Saturday, December 26th
Teacher Charged with Rape of Student
A special education teacher is accused of raping one of her students. Andee Lantz who had been teaching at Carnegie schools resigned last month after being confronted with the allegation. Carnegie police had requested a warrant for her arrest on Friday, Dec. 18th. Lantz appeared in a Caddo County courtroom for her arraignment this past Wednesday. She faces a formal charge of second degree rape. Lantz was released after posting a $15,000 bond. She's to be back in court for a preliminary hearing conference in March. KWTV-News 9 cites court documents as saying that the 26-year old Lantz invited a 16-year old student to her home and that they had been intimate two or three times.
Christmas Crash Victim Critical
A Fletcher woman is critically injured after her truck crashes into a bridge. 43-year old Karen Horne suffered head, arm, leg, and internal injuries in the accident. She was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. The accident happened about 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 24th on State Highway 17 just east of Elgin. The Highway Patrol reports that for an unknown reason Horne veered off the highway and hit the bridge. The highway was closed for two hours after the crash.
Dog of Missing Ft. Sill Soldier Found
A dog that had gone missing from Lawton has been reunited with its owner. Earlier this week, the Lawton Constitution published a story about Boo, an 11-year old terrier/Chihuahua mix that was able to get out of the yard of the home of active-duty soldier Michelle Eatherly. She posted signs throughout the base asking for help in finding the dog. Just a couple of days after the story appeared in the Constitution, Eatherly said she got a text message from Courtney, an employee at the Oak Ridge Animal Center who had seen a flyer and recognized Boo's photo. Courtney said a Good Samaritan found Boo and that he was seriously injured. He suffered some puncture wounds around his neck, fractured ribs, and hypothermia. Boo is responding well to treatment. Eatherly set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for Boo's medical treatment. Any excess funds will be donated to the center to help pay medical costs for future lost pets that need immediate care.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Ahsa Morin with the Red Cord is on our KOOL Konversation. It’s a repeat of a program we had a couple of weeks ago. On Real Estate Today our guests are State Reps. Dick Lowe of Amber and Brad Boles of Marlow. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A private memorial service for Joe Mullin, 75 of Chickasha will be held at a later date. Burial will be at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin on Monday, Dec. 28th. Arrangements are with Ireland Funeral Home in Moore.
A private graveside service will be held for Charlie Lennier, of Poteau, formerly of Ninnekah. He operated the Lennier Manufacturing Company in the 1960s and 70s and spent several years X-raying pipelines. He was a U.S. Air Force Veteran. Arrangements are with McConnell Funeral Home of Poteau.
Thursday, December 24th
Crash Claims Life of Tuttle Woman
A Grady County woman lost her life in a deadly crash in western Oklahoma. High winds are being blamed on the traffic accident that killed 42-year old Sandra Lucas of Tuttle. The accident happened about 3:00 p.m. Wednesday on I-40 east of Elk City. She was a passenger in a pick-up driven by 45-year old Shane Lucas. Mr. Lucas and two children also in the truck were injured. The highway patrol reports that they were towing a box-type utility trailer and trying to pass a semi, when high winds caused Mr. Lucas to lose control, causing the pick-up and trailer to jack-knife. The semi then struck the passenger side of the pick-up. Shane Lucas was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where his condition was unknown at the time of publication. The children - a 16-year old boy and a 12-year old girl (whose names were not released) - were taken to an Elk City hospital where they were treated and released. The California driver of the semi was not injured.
5-Year Old Dies in House Fire
A little girl died in a fire that destroyed two homes in Mt. View. KSWO-TV reports that the fire erupted about 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. The child was identified as five-year old Harlee Bigger. The television station reported that Harlee's father, Michael had just gotten to work when he got the tragic news from his grandfather. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the family.
Father Charged with Child Neglect
A 77-year old man said to be the father of a four-year old is facing a charge of child neglect. The child was found wandering barefoot several blocks from his home. A probable cause affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates that a city worker in the 700 block of South 9th spotted the child Monday morning and called police. Authorities say the boy smelled of urine and was not properly dressed for the cold weather. The child was unable to tell police his name or where he lived. Another officer recognized the child – and police say it's not the first time they've found him unsupervised. Police took the child home and contacted the father who said he had fallen asleep and the child must have unlocked the door to get out. However, police said there was no way the child could have unlocked the door. The child was released to the custody of his mother who had come home from work while authorities were there. Police arrested Warren David Whitney and he spent Monday night in jail. On Tuesday, Whitney was formally charged with felony child neglect and was released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.
Neighbor Helps Police Find Burglary Suspect
An alert neighbor is credited with helping police catch a suspect alleged to have burglarized a vehicle. A woman called Chickasha police Monday morning when she saw a stranger rummaging through her neighbor's vehicle. The woman gave a description of the suspect and officers found him a few blocks away. The suspect is reported to have had items in his possession that had been in the car. Police arrested 30-year old Eric Lee Hurley who has been formally charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor drug possession. He also had an outstanding warrant from a 2018 indecent exposure arrest. Hurley remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.
City, County Offices Close for Holiday;
City Shuts Down Weekend Limb Drop-Off
Both Chickasha City Hall and the Grady County Courthouse are closed for the next couple of days for the Christmas holiday. Both will be re-opening on Monday. City of Chickasha officials also say they have discontinued the weekend hours for the limb drop off at the Public Works headquarters. Residents can still take brush from the October ice storm to the public works headquarters and drop it off at no charge during normal weekday business hours. However, the facility will be closed today and tomorrow as well as next Thursday and Friday for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Alabama Missionairies Provide Gifts for Chix Church
Missionaries from an Alabama church will help make the holiday brighter for some Chickasha youth. Parishioners from the Leatherwood Baptist Church of Anniston, Alabama have provided gifts to the Fellowship of the American Indian Church to give away. The give-away will be Sunday, Dec. 27th at the church at 1217 W. Frisco starting at 11:00 a.m. The gifts are for children 17 and under and the children must be present to get them.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $48.12 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $51.20.
Natural gas is $2.60 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,879 and silver is $25.92.
A graveside service for John Foley, 78 of Pauls Valley and formerly of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29th at Chickasha’s Rose Hill Cemetery. He owned and operated a number of pharmacies including Chickasha's Rexall Drug for many years. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, December 23rd
Couple with COVID-19 Dies Days Apart
Longtime Chickasha residents Billy and Betty Merrell recently lost their lengthy battles with the coronavirus, dying just days apart from each other. Betty was 84 when she passed away on December 10th and Billy was 85 when he died on December 18th. Billy was a Navy veteran and served in the Korean War. He worked in the oilfield much of his life and enjoyed tinkering with cars. Betty enjoyed sewing and crocheting - making dolls, doll clothes, and Hallowe'en costumes for their grandchildren and also enjoyed working in her flower garden. A joint graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chickasha VFW.
Checking the coronavirus numbers in the region, Chickasha has had more than 1,550 cases with 21 deaths and there are about 130 active cases. Blanchard is nearing 1,350 cases and there has been 7 deaths and 192 active cases. Tuttle is at 867 cases with 6 deaths and there are 94 active cases. Throughout Grady County, there have been more than 3,550 cases with 35 deaths and there are 353 active cases. Anadarko has had 885 cases with 15 deaths and there are 88 active cases. In all of Caddo County, there are more than 2,570 cases with 39 deaths and 284 active cases. The state health department reports that statewide - 2,240 people have died from the infection and 1,750 people are currently hospitalized.
Chickasha Picks Up Water Quality Award
Despite some problems with the City of Chickasha's water this past summer the city gets some recognition for its water treatment. Chickasha is among 13 water systems in the state receiving a Water Fluoridation Quality Award. It comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award was for calendar year 2019 (The city had no water quality issues that year). CDC officials say adding fluoride to drinking water prevents tooth decay and the process is considered to be one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The city of Chickasha contracts with US Water Associates which is responsible for treating Chickasha drinking water and waste water.
Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive in the Home Stretch
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive will wrap up tomorrow and officials urge contributors to drop as much change as possible into the kettles. All the funds donated in the Grady and Caddo county areas stay in the region to help needy families throughout the coming year. In a unique challenge, Local contractor CMS Willowbrook held a recent jobsite competition to help and agreed to match the total donations. Team members, suppliers, and subcontractors combined to donate more than $20,000 – with the Blanchard Elementary School jobsite responsible for $12,000. In all, the worksite challenge brought in more than $40,000 for the Salvation Army.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.02 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $50.08.
Natural gas is $2.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,862 and silver is $25.43.
Tuesday, December 22nd
Fed Disaster Declaration Approved for State Counties
More than a dozen Oklahoma counties have been approved for federal help to pay the clean-up costs from the devastating ice storms that hit the state in late October. President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for 13 counties Monday which include Grady, Caddo, Canadian, and Oklahoma counties. State of Oklahoma officials are estimating clean-up costs around $27 million. In Chickasha, officials have estimated debris removal costs at $1.3 million. The Oklahoman reports that state officials will submit another request for an additional 16 counties to get FEMA relief including McClain, Stephens, and Comanche counties.
Minimum Wage Increase Bill Filed at State Capital
A proposal to increase Oklahoma's minimum wage has been filed at the state capitol. Sen. George Young (D-Oklahoma City) filed SB 161 which would increase the minimum wage by nearly 50 percent - from $7.25 per hour to $10.50 per hour. The $10.50 per hour rate is equal to the federal minimum wage. In a press release, Young said it’s been more than a decade since Oklahomans have seen a minimum wage increase. During that time he said the spending power of a minimum-wage paycheck has drastically decreased. Young said many essential workers have been paid a minimum wage during the pandemic and that a raise would be a well-deserved thank you for their dedication and service. He said if Oklahoma truly wants to be a Top-10 state the minimum wage must be increased in order to be competitive with other states.
Congress OKs New Coronavirus Relief Measure
Both houses of Congress have now approved the next round of coronavirus relief funds and the $900 billion measure awaits the signature of President Trump. Oklahoma Farm Broadcaster Ron Hays says $13 billion is set aside for agriculture and talks about additional funds for the cattle industry.
It also includes $20 per acre for non-specialty crops to be paid under the CFAP program. Details on the programs will be released in the coming days.
Leg Lamp to Temporarily Come Down Due to Wind
Because of the forecast for high winds tonight Chickasha’s "Leg Lamp" will be taken down this evening. If you or someone you know are planning a trip to see the lamp officials say to check out the Chickasha Leg Lamp Facebook page to get updates on when it will return. The Leg Lamp can be found in downtown Chickasha at the historic Rock Island Railroad Depot.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.74 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $50.91.
Natural gas is $2.70 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,877 and silver is $26.12.
A graveside service for Richard Newton, 76, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23rd at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Brett Cook, 60, of Chickasha will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23rd at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Bobby Lee James
A graveside service for Bobby Lee James, 31, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23rd at Laverty Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
A private service will be held at a later date for John Thweatt, 81, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, December 21st
Chix City Manager Discusses Water Study
A new comprehensive water study under review at Chickasha City Hall is said to be one of the most detailed plan ever. It’s an attempt to deal with flooding that occurs following extremely heavy rains. Earlier this month, the city council held the first of two public hearings on the water study which City Manager John Noblitt said took more than a year to complete.
A second public hearing on the plan will take place during the Monday, January 4th city council meeting. It's estimated that the total cost of the plan could run as high as $12 million with funding that could include asking voters to approve general obligation bonds as well as grants. Noblitt was on our KOOL Konversation program last weekend talking about the study. Find a link to that program under the Community tab on this website.
Chix School Superintendent Discusses Needed Repairs
Many of the decades old schools and buildings in the Chickasha school district are in in need of repairs. Chickasha school superintendent Rick Croslin said that is why the district has placed a bond issue on a special election ballot next year. The school board is beginning to look at a strategic plan for a multi-million dollar upgrade in the next two or three years but this is work that needs to be done right now.
There will be two separate bond issues for the February 9, 2021 election. A $2.3 million proposal for the school upgrades, as well as technology and curriculum updates, and a $400,000 proposal for transportation needs.
KOOL-RANCH Host Blood Drive
Classic Hits KOOL 105.5 and 106.1 The RANCH radio stations are hosting another community blood drive today. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will have its bloodmobile in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Ave. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. All donors will have their names entered into a drawing for a $500 VISA gift card. All blood will be tested for coronavirus antibodies. Walk-ups are welcome but you can schedule an appointment by contacting George Plummer by calling 405-224-1560.
Chix Library to Offer Healthy Brain-Healthy Mind Program
The Chickasha Public Library will be holding a series of weekly health programs designed for older residents. Healthy Brain-Healthy Mind is a six-week program developed by the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative. It will include information about good habits, routines, physical activity and nutrition. These are one-hour classes that will run each Tuesday from January 5th through February 9th. The virtual programs will be offered through the Zoom platform. To register and for those not familiar with how to use the Zoom platform, contact the library by calling 405-222-6075.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $49.10 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $52.26.
Natural gas is $2.70 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,878 and silver is $26.12.
Funeral service for Petra Romero, 76, of Chickasha will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22nd at the First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Graveside service for Ethel Glass, 92, of Chickasha and formerly of Cement will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22nd in the Cement Cemetery. Arrangments are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Graveside service for Fredia Johnson, 82, Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23rd at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.