Mollman Media News

2020, Dec. 14th-19th

Saturday, December 19th

 

Grady Memorial Staffers Get COVID-19 Vaccinations

About 200 front-line health care workers at Grady Memorial Hospital received their first vaccinations to battle the coronavirus this week. Dr. Amish Patel, a general surgery specialist, was among the first to get the vaccine. The State Health Department shared a photograph of Patel getting the shot from Registered Nurse Lauren Speer. The hospital workers were given the shots Thursday and Friday. A news release from the health department said this was the initial dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations. They will be getting a second vaccination in 21 days. This is Phase 1 of a multi-phase program to distribute the vaccine. The State of Oklahoma received about 33,000 of the vaccines. Doctors, nurses, state licensed Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics are first in line. The vaccine will then be distributed to nursing homes and long-term care centers through a federal program and partnership with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.

 

Bond Set for 'Person of Interest' in Chickasha Deaths

A $1 million bond. That's what a Comanche County judge set for a man arrested this week who is a person of interest regarding the deaths of Ashley Cannon and her unborn child of Chickasha earlier this month. Chickasha police announced the arrest of Kenneth Lee Johnson. Comanche County authorities had issued a warrant for Johnson's arrest for having a firearm after former conviction. U.S. Marshalls arrested Johnson after pulling him over on a traffic stop and Chickasha authorities say they were able to ascertain that Johnson was who they were looking for. Officials have not said if Johnson is a suspect in Cannon's death. Johnson is being held in the Comanche County Jail. A preliminary hearing conference is set for March 29th. He is being represented by Lawton attorney Jill Oliver.

 

Businesses Support Chix Middle School Gift Project

All the students at Chickasha Middle School were presented a little Christmas cheer with the help of many local businesses. Mindy Crow helps with in-school remediation and special projects at the middle school. She sent us an e-mail saying the staff wanted to make sure all 300 students would get a gift this year. So they reached out to a number of businesses for contributions  to spread some Middle School pride and were able to give every student a Chickasha Beanie. Wing T's printed the beanies and contributions came from Richard's Printing, B.Js Pizza, The Rock Island Grill, Lopez and Sons Roofing, the Buzin Law Office, Dr. Pepper, CMS Willowbrook, and Jeremy and Kea Ginn. There was an added surprise from the Cotton Patch Cafe which provided meal vouchers and Ross True Value donated gift bags. Crow said the middle school employees wanted to send a big thank you to all those who helped with their cause.

 

Obituary

Shawn Singleton

A private service for Shawn Singleton, 50, of the Cogar area will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21st at the First Baptist Church of Pocasset. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Friday, December 18th

 

Firefighters Sue City of Chickasha

The Chickasha Fire Fighters Association is suing the City of Chickasha for alleged violations of fair labor standards. The International Association of Firefighters Local 2041 filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Union President Josh Gregston tells KOOL-RANCH News that the lawsuit is about the city's refusal to include longevity pay and overtime which he says is a textbook violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Gregston said the union has been trying to get the city to do the right thing for more than three years and so far nothing short of a lawsuit has worked. He says the union is committed to insure the firefighters recover their unpaid wages. A copy of the lawsuit is posted on the Chickasha Fire Fighters Facebook page. A statement within the post says just two days after the lawsuit was filed on Dec. 1st, the city failed to pay longevity pay due to union members. The union believes the action was taken in retaliation of the lawsuit being filed. KOOL-RANCH News asked the city manager for a response and he declined to make a comment.

 

Pursuit Suspect in Custody

A pursuit through Chickasha earlier this week lands one man in jail who has a history of trying to elude law enforcement. 40-year old Dusty Aaron Songer of Verden was arrested by a state trooper following the pursuit Tuesday night. The trooper states in an affidavit he attempted to make a traffic stop on Songer because he didn’t have his headlights on while traveling on U.S. Highway 62 about 9:30 that night. Songer sped through several neighborhoods and down several alleys before two tires on the vehicle went flat. Songer then got out of the vehicle and fled on foot but he was captured by Chickasha police who had also been part of the pursuit. When asked why he fled, Songer said it was because he didn’t have a driver’s license. Songer has been formally charged with a felony count of endangering others while trying to elude and misdemeanor counts of drug possession and no driver's license. He remains in jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond.  Songer was arrested in November of 2019 for trying to elude Grady County sheriff's deputies. He was charged with a misdemeanor in connection with that arrest.

 

Chickasha Schools Adopts Co-op Policy              

The Chickasha Board of Education has approved a new co-op policy that would allow students from area schools to play sports at Chickasha that aren't offered at their home school districts. Chickasha Superintendent Rick Croslin said the board approved the policy with a unanimous vote during this week's school board meeting.

 

              

 

The policy went into effect immediately so parents can have their students apply right away. The students must have the approval of their home school district to take part. It will cost $200 per student per sport per year, which Croslin says covers adminstrative costs.

 

Ag Diversification Grants, Loans Available

The next round of grants and loans available to ag producers who are looking to diversify their operations will be awarded in the next few months. The funds are part of the State Department of Agriculture's enhancement and diversification program. Producers can apply for zero-percent interest loans as well as grants. A state department of ag news release says the emphasis is to create rural economic development by bringing new revenue to farms, increasing jobs in rural areas, and the development of agri-tourism projects. Applications for the next round of funding are due by January 4th.  Information is available on the website ag.ok.gov

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt will be on our KOOL Konversation program talking about the water drainage study being reviewed at city hall. On Real Estate Today, Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin is our guest. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $48.36 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $51.50.

Natural gas is $2.64 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,884 and silver is $25.96.

 

Thursday, December 17th

 

Local Sales Tax Revenues Continue Decline

Sales tax revenues for Oklahoma cities, towns, and counties have taken a dive from the days before the pandemic and the dramatic drop in the energy sector. Sales tax revenues for the City of Chickasha were down 6 percent or about $50,000 from November to December. The December number was about $848,000. Compared to the same time last year, the number is down nearly 23 percent or about $300,000 from the $1.1 million received in December of last year. The city also received $87,000 in use tax revenue - sales taxes paid on Internet purchases – which is down from $97,000 last month and off about $50,000 from what was received in December of 2019. For Grady County, sales tax revenues are down more than 31 percent or $160,000 - from $525,000 in November to $360,000 in this month. It's less than half what the county received in December of last year, which was $756,000. The county received $70,000 in use tax collections this month. That's down from $81,000 last month and off about $30,000 from Dec. 2019.

 

Tuttle Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Allegation

A Grady County man is arrested for alleged child sexual abuse. An arrest warrant was issued last week for 40-year old Christopher Allen Salter of Tuttle and he was taken into custody this past Tuesday. A probable cause affidavit filed by Tuttle police shows the charge was more than four years in the making.  Authorities were first notified in October of 2016 about the alleged abuse with a then 11-year old girl. Interviews were held with witnesses and DHS officials in early 2017. Following his initial appearance on the charge Salter remains in jail on a $100,000 bond. He is to announce his attorney December 30th and  a preliminary hearing conference set for Jan. 13th.

 

Hospital to Hold Virtual Town Hall Meeting on

Local Implementation of the COVID-19 Vaccine

A virtual town hall meeting for area businesses will be held this afternoon to discuss the timeline about the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Chickasha area. Grady Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kean Spellman will have information in a Zoom conference hosted by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council. The Zoom conference will start at 3:00 p.m. and there will be time for questions. The Chamber e-mailed notices about the meeting to its members. For information about how to access the Zoom meeting contact the Chamber by calling 405-224-0787.

 

Families to Benefit from Regional Food Bank Distribution              

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will have another big food distribution in Chickasha this weekend. It will be held at the Chickasha Sports Complex Saturday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. According to a post on the City of Chickasha's Facebook page there will be food for about 200 families. Officials are looking for volunteers to help. Contact Conrad Duprez by calling 405-641-4484.

 

'Buy Chickasha' Gift Card Winners Named

All three gift cards for the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce 'Buy Chickasha' campaign have been claimed. All the winners are from Chickasha. The $5,000 gift card winner is Brian Battershell and his ticket came from Ross True Value. The $3,000 gift card winner is Mary Rhodes with her winning ticket from Painted Pistols. The $2,000 gift card winner is Linda McElroy and her ticket was from Jay's Jewelry. Officials say there more than 78,000 tickets in this year's drawing which was nearly three times the number from last year’s number of about 27,000 tickets.

              

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.82.

London-based Brent crude is $51.08.

Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,879 and silver is $25.81.

 

Obituaries

“Lee Roy “ Schenk

Funeral service Clark “Lee Roy” Schenk, 84, of Marlow and formerly of the Chickasha and Verden areas was held at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday) at Callaway-Smith-Cobb Chapel in Marlow. Memorial contributions may be made to cancer research.

Tammy (Morris) Cano

A graveside service for Tammy (Morris) Cano, 46, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18th at the Alex Cemetery. Arrangements are with Eisenhour Funeral Home of Blanchard.

Russell Owen

A graveside service for Russell Owen, 78, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 22nd at the Antioch Cemetery near Maysville. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army.

 

Wednesday, December 16th

 

Homicide 'Person of Interest' Arrested

Chickasha authorities say the person of interest they were looking for in connection with the death of a mother and her unborn child is in custody. U.S. Marshalls arrested a Kenneth Lee Johnson in Lawton yesterday. A press release issued by Chickasha police indicates that Johnson was arrested based off a Comanche County warrant for possession of a firearm after former felony conviction. The Lawton Constitution reports that Johnson was arrested after being pulled over on a traffic stop. Authorities were looking for Johnson after the body of Ashley Cannon was found in her apartment in the early morning hours of Dec. 1st. Officials still have not said how Cannon died. Lead detective Lauren Jewell would only say that is was a horrific and heinous crime. Johnson has not been named as a suspect in connection with the deaths of Cannon and her unborn baby.

 

Grady Memorial Staffers to get COVID-19 Vaccine

Several Grady Memorial Hospital doctors and nurses will be getting the COVID-19 vaccination this week. Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman says between 150 and 200 employees will get the shot starting tomorrow. Spellman said they had to provide a list of the hospital’s front-line workers to the state health department where officials there will decide who will get the vaccine. Spellman said they'll have to prepare the vaccine prior to giving the shots.

 

              

 

Those who get the vaccine will have to be monitored for about 15 minutes to make sure they don't have any serious allergic reactions. Those who get the shots will have to get a second inoculation in three weeks.

 

Driver Linked Fatal Crash Charged with Manslaughter

A Marlow man is charged with felony manslaughter in connection with a deadly traffic accident that occurred in Grady County earlier this year. An arrest warrant was issued last week for 37-year old Mark Allen Cass. He’s also charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in injury. Cass was booked into the Grady County Jail late Monday. The accident occurred in April at the intersection of a couple of county roads between Rush Springs and Marlow. Killed in the crash was Todd Foat, also of Marlow while two children riding in his vehicle were seriously injured. The trooper investigating the accident said in an affidavit that Cass was speeding at more than 100 miles per hour before the crash. Cass' bond was set at $150,000 bond.

 

'Buy Chickasha' Winning Ticket Holders Sought

As of Wednesday morning, there's no word regarding the three potential winners of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce Buy Chickasha campaign. Ticket drawings were held live on the Chamber’s Facebook yesterday. The individual with Ticket No. 54523 may win a $5,000 gift card; the individual with Ticket No. 74864 may win a $3,000 gift card; and the individual with Ticket No. 50617 may win a $2,000 gift card. Winning ticket holders have until 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16th to claim their prizes or new numbers will be drawn.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.62 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $50.76.

Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,869 and silver is $25.44.

 

Obituaries

Terrill McBride

Funeral service for Terrill McBride, 75, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19th at the United Methodist Church in Lewis, Kansas. He was a medical administrator for a group of doctors for medical radiology in the Chickasha area and spent a year as the National President of the Radiologist Business Managers Association. He was a long-time supporter of Chickasha High School baseball and helped with the creation of the L.J. Powell Baseball Complex at Elliott Field. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves. The service will be available on Facebook Live with the Beckwith Mortuary in Lewis, Kansas. Memorial contributions may be made to the Masonic Lodge No. 220 or the Methodist Church both of which are in Lewis, Kansas.

Janet Merritt

A memorial service will be held at a later date for Janet Merritt, 77, of Chickasha. She was the mother of Tuttle boys basketball coach Bryan Merritt. Memorial contributions may be made to Grand Assembly of God.

 

Tuesday, December 15th

 

Another Winter Storm Hits Oklahoma

A second big snow storm in three days will be bringing several inches of snow to many areas of central and northern Oklahoma today. For central Oklahoma, a winter weather advisory is posted, as two to four inches of snow are forecast throughout the day and into the evening hours. The National Weather Service says some areas could see six inches or more of snow by the time its all said and done. The advisory includes all of central Oklahoma...and even the Lawton area in southwest Oklahoma. The winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 o'clock night.

 

West Coast Women Face Drug Charges

Two women from the west coast are in the Grady County Jail after being arrested following a traffic stop last week. The Grady County Sheriff's Office received a call last Wednesday about a reckless driver in the Ninnekah area around the Highway 81 and 277 junction. A car was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 81. A deputy spotted the vehicle and tried to make a stop, but the driver failed to do so. The driver never broke the speed limit. The driver finally pulled over just north of Rush Springs. The driver and a passenger were Asian and managed to communicate that they did not speak English. A probable cause affidavit indicates the deputy found substances that tested positive for both cocaine and meth. They also found more than $8,000 in cash. Prosecutors have charged 44-year old Baoxia Zhang and 33-year old Junling Chen - both of whom listed California addresses - with unlawful possession of drugs with intent to distribute. Both remain in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond each. Authorities notified the OSBI, the FBI and Homeland Security about the arrests.

 

Funeral Set for Coach Robert Duvall

Area high school basketball coach Robert Duvall will be laid to rest later this week. Duvall, 66, died last week after battling the coronavirus. Duvall spent parts of five decades coaching and teaching in Oklahoma schools. The Altus native earned his master's degree in education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He had coached at Union City high School the last three years, and also coached at Minco, Merritt, Dill City, and Ft. Supply. A graveside service for Coach Duvall will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18th at Evergreen Cemetery in Minco. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home in Chickasha. A scholarship fund in Coach Duvall's name has been established at the First National Bank of Minco.

 

Newcastle School Board Candidate Withdraws

A candidate for one of the seats on the Newcastle school board has withdrawn his name from consideration. Jerry Gilbertson was one of three candidates who filed for Office No. 1. He withdrew Friday, which was the final day candidates could withdraw. The two candidates who will be on the ballot include incumbent Jeff Dingee and challenger Darrin Abel. The election will be held in April.

 

State Rep. Brad Boles Prepares for Legislative Session

State lawmakers are preparing for the upcoming legislative session. State Representative Brad Boles says he's working to draft over a dozen bills for the session which will start in February. However, only the top eight measures will be assigned to a House committee. In his media column this week, Boles said among the proposals he is working on are - helping victims of violent crime; supporting military veterans; and supporting businesses. Another is to examine if cities in oil production areas should get a portion of the state's gross production taxes for road and bridge maintenance; and modernizing and making city and county government more transparent.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.99 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $50.29.

Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,847 and silver is $24.35.

 

Obituaries

Carole “Cookie” Watson

Graveside service for Carole “Cookie” Watson, 79, formerly of Chickasha will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Viola Rogers

Graveside service for Viola Rogers, 81, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18th at the Ninnekah Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Eldora Wright

Graveside service for Eldora Wright, 86, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Monday, December 14th

 

100+ Regional Projects Listed on ODOT's 8-Year Plan

More than 100 road improvement projects are scheduled over the next several years in the Chickasha, Anadarko, and Duncan area. All are on the new 8-year plan released by the State Transportation Commission. Division 7 Engineer Jay Earp says coming up after the first of the year will be the replacement of the two Washita River Bridges east of Chickasha.

 

              

 

Earp said that is a more than $12 million project and it will take more than a year to complete. See the entire list of the eight-year plan on the State Department of Transportation's website: www.odot.org

 

Chix School Board to Discuss Proposed Co-op Policy

A proposed new policy for Chickasha Public Schools to create an extra-curricular co-op agreement with area schools will be discussed by the Chickasha Board of Education tonight. If approved, it would allow students from other school districts to take part in Chickasha school athletic programs. A student-athlete would have to pay $200 to take part in athletics. The school board will also go behind closed doors to discuss a number of personnel issues, which will include an evaluation of Superintendent Rick Croslin. Tonight's meeting will be held at the Chickasha Schools Administration building starting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will also be streamed on the school district's YouTube channel which can be accessed from the district's website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us This is the last week of classes for most public school students before an extended break through the holiday season. Friday will be the last day of classes at Chickasha schools and students will be returning to class on Tuesday, Jan. 5th

 

CV Tech Earns 'Workforce Excellence' Accreditation

The Canadian Valley Technology Center is now a certified center for Workforce Excellence through the State Department of Commerce. Only nine groups statewide completed an accreditation process to qualify for the certification. CV Tech is one of only two groups in western Oklahoma to do so. The other is in Duncan, which was led by the Duncan Area Economic Development group. State Commerce Secretary Sean Kouplen said the program - called Oklahoma Works Together - establishes a local, industry-based workforce model to help existing businesses find workers as well as attract new industry to the state. The program established last year brought together groups to work with business leaders, economic developers, state agencies, and all three education sectors which are career tech, public schools, and colleges and universities. Another round of the accreditation process will begin in February.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.57 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is just under $50.

Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,828 and silver is $23.96.

 

Obituary

Tammy (Morris) Cano

Funeral service for 46-year old Tammy Cano of Chickasha is pending with Eisenhour Funeral Home of Blanchard.

 

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