Saturday, April 10th
Lt. Gov. Touts State's Recovery from Pandemic
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell is thrilled that the state's economy is beginning to rebound as the nation slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Pinnell was the keynote speaker at the 98th annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet last night and said it was refreshing to be able to be face-to-face with people once again.
Pinnell’s main focus is tourism and says Oklahomans need to do better in promoting their home state.
Pinnell made reference to Chickasha's leg lamp which drew so much attention last Christmas. He credited Tim Elliott and others for thinking out of the box to create an attraction which brought so much national and even international recognition to the city and hopes it continues.
Chamber Banquet Award Recipients
A number of businesses and individuals were recognized for their achievements at the chamber banquet last night. The Binyon Family received the top honor which was being named to the Civic Hall of Fame. The Binyons helped to jump start the Festival of Light in the mid-1980s.The Business of the Year is DeHart Heating and Air Conditioning which celebrated its 100th year in business in 2020. The Small Business of the Year is Grand Care Pharmacy; the Event of the Year is the Junior Social Workers Spaghetti Day; the Citizen of the Year is Heidi Harrison who created Heidi Helping the Homeless; the Woman of the Year is Donna Elledge with Chickasha Monument Company; the Volunteer of the Year is Ashley Rayburn; and the Public Servant of the Year is Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley.
Refuge Home Restoration Complete
The finishing touches have finally been made on the years-long renovation of an historic home in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The final piece for The Ferguson home was a 3 1/2 ton boulder. The home was almost entirely destroyed in a wildfire in 2010 with the only remnants being its cobblestone walls and the foundation. The restoration work began in 2014. The Lawton Constitution reports that a group called the Friends of the Wichitas collected about $70,000 in donations for the project. Since the home was on the National Register of Historic Places, they had to coordinate the re-build with the state's historic preservation office. The group spent a year looking for just the right boulder to serve as a marker describing the history of the home.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Sgts. Bryan and Tracy Brittle with the Salvation Army serving Grady and Caddo counties are this week’s guests on the KOOL Konversation program. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell is this week's guest on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, April 9th
OHP Probes Fatal SUV Crash
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal SUV crash that happened near Rush Springs yesterday. The accident claimed the life of 35-year old Whitney Blakes of Chickasha. Two children - an 11-year old girl and an 8-year old boy whose names were not released - were air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and admitted in serious condition. The accident happened two miles north of Rush Springs on U.S. Highway 81 about 4:00 p.m. Thursday. The trooper dispatched to the crash reported that the SUV was southbound when it veered off the road and rolled several times. Blakes and the two children were all thrown out of the vehicle.
Man Arrested for Soliciting Illicit Photos from Teen
A Chickasha man is accused of soliciting x-rated photos on his phone from a teenager. Chickasha police arrested 31-year old Bryan Cody Snook Wednesday night. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony for soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $50,000 bond. A police affidavit filed in connection with the investigation provides graphic details of a teenager sharing a photo of male genitals with Snook. The teen's mother called police when she saw the photo on her son's phone. Snook told investigators he was only joking when he asked the teen to send him a picture but did not say why he continued to ask for the photo. The teen said the photo he sent was one he found on the Internet. Snook is to announce is attorney on April 15th with a preliminary hearing conference set for May 12th.
Chix Chamber Annual Banquet is Tonight
Tonight is the biggest night of the year for the Chickasha business community. The chamber of commerce is holding its 98th annual awards banquet. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell will be the guest speaker for the sellout event which will be held at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Among the awards to be presented are the Civic Hall of Fame, Small Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Woman of the Year, Public Servant of the Year, and Event of the Year. A silent auction will also help serve as a fundraiser for the chamber.
Anadarko Road Project to Begin Soon
Construction will be starting soon on a road project in Anadarko. Petree Road between State Highway 8 and Mission Boulevard will be widened and a small bridge will be replaced. Reece Knight with the Anadarko Department of Transportation office says it’s a joint project of ODOT, Caddo County, and the City of Anadarko. The $836,000 project was awarded to Paradigm Construction out of Sapulpa. Construction is scheduled to start April 19th and the contractor will have 120 working days to complete the project. When finished, it will be dedicated to the memory of the late Caddo County Commissioner Randy McLemore.
Steer Wrestling Event in Chix Tomorrow
Many of the top steer wrestlers in the country will be in Chickasha this weekend for a big jackpot competition. Longtime NFR cowboy Blake Mindemann of Blanchard is holding the event tomorrow at the Grady County Fairgrounds. He talks about some of the cowboys that he's been in contact with.
Mindemann said there is $5,000 added money to entice as many as 100 cowboys to be part of the competition. There will also be a junior competition with as many as 50 youngsters expected to participate. It will all take place at the outdoor rodeo arena at the Grady County Fairgrounds tomorrow (Saturday). The junior event will start at 9 a.m. with the open competition about 1 p.m. There is a $5 fee for spectators, and children 7-and under are free.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.60 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.20.
Natural gas is $2.52 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,744 and silver is $25.15.
Funeral service for Reginald Cates, 34, of Midwest City is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Charles Harrold, 78, of Lawton are pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Thursday, April 8th
Blanchard Man Faces Assault Charges
A Blanchard man who has a long history of violence is in custody following a brutal attack on his ex-girlfriend. 34 year old Lance Emerson Adkins was taken into custody last weekend. He's been formally charged with two felony counts of assault and battery including one for using a dangerous weapon. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond. A probable cause affidavit filed by Blanchard police indicates the victim had a black eye and bruises all over her face and neck. She alleged that Adkins choked her and also put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger several times. She was able to get away and go to a neighbor's home and call for help. Just a few weeks ago Adkins was arrested in February and charged with a misdemeanor for domestic abuse. He was released from custody after posting a $2,500 bond. In 2006, Adkins pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges where he was given a one-year suspended sentence and 24 hours of community service.
Ninnekah Police Arrest Suspect with Stolen Car
A Ninnekah woman is facing a charge of having a stolen vehicle. 39-year old Jamie Wheeler was arrested by Ninnekah Police at the Washita Valley RV Park north of Ninnekah Monday. A probable cause affidavit indicates a police officer saw a car in the park with a lot of damage. The officer called in the New Hampshire tag on the vehicle and learned the car had been stolen out of Lawton last month. The officer stopped the car when it started to move and Wheeler was driving. Wheeler has been charged with a felony for being in possession of stolen vehicle and is out of jail after posting a $5,000 bond.
COVID-19 Clinic to Provide Choice of Vaccines
Here is an update to a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic that will be held at Chickasha’s Bullock Memorial Community Center next week. Officials say both the single-dose Johnson and Johnson and the first dose of the Moderna vaccines will be available. The Anadarko Indian Health Services Clinic will be providing the vaccines on Tuesday, April 13th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bullock Memorial Center located at 917 S. 1st. This is for anyone 18 years old and older and no appointment is needed.
OSU Research Station to Host Annual Wheat Field Day
Area wheat producers can get an update about the commodity at the annual wheat field day coming to the region. Chickasha's OSU Research Station will hold the event on Friday, April 30th. Speakers include OSU wheat specialists Amanda Silva, Brett Carver, and Bob Hunger and OSU nutrient management specialist Brian Arnall. Individuals have the option of attending in person or via YouTube. Those who plan to attend in person are asked to wear masks. The Wheat Field Day will start at 9 a.m.
SPMC Hosts Blood Drive
A community blood drive will be held at the Southern Plains Medical Center today. The clinic is teaming up with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) for the event. The OBI bloodmobile will be in the clinic parking lot from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome. They can accept convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from the coronavirus. Free t-shirts will be given to all donors.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.77 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.16.
Natural gas is $2.52 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,744 and silver is $25.33.
A memorial service for Paul Ernest, 48, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 10th at Chickasha’s First Christian Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Mark Byrne, 69, of Alex will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 10th at Alex High School. He was the Public Works Director and the fire chief at Alex for many years. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 7th
Brian Gerdes Wins Chickasha City Council Post
In a light turnout in yesterday's Chickasha City Council election, Ward 1 councilman Brian Gerdes was elected to a full two-year term. Gerdes, who was appointed to the post about a year ago, picked up nearly 75 percent of the vote in his win over challenger David Lucas, 178 to 66.
Dennis Crawford tops Travis Posey in Close CV Tech School Board Race
In a very tight race for a post on the Canadian Valley Technology Board of Education, Dennis Crawford narrowly defeated incumbent Travis Posey. With more than 8,800 votes cast less than 50 votes separated the two candidates.
Jim Rice Appears to Win Tight Minco City Council Election
In Minco, only three votes separated the three candidates running for the Ward 3 city council post. Incumbent Jim Rice received 40 votes, Carrie McMullen received 38, and Christopher Meyers received 37 in the unofficial results. There will not be a run-off so Rice will be re-elected pending a recount. A recount request must be submitted to the Grady County Election Board by 5 p.m. Friday.
Holder, Patterson Win Posts on Verden Trustee Board
In Verden, David Holder and Don Patterson were the top two vote-getters of five candidates for the town board of trustees. Holder received 49 votes and Don Patterson received 44.
John Williams Takes Seat with Alex Town Trustees
In Alex, John Williams defeated Shelby Johnson 37 to 25 for a post on the town board of trustees.
Salyer Wins Re-election as Anadarko's Vice Mayor
In the Anadarko city council election, Tanner Salyer was re-elected vice mayor defeating Patrick Michael Hayes, 106 to 21.
Jeff Boren Tops Democratic Primary for Caddo County Commissioner Post
In the Democratic primary for District 2 Caddo County Commissioner, Jeff Boren received nearly 75 percent of the vote in a 3-person race. Boren collected 174 votes, while Jamie Williams had 49, and Darren Farmer had 19. Boren will now face Republican Belita Byrd in a special general election on Sept. 14th. The winner will fill the post previously held by Randy McLeMore who died last year.
Newcastle School Bond Issues Fail by Narrow Margins
Two special bond elections for Newcastle Public Schools failed to get the 60 percent super-majority needed for passage with one of them falling short by just two votes. A $100,000 transportation bond failed 631 to 425 and it needed 633 votes to pass. A $1 million bond issue for capital improvements and instructional materials failed by 44 votes, 591 to 467. Among the capital improvements being sought were $400,000 for a heating and cooling system in the high school gym and $400,000 to install field turf on school athletic fields.
Lookeba-Sickles School Bond Issues Pass
Voters in the Lookeba-Sickles school district passed two bond issues totaling $490,000. Both passed with more than 84 percent approval. A $245,000 plan to upgrade security entrances and surveillance equipment, purchase maintenance equipment, and repair buildings passed 53 to 10. A second $245,000 bond to purchase school buses passed 54-10.
Earthquakes Shake Union City Area
A couple of small earthquakes rattled an area near Union City this morning. The Oklahoma Geological Survey indicated that a 3.1 magnitude tremor was measured southeast of Union City about 3:45 a.m. A smaller tremor which measured at 1.8 on the Richter Scale occurred at 4:25 a.m. at a location just south of the first earthquake. There have been no reports of damage.
Cost-Sharing Conservation Applications Accepted
Grady County landowners may consider applying for cost-share assistance to help improve their conservation efforts. The Grady County Conservation District is accepting applications for up to 50 percent cost-share assistance for projects which include brush management, cover crop, critical area planting, forage and bio mass planting, grade stabilization, prescribed grazing, range planting, water wells and other projects. Application deadline is April 23rd. Applications can be picked up at the Grady County Conservation District office or they can be downloaded from the district's Facebook page.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.33 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.74.
Natural gas is $2.46 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,739 and silver is $25.06.
No services are scheduled for Charles Johnson, 90, of Chickasha. He was a military veteran who served during the Korean War. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Shirley Werthen, 74, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 9th at College Heights Baptist Church. Arrangements are also with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, April 6th
City, Town Council, and School Elections Underway
There are a number of city council, town council, and school elections throughout the state today. In Chickasha there is one city council race where Brian Gerdes and David Lucas are running for the Ward 1 post. Gerdes was appointed to the seat last year. In other Grady County communities, there are town council elections in Alex, Minco, and Verden. In school elections, the Canadian Valley Technology Center has a post on its school board on the ballot. It’s in office No. 3 where incumbent Travis Posey is facing Dennis Crawford. In McClain County there are two seats up for election on the Blanchard City Council and Dibble Public Schools have a school election. In Caddo County, there is a Democratic primary for County Commissioner District 2 where Jeff Boren, Jamie Williams, and Darren Farmer are on the ballot. In Anadarko there is one city council election where Patrick Michael Hayes faces Tanner Salyer for vice mayor. There are also town council elections in Cement, Ft. Cobb, Apache, and Hinton. Also in Caddo County there are school board elections in Apache and Binger-Oney while voters in the Lookeba-Sickles school district have two propositions to decide. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.
Mask Mandate Lifted on City of Chickasha Buildings
The mask mandate at Chickasha City Hall has been abolished. Last night, the city council voted 7-1 to repeal the mask requirement on all city-owned property with Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander the lone councilman to vote against it. The council also approved an emergency clause with the repeal which is effective immediately upon the signature of the city clerk. The council delayed a decision about hiring a head-hunting firm to help find a city manager. Mayor Chris Mosley asked for the delay because-
Mosley said he wanted to get more information about the individual and perhaps schedule an interview before considering the professional services. If it doesn't work out the council could have an emergency meeting to consider the proposed contract with Strategic Government Resources out of Texas.
Kennels, Concessions Vendor OK'd
The city council approved the purchase of some new kennels for the city's animal shelter. The vote was 8-0 to purchase the kennels from Shor-Line which will remove the old kennels and install the new ones. Some of the old kennels are 40 years old. The council also renewed a concessions services contract at the city's sports complex with JW Concessions. The vote to approve was 6-2 with councilmen Zack Grayson and Brian Gerdes recusing their votes.
CPD Earns Accreditation
The Chickasha Police Department was recognized as being an accredited agency during last night's council meeting. Officials with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Accreditation Program say the department has had its written policies and procedures evaluated to ensure they meet statutory requirements. The program is endorsed by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET), the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group, The Oklahoma Municipal League, and the City Management Association of Oklahoma.
Bullock Center to Hold Walk-in COVID-19 Clinic
A walk-in clinic for individuals who would like to get a coronavirus vaccine has been scheduled. Chickasha's Bullock Memorial Community Center is teaming up with Indian Health Services of Anadarko to offer the first of the two Moderna vaccines. The walk-in clinic will be Tuesday, April 13th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bullock Memorial Community Center located at 917 S. 1st. The clinic is for anyone 18-years and older. No appointment is necessary but individuals might call the Anadarko Indian Health Clinic at 405-247-7989. Depending on participation the second round of the Moderna vaccine could be scheduled in about a month.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.65 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.15.
Natural gas is $2.51 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,732 and silver is $24.95.
Funeral service for Carol Lister, 88, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 8th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, April 5th
OSBI Investigates Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting
One person has died and a police officer is recovering from injuries as a result of an officer-involved shooting in Anadarko early this morning. The OSBI reports that officers were called out about 1:00 a.m. to look into a report of an individual suffering from a drug overdose at a home near the 100 block of Nixon Drive. The agency indicated that while officers were attempting to perform life-saving measures on one person another individual pulled out a gun. Gunfire was exchanged between police and the individual who was identified as 25-year old Sila Lambert was taken to the hospital where was pronounced dead. The unidentified officer suffered non-life threatening injuries. The unidentified individual who suffered the overdose also died.
Mask Mandate at Chickasha City Hall May be Lifted
A plan to remove the mask requirement at Chickasha City Hall and city-owned property will be considered by the city council tonight. The move is believed to be a result of the reduced number of coronavirus cases in the county and state. The council will also consider repealing the mask mandate as an emergency so if approved it would be effective immediately. Also on the agenda is a proposal to hire a firm to perform a national search for a new city manager. The recommendation is to use a company called Strategic Government Resources out of Keller, Texas. The anticipated cost is just over $24,000. The council is also to consider spending nearly $90,000 to purchase new kennels for the city's animal shelter. The bid is from a company called Shor-Line and includes removing the old kennels and installing the new ones. The council is also to consider creating a mobile app for the city. The proposal from a company called SeeClickFix would cost about $10,000 a year. The city council will also recognize firefighter Rodney Peters who recently retired after a 25-year career. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Chix Water Treatment Process Change is Underway
Officials at Chickasha's water treatment plant say water users may be noticing a chlorine taste in the water the next few days but they say it should be temporary. City officials said last week that the drinking water is being treated differently the entire month of April. Instead of using a combination of chlorine and ammonia they are using free chlorine only to disinfect the water. The reason for the change is because free chlorine will remove sediment that has built up in the water lines. That sediment causes the water to fall out of compliance with state Department of Environmental Quality standards. Officials say while the process started last week it takes a few days for the chlorine to make it through the water distribution system. Should you notice cloudy water, or water that tastes like chlorine, run all the taps in your home or business for a couple of minutes. You may also flush your toilets a couple of times and run one cycle of cold water through your washing machine. This free chlorine process will continue through the entire month of April and they'll return to the chlorine and ammonia treatment the first of May.
State Lawmakers Consider Bill Limiting
Foreign-ownership of Land in Oklahoma
Among the bills being considered at the state capital is HB1497 which would prohibit property ownership in Oklahoma by people from countries which ban the United States from owning property in their countries. State Representative Brad Boles of Marlow who represents parts of Grady, Stephens, and McClain counties says that non-U.S. citizens and foreign business groups can acquire titles to real property in the U.S. and says it has been taking place at an alarming rate in Oklahoma. In a recent media column Boles says it has the potential to threaten the security of the state and nation. Boles says he was among a number of lawmakers supporting Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter who wants to get information on questionable land purchases to see if illegal activity is occurring with these property transfers.
National Library Week Underway
This is National Library Week and the Chickasha Public Library has a number of activities scheduled. Patrons can enter drawings to win prizes by using the library's new book-tracking app or by dropping by the library. Tuesday is National Library Workers Day with patrons invited to give workers a round of applause in a special ceremony set for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday is National Outreach Day which will feature pop-up bookmobiles at Washita Valley Park and Shannon Springs Park. On Thursday the American Library Association encourages individuals to support the Build America's Library Act which is designed to raise funds for upgrades to the nation's library infrastructure. Friday is Volunteer Appreciation Day with a ceremony set for 3:30 p.m. to recognize those who serve on the library board and the Friends of the Library.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.45 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $63.60.
Natural gas is $2.64 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,725 and silver is $24.85.