Saturday, February 20th
Chickasha Issues Voluntary Advisory to Boil Water
Many cities are urging residents to boil their tap water due to recent water line breaks. Chickasha is now included in that group as officials have issued a voluntary, precautionary, boil advisory. Officials with USW, the city’s private contractor for water treatment services, say the unprecedented weather and recent loss of water pressure could result in the potential for the water to be contaminated and unsafe for consumption. Officials say the voluntary boil advisory is also in effect for residents on the Norge water system as Norge gets its water from the City of Chickasha. It is suggested that tap water be brought to a full rolling boil for at least one minute before consumption, food preparation, washing dishes, and even brushing your teeth and taking baths and showers. Boiling tap water is also suggested to make baby formula and bathing babies (let the water cool to room temperature before using). The boil advisory is in effect until officials say the water is considered safe.
Water Line Repairs Expected to Continue
Chickasha water line crews have finished repairs on the largest of the water line breaks that occurred this week due to the record breaking low temperatures. Crews wrapped up work on two projects Friday near USAO at 19th and Alabama and 20th and Nevada. That's about a half-dozen water line repairs in three days. Mayor Chris Mosley said water line crews will be on standby over the next couple of days.
Again the non-emergency police disptach number is 405-222-6052. Mosley also asked residents who do not have water pressure to reach out to their neighbors. If your neighbors have water pressure but you don't, you’re asked to go to the city’s website, www.chickasha.org and post the information on the Request Tracker link. That message will go directly to Public Works Director David Buchanan.
Fletcher Animal Control Officer Suspended
An animal control officer in Fletcher has been suspended and the town's animal shelter closed as authorities look in to allegations of animal neglect and cruelty. The Fletcher Police Department is investigating after an individual made a Facebook post regarding the conditions at the shelter. KSWO-TV reports that an individual took it upon herself to rescue four dogs that were left out in the snow and sub-zero temperatures this week. The woman said every water bucket was frozen and there was no food. The woman said one of the animals is believed to have been injured before being taken to the shelter, and didn't think it had received any treatment. The woman called the city to tell officials what she did and she was told she could be charged with trespassing. She replied that it would be worth it if she was. She said she can take the slander, the ticket, the fine or whatever, but she saved the animals. The animals have since been taken to the Rainbow Bridge Can Wait animal shelter in Elgin.
Wildlife Refuge Re-Opens; Mt. Scott Roadway Still Closed
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has re-opened. The refuge closed last week out of an abundance of caution due to the record cold and snow. Hiking, wildlife photography, and other visitor activities may take place and recreation vehicles are again allowed at the Doris Campground and the wilderness area, however closures and restrictions in place due to COVID-19 are still in place, which include the closing of facilities and bathrooms at Camp Doris. Refuge officials also said the Mt. Scott roadway will remain closed to motor vehicles until road conditions improve. Pedestrians may use the roadway but are cautioned to watch for icy spots.
Sammee Jean Elliott
A memorial service for Sammee Jean Elliott, 53, of Chickasha is pending. Contact the family for information. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Friday, February 19th
Jail Water Line Break Forces County Courthouse Closing
The Grady County Courthouse will be closed again today due to a water line break at the county jail. The jail is adjacent to the courthouse and the water flooded the walkway between the two buildings. The courthouse has been closed all week. Monday was a holiday and the winter storm forced the courthouse to close Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Officials had planned on re-opening the courthouse today prior to last night’s water line problem, which was discovered sometime before 9:00 p.m.
Chickasha Water Line Repair Update
Water line crews for the City of Chickasha continue to make progress on the repairs of numerous water lines that ruptured as a result of this week’s extremely cold temperatures. Thursday, crews repaired lines at 10th and Virginia and 14th and Georgia. Officials had to drive to Oklahoma City to get the parts they needed for the 14th and Georgia project. Today, crews will begin work next to USAO at 19th and Alabama then go around the block for repairs at 20th and Nevada. However, the work will have to wait until other utilities such as phone, electric, and gas lines can be located. Mayor Chris Mosley said crews will be working into the weekend in an attempt to get water service fully restored. The mayor continues asking residents to voluntarily cut back on water usage until water line issues and problems at the city's three water towers have been resolved.
Residential Trash Pickup in Chickasha Still on Hold
Chickasha officials also announced that Waste Connections will not be picking up residential trash again today. Trash pickup service has also been hampered by the cold weather and unsafe road conditions. The most recent post on the city's website indicates Waste Connections is monitoring the streets and will notify the city when residential trash pickup service will resume. Some business trash pickup service will take place today, however officials anticipate some dumpsters will be inaccessible.
Ninnekah Man Elected to AFR-OFU Board
A Ninnekah agriculture producer has been elected to serve on the American Farmers and Ranchers and Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR-OFU) Board of Directors. Brett Morris defeated two other candidates for the Southwest District 2 post during the AFR-OFU state convention in Norman last weekend. A news release posted on the AFR-OFU website says Morris defeated Johnny Mann of Stratford and Ethan Treadwell of Frederick. Morris will take the seat previously held by AFR-OFU Director Joe Ed Kinder who retired this year and chose not to seek an additional term. The press release says Morris, a former dairyman, now operates a diversified farming and cattle operation along with a fertilizer company. He's been active with AFR-OFU for nearly 30 years and currently serves as the group's representative on the Oklahoma Beef Council. In 2017, Morris was elected chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and has been involved with the Beef Checkoff program for nearly 15 years.
Drilling Resumes in the SCOOP
With oil prices returning to pre-COVID-19 levels some energy companies are increasing their drilling activity. In the SCOOP region, Continental Resources and Camino Natural Resources have obtained permits to drill in Grady County. The website OK Energy Today reports that Continental Resources received five permits to drill between Rush Springs and Lindsay. They are the Sandy Creek Ranch wells in section 31 of Township 4 North and Range 5 West. Four of those wells will be drilled on a single pad. Camino Natural Resources received a permit to drill the Reba McEntire well which is northwest of Tuttle.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.93.
Natural gas is $3.08 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,770 and silver is $27.10.
A memorial service for Raymond Leroy Ferguson, 78, of Ninnekah will be held at a later date. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Richard “Kent” Barrington
Funeral service for Kent Barrington, 64, of the Alex and Bradley area will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24th in the Alex School gymnasium. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, February 18th
Chickasha Water Line Repairs Continue
Chickasha water line crews will be out in sub-freezing weather again today repairing broken water lines. Repairs were made at two locations yesterday - at Ada Sipuel Avenue and Shepherd Street as well as 1st and Georgia. Officials had hoped to start repairs near 14th and Arkansas yesterday, however that project was re-scheduled for today because the leak is close to a fire hydrant. Crews believed that potential complications could occur which may have extended repairs into the night, exposing workers to dangerous working conditions. Crews are also planning on repairing lines at 10th and Virginia and 20th and Alabama today. Officials say they are monitoring all the water line leaks around town to ensure that the largest and most impactful leaks are repaired first. Mayor Chris Mosley said his request for residents to conserve water will continue until further notice.
Third Homicide Victim Identified
Officials have identified the third victim of a triple-homicide that occurred in Chickasha last week. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reports the body of 41-year old Angela Blankenship was found in her home - two days after 4-year old Kaeos Yates and her grandfather Leon Pye were found stabbed to death across the street. Pye's wife, Delci, remains hospitalized following the attack but is recovering. Blankenship was a single mother of two. Relatives of Blankenship say they are unaware of any relationship she may have had with the suspected killer, 42-year old Lawrence Paul Anderson. Anderson was initially hospitalized with unspecified injuries but is now in the Grady County Jail. Formal charges have not yet been filed.
Chix Chamber of Commerce Schedules Annual Banquet
The 98th annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet is set for April 9th. During the event, a number of awards will be given out and nominations are now being accepted. Categories include Civic Hall of Fame, Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Woman of the Year, Public Servant of the Year, Event of the Year, Business of the Year, and Small Business of the Year. Nomination forms are available on the chamber's website and nominations are due March 15th. Chamber president Cassandra Ersland also said banquet sponsorships are available so individuals and business can contact the chamber for information. Individual tickets are $75 and table sponsorships for up to eight people are $750.
Seed Swap Set this Weekend
Everyone is looking forward to much better weather which will be here in the next few days. If you are making plans for spring gardens, a farm in the Dibble area is holding a seed swap event this weekend. 3J Farms southwest of Dibble will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. both days for gardeners looking for seeds and for those who have seeds to share. It's a good time for those of you who may want to start a garden for the first time to visit with other gardeners to get helpful tips. Garden supplies will be available and the warmer weather coming up will be a good time for preparing your garden area for planting. Girl Scout cookies will be available and Desserts by Marshelle and the S'Blended Coffee Trailer will be there. The seed swap will be held rain or shine inside the farm's heated greenhouses. Check out their website www.3Jfarmsok.com
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.34.
Natural gas is $3.21 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,784 and silver is $27.22.
Wednesday, February 17th
Chickasha Officials Urge Water Conservation
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This story has been updated from our 7:00 a.m. news broadcast to indicate areas where water line repairs are expected today) Chickasha officials are asking residents to cut back on their water usage as crews battle problems with no or low water pressure throughout the city. Mayor Chris Mosley also said crews are battling a number of water leaks in residential areas, but are postponing most repairs in order prevent water lines from freezing. The mayor issued this statement on the city's website and Facebook page-
The mayor says priority areas they will be working on today include Ada Sipuel Avenue and Shepherd Street and 14th Street and Arkansas Avenue. Water pressure issues began on Sunday, when a frozen optic sensor on one of the city's three water towers is believed to have prevented it from re-filling. In the town of Walters, which is south of Lawton, a water main break has forced officials there to shut down all water into that community. Officials are hoping they can get the line fixed today. Once water is restored the town will be under a voluntary boil advisory, as the water may have become contaminated.
Corporation Commission OKs Directive
to Prioritize Delivery of Gas, Electricity to Residents
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has issued an emergency directive to Oklahoma utility companies asking them to prioritize the delivery of natural gas and electric power to customers amidst the extended winter weather. State officials requested to order saying they wanted to emphasize the health, public safety, and welfare of Oklahomans who rely on natural gas or electricity to help them survive the extremely cold temperatures. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that Oklahoma Public Utilities Division Director Brandy Wreath called it a dire situation, saying that large power plants have gone off line and can’t be brought back. Wreath said utilities need to choose human needs over anything else. The order will allow utilities to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure electrical power and natural gas are provided to Oklahomans – while allowing reduced power or gas supplies to industrial customers.
Animals Rescued from Puppy Mill
Treated for Numerous Effects of Neglect
Many of the dozens of mistreated animals rescued from a Marlow puppy mill last weekend are being treated for a wide range of medical issues including some that needed emergency surgery. Some needed anti-biotics for eye, ear, and skin infections, some had mange or fever, and some had to be sedated to remove feces- and urine-matted hair down to the skin. KSWO-TV reports that the Humane Society of Tulsa helped to rescue many of the estimated 200 animals. The Humane Society will care for the animals until the courts decide who will get custody of them. Officials say their hope is that many of them could eventually be adopted.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.05 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.35.
Natural gas is $3.12 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,787 and silver is $27.13.
A memorial service for Pat Garvin, 87, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21st at McRay Funeral Home. The family strongly suggests wearing masks.
Funeral service for Tommy Farley, 75, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at Ferguson Funeral Home.He was a U.S. Army veteran.
Tuesday, February 16th
Rolling Blackouts Likely Due to Strain on Power Grid
The record cold weather is putting a strain on the power grid in middle America. The demand for electricity exceeded supply for a time yesterday and many power companies were ordered to implement mandatory rolling blackouts. The Southwest Power Pool implemented the blackouts throughout the 14 states it serves. The order was lifted shortly thereafter, but it was implemented again this morning after officials declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 – the highest alert possible. Power companies which include PSO, Western Farmers Electric Coop , OEC, REC, CK Energy, and OG&E are all part of the power pool. In a news release, PSO said they would try to notify customers affected, although the immediacy of the request may keep them from doing so. Gov. Kevin Stitt and other state officials held a press conference Monday asking Oklahomans to conserve electricity which included turning down thermostats to 68 degrees in order to help minimize the demand on the grid.
Chix Mayor Hopes Water Pressure Issues Resolved
A lot of Chickasha residents had no water or very little water pressure over a two-day period Sunday and Monday. Mayor Chris Mosley is hoping crews have fixed the problem. During Monday night's virtual city council meeting, Mosley said an optic sensor that monitors the level on the water tower on Country Club Road may have frozen over. He said Public Works and USW officials indicated that two of the city's water towers were re-filling late yesterday.
Record or near-record low temperatures around minus-15 degrees are widespread in central Oklahoma this morning. Combine that with road conditions that are still treacherous, many schools remain closed and some government offices are shut down. Chickasha schools opted to take a snow day today so they are not even having virtual classes. The Grady County Courthouse will be closed today and this morning's county commissioners’ meeting was canceled. Waste Connections will not be picking up trash in Chickasha for a second straight day because of the extreme cold and unsafe driving conditions. They are also suspending bulk pick-up services until they get caught up on residential trash pick-up.
Chix City Council Accepts Flood Prevention Plan
A new flood prevention plan gets the backing of the Chickasha City Council. During last night's virtual council meeting, the panel held a second public hearing to get an update on what's called The Master Drainage Plan. Officials with the engineering firm of Smith, Roberts, and Baldischwiler spent about 45 minutes reviewing the plan and discussing changes made to the proposal which had been recommended by city officials and the public during a previous public hearing last month. The proposal is a five-phase plan to attempt to minimize flooding which commonly occurs during periods of high intensity, short duration rains. If fully implemented it would cost between $9 million and $12 million. Among the suggestions are to widen both Congo Creek and Line Creek to forty feet and by using a combination of concrete and grass channels. Another is to essentially create areas to hold flood waters and release it slowly into the drainage system after heavy rains. Officials say the project could be paid for through a combination of grants and general obligation bonds - bonds which would be paid for through an increase in property taxes that would need voter approval.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.47 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.43.
Natural gas is $2.91 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,822 and silver is $27.73.
Monday, February 15th
State Braces for Another Winter Storm
(EDITOR'S NOTE - Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley discusses the city's response to the first winter storm on the 8:00 a.m. recorded version of the news. Find the KOOL News Podcast under the News tab on this website) Life-threatening weather conditions continue throughout Oklahoma as one winter storm moves through the state with another one approaching. Single-digit temperatures and accompanying winds will take wind chill values to minus-20 and minus-30 degrees through noon Tuesday. Six to ten inches of snow were recorded in Chickasha over the weekend making travel difficult for anyone brave enough to get out. Many Chickasha residents experienced low-water pressure yesterday, after a sensor froze at the water treatment plant. That prevented at least one of the city's water towers from re-filling.
Storm Knocks out Power to Some
Power outages are minimal this morning. Public Service Company of Oklahoma reports about 15 outages in the Tuttle area. Rural Electric Coop reports 18 outages in Grady County and nearly 250 in Garvin County; CK Energy reports 7 outages in Caddo County; and Cotton Electric Coop reports nearly 120 outages in Comanche County.
Chix Trash Pick-up Delayed; Library Closed
The City of Chickasha announced on its Facebook page that Waste Connections will not be picking up trash today with the hope that service can resume tomorrow. It's the second time in the last week that trash pickup had to be suspended because of snow and cold weather. Any motorists who may be trying to get to work are asked to follow the snow routes, which are posted on the city's website. The Chickasha Public Library will be closed today.
Fire Crews Called to Oilfield Location Blaze
Grady County firefighters were called out to an oilfield fire in the Alex area. The fire occurred near the Alex landfill just before 9 p.m. Monday when the air temperature was 3 degrees above zero and the wind chill was 15-below. 17 firefighters from the Alex, Bradley, and Naples fire departments were called out. Officials say some oilfield equipment had frozen and caused the ignition of some of petroleum products. Some residual petroleum products were burning some of the wildland grasses in the area. Crews used water and oil field foam to knock down those flames. They were able to use hand-held fire extinguishers for mop-up work. Officials credited the efforts of the firefighters and the oil field crew as they had the flames snuffed out in about an hour. Estimated damage was about $50,000.
Deputies Find Body, Puppy Mill near Marlow
A Marlow woman is behind bars after a body is found at her home along with numerous neglected animals. 49-year old Karen Jean Pritchard was arrested after Stephens County authorities received a tip about a person being killed or severely injured at a home just north of Marlow. In addition to finding the body of 31-year old Ashley Nicole Anderson investigators found about 200 animals they say were part of a puppy mill. Authorities say Anderson was working for Pritchard. Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney tells KSWO-TV that all the animals have been removed and thanked rescue workers for helping with the effort.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.47 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.43.
Natural gas is $2.91 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,820 and silver is $27.67.