Saturday, August 29th
Teen Dies After Taking Social Media 'Benadryl Challenge'
A Blanchard family is mourning the death of a daughter and sister who died by taking part in a very dangerous social media challenge. Chloe Phillips was just 15 when she passed away after taking the over-the-counter allergy medicine Benadryl. Her parents are sharing their tragic story in hopes of warning other families about what happened. KFOR-TV reports the social media site Tik Tok had posted what’s called The Benadryl Challenge. The challenge is to take a dozen or more of the pills in order to hallucinate. Officials with the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information say large doses can cause seizures and heart problems. Chloe had just begun her sophomore at Blanchard High School where she ran track and worked on the school yearbook. Friends say she was a happy and faith-driven teen, and not one to experiment with drugs. Some information about efforts to support the family was posted on the KFOR website but it has since been removed. Her parents asked that memorial contributions be made to the non-profit group, Heartline: https://heartlineoklahoma.org/get-involved/donate
County Officials Look for Courthouse Sewer Smell Source
Grady County officials will bring in work crews next week in hopes of finding the source of the smell of sewer gas at the county courthouse. The courthouse was closed one day this week because the smell was so bad it made people sick. Commissioner Ralph Beard said officials have had to close the building several times this summer because of the problem.
Beard said they will have an engineer and a plumber inspect the courthouse next week to seek if they can find anything. Beard suspects it may be a sewage pipe from the old county jail that used to be on the top floor of the courthouse.
Enid Animal Cruelty Suspect Arrested in Chickasha
A man wanted for felony animal cruelty charges out of Garfield County was arrested in Chickasha yesterday. 28-year old Christopher Bradford was taken into custody by Chickasha police Friday morning. A Garfield County judge in Enid issued the arrest warrant earlier this week. On-line court records indicate the offense occurred last month, but no details of the allegations were immediately available. Court records also indicate a protective order was filed against Bradford in June which was dismissed. In 2012 and he pleaded guilty to felony DUI and threatening to perform acts of violence for which he received a five-year suspended sentence.
Grady County Fair Wraps up Today
Today is the third and final day of Grady County Fair but it’s by far the busiest day with the 4H and FFA tractor driving contest, the FFA Ag Olympics, the beef and dairy show, and the kiddie tractor pull. Earlier in the week, A.J. Jenkins of Minco was named the fair princess. Frist runner-up was Hannah Kennedy of Chickasha; second runner-up was Alyssa French of Tuttle; and Miss Photogenic was Camryn Schroeder of Amber-Pocasset. In the cake show, Roberta Hinkle had the grand champion entry in the adult division with a German Chocolate and picked up a $200 check. Shirley Burns had the reserve grand with an Italian Cream. In the junior division, Ladd Turner had the grand champion entry with a dark butter and won $100. Olivia Bross of Minco had the reserve grand with a light butter entry. The cake auction brought in a little more than $4,000 this year. Performing at the fair tonight are Billy Davis and The Band of Brothers.
High School Football Scores
Chickasha 47, Altus 14
Tuttle 28, Sulphur 7
Destiny Christian 46, Alex 28
Wilson 56, Cyril 32
Apache 20, Wayne 13
Maysville 38, Bray-Doyle 0
Central High 48, Paoli 12
Friday, August 28th
Some CARES Act Funds Released to Kiowa Tribal Members
Members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will finally be able to receive COVID-19 funds issued to the tribe from the federal government. After the certification of last week's election where members voted to approve the tribe's legislative budget, the court of Indian Offenses for the Southern Plain Region issued an order dissolving - in part - a preliminary injunction that had halted the relief efforts since CARES Act funds had been frozen. The Lawton Constitution reports that Tribal Chairman Matt Komalty called it an important milestone, saying they can now get money into the hands of tribal members. The more than $63 million budget includes a projected $39 million in revenue from tribal gaming and business ventures, combined with more than $24 million in COVID-19 relief funds. The Constitution reported that a COVID-19 Response Center that opened in Anadarko in July closed just a few days later after an injunction was issued. That center re-opened this week. While the CARES Act fund distribution is considered a good thing across the board, the tribe's executive and legislative branches remain locked in opposition to one of the forms of distribution approved in last weekend's election.
Chix Firm Awarded for National Guard Readiness Project
A Chickasha company has been recognized for its design and construction of a new readiness center for the Oklahoma National Guard. CMS-Willowbrook was presented with a National Design-Build Award of Merit for the project in Ardmore. The recognition came from the Design-Build Institute of America. The project was selected from entries nationwide in the category of Best Federal, State, County, and Municipal Project. The Readiness Center is a more than 82,000 sq. ft. facility built last year. CMS-Willowbrook partnered with an architectural firm and a supporting cast of more than 40 engineering firms, consultants, trade contractors, and suppliers. The facility includes state-of-the-art technology infrastructure; training facilities and classrooms; secure battalion storage; and administrative and personnel accommodations. The center will now compete for a national award of excellence and project of the year which will be announced in late October.
Grady County Fair Resumes
It's Day Two of the Grady County Fair with the doors opening at 10 o'clock this morning for the commercial booths and the still exhibits. The swine show will get underway at 5 o'clock this afternoon and the live music tonight is from the Sam Cox Band. The big day is tomorrow with the 4H and FFA tractor driving contest; the FFA Ag Olympics competition; and the beef and dairy show (which begins at 5 p.m.). Also the Express Clydesdale's will be at the fair from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Performing tomorrow night will be Billy Davis and the Band of Brothers.
Caddo County Fair is Next Week
Preparations will begin this weekend for the Caddo County Fair in Anadarko next week. The Hollarn Show Barn at the Caddo County Fairgrounds will open at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon and all the entry cards for the cattle, sheep, swine, and goats need to be in by 5:00 p.m. The swine and poultry shows will be Monday with the cattle, sheep, and goat shows all on Tuesday. The horse show will be Thursday evening. The premium auction for the stock show will be on Thursday, Sept. 10th.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Brian and Tracy Brinlee, the new commanders with the Salvation Army that serves Grady and Caddo Counties, will be on our KOOL Konversation program. And District Three Grady County Commissioner Ralph Beard will be on Real Estate Today. Look for links to both programs on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.04 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.09.
Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,958 and silver is $27.78.
A graveside service for Keith Morris, 65, of Ninnekah will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 5th at the Ninnekah Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, August 27th
More Chickasha School Students Test Positive for COVID-19
Two more students in the Chickasha Public School system have tested positive for the coronavirus. One student is at the high school and the other at the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. That's three students in the district confirmed to have the illness in the first week that students returned to the classroom for the school year. Superintendent Rick Croslin said classmates of the students were sent home as a precaution. A post on the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center’s Facebook page indicated the school was notified by the Grady County Health Department about the child who tested positive. The health department said several of the student’s classmates should be quarantined for 14 days out of caution. Officials reached out to the parents of the children to be quarantined. School officials said if a parent wasn't notified then their child did not have contact with the youngster who tested positive. Earlier this week, a student at Grand Avenue School tested positive for COVID-19.
Sewer Gas Problems Continue at County Courthouse
The Grady County Courthouse was expected to open for business today. The courthouse was closed down yesterday shortly after employees arrived for work. County Commissioner Ralph Beard said they have been battling an overwhelming odor of sewer gas for several months. They have been trying to determine where the odor is coming from but so far have been unsuccessful.
Memorial to be Held for Bicylcist Who Died
It was one year ago today that a Chickasha man riding his bicycle was struck and killed by a motorist. Scott Womack, 47, died of his injuries in the accident which occurred near his home. Family, friends, and co-workers of Womack will gather for a memorial service and balloon release today to honor him. Womack was a surgical technician and had just been promoted to the director of the operating room at Grady Memorial Hospital when he died. The memorial will be held at 6:30 tonight in the parking lot between the Five Oaks Medical Group and the high school baseball and football fields.
Ex-Con Arrested Twice for Having Weapon
A Chickasha man has been arrested twice in the last four months for having a firearm after a previous felony conviction. 37-year old Devin Scott Newsom was most recently arrested this past weekend. Chickasha police were called to Wal-mart Sunday afternoon to investigate a report of a man with a gun in the parking lot. Newsom was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with a felony for having a weapon. Newsom was already facing a similar charge after being arrested with gun back in April. He was out of jail after posting bond and was awaiting a preliminary hearing conference on that charge. Newsom had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2014. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.
Grady County Fair Begins
The 105th Grady County Fair kicks off today. There won't be quite as many events this year because of the coronavirus. There won’t be a carnival and there are fewer commercial booths which are separated for social distancing. The fairgrounds will have plenty of hand sanitizer available. The exhibits open to the public at 9:00 a.m. all three days of the fair. The official fair opening will take place 7 o'clock tonight. Shortly afterward, the winner of the fair princess contest will be announced, and the annual cake auction will get underway. The sheep and goat shows will be held simultaneously this afternoon. Live music will also get underway at 7 o'clock tonight with Tim Brauer and First Look.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.39 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.64.
Natural gas is $2.46 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,946 and silver is $27.46.
A graveside service for Laura “Gayle” Howard, 68, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 28th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
A private funeral mass will be held for Liz Craig, 79, of Ninnekah at Holy Name Catholic Church on Monday, August 31st with burial to follow at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Lois M. Farmer
A memorial service for Lois M. Farmer, 89, of Minco will be held at 10:00 am. Saturday, September 26th at Union City Baptist Church.
Wednesday, August 26th
Chickasha Fire Chief Fired
Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski is reportedly out of a job. Zalewski's wife Kim posted the news on Facebook last night, saying Brian received word late Tuesday afternoon of his termination. Zalewski had served as fire chief for about the last five years and worked for the department for nearly 23 years. A pre-termination hearing at city hall last week lasted about 4 1/2 hours. Kim Zalewski says she is angry and hurt but wanted to thank everyone who stood with the family. No statement was immediately available from city hall.
Four Youths Hospitalized After Pickup Rollover
Two air ambulances were summoned to a crash west of Minco Tuesday afternoon where four children were injured. The youth, all 12 to 17 years old, were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. A 12-year old girl suffered the most serious injuries as she was admitted in poor condition. The others were admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 5:00 p.m. Tuesday on a dirt road a mile north of Cogar in Caddo County. The trooper responding to the crash reported that the 16-year old driver veered off the road and the pickup rolled an undetermined number of times, hit a utility pole, and landed upside down.
State Senator Loses Re-Election Bid in Run-off
Oklahoma State Senator Paul Scott of Duncan was defeated in his re-election bid in yesterday's Republican run-off. Scott lost a close race to challenger Jessica Garvin by less than 240 votes. More than 7,500 people cast ballots in Senate District 43 yesterday. Scott was seeking a second term at the state capital after first being elected in 2016. Garvin now goes on to face Democrat Terri Reimer of Marlow in the November general election.
Voters OK School Bond Issues for Duncan Schools
Also in Tuesday’s election, Duncan voters gave their overwhelming approval to two school bond issues totaling $28 million for Duncan Public Schools. The first was a 10-year, $25 million bond issue for upgrades to the high school football stadium; the construction of a safe room and storm shelter at the high school; plus heat and air, plumbing, and electrical upgrades throughout the district. A second bond issue for $2 million was for school buses and other student transportation needs. Both issues need a super-majority of 60 percent approval for passage although each received more than 71 percent approval. Nearly 3,500 voters cast ballots on the issues.
Fire Damages Garage
A fire caused thousands of dollars in damage to a garage at a Chickasha home. Fire crews were summoned to a home at 15th and Minnesota Avenue about 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Asst. Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said thick smoke and flames were coming out from just under the roof of the one-story, wood frame garage which is about 800 sq. ft in size. The resident was home when the fire broke out but the garage was unoccupied. No one was hurt. Firefighters were quick to dowse the flames and prevent them from spreading to the main home and also kept them from damaging nearby homes. Fire crews spent about an hour at the location. Samaniego estimated the damage between $10,000 and $12,000. He estimated an electrical problem may have started the fire.
Some Chickasha Streets Get Upgrade
A number of Chickasha city streets are getting a makeover. Earlier this year, the city council approved spending nearly $280,000 on street repairs. The contractor, Silver Star Construction out of Moore, has completed about 50 percent of its work. Work that has been completed includes some streets around the high school and Genevieve Street near the city's Public Works headquarters. Public Works Director David Buchanan says crews will also make improvements to 16th Street from Country Club Road north to Carolina Avenue and Country Club Road from the east service road at 4th Street then east to Glenwood Street. Buchanan said the contractor has another 45 days to wrap up its work which would be about the first or second week of October.
Chix School Students Prepare for Virtual Learning
Students in the Chickasha school system participating in the virtual or blended learning programs will begin their classes this week. At the high school, parents who need to get a hot-spot for Internet access will need to pick up the device soon. A post on the high school Facebook page indicates than an application for a wireless device needs to be filled out at the high school before receiving the device and then take part in an orientation session either Thursday or Friday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.86.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,925 and silver is $26.60.
Tuesday, August 25th
Chix School Student Tests Positive for COVID-19
In just the eighth day after Chickasha schools opened classrooms the district is dealing with its first report of coronavirus. A student at Grand Elementary School has tested positive for the illness. The news was reported on the school's Facebook page after the end of the school day yesterday. The post indicated that the school was notified by the Grady County Health Department. The agency was requesting information to help with contact tracing to determine who the student might have been around. The health department asked that the students’ entire class quarantine for 14 days out of an abundance of caution. The post indicates that if a classmate had contact with the student, his or her parents will be notified by the health department. If a child did not have contact with the student parents did not get a phone call. Principal Dereth Harrison said she knows the news is unsettling for some but by working together, communicating, and staying positive for the children, they will get through the situation.
State's Primary Run-off Election Underway;
Duncan School Voters to Decide Bond Issues
Oklahoma's primary run-off election is underway although not everyone will be headed to the polls. There is a Republican run-off for State Senate District 43 where incumbent Paul Scott of Duncan is facing Jessica Garvin. Only four Grady County precincts are open including No. 23 which is Craig's Computers in Ninnekah; No. 14 which is in Bradley; No. 36 which is the Rush Springs Library; and No. 26 which is Vimy Ridge Baptist Church east of Rush Springs. The winner will face Democrat Terry Reimer of Marlow in the general election in November. In Duncan, voters have two propositions on the ballot for the school district. One is a $25 million proposal which includes improvements to Halliburton Stadium; roof repairs, upgrades for heat and air, plumbing and lighting district-wide; a storm shelter and safe rooms at the high school; building security enhancements; and classroom technology. A separate $2 million transportation bond issue would allow the district to purchase school buses, minivans and/or suburbans. There are no run-off elections or bond elections in Caddo County. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m. tonight.
Teacher, Elderly Advocate Liz Craig Dies
Longtime Ninnekah school teacher and senior citizen advocate Liz Craig has died. Family members posted news of her death on Facebook. Craig was 79-years of age when she passed away early Monday morning. She taught at Ninnekah schools for many years, and after her retirement from the classroom supported the Ninnekah Senior Nutrition Center. A funeral service will be announced at a later date.
Clydesdales to Clop at Grady County Fairgrounds
(EDITOR'S NOTE - A previous version of this story contained the wrong date that the Clydesdales would be at the fair. We apologize for the error)
Grady County fair-goers will have a rare opportunity to see the majestic Express Clydesdale horses. The team owned by Express Employment Professionals President and Vice Chairman Bob Funk will be at the Grady County Fairgrounds this Saturday, August 29th from 1 to 5 p.m. Funk brought a team of Clydesdales to Oklahoma in 1998 after visiting a ranch in Canada. The horses are the tallest in the world standing 17-19 hands or about six-feet tall at the shoulder and they weigh as much as a ton. Their hooves are about the size of dinner plates and their horseshoes weigh about three pounds each. Each horse may consume about 15 pounds of grain and as much as 30 pounds of hay per day, and drink up to 25 gallons of water per day. The Clydesdales are housed at Funk's ranch in Yukon.
Hospital Foundation Schedules Benefit Golf Tournament
The Grady Memorial Hospital Foundation is preparing for its annual golf tournament. The event is slated for Friday, Oct. 2nd at Chickasha's Bushwood Golf and Country Club with flights at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and there's an additional night scramble set for 7:30 that evening. Entry is $100 per person or $400 for a four-person team. Corporate sponsors are also welcome. For information, contact Cody Alldredge at the hospital by calling 405-779-2266 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is 42.57 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.78.
Natural gas is $2.50 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,931 and silver is $26.73.
Monday, August 24th
Teen Hospitalized Following Police Pursuit
A teenager was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after crashing his car while being chased by police. The unidentified 17-year old male's condition was unknown. The accident happened just before 1:00 a.m. Sunday near Bray in Stephens County. The highway patrol reports that Duncan police were in a DUI pursuit of the vehicle at a high rate of speed in a construction zone on State Highway 29 just west of Bray. The teen lost control, veered off the highway, and the car rolled several times, throwing the teen driver out of the car. A passenger in the vehicle, 19-year old Jonathan Velez of Duncan, was taken to a Duncan hospital where he was treated and released.
CV Tech Resumes Classes, Training
The Canadian Valley Technology Center campuses have re-opened for the new school year. Just like public schools, career techs across the state were impacted by the coronavirus this past spring. Superintendent Gayla Lutts said administrators spent a lot of time this summer putting together a plan for a return to classes, especially since students need practical training in their respective fields.
CV Tech is celebrating its 50th year during this year. Lutts said there won't be a formal celebration, but that there will be lots of photographs and stories on regular media and social media throughout the year. You can follow the tech center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on its website.
Oklahoma's total coronavirus cases have topped 53,000. There were about 800 additional positive tests in the latest update from the state health department. There was just one new death, taking the death toll now to 726. The number of active cases statewide has increased to more than 8,000. The number of people hospitalized with the illness is 578. Chickasha has had 242 positive tests with 15 active cases; Blanchard has had 157 positive tests with 19 active cases; Tuttle has had 127 positive tests with 22 active cases; Anadarko has had 212 positive tests with 53 active cases. Grady County has had 494 positive tests with 47 active cases and Caddo County has had 506 positive tests with 75 active cases.
Grady County Fair is This Weekend
The 105th Grady County Fair is on tap for this week. The event runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The fair will have fewer attractions because of the coronavirus. There won't be a carnival and many of the commercial vendors opted to not have a booth. The county's OHCE group will not be providing home-cooked meals or Indian tacos but food trucks will be on hand. The stock shows will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and there will be live entertainment outdoors under the big top. Thursday night’s act is Tim Brauer and First Look; Friday night it’s the Sam Cox Band; and Saturday night it’s Billy Davis and the Band of Brothers. Normally, the princess contest would have been held tonight, however all the contestants submitted their talent and other criteria electronically for a virtual contest. There are six contestants, including Pairess Claphan and Hanna Kennedy of Chickasha; Kylie Morgan and Cameron Schroeder of Ampo; A.J. Jenkins of Minco; and Alyssa French of Tuttle. The winner of the princess contest will be announced Thursday night.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.35.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,954 and silver is $27.00.
A memorial service for Phillip Sneed of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 26th at Bible Baptist Church. Phillip owned and operated Jeannie’s Café with his wife Jeannie. He was also a former Chickasha police officer.
A graveside service for Reba Spearman, 90, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 26th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.