Saturday, February 29th
Protestor Supports Injured Chickasha Police Officer
A former Chickasha police officer carried out a one-man protest in front of Chickasha City Hall yesterday, in support of his friend and former colleague. Shayne Melton strolled in front of city hall for several hours Friday in support of Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield, a Chickasha police officer seriously wounded during a shootout in 2017. Melton's protest comes after Chickasha officials have apparently decided to terminate Schoolfield's employment. The Chickasha Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 made the announcement on its Facebook page. The FOP says it’s outraged. The group says that City Manager John Noblitt made numerous promises to Schoolfield saying he would always be employed and have a place with the police department. The post states that the city has made half-hearted attempts with employment offers which lacked details and required further discussion. Melton said he feels there were alternatives to Schoolfield losing his job. He didn't know if his action would change things, but he wanted to show his support.
City of Chickasha Warns of Utility Bill Phone Scam
Chickasha residents are being warned of a possible telephone scam regarding utility payments. City officials say some individuals have received a phone call saying they need to make a payment over the phone, or their utilities would be disconnected within 20 minutes. A statement from the city said the city does not call residents to ask for payment or alert them about disconnections, nor does the city accept utility bill payments over the phone. The normal procedure for those who are past due on their bill and are at-risk for having their utilities cut-off is for customers to be notified by mail. Also, the city said any phone calls from them should have a 405 area code and not an 800 number. Officials say if you get such a call to just hang up and to not make a payment or provide any information. If residents have questions about their utility bill or a disconnect notice you have received in the mail to call city hall at 405-222-6015. Officials say they have also reached out to citizens on the city's Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram, and on the city's website, www.chickasha.org
Nearly 200 Take Advantage of Dentistry From the Heart
Employees of a Chickasha dental clinic and dozens of volunteers wrapped up another incredible day providing free dental services on Friday. The 13th annual Dentistry from the Heart campaign at Dr. John Phillips' 29th Street Dental Care treated 175 patients and provided an estimated $150,000 in free dental services. Patients could get their teeth cleaned, have a cavity filled, or get a tooth pulled for free. Many patients camped out in temperatures that fell below freezing Thursday night and early Friday morning. Phillips provides this free service at his 29th Street Dental Care clinic every February. Later this year, he will participate in other free dental clinics that are held throughout the state.
Urban Beekeeper Plan Being Considered at State Capital
A bill that would encourage urban gardeners to raise honeybees is under consideration at the state capital. Senate Bill 1388 would give tax-exempt status to any bee product sold. Officials said there are families who are trying to grow their own produce but aren't successful because of the important work that bees provide in pollination. Not only would raising honeybees increase the success of urban gardens, it would also provide opportunities for individuals to make their own honey, candy, soaps, and lotions and then sell those projects tax-free at their local farmers market. A producer who already sells agriculture items directly from their farm is already exempt from sales tax. This proposal would simply add bee products to that list. The measure is being considered in the senate appropriations committee.
Sheriff's Office Updates Wanted List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has released 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.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Sheri Tryce with the state health department's Child Abuse Prevention Action committee is on the KOOL Konversation. Boyd Lee with CK Energy is this week’s guest on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. Find links to both programs under the Community Tab on this website.
Friday, February 28th
Caddo County Now a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County
Caddo County can now be added to the list of Oklahoma areas considered to be second amendment sanctuary counties. The Oklahoma Sheriff's Association recently announced that it would not enforce any presidential executive order or unconstitutional law that jeopardizes the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives Americans the right to bear arms. 21 of Oklahoma's 77 counties are now second amendment sanctuary counties. Grady and Stephens counties are among them.
Pursuit through Chix Neighborhoods Leads to Arrest
A Chickasha woman is facing a number of charges after leading police on a pursuit through several neighborhoods. This all happened a little after 10 o'clock Wednesday night, when police were searching for suspects in unrelated crimes. A probable cause affidavit indicates a man was talking to the driver of a car and when the officer pulled up, the man quickly walked away and the driver of the car sped away. The chase topped 60 miles per hour through several residential areas and the car ran a number of stop signs. The pursuit ended when the car crashed around 12th and Utah. Police arrested 29-year old Haley Lynne Barry, and among the charges she is facing is endangering others while attempting to elude and drug possession. Prosecutors say Barry was on probation after being convicted of assault and battery on a police officer that occurred in the summer of 2018.
Man with Autism Arrested for Making Threats
Police arrest a special-needs man for threatening to kill a man with a kitchen knife. A probable cause affidavit shows Chickasha police were called to a home in the southeast part of the city in the area of Alli Circle. The officer said he knew the suspect was autistic, but that he had previously talked to him several times, and that he was able to talk effectively with him. A witness told police that the suspect and the other man had been arguing, when the suspect grabbed the knife and chased the other man out of the house and down the street. When police arrived, they found the two men in a confrontation several blocks away. The suspect is alleged to have raised the knife above his head and said he was going to kill the man. The suspect then threw the knife down and said he would kill the man with his hands. Police were able to intervene and take the suspect into custody. Authorities arrested 24-year old Jeremiah Thomas Williamson. He's facing a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Dentistry from the Heart is Underway
A number of people spent the night at a local dental clinic, wanting to be among the first in line to get free dental work done. Chickasha’s 29th Street Dental Care is holding its annual Dentistry From the Heart event. Dr. John Phillips says they see some of the same patients every year.
Phillips expects to treat about 250 people today.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $52.18.
Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,630 and silver is $17.15.
Gerald “Bubba” Terry
Funeral service for 63-year old Gerald "Bubba" Terry of Verden will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29th Sevier Funeral Home.
Tresa Nan Osborn
Funeral service for 77-year old Tresa Nan Osborn of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3rd at Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Olahoma 4H Foundation Brady Benson Memorial Scholarship Fund in Stillwater.
Thursday, February 27th
County Commissioners Settle Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed against Grady County commissioners was recently settled out of court. Commissioners agreed to pay Kim Thomas, the commissioners’ administrative assistant, more than $20,000. No details are available about why the complaint was filed. KOOL/RANCH News requested any public information which might be available through the Open Records Act, but all the action taken by commissioners was done behind closed doors where any discussion of lawsuits is not public knowledge. We can tell you that Thomas filed the complaint in December of 2018 through the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit was discussed in executive sessions by the commissioners in February, April, and December of 2019 and again last month. Commissioners authorized a payment of $22,200 to settle the lawsuit on Feb. 3rd. We also contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington D.C. where an official said they are prohibited by law from confirming or denying the existence of the charge.
Child Hospitalized Following Turnpike Accident
A 5-year old girl was air-lifted to a hospital in serious condition after being injured in a single-vehicle accident near Cyril. The unidentified girl suffered head and internal injuries in the crash that happened just before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday near Mile Marker 64 in the westbound lanes of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. The girl was a passenger in a car driven by 37-year old Curtis Horne of Lawton. Horne and another adult in the vehicle, 35-year old Jacques Williams, were both taken to a Lawton hospital where they refused treatment. The state trooper dispatched to the crash is still looking in to what caused the accident.
USAO to Mark Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote
It took years for the women's suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to convince the nation's male leaders that women deserved the right to vote. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which finally allowed women to vote. USAO is hosting a special program on the issue tomorrow night, called Votes for Women in the 21st Century. The keynote speaker is Mara Liasson, a correspondent for NPR radio who has covered numerous presidential elections over the years. USAO's Misti McClellan on what Liasson will discuss.
In addition to Liasson's presentation, there will be a panel discussion which includes a number of women in elected positions. Among them are Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn, a former Grady County State Representative, and State Reps. Emily Virgin and Cyndi Munson. The panel discussion will be at 5:30 p.m. with Liasson's keynote address at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night at the USAO Ballroom.
Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women's Bill Advances
State lawmakers are working on legislation that would make it easier for law enforcement to investigate murdered or missing Native Americans. HB 3345, also known as Ida's Law, has been passed out of a house committee, and will now be heard by the full House of Representatives. The bill calls for a special liaison within the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to help with jurisdictional issues that arise between state and federal agencies when crimes occur on tribal lands. Carmen Thomas, a spokeswoman with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Central Oklahoma, says the issue is an epidemic in Oklahoma. Ida's Law is named for 29-year old Ida Beard, a Cheyenne-Arapaho tribal member who disappeared five years ago.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $48.37 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $53.43.
Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,648 and silver is $18.05.
A graveside service for Cynthia “Pat” Fourniea, 72, of Ninnekah will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 28th at Laverty Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, February 26th
Fire Destroys Grady County Home
A Grady County family is picking up what's left after a fire destroys their home. Amber and Pocasset fire departments along with the Grady County Fire Department command units were dispatched to 616 CR 1290 just after 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. That's about a mile southwest of U.S. Highway 81 and the Amber cut-off. The mobile home was fully engulfed when crews arrived. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said it was the home of Andy and Jill Pearson. Jill was home when the fire started and she managed to get out safely. There were no injuries. Fire crews were on the scene for about two hours. The preliminary investigation indicates that a heat lamp on the porch set a wooden box on fire. The estimated loss of the home and its contents is more than $250,000.
Minco Police Arrest Drug Trafficking Suspect
Minco police arrest a woman on complaints of drug trafficking. 24-year old Brittney Nycole Baker of Edmond was arrested Monday night. Details of the arrest weren't available this morning, but on-line court records indicate that prosecutors have filed a felony charge of drug trafficking against Baker. She's also facing misdemeanor drug charges and a charge of driving without a license. Baker remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Equipment Stolen from Fletcher Softball Team
Thieves have taken a lot of equipment belonging to the Fletcher High School softball team. In addition to stealing softball gear, the culprits took an ATV and some medical equipment from a shed between the softball and baseball fields. The theft occurred as the team prepares for the slow-pitch softball season. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the Fletcher Police Department.
Free Dental Services Available Friday
A Chickasha dentist and his staff are preparing for their busiest day of the year. Dr. John Phillips and his crew at the 29th Street Dental Clinic will provide free dental services this Friday. Phillips calls it Dentistry from the Heart. Philips recruits a lot of help for the event.
This is the 13th year for the free dental services to be provided at Phillips' clinic at 29th and Grand. He expects to treat at least 250 patients. The event is first-come, first-served and many will camp out over night to be the first in line. Patients can get their teeth cleaned, have a cavity filled, or get a tooth pulled. The event will run from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 28th.
Items That Shouldn't Be Flushed Down the Drain
Officials at Chickasha's wastewater treatment plant are urging residents and businesses to NOT flush items down the drain that can clog the city sewer lines. Officials want you to think of the acronym FOG which is short for Fats, Oil, and Grease. That includes items like meat fats and juices, vegetable and canola oils, grease, lard, shortening, and butter. Representatives say those items can lead to costly sewer back-ups and overflows and can also cause damage to homes and businesses. Other negative effects include increased sewer rates and environmental hazards. Officials also ask that items like so-called flushable wipes should not be flushed down the drain. While the package may indicate those items are bio-degradable, they don't break down before they get to the wastewater treatment plant.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $49.90 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $54.95.
Natural gas is $1.84 per million BTUs
Gold is $1,651 and silver is $18.13.
Funeral service for Jewell Givens, 98, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29th at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, February 25th
Sheriff Declares Grady County
A 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County
Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir is joining the growing list of county sheriff's in Oklahoma in assuring residents that the sheriff’s office will protect their constitutional right to bear arms. Weir says Grady County will be a second amendment sanctuary county and will not enforce any presidential executive order or unconstitutional law that may jeopardize those rights. Weir is a board member for the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association. He says the group believes that since Oklahoma is primarily a rural state that many citizens rely on guns to protect their property and families. The association says response time by a deputy sheriff can be lengthy due to the lack of manpower and the distance a deputy may have to travel to respond to a call. Grady County Commissioners have not yet officially adopted the sheriff's position. Recently the Stephens and Cotton County boards of commissioners have adopted similar policies of being second amendment sanctuary counties.
County Commissioners to Honor Work of Ada Sipuel-Fisher
Grady County Commissioners have approved a proposal to honor Chickasha civil rights pioneer Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher. In Monday’s weekly meeting the panel voted to re-name the Grady County Jail as the Ada Sipuel Justice Center. Commissioners gave their approval to place a monument in front of the jail to recognize Sipuel-Fisher's work. Sipuel-Fisher became the first black student at the OU Law School in the 1940s after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor. Her lawsuit was aided by a young NAACP lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, long before he became a member of the nation's high court. Grady County Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said the monument and signage will recognize Sipuel-Fisher's work to combat segregation.
More on National FFA Week
We continue our recognition of National FFA Week today. Ninnekah FFA Vice President Bruce Trammell says they'll be busy the next few weeks with the Grady County stock show and the Oklahoma Youth Expo, in addition to a number of other activities through the end of the school year.
Today the National FFA Foundation celebrates Give FFA Day which is a 24-hour campaign encouraging the public to support the needs of FFA students.
Caddo County Spring Stock Show Results
While Grady County youth get ready for their county spring stock show (which is next week), the Caddo County spring stock show wrapped up in Anadarko yesterday. Tucker Freie of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the grand champion market steer, while Stetson Hall of Anadarko had the reserve. Hall had the grand champion prospect steer, while Emma Farmer of FCB had the reserve. Jordyn Jackson of Anadarko had the grand champion heifer, while Harper Hilmes of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the reserve. In the swine show, Miller Justice of Hinton had the grand gilt, and Sam Dawson also of Hinton had the reserve. For the barrows, Alex Hill of Anadarko had the grand, and Kodee Harbecek of Apache had the reserve. In the sheep show, Meredith Pye of Carnegie had the grand ewe, and Barrett Sitton of Binger-Oney had the reserve. Avary Bellamy of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had both the grand and reserve grand wethers. In the goat show, Makyah Clift of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the grand doe and Lucas Greer of Carnegie had the reserve. There were no wether goats shown.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $51.43 per barrel.
London-based Brent is $56.30.
Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs
Gold is $1,643 and silver is $18.40.
Monday, February 24th
One Injured in Home Explosion
A home near Lake Burtchi is leveled by an explosion and one person managed to escape the blast with just minor injuries. The explosion occurred just after 5:00 p.m. Sunday. The home was located a couple of miles north of the lake. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department posted video of the destruction on the agency's Facebook page. Myers said the home owner, Russell Martin Cole, was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Myers said the preliminary investigation indicates there was a propane leak in the basement which may have been ignited by a water heater. Myers estimated total damage of the home and its contents to be upwards of $200,000.
Vandals Strike Library, Nearby Business
Vandals hit the Chickasha library and a nearby business over the weekend, with graffiti that included expletives apparently targeting the police department. Someone spray painted the library and a box truck belonging to Standley Systems next door. Some photos of the damage were posted on Facebook. The vandals spray-painted "F----CPD" on the west side of the library and on the truck. Th words “Crow” and ‘We Own This” were also spray-painted on the library, along with a triangle with an eye on the top. Crews managed to clean up the damage at the library over the weekend.
Variance Requested with New Home Construction
The company building new homes in Chickasha’s Shadow Valley Development is requesting a variance in the city code regarding the size of the homes and duplexes they are building. The City of Chickasha's Board of Adjustment will hold a couple of public hearings tomorrow for the applicant, Crafton Tull. One of the hearings is to increase the lot coverage of single-family homes in Phase One from 35 percent to 45 percent. The second public hearing is to also increase lot coverage of single-family homes in Phase Two from 35 percent to 45 percent, and to increase lot coverage for duplexes from 35 percent to 50 percent. The Board of Adjustment meets at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 25th at city hall.
Denver Talley tops Chix Chamber of Commerce Honorees
Several awards were handed out during the 97th annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet last Friday night. The most prestigious award went to Denver Talley, who was named the newest member of the Chickasha Hall of Fame. Other award recipients: Steve LaForge was named Citizen of the Year; Jen Jantzen was named Woman of the Year; Jason Pruner was named Volunteer of the Year; Chamber President Cassandra Ersland was named the Young Professional of the Year, and Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt was named Public Servant of the Year. Two businesses were recognized: Ross Seed Company was named Small Business of the Year and Arvest Bank was named Large Business of the Year. An Event of the Year was also selected, which was the Oklahoma Food Truck Competition.
Kiowa Tribe Signs Agreement with Bacone College
The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma has signed an agreement to charter Bacone University. The agreement was signed at the tribe’s headquarters in Carnegie last week. Bacone President Dr. Ferlin Clark said the college is honored to have the Kiowa Tribe join the consortium of other tribes looking to transform Bacone into a tribal college. Bacone is Oklahoma's oldest college, founded in 1880 in Muskogee as an Indian university.
National FFA Week is Underway
FFA programs across the country are marking an important occasion. Malachi Phipps is the president of the Rush Springs FFA chapter.
It's estimated that there are more than 700,000 FFA members nationwide. National FFA Week is February 22nd through 29th. It began in 1948 and always includes the birthday George Washington, in recognition of his legacy as an agriculturist and a farmer.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.38 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.50.
Natural gas is $1.90 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,688 and silver is $18.89.