work can meet in one location at an upcoming career fair hosted by Canadian Valley Technology Center's El Reno campus. Companies looking to hire employees can register at no cost for the event, which will be held on Thursday, May 2nd from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 40 businesses have already registered and more are expected. Registration deadline is this Friday, April 19th. Businesses reps should contact CV Tech Employment Specialist Mindi Mitchell in El Reno by calling 405-422-2205. Hundreds of students from the three CV Tech campuses in Chickasha, El Reno, and Yukon will be job searching at the event.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.89 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.55.
Natural gas is $2.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,289 and silver is $14.88.