Saturday, Sept. 14th
State's Higher Education Chancellor to Step Down
The leader of Oklahoma's colleges and universities has announced he'll be retiring. Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson made the announcement yesterday. Johnson will be stepping down in December of next year. Gov. Kevin Stitt recently called for Johnson to be replaced. Johnson spent 12 years leading colleges and universities in Oklahoma and previously served as president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He also served in the state legislature which included a stint as Speaker of the House. In reaction to Johnson's announcement, USAO president John Feaver said Johnson leaves a legacy of impeccably honorable service. Feaver said Johnson’s accomplishments are a matter of record and that he can personally attest to Johnson’s commitment to the process of enhancing the quantities and qualities of Oklahoma's social and economic well-being.
Local PEO Groups Celebrate Sesquicentennial
A number of women in Grady County are part of an international sisterhood which is dedicated to furthering the education of women. They are part of what's called PEO, which is short for Philanthropic Educational Organization. PEO groups around the world are celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. There are four PEO groups in Chickasha. Pat Hoffman is president of the group that has the longest history in Chickasha. It's been around for 85 years. Hoffman said the group has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to local women.
PEO also has a four-year women's college in Iowa. The international group is holding annual convention this week in Iowa.
1st Responder Cook-off Underway in Blanchard
Today is a big day of barbecue in Blanchard, as first responders show off their cooking skills in the inaugural First Responders Cook-off. The Blanchard Chamber of Commerce invited teams of two for the event. Each team pays an entry fee of $100 to compete for bragging rights. All the meat is being supplied at no charge to the cookers including ribs, pork loin, and pork butt. Teams will have all day to smoke their selections. Live music and kids activities will start at 5:00 p.m. at Lions Park, and wrist bands will be available for $5 for those who want to delve into the smoked barbecue fray.
Sheriff's Office Most Wanted List
The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has updated its 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.
Friday Night Football Scores
Chickasha 44, Harrah 8
Blanchard 13, Anadarko 0
Tuttle 35, Plainview 28
Minco 14, Crossings Chr. 6
Rush Springs 12, Cordell 0
Dibble 20, Lexington 12
Alex 55, Central 8
MVG 32, Cyril 20
Lindsay 42, Bridge Creek 21
Marlow 20, Cache 7
Friday, Sept. 13th
Volunteer Fireman Dies in Crash
A fatal crash between a semi and a pickup claims the life of a volunteer Grady County firefighter. Jeffrey Alexander was serving with the Acme fire department near Rush Springs. The 21-year old from Marlow died in the non-fire related crash that happened about 1:30 p.m. Thursday about six miles south of Ft. Cobb. The trooper on the scene indicated the driver of the semi failed to yield from a stop sign and hit Alexander's pickup. Alexander was ejected from his truck and was pinned underneath. A passenger riding with him, 47-year old Earl Alexander also of Marlow was not injured. The driver of the semi, 40-year old Chad Payne of Altus, also was not hurt.
Motorcycle Crash Victim Succumbs to Injuries
A Chickasha woman has died from her injuries after two motorcycles collided during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Bobbi Jo Martin passed away Wednesday, about a week and a half after being critically injured. Her husband Jack remains hospitalized. Two others involved in the crash were also seriously injured. Jimmy and Sabra Martin are at home recovering. The funeral service for Bobbi Jo Martin is pending.
Competency Hearing Set for Man
Alleged to Have Assaulted Police Officers
A mental competency hearing has been ordered for an Anadarko man charged with assaulting a police officer. 43-year old Zachary Joseph Niastor was taken into custody recently after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Niastor is charged with two counts of assault on an officer after a felony conviction. Niastor was arrested after police were called to investigate an unwanted person at a home earlier this week. The suspect identified as Niastor managed to elude authorities on foot, but was later taken into custody. The competency hearing is set for Oct. 10th.
Chickasha Health Care Firm Expands
A Chickasha-based health care firm has doctors who still make house calls. And the group has recently expanded with the acquisition of a similar company in Kansas. Physician House Calls was founded in Chickasha six years ago by Hank Ross and the home office still here. In addition to serving 21 counties in Oklahoma, the company now covers most of south-central Kansas after the acquisition of Mobile Medical out of Wichita. Ross created his company after seeing a study by Medicare which indicated that by putting primary care physicians in patients' homes, the patients can save 37 percent of their annual health care costs. Ross said that about one out of every eight Medicare patients qualify. In addition to the new market in Kansas, Ross says he has plans for even more growth.
Ross says the company has 50 employees in the Chickasha office right now and that could increase to 120 by the end of next year.
Zoning Change Requests Clear First Hurdle
A couple of requests for zoning changes are being recommended by the Chickasha Planning Commission. The panel is suggesting that Hoffman Land LLC be approved to re-zone some residential property in the 1200 block of North 16th Street to light industry use. The group also supports a request from Bill McDuff to re-zone some general commercial property in the 200 block of North 6th Street to light industrial use. The proposals now go to the Chickasha City Council for consideration and they are expected to be discussed during the group's Oct. 7th meeting.
Food Truck Wins Another State Fair Crown
A Chickasha restaurant and its food truck are again winners at the State Fair of Oklahoma. The Urb Express, part of the InterUrban Restaurant, wins first place in the Slice of Savory category with its Honey Pepper Bacon Dog. Owner Josh Woods says it’s the third straight year for the Urb Express to earn a first place prize.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Melanie McKinley and Stacy Maxwell with Grand Assembly of God will be on our KOOL Konversation to talk about the church’s Overcomer seminar, which will discuss suicide and suicide prevention. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir, Undersheriff Phil Blevins, and Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett are on the program. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.38.
Natural gas is $2.57 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,514 and silver is $18.25.
Thursday, Sept. 12th
Chickasha Mayor Touts Downtown Development
Chickasha leaders are moving forward with plans to make the downtown area a more popular place for shopping and recreational activities. In his State-of-the-City address yesterday, Mayor Chris Mosley said they are making some progress with that effort thanks to the combined efforts of the city and the economic development council. Recent development near the railroad depot includes a new microbrewery which will be opening in time for the Rock Island Arts Festival in October. Mosley also said they are looking at creating a new park on 9 acres of land next to the depot however private investors will be needed for that to happen.
Mosley also talked about the recent action of the city council to sell 20 acres of city-owned property near the Grady County Fairgrounds for both residential and commercial development. He also discussed recent talks with officials from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation who say that at least part of the U.S. Highway 81 west bypass of Chickasha is expected to be completed in the next six to eight years.
Driver Run Over by his Own SUV
An Anadarko man was hospitalized after being run over by the SUV he had been driving. The accident happened at a Cyril gas station Tuesday night. 50-year old Johnny Moore suffered head, arm, and leg and some internal injuries and was last in good condition. A report from the highway patrol indicates that Moore had stopped to fuel his SUV and failed to put the vehicle in park. When he got out the SUV began moving, knocked Moore down and ran over him. The SUV ended up across the street from the gas station.
Stephens County Voters Extend Fairgrounds Sales Tax
Voters in Stephens County have approved an extension of a county sales tax which benefits the county fairgrounds in Duncan. By a nearly three-to-one margin, voters passed the one-fourth of a penny sales tax for an additional 20 years. It will expire in the year 2041. Recently the sales tax has brought in more than $300,000 a month to support operations of the fairgrounds. Officials with the Duncan Chamber of Commerce indicate the events held at the fairgrounds brings in about $60 million in tourism dollars each year. By comparison, Grady County's one-fourth of a penny sales tax for the Grady County Fairgrounds is also bringing in about $300,000 per month. Those funds are being used to pay for the climate-controlled event center that opened a few years ago.
State Has Fewer Polluted Streams
A new report shows that Oklahoma leads the nation in eliminating polluted streams. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission reports that 12 new streams have been removed from the polluted category. The group says the total number of streams removed from the list has grown to 84 since 2007. Officials site a partnership with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Secretary of Energy and Environment, and the conservation commission for the improvement of the state's waterways.
Military Vets Gather on 9/11 Anniversary
Military veterans gathered at the Grady County DAV headquarters in Chickasha yesterday, and many recalled the sacrifices made by veterans and their families over the years. The group also paused in memoriam for the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack on American soil. Three veterans were awarded Quilts of Valor from Grady County OHCE. They were 101-year old Gordon Spangler, Harold Gillenwaters, and KOOL/RANCH radio personality Joe McIntosh. Each of the quilts took about 120 hours of labor to complete.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.75 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.81.
Natural gas is $2.55 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,511 and silver if $18.29.
Wednesday, Sept. 11th
Voters Approve Area School Bond Issues
Voters put their stamps of approval on bond issues for a few school districts in the region yesterday. In Blanchard, voters said yes to a $31 million bond issue that will fund big projects to include a new performing arts center and a new football stadium - both of which will be on the high school campus. The measure received 66 percent voter approval, 599 to 309. The new football stadium will replace the one at the Oscar Brooks Sports Complex and will initially have a grass field. Officials say they may go to artificial turf later. It also includes a new cafeteria which will double as a safe room at the middle school, as well as some new classrooms at the elementary school. There will be no property tax increases to fund this bond issue as a previous issue will expire before the new one takes effect.
Carnegie Voters Say Yes to School Upgrades
In Carnegie, voters narrowly approve a $5.4 million bond issue for new heat and air units and roofs at the high school and middle school, a safe room at the elementary school, and secure entry points in all schools. That measure passed with 62 percent of the vote, 243 to 147 which was just nine votes over the required 60 percent approval needed for passage.
Hinton Voters Pass Transportation Bond
In Hinton, voters approved a more than $900,000 transportation bond with 68 percent of the vote, 118 to 55.
Apacher Voters OK PSO Franchise Extension
Apache voters overwhelmingly approve a 25-year extension of a franchise agreement with Public Service Company of Oklahoma. it was a very low turnout, with less than 60 voters going to the polls. The measure passed 52-4.
Chix Mayor to Give 'State-of-the-City' Address
Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley will be taking a look back and a look forward in a State-of-the-City address this morning. Mosley will reflect on the past year's activity, and share what's in store in the coming months, and some long-term goals city officials are developing. The first-term mayor is delivering his message to business leaders this morning at the Canadian Valley Technology Center, in a presentation hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
$12 Million Budget OK'd for Grady County Government
A budget of more than $12 million has been approved for Grady County government offices. The Grady County Excise Board signed off on the spending plan yesterday. That's a 30 percent increase over the previous year. The biggest increase in the budget is for capital improvements for the courthouse, growing from $2.5 million last year to more than $4.5 million this year. It's expected that much of that money will be used to renovate the top floor of the courthouse, since the old jail that used to be there has been closed (inmates were moved to a new jail annex this past summer). The sheriff's office budget increased about 18 percent, from $1.6 million last year to $1.9 million this year. Sheriff Jim Weir said among the reasons for the increase is the transfer of one courthouse employee to the sheriff's office. He said it also includes salaries for three deputies who serve as resource officers for Chickasha and Bridge Creek schools, and the Canadian Valley Technology Center. Those school districts will reimburse the sheriff's office for most of those salaries. Weir also said he has added a new deputy to help cut down on heavy truck traffic on county roads with a size-and-weights officer.
Weir said county commissioners will purchase the $30,000 in scales and other equipment needed for the deputy.
Livestock Producers May Have Suffered Drought Loss
The summer drought likely had a negative effect on some livestock producers. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says producers who have what's known as grass pasture NAP coverage might consider filing a notice of loss.
Jackson said producers need to report any losses within 15 days of when the loss occurred. He said the 2018 Farm Bill re-instated NAP, or the Non-Insured Assistance Program with 50 percent or more coverage levels.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.40 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.38.
Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,500 and silver is $18.20.
Tuesday, Sept. 10th
Blanchard Voters Deciding $31 Million School Bond Issue
A new auditorium and a new football stadium would be built for Blanchard Public Schools, if voters give their approval today. The facilities are part of a $31 million bond issue being decided in a special election that is underway. In addition to a new performing arts center and the football stadium at the high school, the measure would build some safe rooms at the middle school and new classrooms at other school sites. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.
Elections Also Underway in Carnegie, Hinton, Apache
Carnegie and Hinton have school bond elections today as well. There is a $5.4 million proposal in Carnegie for school improvements and a more than $900,000 transportation bond proposal in Hinton. Resident in Apache are also going to the ballot box today to decide if a franchise agreement with Public Service Company of Oklahoma should be extended.
New Church Bolsters Chix Building Report
New construction in Chickasha last month got a boost with a project for a new church. The city's Community Development Department approved 12 permits totaling more than $900,000 in August. At the top of the list is the total renovation of a former church at 9th and Grand Avenue. Contractors for Victory Family Church have totally gutted that building, and have started construction on what is a $500,000 project. Other commercial and industrial projects include a $110,000 building permit for Traca Conrad in the 3600 block of South 16th for a proposed 4,200 sq. ft. puppy spa and kennel. Wal-Mart was ok'd for a $40,000 renovation for its electronics and entertainment department; and Bordwine Development picked up a $5,000 permit for some temporary offices on Pikes Peak Road. In residential construction, one new single-family home was permitted for Merrick Home Construction for $210,000 near 20th and Carolina. For the first eight months of the year city officials have approved $9.4 million in new construction. That’s about half the total through the first eight months of last year.
Re-zoning Requests to get Public Hearings Today
A couple of public hearings for re-zoning requests will be held by the Chickasha Planning Commission this afternoon. Hoffman Land LLC hopes to re-zone some residential property to light industrial use at 1201 N. 16th Street. Bill McDuff is asking to re-zone some general commercial property at 202 N. 6th Street to light industrial use. The Planning Commission can only make recommendations on re-zoning requests. Regardless of their ruling, issues are sent to the city council which will decide if the rezoning requests should be approved.
Utility Poles Stolen from the City of Anadarko
Now a story about a strange burglary in Anadarko where thieves stole nearly 30 utility poles. City Manager Kenneth Corn said it wasn't someone who just drove by and wanted a pole or two. He said it had to be a planned theft, as the perpetrators had to use some pretty big equipment. The poles are worth about $6,000. Corn said the poles had some unique markings of a red spray paint mark and a silver logo...unless the thieves have removed them. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Anadarko Police Department by calling 405-247-2411.
Chix School Board to Review USAO, Redlands Pacts
Agreements between Chickasha Public Schools and a couple of regional colleges will be reviewed by the Chickasha school board tonight. Memorandums of understanding with both USAO and Redlands Community College are on the agenda for tonight's monthly board of education meeting. The panel is also to discuss the district's projected budget and estimate of needs for the current school year, and will get an update on the search for a new superintendent. Consultants with the Oklahoma Secondary School Boards Association will be in Chickasha next week to get community input regarding a new top administrator for the district. Officials will meet with the school board, administrators and teachers during the day. An inter-active forum for Chickasha residents will be next Tuesday, Sept. 17th at the Canadian Valley Technology Center, starting at 6:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to bring lap tops, tablets, or can use their cel phones to provide immediate feedback during the session.
Grady County 4H Cloverbuds Set First Meeting
Grady County's 4H Cloverbuds program has a lot of activities scheduled over the next few months. Cortney Evans with the Faithwalkers 4H Club is the youth leader for the program, and explains who Cloverbuds is for.
The group will meet the third Thursday of every month, starting next Monday, Sept. 16th at the Grady County OSU Extension Office in Chickasha at 5:30 p.m. In that first meeting they'll be learning about wheat and how wheat is made into flour, then will make their own flour tortillas.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.85 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.59.
Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,502 and silver is $18.05.
Monday, Sept. 9th
Caregiver Accused of Taking Thousands from Employer
A caretaker for an elderly Cyril man is accused of taking thousands of dollars from his bank account. Authorities are looking for 67-year old Valoris Marie Tieyah. Caddo County authorities issued a warrant for her arrest last week. She's wanted for exploiting an elderly person after the victim told investigators that nearly $23,000 had been taken. Cyril police allege the victim was initially in rehabilitation, then became ill and needed help with preparing meals, cleaning house, and paying bills. He hired Tieyah as a home care person, and reports indicate the money was taken out of his bank account over a three-month period last year. If convicted of exploitation, Tieyah faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Mt. View Pedestrian Dies After Being Hit By Car
The highway patrol is investigating a fatal car-pedestrian accident which resulted in the death of a Mt. View man. 68-year old Jackie Lester was walking along State Highway 9 east of Mt. View just before 7:00 a.m. Sunday when the accident happened. The trooper dispatched to the accident said that a car driven by 39-year old Shautonna Stevenson of Hobart was westbound on the highway when the car struck Lester. Stevenson and a passenger in the car were taken to a hospital where they were both treated and released with minor injuries.
Chix Street Improvements Set for Spring of 2020
There won't be any major street improvements in the city of Chickasha this year. But officials say they are getting ready to do some road work early in 2020. David Buchanan is the city's Public Works Director. He says officials are putting together a list of the streets that will get some repairs.
Buchanan says the list of the streets targeted for improvements could go before the city council this fall.
Worries Begin Due to Energy Sector Downturn
There’s concern in the Oklahoma energy sector as the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas has fallen significantly from what they were a year ago. In the summer of 2018 there were more than 140 active rigs in the Sooner State. Last week the number dropped to 75. Russell Evans is an associate professor of economics and also serves as the Director of the Steven Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University. Evans said the state's tax revenue is starting to feel the effects of the downturn. The website www.okenergytoday.com cites a report from the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma that quotes Evans as saying the state is between “less than a somewhat full-healthy economy and somewhat more than being in a recession”. Industry officials hope the downturn is getting the attention of state lawmakers before the ripple effect from the lesser drilling activity takes place.
Music Day Set for Grady County Museum
A day of music and activities will be held in downtown Chickasha on Saturday, Sept. 21st. It will start at The Grady County Historical Society Museum for Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, celebrating a year of music. It's a free event, with the museum opening at 9:00 a.m. Music starts at 1:00 p.m. with a children's sing-a-long which will be followed by a musical instrument petting zoo with Rocky Roberston. At 2:00 p.m. is a steel drum performance by Ron Blankenship, followed at 2:30 p.m. by flautist Kate Sukula. At 3:00 p.m. is piano player Steven Weber, with opera singing at 3:30 p.m. from Steven Sanders. At 4:15 p.m., classic rock will be performed by Shane and Harris, followed at 5:00 p.m. by Tim Brauer and First Look. Following the activities at the museum, the Chamber of Commerce will host its season-ending free outdoor concert at 3rd and Chickasha Avenue with Weston Horn and the Hush performing at 7:00 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is to $56.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.54.
Natural gas is to $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,517 and silver is $18.25.