Saturday, May 30th
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter Says
Economic Stimulus Cards May Appear as Junk Mail
If you haven't received your economic stimulus funds from Uncle Sam take a second look at your junk mail. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says Visa debit cards are being mailed in unmarked envelopes and it would be easy to think its junk mail. Hunter says the pre-paid debit cards are not being sent by the IRS or the Department of Treasury but is instead being sent by a vendor. Hunter says to carefully examine your mail. The cards do have to be activated before they can be used. Hunter said anyone who may be skeptical about the card can find out if its legitimate by going to the website www.eipcard.com He also warns individuals to be wary of a potential scam involving the stimulus funds. He said do not provide bank information or other personal records to unsolicited phone calls or e-mails and to contact his Consumer Protection Unit if a scam is suspected.
Area DHS Offices Among Those to Close
The Caddo, Garvin, and McClain County offices for the State Department of Human Services are among several county offices that will be closing. State DHS officials announced this week that 35 counties will no longer have brick-and-mortar offices. Other offices to close include those in Kiowa, Beckham, Washita, and Jefferson counties. DHS director Justin Brown said the office closings are in response to reduced revenue projections for the upcoming fiscal year. Brown said DHS staff will be available statewide for face-to-face interactions by appointment. He said the agency's on-line portal, www.okdhslive.org has been adequate to serve as an entry point for those needing services.
National Guard Troops Continue Help
in Battle Against the Coronavirus
Oklahoma National Guard troops continue to help the state deal with the coronavirus pandemic. From sanitizing nursing homes, to delivering personal protective equipment, troops are providing a lot of help to try and keep the COVID-19 virus at a manageable level. A press release from the National Guard shows that the soldiers are now involved in contact tracing, which is an attempt to reach out to individuals who have been around those who have been diagnosed with the illness. They try to keep in touch with them for the duration of the contagious period to monitor their health, and recommend resources for food and supplies if they are quarantined. Officials say trust between the guard and the community is important as many are concerned about privacy. Their mission is simply to let individuals know that they may have come in contact with an infected individual and to let them know what steps to take to minimize the spread of the illness.
The number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma were a little higher in the state health department’s most recent report - from 41 cases on Thursday to 68 cases Friday. The overall count now is at 6,338. There were three more deaths, one in Oklahoma County and two in Tulsa County taking the total number of deaths to 329. The number of people currently in the hospital was lower, from 180 to 161. The number of active cases of coronavirus across the state fell below 700 to 669.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Our guests for the KOOL Konversation are Jane Porter and Peggy Boswell with the Grady County Senior Nutrition programs. Our guests on Real Estate Today with John Mosley are Cassandra Ersland with the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and Jim Cowan with the Economic Development Council. You can listen to these programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, May 29th
Saturday Classes OK'd for Public Schools
The state board of education has given its approval for school districts to hold Saturday classes next year. Previously, Saturday classes were not allowed under state law. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is encouraging school districts to submit several calendars for next year should there be a resurgence of the coronavirus. Some school officials told Hofmeister that they would use Saturdays for a rotating class schedule, rather than a six-day school week. Some districts already use some form of Saturday school but it was not counted as an instructional day. While school district officials prefer to re-open normally, some are considering a schedule where fewer students would come to school on any one day - alternating between in-class and distance learning. Officials said some students struggle to learn from home because they lack the necessary technology.
The growth of new COVID-19 cases has been slowing. Only 41 additional cases were confirmed by the state health department in Thursday’s daily report with the total number of cases up to 6,270. There were also four more fatal cases of the illness putting the total number of deaths at 326. The number of patients hospitalized increased and is now at 181. The number of patients who have recovered from the infection increased to more than 5,200. The number of active cases fell from 772 Wednesday to 708 on Thursday. Chickasha has had a total of 48 coronavirus cases, with three deaths and 31 patients have recovered - leaving 14 active cases. Blanchard has had a total of 21 COVID-19 cases and all but one patient have recovered. Tuttle has had 16 cases and like Blanchard, all but one patient have recovered. Anadarko has had a total of 15 cases with one death and 11 patients have recovered - leaving Anadarko with three active cases.
Grady County Fairgrounds Events Return;
Starting with State High School Rodeo Finals
The Grady County Fairgrounds is hosting its first event since the coronavirus pandemic hit. The Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association is holding its state finals this weekend. The top 15 contestants in a number of events are competing and hope to qualify for the national high school rodeo in Lincoln, Nebraska this summer. Over 100 competitors are expected for the event including Briar Teague of Rattan. He talks about some of the locations for qualifying rounds this season.
The finals were supposed to be a six-day event, but were reduced to three because of the impact of the coronavirus. The rodeo officially kicks off at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon (Friday) and admission is free all weekend. The final performance will start at 10:00 a.m. following a morning church service.
Chix Chamber, EDC Meeting Set
to Support Chickasha Rodeo, Parade
A number of events are scheduled at the fairgrounds over the next few weeks including the annual Chickasha rodeo June 26th and 27th. In an effort to support the rodeo and the rodeo parade, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council are holding a meeting with downtown merchants next week to discuss ways to do that as well as the #shopchickasha initiative. The meeting will be Tuesday, June 2nd at 4:00 p.m. at the Chamber. All downtown merchants are invited and no RSVP is needed.
Library, YMCA Parter with Regional Food Bank
For Summer Feeding Program for Chickasha Youth
A summer food program for Chickasha youth will start on Monday June 1st. Both the Chickasha Library and the YMCA are teaming up with the Regional Food Bank to provide daily food for all youth who are 18 years old and younger. The library will have grab-and-go lunches from 11:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. and the YMCA program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A youth must be present and accompanied by a parent or guardian. The meals will be available Monday through Friday through the end of July.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $33.71 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $35.29.
Natural gas is $1.83 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,739 and silver is $18.06.
Margie Henson Bird
Funeral service for Margie Henson Bird, 86, formerly of Tuttle will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, May 30th at First Assembly of God in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Funeral services for 30-year old Madison Carter are pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Thursday, May 28th
Driver Charged with Manslaughter After Fatal Crash
Grady County prosecutors have charged a Chickasha man with felony manslaughter in connection with a weekend accident in which a woman died. 22-year old Bradley Teakell was arraigned on the charge in Grady County District Court yesterday. He was released from jail after posting a $60,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for July 14th. Chickasha Police say Teakell was driving a pickup that crashed and resulted in the death of 30-year old Jordan Jacobs. A second passenger in the pickup, Mary Martin, was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital to be treated for her injuries. Police also arrested Teakell on a DUI complaint, but prosecutors have not yet filed any formal alcohol-related charges in connection with the accident. While Teakell awaits his next court appearance, Jacob’s family will have a graveside service for her at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 30th at Chickasha’s Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Husband Faces Weapons Charged in Firearms Case
The suspect arrested for shooting at his wife at their Chickasha home last week is formally charged with a felony. Bryan Curtis Hassler is charged with planning or conspiring an endeavor to perform an act of violence. Police were called to the Hassler home the morning of May 21st to investigate a report of shots fired inside the home where a four-year-old and nine-year-old were sleeping. Hassler is out of jail after posting a $75,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference in that case is also scheduled for July 14th.
Another 92 cases of the COVID-19 illness and four more deaths have been added to Oklahoma's statistics. The state health department on Wednesday reported that the total number of coronavirus cases is now at 6,229 with 322 deaths. The report stated that the number of active cases dropped to 772 and that the number of patients currently hospitalized was also lower, to 156. The number of those who have recovered from the illness rose to 5,133. Grady County has a total of 83 confirmed cases where three people have died and 59 have recovered - leaving 21 active cases. Caddo County has a total of 153 cases where 10 people have died and 109 patients have recovered - leaving 34 active cases.
Mt. View to Gain Broadband Service
We have an update to a story we had recently about improved broadband service coming to the Carnegie area. James Powers with the Carnegie Telephone Company says the upgrade will be for residents in Mt. View. The company received a $1.2 million loan through the USDA Reconnect program. Powers says the company has participated with USDA on previous upgrades for phone and Internet service for the region. Powers says they'll begin installing about 10 miles of fiberoptic lines from Carnegie to Mt. View this summer and that it will take about a year to complete. When finished, about 550 Mt. View households will have gigabit Internet service. Powers also anticipates upgrading service to the company’s Ft. Cobb customers in the near future.
Grady County Oil Wells Producing Amid Downturn
A small bright spot for the energy industry as a couple of well completions are reported in Grady County. Gulfport Midcon reports the completion of two sister wells southwest of Bradley, according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. They are the North Ryan wells in Section 32 of Township 5 North and Range 5 West in the Woodford formation. Together the wells are producing just under 1,000 barrels of oil and about 5,500 MCF of natural gas per day from a depth of about 21,000 feet.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $32.81 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $34.74.
Natural gas is $1.72 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,738 and silver is $17.86.
Graveside service Anita Sparks, 82, formerly of the Chickasha area will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 29th at the Hale Family Cemetery near Dibble. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Graveside service for Jordan Jacobs, 30, of Chickasha will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 29th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, May 27th
Gene Winsett to Retire After Lengthy Career
He's spent part of five decades working with the City of Chickasha. City Planner Gene Winsett is retiring. Winsett has worked for the city a total of 42 years, beginning with the fire department in 1977 and has spent the last 16 years with the Community Development Department. Winsett has seen a lot of growth in the city and says among his favorite projects to see from start to finish were the additions to Chickasha Public Schools including Bill Wallace School, the Chickasha High School Activity Center and upgrades at the high school.
Winsett is among handful of individuals who worked for more than 40 years with the city. They include Public Works Director Larry Fuchs, Parks Director Ron Terry, City Clerk Donna Jones, and William Cliff with the water department. Winsett says he's worked for 13 city managers. A come-and-go retirement reception for Winsett will be held this Friday from 2-4 p.m. at city hall.
Driver Injured in Pickup Crash
A driver was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after his pick-up crashes near Marlow. 59-year old Jerry Laster of Duncan was admitted in serious condition. The accident happened just after 9:00 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. Highway 81 about a half-mile south of Marlow. The highway patrol reports that Laster ran off the highway and his pickup rolled four times. He was pinned inside the wreckage for about 15 minutes. The trooper investigating the crash said that Laster may have been drinking prior to the accident.
Agri-Businessman Leon Poag Passes Away
Leon Poag has died. The Poag family owned and operated grain elevators in Grady County and in Cordell for many years. Poag was 89 when he passed away at his Oklahoma City home on Sunday. His opened his first business in 1962 which was Blanchard Seed and Feed. After establishing Poag Grain, the company added Pro Ag Chem, a fertilizer operation. Poag was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame in 1983. Survivors include his wife Patty and son Steve and his wife Dana. Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, May 28th at Capitol Hill Assembly of God in Oklahoma City. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Just under 50 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Oklahoma by the state health department on Tuesday. It takes the total number of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma to 6,137. There were five more fatal cases of the illness increasing the number of deaths to 318. One of those new deaths was in Chickasha - a woman between 36 and 49 years old. Now three people in Chickasha have died of the COVID-19 illness. The number of people statewide who have recovered from the illness increased to 4,823. The number of active cases was down to 996 including 174 individuals who are hospitalized. Grady County is now at 80 total confirmed cases and 56 patients have recovered. Chickasha is now at 46 and 27 patients have recovered. Tuttle has 16 cases and all but two have recovered. Blanchard has 21 cases and all but one has recovered. Caddo County is now at 150 and there have been 10 fatal cases and 102 patients have recovered.
State Aeronautics Commission Offers STEM Grants
Aviation and aerospace are among the fastest growing job sectors in Oklahoma. To help teachers introduce the hi-tech programs to their students the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission offers grants each year to assist with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Last year, the commission awarded more than $300,000 in grants which were distributed to public schools, career techs, after-school programs, higher education, and other aviation and STEM-related programs. The deadline to apply for grants is this weekend. For information, check out the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission website: www.oac.ok.gov
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $34.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $36.17.
Natural gas is $1.79 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,718 and silver is $17.64.
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Tracy Mealer, 54, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, May 26th
Driver Arrested After Deadly Chickasha Crash
One person is in jail after a deadly crash claims the life of one person and sends another to the hospital over the weekend. Killed in the crash was 30-year old Jordan Laine Jacobs of Ninnekah. 37-year old Mary Crystal Martin of Chickasha was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was admitted in serious condition. As of this morning (Tuesday, May 26th) she was upgraded to fair condition. In jail is the driver of the pickup, identified as 22-year old Bradley Wayne Teakell of Chickasha. He is being held on numerous complaints including manslaughter and DUI. The crash occurred in Chickasha early Sunday morning near a railroad crossing in the 2600 block of Grand Avenue. Chickasha police said it was raining heavily and the truck was speeding and went out of control when it vaulted the railroad tracks, hit a lamp post and rolled several times. All three passengers were thrown out of the pickup, and Jacobs was pinned underneath. Teakell was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries then taken to jail. Prosecutors could file formal charges against Teakell as early as today.
Domestic Violence Suspect May be Arraigned
Formal charges could be filed today against a man arrested for shooting at his wife last week. 32-year old Bryan Hassler was taken into custody following a standoff with Chickasha police last Thursday morning. Investigators say Hassler had been drinking and got into an argument with his wife. It's alleged he fired a weapon at her several times and she ran from the house and hid in a neighbor’s yard where she called 9-1-1. There were two small children in the house however they were not injured. Hassler surrendered about three hours into the standoff.
City Council to Hold Work Session on 2021 Budget
The 2021 fiscal year budget for the City of Chickasha is the subject of a special work session to be held by the Chickasha City Council tonight. No formal action will be taken. The general public will have an opportunity to discuss the spending plan during a public hearing on the budget during next week's regular city council meeting which is set for Monday, June 1st. Today’s work session will be held at city hall starting at 5:30 p.m.
There have been fewer numbers of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma over the last few days. Still, the number of cases has grown to 6,090 as of yesterday. The number of deaths is now up to 313. The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 1,063. The state health department reports 4,714 people have recovered from the illness. In area counties, Grady County has a total of 79 where there have been three deaths, while 54 people have recovered. Caddo County has had 146 COVID-19 cases with 10 deaths and 102 patients have recovered. McClain County has 98 cases with two deaths and 83 patients have recovered. Stephens County is at 37 cases where there has been one death and 22 people have recovered. Checking numbers for cities in the region - Chickasha has 46 total cases; Blanchard has 21; and Tuttle and Anadarko both have 15 coronavirus cases.
Ag Producers Begin CFAP Sign Up
Today is the first day that agriculture producers can sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Officials say Farm Service Agencies are going to be overwhelmed by producers wanting appointments and FSA employees should be given some slack as they work to get producers enrolled. Dr. Amy Hagerman is the Ag Policy Specialist at Oklahoma State. She tells farm broadcaster Ron Hays that producers can go on-line to enroll.
The website is www.farmers.gov/cfap Producers have 60 days to enroll in the program. There are webinars scheduled at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. today and producers will have to register in advance to participate.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $33.25 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $35.13.
Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,740 and silver is $17.83.
Monday, May 25, 2020
No news due to the Memorial Day holiday.