Saturday, March 7th
Oklahoma Has First Confirmed Coronavirus Case
A Tulsa man is Oklahoma's first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus. Gov. Kevin Stitt made the announcement yesterday. The man in his mid-50s had recently visited Italy. He returned to Oklahoma through the Tulsa airport on February 23rd and he began showing signs of the illness on February 29th. He is being quarantined and state health officials say they are closely monitoring other suspected cases. Four more Oklahomans are currently being tested. Officials continue to say that the risk to the general public is low. The governor said there is no evidence of community spread of the illness. Officials say the flu is still having a much bigger impact in Oklahoma, with more than 50 deaths out of nearly 3,000 flu cases this year. The governor also said that the state health department now has the capability to conduct coronavirus tests, instead of sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Card Skimmers Found on Ninnekah Store's Fuel Pumps
Authorities in Ninnekah say credit card skimmers were recently found on gas pumps at a convenience store in that community. Police say they have received several complaints of fraudulent credit card transactions from the Valero Station at U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 277. Ninnekah police urge anyone who may have used their debit or credit cards at the gas pumps to review their recent transactions, and to contact their financial institutions immediately if a compromise is suspected.
Arrest Made in Connection with 2016 Rape investigation
A rape suspect who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman four years ago has been arrested. 24-year old Michael Clay Powell of Oklahoma City was booked into the Grady County Jail this week. He's accused of raping a woman at a Tuttle park during the summer of 2016. It took two years before an arrest warrant was issued for Powell. He did tell police he met a woman on-line, and they agreed to meet in Tuttle. A probable cause affidavit indicates that Powell said he did not rape the woman. But authorities obtained Powell's DNA which was matched to DNA found on the victim. Powell was booked into the Grady County Jail on Wednesday. He remains in jail on a $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is set for April 14th.
It's the Weekend to 'Spring Forward'
Like most of the country, Oklahoma will be switching to Daylight Savings time tonight (Saturday night/Sunday morning). We'll all lose an hour of sleep as we set our analog clocks ahead one hour. Your cell phones, computers, tablets, and most electronic items will automatically reset. It's also a good time to change out batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 8th.
Lula Belle Horn
Funeral for 80-year old Lula Belle Horn of Verden will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 10th at the First Baptist Church of Verden. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cottonwood Center at Verden.
Friday, March 6th
State Officials Discuss Coronavirus Scare
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt tried to put state residents' minds at ease regarding the coronavirus health alert sweeping the globe. Stitt and members of the state health department held a press conference yesterday to discuss the steps they'll take should problems arise in the Sooner State. Currently, there have been no confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma. Five people have been tested and were cleared and two cases are pending. Stitt said the infection risk in Oklahoma remains low, and that officials are prepared and remain vigilant in minimizing risks. He said they are taking the global epidemic seriously and are positioned to monitor the situation, deploy assets if needed, and protect the public health of Oklahomans. The state health department announced the agency created a new call center dedicated to answering questions which will be activated soon. In the meantime, information is available on-line at: www.coronavirus.health.ok.gov
Earthquake Shakes Alex Area
An earthquake rattled parts of eastern Grady County last night. Preliminary reports indicated a 4.0 tremor on the Richter Scale northeast of Alex about 7:42 p.m. Thursday. Updated records on the Oklahoma Geological Survey website this morning shows it was a 3.4 earthquake. There were no immediate reports of damage.
Anadarko Officials Work to Address Power Grid Issues
In Anadarko, city officials are facing a serious issue with its electrical system. City Manager Kenneth Corn says the city is one severe weather event away from its electric grid failing. Corn says about one of every eight of the city's 1,600 power poles – about 260 - need to be replaced immediately. Corn tells our partners at KWTV News 9 that some of them are 50 years old and are rotting. Corn said if the main line goes down, power goes out for everybody. Corn estimates repairs at about $1.2 million and it could be much more if the system is damaged by severe weather and emergency repairs are needed. The Anadarko City Council will consider a revenue bond proposal at its meeting Monday night, which would allow for a portion of meter fees already being collected to help pay for repairs.
Thousands Paid in Grady County Stock Show Sale
It was a big pay out for the youth who showed the top animals at the Grady County spring stock show. Last night's premium auction at the Grady County Fairgrounds brought in nearly $115,000. Plus, $110,000 in add-ons were paid by supporting businesses, family, and friends - which brings to the total amount of money paid out to $225,000. That’s slightly more than the $216,000 paid last year. Blake Janssen of Ampo hit it big with his grand champion steer, which brought the highest bid of the night at $3,500. Cammie Stehr of Ninnekah with the grand champion goat; Madilyn Norvell of Ampo with the grand champion swine; and Taylor McGill of Tuttle with the grand lamb received bids of $3,200 for each of their animals. There were a total of 122 animals in the sale, and the lowest price paid for any animal was $500.
Two Chickasha Community Meetings set Monday
There are a couple of community meetings for Chickasha residents early next week. One is about the 1st Street sidewalk construction project that will run from the Rock Island Depot to Wal-Mart. City officials and the project engineer will be on hand to discuss the work, the estimated time-line for construction, and crews that will be working in the area. That meeting is Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln School. The second meeting is for residents in Ward 2 to meet with their city council representatives and city officials. That meeting will also be at 6:30 p.m. and it will be held in the city council chambers at city hall.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Clifford McGhghy with the Oklahoma State Beekeepers Association is our guest on the KOOL Konversation. He’s discussing the group’s upcoming spring conference in Duncan. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson will talk about the upcoming severe weather season. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $45.90.
London-based Brent crude is $49.99.
Natural gas is $1.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,687 and silver is $17.46.
Funeral service for 80-year old Evelyn Tankersly of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 9th at Sharon Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Sammy "Pepsi" Hawthorne
Funeral for 75-year old Sammy "Pepsi" Hawthorne will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 9th at Bible Baptist Church. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, March 5th
Bill Calls for Protection of Rights
of Assisted Living Center Residents
A bill which calls for protecting the use of video monitoring equipment by residents in the state's assisted living centers is moving through the state legislature. It would ensure that assisted living center residents have the same rights as nursing home residents. The bill is SB 1739 and it’s called the Barbara Hoover Act. It received unanimous approval in the state senate this week and has been forwarded to the state house of representatives for consideration. In a statement from the bill's author, he said there was a family in his district who had a relative in an assisted living center who was threatened with eviction if video equipment in her room wasn’t removed. The senator said the bill would bring a current state law up to date to make sure all long-term care facilities are covered and prohibits eviction or retaliation against residents who use video equipment for safety and security. The bill has the support of the Oklahoma Silver-Haired Legislature, the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging, and AARP.
USAO 'Giving Day' Successful
A one-day fundraiser was again successful for USAO this year. The 4th annual Giving Day brought in more than $100,000 in a 24-hour period. The event is a challenge for USAO faculty, staff, students, and alumni to reach out to their friends and associates to encourage contributions to USAO. More than 300 donors came forward and the largest single donation was $20,000. Donors could earmark their contributions to be used for specific scholarships, academic or athletic programs, or for general use.
Grant to Help Marlow Improve Cemetery Roads
A grant for the City of Marlow will help repair roads in that community's cemetery. It's a $45,000 grant from what's known as the Rural Economic Action Plan, or REAP program. The state's smaller communities can apply for REAP grants on a periodic basis. KSWO-TV reports it has taken Marlow officials three years to get the grant. The funds should help repair a little over two miles of the cemetery roads. City Manager Jason McPherson says it will be a chip-and-seal project to not only repair current roads, but also build roads where there currently are none. The city is expected to accept bids for the project next week, with construction possibly later this year.
More Results from the Grady County Spring Stock Show
Here's a list of more of the top exhibitors from the Grady County Junior Livestock Show this week. The grand champion steer was shown by Blake Jannsen of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Allyson Arthur of Chickasha. The grand champion heifer was shown by McKenna Layton of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Kamden Filippo of Rush Springs. For the sheep, Taylor McGill of Tuttle had both the grand and reserve-grand champion market lambs. For the goats, Cammie Stehr of Ninnekah had the grand champion and Hadley Cooper of Ampo had the reserve-grand. Tonight, the premium sale caps off the week of stock show activities at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The top 125 animals will be sold although the youth will get to keep their animals and the money. A buyers’ dinner gets underway at 5:30, an awards presentation will be at 6:45 and the sale starts at 7 o'clock.
4Her and Her Horse Complete Equine Makeover Program
There’s a relatively new program designed to help 4H youth work with horses. Sage Payne with the Grady County Faithwalkers 4H program recently took part in the program developed by Nexus Equine, called the Oklahoma 4H Equine Makeover.
Sage and Ethel finished as the reserve champion team of that competition. Now, Ethel is a permanent part of the Payne family. The next Equine Makeover program begins soon and applications are due by tomorrow. Contact your local 4H leader or any OSU Extension office for information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $51.13.
Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,647 and silver is $17.23.
Wednesday, March 4th
Feb. New Construction in Chix Tops $2.3 Million
Three large commercial projects and a number of new homes bolster new building permits issued by the City of Chickasha in February. The Community Development Department issued 18 permits totaling more than $2.3 million in new construction. Leading the way is an $833,000 permit for a new liquor store to be built in the 1500 block of Stewart Drive. That's between Subway and Jungle Ice and north of Brandt's Ace Hardware. USAO was awarded a $400,000 permit for some renovations at Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. A $200,000 permit was issued for the on-going renovations of Family Life Church at 9th and Grand. A $35,000 permit was issued to Bordwine Development for more upgrades at LSPI. In residential construction, Reese Homes was issued a permit for a $433,000 home in the 3300 block of Pondridge Drive; and Raush Coleman Homes was awarded permits to build three single family homes in the Shadow Valley Development, each valued at about $100,000 each. Through the first two months of the year, more than $4.8 million in new construction has been approved. That compares to less than $800,000 for the first two months of 2019.
Ida's Law Proposal Advances at State Capital
A measure designed to bring more attention to cases of murdered or missing Native Americans gets overwhelming approval from the State House of Representatives. HB 3345, also known as Ida's Law, passed with a 92-4 vote yesterday. It now moves over to the State Senate for consideration. The bill calls for the OSBI to create an Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons to work with state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Supporters of Ida's Law say there are two other bills regarding murdered or missing Native Americans being considered at the state capital.
Trump, Biden Win Oklahoma in Super Tuesday Vote
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were the big winners in Oklahoma’s presidential preferential primaries yesterday. Trump collected nearly 93 percent of the Republican vote and Biden scored 39 percent of the Democratic vote. Biden out-distanced Bernie Sanders, who received 25 percent of the vote, while Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren each picked up about 13 percent of the Oklahoma Democratic vote.
Grady, Caddo County Super Tuesday Voting
In Grady County, President Trump received 96 percent of the GOP vote, getting nearly 5,000 of the 5,200 votes cast. Grady County Democrats gave Joe Biden most of their support. Biden received 38 percent of the tallies, or 1,229 of the 3,200 votes cast. Sanders was next with about 20 percent of the vote or 625 votes; Bloomberg and Warren were both about 13 percent with Bloomberg garnering 474 votes, and Warren picking up 423 votes. In Caddo County, Republican voters gave Trump 96 percent of the vote, giving him 1,480 of the 1,562 votes cast. Democrats gave Joe Biden 36 percent of the vote, or 777 of the nearly 2,000 votes cast. Bernie Sanders was a distant second with 20 percent, or 434 votes; Michael Bloomberg was next with 17 percent, or 367 votes; and Elizabeth Warren received 10 percent or 202 votes.
Farm Program Signup Ends Soon
Less than two weeks remain for the nation's farmers and ranchers to sign up for either the ARC or PLC programs through USDA. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says Monday, March 16th is the deadline to enroll, and-
Jackson said that starting in 2021 producers will sign up for a single crop year each year through 2024.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.18 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $51.86.
Natural gas is $1.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,644 and silver is $17.23.
Funeral service for 84-year old Geneva Smith of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5th at the Plainview Mennonite Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Tuesday, March 3rd
Chix City Council Votes to De-Annex Muscle Car Ranch
After a six-year legal battle, a dispute between the Muscle Car Ranch and the City of Chickasha appears to be over. In a split vote during last night’s city council meeting, the council voted 5-4 to de-annex the property from the city limits. Muscle Car Ranch owner Curtis Hart had told city officials that he would drop his lawsuit if the city would de-annex his 80-acre ranch. Hart says he's ready to move on and hopes to have a better relationship with the city.
Last summer, the council voted 6-3 against de-annexation. Two councilmen who voted against de-annexation at that time switched their votes last night, including Mayor Chris Mosley who cast the tie-breaking vote. Councilman Joe Molder was the other to change his vote. A public hearing on the issue during last night's meeting only lasted 11 minutes. Four people spoke in favor of de-annexation and no one spoke against the proposal. Besides the mayor and councilman Molder, other yes votes came from Jim Hopkins, Oscar Nelson, and Zack Grayson. Voting no, as they did last summer, were Kimmie Loggins, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Tom Rose, and David Sikes. The council also passed an emergency clause regarding the de-annexation.
Deputies Run Down Wanted Man in Odd Incident
A bizarre incident at the Grady County courthouse yesterday, as a man with a warrant out for his arrest was apparently going to turn himself in, but then changed his mind. Grady County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett says the man and a bail bondsman had gone to the court clerk's office on the second floor of the courthouse about 10:30 a.m. Monday. The man suddenly ran down the stairs to the ground floor and then out of the security vestibule. Someone hit the panic button in the court clerk's office to alert officials of a problem, and several deputies were quickly in foot pursuit of the man. It was a short chase, as officials managed to take him into custody across the street at Chickasha City Hall. 24-year old Zackary Charles Williams of Norman was wanted for bond revocation in connection with a January arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a firearm after former conviction. He was out of jail after officials reduced his bond from $50,000 to $7,500. It's not clear if he'll be facing any new charges as a result of yesterday's incident.
County Board Supports Sheriff's Sanctuary County Stand
Grady County Commissioners have approved a resolution supporting Sheriff Jim Weir in his stand on having Grady County be a second amendment sanctuary county. Weir announced last week that he would join other county sheriff's in their efforts to protect residents’ constitutional right to bear arms. Weir said the commissioners vote was unanimous. The action comes after the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association announced they would not support any gun-control legislation proposed that would go against the second amendment. Grady, Caddo, and Stephens counties are among 21 Oklahoma counties which have announced they will be a second amendment sanctuary county.
Sooner State Voters Casting Ballots on Super Tuesday
Oklahomans are going to the polls today as part of Super Tuesday, where Republicans and Democrats vote in their respective presidential preferential primaries. In Oklahoma, there are 14 candidates on the Democratic ballot, but all but five have withdrawn. There are six candidates on the Republican ballot. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m.
Ampo Exhibitors Dominate First Day of County Stock Show
Here are the results of Monday’s swine show at the 84th annual Grady County Junior Livestock Show. Hadley Cooper of Ampo had the grand champion breeding gilt, while Sage Heldermon of Alex had the reserve-grand champion. Madilyn Norvell of Ampo had the grand champion market barrow, while Pace Mittlestaadt also of Ampo had the reserve-grand champion. The sheep and goat shows are being held today. All the activities for the spring stock show are being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.75 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $50.48.
Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,602 and silver is $16.84
Funeral service for 94-year old Juanita Bateman of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 6th at Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.
Monday, March 2nd
Chix City Council Schedules Public Hearing
to Consider De-annexing Muscle Car Ranch
For the second time in the last year, a proposal to de-annex the Muscle Car Ranch from the Chickasha City limits is to be discussed by the city council. A public hearing on the issue will be held during tonight's council meeting. The item on the agenda calls for a hearing regarding the petition by Muscle Car Ranch owner Curtis Hart to detach the ranch from the city limits. Hart has been trying for years to be removed from the city limits. He has a current lawsuit pending in his on-going attempt to be de-annexed. The proposal to de-annex is being recommended by the city manager. Last summer, the council voted against de-annexation.
Street Improvement Proposal on Council Agenda
Street improvements are also to be considered by the council tonight. The group will consider spending upwards of $300,000 on the work this summer. The streets being proposed for improvements include: Genevieve Street from U.S. 62 to Frisco; John Cowan Drive, which runs in front of Chickasha High School; Chickasha Avenue from 18th Street west to the high school; Country Club Road from U.S. Highway 81 east to Glenwood; and 16th Street from Country Club Road north to Carolina. The council is also to consider designs on the overpasses that will be part of the U.S. Highway 81 bypass when it is built. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall. Prior to the formal council meeting, an informal work session will be held which begins at 5:30.
Caddo County Shooting Probe Underway
Caddo county investigators are looking into a shooting which left one person critically injured. Authorities were summoned to a home in Apache just before noon Saturday. The victim was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. KSWO-TV reports that the Comanche Nation Police Department is the lead agency investigating the shooting. The victim's name has not been released and authorities are interviewing witnesses.
Property Owners Face March 15th Deadline
to Report Improvements, File for Homestead Exemption
Grady County Assessor Bari Firestone is reminding property owners of an upcoming deadline to apply for exemptions, and to render all personal property without penalty. In a press release, Firestone says anyone who has purchased a new home, opened a business, acquired or sold equipment for a business, acquired farm equipment, or bought or sold a manufactured home - needs to submit that information to the assessor's office by March 15th. Individuals who have received assessment papers in the mail need to sign and return them also by March 15th. Anyone making home improvements such as additional square footage to a home, a storage building, barn, shed, or a deck or porch needs to submit that information. Applications for Homestead Exemption are also due by March 15th. Any military veterans who are 100 percent disabled can qualify their homesteaded property to be totally exempt from taxation. Contact the assessor's office in the Grady County Courthouse if you have any questions.
Grady County Junior Livestock Show is This Week
It's a big week for the FFA and 4H youth of Grady County as many will take part in the Grady County junior livestock show. The highlight of the week is the premium auction Thursday night, which pays out more than $125,000 the youth showing their cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. The top 125 animals will be auctioned though the youth will get to keep their animals so they can continue to showing them, including at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. The Grady County Junior Livestock Show takes place at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $44.76 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $50.52.
Natural gas is $1.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,610 and silver is $16.88.