Saturday, May 2nd
Bomb Squad Checks Out Suspicious Briefcase
The Highway Patrol bomb squad was called to check out a suspicious briefcase left in the parking lot of the Grady County Courthouse Friday morning. The briefcase was found on the hood of a sheriff's office patrol car about 7:30 a.m. The car was parked next to a large natural gas line that feeds the courthouse and other nearby buildings. Undersheriff Phil Blevins said courthouse employees and workers at nearby businesses were not allowed to go into their buildings as they arrived for work. Blevins said officials did not want to take any chances.
The bomb squad arrived shortly after 9:00 a.m. and determined there were no explosives in the briefcase. Blevins says they reviewed video surveillance of the parking lot and recognized a man walking near the car about 10:00 p.m. Thursday night. The man was seen again about 5:00 a.m. Friday. Blevins said they have had some previous dealings with the individual, who is believed to be suffering from a mental illness.
WWII Vet Dies at 97
One of Grady County's last World War Two veterans has died. Delmer Conder, who served in the war along with his twin brother Elmer, passed away at his Chickasha home Thursday. He was 97. Delmer was about 20 years old when he began his military service in the Army. He was an MP in Africa from 1943 to 1946. Shortly after his discharge, he started a used car dealership in Oklahoma City, moved it to Chickasha, and renamed in Conder Motors which is still open at 7th and Choctaw Avenue. Conder was in the used car business for 73 years. Delmer is survived by three daughters and his brother Elmer. A private graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 4th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
The number of Oklahoma's coronavirus cases now stands at 3,748. The Friday report from the state health department indicates the number is 130 more than on Thursday. There were eight more deaths recorded which increases the death toll from the illness in the state to 230. The number of people currently being treated in hospitals stands at 255 which was down from the previous day. Grady County has 36 reports of the illness, with 15 in Tuttle and 13 in Chickasha. There have been two deaths in Grady County, both in Chickasha. Caddo County is at 64 cases with 35 in Binger and 10 in Anadarko. Seven people have died in Caddo County. McClain County is now at 74 confirmed cases. There 54 in Purcell, 17 in Blanchard, and four in Newcastle. There have been two deaths in McClain County with one in Newcastle and one in Purcell. Stephens County has 22 cases with 14 in Duncan and two in Marlow. There's been one death in Stephens County which was in Comanche. Garvin county has 14 cases with 7 in Pauls Valley and 3 in Lindsay.
Sheriff's Office 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.
A private graveside service is scheduled for Barbara Parham, 80, of Chickasha. The service will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 5th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Friday, May 1st
Chickasha Has Second COVID-19 Related Death
The state health department reports a second person in Chickasha has died from the COVID-19 virus. The victim was a 50 to 64 year-old man. He's the second casualty in Chickasha in the last two weeks. The first was recorded on April 15th - a man 65 or older. The number of confirmed statewide coronavirus cases in Thursday’s health department report is 3,618. Grady County had 36 of those cases, with 13 in Chickasha and 15 in Tuttle. Caddo County has 62 confirmed cases with 35 in Binger and 10 in Anadarko. McClain County has 53 with 28 in Purcell, 17 in Blanchard, and 4 in Newcastle; Stephens County has 22 with 14 in Duncan and 2 in Marlow. Garvin County has 13 with 7 in Pauls Valley and 3 in Lindsay. There were 291 people currently hospitalized statewide with the illness.
Air Force Flyover Salutes Health Care Workers
U.S. military aircraft flew over a number of Oklahoma hospitals today to recognize and honor health care workers treating coronavirus patients. Aircraft from Altus Air Force Base and Vance Air Force Base in Enid took to the air this morning. Among the aircraft from Altus were four C-17s, two KC-135 Stratotankers, and two KC-46 Pegasus aircraft. From Vance were four T-38 Talons, two T-1 Jayhawks, and four T-6 Texan aircraft. The planes from Vance Air Force Base were to flyover hospitals in Enid, Edmond, Oklahoma City and Norman. Aircraft from Altus were to flyover hospitals in Altus and Lawton.
Man Hospitalized After Pickup Crash
An Anadarko man is hospitalized after crashing his pickup. 28-year old Nathaniel Charlton was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital with arm injuries after last night's accident and admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 8:00 p.m. Thursday in a rural area about six miles southwest of Verden. The highway patrol reports that Charlton was speeding down a county road when he lost control, ran off the road, hit an embankment and the truck rolled onto its side. Charlton was partially ejected and was pinned underneath the pickup. The trooper investigating the crash said Charlton was not wearing his seat belt.
More Oklahoma Businesses Re-opening
Some gymnasiums and exercise businesses are re-opening today as the first phase of Gov. Kevin Stitt's COVID-19 economic recovery plan begins. The Chickasha YMCA, which is part of the Oklahoma City YMCA program, will be re-opening to the public on Monday. Director Lewis Kniceley said individual workouts will resume, but group activities will not start right away. For instance, the noon basketball program is not going to start back up until the first of June. Kniceley also said that everyone, adults and youth, will have to sign a waiver before being allowed to work out. The waivers are available on the organizations website www.ymcaokc.org
Kiowa Tribe Approved for PPP Loan
The Kiowa Tribe will be getting more than $1 million from the federal government's small business economic stimulus plan. Chairman Matt Komalty says the tribe was approved for a $1.1 million loan that is part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The tribe provides about 160 jobs in Anadarko, Chickasha, Carnegie, and Lawton. Komalty said it will also allow the tribe to bring back 18 furloughed employees. Komalty also said the loan will help stabilize operations and will bring the group closer to easing the pain of lost revenues since the tribe's casinos have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chickasha Business Support Plan Enters New Phase
A second phase of a local economic recovery plan for Chickasha businesses begins today. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Chickasha Economic Development Council are expanding a restaurant-themed program to now include retail, service, and entertainment businesses. Selected businesses will be handing out Shop Chickasha stickers to customers who spend at least $20 in their stores. The customer is asked to post a selfie on social media and will be eligible to win a $100 gift card. All businesses, not just chamber members can participate. Contact the chamber for information by calling 405-224-0787.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Harold Gillenwaters with the Grady County Cattle Producers Association, who is also the Southwest Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemens Association is our guest on our KOOL Konversation. State Senator Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle is our guest on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $18.84 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $25.27.
Natural gas is $1.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,687 and silver is $15.00.
Thursday, April 30th
City Official Warns of Potential Scam Artists
Chickasha officials warn of potential scammers looking to take advantage of this week’s hail storm. City Planner Gene Winsett says there have been reports of unlicensed companies from outside the area going door-to-door offering to check for roof damage. Winsett said some of them are using drones to look at roofs without the homeowner’s permission. Winsett advises that you don't allow any door-to-door rep to inspect your roof. If you suspect you may have damage, contact your insurance company which will send a rep to look for damage and will let you know if you need repairs or replacement. Winsett said companies should not be going door-to-door unless they have a solicitation permit from the city and that you should ask to see the permit. The companies also must be licensed with the city as well as the state construction board and you should ask for those documents as well. Report any complaints to the city's Community Development Department. You can also get a list of reputable companies that have the proper local and state requirements from city hall.
Oklahoma's coronavirus cases grew by 63 in Wednesday's report from the state health department. The total number of illnesses since the first COVID-19 illness was discovered in mid-March is now up to 3,473. The death toll grew by seven and is now up to 214. There are fewer people hospitalized with the infection, with Wednesday’s number down to 283. Grady and McClain County coronavirus confirmations were steady at 35; Caddo County was steady at 61; Stephens County remained at 22; and Garvin County stayed at 13. Checking city numbers, Binger remained at 35; Blanchard at 17; Tuttle with 15; and Chickasha with 12. Anadarko has 9, and towns like Rush Springs, Minco, Cyril, Marlow, Ft. Cobb and Newcastle have four or fewer cases.
Voters to Decide Sales Tax Extension for Sr. Centers
Grady County voters will be asked to extend a sales tax proposal which benefits senior nutrition centers. The measure is on the June 30th primary election ballot. The proposal calls for a five-year extension of a 1/4th of a penny county-wide sales tax. The sales tax has been in effect for the last 10 years. If approved, it would extend the sales tax through December of 2025. The sales tax helps seven senior nutrition centers throughout Grady County, including Chickasha, Ninnekah, Alex, Rush Springs, Verden, Minco, and Tuttle.
Graduation Plans for Chickasha High School Seniors
This year’s senior class at Chickasha High School will have a couple of opportunities to be recognized for their accomplishments. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said the first will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 15th where the seniors can drive through the high school campus, with teachers and staff on the side of the street cheering them on. The seniors can wear their caps and gowns and decorate their cars and trucks. A community graduation ceremony has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 19th outdoors at Memorial Stadium. Each senior will receive six tickets to give to family members or other guests. Officials will announce later how students can get those tickets. The ceremony will be live-streamed on social media. If the outdoor ceremony has to be canceled Croslin said a virtual graduation ceremony would be scheduled.
Bowling Alleys to Open Under Recovery Plan
Bowling alleys will be allowed to open tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) in what is the beginning of the first phase of the governor's economic recovery plan. The Chickasha Bowling Center will be opening tomorrow afternoon and will implement social distancing measures as well as some added sanitation procedures. Owner Jimmy Houser said they will only have every other lane open to help keep groups six feet apart. He also said customers will leave the house bowling balls on the return racks so that employees can clean them with disinfectant wipes. The bowling alley will be open extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights. The bowling alley will open at 4 o’clock tomorrow afternoon and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $15.06 per barrel.
London-based Brent is $22.54.
Natural gas is $1.87 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,729 and silver is $15.73.
Charles “Bud” Schwemley
A graveside service for Charles “Bud” Schwemley, 85, of Oklahoma City was held at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 29th
Strong Storms Drop Large Hail in Several Areas
Slow moving thunderstorms tracked through much of the Grady County and McClain County region Tuesday night. The storms dropped golf-ball to baseball-sized hail and brief heavy rain accompanied by 60- to 70-mile per hour winds. Rainfall totals were minimal - only about two-tenths of an inch from Minco to Chickasha to west of Rush Springs. There were no immediate reports of serious damage. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area about 3:00 p.m. The Grady and McClain County storm system developed just after 6 p.m. and creeped from north to south moving about 30 miles per hour. A long-lived hail core stretched from Pocasset to Tuttle and moved south through Amber and Blanchard, Norge, Chickasha and Tabler, then further south through Ninnekah and Rush Springs. Oklahoma City television station storm trackers followed the storm to Marlow and Duncan. The large rotating storm system displayed the threat of producing tornadoes but none were reported.
Train Hits Semi Hauling Cattle; Some Animals Killed
A train hit a semi hauling cattle in Pocasset yesterday. The semi driver was not injured but several head of cattle died as a result of the accident. The crash happened just before 11:00 a.m. Tuesday on the south edge of Pocasset. It was at an uncontrolled railroad crossing just east of U.S. Highway 81 and CR 1260 which also known as Cardinal Road. The semi was westbound and had nearly cleared the tracks when the train hit the cattle-filled trailer. The driver of the semi was identified as Will Osborn. The names of the individuals on the train were not available. The accident closed the county road for some time.
Man Charged for Allegedly Biting Off Woman's Lip
A man is accused of biting off a woman's lip. Chickasha police were called to a disturbance near 17th and Grand Avenue early Sunday morning. A probable cause affidavit filed by investigators indicates the two were arguing which led to a physical confrontation. The victim was taken to a trauma center in Oklahoma City where it was expected she would have to undergo plastic surgery. Authorities arrested 24-year old Austin Cody Boevers of Tuttle. Prosecutors have formally charged him with a felony count of aggravated assault and battery. If convicted he faces up to five years in prison. Boevers is out of jail after posting a $30,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for June 9th.
State COVID-19 Cases Top 3,400
Another 130 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Oklahoma in Tuesday’s daily report from the state health department. That brings the total number of the illnesses in the state to 3,410. There were also 10 more deaths blamed on the illness taking that total to 207. Officials said the number of patients currently being treated in the hospital is 288. Grady County had four more confirmed COVID-19 cases in the latest report, bringing the number up to 35. There are 15 in Tuttle and 12 in Chickasha. The number in Caddo County increased to 61, with 35 in Binger and nine in Anadarko. McClain County has 35 cases, with 17 in Blanchard and 3 in Newcastle. There are 22 in Stephens County, with 14 in Duncan and two in Marlow. Garvin County reports 13 cases, including seven in Pauls Valley and three in Lindsay.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $12.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $19.19.
Natural gas is $1.79 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,721 and silver is $15.49.
A graveside service for Dickie Kluver, 66, of Clinton and formerly of Chickasha be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 30th in the Clinton city cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral home.
Jo Marilyn Trent
A graveside service for Jo Marilyn Trent, 70, of Tulsa and formerly of Chickasha will be a 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 1st at Rose Hill Cemetery in Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Betty June Carty
A private graveside service will be held for Betty June Carty, 84, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, April 28th
Proposed Budget Cuts for Fire, Police Criticized
A projected shortfall in sales tax revenue for the City of Chickasha is forcing officials to ask all departments to slash budgets for the rest of the fiscal year, and for the fiscal year that starts July 1st. Those budget cuts are expected to be about $1 million for both the fire and police departments - a proposal that has many residents in an uproar. Social media comments over the last few days are critical of the proposal from City Manager John Noblitt. Noblitt said no firm decisions have been made at this point regarding budget cuts, as they are waiting to see next month's sales tax numbers. Noblitt says while the city has been receiving about $1 million per month in sales tax revenues over the last couple of years, he's expecting a dramatic drop in the near future.
The Chickasha Firefighters Association union is against any cuts that may impact public safety. In a letter from the union’s executive board written to Noblitt and Mayor Chris Mosley, union leaders say daily staffing cuts have shut down the department's essential rescue unit which responds to a wide range of emergencies. The letter states they fear the service cuts will increase response times and adversely affect the city's ability to successfully protect citizens from fires and medical emergencies. Noblitt said emergency crews will still respond to calls.
Noblitt said he disputes the claim that the city has a $10 million surplus.
Rise in Coronavirus Cases Slows
There were less than 30 new cases of the COVID-19 virus in Oklahoma according to the latest report from the state health department. Monday's report showed only 27 new cases which puts the new total of Oklahomans sickened by the illness at 3,280. There were also three more deaths attributed to the coronavirus, putting that number at 197. The number of hospitalizations has been below projections. As of last Friday, the health department reported just over 300 people currently hospitalized and that a total of 656 have spent at least some time in a hospital for treatment. Grady County remains at 34 confirmed cases, with 15 in Tuttle and 12 in Chickasha. Caddo County stays at 58, with 35 in Binger and 8 in Anadarko. McClain County holds at 30 cases with 17 in Blanchard, 9 in Purcell, and three in Newcastle.
State Rep. Brad Boles' Challenger Disqualified
State Representative Brad Boles will not have a challenger in the Republican Primary election this summer nor in the general election this fall. Boles contested the filing of Republican Gregory Dunson of Tuttle in House District 51 following the recent filing period for state office. In his challenge, Boles said Dunson had not been a registered voter in the district for six months prior to the filing period. Boles said that Dunson had only been a registered voter for about two months prior to filing. In a hearing on April 21st, the State Election Board ruled in favor of Boles, striking Dunson's name from the June 30th primary ballot. Since Boles has no Republican challenger and a Democrat did not file for the post, Boles will serve another two years at the state capitol. The district includes much of the eastern half of Grady County, as well as parts of Stephens and McClain counties.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $12.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $19.99.
Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,722 and silver is $15.35.
Monday, April 27th
Silver Alert Canceled for Missing Man
A Silver Alert issued for a missing Grady County man over the weekend has been canceled. 64-year old Jack Alton was reported missing from his home not far from Bridge Creek School Saturday afternoon. The Grady County Sheriff's Office reported that Alton had gone missing from his home about 8:00 a.m. Saturday. The sheriff's office canceled the Silver Alert about 9:00 p.m. Sunday (April 26th).
State COVID-19 Cases Top 3,200
The number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is slowing. There were about 70 new cases from Friday to Saturday, and another 60 from Saturday to Sunday. The total number of coronavirus confirmations in the state is now 3,253. The number of deaths from the infection is up to 195. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Grady County now stands at 34 with Tuttle showing 15 cases and Chickasha with 12. Caddo County is up to 58 with Binger reporting 35 cases and Anadarko with 8. McClain County is up to 30 with Blanchard reporting 17 cases, Purcell with 9, and Newcastle with 3. Stephens County has 20 with Duncan showing 12 cases and Marlow with 2. Garvin County has 19 with Pauls Valley reporting 7 and Lindsay with 3.
Chix City Hall, Library Re-Open to Public
Chickasha City Hall and the library are re-opening to the public today. The buildings were closed last month in response to the coronavirus. Officials say visitors to those buildings will be required to wear masks. The library is opening this morning with modified hours. The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a temporary basis. The library is also asking patrons to call ahead if they want to use an internet computer to schedule an appointment. Staff members will not be able to help computer users due to social distancing protocol. The computers will be disinfected after each use. There is free Wi-fi service available just outside the library, so individuals can use that in their cars. Plus, the library will continue its curbside pickup service. Grab bags of books are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.
Chix Residents Offered Free Brush Pickup Service
Chickasha residents are temporarily not being charged a fee if they have brush that needs to be picked up. The city started charging for brush pickup services last year, asking residents instead to take advantage of the free bulk services available from the city's private sanitation contractor. David Buchanan is the city's public works director.
Buchanan also said residents can take brush and limbs to the city's public works headquarters and drop them off at no charge. Residents should call ahead before doing so and will have to show a current utility bill.
Chix Schools New Administrator
Looks Forward to Joining the District
Chickasha schools new director of curriculum and personnel says he's looking forward to joining the district. Seth Meier is currently an elementary school principal in the Moore school system. A press release issued by Chickasha schools indicates that Meier also worked as an assistant middle school principal at Mid-Del Schools where he supervised the special needs alternative program. He also previously taught special needs students and math. He holds a master's degree in education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and is pursuing a doctorate's degree from OU. Meier said he believes in leading through transparency, optimism, and servant leadership. He said his passion is creating environments where positive relationships are fostered, children flourishing through authentic learning experiences; an engaged community through a collective responsibility; and teachers growing through instructional risk-taking. Meier will join the district in July. He and his wife Kristi have two children.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $16.94 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $21.44.
Natural gas is $1.74 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,735 and silver is $15.51.