Saturday, June 13th
Charge Filed in Connection with Deadly Crash
A felony manslaughter charge has been filed against a driver involved in a fatal traffic accident that occurred near Minco earlier this year. 58-year old Regan Brent Stephens of El Reno was booked into the Grady County Jail on Thursday. A warrant had been issued for his arrest last week. The crash this past January killed Bethany Meyers of Minco. The accident happened on U.S. Highway 81 just south of the Canadian River Bridge the morning of January 8th. The arrest warrant affidavit alleges that Stephens tried to pass two vehicles in a no-passing zone and struck Meyers' vehicle head on. Stephens had his initial appearance on the manslaughter charge in Grady County District Court yesterday, where a judge set Stephens’ bond at $100,000. If convicted, Stephens could be sentenced to anywhere from four years to life in prison.
Details Emerge in Ambulance Accident
There are reports that the driver of the ambulance that hit a toll booth on the H.E. Bailey turnpike early Friday may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The report made on KFOR-TV. The accident happened about 3:00 a.m. Friday when the ambulance hit the Newcastle toll booth. The driver, identified as 53-year old Dora Handcock of Purcell, was trapped in the overturned ambulance for about 30 minutes before being rescued by the Bridge Creek Fire Department. She was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was last in good condition. The ambulance from the Altus area was transporting 43-year old Dominga Gloria of Altus who was admitted to a hospital in serious condition. A toll both worker suffered minor injuries. 26-year old Shannon Garst of Chickasha was taken to a hospital where was treated and released.
Pick Up Hits Box Truck Near Tuttle
Two people were taken to hospitals after a pickup slammed into a box truck near Tuttle. 63-year old Connie Hooks of Moore was taken to a Norman hospital with head, arm, and trunk injuries where she was admitted in good condition. 32-year old Cortez Pearson of Oklahoma City was taken to a Yukon hospital where he was treated and released. The accident happened about 4:00 p.m. Friday about two miles west of Tuttle on Highway 37. The Highway Patrol reports that Hooks ran a stop sign in her pickup and crashed into the driver's side of the box truck driven by Pearson.
Horse Show Underway at County Fairgrounds
Another weekend of equestrian events is being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The Oklahoma Horse Show Association returns for two days of competition. It's the group's first event of the year, as a couple of previous events were canceled because of the COVID-19 virus. Riders of all ages and experience levels compete in more than 70 events. Members will return for another competition next month, working to build up points for season-ending awards later this year. There's no admission for spectators. Individuals who would like to learn more about the group can go on-line to www.okhsa.com
May Daze Festival Continues
It's Day Two of the Blanchard May Daze Festival. There are vendors with lots of items to sell, food trucks, and activities for young and old alike. Last night, there was a Joe Exotic and Carol Baskin look-alike contest, stemming from the popular NetFlix miniseries “The Tiger King”. Live, local entertainment runs throughout the day and into the evening and there are townwide garage sales. Admission is free to the festival, which runs until 10 p.m. tonight and from noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow in downtown Blanchard.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Shae Mortimer with the City of Chickasha and Mitch Williams with the Chickasha Wings Flying School will be on our KOOL Konversation to talk about next week's Wings and Wheels Fly-in and Car Show at the Chickasha Airport. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley our guest is Boyd Lee with CK Energy. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Luke Byford, 82, of Chickasha will be at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 17th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, June 12th
Four Hurt When Ambulance Crashes into Toll Booth
Four people have been taken to hospitals after an ambulance crashed into the Newcastle toll booth on the H.E. Bailey turnpike this morning. News reports indicate that a patient and two Emergency Medical Technicians in the ambulance and a toll booth worker were hurt. The Jackson County ambulance that crashed is from the Altus area. The toll booth was closed in both directions for several hours although the PikePass lanes were accessible. The accident happened about 3:00 a.m. this morning when the ambulance was transporting a patient to Oklahoma City.
Chix School Board to Issue Bonds
to Finish Paying for Bill Wallace School
The board of education for Chickasha Public Schools will hold a special meeting Monday to issue the final general obligation bonds related to the construction of the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. The panel will consider a resolution to issue more than $5 million in bonds to finish paying for the school which was built in 2010. The school board is also to consider selling the land and building the district owns near the high school which is currently being leased to the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center. The group will also discuss some emergency roof repairs needed in the district; the contract for new curriculum and personnel director Seth Meier; and a memorandum of understanding with the Chickasha Association of Support Employees. The special meeting will be held at noon on Monday via a video conference. The meeting will be streamed on the Chickasha schools website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us
Public Hearing Set for Wildlife Refuge
to Join Rural Water District
The effort to annex part of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to a Comanche County rural water district is moving forward. A public hearing on the issue will be held on Monday, July 7th by Comanche County commissioners. The proposal calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to join Rural Water District 4 in the Cache area which is just southwest of the refuge. The initial plans call for installing a 15-mile pipeline to serve the refuge headquarters, the visitors center, the Holy City of the Wichitas, and other areas. The refuge has been under a boil order for the last three years after E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. No timeline has been announced regarding the construction of the pipeline however one unofficial guesstimate is that it could take about a year once it gets started.
Blanchard May Daze Festival Arrives
It's being held about a month later that it was originally scheduled but Blanchard's May Daze Festival is getting underway today. Normally held in mid-May, the event was postponed because of the coronavirus. There will be dozens of vendors lined up and down Main Street, there will be a lot of activities for the kids, including a waterslide where daily all-you-can ride tickets will be available. There's live, local entertainment, food trucks, and a beer garden. The Blanchard May Daze Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant 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.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $36.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $38.55.
Natural gas is $1.81 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,741 and silver is $17.77.
Thursday, June 11th
Prosecutors Leary of SQ 805
Some of Oklahoma's district attorneys are concerned what may happen if State Question 805 is approved by voters later this year. District Attorney Jason Hicks gives a short description of what it would do.
Hicks said his concern is that domestic violence crimes are included on the list of non-violent offenses. The measure is expected to be on the Nov. 3rd general election ballot.
Tuttle Man Faces Child Abuse Charge
A Grady County man is jailed on child abuse charges. 35-year old Dustin Lee Payne of Tuttle was arrested after officers were summoned to do a welfare check on three children, one of them just two years old. While a Tuttle Police Department affidavit indicates the toddler appeared to be OK, a 9-year old had a bruise on her rib that was larger than a baseball, and a 13-year old had a bloody lip. Payne was taken into custody and prosecutors have charged him with one count of felony child abuse. He remains in jail on a $35,000 bond with his next court appearance set for July 14th. Payne pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery that stemmed from a domestic violence arrest in 2010.
Wanted Man Arrested After Foot Chase
A man who has a long list of run-ins with police is back in jail. Chickasha police went to a home in the 1100 block of North 10th Street last Friday night looking for Samuel DeWayne Delk. A police affidavit indicates he was wanted on four felony warrants which included drug possession, child neglect, and eluding - all stemming from an arrest back in February. When officers knocked on the door and asked if Delk was there, he ran out the back door. Authorities caught up to the suspect after a short foot pursuit, subduing him with a taser after he reached into his waist band. Delk is being held in jail on a $102,000 bond.
Federal Agency OKs Two Tribal Compacts
The federal government has approved gaming compacts between a couple of Oklahoma Native American tribes and the State of Oklahoma. Gov. Kevin Stitt announced earlier this week that agreements between the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria tribe were approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The compacts give the tribes the approval for new forms of gambling, including sports betting, and to build new casinos closer to metropolitan areas. A press release from the Comanche Nation indicates it will allow Comanche Nation Entertainment to build on the tribe's historically-significant land in Grady, Cleveland, and Love counties. The Comanche Nation also announced that its current casinos will be re-opening in the next few days. Casinos in Lawton and Devol will open their doors tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. while casinos in Elgin and Walters will re-open on Monday. The casinos will close between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. each day for sanitation protocols.
USAO Set Fall Trimester Class Schedule
USAO Regents approve a plan to re-open the campus for fall classes. August 17th is the date set for courses to resume which is nearly five months to the date that in-person classes were suspended due to the coronavirus. Students were able to complete spring classes on-line and summer classes are also being taught remotely after the campus was closed. Officials say there will be no traditional fall break in October. The fall trimester will run Aug. 17th through Nov. 13th with final exams set for Nov. 17th-20th. While there will not be a fall break, the university will recognize the national Labor Day holiday on Sept. 7th. The university also announced that there will be no increases in tuition or mandatory fees for the coming year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.60 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $41.73.
Natural gas is $1.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,741 and silver is $18.08.
Wednesday, June 10th
Caddo County Driver Dies in Bizarre Deer Accident
A Cyril woman dies in a bizarre traffic accident involving a deer. 38-year old Sharee Taylor died in the accident that happened just before 6:00 a.m. Monday south of Cement. The Highway Patrol reports that a deer ran onto the highway and was hit by an oncoming car. The collision caused the deer to go airborne and crash through the windshield of Taylor's car. A passenger identified as 50-year old Kenneth Luna - also of Cyril - suffered a head injury but refused treatment. The driver of the car that hit the deer, 37-year old Kristina Coffenberry and a passenger identified as 38-year old Royce Sanders - both of Cement - were not hurt.
New Fire Truck Destroyed by...Fire
Fire destroys a brand new truck owned by the Friend Fire Department. The 2019 Ford F450 was just purchased last year and had less than 800 miles on it when it caught fire over the weekend. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said firefighters were called out to a wheat field fire at the bottom of Highbarger Hill. That's about three miles east of Chickasha on U.S. Highway 62. Myers said the brush truck had run out of water and the fire crew went to re-fill the truck. In the process of re-filling, the firefighter heard a pop and noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. The firefighter was able to douse the flames, however the engine compartment was burned. The firefighter was not hurt. The cab and chassis of the truck is expected to be totaled which is an estimated loss of about $42,000. The truck is insured. Myers said the firefighting equipment was not damaged. Myers said it's still not clear what caused the fire and it is still under investigation.
Grady County Avoids Wildfires
Myers said Grady County was fortunate to not have any wildland fires in yesterday's extremely windy conditions. The top wind speeds in Grady County were between 54 and 59 miles per hour according to Mesonet data. Myers said crews did respond to a couple of small fires. There was a small fire in the Bradley area about 4:15 p.m. which was taken care of quickly. Fire crews were also summoned to a brush fire just east of Chickasha after 6:00 p.m. but that fire was also contained.
Dr. Nancy Dever Dies
Longtime local doctor Nancy Dever has died. Dever was 72 when she passed away on Monday. Dever was a gynecologist and obstetrician at Southern Plains Medical Group for 42 years. She was born in North Carolina but grew up in Michigan and earned her degrees from the University of Michigan. She came to Chickasha in 1977. Survivors include her daughters Megan Dever, and Allison Sales and her husband David. A memorial service for Dr. Dever will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 13th at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends Fur Change.
Absentee Ballot Application Deadline
Looms Ahead of State's Primary Election
Oklahoma's primary election is about three weeks away. The deadline to apply for absentee ballots for that election is also approaching. Absentee ballots are mailed out to registered voters who may not want to go to their polling place the day of the election. Any registered voter wanting to cast ballots by absentee can do so without stating a reason. Voters can apply for absentee ballots in person at their county election board office. Applications are also available on the state election board website: www.elections.ok.gov
The deadline to apply for absentee ballots is Tuesday, June 23rd.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $38.94 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $41.18.
Natural gas IS $1.76 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,724 and silver is $17.78.
Tuesday, June 9th
City of Chix Budget Tops $50 Million
A nearly $55 million budget is on the books for the City of Chickasha 2021 fiscal year which starts next month. The city council gave its unanimous approval to the plan following a public hearing during a special council meeting last night. City Manager John Noblitt cautioned that the council could be faced with some tough decisions next year as the general fund budget will have no carryover for the start of the 2022 fiscal year.
The CMA is the Chickasha Municipal Authority. The budget calls for using more than $18 million in CMA funds to subsidize the city's spending plan. The public hearing lasted all of four minutes, with only one individual addressing the council. Tory Wise asked about using $4 million in CMA funds for improvements on 29th Street from Iowa Street north to U.S. Highway 62 and another $1.5 million for upgrades on 17th Street. Noblitt said the 29th Street project includes the purchase of some additional right-of-way to widen that street to make it safer. Noblitt did say that if the city doesn't close the expected gap in the deficit that those projects won't happen.
Budget Includes Full Funding for Fire Department
The city manager said the budget includes full funding for the fire department. At last week's city council meeting, Noblitt said that 10 positions would paid for out of the general fund. Prior to last night’s public hearing, Georgianne Hebblethwaite, who spoke in support of firefighters during the June 1st council meeting, again called for the council to fully fund the department.
Hebblethwaite told the council it is its duty to keep the fire department fully funded, and to look for ways to prevent future shortfalls from happening.
Planning Commission to hold Public Hearings
A proposal to re-zone property in the east part of Chickasha for development will get a public hearing with the city's Planning Commission today. The Chickasha Municipal Authority and a group called IOT are asking to re-zone property at Ada Sipuel Avenue and Grand Avenue South from commercial to a planned unit development (PUD). Officials have proposed a mixture of commercial and residential construction in that area. The Planning Commission has several other public hearings today. One is for Dene Gonzales to construct a garage over the maximum size allowed at a home at 17th and Mississippi Avenue. Another is for a use-on-review for Tressa Swanson to allow a home massage business at 2025 California Avenue. And one other public hearing is a request for a variance in the city's veneer ordinance by Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson. Also today, the city's Board of Adjustment will have public hearings to discuss variances in city zoning ordinances in the Valley View Addition, and for a request from Jimmy and Vera Boggess to allow a double metal carport at their home at 306 S. 15th Street.
Census Participation 'Challenge' Proposed
A state children's group is encouraging Oklahomans to participate in the 2020 census in a unique way. The Census Community Challenge calls for communities to initiate a competition with rival cities and towns. Joe Dorman, the director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, says it’s worked well between Oklahoma City and Tulsa over the last few months. Dorman would also like to see school rivals take part in the challenge. Dorman said his group has reached out to every school administrator to ask them to work on the project. Dorman says participation in the census is important for federal dollars to flow into the state. Oklahoma gets about $1,700 per person per year over the next ten years for programs.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $38.19 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $40.80
Natural gas is $1.79 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,715 and silver is $17.82.
Funeral service for Bertha Jensen, 90, formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 11th at the Minco Church of Christ. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, June 8th
Chickasha Firefighters Test Positive for COVID-19
Some Chickasha firefighters are recovering after testing positive for the coronavirus. Over the weekend city officials issued a press release confirming that more than one firefighter received a positive test. It wasn't clear how many firefighters tested positive. City Manager John Noblitt said other firefighters may have been exposed and they have been tested and are being monitored for symptoms. Noblitt recommended that anyone who attended a firefighters’ voter registration event on Saturday, May 30th or the Chickasha City Council meeting on Monday, June 1st to monitor themselves for any COVID-19 symptoms as a number of firefighters attended both events. Symptoms include high fever, a cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing symptoms should see their doctor. Also, anyone can get tested for the coronavirus whether they are experiencing symptoms or not. Free testing is available at the Grady County Health Department but you must call in advance to make an appointment. Grady Memorial Hospital and the Southern Plains Medical Group also offer the tests.
Appointments Needed at Chix City Hall Temporarily
As a result of the fire fighters testing positive for COVID-19, Noblitt said anyone who needs to meet with him or other city officials at city hall over the next couple of weeks will have to make an appointment. Appointments will also be needed to see the city clerk, or the Community Development Department. The appointments will be needed through Friday, June 19th. Visitors will not need an appointment if they are paying their utility bill. Anyone visiting city hall will have to wear a face covering.
Public Hearing Set Tonight for City of Chix Budget
A proposed 2021 fiscal year budget for the City of Chickasha will get a public hearing in a special meeting of the Chickasha City Council tonight. Following the hearing and discussion of the spending plan, the council is to consider adopting the budget which will go into effect on July 1st pending approval. The meeting and public hearing will be televised on Suddenlink Channel 3 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Contracts Renewals Set
for Chix School Board Meeting
A renewal of contracts for a school resource officer and a foster grandparent program are to be considered by the Chickasha school board when it meets tonight. It will be another virtual meeting, a system implemented after the coronavirus began impacting the state. The district has been contracting with the Grady County Sheriff's Office to provide a deputy as a resource officer for several years. The contract calls for paying the sheriff's office nearly $4,000 per month. The panel will also consider extending a foster grandparent program with the Delta Community Action Foundation. The panel will also honor employees Michelle Fleetwood and Vonnie Davidson as the Chicken Express employees of the month. The board of education meeting will get underway at 6:00 p.m. and can be viewed on the school district's website, www.chickasha.k12.ok.us
Apache Man Hospitalized After Rollover
A weekend crash sends a young Caddo County man to the hospital. 20-year old Kyle McFadden of Apache suffered arm injuries in the rollover that occurred Saturday night. He was taken to an Altus hospital where he was admitted in good condition. McFadden was a passenger in a van driven by 23-year old Taylor Robbins of Cleveland, Okla. Robbins was air lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with head injuries where she was treated and released. The accident happened about 8:15 p.m. Saturday about 8 miles west of Roosevelt in Kiowa County. The Highway Patrol reports that Robbins may have been driving too fast and was unable to go around a curve. The van ran off the road and rolled nearly two times, landing on the passenger side. Both McFadden and Robbins were wearing seatbelts.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.55 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $42.30.
Natural gas is $1.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,696 and silver is $17.94.
Les "Goose" Guesby
Graveside service for Les “Goose” Guesby, 75, formerly of Anadarko, will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 9th at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.