Saturday, June 12th
Early-Morning Storms Rumble Through the Region
Much of the Grady and Caddo county region was struck with gale-force winds and up to quarter-sized hail in thunderstorms that tracked across the area this morning. The National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings just after 2 a.m. for storms that packed near hurricane-force winds at 60 mile per hour. The Oklahoma Mesonet site indicates that the peak wind speeds in Chickasha was 59 miles per hour while at Acme, which is west of Rush Springs, winds topped out at 74 miles per hour. Minco had wind speeds of 52 miles per hour. One early report of wind damage in Chickasha is that part of the roof of Jimmy's Cleaners at 8th and Minnesota Ave. had peeled back. Public Service Company of Oklahoma and several electric coops reported a number of power outages. As far as rainfall is concerned, the Mesonet shows that Minco received the heaviest rainfall with more than an inch-and-a-half of precipitation; Chickasha received just under an inch; Ft. Cobb and Apache got about two-tenths of an inch; and the Acme site collected one-tenth of an inch of rain.
Some Chix Police Officers Commissioned by BIA
Some Chickasha police officers have been cross-deputized to also serve with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's McGirt Decision. BIA Assistant Special Agent In Charge Bryan Stark gave the oath of office to 13 officers in a Friday ceremony-
Police Chief Dee Rowell and Assistant Chief G.G. Music were among those sworn in. Stark tells KOOL/RANCH News-
Chickasha will be working specifically with the Chickasaw Nation of which Chickasha was orIginally a part of.
Highway Construction Projects Approved
Several highway and bridge construction projects for the area are expected to get underway later this year after bids were approved by the state transportation commission this week. Projects in McClain County include one to widen and re-surface a five-mile stretch of State Highway 76 north of Lindsay. That's a nearly $3.5 million project awarded to Silver Star Construction out of Moore. Also in McClain County, construction of bridges and approaches on a county road over Walnut Creek north of the state highway 74B junction near Blanchard. That's just over a $1 million project awarded to H and H Bridge Company of Joplin, Mo. A third McClain county project is to grade, drain, surface, and build a bridge on a 2 ¼-mile section of a county road from the State Highway 59 junction to just west of Criner. That's a $5 million project awarded to Trease Construction out of Coalgate. In Stephens County, a right-of-way clearance on State Highway 29 west of Bray is a nearly $90,000 project awarded to Robin Hausner House Movers and Demolition out of Sperry, Okla. They were all among 32 contracts awarded totaling nearly $118 million to improve the state's highways, roads, and bridges.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Shae Mortimer with the City of Chickasha and Mitch Williams with the Chickasha Wings Flying school are our guests on the KOOL Konversation talking about next week's air show, car show, and fly-in at the Chickasha Airport. And Doug Kemper with the Medicine Park Aquarium is this week’s guest on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, June 11th
Water Service Returns to Anadarko;
Precautionary Boil Recommended
Contractors have made temporary repairs to a broken water line in Anadarko which caused officials to urge residents to conserve water earlier this week. City Manager Kenneth Corn says residents can now use water but the city has issued a precautionary boil recommendation before drinking or cooking with it. Corn said that a more permanent repair will be needed.
Corn said the problem arose when a valve on the water line broke. He said they will be replacing about a 20-foot section of a 16-inch pipe once they get the parts they need. Corn said that officials would be letting residents know when that work would take place but could not give a time frame on when that might occur.
Wanted Man Leads Police on High-Speed Pursuit
A Ninnekah man who had a warrant out for his arrest is behind bars after leading law enforcement on high-speed chase. 53-year old Scott Grady Leatherwood had a warrant for a misdemeanor drug possession charge stemming from an arrest last summer. A probable cause affidavit indicates that a Chickasha police officer spotted Leatherwood driving down the street Monday night and tried to pull him over and that's when the chase began. Speeds reached 60 miles per hour through several neighborhoods, then south on 16th Street to U.S. Highway 81. A Grady County deputy joined the pursuit which went south of Ninnekah with speeds reaching 110 mph. Leatherwood turned on to a county road about six miles south of Ninnekah and bailed out of the truck and managed to get away. It's not clear how or when authorities discovered Leatherwood's whereabouts but he was booked into jail just early Thursday morning. In addition to his arrest last summer, Leatherwood was also arrested just a few weeks ago for having firearms after a previous conviction and was out of jail after posting bond. Leatherwood is now facing a new felony charge of endangering others while eluding and he remains in jail on a $55,000 bond.
Chickasha's Mental Health to be Discussed
What is the state of Chickasha's mental health? The Chickasha Public Library will host licensed mental health counselor Virginia Savage in a program next week. Savage says we've all been through many struggles this past year-and-a-half and that now is a good time to reflect on our strengths and challenges to assess how we've done and how we might do better. She said they will be talking about the meaning of mental health and what contributes to and detracts from it. The free program is geared toward adults and older teens. It’s made possible through a grant from the State Department of Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The program will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 19th. Pre-registration is required due to limited space.
Counties to Sell Properties with Delinquent Taxes
County treasurers across the state are making final preparations for a Monday auction of properties which have delinquent property taxes. The current owners of these properties are at least four years delinquent in paying the taxes owed. Grady County Treasurer Robin Burton says this is a 'buyer beware' sale and all properties are sold 'as-is' and no warranties will be given. There are about 70 properties available in Grady County and about 60 properties available in Caddo County. The properties will be sold for the taxes owed in addition to costs and fees; or two-thirds of the assessed value plus costs and fees, whichever is less. Current property owners can still pay the delinquent taxes owed prior to the sale. Available properties statewide can be seen on the website: www.oktaxrolls.com Interested buyers should contact their local county treasurer's office for other information.
Chix High School Counselor Has New Role
A long-time Chickasha school counselor will have a new role with the district. Mona Greenfield will be the new student accounting, assessment, and communications coordinator. A post on the district's Facebook page shows that her duties will include focusing on the student information system, enrollment, state testing coordination, and website development. Greenfield has spent her entire 26 year career in education with Chickasha schools. In addition to being the high school counselor the last few years she served as the vocal music teacher for the high school and Grand Elementary.
Elks Lodge to Host Kids Fishing Day
Tomorrow will be a good day to get the kids hooked on fishing. The Chickasha Elks Lodge will hold its annual kids fishing day at Shannon Springs Park. The lake was just stocked with 2,000 pounds of catfish yesterday. It's a free event for kids 16-and-under and there are three age divisions. The kids will need to bring their own fishing poles however bait will be provided. Officials are encouraging foster families and military veterans to take part. They'll get started about 9 o'clock and run until noon. The Elks will be serving free hot dogs and chips afterwards.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Shae Mortimer and Mitch Williams are on the KOOL Konversation discussing next weekend’s Wings and Wheels Fly-in, Air Show, and Car Show at the Chickasha Airport. Doug Kemper with the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Science Center is our guest on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.52.
Natural gas is $3.15 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,895 and silver is $26.29.
Thursday, June 10th
Anadarko Deals with Water Line Break
Working through the night, crews in Anadarko have made some progress with a water line break which caused officials to ask residents and businesses to conserve water. The break was discovered about noon Wednesday between the city’s water towers and the pumps which are used to get the water into distribution system. City Manager Kenneth Corn has been keeping residents updated on the situation on The City of Anadarko’s Facebook page.
Officials are hoping water service can return to normal later today but continue asking individuals to use tap water only for drinking and that no water be used for bathing, car washing, or watering lawns and gardens. Corn said the water may be discolored after the repairs are made and suggests that residents open their taps for a few minutes to allow their lines to clear up.
Street Project May Slow Downtown Chix Traffic
A traffic advisory has been issued for motorists driving through downtown Chickasha. State Department of Transportation crews are repairing a section of Choctaw Avenue around 11th Street. Officials say traffic will be down to one lane in both directions perhaps through the end of the week. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through that work zone.
Retiring CV Tech Employees Heralded for Service
Three longtime employees with Canadian Valley Technology Center have announced their retirements. Assistant Superintendent Bill Bradley has spent a total of 40 years in education with 37 of those at CV Tech. He started has a construction trades teacher on the Chickasha campus and has served as an administrator for the last 23 years. Superintendent Gayla Lutts says Bradley was among those who helped rebuild the El Reno campus after a massive tornado destroyed many of its buildings in 2013.
Lutts said a seminar center on the technology center's Cowan Campus in Yukon will be named in Bradley’s honor later this month. A couple of long-time employees on the Chickasha campus also announced their retirements. Carla Estep who has been serving as an events coordinator is retiring after 25 years and Betty Henderson who has worked as an instructional coach is retiring after 14 years.
Chickasha Efforts Nominated for State Tourism Awards
The Chickasha Leg Lamp that was part of last year's Festival of Light was a big hit across the state. It even drew the attention of Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell who said it was ideas like that which generate tourism in the Sooner State. The 40-foot tall inflatable Leg Lamp was sparked by Tim Elliott and the Chickasha Economic Development Council and is one of three local tourism projects up for an award from the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. Another is the Hometown Christmas music video and movie produced which featured Chickasha's small town charm. The Redbud Awards will be awarded July 29th in Edmond.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.96 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.22.
Natural gas is $3.13 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,883 and silver is $27.81.
Wednesday, June 9th
Grady County Consumer Spending, Sales Tax Numbers
Good news and bad news for consumer spending throughout Grady County. The numbers are up from the month-to-month totals but down from the same time a year ago. It's estimated that nearly $67 million was spent on taxable goods and services in March. That's up 26.5 percent from February but it’s off 16 percent compared to March of 2020. The consumer spending estimate is based on the sales tax revenue turned over to the county by the state tax commission. Grady County received just over $500,000 in sales tax revenues this month which was paid on the taxable goods and services that were purchased in March. Sales tax revenues are designated for several areas all of which received the approval of Grady County voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds picked up $167,000; Grady Memorial Hospital obtained $148,000; the seven senior nutrition centers shared $83,000 with each one getting nearly $12,000; the 20 fire districts also shared $83,000 with each one getting $4,100; Tuttle EMS collected $15,000; and Rush Springs EMS received $3,800.
Chix Police to Take Oaths with BIA
A number of Chickasha police officers will officially be crossed-deputized with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) this week. 13 officers will be sworn in to serve on the Special Law Enforcement Commission. Police officers and sheriff's deputies in many parts state are being cross-deputized with the BIA as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's McGirt Decision. Being part of the special law enforcement commission will allow officers to file cases in federal court when an incident includes victims or suspects of crimes involving members of federally-recognized Native American tribes. The swearing-in ceremony will be held Friday afternoon at the Chickasha Police Department.
With Restrictions, PSO Gets OK for Ft. Sill Energy Center
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has obtained approval to build that huge energy center at Ft. Sill although state regulators have placed restrictions on the proposal. Earlier this week, the Corporation Commission OK'd the $118 million plan which has been in discussion for seven years. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that the question is: 'will PSO and the U.S. Army moved ahead with what turned out to be something of a controversial proposal to create secure emergency electrical power for the post?’ The project involves the creation of a solar facility as well as something called a Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) facility. The Corporation Commission order found that PSO's choice of that facility imposes unreasonable and unjust costs to PSO customers. PSO ratepayers would pay $108 million of the $118 million project. Monthly bills would increase about $1 per month starting in 2023 if PSO decides to move ahead. The article states that PSO does not need corporation commission approval to begin construction but was seeking pre-approval to pass the costs along to its customers.
Some Ag Producers May Get Crop Insurance Discount
Agriculture producers who planted cover crops last fall may be eligible for savings on their crop insurance premiums. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program has been implemented by the USDA. Kate Henson is with the Center for Rural Affairs who focuses on agriculture, conservation, risk management and federal programs-
Producers have until next Tuesday, June 15th to sign up for the discount and are encouraged reach out to their local Farm Service Agency for information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.05 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.22.
Natural gas is $3.13 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,891 and silver is $27.68.
Funeral service for Jimmy Jenkins, 67 of Altus is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, June 8th
Lake Chickasha Resident Takes Concerns to City Council
A resident at Lake Chickasha has been bringing her concerns about the conditions at the lake to the Chickasha City Council for the last several months. Kathy Martin was back in front of the panel last night addressing those issues.
Martin said she and other lake residents are getting ready to sign new leases and wants the city to make a better effort to make it a cleaner, safer place.
City Budget Approval Postponed
The final approval of a proposed budget for the City of Chickasha has been postponed. The city council delayed a formal decision on the $48 million spending plan in order that the public have more time to view the spending plan. A brief public hearing for the budget was held during last night's meeting but resident Torry Wise asked for more time to look at the proposal. The city attorney said that last night's public hearing was legally required but that another hearing could be held during the June 28th council meeting to get public input. The council awarded the construction of a dog park to Bordwine Development. The panel approved the company’s $110,000 bid after altering the base bid of more than $150,000. Mayor Chris Mosley said the park is being paid for by donated funds. Mosley said the Badgett Family which initially donated $50,000 and has agreed to provide the additional funds needed to build the facility.
City Funds Approved for Petroleum Building Upgrades
The council also approved the use of $86,000 in economic development funds to help make improvements to the Petroleum Building. Owner Gail Bush said upgrades to the building will cost about $260,000 to include a new elevator. Economic Development Director Jim Cowan attended the meeting and said the improvements also include remodeling the fifth floor of the building to add some retail space and to develop a BB gun museum.
Mayor Proclaims 'A Cowgirl's Song' Day
With the filming of a Hollywood movie in Chickasha complete, Mayor Chris Mosley proclaimed Monday, June 7th as "A Cowgirls Song" Day. The proclamation was issued prior to last night's city council meeting. Crews spent the better part of three weeks filming at various locations around town. The proclamation credits accomplished filmmaker Timothy Armstrong for bringing in an all-star cast to include Cheryl Ladd, Savannah Lee May, and Darci Lynne Farmer - and that local business individuals including Reagan Elkins, Maggie McClure, and Shane Henry and local investors were instrumental in having Chickasha being chosen for the film. It also states that Chickasha has been recognized as a 'film-friendly' city by the Oklahoma Film Commission.
Chix Businessman Ben Milam Dies
Longtime Chickasha business owner Ben Milam has died. Milam opened a heat and air business in the early 1980s and ran the company which still bears his name for more than 20 years. Milam was 83 when he passed away yesterday. He was born in Verden and graduated high school there. Before graduation he joined the Army Reserves where he served as a radio operator. Before starting his own business he worked for PSO, Perdue Industries, and Maremont. He served as an auxiliary police officer for Chickasha, and while living in Tuttle served on the city council, and also served as a volunteer firefighter at both Tuttle and Rush Springs. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 11th at the Verden Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.23.
London-based Brent crude is $71.49.
Natural gas is $3.07 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,896 and silver is $27.81.
A graveside service for Kenneth Davies, 89, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 11th at Fairlawn Cemetery. He was a retired U.S. Marine. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, June 7th
Morning Storms Bring High Winds, Hail
Thunderstorms with some intense winds and hail made their way through central and eastern Grady County and western McClain County early this morning. The National Weather Service issued thunderstorm warnings for storms near Agawam and Alex about 5:00 a.m. Radar indicated the storms packed 60 mile-per-hour winds and quarter-sized hail. The storms were slowly moving northeast at 15 miles per hour toward the Middleberg, Dibble, and Blanchard areas. The warnings were allowed to expire about 5:45 a.m. There were no preliminary reports of damage.
Chix Officials to Finalize Budget Work; Public Hearing Set
A proposed budget for the City of Chickasha will be heard in a public hearing during tonight's city council meeting. Prior to the formal council meeting, the panel will hold a work session on the spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget in its current form provides for nearly $48 million in expenditures over the next 12 months. The fund balance to start the fiscal year is projected at nearly $45 million with an anticipated $36 million in revenue. The work session, which is also open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chamber at city hall. The formal city council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Dog Park Project Could be Awarded
Construction of a new dog park for Chickasha could begin in a few weeks. The city council is expected to award a bid for the project to Bordwine Development tonight. The base bid submitted is just under $152,000 which is about $40,000 more than the engineer's estimate. However, the council will consider a change order which would make the contract about $110,000. The change would be planting fewer trees and purchasing items from the specified vendor in lieu of a substitute project vendor. Officials say the project is being paid by donated funds. To date the Badgett Family has provided $50,000 for the dog park which will be built at Centennial Park. It is expected to feature dog play stations, picnic tables, and landscaping along with 1,000 sq. ft. of concrete sidewalk and 1,300 feet of fencing.
New Elevator Proposed for Petroleum Building
The council is also to consider an economic development funding proposal to help install a new elevator in the Petroleum Building. The Economic Development Council is recommending the city use grant funds set aside for economic development projects. Building owner Gail Bush says the cost of the new elevator would be about $260,000 and she's asking the city to provide about $86,000 to help pay for the project. The economic development fund provides one dollar for every three dollars in private funds invested.
Teen Hospitalized Following Motorcycle-Car Crash
A teenager was hospitalized after being thrown out of a pickup in a traffic accident south of Rush Springs over the weekend. The unidentified 14-year old Duncan boy was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with head, trunk, and internal injuries and admitted in fair condition. The accident happened just before 7:30 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 81 about four miles south of Rush Springs. The Highway Patrol reports that a pick-up driven by 43-year old Crissy Butler of Duncan ran off the highway, over-corrected, then hit a cable barrier in the median. Butler and two other passengers were not injured. The injured teen was not buckled up.
Three Hospitalized After Sunday Accident
Two Newcastle residents are hospitalized after the motorcycle they were riding crashed into a car making a U-turn in front of them. 56-year old Coy Stevens and 59-year old Sheryl Jones were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital with head, arm, and leg injuries and were admitted in stable condition. The accident happened south of Watonga on U.S. Highway 270 yesterday afternoon. The highway patrol reports that the driver of the car was having a medical issue and attempted a U-turn. Stevens attempted to avoid a collision but crashed into the passenger side of the car. The driver of the car, 84-year old Earl Boyd of Watonga, was also hospitalized for a medical condition not related to the accident. His condition was not included in the accident report.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.62 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.89.
Natural gas is $3.10 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,887 and silver is $27.70.