Mollman Media News

2019, May 6th-13th

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Today Let’s meet Canadian Valley Technology Center “Spotlight person of the week Is Rush Springs high school student, Ashlynn Crabb, who’s studying “Early Care Education, at CV Tech. Tune in Friday the 10th, to KOOL 105,5 FM, (the 7AM and 8AM News) to hear the story.

 

 

 

 

Monday, May 13th

 

One Dead in Verden House Fire, Explosion

An investigation is underway into a fatal fire and explosion that destroyed a home in Verden last night. The fire broke out about 8:00 p.m. Sunday, and there were several people in the home when the fire started. Authorities have not identified the person who died nor the individuals who were in the home. There are conflicting reports regarding whether any of the others were hurt. Reports are that the fire broke out before the explosion. While officials aren't sure how the fire started, it is believed the fire started first, and the explosion occurred when the fire got to an oxygen tank in the back of the home. The state fire marshal's office has been called in to lead the investigation.

 

Two New District Attorneys to Lead Probe

of Grady County Elected Official Salary Overpayment

Two new district attorneys have been appointed to lead the investigation into the overpayment of Grady County elected officials. Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks has recused himself from the case, telling the state attorney general he will likely have to represent the individuals listed in an audit which detailed the overpayment. In his recusal letter to Attorney General Mike Hunter, Hicks said he believed the elected officials did not know they were being overpaid. A review of county records by then state auditor Gary Jones found that a number of elected officials over the last 10 years had been overpaid by a combined total of more than $700,000. Our partners at KWTV News 9 report that District Attorney Angela Marsee from western Oklahoma will lead the case. District Attorney Greg Mashburn who serves McClain, Cleveland, and Garvin counties will assist. The former state auditor said his office warned the Grady County board that signed off on the salaries not to approve a desired 18 percent pay raise for elected officials, but the board did not heed that advice. Jones said the board approved overall budgets for departments but not salaries for elected officials.

 

 Volunteers Sought for Emergency Response Team             

The Grady County Emergency Management Agency is recruiting volunteers to be part of its Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT). Individuals will undergo about 20 hours of training to learn about working disasters and helping to spread information about disaster preparedness. Linda Swanner is with the county agency and says individuals get hands-on training, including an interesting workshop on fire suppression.

 

              

 

Ideally, officials would like to have a CERT team in every community. Contact Swanner at the Grady County Emergency Management office for more information.

 

Free Finance Workshops Underway

A program to help individuals with their finances is underway in both Chickasha and Anadarko. The weekly workshops are offered by USAO and the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions program. It's part of a federal grant to the university to help individuals and families take control of their finances. The weekly programs run every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at USAO and every Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at the Methodist Church in Anadarko. This week's workshop will take a look at buying a car. Upcoming workshops include buying insurance; debit and credit cards; credit reports and scores; borrowing; protecting your identity; and planning for disasters. The programs are free and open to the public and will be held every week through June.

 

Chix High School Prepares for Graduation

This is the last week of classes for students in Chickasha Public Schools. For the seniors, graduation is Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the CHS Activity Center. 148 seniors are expected to cross the stage to pick up their diplomas. As tradition holds, only seniors will be speaking during the ceremony. The top two Valedictorians who will speak are Hugh Nelson and Samantha Shaw. The class voted for classmates to talk about the past, present, and future. Abigail Dunn will speak on the past, Maggie Wilson on the present, and Diallo Foster on the future. Baccalaureate will be Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at the activity center, sponsored by the ministerial alliance.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.66 per barrel.

London-based Brent is $70.62.

Natural gas is $2.62 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,284 and silver is $14.67

 

 

Saturday, May 11th

 

Continental Has More Success in  the SCOOP             

An Oklahoma-based energy firm is reporting some good numbers from recently completed wells in Grady County. Officials with Contintental Resources is reporting that three wells are each producing more than 1,000 barrels of oil per day. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that the largest producers are the Pyle wells, drilled south of State Highway 39 near Tabler. They are in the Woodford formation in Section 36 of Township 7 North, Range 6 West. Each are bringing in more than 1,200 barrels of oil per day, plus nearly 2,000 metric cubic feet of  natural gas. Spud dates for both were last September, with drilling finished in October. The third well is also a Pyle well, which has a production of 1,100 barrels of oil per day and more than 1,500 metric cubic feet of natural gas. That site is north of Highway 39 in Section 25 of Township 7 North, Range 6 West. It was the first well to be drilled in August of last year with drilling finished in September. Finals completions on all three wells took place this past March.

 

Donations Pour in for Couple 

Walking for Special Olympics              

Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer had a great first day on their 125-mile walk to Stillwater. The Chickasha couple collected more than $1,100 for Oklahoma Special Olympics. On her Facebook Page, Beth Ann said they walked 19 miles yesterday. She said today is their longest day, where they plan to walk to El Reno, then along historic Route 66 to Yukon, for a total of 26.5 miles. Meyer said the Craig's Walk event that was held at Chickasha High School Thursday night brought in nearly $10,000 for Olympics. The Meyers will be arriving in Stillwater next Wednesday afternoon, in time for the opening ceremonies of the state Special Olympic Games.

 

Warrants Issued for Suspects

in Anadarko Check Scheme

Anadarko police are looking for a couple from Poteau who allegedly cashed more than $1,000 in bad checks. Arrest warrants have been issued for 28-year old Sara Jo Hash and 25-year old Chance Alan Smith. They are wanted for felony computer fraud and conspiracy, and misdemeanor forgery. The scheme was first reported in February. The Lawton Constitution reports that Hash was listed as the payee on a check from a local restaurant for nearly $300, and that Smith was the payee on two checks for about $350 each from an auto parts store. All the checks were digitally signed. If arrested and convicted, the felony charges carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

 

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Today

Letter carriers in your neighborhood and across the country will be working to stop hunger in their local communities. Today is the National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Members of The National Association of Letter Carriers are asking patrons to place a bag of non-perishable food items by their mail boxes today. Letter carriers will pick up the food and take it to their local post offices, with the food being distributed to local food pantries. The food drive is being held with the support of the Regional Food Bank, which provides food for thousands of children in western Oklahoma through local schools’ back-pack programs. If you happen to miss your letter carrier today, you can take non-perishable food items to your local post office any time over the next week or so.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Dale Thompson and Linda Swanner with the Grady County Emergency Management Agency are guests on the KOOL Konversation. They'll be discussing the Certified Emergency Response Team and how you can get involved. On Real Estate today with John Mosley, this week's gust is Jill Burgess with USAO, who is the director of the Native American Serving Non-tribal Institutions program, and a financial literacy program being offered in Chickasha and Anadarko. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

              

Friday, May 10th

 

Teacher Accused of Being Drunk at School

A Chickasha teacher was arrested at school this week allegedly for being drunk. 42-year old Deborah Reed, a special needs teacher at Grand Elementary, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after classes were done for the day. A probable cause affidavit on file at the Grady County Courthouse indicates the principal asked the school resource officer, who is a Grady County Deputy, to test a teacher for possibly being intoxicated. The principal had received reports that Reed had an odor of alcohol on her breath. The deputy administered a breathalyzer test, which indicated that Reed had a blood-alcohol content of 0.174. That’s more than double the level considered to be impaired. The court papers indicated that Reed admitted to consuming vodka on her lunch break. Reed was arrested and taken to the Grady County Jail, where she spent the night. On Wednesday, she was formally charged with a misdemeanor for public intoxication then released after posting a $1,000 bond.  School Superintendent Jack Herron said he could not comment on the issue since it was a personnel matter, but did say it was being handled administratively and by law enforcement. It's not clear if Reed returned to work. A source with knowledge of what happens to school employees who are alleged to have violated school policy tells KOOL/RANCH News that most times an individual would be suspended until the school conducts an investigation.

 

State Agency Expands Free Water Well Testing              

Rural residents whose water wells may have been submerged in floodwater from recent storms are advised not to drink that water. The State Department of Environmental Quality is recommending that the wells be disinfected and is offering free bacteriological testing of wells in all the counties where the governor has issued a state of emergency. The free testing has been expanded to include Caddo, Kiowa, Custer, and Washita counties as well as many other areas in western Oklahoma. The testing is also available in all central Oklahoma counties. For disinfecting and sampling instructions and supplies, contact the Department of Environmental Quality by calling 1-800-522-0206 or by visiting its website: www.deq.state.ok.us

 

Couple Walking to Stillwater for Special Olympics

Once again, a Chickasha couple will be heading to Stillwater to support to state games of the Special Olympics. But they won't be driving. Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer make the 125-mile journey on foot! Today is the first day of their journey and they are walking north on U.S. Highway 81 to Minco. They walk about 25 miles per day and will arrive in Stillwater in time for the opening ceremonies at the state games next Wednesday afternoon. Along the way they collect donations which are donated to Special Olympics. They've raised about $700,000 in the years they've been taking part in the walk.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.70 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $70.39.

Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,286 and silver is $14.79.

 

 

Thursday, May 9th

 

Residents Frustrated with Trains Blocking Streets

Many Chickasha residents continue calling for something to be done about trains blocking railroad crossings on city streets. Over the last couple of years, City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander has brought up the issue at city council meetings. He did so again this week.

 

              

 

City Manager John Noblitt said they continually reach out to the railroad and ask them to comply, but haven't had much success.

 

 

Ashanti-Alexander said some residents complain that the city is not being aggressive enough in its discussion with railroad officials, after seeing news reports of what other communities are doing to battle the same problem.

 

Former Deputy Pleads Guilty in Cockfighting Case              

A former deputy sheriff pleads guilty to federal charges related to cockfighting. Douglas Butler, a former Caddo County deputy, entered the plea in U.S. District Court this week. Butler is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Formal sentencing is to be held within 90 days. The Lawton Constitution reports a federal grand jury indicted the 67-year old Butler back in January for aiding and abetting a cockfighting operation on his property on Indian land in Caddo County from January of 2015 to March of 2016. The indictment alleged that Butler ran an interstate animal fighting venture that featured the fighting of gamecocks as sport, wagering, and entertainment.

 

Governor Expands State of Emergency Due to Storms

Gov. Kevin Stitt has declared a state of emergency in several more Oklahoma counties as a result of this week's strong storms, tornadoes, and flooding. The new counties are in western and southwestern parts of the state, including Caddo, Kiowa, Custer, and Washita counties. A state of emergency is in effect for all but 11 of the state's 77 counties. There is tornado damage in southern and southwest Oklahoma and many areas have experience flooding. Damage assessments are continuing and in some areas, assessment can't even start until floodwaters recede. The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to speed up delivery of materials needed for local jurisdictions in the clean-up efforts.

 

Antique Auto Swap Meet Underway

There's a lot of activity in Chickasha this weekend, part of which is the Chickasha Antique Auto Club spring swap meet. Vendors from across the country set up shop on the club's 35-plus acre property next to the Grady County Fairgrounds. A few vendors will also be using the original indoor arena at the fairgrounds. The swap meet attracts thousands of antique auto enthusiasts looking for parts or collectibles of transportation-related items. Chase O'Brien with the antique auto club talks about one of the popular vendors.

 

              

 

The Swap meet is just getting started this morning, and it runs through Saturday. Admission is free. There is a fee for parking, but it benefits local charities.

 

Swap Meet Prompts City-Wide Garage Sales              

Because of the swap meet, the City of Chickasha has city-wide garage sales. The city is waiving garage sale permit fees for the weekend.

 

Early Voting Underway for

Rush Springs, Tuttle School Bond Issues

Early voting is underway for residents in a couple of area school districts. Both Rush Springs and Tuttle schools have special bond elections next Tuesday. Rush Springs voters will decide a nearly $18 million bond proposal. In Tuttle, a nearly $40 million plan is on the table. In-person, absentee ballots may be cast at the Grady County Election Board Office, near the Grady County Courthouse (in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.12 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $70.37.

Natural gas is $2.61 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,285 and silver is $14.83.

 

 

Wednesday, May 8th

 

Bank Robbery Suspect in Custody

Federal officials have arrested a man they say held up a bank in Chickasha last week. In custody is 65-year-old Dwayne Edward Rasmussen. The U.S. Attorney's office indicates Rusmussen was found in downtown Oklahoma City on Monday. He's believed to be in the Oklahoma County Jail on a robbery complaint. Rasmussen is accused of holding up the Community Bank of Oklahoma branch last Tuesday. Reports indicate he initially told the teller to give him all the 50 and 100 dollar bills, then said he wanted all the money. It was reported he got away with more than $10,000. Officials said Rasmussen was their primary suspect, based on surveillance video from the bank, a church across the street, and eyewitness accounts and interviews.

 

Missing Man's Body Found in Rural Grady County              

The remains of a man missing from his home in western Oklahoma for nearly a month are found in rural Grady County. Authorities say the decomposed body of 43-year old Robert Don Bishop of Sayre was found in a remote area east of Alex on Monday. The state medical examiner is trying to determine the cause of death, but officials say no foul play is suspected. Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins tells how they were able to tentatively identify Bishop.

 

              

 

Bishop's pickup was found on an oil lease road on April 12th.  The truck hadn't been reported stolen, and Bishop wasn't reported as missing. Investigators contacted family members last week, who said Bishop would often be gone for long periods of time. Officials convinced them to file a missing persons report. An initial search of the area where the pickup was found was unsuccessful. Blevins said a cadaver dog was brought in to search the area this past Monday. Bishop's body was found in a heavily wooded area about 500 yards from his pickup. Blevins said Bishop had some connections in the region but it wasn't clear why he had driven to the Alex area.

              

Energy Firm with SCOOP Ties Expands              

An Oklahoma City-based firm with a large interest in the SCOOP area is continuing to grow. Bison has acquired Cobalt Environmental Solutions, a water disposal company with operations in both the SCOOP and Merge plays. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports Bison officials anticipate that Cobalt employees will remain with the company. The purchase price was not disclosed. Bison also recently purchased the Oklahoma division of Big Star Trucking, which is a water-hauling transportation firm. With the acquisitions, Bison now owns and operates more than 30 commercial water disposal facilities with a capacity of more than a half-million barrels per day. Bison CEO North Whipple said the company is on track to exceed its goal of doubling his company’s permanent water infrastructure by the end of this year. Bison describes itself as the largest privately-held energy solutions company in Oklahoma and claims it’s the No. 1 provider of water midstream solutions in the state.

 

Oat Producers Face Deadline

Some small grain producers only have a few days left to timely report one of their crops. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says-

 

              

 

Contact your local farm service agency for information.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.40 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.88.

Natural gas is $2.54 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,289 and silver is $14.93.

 

 

Tuesday, May 7th

 

Lake Chickasha Drilling OK'd

Despite Fracking Concerns

An energy company gets approval to drill for oil and natural gas at Lake Chickasha despite concerns of the possibility of earthquake-related fracking. The Chickasha City Council voted 8-1 to allow Unit Petroleum Company to drill at the lake, which is owned by the City of Chickasha. The approval came during last night’s city council meeting over the objection of City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander.

 

              

 

Unit Petroleum officials attending the meeting said none of their sites have ever had problems with earthquakes during fracking. The council also approved a surface damage agreement and an agreement to sell water from the lake to Unit Petroleum for the drilling operation.

 

Sale of Former Newspaper Building Approved

The council also approved the sale of the former Chickasha Star Newspaper building to a local investor. That came despite a protest from Councilman Tom Rose, who said the sale price was just a fraction of what the city paid for the building. The building was nearly torn down about three years ago, but was saved from destruction from individuals who said the building had historical value. The council voted 8-1 to sell the building to the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company for $15,000 with Rose the only councilman to vote against it.

 

Churches Burglarized, De-Faced;  Juveniles Arrested

Chickasha police say two neighboring churches were broken into, vandalized, and de-faced recently. Central Assembly of God at 9th and Grand, and College Heights Baptist Church just down the block at 12th and Grand, both reported break-ins the morning of Saturday, April 27th. The Chickasha Police blotter indicates that both churches had been burglarized and de-faced but it wasn't reported how. KOOL/RANCH News has asked for more detailed information regarding the break-ins, and that could be released later today. Police say two juveniles were arrested in connection with the crimes.

 

Rush Springs School Bond Issue Faces Opposition

Voters in Rush Springs will be casting ballots next week on a proposed $18 million bond issue for the school district. If approved, the bonds would help build a new gymnasium and provide funding for other school improvements. The proposal is being opposed by Steve Mills, who owns a ranch in the school district. He says while school officials are saying energy industries would pay about 75 percent of the costs, state taxpayers would really foot the bill because of the tax incentives offered to the wind industry.

 

              

 

Mills also said it just isn't right to ask voters to increase taxes on somebody else. If approved, the measure would increase property taxes  in the school district about 15 percent.

 

Tuttle School Voters to Decide

$40 Million Bond Issue

Tuttle voters will decide a nearly $40 million bond issue next week. If approved, the school district would install storm shelters at several schools; artificial turf may be installed on the football, baseball, and softball fields; a new gymnasium designed for basketball and volleyball would be built; and the weight room would be expanded. Both the Tuttle and Rush Springs school bond elections are next Tuesday, May 14th.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.26 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $71.24.

Natural gas is $2.52 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,263 and silver is $14.87.

 

 

Monday, May 6th

 

Former Chickasha Star Building May be Sold

A building that was once the home of a Chickasha-based newspaper - a building now owned by the city of Chickasha - may be sold by the city. The city council will discuss the possible sale of the old Chickasha Star Newspaper building, which is downtown in the 100 block of South 4th  Street. In background information provided to council members ahead tonight's meeting, officials say the building was acquired for demolition three years ago, but there were concerns because the building is located in the downtown historic preservation district. Current estimates are that it would cost over $600,000 to rehabilitate the building. Officials say it appeared the city pursued a request for proposals and public auction for the building, but there was no interest at the time. A company called the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company has offered a bid of $15,000 for the site.

 

Congo Creek Bridge; Sewer Project to be Reviewed              

The council is also expected to discuss going out for bids to repair the bridge on Congo Creek at Henderson Street, and to contract with an engineering firm to look at replacing a sewer line under U.S. Highway 62 and 16th Street.

 

Drilling Rig Proposed at Lake Chickasha

The panel will consider allowing Unit Petroleum Company to drill on city-owned property at Lake Chickasha. A surface damage agreement and a request to purchase water from the lake for the drilling operation are expected to be approved. The site is in Section 21 of Township 8 North, Range 9 West in Caddo County. The council is also to recognize Laura Miller as the city's Employee of the Month. Miller is the city's court clerk, who has worked in several areas of city government for 20 years. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Marathon Reports High-Producing Well

It took a while to make the news, but Marathon Petroleum Corporation reports a large producing well near Lindsay. The well was producing nearly 2,100 barrels of oil and more than 1,600 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day. While south of Lindsay, the well is located in the Springer Play in Stephens County in Section 10 of Township 2 North, Range 4 West. The website www.okenergytoday.com says Marathon filed the completion report nearly five months after the initial production of the rig known as Papa Pump. The report indicated the driller used more than 260 thousand barrels of fluid and nearly 13 million pounds of proppant to bring the well in.

 

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive This Week

Letter carriers across the country are getting ready for their Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers work the second Saturday of each May to re-stock local food pantries. Once again this year the letter carriers are partnering with the Regional Food Bank, which helps distribute food to many areas of western Oklahoma. This week, letter carriers will be leaving a plastic bag in your mail. You're asked to put some canned goods or other non-perishable food items in the bag, and leave it by your mail box this Saturday. Steve Riggs is the state spokesman for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

 

              

 

Post offices throughout the region, including Chickasha and Anadarko will participate.

 

Chickasha Downtown Merchants to Meet

Owners and/or managers of downtown businesses which are part of the Chickasha Main Street Association will be meeting tomorrow night. The group wants to share information about the proposed new developments in downtown. The meeting is open to all downtown businesses, and membership to the association is not required. The meeting will be at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.94.

London-based Brent crude is $70.85.

Natural gas is $2.56 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,282 and silver is $14.87.

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