Saturday, January 23rd
New State Representative Ready for Legislative Session
State lawmakers will be returning to the state capital in just over a week for the start of the 2021 legislative session. Among them is State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber), a freshman state lawmaker who serves District 56. The district includes the Chickasha and Anadarko areas and stretches west to near Hobart. In his first ever media column, Lowe says he was appointed vice chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Education Sub-committee. He will also serve on the Education committee, the Higher Education and Career Tech Education Committee; and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He'll also serve as the assistant majority whip. Lowe writes that since his election his office has already been able to help individuals receive unemployment benefits, resolve driver's license challenges, and schedule COVID-19 vaccinations. The legislative session begins Feb. 1st and will run through the end of May.
Donors Help Keep Holy City of the Wichitas Open
There’s a little good news for the Holy City of the Wichitas. After announcing that the City might have to close due to a lack of funding, some donors have come forth to keep the historic site open a while longer. Officials also said there will be an Easter pageant this year. The site was under financial strain after last year's pageant was moved to October and attendance and contributions were way down. The Lawton Constitution reported this week that members of the Holy City board of trustees - James Britt and David Dunsworth – said the City had been blessed by donors who want to keep the park open, and they are making every donated dollar stretch as far as possible. Dunsworth said even with the contributions that have come in, the City isn't out of the woods yet. The funds have been used to pay overdue bills and to restock the gift shop. They would like to see some annual support from a group or organization that would guarantee the city would never close. While the Easter pageant is the big attraction every year, The Holy City is open every day of the year except Christmas. By the way, Sign-up Sunday, which is for those who want to volunteer to be part of the pageant, will be on Sunday, Feb. 21st at The Holy City of the Wichitas.
Area Students Nominated to Military Academies
A couple of area high school students have been nominated for entry into America's prestigious military academies. Zachary Cox of Blanchard has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy, and Dani Frost of Tuttle has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy. The two were among 21 students nominated by 4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole. All the students attend schools within Cole's district. The academies provide for the undergraduate education and training of commissioned officers into the U.S. armed forces. In a press release, Cole said he was honored to nominate the students. He said their willingness and desire to answer the call of duty and serve on behalf of the country is inspiring, and that we can all draw strength from their patriotism.
A graveside service for Joyce Richardson, 80, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Larry Hood, 85, of Oklahoma City and formerly of Cement, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29th at the Cement Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, January 22nd
Minco Man Faces Manslaughter Charge
A fatal traffic accident last summer results in a manslaughter charge being filed against a Minco man. Aaron Christopher Boltshauser, 26, was taken into custody this week after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. The deadly crash took place in June of last year. A report from the highway patrol indicates that Boltshauser was behind the wheel of a car that crashed which resulted in the death of Rickey Thierry, Jr. who was a passenger in the car. An affidavit filed by the trooper investigating the crash alleges that Boltshauser was drinking prior to the crash. His blood-alcohol content was 0.22 - which is nearly three times above the level considered to be drinking and driving. Boltshauser had his initial appearance on the manslaughter charge in Grady County District Court yesterday. A judge set his bond at $100,000. He's to announce his attorney Feb. 11th and a preliminary hearing conference is set for Feb. 24th.
Sen. Paxton Files Bill That Would Prevent
Questionable, Un-ethical Election Practices
State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) has filed a bill at the state capital which would ensure the continued integrity of Oklahoma's election system. SB 523 would prohibit any political subdivision, agency, or government official from entering into a legal agreement or court settlement prescribing election procedures which conflict with election laws. In a press release, Paxton said the legislation will make certain that the questionable and unethical election actions that took place in other states in the Presidential election last November will not happen in Oklahoma. He said that no office or individual in state government has the right to make changes to the state's election system without first getting approval from the legislature. Paxton said last-minute changes to election procedures which occurred in some states was wrong and state lawmakers need to make sure it never happens here.
National Livestock Show Comes to Chickasha
Youth livestock exhibitors from across the country will be making their way to Chickasha over the next few days. They'll be showing sheep, goats and swine at the Stockman's Showcase. Erin Dorsey of Colorado, who is coordinating the shows, discusses the event and why it's being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Dorsey, - "I decided to create the Stockman Showcase Show to take place - but not replace the Denver show that was canceled. A lot of exhibitors had already purchased (animals) for that show. So I thought a way of giving them a chance to showcase their animals would be to put the show on (in Chickasha). One thing we've done different is we've added a gilt show for the swine people, and a commercial use show for the lamb people."
The exhibitors are all between 8 and 21 years old. Dorsey said she is expecting between 250 and 350 exhibitors from about 25 states and estimates 1,100 animals will be shown. Sheep and goat shows are today and tomorrow with the swine show set for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. All the shows will be held in the climate-controlled event center at the fairgrounds. There is no charge for spectators, concessions will be available, and there are also some trade show vendors.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Lillie Huckaby with the Chickasha Library and Angie Lewis with the Friends of the Chickasha Library will be on our KOOL Konversation program. State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) and State Senator Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher) are our guests on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.13 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $56.10.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,854 and silver is $25.38
Mary Ann Porter
A memorial service for Mary Ann Porter, 56, of Blanchard will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30th at Parkview Christian Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, January 21st
COVID Precautions Still Urged
As Vaccine Arrives in Oklahoma
Health officials urge Oklahomans to continue to do what they can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman held a Zoom conference with local business leaders Wednesday. While there is not a mask mandate in Chickasha nor Grady County, he encouraged employers to have their workers wear masks and to encourage their customers to do so as well. As of yesterday, Chickasha has had nearly 2,000 positive coronavirus tests with 27 deaths. Across Grady County, there have been nearly 4,900 positive tests with 47 deaths. Spellman said the county and state health departments are doing all they can to get vaccinations to those who are eligible though vaccine numbers are limited. Epworth Methodist Church will be serving as a vaccination site over the next several Fridays, providing as many as 1,000 vaccines tomorrow. Spellman also said that the vaccines are safe-
Spellman said that intensive care units in hospitals statewide are filled with COVID-19 patients forcing new coronavirus patients to be sent out of state for treatment.
Vaccination Volunteers Sought
The call is out for medical and non-medical volunteers alike to help vaccination efforts. The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps said help is needed at the more than 50 dispensing sites across the state. Volunteers can help with registration, traffic control, assisting the elderly, and sanitizing. Background checks are conducted on all volunteer applicants. For information visit the website: www.OKMRC.
Rural Firefighters Douse Mobile Home, Wildland Fires
Grady County volunteer firefighters were quick to respond to a mobile home fire and a wildland fire yesterday. County Fire Department Spokesman Buddy Myers said Pioneer and Ninnekah departments were dispatched to the mobile home fire near Pioneer School just before 10 a.m. The occupants were able to escape without injury. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the bedroom where it started. The cause of the fire was believed to be an electrical short. Damage was estimated at $5,000. Crews were there for about two hours. While crews were battling that fire, Pioneer also was called to a wildland fire southeast of Verden. Crews were quick to put down that blaze in about an hour with only one acre burned. Myers said the cause of that fire was a bird which shorted out an electrical line. The bird did not survive.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.24 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $56.08.
Natural gas is $2.54 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,875 and silver is $25.96.
Funeral service for Colton Wright, 22, of Cement will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23rd at the Cement High School Auditorium. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral home.
Valerie Renee Stephenson
A memorial service for Valerie Renee Stephenson, 63, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23rd at the Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Wednesday, January 20th
Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt Resigns
The City of Chickasha is looking for a new city manager as John Noblitt has unexpectedly resigned. Mayor Chris Mosley made the announcement after an executive session during last night’s city council meeting. The council voted 7-0 to accept Noblitt's resignation. Councilmen Zack Grayson and R.P. Ashanti-Alexander were not in attendance. No reason was given for Noblitt's decision to step down. KOOL-RANCH News called Noblitt after the meeting for comment and he didn’t return our call. Noblitt spent just under four years at the post. He was hired in March of 2017 after spending a few years as the city manager in Lindsay. Noblitt had come under fire over the last several months in a battle with the Chickasha Fire Fighters Association. The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2041 filed a federal lawsuit against the city after the group said Noblitt failed to pay firefighters for overtime and longevity as required by their contract. Last February, Noblitt was named the Public Servant of the Year for 2019 by the Chamber of Commerce. In light of Noblitt's resignation, Mayor Mosley will fill in as acting-city manager on a temporary basis as directed by the city charter. A formal search for a new city manager will begin soon.
Plat for New Duplex Development Approved
Noblitt did attend last night's council meeting, and discussed many of the issues that were on the agenda. The council approved both the preliminary and the final plat for a new residential development near Ada Sipuel Ave. and Grand Avenue extension. The plat for what is being called the Villas at Grand Avenue shows that 24 duplexes with 48 homes are proposed. It's part of a larger development where additional residential and commercial construction is proposed near the Grady County Fairgrounds. That includes proposals for new apartments, two hotels, and a restaurant.
RV Parking Ordinance Turned Down; Lake Lots Sold
The council turned down a proposed parking ordinance for recreational vehicles but did approve a re-zoning request at 4th and Texas Avenue for developer Brannan Bordwine. It would allow Bordwine to lease the building to a proposed medical marijuana dispensary. The council also approved the sale of lots the city owns at Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma. The sale of the four lots brought more than $100,000. The lots were among nine properties at Grand Lake the city received after the owner of a Tulsa oifield-related business failed to relocate his company here - after accepting a $250,000 economic development loan from city. Noblitt told the council before his resignation that the city re-couped about $200,000 of that loan through the sale of the lots. The council also approved a renewal of the contract for the vendor who maintains Rose Hill and Fairlawn cemeteries. The contract calls for Jeffery Winn to get a 1.7 percent increase based on the Consumer Price Index. The increase takes his annual contract to more than $97,500.
Pursuit Suspect Faces Formal Charges
The man alleged to have led Verden police on a pursuit through rural parts of Grady and Caddo counties last week has been formally charged in connection with the chase. 32-year old Trevor Jay Stevens of Anadarko has been charged in Grady County District Court with a felony for endangering others while eluding and a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond. Stevens sped away when Verden police attempted to make an unspecified traffic stop last Friday. The pursuit went south of Verden then west into Caddo County where Stevens crashed his car. He managed to get away on foot but was found by Anadarko police and a K9 team in a car at a storage unit parking lot the next morning.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.98 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.90.
Natural gas is $2.54 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,852 and silver is $25.46.
A graveside service for Gladys Selzer, 74, of Lindsay will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22nd at the Bradley Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A memorial service for Raymond Doughty, 80, of Rush Springs will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23rd at Chickasha's First Assembly of God.
Tuesday, January 19th
Chickasha City Council to Discuss
Employment Status of City Manager
The Chickasha City Council has a lot on its plate when the panel meets tonight. The group will have an executive session to discuss the employment status of City Manager John Noblitt. The vague description of the closed-door meeting is to discuss the employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining, or resignation of the city manager. Also in the executive session, the council will discuss a federal lawsuit filed against the city by James Blue in the U.S. Western District Court. No information was immediately available regarding that lawsuit.
Other City Council Discussion Items
The council will also consider selling more lots the city owns at Grand Lake Resort in northeastern Oklahoma. The city obtained the lots a few years ago when the owner of a Tulsa company reneged on his promise to re-locate part of his firm to Chickasha to create jobs. The owner was awarded a $250,000 economic development loan. The Grand Lake lots were used for collateral for the loan which the city was able to acquire. The group is expected to approve going out for bids to hire a contractor to help with cleaning up the debris which still remains from the ice storm that wreaked havoc in central Oklahoma almost three months ago. Also on the agenda, a proposed ordinance regarding the parking of recreation vehicles, and the possible approval of a plat for a new subdivision being proposed for the area southeast of the Grady County Fairgrounds. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Historic Anadarko Theater is Coming Down;
With Plan to Build Amphitheater in it's Place
A part of Anadarko history is being demolished this week. The Miller Theatre is being torn down as the building was in a state of disrepair. Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn said the building was full of asbestos and they had to hire a contractor to remove the material before the demolition could begin. Corn said they are keeping a sentimental part of the theatre, and that there are plans to make in a spot to hold community events.
Corn also said the city will begin some major capital improvement projects this year, including work on water treatment and waste water treatment facilities and infra-structure, the city's electrical grid, and that the fire department would be getting a new firetruck.
Library Friends to Host "Non-Event" Fundraiser
While the Friends of the Chickasha Public Library won't be having a full-blown Chocolate Celebration this year, organizers have put together what they are calling a Chocolate Celebration Non-Event. In years past, the celebration had literally thousands of chocolate servings for sale, which brought in several thousands of dollars use for library equipment and improvements. The Friends of the Library are asking that the businesses and organizations consider maintaining their previous financial or in-kind contributions related to the celebration. They said individuals can help by donating what they would have paid for the chocolate servings they would have purchased. Proceeds from previous year's celebrations allowed the library to purchase touch-screen computers, the total renovation of the children's area, mobile-device power stations and seating. Supporters can reach out to library director Lillie Huckaby or to Friends of the Library president, Angie Lewis for information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.36 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.10
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,843 and silver is $25.41.
Funeral service for Kay Burris, 79, of Tuttle will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21st at the First Baptist Church of Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Monday, January 18th
Verden Pursuit Suspect Arrrested
A man wanted for eluding police after a pursuit through rural parts of Grady and Caddo counties is behind bars. Trevor Jay Stevens was found in Anadarko Saturday morning. A post on the Verden Police Department's Facebook page indicates that Stevens was apprehended with the help of Anadarko police and their K9 team. Media reports indicate that Verden police tried to pull Stevens over for unspecified traffic violations when he sped away and led authorities through the back roads of both counties. Stevens crashed and rolled his car which landed upside down southeast of Anadarko and was able to get away from officers. Stevens was found hiding in the back of a vehicle at a storage unit parking lot. Reports say that he did have some injuries from the crash and was cold. He was taken to a hospital for treatment then was taken to the Grady County Jail. Stevens is being held on complaints of eluding and driving with a suspended license. The only public record immediately available on Stevens is that he had an emergency protective order filed against him in Grady County in May of 2019.
Saturday Morning Rollover Still Under Investigation
Authorities continue their investigation into a single vehicle crash east of the Tabler Y over the weekend. A passenger was hospitalized and authorities are trying to determine who was driving. The accident happened about 6:15 a.m. Saturday on State Highway 39 just west of the Alex Highway. 25-year old Faith Colver of Alex was last in serious condition with head injuries at an Oklahoma City hospital. The trooper investigating the accident reported that the car ran off the road, hit a re-inforced maibox and rolled twice, which ejected Colver from the vehicle. The driver was not at the scene when authorities arrived.
Retired Rush Springs Coaches Dies fom Coronavirus
The coronavirus has claimed the life of another area high school coach. Barry Foster, long-time football coach and teacher at Rush Springs, passed away early Saturday morning. He was 59. The funeral service for Foster has not yet been announced. Last month, Union City basketball coach and longtime Minco coach Robert Duvall also passed away from COVID-19.
Chix City Council to Hold Hearing for Proposed Dispensary
Another medical marijuana dispensary may soon be opening in Chickasha. The city council will consider a re-zoning request for property at 828 South 4th Street which would allow the operation. Brannan Bordwine is asking to re-zone the property from local commercial use to general commercial use. A public hearing will be held prior to the city council’s consideration of the issue during tomorrow night’s city council meeting. The Planning Commission and city administrators are all recommending the change take place. The council normally meets on Monday but the meeting was changed due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
Contract with Chix Cemetery Vendor May be Extended
The council will also consider renewing the city's contract with the individual who maintains the city's cemeteries. Jeffrey Winn of Ninnekah was originally awarded the contract in 2014 and has been performing that work ever since. Last year, Winn was paid more than $96,000 for the work. City administrators are recommending a 1.7 percent increase in the contract based on the annual Consumer Price index. If approved, the increase in cost would be just over $136 per month.
Blood Drive Set for Today
Another KOOL-RANCH community blood drive will be held today. The Oklahoma Blood Institute's blood mobile will be across the street from the studios in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Ave. from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. today. You don't need an appointment. We will be having another blood drive on Wednesday, Feb. 3rd. If you'd like an appointment to donate at that time George Plummer during regular business hours at 405-224-1560 and he'll take care of that for you.
Livestock Producer Conference Tuesday
The Grady County OSU Extension Office will hold an ag marketing conference tomorrow morning. Dr. Justin Talley will discuss livestock production issues. The meeting will begin at 7 a.m. and producers can either meet in person at the extension office or via the zoom platform.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.36 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.10.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,835 and silver is $25.00.