Saturday, Aug. 10th
Watermelon Festival at Rush Springs Underway
The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival is underway and thousands of visitors are expected in the town of 1,500 residents. This is the 75th year for the festival as the community celebrates its claim to fame as the one of the Watermelon Capitals of the World. Rush Springs is known for the Black Diamond watermelon which is not the kind of melon you typically see in grocery stores. The Black Diamond has a dark green rind and is more oval in shape than the oblong Jubilee melons found at local markets. Local growers also find out who has grown the biggest and best watermelons this season. The largest local melon recorded is 214 pounds which occurred in 2012. Part of the fun of eating watermelon is spitting the seeds and there is a contest for that. The longest distance on record at Rush Springs is 52 feet which was first recorded in 2006 and then tied in 2011. There are dozens of arts, crafts, and food vendors, a carnival, an antique car, truck, and tractor show, and free watermelon after 4:00 p.m. The Rush Springs Lions Club hosts the annual event at Jeff Davis Park.
Tanker Fire Shuts Down Turnpike Traffic
There were some scary moments on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike yesterday when a fuel-carrying tanker truck crashes and catches fire. It happened just after 4:00 p.m. Friday in the westbound lanes near Mile Marker 71. Chickasha and Grady County firefighters were summoned to the scene, and the entire interstate was shut down for about 2 1/2 hours while crews dowsed the flames. Part of the roadway was shut down well into the night, and the entire roadway was finally re-opened just after 11:30 p.m. Amazingly the highway patrol reported that no one was hurt. There was no word on what caused the accident and the highway patrol did not release the name of the driver. Some video of the scene is posted on the Grady County Fire Department Facebook page.
Church to Discuss Ways to Prevent Suicide
A local church will address the topic of suicide. Grand Assembly of God will host a seminar next month with Dr. Jeremy Lelek with Metroplex Counseling and Patrick Johnson with J-Star Ministries. The program is called Overcomer and the men will discuss how communities might work to prevent individuals from taking their own lives. The seminar is free and open to everyone, especially community leaders, mental health providers, youth groups, and medical, school, and church personnel. The program will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21st at Grand Assembly beginning at 8:00 a.m. Organizers ask individuals who want to attend to RSVP the church by calling 405-224-0968 or e-mail email@example.com
Inhofe Not Saying if He's Running for Re-election
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe spent some time in Chickasha this week. He talked to area business leaders about his work as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and that Oklahoma stands to benefit from an increase in the new defense spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. The Ft. Sill Army Base and the Air Force bases at Tinker, Enid, and Altus will see more funds, and all troops get a 3 percent pay increase which is the largest in 10 years. Inhofe is 84 years old, and has served in the Senate for 25 years. His term expires next year, but he has not yet announced plans to run for re-election.
Inhofe also said Oklahoma will get sufficient federal funding for highway projects as the Sooner State is set to collect more than $4 billion over a five-year period.
Friday, Aug. 9th
Developer Says An RV Storage Business
Would be Beneficial for the Chickasha Area
For the last three years, Kelly Boyd has been working to create a Chickasha location for owners of recreational vehicles to store their RVs. There is no such business in town right now. Boyd's effort to create the business on property he owns on 29th Street would be beneficial not only for the RV owners, but good for business as well. Boyd has run into opposition about the idea. Nearby property owners fear the business would decrease their property values. Boyd said that's not the case in other communities where similar businesses are located.
Boyd said the proposed location is ideal, because 29th Street is primed for commercial growth, since there is a nursing home and other medical offices just down the street. Boyd is asking the Chickasha City Council to re-zone the property from agriculture to commercial use in order that the project can get underway. The city council will have a public hearing on the issue at its Tuesday, September 3rd meeting.
Chickasha Back-to-School Outreach is Tomorrow
This is the last weekend of summer vacation for Chickasha school kids. Many teachers came back early this week to get their classrooms ready, as students will return next week. A local group will once again help out youngsters by providing free clothing and back packs while having a little fun as well. The community back-to-school outreach will be held at Shepherd Street Christian Church tomorrow. Supporters have collected items thanks to contributions from individuals and businesses. It's a celebration as well, with many games and activities for the kids with free hot dogs and popcorn. While the main event will be tomorrow, local hair stylists will be providing free haircuts for the children all day on Monday at the Washita Valley Park community building. The community outreach will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at Shepherd Street Christian Church.
Blanchard to Hold Back-to-School 'Bash'
In Blanchard, a back-to-school bash will be held tonight with live music and a movie. There are inflatables for the youngsters, concessions, and live music with Mike Black and the Stingrays. All the activities start at 7:00 p.m. with the Disney movie Dumbo starting at 9:00 p.m.
Chickasha Public Swimming Pool to Close
The City of Chickasha’s public pool at Shannon Springs Park will be wrapping up its summer swimming season this weekend. Today and tomorrow are the final days for the pool to be open to the public. The pool is managed by the YMCA. Director Lewis Kniceley said with many of his employees being teenagers, staffing will be an issue as they go back to school. The pool still has a few private parties scheduled over the next few days, and some of the swimming programs are still on the calendar. However, tomorrow will be the last day for open swimming. Some of the on-going swimming programs will be moved to the indoor pool at USAO. While the pool will be closed, the kids can cool off at the city's splash pads, one of which is at Shannon Springs Park and the other at Washita Valley Park.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Pre-school education for small children is available through the Washita Valley Community Action Council's Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Mellisa Valley will be on our KOOL Konversation program to talk about what's available in the Grady and Caddo County areas. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Mark Faulkenberry and Phillip Schaeffer with Western Farmers Electric Coop will talk about WFEC's new partnership with NextEra Energy to develop wind and solar energy and a new battery storage facility for those alternative energy sources. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.54 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $57.38.
Natural gas is $2.08 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,515 and silver is $17.04.
Thursday, Aug. 8th
Fatal Crash Occurs Near Lindsay
A deadly car crash near Lindsay last night. The accident claimed the life of 35-year old Jessie Jones of Norman. The highway patrol reports that Jones was southbound on State Highway 76 when she ran off the highway and hit a tree. The accident happened about eight miles south of Lindsay just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Rush Springs Theft Suspects Arrested
Authorities in Rush Springs believe they've solved a number of recent thefts with the arrest of two suspects. 21-year old Eric Tyler Goodson of Rush Springs and a juvenile were taken into custody early Monday. It's alleged they were caught trying to break into a vehicle owned by an EMS worker. A probable cause affidavit indicates the EMS employee held the teen at gunpoint and called the sheriff's office. En route to the call, a Grady County sheriff's deputy encountered a vehicle suspected of being involved in the theft. After a short pursuit, the driver identified as Goodson eventually pulled over was arrested and taken to jail. Goodson is facing felony drug and firearms charges, and a misdemeanor eluding charge. He remains in jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.
Continental Resources Cuts Back 4th Quarter Rig Numbers
A report today indicates Continental Resources will be reducing the number of its drilling rigs in the SCOOP and STACK regions. Company president Harold Hamm says that's because of how efficient the current rigs are working. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that Hamm told analysts and investors this week that crude oil production growth is ahead of schedule. The company had planned to have nearly 20 drilling rigs in the SCOOP and STACK plays in the fourth quarter. The firm now plans on only having about a dozen rigs in the two regions during the last three months of the year. Hamm told the group that the company is on track to execute its 2019 plan to enhance shareholder value.
School Kids Returning to Classrooms
Schools in the region are already welcoming students back to the classroom from the summer break. Verden students are already in class, as school started this past Tuesday. Anadarko is getting started today, and many other school districts will follow in the next week. Chickasha schools will be opening on Thursday, Aug. 15th. New teacher orientation for Chickasha is today and tomorrow. Tonight, the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center will have an orientation for parents and a meet-the-teacher program. There are two sessions, one at 6:00 p.m. and the other at 7:00 p.m.
Rush Springs Readies for Rodeo, Watermelon Festival
A big weekend in Rush Springs begins tonight, with the annual rodeo kicking things off ahead of Saturday's watermelon festival. There are two performances for the rodeo, tonight and tomorrow at the Rusty Acres Arena at 8:00 p.m.. both nights. The rodeo parade will be downtown at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. The diamond anniversary of the watermelon festival will be all day Saturday at Jeff Davis Park. More than 200 runners have pre-registered for the 5K and 10K runs that morning, with opening ceremonies set for 9:00 a.m. There's 40,000 pounds, or 20 tons of watermelon being chilled ahead of time for the festival. A huge wedge of watermelon is just one dollar throughout the day, but after 4:00 p.m., it’s free.
Wildife Refuge Bans Some Hiking Due to Heat
Due to the recent stretch of hot weather, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has temporarily banned most on- and off-trail hiking during the day. Officials say early morning hiking is OK, from sunrise until 10 a.m. But after that, visitors will have to leave the trails as well as the Mt. Scott roadway. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for much of the state again today. In Lawton, temperatures are expected to climb to near 105 degrees with heat index values to as high as 110 degrees. Limited hiking in established picnic areas and campgrounds will be allowed during the day. The roads through the refuge will be open to vehicles and bicycles, and there are no changes to activities like wildlife observation, fishing, and picnicking.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $51.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $56.23.
Natural gas is $2.08 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,508 and silver is $17.08.
Wednesday, Aug. 7th
School Bond Election Set for Blanchard Schools
There's a special school bond election in Blanchard next month, as voters will decide a $31 million proposal for a couple of big projects. Superintendent Jim Beckham talks about one of them should the measure be approved.
The auditorium and performing arts center would seat about 1, 500 people. The building would include a band room which would double as a safe room that could hold all the high school students. The measure also calls for a new cafeteria to be built at the middle school which would also double as a safe room. Additional classrooms would be built at the high school, middle school and elementary school. The proposal would also allow the district to build a new football stadium at the high school. Beckham said it would be a natural grass field as the cost for field turf made the project more expensive. Beckham said property taxes would not increase if the bond issue is approved. The election will be on Tuesday, September 10th and the deadline to register to vote in that election is Friday, August 16th.
More Homes to be Built in Sleepy Hollow Addition
There are plans for more new homes to be built in Chickasha. 65 new single-family homes could be built in the Sleepy Hollow Addition. This week, the Chickasha City Council gave its approval to a revised final plat for the project. The new homes would help in the effort to deal with what some call a housing crisis in the city. The development includes 48 patio-style homes on lots of about 4,700 sq. ft. An additional 17 homes would be located on lots of about 6,000 sq. ft. The plans were designed by the Yukon office of Crafton and Tull Engineering and are to be built by Home Creations which has recently built a number of new homes in the south part of Sleepy Hollow. Construction is not expected to start until later this year or after the first of next year. City officials say there are still two more phases of new home construction being considered in the Sleepy Hollow area. Other new home construction will be starting soon west of 16th and Country Club Road in what's being called the Shadow Valley development.
Teen Injured in Jeep Crash
A Grady County teenager is hospitalized after crashing the Jeep he was driving. The 15-year old Tuttle youth suffered head and arm injuries in the accident that happened late Tuesday afternoon. He was first taken by a private vehicle to Grady Memorial then by ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in fair condition. The highway patrol said the crash is under investigation and did not release any details about what happened. The crash occurred about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday six miles east of Amber near the intersection County Street 1290 and County Road 2940. The name of the teen was not released as the highway patrol does not publicize the identities of juveniles involved in traffic accidents.
Alleged Child Predator Faces New Charge
A Duncan man accused of lewd acts against children in Grady County is facing a similar charge in Stephens County. 20-year old Skylar Biby was arrested recently following an investigation by the district attorney's task force. In Stephens County, Duncan police were notified in June of allegations that Biby sexually assault a child. Biby is facing one count of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old in Stephens County. He's facing four counts of lewd acts with a child in Grady County where he has a preliminary hearing conference scheduled for this afternoon.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.63 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.94.
Natural gas is $2.10 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,500 and silver is $16.79.
Tuesday, Aug. 6th
City Council Delays Action on RV Storage Re-zoning Issue
A proposal to re-zone some property for the development of an RV storage business was postponed during last night's Chickasha City Council meeting. Property owner Kelly Boyd is asking to re-zone about five acres of land from agriculture to commercial use to open the storage business. The proposal is being opposed by nearby residents. City Manager John Noblitt said the reason for the delay is because an important step in the process was not included on the agenda for last night's meeting.
The city manager said the notices need to mailed 20 days before that September 3rd meeting, but he is expecting them to be sent within the next few days.
Council OK's Police Union Contract
The Chickasha City Council and the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 have agreed to a contract for the current fiscal year. Following a 20-minute closed door session last night, the council unanimously approved the agreement. City Manager John Noblitt said the contract calls for a 4 percent cost of living allowance and an extra vacation day for Christmas Eve. Noblitt said the total salaries, including retirement and other benefits, are about $1.8 million of the $2 million budget for the police department. He said there are about 20 officers on staff right now, and with openings for four more.
Inhofe Opposes Stricter Gun Control Laws
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe says stricter gun control laws may not prevent mass shootings which have been on the rise in the country. Inhofe was in Chickasha yesterday, and in an exclusive interview with KOOL/RANCH News, we asked him about the comments from some of the Democratic presidential candidates who want make it more difficult to purchase the weapons used in the horrific events that occurred in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend.
A news report out yesterday said the number of people who have died in mass shootings this year is more than the number of days to this point in 2019.
ODOT Says State Highway Damaged by Heat
The heat is said to have caused damage to a portion of U.S. Highway 81. The roadway buckled in the southbound lanes of the highway near State Highway 19. Southbound traffic on Highway 81 is narrowed to one lane near Gorilla Bargain World while work crews repair the damage. ODOT estimates the project could take about 10 days.
Continental Revenue Falls Short of Estimate
The second quarter of 2019 wasn't what Continental Resources hoped it would be regarding the company’s earnings report. Officials say net income was off 20 percent of estimates. The website www.okenergytoday.com says Continental reported net income of just under $237 million, or 63 cents per diluted share. The quarterly adjusted profit was down due to weaker crude and natural gas prices which offset an increase in the company's overall production. The SCOOP region is where most of Continental's oil and gas was produced in Oklahoma with more than 71,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, while the STACK region produced about 57,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Hay Entries Needed for County, State Fairs
Hay producers in the region who want to submit entries into the Grady County Fair, and the State Fair of Oklahoma will need to get their entries together today. Entries will be accepted between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Grady County Fairgrounds for both shows. For the county fair, producers need five small square bales, or one large square or round bale. For the state fair, only the small bales will be accepted. For information on the alfalfa shows contact the Grady County OSU Extension office.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.69 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $59.81.
Natural gas is $2.09 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,476 and silver if $16.39.
Monday, Aug. 5th
Teens Charged with Murder to be in Court
(This is a correction version of the story we aired this morning, regarding the dates of the prelminary hearings. We apologize for the error.)
All the suspects arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Chickasha father-to-be earlier this year are to be in a Grady County courtroom this week. Six teenagers, ranging from 15 to 19 years old, are accused of participating in the shooting that resulted in the death of 18-year old Trey Adams outside his Chickasha home. Dmillion Williams is reported to be the alleged gunman. Other defendants are Malcolm Jackson, Troy Jennings, Brooklyn Nelson, Vivian Sanders, and Montana Simpson. All have been charged with first-degree murder. The preliminary hearings will be held to determine if there is enough evidence for their cases to go to a jury trial. News accounts of what happened in the hours before Adams' death indicate that Williams wanted to rob someone of marijuana. Sanders is alleged to have set up a deal with Adams on social media. The suspects all met in Oklahoma City and they drove to Adams’ home near downtown Chickasha. While Adams and Sanders spoke through the window of a pick-up, Williams is alleged to have stood up in the back of the truck and fatally shot Adams.
City Council to Discuss Re-zoning
for Proposed RV Storage Business
A Chickasha businessman is again looking to establish an RV storage business in the city, but the plan is meeting with opposition. Kelly Boyd is asking to re-zone five acres of property at 801 S. 29th from agriculture to commercial use to allow for the construction of the facility. City officials say a community plan identified 29th Street as a proposed secondary thoroughfare which would encourage commercial development. Authorities at city hall say they have received several e-mails and letters protesting the project. When the issue went before the Planning Commission recently, the group voted unanimously to not recommend the zoning change. A similar proposal was turned down by the city council in 2016.
Lawsuits, Police Union Talks also Set for Council
Also during tonight's meeting, the council will go behind closed doors to discuss a couple of lawsuits, including one filed against the city by former City Manager Alan Guard. The council will also get an update on the lawsuit that the city filed against the owner of a Tulsa company who went back on his promise to move part of his operation to Chickasha. The city provided Tom Word of Word Industries a $250,000 economic development loan which was supposed to help pay for moving expenses, but the move never materialized. The city is suing to get that money back. Also part of the closed-door meeting is an update on negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 regarding collective bargaining discussions with the union for the current fiscal year.
Verden Asks to Annex
Chickasha City-Owned Property
In addition to having a closed-door meeting tonight, the Chickasha City Council will consider a proposal from the town of Verden. Verden trustees want to annex some property owned by the City of Chickasha. In a letter Chickasha officials, Verden trustees plan to extend water, sewer, fire and police protection, and solid waste collection services to the area. The Verden town trustees will have a meeting tomorrow night to review the decision of the Chickasha City Council. The Chickasha City Council is expected to approve a request to close a portion of Shepherd Street this Saturday for the Shepherd Street Christian Church Chickasha community back-to-school outreach; and a request to close part of a city street in downtown Chickasha on Saturday, Aug. 17th for an outdoor concert hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The council is also to recognize Rainbow Wilson the city's employee of the month. She is an administrative assistant at the fire department.
Okla. U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe in Chickasha Today
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe will be in Chickasha today, for a roundtable discussion with local business leaders. Inhofe will be at the InterUrban Restaurant for a luncheon organized by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. It's anticipated Inhofe discuss the mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, as well as his work with the senate armed services committee and other timely topics. Lunch is being sponsored by LaForge Enterprises.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.66 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.89.
Natural gas is $2.12 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,469 and silver is $16.52.