Saturday, February 6th
Chickasha Police Seek Information About Missing Teen
A Chickasha teen has been missing since November and Chickasha police and a national non-profit group are reaching out for help in finding her. 15-year old Janicea Dunlap has been missing for nearly two months. A post from a non-profit group called Peas in their Pod shared a photo of teen. Dunlap was reported missing on Nov. 18th of last year. Officials say anyone with information is asked to call the Chickasha Police Department by calling 405-222-6050. According to its website, Peas in Their Pods was founded in 2007 and its mission is to give a voice to missing children of color and their families, and to fight against child abuse and sexual exploitation. The group states that children of color do not receive adequate attention when they go missing, and the group works to provide assistance to families in their time of need through media campaigns, public alerts, and parent advocacy services.
HSI Sensing Breaks Ground on Expansion
A ground-breaking was held this week to expand a Chickasha company and bring new jobs to the region. HSI Sensing will build a 25,000 sq. ft. facility which will house a Wisconsin-based company which HSI owns. It's called Genisco Filter Manufacturing. The company designs and manufactures industrial power filters, including filters for military and aerospace contractors. The expansion is near the current HSI Sensing location on Norge Highway. HSI Vice President Travis Posey said the Madison, Wisconsin company had out-grown its facilities there, and the decision was made to re-locate the company to Chickasha. The new building will also allow for the continued growth of HSI Sensing, which manufactures reed switches which are used in things like hearing aids and microwave ovens, and also in aerospace technology. Posey said the expansion is great way to pay tribute to his grandfather and father who began the third-generation company more than 50 years ago. The construction management company selected for the construction is also a local company, CMS Willowbrook. Officials say they are honored to be part of the expansion and are excited to be building for another long-established company based in their home town. Construction is expected be completed by the end of June.
More Crude Oil May be Shipped by Rail Through Oklahoma
There's speculation that more oil from Canada will be passing through Oklahoma by rail. The website www.okenergytoday.com cites a story from S and P Global that the increase would likely occur since President Biden canceled the construction of the northern leg of the XL Energy Pipeline. The pipeline was going to carry crude oil from Canada through the central part of the United States into Oklahoma, and eventually to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The S and P Global article quoted Canadian railroad executives saying they believe there will be increased shipments of crude oil by rail. The article states that there are others who believe that the president's move will only help billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which carries oil through the Sooner State.
Friday, February 5th
Special Election Set for Caddo County Commissioner Post
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has called a special election in Caddo County to fill an open seat on the Caddo County board of commissioners. The election is to fill the District 2 County Commissioner office previously held by Randy McLemore who passed away this week after battling the coronavirus. The filing period for the office will be Feb. 15th through 17th at the Caddo County Election Board. The special primary election will be April 6th and the special general election will be Sept. 14th.
Early Voting Underway for Chix School Bond Election
Chickasha school district voters can cast ballots early for the special bond election scheduled next week. In-person, absentee voting is available today at the Grady County Election Board. The voting is available until 6:00 p.m. today (Friday, Feb. 5th). Otherwise regular precincts will be open next Tuesday, Feb. 9th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Voters will decide two bond issues totaling $2.7 million with funds to be used for school improvements on every campus and to purchase school buses and people movers.
Chix High School has Record Number of Valedictorians
A record number of Chickasha High School seniors earned the right to be named Valectorian this year. Overcoming the challenges of distance learning and other pandemic restrictions, 27 students met the academic goals needed to earn the designation. Requirements include having a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 and take at least four honors or AP courses. They are: Aubree Wright, Makylah Whitehead, Bailey White, Jordan Wallace and Emma Victery; Jennifer Veach, Tanner Thompson, Joseph Shaw; J.T. Richie, and Hunter Puryear; Madelyn Pendergraph, Miana Moon, Roseanna Medina, Logan McKinney, and Dao Kai Lim; Nevaeh King; Madison King, Brayden Kile, Hanna Kennedy, and Luke Johnson; Cash Jay, Hesston Jarvis, Brian Green-Young, Clair Carver, Rylan Burrows; Kali Bennett, and Lexi Albright.
The state health department reports 27 new deaths from the coronavirus in their Thursday update. One of the deaths is in Grady County, a male in the 65-years and older category. Grady County has now had 59 COVID-19 related deaths. There are 331 active cases out of the more than 5,300 people who have tested positive. In Chickasha, there have been 34 deaths and there are 147 active cases of the 2,200 positive tests. In Blanchard, there have been 12 deaths and there are 160 active cases out of just over 2,000 positive tests. In Tuttle, there have been 10 deaths and there are 74 active cases out of nearly 1,400 positive tests. In Caddo County, the number of fatal COVID-19 cases is 49 and there are 255 active cases out more than 3,600 positive tests. In Anadarko, there have been 17 deaths and there are 89 active cases with 1,250 people testing positive. The state health department reports that the number of vaccines that have been given outnumber the cumulative cases of COVID-19. Officials say they have administered more than 500,000 vaccines while the total number of positive tests for the virus is just under 400,000.
Police "Quotas" Would be Banned if Senate Bill Passes
We've all heard stories about police officers having to write a minimum number of traffic tickets each month. A bill passed out of the state senate's general government committee this week would ban that practice. State Senator Natham Dahm is the author of SB 346 and says the practice is unfair to Oklahomans as well as the officers. In a press release, Dahm says it’s no secret that quotas exist in many cities and towns. He said it keeps law enforcement officers from focusing on more important issues to protect peace and public safety and it shouldn't be tolerated. The bill next goes to the full senate for further consideration.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.84.
Natural gas is $2.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,806 and silver is $26.72.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we'll be talking about this weekend. Chickasha Police Chief Dee Rowell is this week's guest on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today, our guests are USAO baseball coach Mike Ross and softball coach Jadyn Wallis. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A memorial service for Kent Baldwin, 74, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10th at Grand Assembly of God. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Thursday, Feb. 4th
Chix City Council to Get at Least Two New Members
There will be at least two new representatives on the Chickasha City Council later this year. Vice Mayor Kim Loggins and Ward 4 Councilman Jim Hopkins did not run for re-election. Hopkins did file for re-election but withdrew his candidacy this morning. Hopkins’ withdrawal allows Kelly Boyd to take the post un-opposed. Boyd ran against Hopkins in 2017 and 2019 where he finished runner-up in a three-person race in each of those elections. The other first-time council representative will be Georgianne Hebblethwaite in Ward 2, the seat currently held by Loggins. Ward 3 Councilman Oscar Nelson ran unopposed for another two-year term. Pending any other withdrawals or protests of candidates today or tomorrow, there will be one race in the city council election in April. Ward 1 Councilman Brian Gerdes is being challenged by David Lucas.
Anadarko Vice Mayor Gets Opponent
In Anadarko, Vice Mayor Tanner Salyer drew an opponent for the city council election. Salyer will face Patrick Michael Hayes for the post. Two candidates ran un-opposed. Incumbent Ward 3 Councilwoman Kelley McGlothin will stay on the council. Matthew Vasquez filed unopposed for Ward 5 for the post currently held by Shelby Wall.
Caddo County Official Dies from COVID-19
Caddo County Commissioner Randy McLemore has died. McLemore had battled the coronavirus for several weeks. He passed away in a Yukon hospital on Monday at 54 years old. McLemore had been the District Two Caddo County Commissioner for 10 years and ran un-opposed for the post last year. He previously worked for District 2 for 30 years, including some time when his father was county commissioner. He is survived by his wife Shaunya, his parents, and children and grandchildren. McLemore is being laid to rest today. A funeral service will be at the Lost Cowboy Church in Gracemont with burial in the Gracemont Cemetery. A special election will be called to fill McLemore's post on the county commissioner's board.
ODOT Seeks Comment on State Highway 9 Project
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is seeking public comment on a plan to widen State Highway 9 east of Norman. The proposal would widen the highway to five lanes - to include a center turn lane - near the community of Pink. Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation should begin later this year while construction is not expected to start for another six years. ODOT officials say it’s part of an overall plan to complete a four-lane corridor of State Highway 9 between Norman and Tecumseh. The agency is hosting a virtual open house on the proposal to provide updates and get public input. The presentation will only be available on-line at www.odot.org/Highway9 Individuals who do not have Internet access can contact ODOT’s Transportation Environmental Programs Division in Oklahoma City by calling 405-325-3269. The deadline to comment is Feb. 15th
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.79.
London-based Brent crude is $58.46.
Natural gas is $2.79 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,812 and silver is $26.49.
Funeral service for Brenda Rex, 77, of Oklahoma City will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5th at the First Baptist Church of Newcastle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
David 'Grizz' Turner
Funeral service for David "Grizz" Turner, 65, of Cement will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5th at Grand Assembly of God in Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, February 3rd
City, Town Council Filings Continue
The three-day filing period for candidates seeking seats on city and town councils in spring elections comes to an end today. Some areas where elections are scheduled include Chickasha, Anadarko, and Blanchard. In Chickasha, there were no new filings Tuesday so only three candidates have filed and no races have developed. Oscar Nelson has filed for re-election in Ward 3, Brian Gerdes has filed for re-election in Ward 1, and Georgianne Hebblethwaite has filed in Ward 2. In Anadarko, Tanner Salyer has filed for re-election for vice mayor, Kelley McGlothlin has filed for Ward 3, and Matthew Vazquez has filed for Ward 5. In Blanchard, a race has developed in Ward 4 where Steve Misenheimer and Chuck Kemper have filed. Joseph Davis has filed in Ward 1, Albert Ryans in Ward 3, and Eddie Odle has filed for council-at-large. The filing period ends at 5 o'clock this afternoon. The city council elections will be in April.
Pizzeria Staff Subdue Knife-Wielding Man
Employees at a local pizza restaurant take action against a belligerent man trespassing on the property. The workers at Domino's Pizza ganged up on the man after it's alleged the man caused a disturbance. According to an affidavit filed by Chickasha police the incident took place last Thursday afternoon. It’s alleged the man was riding a scooter through the parking lot and threw a paper bag with a beer can on the ground. One of the employees took exception to the man littering and a confrontation ensued. The man displayed a knife, and the employees, despite being threatened with a weapon were able to fend off the attack until police arrived moments later. Domino's General Manager Sherry Douglas credited her employees’ actions. Police arrested 29-year old Sean William Attocknie of Chickasha. He's been charged with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a misdemeanor for public intoxication. Attocknie remains in jail on a $10,000 bond.
Chix Black History Month Program Canceled
A Chickasha event normally held each February as a Black History Month celebration has been canceled. The annual Story Telling and Soul Food Evening has been called off because of the pandemic. This year was to be the 12th annual event hosted by the Loretta Jackson African American Historical Society. Traditionally, it features the efforts of Chickasha African Americans in business, education, religion, agriculture, and the arts. Jackson thanks the sponsors and all supporters of the program in previous years and hopes to resume the program in 2022.
Patients Recovered From Coronavirus Who Get Vaccinated
Are Unable To Donate Plasma, According to Federal Group
The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) says the need for convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is urgent - but says individuals who have recovered and have received the coronavirus vaccine - are not eligible to donate the plasma right now. Officials say it’s based on guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration. The OBI said individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus or have COVID-19 antibodies and have not received the vaccine can donate plasma or any blood product, as long as they have been symptom-free for 14 days and are feeling well. By the way, KOOL 105.5 and 1061 The Ranch is teaming up with the OBI for another community blood drive today. That will be from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue, across the street from the studios. No appointment is needed.
Southwest District Stock Show Set for Next Week
One of the largest regional spring livestock shows for 4H and FFA youth returns to Chickasha next week. The Southwest District Livestock Show will feature exhibitors with cattle, swine, sheep, and goats from 14 southwest Oklahoma counties. More than 2,000 animals are expected to be led through the show rings. The show is unique in that it pays big money to the exhibitors who show the top three animals in each breed. There is a Grand Champion, a Reserve-Grand Champion, and a Bronze Champion. Exhibitors of the top market steer and heifer, the market wether lamb, and barrow will each receive $1,000. For the second straight year, there will also be an ag mechanics competition with the top exhibitor or team picking up $500. The show runs Feb. 9th through 13th at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.76 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $57.46.
Natural gas is $2.84 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,837 and silver is $26.81.
Tuesday, February 2nd
Search Approved for Chix City Manager
The Chickasha City Council last night voted unanimously to begin searches for both an interim and a permanent city manager. Mayor Chris Mosley said it is his hope that an interim manager could be in place in 30 days. Mosley said he's already received a couple of resumes from candidates who have previously served as interim city managers elsewhere. Mosley said there is no timetable to hire a permanent city manager. The council approved advertising for both positions. He said the city will be working with a couple of municipal associations to find candidates. Currently, Mosley is filling in as acting-city manager with the help of Assistant City Manager Leesa Furr.
Furniture, Mower Purchases Approved
The city council approved the purchase of some new furniture for the police department which is compatible with the new communications equipment that was recently installed. The $35,000 bid was slightly higher than the lowest bid. Police Chief Dee Rowell recommended the higher bid saying it was a better fit and while it wasn't the lowest bid, it was the best bid. The council unanimously approved the recommendation. The council also waived the bidding process and approved a state contract with a local implement dealer to purchase three lawn mowers and a 20-foot trailer. The bid of just over $34,000 was awarded to Standridge Equipment Company. The council also approved a one-year lease for a Duncan company to move its operations to the Chickasha Airport. Representatives of Aircraft Systems say they'll be installing aviation equipment in small general aviation aircraft. Jason Bivens said the FAA has issued new requirements for high tech equipment for aircraft and that Chickasha was a good central location.
New Chix Fire Chief Named
The City of Chickasha has a new chief of the fire department. Tony Samaniego, who had been serving as the interim chief, was formally named to the post yesterday. Mayor Chris Mosley said Samaniego was one of five finalists who were interviewed. Samaniego spent a couple of years as assistant fire chief under the previous chief Brian Zalewski, who was fired in a controversial move by former city manager John Noblitt last summer. Samaniego has been with the Chickasha fire department for several years and previously worked in Lawton.
City Council Filings Underway
The annual Chickasha City Council election is about two months away and the filing period for candidates is underway. Two incumbents have filed for re-election – they are Brian Gerdes in Ward One and Oscar Nelson in Ward 3. A first-time candidate - Georgianne Hebblethwaite - is a candidate for the Ward 2 post currently held by Kimmie Loggins. The other spot on the council up for election is the Ward 4 seat held by Jim Hopkins. The filing period runs through tomorrow with candidates filing at city hall.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.55 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $56.35.
Natural gas is $2.85 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,850 and silver is $27.88.
A graveside service for Lowell Schneberger, 80, of Blanchard and formerly of Cyril will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3rd at Celestial Gardens Cemetery in Cyril. He played fast-pitch softball well into his 50s and is a member of the Oklahoma ASA Softball Hall of Fame. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Don Jeter Dunn
A graveside service for Don Jeter Dunn, 91, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6th at Fairlawn Cemetery. He was a long-time lock smith. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, February 1st
Guidelines in Place at State Capital
for the 2021 Legislative Session
Pandemic protocols have been put in place as Oklahoma's legislative session gets underway. While state lawmakers will not be required to wear masks they will be strongly encouraged to do so. Committee room and chamber gallery capacities will be limited to accommodate social distancing. State lawmakers and staff will get regular testing for COVID-19. All proceedings will be live streamed on the websites www.okhouse.gov and www.oksenate.gov Gov. Kevin Stitt will kick off the legislative session with his state-of-the-state address.
Formal Search for Chix City Manager to Begin
The vacant city manager post for the City of Chickasha will be among the topics of discussion during tonight's city council meeting. The group will consider searching for both a permanent and an interim manager. Former City Manager John Noblitt resigned two weeks ago after nearly four years on the job. The city council will also consider waiving the competitive bidding process to purchase some new lawnmowers and approve a state contract with Standridge Equipment Company. The group is also to consider approving a lease for a hangar at the airport with a firm called Aircraft Systems. The hangar was previously leased by Air Methods which operated an air ambulance service. Aircraft Systems is described as a company in the field of avionics installations, inspections, component fabrication, and maintenance. If approved, the lease begins tomorrow and is for one year at $700 per month or $8,400 for the first year. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Public Meeting set Ahead of Chix School Bond Election
A public meeting will be held tomorrow night 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. The meeting is 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 next Tuesday, Feb. 9th.
1st National and a Sr. VP Recognized for YMCA Support
A Chickasha financial institution receives recognition for its work with the YMCA. The First National Bank and Trust was awarded the Mission Partner Award from the Greater Oklahoma City YMCA which oversees the Chickasha organization. The bank collected the award for its long-time partnership with the Y in its support of healthy living activities. First National President and CEO John Gorton said the bank is pleased to partner with the YMCA and recognize that the support system it provides to young people is invaluable. Also, the bank's Senior Vice President, Mike Van Sickle was named Volunteer of the Year for all 15 Greater OKC YMCAs. Van Sickle is in his third year serving as chair for the Chickasha branch of the Y. Van Sickle said it's not a hard job to tell the story of how the Y encourages people young and old to work toward healthy-living goals. While the Y endured some hardships during the pandemic he said the need among local families did not change.
New Chickasha Chamber Board of Directors Elected
A new board of directors has been elected to serve the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce for 2021. Brad Wilkerson with Chicken Express was named Chairman of Board. He takes over from 2020 board chairman Andy Maher with the Grady County Fairgrounds. Mike Van Sickle with the First National Bank will serve as Vice-Chair, and Frank Farmer from the Bank of Commerce will serve as treasurer. New board members include Troy Avant from Liberty National Bank, Rick Croslin with Chickasha Public Schools, Tim Hushbeck with PSO, Whitney Palesano with the Mosley Agency, Holly Dunham with the Canadian River Brewing Company, and Misti McClellan with USAO.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.40 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $55.04.
Natural gas is $2.56 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,862 and silver is $29.83.
A private memorial service for Royce Terry, 87, of Ringwood, Oklahoma and formerly of Chickasha was held Saturday, Jan. 30th at the First Baptist Church of Enid. He was a long-time insurance agent. Burial was in Chickasha’s Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were with Ferguson Funeral Home.