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Mollman Media News

2020, April 13th-18th

Saturday, April 18th

 

Caddo County Nursing Home Reels from Coronavirus              

Some state nursing homes have been hit hard by coronavirus infections. In Caddo County, the Binger nursing home had 20 cases confirmed early in the week and now 21 additional cases have been reported including 26 residents and 15 staff members. Two of the residents have died. In a social media video, administrator Stephanie Warren tells family and friends of residents that they are taking their loved ones' health and safety seriously. To help battle the illness, our partners at KWTV News 9 report that Pastor Mark Price is organizing help. He said they need RVs and 5th wheels to house the infected workers, and that the Baptist General Disaster relief group sent over a shower station and a camper with a washer and dryer. He said the National Guard has also stepped in to help. Others have brought food and other supplies. Price says one of the big needs is laundry supplies. Price said the battle is big and that they need reinforcements.

              

State COVID-19 Cases Now at 2,465              

The state health department is now including coronavirus cases in many communities, in addition to the county numbers it has been posting. As of Friday there are now 2,465 confirmed cases statewide and 136 deaths. Chickasha is listed as having six confirmed cases and one death. Grady County now has 19 coronavirus cases and Caddo County is up to 51.

 

State Marks Murrah Building Bombing Anniversary

Oklahomans will pause this weekend to remember those who died, those who were injured, and those who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Tomorrow, April 19th, is the 25th anniversary of the tragedy in which 168 people were killed. The Oklahoma City National Memorial was authorized in 1997 and formally dedicated on April 19th, 2000 on the five-year anniversary of the bombing. The museum was dedicated the following year. Among the features of the memorial, 168 empty chairs representing all those who died in the blast. Also part of the memorial are The Gates of Time, which include 9:01 which was the time prior to the bombing; 9:02 which is the the time the blast occurred; and 9:03 which represents the first moments of recovery. There is also the Survivor's Wall, the only remaining original portions of the building and the Survivor Tree which was badly damaged in the blast but has flourished in the years since.

 

Longtime Service Station Owner, Eddie Griffith Dies

The founder of a second-generation Chickasha service station and mechanic shop has died. Dean Griffith, who opened Griffith's Service Station more than 40 years ago passed away Thursday at his home in Purcell. He was 79. Griffith was born in Calumet and grew up working on the farm and in service stations. He joined the Army when he was 18. He bought the Chickasha service station in 1976. He retired in 2005 and sold the business to his son and grandson who still own and operate the shop. Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, Linda and two children. A private graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 21st at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral home.

 

Lawton Newspaper to Convert to 5-day Publishing

The Lawton Constitution will be converting to a five-day publishing cycle. Starting April 25th, the newspaper will be dropping its Saturday and Monday publications. Publisher David Stringer said the paper will have a weekend edition that will be published on Sunday, and there will be daily editions Tuesday through Friday. Stringer said the changes came about due to the overwhelming impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stringer said breaking and other news will be first be published on the Constitution's website.

 

Sheriff's Office Wanted List

The Grady County Sheriff's Office has issued 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. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir and Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett are this week's guest on Real Estate Today. Our guest on the KOOL Konversation is Matt Surber with Tuttle Public Schools. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Richard Reed

Obituaries today include 99-year old Richard Reed, formerly of Ninnekah. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War Two. A private burial will be held at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawton-Ft. Sill Veterans Center.

 

 

Friday, April 17th

 

Gov. Relaxes Part of His Coronavirus Executive Order             

State officials continue to closely monitor the coronavirus health crisis. New numbers out from the state health department yesterday put the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections at 2,357 – which is an increase of 96 from the day before. There were eight new deaths, with that number now up to 131. The report also indicated that more than 500 Oklahomans have spent at least some time in the hospital for treatment, though yesterday's count was at 236. The report showed another steep climb of the coronavirus cases in Caddo County, where it climbed from 10 cases on Tuesday, to 35 on Wednesday, and 48 on Thursday. Many of those illnesses were from a Binger nursing home, where 12 residents and eight employees were diagnosed. In Grady County, the total number of confirmed cases is now 16. Governor Kevin Stitt has extended his Safer-at-Home order through May 6th, asking those 65 and older and anyone with vulnerable immune systems to stay at home as much as possible. He did relax his call to suspend all elective surgeries. Starting Friday, April 24th, hospitals will be allowed to perform procedures for those with non-life threatening conditions.

 

Foundation Urges Contributions to Agencies

Helping Families Through the COVID-19 Crisis              

A number of charitable organizations are stepping up their efforts to help needy families during the coronavirus health emergency. The Chickasha Community Foundation is encouaraging cash contributions to reputable charities but says four specific groups are well-known for what they do. The Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo counties provides food boxes to families all year long. Chickasha Mobile Meals delivers food to shut-ins, and with the Safer-at-Home order in effect, the agency is getting more calls for help. The Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry has been helping needy families for more than 35 years. And one of newest programs is the Chickasha Soup Kitchen which provides hot meals three days per week at 520 Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Phone Call Leads Authorities to Stolen Goods              

An alert Grady County resident may be credited for helping to solve one crime and possibly stopping another. A Grady County sheriff's deputy was called to check out a suspicious vehicle near an oilfield site east of Tuttle Sunday afternoon. The deputy found an individual with thousands of dollars in items the deputy alleges were stolen including a several oilfield batteries, some window air conditioners, and power tools. The deputy wrote in his probable cause affidavit that the suspect admitted knowing the items were stolen, but that he bought them from someone else with the intent of pawning them in Oklahoma City. But pawn shops were closed Sunday, so the suspect drove back to the Tuttle area. A witness said the suspect was scoping out a home to break into prior to the deputy’s arrival. The deputy arrested 33-year old Dwayne Scott Files of Chickasha on a complaint of possession of stolen property. He's been charged with a felony and he remains in the Grady County jail on an $8,000 bond.             

 

Chix School District Names Teacher of the Year

The robotics instructor for Chickasha Public Schools has been named the District Teacher of the Year. Brandon Willis was selected for the honor. He was among five teachers up for the award - one from each school. Willis splits his time between the high school, Lincoln School and Grand Elementary. Grand Principal Dereth Harrison said it’s obvious that Willis enjoys what he does.

 

              

 

Willis has led the high school robotics team to three straight appearances in the FIRST world championships. The team was set to go to the world championship this year before activities were canceled because of the coronavirus. The Lincoln School FIRST Lego League teams have advanced to the state championships in seven of his eight years with the district, and he's created a successful STEM program at Grand Elementary. Willis is now eligible to be a candidate for the state teacher of the year award. To congratulate Willis, a car parade will be held at Grand Avenue next Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The community is invited to take part by entering the school site starting at 14th and Montana, and driving through the school oval.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $19.87 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $27.82.

Natural gas is $1.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,698 and silver is $15.39.

 

Obituary

Bettie Base

A private graveside for Bettie Base, 80, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 20th at the Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation.

 

 

Thursday, April 16th

 

Grady, Caddo Counties Have First COVID-19 Deaths

Grady and Caddo counties have recorded their first deaths related to the COVID-19 virus. The state health department added the fatalities to their coronavirus update yesterday. The total number of deaths statewide is now up to 123. The individual that died in Grady County was a man 65 or older. The death in Caddo County was a woman 65 or older. A spokesman for the state health department told KOOL/RANCH News they could not specify where the deaths occurred. Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman wouldn't say if a hospital patient was one of the victims. Statewide coronavirus cases are now at 2,263 and the number of people hospitalized now stands at 510. Grady County now has 14 confirmed cases; McClain County has 19; Stephens County has 15; and Garvin County has 10.

              

Binger Nursing Home Has Coronavirus Outbreak

In Caddo County, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases more than tripled -- climbing from 10 on Tuesday up to 35 Wednesday. Many of the new cases are apparently due to an outbreak at the Binger Nursing Home. An administrator posted on social media that the state department of health told them 12 residents and 8 employees tested positive and that two of the nursing home residents have died.

 

City of Anadarko to Require Facemasks              

The City of Anadarko will begin requiring individuals to wear facemasks while in public. Mayor Kyle Eastwood issued a proclamation Tuesday instructing the city manager to enact a mandatory requirement that anyone living, visiting, or even traveling through town must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while in the public domain. It also requires any essential business open to the public to have their employees wear masks. Eastwood said the public domain does not include private property, homes, or yards that are closed to the public. Masks will also not be required for individuals inside a vehicle. The order takes affect at 5:00 p.m. today (Thursday, April 16th) and will remain in place through midnight on April 30th.

 

Chix City Councilman Tom Rose Steps Down

Chickasha City Councilman Tom Rose has resigned. Rose served in Ward One for about the last two years. He was appointed to the post in 2018 then ran unopposed in 2019. Rose was part of a three-candidate race for mayor in 2017 losing to current mayor Chris Mosley. Rose's resignation was effective April 6th. In his resignation letter, Rose said due to unforeseen circumstances it became necessary for him to step down. He said he has been privileged to serve and wishes the best for the council. Rose's resignation is to be formally accepted during the city council's April 20th meeting. The agenda for the meeting indicates that Mayor Mosley will recommend Brian Gerdes to fill the remaining 12 months of the office.

 

Pedestrian Survives After Being Hit by Semi

There was a bizarre accident on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike last night, where a semi hit a pedestrian. 25-year old Austin Dennis of Rush Springs was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with leg injuries where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday near Mile Marker 79. The highway patrol reports that Dennis was walking in the middle of the outside lane for an unknown reason. The semi driver tried to swerve to avoid hitting Dennis, but clipped him with the front of the tractor-trailer. The driver of the big rig was 42-year old Jorge Martinez of California who was not injured.

 

Chix PD Gives Thanks for Help with Protective Gear

Many groups and individuals are pitching in to help first responders in their efforts to stay safe on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Chickasha Police Department wants to thank the Junior Social Workers who provided a grant that will help buy personal protective equipment. Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music also said a local resident has been donating her time and talent to make masks for both adults and children. Ileta Duffle has donated more than two dozen home-made masks to the department.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $19.87.

London-based Brent crude is $27.69.

Natural gas is $1.60 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,753 and silver is $15.92.

 

 

Wednesday, April 15th

 

Chix Building Report Good Prior to COVID-19

New construction in Chickasha for the month of March topped $1 million with most building permits being approved before the coronavirus pandemic reached the area. The city's Community Development Department signed off on 14 permits totaling just over $1.2 million. Residential construction led the way with eight permits for single family homes. All are valued between $100,000 and $165,000. The homes are being built in the new Shadow Valley development around 23rd and Country Club Road and on Valley View Circle. Only two commercial building permits were approved for some small remodeling projects. One was for $25,000 at 210 Chickasha Avenue and the other for $5,000 at 305 West Chickasha Avenue. It was the third straight month for new construction to hit the $1 million mark. New construction for the first quarter of 2020 hit the $6 million mark.

 

Donor Gives Grady County Gallons of Hand Sanitizer              

Among the items in short supply on store shelves besides toilet paper and disinfectant wipes is hand sanitizer. But Grady County commissioners and volunteer firefighters were the beneficiaries of some industrial-sized containers of the alcohol-based liquid. The county received seven, five-gallon containers – a total of 35 gallons - from a company that wanted to remain anonymous. County Commissioner Ralph Beard said the sanitizer will be shared throughout the county, as will personal protective equipment recently received from the state office of emergency management.

 

              

 

Ten gallons of the sanitizer were donated to the Grady County Fire Department. County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson purchased some small spray bottles to put the sanitizer in. That's not the only contribution that some county first responders have received. Beard also said the Enel wind farms in the Rush Springs area donated $10,000 to purchase personal protective equipment for the Rush Springs fire, police, and emergency medical services.

 

Coronavirus Update; Predictions Differ on Peak Date              

The new number for coronavirus cases in the state (as of Tuesday, April 14th) grows to 2,184 and now 108 deaths are attributed to the infection. The state health department reports 488 people have been hospitalized. The number of confirmed Grady County coronavirus illnesses is now at 12; with Caddo County and Garvin County both at 10; McClain County is 18; and Stephens County is at 15. Last week, state officials projected that the number of new daily COVID-19 cases would peak April 21st. Federal officials are pointing to a model that indicates the peak won't occur until April 30th.

 

State Medical Reserve Corps Seeking Volunteers

As state officials are anticipating a continuing increase in the coronavirus, the call is out for volunteers to be part of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. Lezlie Carter is the state coordinator for the corps. The group is seeking individuals with or without medical training. Carter said individuals will have to undergo some training before going into the field.

 

              

 

Individuals will also have to pass a background check. For more information visit the website: www.okmrc.org

 

Would-be Rider Hurt While Trying to Get in Pickup

A Tuttle woman is hospitalized but OK after accidentally being hit while trying to get into a pickup. 28-year old Emily Relkin was taken by a private vehicle to the hospital with a leg injury. She was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home south of Tuttle. The highway patrol reports that Relkin was walking up to the passenger door of an idling pickup. The driver identified as 28-year old Jordan Relkin pulled forward, striking the woman with the rear tire.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.11 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $29.60.

Natural gas is $1.65 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,744 and silver is $15.89.

 

Obituaries

Vivian Howard

Obituaries today include Vivian Howard, 97, of Chickasha. A private graveside service will be held at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

David Langle

A private memorial service will be held for David Langle, 66, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Joe Lightfield

A private graveside service was held for Joe Lightfield, 88, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home. 

 

 

Tuesday, April 14th

 

Grady Memorial Hospital Gets Approval to Apply

for Medicare Payment Advances, Payroll Protection Loan

Oklahoma's rural hospitals are feeling the financial pinch of the coronavirus health emergency. With Gov. Kevin Stitt's executive order asking individuals to postpone elective surgeries - hospitals are losing income from those procedures. Elective surgeries typically provide hospitals with their largest revenue streams. Because of that, Medicare is offering advance payments to hospitals. Grady County Commissioners on Monday approved a plan which would let Grady Memorial Hospital receive up to $6.8 million in advance Medicare payments. The hospital board of trustees recommended that commissioners approve the proposal. Grady Memorial Chief Financial Officer Jackie McAdoo told commissioners that many hospitals are participating. She said Medicare is offering to provide anywhere from three to six months’ worth of advance payments. Commissioners were concerned that since Grady Memorial is a county-owned facility, that should the hospital fail to pay back the funds that county taxpayers would have to do so. McAdoo says Medicare doesn't consider the advanced payments as a loan and that hospitals wouldn't have to begin re-paying the funds for 120 days.

Payroll Protection Plan Loan

Commissioners also approved a plan to allow Grady Memorial to apply for a loan through the federal government's Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Plan. The hospital qualifies because it employs less than 500 people.  McAdoo says right now the hospital and it’s medical clinic have just over 300 full-time equivalent employees with a payroll of about $1 million every two weeks. The hospital board recommended that commissioners also approve that plan which would allow administrators to apply for about a $3.8 million loan. The hospital would not have to pay back the Paycheck Protection Plan loan as long as it continues to employ 75 percent of its workforce.

 

Rise in New COVID-19 Virus Cases Slows Briefly           

The state health department reports that nearly 100 more positive coronavirus tests were confirmed from Sunday to Monday taking the statewide total to 2,069. There were also three more deaths which increases that number to 99. Grady County and Garvin County COVID-19 cases remain at 11; Caddo County is at 9; there are 15 in Stephens County and 19 in McClain County.

 

Audit Critical of Chix Schools Special Education Program

Chickasha school officials are combing through a State Department of Education audit which found a number of compliance issues with the district's special education program. During last night's virtual school board meeting, Superintendent Rick Croslin and Special Education director Pam Ladyman reviewed the results of an on-site compliance audit that was done last September. The district received the information from the audit this past February. Among the findings were missing components some Individual Education Plans and that some teachers lacked proper certification. The superintendent says he's never seen an audit take as long as this one did and that it’s the most unusual audit he has seen. Croslin and Ladyman said they are addressing the state department's concerns. Croslin also said he is working to schedule a follow-up meeting with state officials saying he want to address the district’s concerns with the audit.

 

Chickasha Schools Calendar Approved for Next Year              

The school board gave its approval to the school calendar for next year. The calendar will include 166 instructional days, two parent-teacher conference days, and seven professional development days for a total of 175 days. The school year is set to begin August 20th with the final day of school on May 20th of 2021. After a closed-door meeting that lasted about an hour and 20 minutes, the school board approved the hiring of administrators and teachers for next year. The panel also approved the hiring of Seth Meier as the district’s new executive director of personnel and curriculum. Meier currently works for Moore Public Schools.

 

Longtime Chix Businessman Mark Martin Dies

Longtime Chickasha insurance professional Mark Martin has died. Martin was 69 when he passed away Easter Sunday. Martin was a third-generation insurance agent, working with the family's Pool-Martin Insurance Agency which served the area for 100 years. He was a life-long Chickasha resident, attending St. Josephs' Academy until it closed and then graduating from Chickasha High School. He attended USAO and then joined the family business in 1972 then assuming operation of the company in 1991. A memorial service will be held at a later date. A graveside service will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral home.

 

Blood Drives Continue to Bring in Donations: Thank You!

Now an update to the blood drives that KOOL 105 and 106.1 The Ranch are holding in conjunction with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. Yesterday (Monday, April 13th) the OBI collected 26 units of blood which the OBI says will benefit up to 78 people. Thanks to donors who have participated in the blood drives the last couple of weeks, a total of 56 units of blood have been collected. We are hosting another blood drive with the OBI next week. The bloodmobile will again be at the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue on Tuesday, April 21st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Potential donors can make an appointment by going to the website www.obi.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.41 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $31.74.

Natural gas is $1.72 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,765 and silver is $16.16.

 

Monday, April 13th

 

Grady County Commissioners Move Meeting Location

Grady County Commissioners have been meeting via telephone conference over the last few weeks because of the COVID-19 health emergency. Today they'll all be in one location, one where social-distancing protocol can be practiced. Starting this morning commissioners will be meeting at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building for the foreseeable future. The public can attend these meetings, which are held at 9:00 a.m. every Monday. Today, commissioners will get an update on the coronavirus impact on Grady County. Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson will re-cap action from the past week, which is expected to include the health department's drive-through testing that took place, and that the county now has 11 confirmed coronavirus cases. Over the weekend, the state total of COVID-19 grew to nearly 2,000 confirmed cases.  Commissioners are also to act on two requests from Grady Memorial Hospital. One, to get an accelerated or advance payment from Medicare ranging from $3.5 million to $7 million; and two, consider allowing the hospital to apply for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Plan loan up to $4.5 million.

 

Chix Schools Working on Plan to Return Personal Items

School students across the state have not been able to get back in their schools to collect personal belongings. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said they are working on a way to get those items to the kids.

 

              

 

Croslin said once they come up with the plan they'll get the word out to let them know when and where to pick up those items.

 

Chix School Board to Hold Virtual Meeting

The Chickasha Board of Education is replacing its regular monthly meetings with special meetings during the coronavirus emergency. These will be virtual meetings, where school board members will be in separate locations but hooked up through a video connection. The first of those meetings is tonight. Among the items up for consideration include the hiring of school administrators and teachers for next school year, and the hiring of a new assistant superintendent over personnel and curriculum. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. tonight and the public can view the meeting by going to the school district's home page: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us

 

Chamber, CVTC Team Up for Virtual Town Hall

Small businesses are reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Valley Technology Center are combining efforts to hold a virtual town hall meeting to offer help. The meeting is for small business owners and operators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of industry to allow them to connect and discuss ways to share ideas and find ways to triage, plan, and stabilize. There will also be discussion about the small business loans available through the federal government's coronavirus relief plan. The meeting will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, April 14th) and it will be held via Zoom. Contact the chamber of commerce by calling 405-224-0787 for more information.

 

Tuttle Children Safe After Being Reported Missing

A couple of Tuttle children reported missing over the weekend are OK and back with their rightful guardian. Saturday morning, Tuttle police issued a statement asking for information about 9-year old Ava Deaton and 3-year old Addie Alexander. The children were believed to have been abducted by their mother who is a non-custodial parent. KFOR-TV reported that police later said the children were back with their grandmother, who is the custodial guardian.

 

Blood Donors Sought

KOOL 105/106.1 The Ranch and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are teaming up for another blood drive today. Blood donations are still needed for emergency surgeries at hospitals throughout the state. The donation process is safe. Prospective donors will be screened prior to their donations. As a matter of fact, potential donors will have their temperatures taken before stepping inside the bloodmobile. The blood drive will be from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon in the YMCA parking lot across the street from the radio stations at 7th and Chickasha Avenue. Last week’s blood drive brought in 30 units of blood.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.76 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $31.48.

Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,738 and silver is $15.75.

 

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