Saturday, January 30th
Caddo County Officer Arrested for Alleged Child Sex Crimes
The assistant police chief of a small Caddo County town has been arrested on a dozen complaints of child pornography. 35-year old Tyler Wesley Davis, the assistant police of at Hydro and also a reserve deputy for the Caddo County Sheriff's Office, was taken into custody by the OSBI Thursday and he was booked into the Grady County Jail in Chickasha. According to a post on the OSBI's official Facebook page, investigators with the agency’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit said between April and September of last year, a social media platform reported a user uploading multiple sexually-explicit files of a young girl. The platform reported the images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which traced the Internet provider address to Oklahoma. Davis is facing a dozen complaints in connection with the investigation including first-degree rape, sodomy, distributing obscene pictures and writings, and violating the state's computer crimes act.
Chickasha Firefighters Mourn Waynoka Fire Deaths
Chickasha firefighters are joining first responders from across the state who are reaching out to the families of four people who died in a house fire in Waynoka early Friday morning. Two firefighters perished as did a couple in the home. The Chickasha Fire Department and Emergency Management posted on its Facebook page that their hearts and prayers go out to the Waynoka Fire Department, the City of Waynoka, and especially the families who tragically lost loved ones in the fire. The two firefighters who died are being called heroes as they entered the burning home to try and rescue a man and woman trapped in a bedroom. The names of those who died have not been released. The state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.
Meeting Set to Discuss Chix Schools Special Bond Election
A public meeting will be held next week to discuss the upcoming special bond election for Chickasha Public Schools. The district is proposing two bond issues totaling $2.7 million, with $2.3 million going toward school improvements and $400,000 for transportation needs if the bonds are approved. The meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the high school activity center auditorium. For those who can't attend, it will be shown live on the Friends of Chickasha Public Schools Facebook page. Prior to the meeting, administrators will be available from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to answer questions. The special bond election is the following Tuesday, Feb. 9th.
Assault Suspect in Custody
A man wanted for a violent attack that left another man with head injuries is in custody. 33-year old Ryan "Butch" Cassady, who lists a Verden address, was picked up by a Grady County deputy Thursday. An arrest warrant was issued for Cassady in connection with the attack which occurred Dec. 27th at a The Castle Inn Motel. An arrest warrant affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates that Cassady pistol-whipped the victim on his head and face for no reason, then fled the motel on foot. Cassady has been charged with a felony for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Cassady was arrested by Chickasha police in 2018 for possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony. He pleaded no contest to charges stemming from a 2008 arrest for assaulting a police officer. Cassady remains in jail on an $80,000 bond.
Pursuit Suspect Caught
A driver who led Chickasha police on a pursuit Thursday afternoon has been arrested. 48-year old Frank Ernest West of Chickasha was taken into custody after the pursuit came to an end. We don't have a lot of details about what happened. The Chickasha police blotter indicates the pursuit began about 1:00 p.m. Thursday in the area of 12th and Idaho Ave. Authorities also say West had a warrant out for his arrest but it wasn't clear why the warrant was issued. West has been charged with misdemeanor counts of eluding, driving under suspension, and operating a vehicle with defective equipment. West remains in jail pending a $4,000 bond.
Friday, January 29th
Lawmakers with Same Last Name May Confuse Some
There will be a lot of news coming out of the state capital over the next few months. The legislative session starts on Monday and two state lawmakers face an interesting situation. They both have the same last name - and one is a Republican and one is a Democrat. Newly elected State Representative Dick Lowe from Amber is the Republican. State Representative Jason Lowe from Oklahoma City is the Democrat. Oklahomans will have to pay close attention to make sure they know which lawmakers are supporting which bills. For instance, Democrat Jason Lowe has filed a bill that would trigger a statewide mask mandate during the pandemic and charge large fines for not wearing masks. Republican Dick Lowe posted on his Facebook page that some people think he filed the bill, but wanted to let them know he did not. Not only are their last names spelled identically their offices at the state capital are just two doors part. Dick Lowe told his Facebook followers that the two lawmakers will probably have different views on many issues.
Officials Warn of Stimulus Check Scams
With another round of stimulus checks being sent to many Americans comes a reminder that scam artists are hard at work trying to take that money. The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau report that American taxpayers have lost more than $200 million due to COVID-19 scams. In some cases, victims receive an e-mail prompting them to download an embedded link to receive their check, and then their computer is infected with malware. Another scam involves a phone call from a scammer saying they are from the IRS or another government agency demanding a processing fee before the check can be sent. Officials say to never give out personal information such as your Social Security Number or your bank account number to any unsolicited phone call or e-mail.
Oklahoma's death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 3,400 yesterday. Another 35 fatal cases of the disease were reported by the state health department on Thursday. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is down from about 2,000 last week to around 1,400 in yesterday’s update. In Chickasha, there have been 31 deaths from the illness and there are 161 active cases out of more than 2,100 positive tests. In Blanchard, there have been 11 deaths and there are 159 active cases out of 2,100 positive tests. In Tuttle there have been 10 deaths and 76 active cases out of 1,300 positive tests. Throughout Grady County, there have been 55 deaths and there are 344 active cases out of 5,100 positive tests. In Anadarko, there have been 16 deaths and there are 102 active cases out of 1,200 positive tests. In all of Caddo County, there have been 48 deaths and there are 283 active cases out of 3,500 positive tests.
Blood Drives Scheduled
You have an opportunity to save lives today. USAO and the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) are teaming up for a blood drive on campus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You don't need an appointment to donate. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to donate convalescent plasma. If you are unable to donate today, KOOL 105.5 and 106.1 The Ranch will be host a blood drive with the OBI next Wednesday, Feb. 3rd. The OBI bloodmobile will in the YMCA parking lot across the street from our studios at 7th and Chickasha Ave. You don't need to make an appointment but if you'd like to do so call George Plummer during regular business hours at 405-224-1560.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe is this week’s guest on the KOOL Konversation. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin is this week's guest on Real Estate Today. There are links to both programs under the community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.10.
Natural gas is $2.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,862 and silver is $27.38.
Thursday, January 28th
Chix City Council to Start City Manager Search
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This version of the story was edited to show a correction in the previously published story, which indicated the discussion of the city manager most would be in executive session. We apologize for the error) The Chickasha City Council will begin the formal process of searching for a new city manager next week. In the Monday, Feb. 2nd city council meeting, the panel will discuss in open session the status of and the process of hiring the next top administrator. Former City Manager John Noblitt resigned his post last week after nearly four years on the job. Mayor Chris Mosley is filling in as acting city manager. The agenda for Monday night's meeting is already posted on the city's website. Other items to be discussed is to waive the bidding process and use a state contract to spend more than $34,000 to buy three John Deere mowers and a 20-foot trailer from Standridge Equipment Company. The group will also consider and possibly take action on renewing a generator contract for the police department, and will also consider purchasing some new furniture to use with the police department’s communication equipment. The group will also consider approving a lease agreement for one of the hangars at the airport. The city council will meet Monday, Feb. 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
Anadarko School Board to Sell Bonds
A special meeting of the Anadarko school board has been scheduled to sell $820,000 in general obligation bonds. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9th at noon and the board will take a look at the bids and award the bonds to the lowest bidder.
Paxton Bill Would Change How State
Would fill a Vacant U.S. Senate Seat
State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) is hoping the third time will be the charm for one of the bills he's been trying to get approved at the state capital. It concerns how Oklahoma would fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat. Paxton said Oklahoma is one of only a handful of states that does not allow the governor to appoint someone to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat. Currently, a special election must be called, and Paxton says that costs upwards of $4 million. He said the bill would eliminate that expense.
The measure is one of some 3,000 bills filed at the state capital ahead of the legislative session that starts next week.
Cole Not Pleased with Biden's New Energy Policies
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole (R-Moore) calls President Biden's energy policies misguided. Cole says that Biden's executive order to freeze all new oil and gas drilling on federal land shows that the president is making political decisions to accommodate the most radical wing of the president's Democratic Party. Cole said Biden's actions will not only lead to the loss of thousands of jobs but also deny revenue to state and local governments and raise the prices of gasoline and utilities for Americans.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.85 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.81.
Natural gas is $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,843 and silver is $25.39.
The viewing for Jamie Organ, 42, of Chickasha will be from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29th at Ferguson Funeral Home. Burial will be in East Prairie, Missouri.
There has been a change in the service Bill Erwin, 84, of Chickasha. The graveside service is now set for Friday, Feb. 12th at 2:00 p.m. at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, January 27th
Thousands of Bills Filed at the State Capital
State lawmakers file nearly 3,000 bills ahead of the legislative session which starts on Monday. In the House of Representatives, members have filed nearly 2,000 pieces of legislation and 44 House Joint Resolutions and state senators have filed more than 1,000 bills and 26 Senate Joint Resolutions. All the measures can be viewed on-line at www.okhouse.gov and www.oksenate.gov State lawmakers will have about $8.4 billion to work with for the budget year that will start in July. Gov. Kevin Stitt will lead off the legislative session with his annual state of the state address.
Several Injured in Car-Pickup Collision
One person was hospitalized and several others suffered minor injuries in a car-truck collision last night. The accident happened about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday southwest of Sterling. Hospitalized was 25-year old Haley Kaudlekaule of Fletcher. She was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital with head injuries and was admitted in good condition. Also injured, 28-year old Chance McGregor of Cement who was taken to a Lawton hospital for treatment then released. The highway patrol reports that Kaudlekaule was passenger in a pickup that failed to yield at an intersection and crashed into a passing car. McGregor was a passenger in the car. The driver of the pickup, 22-year old Braydan Steckley of Frederick - and the driver of the car, 27 year old Kristan Scott of Elgin, were both transported to a Lawton hospital where they were treated and released.
Roommate Charged with Unauthorized Use of Vehicle
A suspect accused of driving a vehicle without permission is behind bars on a $100,000 bond. The large bond was requested by prosecutors who want to revoke the suspect’s bond from previous charges filed against him. Blanchard police arrested the suspect on Saturday. A probable cause affidavit states that authorities received a call from an individual who said his car was taken by his roommate without permission. Authorities were at the victim's home when the suspect returned and he was arrested on the spot. The suspect told police he did have permission to drive the car. Authorities arrested 26-year old Zackary Charles Williams of Blanchard and he has been formally charged with a felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Williams was arrested in Chickasha in January of 2020 for driving a stolen vehicle and having a stolen handgun in the car. He was set to enter a plea in connection that arrest next month.
Traffic Stop Leads to Drug-related Arrest
A Grady County man is accused of intent to distribute drugs following a traffic stop. 38-year old Donald Heath Hightower of Ninnekah was arrested by a state trooper Saturday night in the area of 4th and Grand Ave. in Chickasha. A probable cause affidavit indicates the trooper saw Hightower driving a pick-up and due to previous encounters, knew that Hightower's license was suspended and pulled him over. Hightower had an undetermined amount of methamphetamine in his pocket, and authorities found drug items and a large amount of cash in the pickup. Hightower said he got the money from selling a vehicle and that he had won some money at a casino. Hightower was arrested without incident and spent the weekend in jail. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony for possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor for driving under suspension. He is out of jail after posting a $25,000 bond.
Grant Helps FFA Program Create Meat Processing Lab
An FFA program in the region is one of just a few programs statewide to have a meat processing lab. The Marlow FFA is one of 11 programs to get a grant for the operation. A $50,000 grant from the state career-tech system helped the group purchase all the equipment needed for the lab. The students are learning a lot about safety, and going through the entire process from grinding, to tenderizing, to packaging. KSWO-TV reports that the program has already created some job opportunities for the students. FFA instructor Derek Mitchell said he has a friend who is a meat processor, and is interested in hiring a couple of students to work after school, on weekends, and during the summer. One of Mitchell's students already has experience in the field. Sophomore Corden Baker's family has been processing meat for years.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.61 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $55.91.
Natural gas is $2.65 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,846 and silver is $25.34.
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Kent Baldwin, 74 of Chickasha. He was the long time IT director for the Grady County Jail and also owned and operated a television repair shop. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Juanita Van Skike
A graveside service for Juanita Van Skike, 92, of Las Vegas and formerly of Cement will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28th at Chickasha's Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Demetria Johnson, 55, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, January 26th
Blanchard Couple Hospitalized After Crash
A Blanchard man and his wife suffer head injuries in a traffic accident between Norman and Tecumseh. 70-year old Richard Hussfeldt and 69-year old Mary Hussfeldt were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital and both were admitted in good condition. The accident happened just after 7:30 p.m. Monday near the community of Pink. The highway patrol reports that the Hussfeldts were westbound on State Highway 9 when they hit the passenger side of an eastbound SUV that tried to turned in front of them. The driver of the SUV, 45-year old Charity Spearman-Knight of Tecumseh, was treated and released for head injuries.
Real ID Program Starts in October
Oklahoma driver's licenses will no longer be accepted by TSA at airports beginning in October. Oklahomans are being encouraged to get their Real ID cards. Starting Oct 1st, individuals must have a Real ID to get on an airplane, or enter any federal building, military base, or nuclear facility. Grady County Tag Agent Mindy Walker says anyone wanting to apply for the Real ID can simply walk in to the tag office as no appointment is necessary. Individuals will have to have a birth certificate, a marriage license if they are married, and two documents that show an address such as utility bills. If your regular driver's license is up for renewal the cost of the Real ID is $38.50. If you are not up for renewal, but want to switch to Real ID, the cost is $25. Walker said you can get the Real ID the same day you apply, however there could be an hour wait time. Stop in any time during regular business hours.
Dentistry from the Heart Canceled
The pandemic has forced the cancelation of a free one-day dental clinic that is usually held each February. Dentistry from the Heart, which has been running for about 15 years, won't take place this year. Dr. John Phillips, his staff with 29th Street Dental Care in Chickasha, dozens of dental students, oral surgeons and others have helped with the event over the years. The day was usually scheduled in February during National Dental Health Month. Typically, more than 200 patients would be treated, with the option of getting their teeth cleaned, getting a cavity filled, or getting a tooth pulled. Phillips hopes the event can return next year.
School Foundation Accepting Scholarship Applications
High school seniors should already be applying for scholarships if they plan on furthering their education in college or a technical school. Jen Jantzen with the Chickasha Public School Foundation reminds Chickasha seniors that the Foundation awards three scholarships each year - each scholarship is $1,500. Jantzen said applications are available on-line at: www.cfok.org/apply and find the Universal Scholarship Application. Scholarships will be awarded in May.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.77 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.88.
Natural gas is $2.60 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,855 and silver is $25.44.
Funeral service for Alejandro Orozco, 73, of Chickasha will be held at noon Saturday, Jan. 30th at Holy Name Catholic Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Janice Clayton, 50, formerly of Cement is pending with Brown- Thomas Funeral Home.
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This version has been updated to reflect a change in the date of the service that was previously published) A graveside service for Bill Erwin, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5th at Fairlawn Cemetery. He was a longtime pilot and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Memorial contributions may be made to Mobile Meals of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, January 25th
Grady County Sales Tax Revenue Declines
Sales tax revenues in Grady County fell to their lowest levels in 4 1/2 years in December. The $360,000 received is down more than 30 percent from November and it’s less than half the amount collected in December of 2019. It is at the lowest point since August of 2016. County sales tax revenues peaked the summer of 2019 when the level topped $1 million per month. Grady County has a 3/4ths of a penny sales tax which funds a number of areas - all of which were approved by voters. From the sales tax revenues last month, the Grady County Fairgrounds received $120,000 to pay for the construction of the climate-controlled event center; Grady Memorial Hospital received $106,000 to pay for the construction of the surgery center; Grady County Fire Departments share $60,000 with each of the 20 departments picking up $3,000; seven senior nutrition centers share $60,000 with each one getting $8,500; Tuttle EMS receives $11,000; and Rush Springs EMS collects $2,800.
Chix School District Voters to Decide Bond Issues
Chickasha school district voters will go to the polls in two weeks to decide two bond issues totaling $2.7 million. Superintendent Rick Croslin calls it a Restoring Excellence Bond which, if approved, will be used for the restoration and preservation of buildings on every campus. Croslin said funds will also be used to upgrade technology and to purchase school buses and people movers. Croslin says voter approval would allow the district to move on to the second phase of a three-phase project for long-term school improvements. The first phase is underway right now as the district is completing nearly $4.5 million in roof repairs, thanks to an insurance claim awarded from damage done from a hail storm a couple of years ago. If the bond issues are approved there would be a property tax increase. The increase would be about $35 per year on a $100,000 home.
Chix Superintendent to Hold Biz Town Hall Zoom Meeting
Croslin, by the way, will address the Chickasha business community about the Restoring Excellence Bond in a Zoom town hall meeting later this week. The meeting was put together in a joint effort of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council. The meeting will be Friday, Jan. 29th at 11:00 a.m. A question-and answer session will follow. For information, contact the chamber.
Churches Jump In to Help Middle School Students
Several churches are helping the Chickasha Middle School help it's students. School officials say the basic clothing needs of many students have increased due to the pandemic. A number of churches were contacted and are offering assistance including the First Baptist Church, Hope Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church, Trinity Baptist Church, and Victory Family Church. Students can ask for help in person or by e-mail, and school staff may also refer students who are then brought in for a confidential meeting to discuss their needs.
Grady County Ag Marketing Meeting Feb. 9th
Beef cattle research will be discussed at the next Grady County OSU Extension Office ag marketing meeting. Dr. Jason Banta is an extension beef cattle specialist. Topics for the program will be nutrition, cow-calf and stocker management, and animal health. Producers can attend in person or via Zoom, however, a limited number of in-person attendees are allowed. Contact the extension office for details. The meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 9th at 7:00 a.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.27 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.41
Natural gas is $2.44 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,865 and silver is $25.68.
Funeral service for Travis Grissam, 41, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26th at Grand Assembly of God. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Russell Cocheran, 76, Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 27th at Southern Oaks Church of Christ. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.