Saturday, Aug. 31st
Chickasha Water Treatment to Change Again
The contractor responsible for treating Chickasha's drinking water will be returning to its normal chemical treatment this weekend. For the month of August, U.S. Water Corporation crews have been using chlorine in an attempt to rid the city's water lines of small particles of what are known as TTHMs, or trihalomethanes. The Environmental Protection Agency says those particles are carcinogenic. Starting Sunday, September 1st, crews will return to the chemicals they use 11 months out of the year to treat the incoming water from the Ft. Cobb reservoir. It’s a combination of chlorine and ammonia called chloramines, which they say provides the cleanest and safest water possible. Residents may notice a slight change in taste and quality of water but official say it is safe to drink. If you notice a slight discoloration, open the taps in your house for a couple of minutes to get the newly treated water through your water line.
Coaching Legend A.D. Birtschi Dies
Longtime high school basketball coach A.D. Birtschi has died. Burtschi was 70 when he passed away on Thursday. Burtschi coached for 43 years at the high school and collegiate level, most notably at Putnam City High School where his teams won four state championships. He's in both the Oklahoma Coaches Association and the Oklahoma High School halls of fame. Earlier this summer, it was announced he would be among the inaugural class of the Putnam City High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Burtschi attended high school at St. Joseph's Academy at Chickasha's Holy Name Catholic Church and played collegiately at Oklahoma City University. Rosary service will be at 6;00 p.m. Tuesday, September 3rd at Sevier Funeral Home. His funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 4th at St. Charles Catholic Church in Warr Acres. Memorial contributions may be made to the Father Stanley Rother Foundation or Positive Tomorrows.
Man Accused of Illegal Use of Truck, Credit Card
A construction worker is accused of the illegal use of a company truck and credit card. Verden police arrested the man earlier this week at one of the town's convenience stores. The officer was fueling his vehicle when the suspect pulled the pickup up to a gas pump and had seemingly fallen asleep. The officer approached the driver, and believed he had been drinking. The officer said he found an open bottle of vodka in the cab. Court documents indicate the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test, telling the officer his attorney said he should not do so. When calling in the tag number, the officer discovered that the truck had been taken from a construction company almost a month ago, and that the driver is alleged to have been using the company credit card to buy fuel and alcohol without permission. Authorities arrested 43-year old Kevin Ray Smith of Anadarko. Prosecutors have charged him with DUI, unauthorized use of a vehicle and taking or receiving a stolen credit card. He's out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond.
Sheriff's Office 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.
Historical Society Banquet Speaker Named
Oklahoma award-winning author John Dwyer will be in Chickasha this fall, to serve as guest speaker for the annual meeting and banquet of the Grady County Historical Society. Two of Dwyer's books have won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for national literacy. He's taught history at Southern Nazarene University for nearly 15 years. Dwyer has a new book about World War Two called Mustang, about a young man on the farm who was a college football star and then became a pilot during the air wars in the European theatre. Tickets for the historical society's annual meeting will be on sale soon. The meeting is scheduled for Nov. 4th.
Friday, Aug. 30th
Public Hearing Expected for Proposed RV Storage Site
A plan to create a Chickasha business where owners of recreational vehicles can store their RVs is expected to get a public hearing during the Chickasha City Council meeting next week. While the agenda for the meeting hasn't been finalized, it's anticipated that the hearing will be including during the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 3rd. Businessman Kelly Boyd is attempting to re-zone about five acres of property he owns in the 800 block of 29th Street to create the storage site. There is opposition to his proposal from neighbors and others who don't believe it would be a good location for such a business. City Manager John Noblitt is recommending the zoning change, but the Planning Commission voted unanimously to not recommend the change.
Election Board Secretary Fired
Grady County Election Board Secretary JoAnn Hames has been fired. Hames just took over the post a couple of months ago. In a closed-door meeting earlier this week, Grady County Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate Hames immediately. Then, at a special meeting of the State Election Board yesterday, that panel also voted to remove Hames from her post. We've not been able to find out the reason for Hames' dismissal. We asked District Attorney Jason Hicks but said he said was unable to comment. Hames was appointed to the post earlier this summer after the retirement of previous election board secretary, Susan Turner. State Senator Lonnie Paxton recommended Hames which was approved by the State Election Board. After removing Hames, the state board then appointed former Grady County Election Board Secretary Mary Robinett to fill the post on an interim basis.
Thieves Steal Safes From Caddo County Home
In Caddo County, authorities are warning residents of an increase in burglaries in the south part of the county. On its Facebook page, the sheriff's office indicated deputies were called out to the Apache Y on Wednesday, where two safes were taken from a home. The safes were later found discarded on a county road. However, thieves managed to break into them and took guns, U.S. and European currency, and jewelry. The post also indicates there have been other burglaries in the Apache and Stecker areas. Authorities are asking anyone with information about this crime to call 405-247-5700.
Suspect Accused of Gun Threats
A Chickasha man faces felony charges after waving a gun at several people. 29-year old Cody Loveless was arrested earlier this week. The confrontation is alleged to have occurred at a home in the 700 block of North 11th earlier this month. An arrest warrant affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates that Loveless went to the home of his ex-girlfriend looking for the title to her car. The affidavit states he broke some of the car windows, then tried to kick in the door at the home and threatened several individuals with the weapon. Prosecutors have charged Loveless with three felony counts of pointing a firearm and two misdemeanors for vandalism. Loveless remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond. Prosecutors also filed information saying that Loveless has been convicted of previous felonies, including a drug-related arrest from 2016, where he was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. State Representatives Brad Boles and Toni Hassenbeck are the guests on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, the guests are Len Lacefield and Hal Brock with the Southern Plains Medical Group. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.71 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.08.
Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,535 and silver is $18.52.
Thursday, Aug. 29th
Public Input Sought in Superintendent Search
The search for a new superintendent for Chickasha Public Schools is underway. Chickasha residents are being asked to provide input on what qualities the new administrator should have. The Chickasha Board of Education contracted with the Oklahoma State School Board Association to find candidates for the school board to interview. A consultant for the association will be in Chickasha next month to meet with school officials and teachers, business leaders, and the community at-large. On Tuesday, Sept. 17th, the consultant will meet at noon with business leaders, and in the afternoon will spend time with school administrators and teachers. The community meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. that night at Canadian Valley Technology Center. Officials say it will be an inter-active session, and those who want to attend are welcome to bring a tablet, lap-top, or use their smart phone. A list of potential candidates could be presented to the school board in October. It's hoped that a new superintendent could be in place by the first of the year. Former Chickasha Superintendent Jack Herron stepped down from the post in April. Jennifer Stegman is serving as interim superintendent.
Jason Hicks to Lead District Attorneys Groups
District Attorney Jason Hicks will be serving as president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association for the next year and will also serve as chairman of the board of trustees for District Attorneys Council. Hicks talks about some of the work he'll be involved in.
Hicks is the district attorney for Grady, Caddo, Stephens, and Jefferson counties.
Apache Police find Pipe Bomb, Drugs in Stolen Car
Police in Apache say they found an armed pipe bomb and drugs when they pulled over a stolen vehicle last weekend. Officers made the stop early Sunday morning and arrested two men and a woman. The Lawton Constitution points to records on file in Caddo County District Court regarding the arrests. 31-year old Erwin Michael Pewo and 41-year old Danielle Renee Koassechony both of Apache; and 26-year old Eric Wayne Hyde - whose hometown was not listed - have been charged with crimes ranging from possessing explosives, a stolen vehicle, drugs, and burglary tools to breaking and entering. Bond for each was set at $20,000.
More Activity in the SCOOP Play
Continental Resources continues its exploration of the SCOOP region. The company filed permits this week to drill three wells on a single well pad between Chickasha and Blanchard. It's a continuation of Continental's Springboard Project, which is now in its 5th year of searching for oil and gas in a 73-square mile area in and around the Grady County area. It's focused on an area known as the Springer, Sycamore, and Woodford reservoirs. The new site is along U.S. Highway 62 in section 17 of Township 7 North, Range 5 West about four miles east of the Tabler Y. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that when Continental first announced the Springboard project, officials estimated an unrisked resource potential of up to 400 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.49.
Natural gas is $2.25 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,548 and silver is $18.64.
Wednesday, Aug. 28th
Bicyclist Dies After Being Hit by Pickup
A terrible accident results in the death of a bicycle rider who was struck by a pick-up. 47-year old Scott Womack of Chickasha died in the accident. It happened just before 7:00 p.m. Monday on a county road near the intersection of South 16th Street and U.S. Highway 81. The highway patrol reports that Womack was hit by a pickup driven by 38-year old Bryan Bingham, also of Chickasha. Bingham was not injured. The trooper is still looking into the cause of that accident.
Suspect Charged with Molesting Child at City Fair
An 11-year old girl is reported to have been sexually assaulted at a town fair in Caddo County. Her alleged attacker is in jail. The Lawton Constitution points to Caddo County court records which indicate the molestation took place at the Carnegie Fair earlier this month. Authorities arrested 19-year old Troy Dean Shirey of Carnegie. He has been charged with a felony count of lewd or indecent acts to a child. The court documents indicate Shirey sent a text message to the victim's brother, with Shirey saying he'll regret it the rest of his life, and that he wanted to die and deserved to go the hell. A judge initially set Shirey's bond at a half-million dollars, but on-line court records indicate his attorney was able to get bond reduced to $250,000. Shirey remains in the Caddo County Jail, with his preliminary hearing conference set for Sept. 26th.
Pay Hike Ok'd for Grady County Employees
Employees of Grady County government offices will be getting a small pay raise. The Grady County Excise Board on Tuesday approved a 4 percent pay hike for county workers. Department heads had requested a 5 percent increase in pay. Grady County elected officials will NOT be included in the pay raise plan. It was about this time last year when it was determined that elected officials had collectively been overpaid by about $750,000 over the previous 10 years. County department heads have submitted requests that are a combined $12 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which is about a 33 percent increase over the previous year’s budget. The Excise Board is expected to make a final decision on the 2019-20 budget in a couple of weeks.
Lawmakers to Consider Increase of County Funding
to Repair Roads, Bridges Damaged by Oilfield Traffic
A couple of state lawmakers in the region are working together to find a way to help counties pay for the repair of roads and bridges damaged as a result of oilfield truck traffic. State Representative Brad Boles says he and Sen. Lonnie Paxton will have an interim study in the next few weeks to review the issue.
Boles, R-Marlow will be one of our guests on our KOOL Konversation program coming up this weekend, along with Representative Toni Hassenbeck, R-Elgin.
Help Available for Ag Producers Affected By Trade War
The U.S. trade war with China is having a negative impact on America's farmers and ranchers. The United States Department of Agriculture has implemented a program called the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), to offset lower crop and livestock prices because of increasing tariffs on America's exports to China. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says most all crops grown in the Grady and Caddo county area are eligible.
Jackson said there will be two or three rounds of payments and the first round of payments are being made right now. The sign up period for the Market Facilitation Program runs through December 6th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.93 per barrel.
London-based Crude oil is $59.51.
Natural gas is $2.20 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,552 and silver is $18.47.
Tuesday, Aug. 27th
Consumer Spending Still Strong
Recent sales tax numbers show that regional consumer spending is still at a high level. It's estimated that $132 million was spent on taxable goods and services throughout Grady County in the month of May. That's up 11 percent from April and up slightly from May of 2018. Of that total, about $29 million was spent at businesses in the City of Chickasha. We estimate consumer spending when we see sales revenues and factor in the respective local sales tax rates. Grady County received about $960,000 in sales tax revenue in July (which was paid on purchases made during the month of May). Here's how that money is distributed - The Grady County Fairgrounds gets more than $330,000; Grady Memorial Hospital receives $293,000; the seven senior nutrition centers get about $21,000 each; the 20 fire districts take in about $7,500 each; Tuttle Emergency Medical Services gets $30,000; and the Rush Springs EMS gets $7,500. Use tax collections for Grady County were $146,000 which is up 12 percent from a year ago. Chickasha's use tax receipts were $74,000 which is up slightly from the same time last year. Use Taxes are paid on purchases made on the Internet.
Results of Kiowa Tribal Election
Voters in Saturday's Kiowa Tribal election approved a resolution authorizing the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana. The unofficial results of the election shows the resolution passed with 62 percent of the vote, 690 to 418. It's unclear as to where tribal members will be able to legally use recreational marijuana. Tribal members also approved a resolution for the chairman to sign for a loan for the development of a new casino in Hobart. That passed with 63 percent of the vote, 701 to 409. A resolution to approve the tribal budget passed overwhelmingly, collecting four out of every five votes, 894 to 217. The results won't be official until Wednesday afternoon.
New Hotel Sets Grand Opening
A grand opening is scheduled this afternoon for Chickasha's newest hotel. The Fairfield Inn and Suites will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:00 p.m. with the Chamber of Commerce. The hotel is located at 2812 S. 4th Street and will give Chickasha a 5th major hotel-motel operation. Others are the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, the Quality Inn, and America's Best Value Inn. Another hotel is expected to open in the coming months. The Best Western Plus is currently under construction near the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Repairs Begin on Mt. Scott Roadway
It's been almost a year since the road to the top of Mt. Scott has been closed because the road was damaged by flooding. While walkers and bicyclists can access the road, cars and trucks cannot. Today, repair work on that road is scheduled to get underway, and it will be closed for all use until the work is completed. However, officials at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge say the road will be open Saturday through Monday for the Labor Day Weekend for walkers and bike riders. Then starting Tuesday, September 3rd the road close again to all traffic until construction is completed. It's not clear how long the repairs might take.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil is $53.64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.70.
Natural gas was up to $2.23 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,540 and silver is $17.85.
Monday, Aug. 26th
Apartment Complex Fire Leaves Dozens Homeless
A four-alarm fire at a Chickasha apartment complex this weekend left a number of families homeless. The fire broke out at the Palms Apartments at 17th and Alabama just after 1:00 a.m. Sunday. The complex is located right next to USAO. Fire departments from Anadarko, Rush Springs, and Tuttle were called in to support Chickasha fire crews to battle the flames for several hours. Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said there were no injuries. He said about 40 people from 10 apartments are having to re-locate, and are getting help from the Red Cross. Three apartments were damaged by the fire and seven had smoke and water damage. Zalewski said the fire started in a mechanical closet in the laundry room. There was no immediate estimate of damage.
Domestic Violence Suspect Sought
In Union City, police are asking for the public's help in finding a domestic violence suspect. A post on the department's Facebook page from this past weekend indicates authorities are looking for Shawn Holt, whom they say has a violent history. Officers were called to a home Saturday night and confronted Holt, who fled on foot and led authorities on a foot chase through several yards during a downpour. A Canadian County K-9 officer tracked Holt through some rough terrain but Holt managed to get away. Holt is wanted on complaints of domestic violence, burglary, and vandalism. Anyone with information about Shawn Holt is asked to call 9-1-1 or their local law enforcement agency.
Grady County State Senator Awarded for Efforts
A Grady County state lawmaker is recognized for his efforts to improve workplace safety. State Senator Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle was presented an award from the Oklahoma Workplace Safety Coalition. That group includes major employers along with members of law enforcement, mental health, schools, and churches. A news release says the coalition identified areas in state law which needed to be modernized to promote greater safety. Paxton and State Rep. Chris Kannady of Oklahoma City co-authored SB 715 which created the Workplace Safety and Violence Act. The measure allows employers to access restraining orders to protect employees. Paxton said the bill is aimed at stemming behaviors before they become violent. Paxton was also co-author of Senate Bill 656 to modernize training requirements for law enforcement. Another measure approved was SB 752, which clarifies that it’s unlawful to disrupt business via electronic communication.
Energy Company Sees STACK Success
The STACK oil and gas play is rocking along with production. Newfield Exploration Mid-Con has done well with multi-well, single-pad drilling with one site producing more than 3,300 barrels of oil per day. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that the site is about 11 miles east of Watonga. Newfield also has multi-well, single pad sites west and northwest of Kingfisher with one producing about 2,700 barrels and the other more than 2,000 barrels of oil per day.
Tai Chi, Movies Scheduled for Chickasha Library
With kids back in school, the Chickasha Library has some fall programs for adults that will be starting soon. Tai Chi classes will start on Tuesday, Sept. 3rd. The classes will be each Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The classes are part of the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 5th is movie night, with the films geared toward adults starting at 6:00 p.m. The films will have a PG or PG13 rating. And on Friday, Sept. 7th, an ancestry.com workshop will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are always a number of youth reading programs for children. Contact the library by calling 405-222-6075 or see the library’s Facebook page.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $59.34.
Natural gas is $2.16 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,540 and silver is $17.74.