Saturday, May 9th
Grady County Jail Inmates Dies from Coronavirus
An inmate at the Grady County jail is one of the two people in Chickasha who has died from the coronavirus. The Oklahoman reported that a federal inmate, 52-year old William Dean Brame, died on April 28th. Brame is the first inmate in Oklahoma known to have died from the illness. The newspaper reported that at least one other federal inmate and several detention officers at the jail had also tested positive for COVID-19 but all have recovered. Most of the 600 or so inmates at the jail are federal inmates who are being held prior to hearings at the Oklahoma City federal courthouse. The problem at the jail led to some delays in Oklahoma City. The delay came after a defense attorney was notified that federal inmates from the jail would not be transported to Oklahoma City because they were quarantined.
The Friday report from the state health department shows the number of COVID-19 illnesses is now up to 4,424 which is an increase of 94 over Thursday’s report. There were six additional deaths including one in Caddo County. A total of 266 Oklahomans have now died from the infection while the number of recoveries has grown to 3,064. The number of people currently in the hospital was down slightly to 228. The Caddo County number of coronavirus cases is now up to 97. There are 85 in McClain County, 42 in Grady County, 22 in Stephens County, and 14 in Garvin County. For area communities, Binger has a total of 38 cases with 27 recoveries and eight deaths; Hinton has 35 cases with three recoveries and no deaths; Chickasha has 18 cases with 14 recoveries and two deaths. Blanchard also has 18 cases with 16 recoveries and no deaths. Tuttle has 15 cases with 14 recoveries and no deaths. Duncan has 14 cases and all have recovered. Anadarko has 10 cases with seven recoveries and one death.
Health Department Expands Coronavirus Testing
The state health department is expanding the coronavirus test to anyone who wants to be tested for the illness - even if they aren’t having any symptoms. State Health Commissioner Gary Cox said with the state entering the early phases of a measured re-opening, the testing becomes more vital. Cox said the goal is to test 90,000 Oklahomans this month. He said additional testing will improve early detection of any new hot spots and then allow officials to try and prevent further spread of the illness. Free curbside testing is available at many county health departments though supplies are limited. Individuals will need to call ahead to make an appointment, and then call again once they arrive before someone will come out to administer the test. Some private health care clinics offer the tests but there may be a fee.
Chickasha Sports Complex to Re-Open
The City of Chickasha sports complex will be re-opening next week. Officials announced that the complex will be back in operation on Friday, May 15th as part of Phase Two of Gov. Kevin Stitt's coronavirus economic recovery plan. There will be some increased safety measures which include anyone entering the sports complex - including players - must wear a facial covering at all times. Bleachers, dugouts, and bathrooms will be fogged twice a day with hydrochloric acid. Also, sunflower seeds and other food items that are normally spit on the ground or dugout areas will not be allowed. To help with social distancing, some bleacher rows will be blocked off and visitors are asked not to change them. Playgrounds at the sports complex will be closed.
Sheriff's Office Issues Wanted 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.
Klova Dee Shaw
A private graveside service for Klova Dee Shaw, 94, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 12th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Leva Joy Brantley
Funeral for Leva Joy Brantley, 96, of Sterling is pending with Sevier Funeral Home.
Friday, May 8th
City Council OKs Partial Payment
On Downtown Development Project
Renovation work is underway on a building in downtown Chickasha that was nearly destroyed a couple of years ago. The former Chickasha Star newspaper building was scheduled for demolition but was sold to a local company. This week, the city council approved awarding a partial payment of some economic development funds to Mark McPherson with the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company. McPherson presented plans last year to create space for a restaurant and some small retail stores in the building. The council unanimously approved a $40,000 payment of matching economic development funds for the work that has been completed. The council has approved a total of $160,000 of the economic development fund for the project. Councilman Zach Grayson said McPherson has already spent $173,000 of its own money on the project. Councilman Jim Hopkins asked when work on the facade might begin since that was one of main concerns for that building. Officials said they are addressing issues with the city’s historic preservation commission before work on the facade can begin.
City Council Extends Agreement with D'town Eatery
The city council this week also extended an agreement with the Crazy 8 Cafe which is in the process of remodeling its new location. The restaurant was awarded a $50,000 grant toward the renovation project. The agreement was extended through October of 2021. City Manager John Noblitt said it was hoped the restaurant could be re-opening sooner rather than later.
Virtual Chix City Council Meetings to End
City officials also announced at Monday’s meeting that they plan to discontinue the virtual council meetings that have been held due to the coronavirus. Mayor Chris Mosley said the plan is for the council to resume meetings at city hall beginning with the Monday, May 18th council meeting.
Oklahoma now has 4,330 confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma. The Thursday report from the state health department indicated there were about 130 new cases from the Wednesday report. There were also seven new deaths which increased the number of fatal cases of the illness to 260. The number of people in hospitals continues a downward trend with the latest number at 230. The number of people who have recovered from the illness is now at 2,985. Grady County has been fairly steady over the last week with the total number of cases at 41 with two deaths and 36 recoveries. Chickasha has had 17 cases with two deaths and 14 recoveries. Tuttle has 15 total cases with 12 recoveries. Caddo County now has 89 total cases with eight deaths and 45 recoveries. Binger has 37 cases with seven deaths and 25 recoveries. Anadarko has 10 cases with one death and four recoveries. McClain County has 84 cases with two deaths and 25 recoveries. Purcell has 58 cases with one death and eight recoveries. Blanchard has 18 cases with no deaths and 16 recoveries. Newcastle has five cases with one death and one person has recovered.
Better Broadband Service OK'd for Carnegie
A portion of Caddo County will reap the benefits of a USDA program designed to help rural areas which have little or no broadband service. The Carnegie Telephone Company has been awarded a $1.2 million loan to add fiber to the infrastructure in that region. USDA is investing $71 million to provide broadband service in rural areas of Oklahoma and a part of Kansas. It wasn't immediately known when the Carnegie project might begin.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson and District Three Grady County Commissioner Ralph Beard are our guests on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley this week's guest is USAO president John Feaver. There are links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $23.55 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $29.46.
Natural gas is $1.89 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,733 and silver is $15.83.
A graveside service with be held for Mary Jolley, 81, of Chickasha. The service will be at 1:00 Monday, May 11th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, May 7th
Chickasha Has Mini Housing Boom
While many sectors of the economy are struggling due to the coronavirus right now, there's a bit of a housing boom in Chickasha. New homes are under construction in the expansion of the Sleepy Hollow addition as well as the Shadow Valley development. The City of Chickasha's Community Development Department issued permits to build a number of new homes last month to help the April building report top the $1 million mark. Officials approved a total of 14 building permits last month which includes eight new homes in the Shadow Valley neighborhood. Since the first of the year city officials have signed off on the construction of 26 homes. Only one commercial building was permit approved last month. That was for Walmart, which was awarded a $30,000 permit to install some security gates. New construction has topped $1 million in each of the first four months of 2020. The year-to-date total for new construction is $7 million.
Adult Video Filming Leads to Drug Arrest
The production of an adult video results in the arrest of a woman on drug complaints. Court documents indicate that an individual had gone to a home in Minco back in March to voluntarily engage in the production of adult videos. The individual alleged they had smoked marijuana prior to filming and that they were injected with meth while filming. A judge approved a search warrant for the home last Friday. An arrest warrant affidavit indicates that Minco Police, the Grady County Sheriff's Office and Lighthorse Patrol found a large amount of drugs, drug paraphernalia, and imitation controlled drugs. Authorities arrested 53-year old Wynee Christi Mayfield on drug complaints and an arrest warrant was issued for a second individual. Mayfield has been charged with numerous felony and misdemeanor drug related charges. She is out of jail after posting bond.
Arrests Made in Connection with Rush Springs Thefts
Grady County investigators recover a lot of stolen property including some that was taken from a volunteer fire department. Numerous items had been reported stolen from a rent house in the Rush Springs area over the last six months. A lot of the items were found at a Chickasha pawn shop. Also recovered were some flashlights taken from the Acme Volunteer Fire Department. Authorities arrested 29-year old Ashley Winkleblack and 20-year old Thomas Winkleblack who were renting the home. Both have been charged with misdemeanor counts of knowingly concealing stolen property and false declaration of ownership.
In today's coronavirus update, Oklahoma now has 4,201 confirmed cases which is an increase of 74 from the previous day. There were six new deaths taking the number of fatal COVID-19 cases to 253. The number of people currently hospitalized was lower, down to 230 people. The health department also reports that more than 2,900 Oklahomans have recovered from the illness.
Anadarko High School Sets Class of 2020 Events
Anadarko High School announces a couple of events for its Class of 2020. A parade through Anadarko will be held on Friday, May 15th and a graduation ceremony is set for June 5th at the high school football field. There are 92 seniors in this year's class which includes 11 valedictorians. At the top of the class is Averi Zinn with a 4.25 GPA. Other valedictorians are Mallory Porter, Annabelle Hawkins, Paul Tointigh, Lyric Padgett, Darian Simmons, Cydnee Epton, Dekses Martinez, Lily Painter, and Josey Myers.
Donations Help Group that Helps First Responders
Many groups continue to support first responders who face a high risk of contracting the coronavirus. The Chickasha Police Department sends gratitude to groups that combined to donate $1,000 to the Emergency Responders Assistance Program (ERAP). ERAP is dedicated to providing post-critical care to first responders and their families who experience emotional trauma due to a critical incident. That includes training, education, and psychological help with a goal of fostering family relationships and extending careers. Assistant Chickasha Police Chief G.G. Music says that Arvest Bank, Century 21/Mosley Real Estate, and the Chickasha Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 combined to donate $1,000. Doug White is the director of the ERAP program which has provided over 1,400 gallons of free hand sanitizer to more than 210 first responder agencies in Oklahoma during the COVID-19 crisis.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $23.99 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $29.72.
Natural gas is $1.94 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,698 and silver is $15.16.
A private graveside service is scheduled for Pear Conner, 70, of Tuttle. The service will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9th at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Wednesday, May 6th
Man Accused of Having Sex with a Child
A suspect accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a child is in the Grady County Jail. In custody is 42-year old John Eric Christopher Jones, who is alleged to have had sex with an 11-year old girl in Rush Springs last week. Jones was initially arrested last Saturday morning by Chickasha police for having outstanding warrants out of Grady County. Jones was then taken to the Rush Springs Police Department for questioning. A probable cause indicates Jones initially denied having an inappropriate relationship with the child but then confessed. Prosecutors have formally charged Jones with a felony of lewd acts with a child. He remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.
Assault, Burglary Suspect Jailed
A Chickasha man is behind bars facing assault and burglary charges. 40-year old Michael Leon Heath was arrested last week after a break-in at an Amber home. Grady County deputies were called to Grady Memorial Hospital on Friday, April 24th where a man was being treated for stab wounds. Authorities were then dispatched the home in Amber where the stabbing is alleged to have occurred. Heath was taken into custody at a Chickasha home the night of Thursday, April 29th. He has been formally charged with a number of felonies. He remains in jail in lieu of a $90,000 bond.
The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma rose to 4,127 in the Tuesday report from the state health department. That's 83 more than the Monday report. The death toll grew by nine and is now up to 247. The number of patients currently hospitalized with the illness remain steady at 236. The health department reports that 2,830 people have recovered. Grady County reports 40 cases with 16 in Chickasha and 15 in Tuttle; Caddo County has a total of 72 with 36 in Binger and 10 in Anadarko; McClain County has 77 with 52 in Purcell, 18 in Blanchard, and 5 in Newcastle; Garvin County has 14 with seven in Pauls Valley and three in Lindsay; and Stephens County is steady at 22 cases with 14 in Duncan and two in Marlow.
Some Beef Producers Selling Direct to Consumers
You've probably heard about some grocery stores running out of beef, poultry, and pork as a number of packing plants across the country are having to close because their employees are sick with the coronavirus. Here's some news for the beef industry in the Sooner State. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association has introduced a program for its members to offer beef direct to consumers. However, customers may have to wait on the local processing plants. Harold Gillenwaters is with the Grady County Cattle Producers and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Assocation.
There are a number of beef producers in the region participating in the program, including Wheeler Farms of Chickasha; Victery Farms of Ninnekah; KTC Cattle Company of Tuttle; T3 Cattle Company in Blanchard; Potter Cattle Company of Cyril; and Nunley Farms of Fletcher.
Chickasha High School Names Valedictorians
The class of 2020 at Chickasha High School has nearly two dozen valedictorians. The list of 23 seniors is topped by Carson Jones who posted a Grade Point Average of 4.315. Austin Allbright had the next highest GPA of 4.233. Both are expected to give speeches at the June 19th graduation ceremony at the high school football field. Other valedictorians are Kristen Zupper, Gracie Weber, and Riane Tuthill. Also Karson Smith, Katie Sanchez, Javier Rodriguez, Shayla Phillips, and Brandon Nottingham. Also on the list are Mollee McClary, Finnley Mantooth, Gema Longoria, Jenna Lewis, and Cameron Lessig. Others are Victor Juarez, Kiry Jones, Carson Jones, Valerie Inghram, and Serena Green. Also Abbigaile Gibson, Jacob Finck, Krissa Buchanan, and Page Blue. The senior class will parade through the high school campus in their cars and truck on Friday night, May 15th, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $24.61 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $30.97.
Natural gas is $2.13 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,705 and silver is $15.29.
A graveside service for Shirley Gabriel, 74, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 8th at the Ninnekah Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Paula Rednose, 57, of Moore will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 8th at Chickasha's Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are also with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, May 5th
Children Found Wandering Near Busy Intersection
Two unattended children wander into a Chickasha convenience store and employees tell police it’s not the first time its happened. Chickasha police were called to the Domino's convenience store at 4th and Missouri Ave. last Friday. A three-year old and a two-year old had come to the store, neither wearing shoes, one wearing only a diaper and the other a shirt and a pair of shorts. A probable cause affidavit states a store employee said the children live at a house about a block away. When police went to the home they found the children's parents asleep. Authorities say they found drug items in the house. Police arrested 40-year old Tosha Morales and 40-year old Aaron Hall. They have been formally charged with felony child neglect. Both remain in jail on $50,000 bond each. They are to announce their attorneys on May 21st, with preliminary hearing conferences scheduled June 9th.
Arrested: Wife of ex-Cop Accused of Child Abuse
The wife of a former police officer charged with child abuse, is also facing charges in connection with the investigation. 43-year old Melissa Mabry has been charged with a misdemeanor for failure to protect a child. She was arrested by Chickasha police last Friday and spent the weekend in jail. She was formally charged with a misdemeanor at her initial appearance yesterday. Police arrested her husband, Doug Mabry last month after he and a teen got in to an argument, and he is alleged to have used excessive force in disciplining the teen. Both Doug and Melissa Mabry are out of jail after posting bond.
City of Chix to Mail 'Stimulus' Gift Cards
The City of Chickasha will be providing gift cards to all households in the community as part of an economic stimulus plan. The suggestion to use $350,000 of the city’s economic development funds came under some intense debate during last night's city council meeting. City Manager John Noblitt said providing each of the estimated 6,000 households in Chickasha with a $50 gift card would help businesses that are suffering because of the coronavirus. But City Councilman Kimmie Loggins said the plan offers no guarantee that residents would use those gift cards at local merchants. Here's an exchange between Loggins and Noblitt-
The measure passed on a 7-2 vote with Loggins and Oscar Nelson voting against the plan. It wasn't clear when the gift cards will be mailed out.
Street Repair List Critized, Council Postpones Project
The council postponed a decision to award a bid for a street improvement program. Some council members said the streets that were targeting for upgrades are not that bad. Council representatives Kimmie Loggins and R.P. Ashanti-Alexander both said there were several others streets that are in worse shape than those proposed for repairs. City Manager John Noblitt said the streets selected were part of an engineering study a few years ago which resulted in a long-term street improvement program. Loggins suggested that Noblitt or other city officials drive through neighborhoods before determining which streets need repair. Noblitt said the city tries to set aside $300,000 a year for street improvements but that doesn't go very far. The proposal to award the bid to a Moore construction company was tabled by a 6-3 vote, with Mayor Chris Mosley, and councilmen Zach Grayson and Jim Hopkins voting against postponing the bid award.
An additional 72 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Oklahoma taking the total number of positive cases to 4,044. There were no new deaths in Monday’s update from the state health department so the death toll was unchanged 238. The number of those currently hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus is 236. The health department shows that 2,635 Oklahomans have recovered from the illness. Grady County has 40 cases with 28 recoveries and two deaths. Caddo County stands at 72 with 44 recoveries and now eight deaths. There are 77 in McClain County with 22 recoveries and two deaths. Garvin County is at 14 with 11 recoveries and one death. Stephens County is at 22 with 19 recoveries and one death.
Summer Watermelon Festival Canceled
The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival has been canceled this summer. The event was called off by the Rush Springs Lions Club yesterday over concerns of the coronavirus. The announcement was made on the Lions Club Facebook page with officials saying it’s heartbreaking. The festival is normally held on the second Saturday in August. The first festival was held in 1940 then was discontinued from 1943-1947 due to World War II. It had been held each year since 1948. Vendors who had already paid for booth space are being offered full credit for next year.
OSU Extension Offices to Remain Closed
OSU Extension offices across the state will remain closed to the public through mid-June. Grady County OSU Extension Director Liz Taylor says OSU guidelines for social distancing means that no large gatherings will take place through June 13th. That means no 4H or OHCE, or agriculture producer meetings. For Grady County there will be no meetings for the cattlemen and cattlewomen's associations, alfalfa growers, mineral owners, or farmers' market meetings. Taylor says the self-serve soil testing, and water and forage testing drop-offs are still available at county offices. Taylor says extension staff will be working from their homes and will answer e-mails. You can also call your local extension office to leave a message and someone will get back with you.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.06 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $26.93.
Natural gas is $1.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,706 and silver is $14.87.
A graveside service will be held for Dana Guy, 67, of Chickasha. The service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 6th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, May 4th
Street Improvement Plan on City Council Agenda
A street improvement program is expected to get final approval by the Chickasha City Council tonight. The panel is expected to award the project to Silver Star Construction Company of Moore which submitted a $278,000 bid. The city's engineering firm said Silver Star submitted the lowest responsive bid. The streets expected to see some upgrades include a portion of 16th Street, John Cowan Drive (in front of the high school), Chickasha Avenue, and Country Club Road. The council is also to consider rescinding the catastrophic health emergency issued April 10th in response to the coronavirus crisis. The panel is also to consider a request to award $40,000 in economic development funds to Great Plains Land and Cattle Co. for the project it’s working on at the old Chickasha Star newspaper office on South 4th Street. The council will also consider extending its economic development agreement with Crazy 8 Cafe for 12 months. The council will meet virtually tonight. It gets underway at 6:30 p.m. and will not be available on Suddenlink Channel 3 but can be viewed on the city's website: www.chickasha.org
There are now nearly 4,000 cases of the coronavirus in Oklahoma. Sunday’s update from the state department of health shows 3,972 cases which is an increase of 228 from this past Friday. 238 Oklahomans have died from the illness, and 236 are currently being treated in state hospitals with the infection. Grady County now has 39 cases, Caddo County stands at 69, McClain County has 77, Garvin County reports 14, and Stephens County has 22. Chickasha and Tuttle both have 15 cases, while Blanchard is at 18, Anadarko is at 10, and Binger is at 36.
State Lawmakers Prepare for End of Session
State lawmakers only have four weeks left to finish business for the 2020 legislative session. State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) says the coronavirus problem has forced them to change the way they review and debate bills. Paxton is the assistant floor leader in the senate and says they are only considering the most important pieces of legislation.
Paxton said the senate received about 350 house bills and whittled that number down to about 100. He said the only thing they are required to do by the State Constitution is get a budget passed.
USAO to Re-open this Fall
USAO plans on re-opening its campus for classes this fall. Students have been taking on-line courses ever since spring break after the campus was closed due to the coronavirus health crisis. The campus remains closed through the summer months, with independent study and summer classes are also only available on-line. USAO President John Feaver said while they can't predict the future, the university will overcome the difficult time and find itself both stronger and kinder for it. USAO will be holding a virtual commencement program for its 2020 grads this week.
Blood Drive Underway; Others Scheduled
KOOL/RANCH radio stations are again working with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) for another blood drive today. The OBI’s bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot across from the studios at 7th and Chickasha Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. today. Regular donors can go to the OBI website (www.obi.org) to fill out the Donor Express form before donating, which will save some time. All blood types are needed. Other blood drives coming up include one at Grady Memorial Hospital on Thursday, May 7th from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at Western Farmers Electric Co-op in Anadarko on Friday, May 8th from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $19.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $26.44.
Natural gas is $1.89 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,718 and silver is $15.12.