Saturday, September 19th
Regional Counties Downgraded in COVID-19 Alert System
The number of new coronavirus cases continues climbing at an alarming rate in Oklahoma. 11 new counties have been downgraded to the Orange level on the state health department's COVID-19 Alert System including Grady, Garvin, and Stephens counties. The Orange level indicates a moderate risk of becoming ill with COVID-19. Caddo, McLain, Cleveland, and Oklahoma counties were already considered Orange counties. Comanche and Canadian counties are Yellow which are considered to be low-risk areas for getting the infection. In Chickasha, there were 17 more active cases of the virus from Thursday to Friday, up to 159. Throughout Grady County, the number of active cases climbed from 219 to 245. There were also two more deaths in the county from the illness - two men in the Tuttle area in the 65-and-older category. Now 10 people in Grady County have died from the illness. Blanchard has 53 active cases while Tuttle has 48. Anadarko has 40 active cases while all of Caddo County has 85. Grady Memorial Hospital administrator Kean Spellman says the hospital is working with high-risk areas to try to minimize community spread.
Spellman encourages everyone to wear masks, wash hands, and social distance to limit the number of new cases.
Drilling Permits Approved in the SCOOP
As the price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil has slowly returned to the $40 per barrel mark, some energy companies are filing more permits to drill - with a number of them in the SCOOP play. Continental Resources filed permits with the Corporation Commission to drill four wells in Grady County. There will be two locations for the Goff wells southeast of Rush Springs. One site is in Section 15 of Township 3 North and Range 5 West. The other is in Section 3 of Township 3 North and Range 5 West. Lynx Oklahoma Operating company received a permit to drill in Caddo County, northwest of Binger in Section 21 of Township Range 10 North and Range 11 West. Lance Ruffel Oil and Gas Company of Oklahoma City received a permit to drill northwest of Lindsay in McClain County in Section 15 of Township 5 North and Range 4 West.
Refuge to Take Part in Bison Management Program
A new approach to managing the bison population at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has led to the end of the annual bison hunt. Deputy Refuge Manager Amber Zimmerman says they have joined a program called the Bison Conservation Initiative, a 10-year program to work on focusing on the genetics of the herd. Zimmerman tells KSWO-TV that the herd at the refuge has grown substantially after it had diminished to just 15 animals. She said the initiative put forth by the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management should help with in-breeding issues within the herd. There are also problems with the bison cross-breeding with livestock.
Sheriff's Office 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.
Funeral service for Julie Largent, 53, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 21st at First Assembly of God. Those attending the serve are asked to wear masks. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
High School Football scores
Anadarko 36, Chickasha 19
Bixby JV 29, Blanchard 13
Apache 43, Rush Springs 15
Bridge Creek 27, Lexington 12
Cyril 64, Temple 14
Davenport 66, Alex 50
Elmore City 49, Carnegie 7
Pauls Valley 26, Lindsay 12
Fox 42, Bray-Doyle 24
Central HIgh 50, Ryan 14
Mt. View-Gotebo 52, Geary 6
Minco 27, Watonga 20
Friday, September 18th
Chickasha A Hotspot for COVID-19
Coronavirus cases have increased dramatically in Chickasha in the last week. There were 56 active cases a week ago and records from the State Health Department yesterday now show 142 active cases. There was also one more resident who has died from the illness - a woman in the 65-years-and-older category. There have now been five deaths in Chickasha and eight fatal cases throughout Grady County. As of yesterday, Grady County has had a total of 783 people test positive which is an increase of more than 30 percent in a week. Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman is encouraging residents to protect themselves and others from community spread-
Spellman said that fortunately the hospital has not had a lot of patients hospitalized with the illness. The hospital has nine rooms in ICU set aside for COVID patients. As far as the number of people who have recovered from the illness, there have been 269 in Chickasha and 556 in the county who have recovered.
Chix City Council to Return to City Hall for Meeting
The Chickasha City Council will meet in the city council chambers on Monday night. The panel has been meeting virtually over the last three months. The group will discuss the potential sale of two more lots the city owns at the Grand Lake resort. The proposed prices are $55,000 and $33,000. Earlier this month a lot was sold for $40,000. The group is also to discuss awarding another $40,000 in economic development funds to Mark McPherson with the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company for its renovation work on a commercial building on South 4th Street. The group will also consider a request to exempt churches, schools, and qualified non-profit groups from the city's temporary sign regulations. Also to be discussed is allowing the sale and consumption of beer and wine at the upcoming Rock Island Arts Festival. The council will meet at city hall Monday, September 21st at 6:30 p.m..
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Election Board Secretary Katrina Hughes will be on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today our guests are Kean Spellman and Cathy Groseclose with Grady Memorial Hospital. There are links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.97 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.30.
Natural gas is $2.04 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,962 and silver is $27.38.
Thursday, September 17th
Active COVID-19 Cases Spike in Chickasha
The number of active cases for the coronavirus in Chickasha has more than doubled over the last week. There were 56 active cases last Thursday and in yesterday's report from the state health department there were 123 active cases. While Grady County is under a Yellow advisory (meaning there is a low-risk for contracting the illness), Chickasha schools went to an Orange level protocol earlier this week after sending a number of students home to quarantine. School officials say just because a student is quarantined does not mean they actually have the illness. Chickasha is nearing 400 positive coronavirus tests since March. There have been four deaths and the number of those who have recovered from the illness is 266. In other area communities, Blanchard has 52 active cases; Anadarko has 38; Tuttle has 27; Newcastle has 24; and Lindsay has 12. In the county numbers, Grady County has nearly 200 active cases and Caddo County has 84 active cases.
Election Boards Seek Precinct Workers
County election boards are looking for precinct workers for the Nov. 3rd presidential election. Grady County Election Board Secretary Katrina Hughes says many current precinct workers are older residents who are deciding to sit this one out because of coronavirus concerns. Hughes said more than 22,000 county voters cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. Hughes says the hours are long but there has been a pay hike.
Qualifications are to be a registered voter and pass a background check. Individuals also have to watch a 90-minute training video. Precinct officials do have to spend all day at the precinct, from about 6:30 in the morning until 7:30 p.m. or later. She also said election boards are currently accepting applications for absentee ballots. Applications can be found on the state election board website: www.elections.ok.us
CDL Expiration Dates Extended
If you have a commercial driver's license, here's some good news. The State Department of Public Safety is extending the expiration date of all CDLs, Commercial Learner Permits, and Federal Department of Transportation Medical Certifications that expired on or after March 1st of this year. The extension is through the end of the year. A press release from the Department of Public Safety indicates that the decision was made after the Federal Motor Carrier Association granted a similar extension to give drivers extra time to get their licenses and cards renewed. Drivers can renew their licenses on-line, by going to the website: www.ok.dot.gov/dps
Users will have to create an account and the previous renewal must have been made in person. The only exceptions are those who are active duty or civilian contractors with the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and dependents. Class A and B CDL renewals are about $59. Class C CDL renewal is about $50. Replacement cost for any CDS is about $26.
Ride a Bike To the Library Day is Next Week
The Chickasha Public Library is encouraging individuals to get a little exercise during an upcoming visit. Thursday, September 24th is Ride Your Bike to the Library Day. Library employees will be on the front lawn and will help individuals check out books and patrons can enter a drawing to win a free book. There will also be information about the library's zoom classes for healthy living and upcoming virtual activities for kids. The Friends of the Library will also be on hand with used books for sale and drawings for free books. Chickasha police officers will be on hand with bike safety classes in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church across the street. Ride your bike to the Library Day is next Thursday, Sept. 24th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $42.22.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,946 and silver is $26.96.
A graveside service for Willie Mills, 77, of Alex will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 19th at the Dibble Cemetery. The family asks those who attend to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Wednesday, September 16th
Improvements to be Made on Old Highway 81
Motorists who use Old Highway 81 between Chickasha and Ninnekah will be happy to know that some upgrades are coming next year. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission signed off on the project in a preliminary bid opening at its meeting earlier this month. It's a nearly $10 million project to widen the highway. Cole VonFeldt is the assistant construction engineer for the ODOT Division 7 Office in Duncan -
The project also includes new bridges on Dell Street going into Ninnekah and improvements to the county road that runs from the junction of U.S. Highways 81 and 277 east to Old Highway 81. The project was award to Sewell Brothers out of Oklahoma City. The right-of-way has already been purchased and utilities have been re-located. The work is expected to begin after the first of the year and the anticipated end date being in the spring of 2022.
Hospital, 5 Oaks Offer Drive-Thru Flu Shots
Medical authorities are already promoting flu shots for the flu season which officially began the first of this month. Grady Memorial Hospital and the Five Oaks Medical Group will hold a Drive Thru to Fight Flu drive today and tomorrow, offering flu shots to adults. Julie Austin is the assistant director for the Five Oaks Clinic-
You may be asked to show your ID and you can help by wearing a short-sleeved shirt. The Drive Through to Fight the Flu event is from 8 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Five Oaks Medical Clinic next to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Memorial Service for Postal Worker is Friday
A memorial service has been set for the postal worker who died in a traffic accident this past weekend. The service for 21-year old Taylor Streber will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 18th at the Tuttle Methodist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle. A memorial fund has been established in Taylor's name at Sooner State Bank.
Chix Chamber Schedules Clean-up Day
A fall campaign to spruce up the City of Chickasha is being organized by the Chamber of Commerce. The theme for the event is “Love Where You Live”. Volunteers will work with a number of groups and non-profit agencies. Projects will include landscaping, painting, and other beautification and clean-up efforts. The one-day event will take place on Friday, Sept. 25th. All who participate will get a free t-shirt provided by the First National Bank and Public Service Company of Oklahoma as long as they are registered by next Monday, Sept. 21st. Free breakfast will provided by Alexander Eats at 7:30 a.m. with the work day going from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will also get a free ticket to the Junior Social Workers Spaghetti Day fundraiser being held the same day. Sign up on-line at the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce website:
Guitarist Edgar Cruz to Open USAO Arts Series
The USAO Davis Waldorf Performing Arts Series opens tomorrow night with a virtual performance from Oklahoma City guitarist Edgar Cruz. All the concerts will be held virtually this year and they are free, however individuals must subscribe to get information and access codes for each performance. Go on-line to: www.usao.edu/dwpas
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $38.28 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $40.53.
Natural gas is $2.36 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,975 and silver is $27.60.
Rev. Francis White
A graveside service for Rev. Francis White, 94, formerly Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 19th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Baptist Children's Home. Rev. White was a U.S. Navy veteran.
Tuesday, September 15th
Masks Now Required for Chickasha Schools
An increasing number of students in Chickasha Public Schools being quarantined due to exposure to the coronavirus has the district moving from a Yellow to an Orange level status. That means that all students in grades 5-12 and all school personnel will be required to wear masks. Pre-K through 4th grade students will not be required to wear masks but are strongly encouraged to do so. The news was posted on the school district's Facebook page last night. The statement says while there has been an increase in the number of students quarantined, it does not mean those students have tested positive. The statement reads that guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Grady County Health Department, and the State Department of Education requires school districts to quarantine students when they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The post states that the downgrade to the Orange level is not taken lightly, and that it is the district's goal to assist the community in preventing further spread or exposure to the illness.
General Obligation Bonds May Be Needed
to Address City of Chickasha Budget Issues
As we reported last week, Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt says the city is facing financial problems in the next couple of years. He said the city council faces some difficult decisions and that staff layoffs are not out of the question. Noblitt said one issue up for discussion is calling for a special election to issue general obligation bonds which, if passed, would increase property taxes.
Noblitt and the city council are expected to hold a number of work sessions over the next few months to come up with solutions to deal with the city's financial problems.
September Chix Sales Tax Revenues Down from 2019
Chickasha's sales tax revenues are showing a decline from the same time a year ago. Collections for September are down 15 percent to $986,000 - a drop of more than $171,000 from September of 2019. In September of last year, the city’s sales tax revenues were more than $1.1 million. This month's sales tax revenues were a bit higher than last month as collections were up about 1.5 percent ($970,000 for August 2020). Use tax collections - those paid on Internet purchases - were $89,000 this month. That's down from $107,000 last month but up from $88,000 in September of 2019.
Driver Arrested After Chix Police Pursuit
A weekend pursuit by Chickasha police led to the arrest of a driver. There aren't a lot of details available, but the Chickasha police blotter indicates it happened before noonn Saturday. An officer attempted to make a traffic stop when the driver sped away. Lantone Garret was arrested on complaints of attempting to elude while endangering others, failure to stop at a stop sign, improper turn, and having defective equipment. Prosecutors have charged the 42-year old Garrett with a felony for endangering others while eluding.
JSW Spaghetti Day to be Drive-Thru, Delivery Only
Officials with Junior Social Workers say the coronavirus is forcing some changes to their upcoming Spaghetti Day fundraiser. Spaghetti Day will go on however there will be no inside dining. Only drive-through service will be available and orders of two or more dinners can be delivered. Spaghetti Day is set for Friday, Sept. 25th at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Visit the Junior Social Workers Facebook page for ticket information and other details.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $37.24 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $39.61.
Natural gas is $2.31 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,975 and silver is $27.64.
A graveside service for Helen Loveless, 97, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, September 18th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Chickasha.
No services are scheduled for Seth Hutchison, 28, of Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Monday, September 14th
Weekend Crashes Claim Three Lives
Three people died on area roadways over the weekend. One crash claimed the life of a postal worker in Chickasha. Chickasha police report that 21-year old Taylor Struber of Tuttle died when the mail delivery truck she was driving veered off U.S. Highway 62 and hit a support beam under the overpass of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike at Mile Marker 83. The accident happened just after 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning. One person died and another was hospitalized when two SUVs collided last night on State Highway 4 between Tuttle and Mustang. That crash is still under investigation. And a fatal motorcycle accident happened south of Marlow on U.S. Highway 81 just before noon Saturday. The Highway Patrol reports that 78-year old Billy Speiler of Texas died as he was riding with a group of motorcycle riders. The group had slowed but Spieler did not realize it right away. After Spieler applied his brakes the motorcycle slid on the highway then flipped.
Back the Blue Walk Draws Large Group
About 200 people took part in Chickasha's Back the Blue walk and rally that was held this past Saturday. Organized by Grady County Deputy Sheriff Shane Melton, supporters walked from the Grady County Fairgrounds to the Chickasha Sports Complex. Melton said it was his way to recognized and honor those who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the public.
District Attorney Jason Hicks and Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir were among the speakers at the rally.
Area State Lawmakers Discuss Funding
for Municipal Road and Bridge Repairs
State lawmakers in the region reach across the aisle for an interim study to help communities deal with road repairs in light of the huge downturn in the energy industry. Democratic State Representative David Perryman of Chickasha, along with Republicans Brad Boles of Marlow, Cynthia Roe of Lindsay, and Sherrie Conley of Newcastle led the discussion on possible funding options without tax increases. Representatives from several municipalities as well as the energy industry took part in the study. Boles said that cities don't have the budgets to continually repair roads and bridges that were not designed to handle heavy oilfield traffic. Boles said they are discussing some changes that would use some proceeds from the state's Gross Production Tax to repair those damaged roads and bridges.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $37.33 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $39.83.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,951 and silver is $27.02.
Quannah Jo Sanders
Graveside service for Quannah Jo Sanders, 73, of Chickasha will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 15th at Celestial Gardens Cemetery in Cyril. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A memorial service will be held at later date for Balbina Knight, 44, of Cement. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.