Saturday, Dec. 14th
Teen Critical After 4-Vehicle Pile-Up
Several people were taken to hospitals after four vehicles collided north of Blanchard late yesterday afternoon. An un-named 16-year old girl was admitted in critical condition with head, trunk, and internal injuries. Several other people who were injured were also taken to the hospital but were treated and released. The accident happened about a mile north of Blanchard on State Highway 76. The Highway Patrol reported that the critically injured teen's SUV was hit head-on by one of the other vehicles involved in the accident. She was pinned in the wreckage for about 20 minutes before Blanchard rescue crews could get her out. The drivers of the other vehicles included an unidentified 17-year old girl who was treated and released from the hospital; 61-year old Margaret Wilson of Newcastle, who refused treatment at the scene; and 47-year old Harley Stanfield of Oklahoma City who was also treated and released.
Mom Says Daughter Bullied
for Wearing Trump Garb
A Lindsay mother says her middle school-aged daughter was bullied because she wore a Donald Trump sweatshirt to school. Ashley Mann said her daughter had worn the sweatshirt several times before without any problems. However, this week she said students called her names and said that if they had a gun they would kill her. Our partners at KWTV News 9 report that the teen’s parents talked to administrators. Mann said they acted like they were exaggerating about what happened. Lindsay school officials posted a statement on its Facebook page saying administrators and Lindsay police are investigating an accusation but that the statement is not substantiated. Officials said they encourage students who hear something to say something. Mann said all of her children have been pulled from Lindsay classrooms and will now be home-schooled.
National Guard Celebrates Birthday
Happy birthday to the National Guard. A celebration to commemorate the group's 383rd birthday was held at Ft. Sill yesterday. The National Guard was the country's first militia regiment formed in Massachusetts in 1636 - more than 140 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The first National Guard in Oklahoma Territory was established in 1890. Oklahoma's National Guard units were a big factor during World War II. Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard, Michael Thompson, said that the 45th infantry division which include citizen-soldiers from Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona is among the best, if not the best infantry division in the history of combat arms. The Thunderbirds fought in WWII for more than 530 consecutive days. And the 29th Infantry Division stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has an updated 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.
Cycle Santa Toy Drive for Santa's Workshop is Today
Today is a big day for Santa's Workshop. One of the largest toy drives for the program will be held, as Cycle Santa will be leading a group of motorcycle enthusiasts through Chickasha. The group will meet at the Grady County Fairgrounds starting about noon, leave the Fairgrounds at 1 o'clock, then head to the Southland Shopping Center parking lot to meet around the CVS Pharmacy. The group will be collecting toys and money to help provide Christmas presents for needy children. The toy drive will run until 4 o'clock, then tonight, there will be a benefit dinner at the Eagles Lodge. The cost of the dinner is a new toy or $10 per person.
Friday, Dec. 13th
Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Train
An El Reno woman died after she was hit by a train in Pocasset yesterday. 72-year old Mildred Welchel was walking on the railroad tracks when a southbound Union Pacific train struck her. It happened just before 5:00 p.m. Thursday in the town limits of Pocasset. It wasn't clear why the woman was walking along the tracks. The highway patrol identified the engineer of the train was identified as 50-year old Shawn Marks of Lindsay.
Chix Schools Administrator Hospitalized After Crash
The interim superintendent for Chickasha Public Schools is recovering after being seriously injured in an automobile accident. Jennifer Stegman suffered some broken bones and other injuries in the accident that happened Wednesday night at the Tabler Y. Stegman is expected to have surgery at an Oklahoma City hospital today. A hospital official said Stegman was in good condition this morning. It's not clear how long Stegman will be in the hospital or when she may be able to return to work. School board president Zack McGill said three other school administrators will be filling in while she's recovering. They include special education director Pam Ladyman, maintenance director Dan Turner, and athletic director Jerry Don Bray.
More Fires Break Out in Grady County
A number of grass fires broke out in Grady County yesterday, with one threatening some homes and a school. The largest fire sparked about 11:30 a.m. Thursday about three miles east of Chickasha. Buddy Myers is with the Grady County Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire moved very close to Friend School but the school was not affected. Myers said one small storage building was destroyed in the fire. It scorched about 150 acres of grassland. The fire blamed on a semi that had a blowout. Smaller fires broke out near State Highway 39 and the Alex Highway and in the Bradley area.
Caretaker Sentenced in Severe Child Neglect Case
A Fletcher woman who entered a blind plea in connection with a horrible case of child neglect will only spend about four years behind bars. A Comanche County judge sentenced Margo Zill to five years in prison. Zill was arrested a couple of years ago after investigators found a bed-ridden teen under Zill's care in disgusting conditions. The teen was stuck to her bed and was covered in urine, feces, and cockroach eggs. The teen had other wounds all over her body and there were reports that part of her buttocks were missing. The teen was hospitalized in critical condition at the time. Zill will have to serve 85 percent of the five year term before she’s eligible for parole which could be as early as 2014.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Reagan Elkins is on our KOOL Konversation. He’s been working with the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission, and will talk about how the Chickasha area has been popular lately for filming scenes for Hollywood movies. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, this week's guest is Kean Spellman, who is the administrator for Grady Memorial Hospital. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.18 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.20.
Natural gas is $2.33 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,476 and silver is $17.03.
Thursday, Dec. 12th
Grady County Sales Revenues Decline
Sales tax revenue in Grady County was down significantly from October to November. The numbers were down about 21 percent to about $715,000. The number is also down 23 percent compared to November of last year. The $715,000 is the lowest level of sales tax revenue for the county since May of 2018. Here's how the county sales tax revenue is spent with every program approved by voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds, $238,000; Grady Memorial Hospital, about $210,000; each of the seven senior nutrition centers, $17,000; each of the 20 fire districts, about $6,000; Tuttle EMS, $21,000; and Rush Springs EMS about $5,500.
City of Chickasha Sales Tax Revenue Also Down
The City of Chickasha also saw a drop in sales tax revenues but not nearly as much as the county. The number was down about 9 1/2 percent from October to November at more than $1 million. The number was only off 3.4 percent from November of last year.
Two Hurt in Tabler Y Crash
Two people were taken to the hospital following a crash at the Tabler Y last night. Chickasha Fire and EMS, Naples fire department, Grady County Sheriff's deputies and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol all responded. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said two unidentified individuals were taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Traffic was detoured around the crash site for about an hour and a half. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Four Hospitalized After Truck Avoids Hitting Animal
Four people are hospitalized and two of them are in critical condition after a truck swerved to avoid hitting an animal on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. That crash happened about 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Mile Marker 57 of the interstate near Fletcher. The driver of the 2018 Dodge Ram 3500 swerved off the road to avoid the animal and hit a guard rail, then a concrete bridge support. Three passengers were air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and the driver was taken by ground ambulance to OKC.
Stolen Vehicle Probe Nets Arrests
An on-going Chickasha police investigation into a number of stolen vehicles leads to the arrest of two people. Officers converged on a home in the 700 block of Nevada Avenue about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Authorities say it’s an area known for having stolen vehicles recently. An officer on patrol in the neighborhood called in the tag number of a suspected stolen car. Police say it had been listed on the National Crimes Information Computer database as being stolen from the Midwest City area in October. Police arrested 23-year old Elizabeth Marie Missey and 38-year old Edward Roy Hutto on complaints of possession of a stolen vehicle.
Pocasset Seeks Volunteer Firefighters
The Pocasset Volunteer Fire Department is looking for men and women interested in joining the department. Candidates must be 18-years old, have a high school diploma, and be able to pass a background check. Free training and bunker gear will be provided. There will be some night and weekend work required. For information contact Kirk Spurlin by calling 405-600-5592.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.76 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.72.
Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,479 and silver is $16.92.
Obituaries today include 82-year old Ray Howard of Chickasha. A memorial service will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church of Pocasset. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral for 88-year old Maurice Bray of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 14th at Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Dec. 11th
Occupant, Animals Escape Fire Unharmed
A fire that started in the backyard of a home then damaged two houses kept Chickasha firefighters hopping yesterday. The Chickasha Fire Department was dispatched to a home in the 1200 block of South 7th about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. That's just north of the Chickasha Area Arts Council which was once known as South School. One person along with five dogs and a cat were all able to escape without being hurt. The police department's animal control division was called in to assist. Assistant Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said the fire started in a shed behind the single-story, wood-frame home. It then torched the back of one house and the garage of a home next door. The damage estimate was not available and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Teens Injured in Lindsay Rollover
Five teenagers were injured in a noon-time crash just west of Lindsay yesterday. All five were taken to hospitals and one was admitted with internal injuries. The teens ranged in age from 14 to 18 years of age. The Highway Patrol said for an unknown reason the 17-year old driver of the car ran off the road, over-corrected than rolled twice, throwing three teens out of the vehicle. Two of the teens were identified as 18-year old Ethan Stroud and 18-year old Rayden Hill. Both were among those treated and released. The names of the other three juveniles were not released. The OHP does not release the names of juveniles.
Convicted Offender Accused of Another Sex Crime
A convicted sex offender is back in custody, alleged to have committed another sex crime. 45-year old Sammy Rainer, who lists a Chickasha address, is accused of assaulting a woman in the Blanchard area this past weekend. The Grady County Sheriff's Office says Rainer is considered to be a level three offender and a habitual sex offender. Prosecutors have charged him with felonies which include sexual battery and domestic assault by strangulation in connection with this recent arrest. In a separate case, Rainer is also charged with a felony for providing false or misleading sex offender information. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond. Rainer has sex crime convictions out of both Garvin and McClain counties stemming from arrests in 2008.
Alex Gas Wells are Top Producers
Some large producing gas wells have been reported in the Alex area. Gulfport Energy shows three wells drilled on a single pad west of Alex were each producing between 12,000 and 14,000 MCF of natural gas per day. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports they are the Jeannie wells located in the Woodford formation about three miles west of Alex. Drilling depth of the wells was about 22,000 feet with completion of the wells this past April. In addition to the vast amount of natural gas being produced the wells were also producing between 400 and 600 barrels of oil per day. Continental Resources also reported a couple of well completions in Grady County that were bringing just under 200 barrels of oil per day.
Hit-and-Run Suspect Arrested
Chickasha police arrest a man in connection with a hit-and-run that happened over the weekend. The crash occurred near the Aldi's grocery store early Sunday morning. A police affidavit indicates a citizen followed the suspect to get a tag number and called it in to police. Authorities located the suspect a few blocks away at 8th and Nevada, where the pickup the suspect was driving did have damage. The suspect showed signs of being under the influence and resisted arrest until officers tazed him twice. In custody is 26-year old James Huckabay. Prosecutors have charged him with a municipal felony for DUI and a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident. Huckabay remains in jail on a $5,000 bond.
Chix PD Receives OneOK Grant
An energy company has provided a grant to the Chickasha Police Department. OneOk provided more than $1,200 to the department from its Emergency Responders grant program. The money was used to buy 25 sets of replacement pads for the police department's Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs.
FSA County Committee Election Results
In agriculture news, county committee elections for Farm Service Agencies have recently been completed. Mark Jackson with the Grady County FSA has some of the results.
The electees will take office next month and will serve for three years. The committees hold hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, make sure that under-served producers are fairly represented, and make recommendations to the state committee on existing USDA programs. The groups also monitor changes in farm programs and inform producers of the purposes and provisions of Farm Service Agency Programs.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.24 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.34.
Natural gas is $2.26 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,471 and silver is $16.72
Obituaries today include 74-year old Jerry Hill of Blanchard. He was a long-time machinist and was a U.S. Navy veteran. Funeral will be at 10 o'clock Friday morning at Sevier Funeral Home of Chickasha. Memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post No. 54.
Tuesday, Dec. 10th
Chix School Board Interviews Sup't Candidates
The Chickasha Board of Education is meeting in Oklahoma City today to interview candidates for school superintendent. It's a special meeting, being held behind closed doors at the Skirvin Hotel. Then tonight, there is an item on the agenda for the panel's regular December meeting calling for another closed-door meeting to discuss the employment of a superintendent. The school board will also go behind closed doors to consider hiring a few teachers as well as coaches for spring sports at both the high school and middle school. During the open session of tonight's meeting, Chicken Express will recognize a certified and a non-certified employee of the month for the district. They are Christina Cook and Trish Smith at Lincoln School, both of whom will receive gift cards from the restaurant. The regular meeting of the school board will get underway at 6:30 tonight at the school administration building.
$500,000 Bond Set for 'Explosive's' Suspect
A Grady County judge set bond at $500,000 for the man arrested for having explosives in his pickup at a Chickasha motel last week. The district attorney's office filed two charges against Christopher Michael Lee. One is a felony for having an explosive device with intent to kill, injure, or intimidate. The other is a misdemeanor for stalking. Lee to announce his attorney on January 24th with a preliminary hearing conference set for Feb. 11th. Lee is also facing other unrelated misdemeanor charges in Grady County stemming from previous arrests this year. One for allegedly writing a bogus check in January and the other is for misdemeanor drug possession in August.
Fire Damages County Structures
A Monday night fire destroys some out-buildings east of Chickasha. The fire was called in about 9:30 p.m., a couple of miles north of Highway 62 on Jay's Arena Road. Volunteer firefighters from Friend and Naples converged on the blaze. 19 firefighters spent a couple of hours at the location. The Grady County Fire Department Facebook page indicates at several outbuildings behind the residence were damaged.
City of Chix Honored for Putting Fluoride in Water
The City of Chickasha is among several Oklahoma communities being recognized for putting fluoride in their water supply. Chickasha was among 13 communities issued an award from the State Health Department and through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for preventing tooth decay. The CDC indicates that water fluoridation is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements that occurred in the 20th Century. Studies show that for every one dollar a community invests in fluoridation, $20 in dental treatment costs are saved.
Grady County OHCE Holds Awards Program
Several members of Grady County's OHCE programs were recognized for their work and their longevity at the OHCE annual awards luncheon Monday. The OHCE Member of the Year is Beverly McAdams and Jyme Tiner was presented the Heart of OHCE award. Mary Pharris was named the Rookie Member of the Year. Tiner and Sandra Grodecki were noted for the hundreds of volunteer hours they spent on OHCE and non-OHCE projects. Both served more than 2,000 hours working with various projects. Collectively, OHCE members provided more than 5,300 hours of community service which represents about $250,000 in unpaid labor. The groups combined to provide about $4,300 in scholarships to 14 students throughout the region. Alice Terry of the Lucille-Bluebonnet group was recognized for her 74-year membership. Two Grady County groups were organized before the program was created through Oklahoma State University. In 1913, Rural Neighbors was the first county group to organize. It was followed in 1915 by Lucille-Bluebonnet and the Grady County organization. The Friend OHCE group is also over 100 years old, established in 1917.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.02 per barrel.
London-based-Brent crude is $64.25.
Natural gas is $2.23 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,469 and silver is $16.70.
Monday, Dec. 9th
Explosives Suspect May be Charged Today
The man arrested last week for allegedly having explosives in his pickup could hear formal charges against him today. 41-year old Christopher Michael Lee of Wister, Okla. was taken into custody at the Holiday Inn Express on Friday. Chickasha police were summoned to the motel to initially investigate a domestic disturbance. Officers were told that an explosive device was in a pickup in the motel parking lot. Police Chief Dee Rowell said authorities received consent to search the vehicle and found the device. The bomb squad from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was brought in to retrieve the device, which was then taken to the OHP office on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike northeast of Chickasha where it was destroyed. Lee is being held in the Grady County Jail on complaints of having explosives and stalking.
Fire Crews Douse Verden Pasture Blaze
A number of fire departments were called out to beat back a pasture fire south of Verden before dawn Sunday morning. Officials with the Grady County Fire Department say initially a well caught fire and ignited the dry vegetation that was nearby. Verden, Pioneer, and Farwell volunteer firefighters were summoned as were Chickasha and Anadarko fire departments. About 50 acres of pasture land was scorched but there was no property damage. Fire crews were on the scene for about an hour.
Hearings set for Road Closure, Alley Easement
Requests for the City of Chickasha to close a road and to vacate part of an alley will be heard in public hearings by the city's Planning Commission tomorrow. A company called LPL Properties is asking for the city to close the roadway in the 2800 block of Frisco Ave. Great Plains Land and Cattle Co., which purchased the old Chickasha Star Newspaper office near 4th and Kansas Avenue earlier this year, is asking the city to vacate a 10-foot easement along the alley north of that building. The Planning Commission will meet at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow at city hall.
Police Officers, Sheriff's Deputies Honored
A couple of Chickasha police officers and some Grady County sheriff's deputies were recognized for their work in 2019 over the weekend. Chickasha Police Master Sgt. Jason Mryko and Fleet Training Officer Preston Hodge were honored as Officers of the Year for the police department. The award was presented for meritorious conduct in the line of duty, for placing themselves at great risk while protecting public safety. Chickasha Animal Control Officer Laycee Graham was awarded as Civilian Employee of the Year for her work at the city's animal shelter. The awards were presented at the annual Christmas party for the Chickasha Police Department and Fraternal Order of Police Local 129. Over at the Grady County Sheriff's Office, the Reserve Deputy of the Year is Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett; the Executive Deputy of the Year is Corporal Rex Brown; the Deputy of the Year is Robert Ague; and Dispatcher of the Year is Dispatch Supervisor, Josh Huffines.
Library Offers Food for Fines Program
If you have overdue books or other late materials at the Chickasha Library, you can help stock local food pantries instead of paying a fine. Every December, the library offers its Food for Fines programs. Brande Bradford with the library says-
Bradford says many library patrons donate food even if they don't have fines. The campaign runs through the end of the month. Officials say that any lost materials aren't eligible for the Food for Fines program.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.20 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.39.
Natural gas is to $2.33 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,467 and silver is $16.65.