Saturday, September 5th
Wet Hay May Have Caused Braum's Dairy Fire
Officials say that wet hay may have been responsible for that massive fire on the Braum's dairy yesterday. Reports are that some of the hay may have been delivered wet. For many that might not seem possible, however, it can lead to spontaneous combustion. The open hay barn stored about 3,000 large round bales of hay for the hundreds of cattle on the dairy. The fire erupted about 2:30 a.m. Friday between Tuttle and Minco. All firefighters could do was watch the raging fire burn. Fortunately, there were no homes in the area. Officials say the fire could smolder for several days. Fire crews don't want to risk putting out the fire, as it could rekindle.
Car Rollover Blamed on Turtle
Chickasha and Grady County rescue crews were summoned to an accident where a car veered off the road, overturned, and nearly landed in a pond. The accident happened southwest of Chickasha, about a mile and a half north of Pioneer School on CS 2790 about 6:00 p.m. Friday. Grady County Fire Department Public Information Officer Buddy Myers said the driver of the car swerved to avoid a turtle. The driver was lucky that the vehicle's momentum did not carry it all the way into the pond and submerge. The unidentified driver was able to get out of the car before emergency crews arrived. The driver suffered minor injuries and refused to be transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Law Agencies Urge Motorists to 'Drive Sober, Drive Safe'
State troopers are encouraging Labor Day holiday motorists to be extra careful on the highways, byways, and waterways. They ask that they not get behind the wheel of any motor vehicle, boat, or watercraft if they are drinking or are under the influence of illegal or prescribed drugs. The theme for the weekend is Drive Sober, Drive Safe. A news release from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office states that six people lost their lives on Oklahoma roads during the three-day weekend last year including four people riding motorcycles. Officials say 55 accidents last year were alcohol-related. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and several other law enforcement agencies usually receive federal grants to step up efforts during long holiday weeknds to get impaired drivers off the roads and lakes.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has updated its 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.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Dr. Jeanette Loutsch with USAO is on our KOOL Konversation program. Dr. Keith Weldon, superintendent for Alex Public Schools is our guest on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for James Burney, 89, of Tuttle will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8th at the Tuttle United Methodist Church. He was a dairy farmer and served as the district manager for Purina for 20 years. He also worked part-time for State Senator Lonnie Paxton's insurance office in Tuttle for many years, retiring just a few months ago. He was also a U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Friday Night Football
Marlow 24, Chickasha 21
Noble 21, Blanchard 7
Anadarko 48, Elgin 14
Tuttle 23, Plainview 13
Minco 14, Dibble 6
Rush Springs 7, Cordell 3
Community Chr. 44, Bridge Creek 7
Burns Flat-Dill City 12, Carnegie 6
Purcell 35, Lindsay 28
Alex 66, Tipton 20
Pioneer-Pleasant Vale 46, Cyril 0
Maysville 50, Central High 0
Bray-Doyle 60, Ryan 0
Newcastle 14, Mustang JV 6
Friday, September 4th
Braum's Dairy Hay Barn Burns
Breaking news this morning, as there is a huge fire at the Braum's Dairy Farm west of Tuttle. It's at an enormous hay barn that is near the dairy's processing plant between Tuttle and Minco. The barn contains about 3,000 bales of hay. Numerous fire departments and emergency crews were on the scene. State Highway 37 was closed between Tuttle and Minco. No other operations of the dairy are impacted. Dairy officials say the fire will be allowed to burn itself out. No people or animals were hurt.
One Dead in Fatal Accident Near Minco
A 12-year old boy died and two other people were hospitalized when a car slams into a pick up south of Minco. The accident happened just before 11:00 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 81 about three miles south of Minco. The boy was a passenger in a car that crashed into a pickup which had turned in front of their vehicle. The driver of the car, 40-year old Carmen Garcia of El Reno, and a 15-year old girl who was also passenger, were both air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. Garcia was admitted in critical condition. The 15-year old was admitted in fair condition. The highway patrol does not release the names of juveniles involved in traffic accidents. The driver of the pickup, 48-year old Steve Willmon of Chickasha, was not hurt. The accident closed the highway for about 3 1/2 hours.
Anadarko Schools Hit by Coronavirus
Anadarko Public Schools are dealing with some coronavirus issues. Officials say they were made aware of three positive tests at the middle school. A post on the Anadarko Schools Facebook page did not indicate if the tests involved students or staff members. The district is working with the Caddo County Health Department to notify families of those who may have been in contact with those who tested positive. As of yesterday, the state health department reported that Anadarko had 49 active COVID-19 cases. Caddo and Comanche counties are both considered to be in the 'Orange' category, meaning residents are at a moderate risk for coming down with the illness. Grady County is in the “Yellow” category where residents are considered to be at a low risk for contracting COVID-19.
'Stressed' Driver Tries to Elude Police
A traffic stop by a Chickasha police officer leads to a pursuit through several neighborhoods before it came to an end. It happened last Friday morning about 5 a.m., when an officer pulled over a pickup near 13th and Minnesota Avenue for not having any taillights. According to a probable cause affidavit, as the officer was returning to his patrol car to check the man's driver's license, the driver sped away. The officer alleges the driver ran more than 20 stop signs and nearly caused two accidents. The chase lasted about 10 minutes and came to an end at a home near 15th and Chickasha Avenue. The officer said the driver thought he was turning into an alley but it was a driveway. 41-year old Jeremy Curtis Walker of El Reno was arrested without incident. He told the officer that he is under a lot of stress. Walker has been charged with two felony counts of endangering others while eluding and a misdemeanor for reckless driving. He remains in jail on a $10,000 bond.
Chix Library Offers Course for Caregivers
Individuals caring for an elderly or ill loved one in their homes can suffer from a lot of stress. The Chickasha Public Library is offering a series to help caregivers take better care of themselves - and they don't have to go to the library for the program. It's called Powerful Tools for Caregivers. There are six weekly classes to help develop self-care tools to reduce stress, change negative self-talk, discuss needs with family members as well as health care and service providers, and deal with difficult feelings. The free class meets every Thursday and is available through the Zoom platform. Contact the library for more information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.37 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.07.
Natural gas is $2.48 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,945 and silver is $27.06.
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Ray Robbins, 82, or of Bridge Creek. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Thursday, September 3rd
Chix City Council Continues Holding Virtual Meetings
The Chickasha City Council has been holding its meetings virtually over the last couple of months and will be doing so for its meeting next week. Residents can watch the meeting on the city's YouTube channel which can be accessed from the city's website. Anyone wanting to address the panel during the public comment section will have the opportunity but will have to create a Zoom account. There's no cost to create the account and the instructions are listed on the agenda for next Tuesday's meeting, which is posted on the city website: www.chickasha.org. Among the items to be discussed include a change order for the 1st Street Sidewalk project, and to accept the project as complete and authorize a final payment of nearly $140,000 to the contractor, Luckinbill Development. The council will also consider appointing and/or re-appointing several members to the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment/Flood Plain Board of Appeals, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Library Board. The meetings are normally held on Mondays, but because of the Labor Day holiday, the meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 8th at 6:30 p.m.
New Commanders Assigned to Salvation Army
The new commanders for the regional Salvation Army are getting settled in to their new assignment. Sgts. Bryan and Tracy Brinlee have re-located from Mountain Park, Arkansas. They'll be serving the Grady and Caddo County areas over the next few years. Bryan says they are already preparing the annual Red Kettle drive which will begin in November. He says there's a new way for volunteers to sign up to ring bells for the kettle this year, on-line:
Brinlee said the Angel to Angel program will be done virtually this year and that they continue to help needy families with utility bill assistance and food baskets.
The State of Oklahoma has surpassed the 60,000 mark for confirmed coronavirus tests. The number of deaths in the state is now at 821. Grady County has had 542 positive tests, with seven deaths and 61 active cases. Chickasha has had 255 positive tests with four deaths and 19 active cases. Blanchard has had 182 positive tests with just one death and 30 active cases. Tuttle has had 146 people test positive and there have been two deaths and 26 active cases. Newcastle has had 138 positive tests with one death and 15 active cases. Caddo County has had 568 positive tests with 20 deaths and 73 active cases. Anadarko has had 253 positive tests with five deaths and 47 active cases.
USAO'S '20for20' Campaign Successful
A recent fund-raising event for USAO brought in more than $140,000 to the USAO Foundation. This summer, President John Feaver recently marked his 20th year at his post, and the Foundation launched a celebration called the 20for20 campaign, asking alumni and university friends to contribute $20 to the Foundation and share their favorite stories about him. Feaver now holds the distinction of being the longest-serving current president of any university in the state. While Feaver has served as president since 2000 his career at the university has spanned four decades as he also served as a professor and as vice-president.
Masonic Lodge Benefits from Donor
Longtime Chickasha accountant Homer Hulme has come through once again with a contribution to help a local group. The Chickasha Masonic Lodge recently presented Hulme with a plaque for his donation to help the lodge install chair lifts. Hulme also provided a generous gift to Chickasha Public Schools recently, in which nearly every extra-curricular activity shared in a total of $36,000 which he contributed to the school district.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.51 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.43.
Natural gas is $2.48 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,937 and silver is $27.26.
Wednesday, September 2nd
Turnpike Crash Kills One, Sends Three to Hospitals
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol continues its investigation into a deadly crash that occurred on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. One person died at the scene and three other people - including a small child - were taken to hospitals. 69-year old Gloria Varela of Duncan died in the accident that happened about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday near Mile Marker 66 which is about four miles east of Cyril. Varela was a passenger in a car driven by 68-year old Rigoberto Varela, who was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. A 3-year old girl riding in the car with them was taken to Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. Their conditions were not known. A passenger in the other vehicle, 58-year old Claire Banks of Cache, was taken to a Lawton hospital where she was last in good condition. The driver of that car, 65-year old Samuel Banks, was not hurt. The westbound lanes of the turnpike were closed for more than two hours after the collision.
New Anadarko ODOT Facilities Under Construction
The State Department of Transportation is building a new maintenance facility and construction office in Anadarko. Construction on the two buildings started this past spring. ODOT Division 7 Engineer Jay Earp said the maintenance building they had been in had outlived its usefulness.
The new maintenance facility is about 4,600 sq. ft. while the construction office is about 9,600 sq. ft. Together, it's a $4.7 million construction project which was awarded to HGL Construction out of Oklahoma City. Earp said in the new maintenance building they’ll be able to almost triple its storage space for salt. The new building can hold 4,000 tons of salt plus an additional 1,200 tons of salt-sand mix. The maintenance facility will also have 12 equipment bays. The construction office manages ODOT projects in Caddo, Grady, and parts of Comanche county. ODOT employs about 27 people at its Anadarko location. Earp hopes to be able to move in the new buildings by the end of the year.
Chix Schools Begin Meal Delivery to Virtual Students
Starting today, Chickasha Public Schools will be delivering meals to students who are studying at home through the district’s virtual learning system. A breakfast and lunch will be provided. There will be stops at Sooner Trailer Park at 10:45 a.m.; 9th and Frisco at 11:00 a.m.; 8th and Illinois at 11:12 a.m.; 11th and Choctaw at 11:25 a.m.; 7th and Kansas at 11:40 a.m.; 3rd and Colorado at 11:55 a.m.; Henderson and Virginia at 12:10 p.m.; 9th and Oregon at 12:30 p.m.; 12th and Nevada at 12:43 p.m., the Homeland parking lot at 12:55 p.m. and Watson's Trailer Park at 1:10 p.m. The meals will be delivered every day that regular classes are in session.
Ampo Students Receive State Fair Scholarships
A couple of Amber-Pocasset High School students have been awarded scholarships from the Oklahoma State Fair. Pace Mittelstaedt and Jackson Caves have both been awarded $2,500 scholarships to be used for college, career tech, or vocational schools. A press release from the State Fair indicates they are among a dozen students across the state who shared in $30,000 in scholarship funds. The Oklahoma State Fair Scholarship Fund has award nearly $250,000 in scholarships over the last 20 years.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.76 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.58.
Natural gas is $2.53 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,974 and silver is $28.17.
Funeral for Brayden Murry, 13, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. at Son Rise Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A memorial service for Janet Shaw, 74, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Tuesday, September 1st
Chickasha Woman Should be Known
as National Hero, Says Gov. Kevin Stitt
Chickasha's Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher, who fought Oklahoma's early discrimination laws to become the first Black student at the OU College of Law, is being recommended to be called a national hero. Gov. Kevin Stitt made the recommendation recently as an Oklahoman who should be considered to be included in a new National Garden of American Heroes. Stitt recommended two Black Oklahomans and three Native Americans. The others are John Hope Franklin, the grandson of a freed Chickasaw Nation slave, former Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller, Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe, and humorist Will Rogers. Stitt also recommended two possible locations in Oklahoma for the garden - Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman and Lake Keystone near Tulsa. President Trump recently signed an executive order on rebuilding public monuments and asked governors for their input on who should be included and where monuments might be located in their states.
Dismissed Chix Fire Chief Joins Sheriff's Office
It didn't take long for former Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski to find a new job. He's joined the Grady County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office announced the news on its Facebook page last night. The post shows a photograph of Zalewski taking the oath of office from Sheriff Jim Weir. Zalewski is initially serving as an unpaid reserve deputy which gives him an opportunity to support public safety in local communities. Zalewski was fired from his post as Chickasha fire chief a couple of weeks ago, after serving for more than 20 years with the department and five as fire chief. It was an unpopular move by the city manager as Zalewski received praise for his work from many citizens.
OSBI Re-Opens Cold Case
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has re-opened a cold case in which the body of a teenaged girl was found outside of Blanchard more than 15 years ago. In June of 2003, 17-year old Tanja Hook was reported missing from the Lawton area where she had been living with a boyfriend. Two months later, Hook's body was found nearly 70 miles away in a bar ditch between Blanchard and Cole. Agents suspect homicide in Hook’s death. The OSBI said that the area where Hook was living is where several prostitutes also disappeared between 2002 and 2004. Anyone with information about Hook's disappearance and murder is asked to contact the agency by calling 1-800-522-8017 or sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Probe of Lawton Veterans Center Finds No Wrong-Doing
State officials say an independent investigation into alleged abuse and neglect at the Lawton Veterans Center shows no substantiated findings. The investigation was performed by the State Department of Human Services. The announcement was made in a press release from State Senator Paul Rosino (R-OKC) who is the chairman of the Legislative Veterans Caucus. Earlier this year, family members of some of the residents posted photographs on social media which they said showed the abuse and neglect. The press release cites DHS’ Advocate General Joe Dewey as saying it was a large-scale investigation into numerous allegations. The Lawton Constitution reports that many are unhappy with the report. Fran Gibbs, who requested help from law enforcement to remove her husband from the facility, said she doesn't understand how they could have reached that conclusion. Gibbs said she provided hours of video and other documentation showing that her husband slept in urine-soaked bedding and fell several times.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.61 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.10.
Natural gas is $2.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,997 and silver is $29.17.
Monday, August 31st
Chickasha Petioners Call for City Manager Dismissal,
Removal of One Council Representative from Office
A group of Chickasha citizens have started petition drives asking the city council to fire the city manager and to remove a city councilwoman from office. Many residents are angry over the recent action of City Manager John Noblitt who dismissed Fire Chief Brian Zalewski earlier this month. Jamie Seyler is spearheading one of the petition drives. She said that residents in Loggins' Ward 2 are tired of her lack of action and deflection when they ask her to look into to various issues. Seyler said she believes the petitioners are following protocol listed in the city charter regarding the removal of Loggins from office. Loggins has served on the council since 2015. In response to the re-call petition, Loggins issued a statement which reads (in its entirety): "I would like to remind the citizens of Chickasha of the following; Charter of the City of Chickasha Article 5, Section 6 states: Neither the mayor nor any other member of the city council shall interfere or become involved with personnel matters, or directly with the administration of the city. Any officer violating this section shall forfeit his office. "The city manager is responsible to the city council as a whole and shall not be responsive to individual council member wishes, which contradict established policies. The city council shall establish over-all policies and guidelines under which the city manager shall be responsible for carrying out all the administrative functions of the city. "Any council member may make suggestions or recommendations to the city manager at any time they deem necessary or appropriate on the operations of the city government. "This is in addition to restrictions found in Title 11 of our Oklahoma State Statutes." The second petition is urging the city council to dismiss the city manager. Seyler said her husband John was one of several firefighters targeted in a move that alleges that Noblitt wants to remove Emergency Medical Services from the fire department and let a private company provide those services. Noblitt has denied the allegation.
Semi Driver Hospitalized After Train-Semi Collision
A Lindsay truck driver is hospitalized after his semi was hit by a freight train. 70-year old Gary Lile was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and admitted in stable condition. The engineer and conductor on the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe train, David McWilliams and Luis Riojas, both of Midland, Texas were taken to a Norman hospital where they were treated and released. The accident happened about noon Saturday just southeast of Pauls Valley. The highway patrol reported that Lile failed to yield from a stop sign and ran into the path of the train. He was pinned in the cab of his truck for about 45 minutes. The collision caused three locomotives and 11 cars to derail.
OHP Seeks Info on Possible Shooting at Troopers
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is looking for information from anyone who may have witnessed individuals shooting at state troopers. A statement from OHP indicates two troopers reported possible shots fired at them or their patrol vehicles on I-35 near Tecumseh Road in Norman between 7:00 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. last Friday. Both troopers were stationary and inside their vehicles. The OHP said they did locate two witnesses who stated they also heard what they thought were several gunshots. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oklahoma Highway Patrol by calling 888-OHP-TIPS.
Fall Swap Meet is a 'Go' for Chix Antique Auto Club
While many events this fall have been canceled because of the coronavirus, one event is still on the books. The Chickasha Antique Auto Club is planning on having its huge fall swap meet in October. This will be the 52nd year for the event which attracts thousands of antique auto enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. Many look for hard-to-find-parts while others have partially or fully restored antique vehicles for sale. The event is set for Oct. 15th through 17th at the auto club's site next to the Grady County Fairgrounds and on the fairgrounds itself. Both indoor and outdoor booth spaces are available. For information visit the group's website:
Chix Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Set
The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual benefit golf tournament. There will be both morning and afternoon flights at Bushwood Golf and Country Club on Friday, Sept. 11th. The John Holt Auto Group will hold a poolside party that evening with Bill's Grill and Steakhouse providing food and Canadian River Brewery providing drinks. Sponsorship opportunities start at $150. For information, contact Cassandra Ersland at the chamber by calling 405-224-0787.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.97 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $45.05.
Natural gas is $2.65 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,969 and silver is $28.02.