Saturday, July 4th
One Dead, One Hospitalized in Rollover
There was a deadly crash in Chickasha last night. A pickup ran off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike exit ramp and rolled several times just east of downtown. Killed in the crash was 43-year old Reford Alcorn, II of Chickasha. A second man, 25-year old Bill Johnson, II, also of Chickasha was last in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital. The state trooper called out to investigate the crash is still trying to determine who was driving. The preliminary report indicated that the pickup was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the exit ramp and rolled several times, throwing both men out of the pickup. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt. The accident happened just before 9:00 p.m. Friday night. The ramp was closed for nearly four hours.
Close Anadarko School Board Race Certified
There won't be a recount in the tightly contested school board race in Anadarko this week. The Caddo County Election Board has certified the result of the election in which Derrell Sanders defeated Tara Tartsah-Clark by four votes, 485 to 481. Sanders won just two of the five precincts where votes were cast but those precincts had the largest number of voters. Sanders won Precinct 41 by 35 votes, 136 to 101 and Precinct 51 by 19 votes, 196 to 177. Tartsah-Clark won Precinct 12 by 15 votes, 57 to 42; Precinct 22 by 17 votes, 89 to 72; and Precinct 31 by 14 votes, 54 to 40. Sanders will serve a five-year term on the panel.
Country Music Star Trace Adkins Re-schedules Concert
Officials at Ft. Sill have canceled an upcoming concert with country music recording artist Trace Adkins. Adkins was scheduled to perform July 25th. Officials canceled the concert and all activities connected with it due to coronavirus concerns. Adkins is expected to take part in next year's Armed Forces Day concert which is scheduled for May 15th.
World War I Traveling Museum Based in Marlow
Did you know that the world's largest World War I traveling museum is based in Marlow? Museum curator Keith Colley spends most of his time on the road but tells KSWO-TV that the traveling show is based in Marlow. The museum sits inside one car and a trailer and has numerous artifacts, pictures, and displays. Colley said he started the project after a conversation about the war while working with people who suffer from Alzheimer's. His first artifact was a shovel from Bulgaria. Colley says he's had to cancel nearly 250 shows over the last few months because of COVID-19. He has taken his museum to many schools but also takes it to parades and air shows.
Funeral service for Ardessa Bowens, 94, of Chickasha will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 11th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. She worked as a custodian at USAO for more than 20 years. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Illora Walker, 78, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Friday, July 3rd
Safety, Caution Urged for July 4th Weekend
Americans are hitting the roads for vacations, trips to lake, or other family outings to celebrate the three-day Independence Day weekend. First responders encourage everyone to think safety-first in everything they do. Grady County first responders have already answered a call to a swimming pool incident in Alex. Alex police and fire, the Grady County Sheriff's office, and Chickasha EMS all responded to a report of a man in an above-ground pool. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said the unidentified man was taken to a hospital where his condition is not known. Officials also say to be extra careful when shooting off fireworks. Fire officials say fireworks should be left to the professionals, but for those who choose to buy fireworks at local stands to use extra caution. Have some water nearby, and children should be supervised if they are allowed to use them. Sparklers can be dangerous as they can cause severe burns. Officials also say it’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the hot temperatures to avoid heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. They also say to not drink and drive while on the roadways.
School Districts Pick Up Incentive Grants
A number of Oklahoma school districts will be able to purchase tablets and other equipment for future distance-learning needs thanks to some grant money. Anadarko, Central High, and Bray-Doyle are among the districts to receive some incentive grants. Comanche, Geronimo, Ryan, and Temple school districts also received grants. Anadarko and Comanche both received $100,000. Bray-Doyle and Central High received $50,000 while Mangum and Temple each collected about $34,000. Some of the schools will purchase Chrome books while others will provide hot-spots for households which don't have easy access to the Internet.
Hundreds of State Businesses Apply for COVID-19 Funds
State officials say they have already closed the application period for businesses wanting to apply for coronavirus relief funds. Financial institutions were inundated with requests when the application period opened on Monday. State Department of Commerce officials say about 2,500 applications were received by Tuesday morning. State Commerce Secretary Sean Kouplen said this is the first of two phases of application periods for companies which have suffered a loss of business due to COVID-19. About $50 million in relief funds are expected to be sent out between July 13th and July 31st. The funds were made available from the Federal CARES Act. Kouplen did not say when the second phase of applications would take place.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.65 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.41.
Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,785 and silver is $18.25.
A private service was held for Joyce Martin of Chickasha. She was the widow of the late Don Martin, who owned and operated Don Martin Chevrolet for many years. Her late sister, Klova Dee Shaw owned and operated Frye's Jewelry. Joyce also owned and operated a real estate company and a travel agency. Arrangements were with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral for Ina Mink, 78, of Grand Lake, Okla. and formerly of Cement will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 7th at the Cyril Assembly of God. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral for Robert Maxwell, 56, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 7th at Full Gospel Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, July 2nd
Several Public Hearings Scheduled
for Chickasha City Council Meeting
The rezoning of some planned development of property near the Grady County Fairgrounds is among several public hearings to be held by the Chickasha City Council next week. The area is near Ada Sipuel Avenue and the South Grand Avenue extension. The hearing is to consider re-zoning the property from commercial use to a planned urban development, which could include some duplexes and/or apartments. Another public hearing will be held to consider a use-on-review for a home at 2025 California. Yet another public hearing will be held to approve a variance of the city's veneer ordinance for property at 302 N. 3rd, requested by Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson. The council will also consider a request by Brett Landry to hold a Law Enforcement Appreciation event at Shannon Springs Park on July 18th. Also on the agenda is consideration of an economic development agreement with Viridian Coffee, which is proposing to open a coffee shop in the city. City Councilman David Sikes, who just won re-election to the council on Tuesday, will take his oath of office for his second term. The city council meets Monday , July 6th at 6:30 p.m. at Chickasha City Hall.
Suspect Jailed on Felony Domestic Violence Charge
A Rush Springs man is behind bars accused of felony assault and battery following a domestic disturbance. Rush Springs police and Grady County deputies were called to a home the morning of June 25th. A probable cause affidavit indicates the victim suffered numerous facial, head, and trunk injuries, and alleges the suspect tried to strangle her and whipped her with a cel phone charging cord. In custody is 46-year old Jeffery Todd Jordan. At his initial appearance in Grady County District court this week, a judge set Jordan’s bond at $45,000. Jordan has a history of violence, pleading guilty to a felony for assault on a police officer in 2008 and a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault in 2016.
Sen. Inhofe Leads Defense Spending Talks
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe is leading discussion in the U.S. Senate regarding the National Defense Authorization Act. Inhofe is the chairman of the senate armed forced committee, and says the measure is crucial to all of Oklahoma's military installations. He mentioned of couple of them in an interview with KOOL News.
Inhofe is hopeful the military spending plan can be in place by November.
App Shows State Highway, Turnpike Conditions
There is a new app available which provides real-time traffic and road conditions on Oklahoma highways and turnpikes. The State Department of Transportation debuted the app last year under the ODOT name, and has been fine-tuning the system by adding turnpike data and even snow plow cameras. There are links to the app on both the ODOT and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority websites.
Blanchard, Chix to Host July 4th Celebrations
There will be a number of 4th of July fireworks programs to enjoy over the next few days. Blanchard is hosting its annual Independence celebration tonight. Starting about 6:00 p.m., there will be games, live music, food trucks, and helicopter rides will be available. The fireworks display will begin about 9:45 p.m. Chickasha will be hosting its annual fireworks display Saturday night at Shannon Springs Park. There will be food trucks at the park that evening and the fireworks will also start about 9:45 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.82 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $42.03.
Natural gas is $1.67 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,785 and silver is $18.23.
A graveside service for Cynthia Arters, 58, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 6th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, July 1st
Painter, Hannah Win Re-Election
Grady County Commissioner Kirk Painter and Court Clerk Lisa Hannah both retain their offices in yesterday's primary election. In unofficial results of the Republican primary, Painter keeps his District 2 Commissioner’s post with 61 percent of the vote to defeat Ron Reynolds (no Democrat filed for the post). Hannah was re-elected with 76 percent of the vote over Damon Logue (likewise, no Democrat had filed). County Clerk Jill Locke won the Republican nomination for her office by collecting 61 percent of the vote over Kari Porter. Locke will now face Democrat Frieda Willis in the November general election.
Lowe Edges Talley in HD 56 GOP Primary
The House District 56 GOP primary between Dick Lowe and Randy Talley went down to the wire. Lowe won by only 235 votes to get the party's nomination. Both Lowe and Talley were first time political candidates. Lowe said he expected a close race.
Talley said he was disappointed with the outcome but that his campaign was able to discuss a lot of concerns.
Lowe will go on to face Democrat Craig Parham, the Mayor of Amber in the general election.
Senior Nutrition Sales Tax Extended
Grady County voters overwhelmingly approved the extension of a county sales tax to fund senior nutrition centers. The measure passed by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The one-eighth of a penny sales tax will continue through December of 2025.
Sikes Re-elected to Chix City Council
In Chickasha, Ward One city councilman David Sikes won re-election, earning 67 percent of the vote to defeat Dewey Mosshart IV.
School Board Election Results
There were several school board races throughout the region. Dustin Tate defeated Russell Baker by 32 votes for a seat on the Ninnekah School Board. Lance Melton defeated Chris Long by 27 votes to get seat on the Rush Springs board of education. Neely Alexander defeated Heather Crowder by 44 votes for a seat on the Friend School Board. Michelle McRay defeated Jeff Martin by 52 votes in the Pioneer school board election. Jennifer Mandrell received 61 percent of the vote to defeat Greg Hamby for a seat on the Dibble board of education.
Caddo County School Board Election Results
A school board race in Anadarko was decided by just four votes. Derrell Sanders defeated Tara Tartsah-Clark 485 to 481 in the unofficial results. Sanders would take the post previously held by long-time school board member Skip Hamill who did not run for re-election. Tartsah-Clark has until Friday to file for a recount. At Binger-Oney, Kylie Toho had 64 percent of the vote to defeat Jenny Jones for seat on the school board. At Carnegie, Christie Harrison received nearly 63 percent of the vote over Misty Boettger to win a seat on the school board. Lance Shenold picked up 56 percent of the vote over Patrick Michael Hayes to win re-election to the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center board of education.
Anadarko Voters Pass All City Propositions
Voters in the city of Anadarko passed all seven propositions which officials say were needed update a number of policies and procedures. On the statewide ballot, SQ 802, the Medicare expansion proposal, won narrow approval with 50.5 percent of the vote.
Harley Rider Critical After Crash
A motorcycle rider is in critical condition after he was hit by a pickup near Lindsay. 32-year old Trevor Twyford of Pauls Valley suffered head, trunk, arm, and leg injuries in the accident that happened on State Highway 76 south of Lindsay just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Twyford was not wearing a helmet. The highway patrol reports that Twyford's Harley Davidson was hit by a truck driven by 19-year old Kyle Keeler of Lindsay. Keeler and an unidentified 16-year old girl in the truck with him were not hurt.
Boots, Badges Blood Drive is Today
Grady County law enforcement and firefighters are combining efforts for their annual Boots and Badges blood drive today. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will be set up in the USAO Ballroom from about 12:30 to 5:30 this afternoon. All donors 18 years old and older get a free COVID-19 antibody test in addition to the mini-health check that is customary when donating blood. All prospective donors will have their temperature taken before being allowed to donate.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.27 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $41.15.
Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,803 and silver is $18.76.
A graveside service for Pauline Thomas, 89, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 3rd at Rosehill Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, June 30th
Voters Asked to Wear Masks at Precincts
Voters casting ballots in the primary election today will be asked to take coronavirus precautions when going to their precincts. While it’s not required, voters are asked to wear a mask and poll workers will have hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and disinfectant on hand. Voters are asked to be patient and follow signage and procedures. Voters will have to provide some kind of identification, whether it’s a driver’s license, a state ID, or voter registration card.
Municipal, School Board, and County Races on Many Ballots
There are city council elections in Chickasha and Lindsay. In Chickasha, Ward One incumbent David Sikes is facing challenger Dewey Mosshart IV for a two-year term. In Lindsay, there are ten candidates on the ballot. In Anadarko, there are seven propositions for city voters to consider. There are school board races at Ninnekah, Rush Springs, Friend, Pioneer, Dibble, Anadarko, Marlow, Binger-Oney, Carnegie, and the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center. All Grady County voters will decide if a county-wide sales tax that supports the senior nutrition centers should be extended for another five years. Grady County Republicans will elect a court clerk, where incumbent Lisa Hannah faces challenger Damon Logue. Republicans in Grady County will choose a county clerk candidate, where incumbent Jill Locke is facing challenger Kari Porter. The winner goes on to the general election in November. Grady County Republicans in District Two will elect a county commissioner, with incumbent Kirk Painter facing challenger Ron Reynolds. There is one state house race of interest for Republicans. That's in House District 56 which includes parts of Grady, Caddo, and Kiowa counties. Dick Lowe of Amber and Randy Talley of Chickasha are on the ballot. The winner will be on the November ballot against Democrat Craig Parham. On the statewide ballot, Oklahoma voters will decide SQ 802, the Medicare reimbursement proposal. Polls will be open until 7 o'clock tonight.
Casino Closed Because of COVID-19
A regional casino has closed after an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Golden Eagle Casino in Apache suspended its gaming operation last week and will be closed through July 14th which is in line with the Apache Gaming Commission's coronavirus policy. A statement from the group said they'll follow the environmental public health and safety check list recommendations during the down time. They'll also put screening measures in place and a dedicated sanitation vendor will be brought in.
Anadarko School Board Considers Food Service Contract
A bid for a food service management contract is the subject of a special meeting of the Anadarko school board this afternoon. It's the only item to be considered when the panel meets at noon at the Anadarko school administration building. The contract is for the upcoming school year and, if approved, would go into effect tomorrow. July 1st which is the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Harold Hamm Buys Millions of Continental Shares
Continental Resources founder and executive chairman Harold Hamm has purchased nearly 4.8 million shares of the company's common stock on the open market. In a press release, the company reports the purchases were made between June 22nd and June 25th at market price. Hamm's total holdings are nearly 290 million shares, or about 79 percent of Continental's total outstanding common shares. Hamm said he believes the company's current share price reflects an uncommon value as the global pandemic has negatively impacted worldwide crude demand.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.70 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $41.71.
Natural gas is $1.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,784 and silver is $18.10.
A memorial service for Debbie Wallace, 65, of Verden will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 3rd at New Life Christian Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, June 29th
Grady County Leaders Submit Budget Requests
Grady County government officials have submitted budget requests that total nearly $13 million for the fiscal year that starts Wednesday. That's about a 6 percent increase over the current fiscal year spending plan. The budget requests were submitted to the county excise board last week. Budgets won't be approved until revenue projections for the coming year are finalized. Officials are asking for a 5 percent pay hike for their employees. They say their insurance costs are climbing more than $17 per month. Sheriff Jim Weir is asking for a more than 8 1/2 percent increase in his budget, from $2.5 million to nearly $2.8 million. He says the additional funds are needed to reassure the public that deputies are taking every step to help the county be safe and for his department to be transparent. The sheriff's department budget also includes $600,000 to be paid to the Grady County Jail for the incarceration of county inmates. County Clerk Jill Locke is seeking an increase of about $50,000 to nearly $820,000 to get three of her employees certified. Court Clerk Lisa Hannah is asking for about a $14,000 increase to $534,000. Part of the increase would be used to help train a new employee who will take over for someone who is retiring. Assessor Bari Firestone is decreasing her main budget about $10,000 to just over $450,000. Treasurer Robin Burton is decreasing her budget by about $13,000 to $434,000. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson wants to decrease his budget to $224,000 but is asking to purchase a repeater for the Bridge Creek Fire Department. District Attorney Jason Hicks is asking for a $13,000 increase from the county budget to $70,000 to help pay for the salary of a new assistant district attorney. There is also about $4.5 million set aside for courthouse capital improvements.
State Businesses Urged to Apply for COVID-19 Grants
Oklahoma businesses can begin applying for coronavirus relief grants today, money made available through the State Department of Commerce. The grants are part of the agency’s Oklahoma Business Relief Program. Businesses which suffered a 25 percent decrease in revenue may be eligible. Businesses can apply through participating financial institutions and a list of those insititutions is available on the state department of commerce website:
Maximum grants will be $25,000 and the funds can be used for expenses for which the company has not or will not receive reimbursement from another source (such as other federal, state, or city grants) or insurance proceeds. A service fee of up to $500 may be charged by the financial institutions and the grant cannot be used to pay that fee. The application deadline is July 10th and the distribution of grants will begin July 17th.
Chickasha's 160-Foot Tall Christmas Tree
To be Lit for Month-Long Promotion
Temperatures could reach 100 degrees this week, but a new promotion for Chickasha businesses will make you think of much cooler temps. Christmas in July is yet another event put together in a joint effort of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council (EDC). Chamber President Cassandra Ersland says the Festival of Light came up with the idea to create a campaign in July to help 'adopt' light displays in Shannon Springs Park for the upcoming season. To help, the 160-foot tall Christmas tree at the park will be lit the entire month of July starting Wednesday night. The chamber and EDC will help businesses throughout the city promote their July specials, events, and sales. The EDC has also partnered with the Chickasha Community Theater to screen Christmas movies in the Washita Theatre each Thursday evening in July (starting July 10th). The screenings will be free with concession proceeds going toward theatre renovations. A full list of events can be seen on the chamber website: www.chickashachamber.com/christmasinjuly
Halliburton Sells El Reno Property
Reports indicate that Halliburton has sold its property in El Reno that served as the company's Remote Operations Command Center. The property just east of El Reno on the historic Route 66 Highway was closed back in December. The site is 86 acres and included 32,000 sq. ft of office space and a more than 93,000 sq. ft. maintenance shop. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports a company called CBRE advertised the property at a sales price of $16 million. CBRE did not reveal the purchase price nor the buyer. Not included in the sale was an adjacent rail operation involving frac sand.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil was down more than 3 percent last week to $38.49 per barrel. London-based Brent crude was down to $41.02. Natural gas was down 10 percent to fall just below $1.50 per million BTUs. Gold is $1,783 and silver is $18.15.