Saturday, November 21st
Pursuit Spans Two Counties; Supect in Custody
A high speed pursuit which spanned two counties yesterday included a number of law enforcement agencies and lasted over an hour. The chase started in the Marlow area just after noon and reached speeds of 110 miles per hour as the driver of an extended cab pickup headed north on U.S. Highway 81 into Grady County. Police scanner traffic indicated the man was driving erratically and waving a weapon. Numerous police departments, Grady and Stephens County sheriff's deputies, and state troopers were all involved in the pursuit. The chase reached Chickasha where the motorist headed east on State Highway 19 and to the Alex area. The pursuit then went down a number of rural county roads and it's believed that the suspect managed to get away. However authorities were able to identify the driver and eventually located him and took him into custody. 61-year old Brent Drummond of Alex was taken to the Stephens County Jail in Duncan where he is being held on complaints of attempting to elude and reckless handling of a firearm.
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.
Festival of Light Opens Tonight
Chickasha's Festival of Light officially opens tonight. This is the 28th year for the festival which features more than 2 ½ million lights in the city's 43-acre Shannon Springs Park. One of the main attractions is a 160-foot tall Christmas tree which is decorated with about 25,000 lights. The event attracts thousands of visitors every year and they can either drive through or walk through the park. There is a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, an ice skating rink, food trucks, and a gift shop. Cassandra Ersland who serves as one of the board members for the festival says there is an app available this year.
This year, all the incandescent bulbs have been changed over to LED lights which are brighter and more energy efficient. The Festival of Light will be open every night through New Year's Eve.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Theresa Plata, a Child Welfare Specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, is on our KOOL Konversation. Interim Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego is with us on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A memorial service for Jim Rodgers, 74, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23rd at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served one tour in Vietnam. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
No service will be held for Terianne Montgomery, 72, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Latasha Crawford, 31, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
High School Football Scores
Blanchard 47, Tecumseh 6
Tuttle 31, Newcastle 21
Anadarko 28, Sulphur 14
Marlow 70, Bethel 33
Bishop McGuinness 41, Duncan 21
Mooreland 34, Minco 15
Tonkawa 28, Dibble 23
Alex 38, Empire 20
Velma-Alma 58, Snyder 56 (OT)
Mt. View-Gotebo 56, Sharon-Mutual 6
No. 7 Waynoka 52, No. 8 Maysville 16
Friday, November 20th
Ex-con Faces Kidnapping, Weapons Charges
A Chickasha man is facing kidnapping and weapons charges following his arrest earlier this week. 42-year old Mark Denero Wilson was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. No details of the arrest were available. Grady County prosecutors have charged Wilson with kidnapping, possession of a firearm after felony conviction, and domestic assault. Wilson remains in the Grady County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Prosecutors have also filed paperwork to revoke Wilson’s probation for pleading guilty to previous domestic violence charges stemming from a 2015 arrest. On-line court records say Wilson was sentenced to 20 years with 10 years suspended in connection with that plea.
Fire Department Seeks Help to Find Stolen Trailer
The Bridge Creek Fire Department is asking for help in finding two individuals who stole a trailer from its headquarters. The theft occurred before dawn Thursday at Station 2 on Fox Lane. Authorities say the trailer is used to move their quick attack and wild land fire UTV. A post on the department’s Facebook page indicates it’s one of several trailer thefts that have occurred in the Bridge Creek area within the last couple of weeks. The Facebook page has some photos of the suspects and an extended cab pickup used in the theft. Anyone with information is asked to call the Grady County Sheriff's Office at 405-224-0984 or Crimestoppers at 405-224-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be posted to the Grady County Crimestoppers Facebook page.
Second Victim of Fatal Crash Identified
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has released the name of the second person who died in a traffic accident near Sterling last weekend. 54-year old Michelle Evanoff of Lawton was a passenger in a pickup that ran a stop sign and hit a Jeep last Saturday night. Also killed in the crash was 61-year old Kelly Hale of Sterling. The driver of the Jeep, 47-year old Christopher Wilmeth of Fletcher, was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital in critical condition. He remains in the hospital and has been upgraded to fair condition as of this morning. The accident is still under investigation.
Festival of Light to Open on Time
Despite last month's massive ice storm, Chickasha's holiday light celebration will open as scheduled. The Festival of Light will begin its 28th year - just three weeks after the storm damaged trees and many of the lights and displays at Shannon Springs Park. Elizabeth Allen with the Festival of Light says they made some big changes with the more than 2 ½ million lights.
While some communities have canceled their holiday light displays because of the pandemic, Festival of Light coordinators decided to forge ahead. There won't be a formal opening ceremony. The park will open to visitors tomorrow night (Saturday, Nov. 21st) and will be open every evening through New Year’s Eve. Individuals can drive through or walk through the park.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.74 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.20.
Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,863 and silver is $24.37.
Funeral service for Mary Bowens, 89, of Chickasha is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Graveside service for Betty Williams, 84, of Tuttle will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23rd at Tuttle’s Fairview Cemetery. She and her late-husband Don Williams were one-time co-owners of the Williams grocery stores. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Thursday, November 19th
Wildland Fires Possible Again Today
Another round of unseasonably warm temperatures, along with high winds and dry vegetation could lead to more grass fires today. Numerous fire departments were called out to battle an enormous blaze near Newcastle Wednesday. A number of volunteers from Grady County Fire Departments were called out to be part of a task force to squelch that blaze. Firefighters managed to get it under control after several hours though many remained in the area to put out hot spots and monitor fires in ravines. No property damage has been reported.
Woman Injured When Wheelchair is Hit by Pickup
A Chickasha woman who was hospitalized after her wheelchair was hit by a pickup is recovering. Rae McElroy was injured Tuesday afternoon in downtown Chickasha. A Facebook post attributed to her husband Dale indicated she was in a crosswalk on her scooter when the accident happened. A witness tells KOOL/RANCH News that McElroy she suffered several broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a punctured lung. She was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. We called to check her condition this morning and it appears she has been released. The name of the driver of the pickup was not available. The witness we talked to said the driver stopped immediately and stayed with McElroy until she was taken to the hospital. A police report of the accident is not yet available.
Chix Schools Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Chickasha Public Schools are celebrating Native American Heritage Month. Mayor Chris Mosley helped with a proclamation. Donya Charlson leads the school district’s Native American cultural education program which gets funding from a federal program called the Johnson O'Malley program. Charlson talks about some of their activities.
Rock Our Mocs (moccasins) Day is today. The students are also having an Indian Taco fundraiser today with the help of the Chickasha Masonic Lodge. The cost is $7. Call or text Charlson, 405-320-0787.
Salvation Army Begins Red Kettle Drive
Let the bell ringing begin! The Salvation Army which serves Grady and Caddo counties begins its Red Kettle Drive today. Bell ringers will be at the Chickasha Post Office, William's Foods, Homeland, and Atwoods today. They'll be at Wal-Mart stores in Chickasha, Anadarko, and Newcastle starting on Saturday. All the proceeds from the local kettle drives stay local to help needy families in the two counties. The Red Kettle drive runs every day through Christmas Eve, although you won't see bell ringers on Sunday. The Salvation Army continues asking for volunteers to ring the bells. You can sign up on-line at www.registertoring.com and you can pick the days and times from those that are available. The Salvation Army also offers paid positions although they prefer volunteers.
Proposed YMCA/Community Center Meeting Postponed
A community meeting to discuss the possibility of building a new YMCA/community center in Chickasha that was scheduled for tonight has been postponed, No makeup date was announced.
Billy Glenn Thomas
Funeral service is pending for Billy Glenn Thomas, 76, of Las Vegas, Nevada with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Genevie Crites, 85, of Ft. Cobb will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21st at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Wednesday, November 18th
Jury Convicts Suspect of Federal Murder, Assault Charges
A federal jury convicts a Carnegie man of murder and assault stemming from a violent attack on a homeless couple which occurred two years ago. 34-year old Isaiah Whitefox Redbird was found guilty of the charges following a trial and two days of deliberations in Oklahoma City Federal Court. The attack occurred on tribal land in Carnegie in September of 2018. Killed in the attack was Byron "Subee" Tongkeahmah, Jr. Kayleigh Roughface survived the attack but suffered massive injuries that included a fractured skull and broken bones. The Lawton Constitution cites U.S. Attorney Timothy Downing as saying Redbird had a grudge against Tongkeahmah. Formal sentencing is expected to be held early in 2021. Downing said Redbird will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Lewd Social Media Posts Leads to Arrest
Grady County authorities arrest a man for allegedly encouraging a 15-year old girl to send him nude photos of herself. 20-year old Braedon Edwards of Norman was arrested by a Grady County sheriff's deputy Monday after a warrant was issued for Edwards' arrest. A probable cause affidavit indicates that investigators were made aware of the allegations by the teenager's mother last month. The mother provided authorities with some Snap Chat images that were sent to Edwards. The teen is said to have told Edwards she was 15. The probable cause affidavit filed following the investigation indicates that Edwards told the girl he was 17. Edwards is charged with a felony for using an electronic device to make lewd or indecent proposals. He remains in jail on a $50,000 bond.
Woman Arrested for Alledgedly Kicking Cop
A Grady County woman is arrested for allegedly kicking a police officer. An Amber officer was dispatched to a convenience store last weekend to help deal with an irate customer. The customer was asked to leave by store employees but said she wasn't leaving until she got her money back. As the officer attempted to escort the woman from the store she became combative and the officer said she was being arrested for trespassing. A short struggle ensued and the women fell to the floor and kicked the officer in the leg. 38-year old Beverly Jaquetta Reece of Amber was taken into custody. She has been formally charged with a felony for assault and battery on a police officer. Her bond was set at $5,000.
OHP Identifies Weekend I-35 Crash Victim
Investigators have released the name of the man who died when his pickup crashed on I-35 in Garvin County over the weekend. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that 64-year old Charles Ward of Cashion died in the crash that happened Sunday night north of Paoli. Ward's pickup veered off the interstate into the median, hit the cable barrier, then rolled several times and landed upside down.
Volunteer Crews Knock Down Grass Fires
Several large grassfires burned more than 100 acres in the Lake Burtschi area yesterday. 40 volunteer firefighters and 22 trucks were dispatched after the fires were reported about noon. Crews from Pioneer, Farwell, Verden, and Ninnekah all responded. Their quick action had the fires out within a couple of hours. No structures were threatened. Grady County Fire Department Spokesman Buddy Myers said the cause of the fires is under investigation. Fire danger will be elevated today as there will be gusty south winds to about 35 miles per hour with temps forecast to be in the 70s.
Halliburton to Re-hire After Massive Virus Layoffs
Halliburton is rebounding a bit after laying off thousands of employees worldwide this year because of the pandemic. The company is expected to hire about 170 employees within the next few weeks. Halliburton's website listed the areas of employment at its Duncan office. Some of the positions include entry-level technicians, delivery drivers, welders, account reps, and administrators. Interviews will begin as early as Friday. Job descriptions can be found on the company's website www.halliburton.com/careers
Thursday Job Fair in Carnegie
In Carnegie, the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and Longbow Logistics are co-hosting a job fair for some construction-related employment opportunities. Carpenters, concrete masons, equipment operators, and brick layers are a few of the openings with job locations throughout southwest and central Oklahoma. Tribal members will be given preference but the job fair is open to the public. It will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Kiowa Complex in Carnegie. Masks will be required and social distancing practices will be followed.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.73 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.75.
Natural gas is $2.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,873 and silver is $24.50.
Tuesday, November 17th
Missing Man's Body Found Under Bridge
A body found near Bradley yesterday has been identified as a man who was reported missing on Sunday. Authorities say the body of 41-year old Wesley Robert Brown, who lives in the Bradley area, was found under a bridge near State Highway 19 and CR 2960 just west of Bradley. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir says Brown was drinking with some friends Sunday evening when there was an argument and that he left the area on foot. Brown's mother reported him missing late Sunday evening. Weir said some of Brown's friends went looking for him Monday morning and they found Brown’s body about a half-mile from where he was last seen alive. Weir said the death is suspicious but there are no obvious signs of foul play and no arrests have been made. They will await results of an autopsy.
School Moves to Distance-Learning Due to COVID-19
One Chickasha school will go to distance-learning only the rest of this week due to an increasing number of coronavirus cases and quarantines. Superintendent Rick Croslin said that students at the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center will go to virtual-learning only through Friday. A post on the school's Facebook page indicates that learning packets will be available this afternoon and that packets will also be available tomorrow from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. School officials will call parents when the packets are ready. Every school in the Chickasha district will be closed all of next week for Thanksgiving break. The Bill Wallace students who have been taking part in classroom learning programs are scheduled to return to school on Monday, Nov. 30th.
Ice Storm Debris Removal Costs Rising for Chix
The cost for tree and debris removal for the City of Chickasha is expected to top $1 million. City Manager John Noblitt told the city council last night that estimated costs may surpass $1.3 million. Noblitt believes the city should recoup most of that cost if FEMA approves Gov. Kevin Stitt's request for federal emergency disaster relief.
Even if that relief is approved, Noblitt said the city won't see any funds until after the first of the year. Noblitt and a couple of city council members praised the effort of city crews who have worked to clear debris left in the wake of a massive ice storm. One council representative expressed concern about the lack of debris removal from Rose Hill Cemetery saying it appeared there has been no visible progress. Noblitt was going to check with the vendor responsible for maintenance at the city's two cemeteries to get an update.
Re-Zoning OK'd for Medical Marijuana Grower
The council unanimously approved a rezoning request for a medical marijuana growing facility. No comments for or against the proposal were made during a short public hearing. The property will be changed from residential to light industrial use in order to get the facility back in compliance with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority which recently changed regulations for growers.
Feedback Sought for State Transit Plan
A lengthy study designed to improve public transportation in Oklahoma is available for review. It's called the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan. State lawmakers implemented the study in 2019 and officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) worked with the Oklahoma Transit Association to put it together. ODOT Deputy Director Dawn Sullivan said hundreds of Oklahomans also provided input.
The plan outlines the goals and priorities needed to make Oklahoma a top 10 state for public transit by the year 2040. Public comments on the plan will be taken through this Saturday, Nov. 21st then passed on to Gov. Kevin Stitt and state lawmakers. See the study on the website www.oktransitplan.org and you'll also be able to submit comments on that website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.82.
Natural gas is $2.70 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,887 and silver is $24.72.
A private memorial service for Elizabeth Cox, 66, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. She was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, November 16th
Three Die in Weekend Traffic Accidents
The highway patrol is still investigating an accident that happened last night near Mile Marker 91 in Garvin County. That accident took place just before 10:30 p.m. The trooper dispatched to the scene said a pickup drove into the median, hit a cable barrier, rolled several times and landed upside down. The driver's name has not been released as relatives have not been notified. The other fatal crash happened about 6:30 p.m. Saturday on State Highway 17 east of Sterling where two people died. One of them was 61-year old Kelly Hale of Sterling. An unidentified passenger in the pickup she was driving also died. The OHP reports that Hale failed to stop at a stop sign and hit Jeep driven by 47-year old Christopher Wilmeth of Fletcher. He was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. A passenger in the Jeep, 45-year old Shannon Wilmeth, was taken to a Lawton hospital and her condition was unknown.
Grant for Chix PD Part of City Council Meeting
The Chickasha City Council is expected to approve a big grant for the city’s police department. On the agenda for the council's regular meeting tonight is a proposal to accept the $45,000 grant from the State Attorney General's Office to be used for violent crime prevention. The council is also to hold a public hearing on the proposed re-zoning of property in the 3400 block of Frisco. The applicant is asking to re-zone the property from residential to light industrial use, in order to continue operating his medical marijuana growing facility. This is the same proposal that was considered during last week’s Planning Commission meeting. Officials with the city’s Community Development Department are recommending the re-zoning be approved. The applicant previously was licensed with the state, however some state regulations recently changed and the city was not able to approve the current license. The panel is also to consider several issues regarding the municipal airport. One is to approve a land lease agreement to build some new hangars; others are to prepare bid specifications for a spec hangar and an office building for future lease space. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Grady County Treasurer's Office Still Closed: COVID-19
The Grady County Treasurer’s Office remains closed today and tomorrow after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The office was closed Friday afternoon after officials learned of the test result. The remaining offices of the courthouse are open for their normal operating hours.
"Buy Chickasha" Campaign Underway
Starting today, a number of Chickasha retailers continue to encourage families in the region to shop with local merchants during the holiday gift-buying season. The Buy Chickasha program gives shoppers the opportunity to win up to $5,000 in local gift cards. No purchase is necessary. Just by visiting a participating business, individuals will receive one ticket for the gift-card drawing. An additional ticket will be given for every $10 in merchandise purchased, up to 100 tickets. Participants must be 18 and older, and tax exempt purchases do not qualify, with the exception of those purchases made by disabled veterans. Corporate sponsors for the program include First National Bank, Salt Creek Casino, Liberty National Bank, Mollman Media and the participating merchants. Drawings for gift cards of $5,000; $3,000; and $2,000 will be held live on the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce Facebook page on Thursday, Dec. 16th. More than 20 businesses are participating. For a complete list of rules and participating merchants visit the website www.chickashachamber.org/buy-chickasha
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.13 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is 42.78.
Natural gas is $2.99 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,890 and silver is $24.91.