Saturday, June 19th
Anadarko Police Officers Cleared of Wrong-Doing
The Anadarko police officers suspended after being involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting have been cleared of wrong-doing. At a press conference yesterday, Police Chief Eric Harlan said the Caddo County District Attorney’s Office cleared the officers and that a police department internal review found that officers Charles Maldonado and Sooner Harmon acted appropriately and did not violate the law or department policy. Harlan did not identify the officers. Harlan re-capped the shooting that occurred just before 1:00 a.m. Monday, April 5th. He said the officers responded to a report of a man suffering from a drug overdose. Another man, Silas Lambert, became aggressive toward one of the officers and pointed a gun at him. The other officer tried to tase Lambert but the taser didn't work. Lambert then began shooting and hit one officer in the arm and both officers returned fire. Lambert was pronounced dead at the hospital. The man who overdosed also died. The injured police officer was seriously wounded and has had several surgeries but is expected to fully recover.
America Celebrate Juneteenth
Numerous ceremonies are being held nationwide today to commemorate Juneteenth. It’s an event which marks the day that the last African-Americans being held in bondage in the mid-1800s finally find out they were free. It came 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Chickasha historian R.P. Ashanti-Alexander says it’s now one of numerous events which celebrate the diverse cultures that are now part of the United States.
While Chickasha is not having a Juneteenth celebration this year there are events scheduled in Duncan, Lawton, and Oklahoma City.
Activities Abound in Chickasha
There is a lot going on in Chickasha this weekend. The City of Chickasha is hosting its annual Wings and Wheels Fly-in, Car Show, and air show at the Chickasha Airport. Things get started this morning with free airplane rides for kids and a car and an aircraft show. The actual air show starts at noon. Food trucks will be on site and free bottled water will be available. Grand Assembly of God is hosting its annual car and craft show with car registration starting at 8 a.m. and more than 50 arts and crafts vendors will be there. At the Grady County Fairgrounds, two national youth cattle groups begin a five-day run with more than 700 youth from 28 states expected to show more than 1,000 head of cattle. The National Youth Chianina and the National Youth Maine-Anjou Associations are having their annual shows here for the first time.
Grady County PRIDE Group Organized
There is now an organized group in Grady County that supports the LGBT community. Grady County PRIDE has been formed to support the group. It was formed with the help of the Stephens County PRIDE organization which has been active for a couple of years. Jacob, who did not want to use his last name, says the PRIDE groups are for anyone who feel they are outcasts or alone. Jacob said since June is PRIDE month they decided to organize a Grady County PRIDE walk which will be held downtown Chickasha tomorrow afternoon. They'll be walking in front of the Grady County Courthouse from about 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and will have a couple of individuals speak about the challenges they face. There are Facebook pages for both the Grady County and Stephens County PRIDE groups.
Friday, June 18th
This Date in History: U.S. Supreme Court Allows
Chickasha Woman to Break Color Barrier at OU
Today marks an important anniversary in the 20th century civil rights movement. It was on this date in 1948....73 years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a black student could attend the OU Law School. That student was Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher of Chickasha, who challenged the university's policy and state law regarding segregation. However, Sipuel-Fisher still faced discrimination even after being allowed to attend OU. Chickasha city councilman and Lincoln School Principal Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander says-
Sipuel-Fisher would go on to become a successful lawyer and even a member of the OU board of regents. She died in 1995 at the age of 71. Last fall, USA Today Network named Sipuel-Fisher among Oklahoma’s top 10 women of the 20th century.
Juneteenth Celebrations Set, and its now a Nat'l Holiday
The anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision for Ada Sipuel-Fisher falls just before another major event for African-Americans - Juneteenth. It was on June 19th, 1865 that African-Americans who were still in bondage in Texas finally received word that they were free. General Gordon Granger delivered the news in Galveston, Texas and it came 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery. A number of programs are scheduled nationwide this weekend to commemorate the event. However, The Chickasha Juneteenth celebration was canceled for a second straight year due to the pandemic. By the way, Juneteenth is now a national holiday. President Biden has signed a bill passed by the House and Senate this week setting aside June 19th as America’s 12th national holiday.
Joint Panel to Ensure Rescue Plan Act Funds Spent Wisely
An area state lawmaker will serve on a panel to make sure federal relief funds for Oklahoma will be used for the right reasons. Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) will serve on a joint legislative committee to help prioritize proposals for the state's $1.9 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funds are to be used to respond to the public health emergency and negative economic effects caused by the pandemic. It can include payments to state agencies, non-profits, industry, households, and can include investments in public infrastructure. 12 members from both the state house and senate were appointed to the panel.
Masonic Lodge Foundation Grant to Help Bond
Students, Admin at University of Science and Arts
An effort to help connect students and administrators at the University of Science and Arts has received support from the Masonic Lodge Foundation of Oklahoma. The group awarded the university a $5,000 grant to help host regular events to foster those relationships. One of the first projects planned is a monthly Pizza on the Patio event for a casual gathering to allow for interactions and forge a stronger sense of family and community. Student surveys have shown that they want more social activities and a better understanding of the university's services and programs.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Christie Chambers, the executive director with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, is on the KOOL Konversation. Boyd Lee with CK Energy is this week's 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 $71.04 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.08.
Natural gas is $3.25 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,792 and silver is $26.44.
Thursday, June 17th
Pursuit Lands Wanted Man in Jail
A high-speed pursuit leads to the arrest of a Tuttle man who has outstanding warrants in three counties. 61-year old Richard Dale Mayes was one of two people taken into custody after the chase on Saturday, June 12th. Mayes was arrested after speeding away from Minco police who attempted to pull him over on a minor speeding violation. A probable cause affidavit indicates the pursuit went north on U.S. Highway 81 to the Union City area then to El Reno at speeds of 110 miles per hour. Union City Police and Canadian County Sheriff's deputies were summoned to assist. The chase finally came to an end at an El Reno convenience store near Highway 81 and Route 66. Mayes has outstanding warrants in Grady, Custer, and Oklahoma counties, and is facing new Grady County charges that include felony eluding and misdemeanor drug possession. He remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. Also arrested was 38-year old Virgina Dawn Raniag of Oklahoma City, who also had an outstanding Grady County warrant on a misdemeanor drug charge. She's facing new misdemeanor drug charges and remains in jail on a $20,000 bond.
National Youth Cattle Shows Coming to Chickasha
Two national youth cattle groups will be taking over the Grady County Fairgrounds over the next week. The American Junior Maine-Anjou and the American Junior Chianina Associations will be at the fairgrounds. It will be a big shot in the arm for the Grady County economy. About 650 youth from 28 states will be showing over 1,000 head of cattle, looking to earn some bragging rights with their animals. The exhibitors are all 21-years old and younger with some competitions for kids as young as three-years old. There's more than just livestock shows including a livestock judging competition, a quiz bowl, queen and princess contest, and a concert. Fairgrounds crews are getting all the pens set up for the animals this week and the youth and their families will be arriving Saturday. Officials expect the show to bring as many as 3,000 people per day to the fairgrounds through Thursday, June 24th.
Adult Learning Center Graduation Tonight
Graduation ceremonies will be held tonight for individuals who have earned their GED from the Chickasha Adult Learning Center. The center works to help individuals who didn't finish high school to earn the general education certificate which is equal to a high school diploma. The center, which is housed at the former Southwest School, also provides English as a Second Language courses and like public schools this past year offered distance-learning options. The commencement ceremony will be at 7 o'clock tonight at the Chickasha High School Activity Center.
Southwest Oklahoma Aquarium Marks Anniversary
The Medicine Park Aquarium recently celebrated its 4th anniversary. Of course, it's grown to be much more than just an aquarium. Director Doug Kemper discusses two other exhibits-
They've also opened a Snake Shack which features the seven venomous snakes that are found in Oklahoma. The aquarium is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.15 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.39.
Natural gas is $3.25 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,803 and silver is $26.79.
A memorial service for Tracy Cranton, 65, of Chickasha will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 22nd at Sharon Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made the Chickasha Soup Kitchen.
Funeral service for Rodney Parks, 44, of Oklahoma City are pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Wednesday, June 16th
Teen Says He Killed Brother, Burned his Body
A 13-year old Bridge Creek teen has told authorities he killed his older brother and then set his body on fire in what is said to be an assisted suicide. KWTV-News 9 reports that investigators were called to a home south of Bridge Creek back in March. Firefighters found the body of a 16-year old in a garage with an air compressor hose wrapped around his neck. The younger brother is reported to have told investigators that the two had planned the assisted suicide at least a month before it happened. The name of the 13-year old has not been published. The report says he is being charged as adult although a court motion has been filed requesting that he be tried as a juvenile. The youth is in the Grady County Jail charged with first degree murder and desecration of a human corpse. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.
OU Selected for New Weather Research Project
Here is a big announcement for the City of Norman and the University of Oklahoma. Already home to the National Weather Center, OU has been selected to host a new weather research project for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The university will be home to what's called the Cooperative Institute for Severe and High Impact Weather Research and Operations. OU will receive nearly $210 million in funding over five years and will have the potential for renewal of another five years. Oklahoma Congressmen Tom Cole and Frank Lucas issued statements supporting the choice. Cole said OU is well positioned to host the institute which will improve the understanding of severe and high-impact weather. Lucas said he's proud to see the research funding going to an institution that has a long history of helping NOAA achieve its mission of severe storm forecasting.
Leadership Chickasha Applicants Sought
Finding the next generation of community leaders is the goal of the long-running Leadership Chickasha program which is part of the Chamber of Commerce. A new class will be starting up this fall and applications are now being accepted. Accepted candidates spend one day each month for seven months attending seminars, inter-active learning courses, and touring various city, county, and educational facilities. Typically, the candidates are business or professional individuals who already hold leadership positions with their companies. Tuition fee is $350 for chamber members and $450 for non-chamber members. The program will run from September, 2021 through March, 2022. Applications are on the Chamber of Commerce website or can be picked up at the Chamber office.
Funny Cars to be Part of Grand Assembly Car, Craft Show
Muscle car and antique car and truck enthusiasts will have a couple of car shows to check out in Chickasha this weekend. In addition to the car show at the Wings and Wheels Fly-in and Car Show at the airport on Saturday, Grand Assembly of God will host its annual car and craft show at the church at 102 E. Almar Dr. Two-time CHAOS funny car champion Ken Singleton and his high-risk racing team will be on hand and there will be more than 50 arts and craft vendors. Car show registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and awards will be issued at 2:00 p.m.
COVID Vaccinations, Food for Kids
Offered by Grady County Health Dep't.
The Grady County Health Department will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations at a couple of Chickasha sites today. Those locations will be at Washita Valley Park from 11 to noon and at the Chickasha Library from noon to 1. The vaccinations are for anyone 12 years and older and youth under 18 will have to have a parent or guardian with them. In addition to the vaccinations, the health department will be providing some extra meals to youth with the help of the Regional Food Bank. The food bank and the library are already offering daily meals to all youth 18-and-under at the two locations but the health department will provide an extra meal for them today as well as each of the next two Wednesdays.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.12 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.99.
Natural gas is $3.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,860 and silver is $27.87.
Jimmy Lee Jenkins
Funeral service for Jimmy Lee Jenkins, 67, of Altus will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 18th at The Lord's House in Oklahoma City. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, June 15th
Chix Sales Tax Revenues Climb
Chickasha officials are cautiously optimistic about recent sales tax revenues for the city which reflect an increase in consumer spending. The Oklahoma Tax Commission this month sent the city more than $1.1 million in sales tax revenue which were paid on an estimated $29.3 million which was spent on taxable goods and services at city retailers. The sales tax receipts are based on actual sales tax collections for the last half of April and projections for the first half of May. Officials say the sales tax collections for both May and June were the best for those months in the past five years - and without major oil and gas traffic. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley said some of the consumer spending was generated by federal stimulus funds and that the city is still 'limping along.'
Anadarko Gets New Ambulance; Awaits New Firetruck
In Anadarko, there is some good news for the city’s fire department. The city just received a new ambulance which was put in to service yesterday. And, officials are anticipating the arrival of a new pumper truck. City Manager Kenneth Corn made the announcement about the firetruck on the city's Facebook page-
Corn said the truck is expected to be delivered in October and it will be the first new firetruck in more than 30 years. Corn also outlined a number of infrastructure projects in his 10-minute video. Among them, replacing the main line into the city's sewer plant and installing a number of lift stations to help get waste water to the plant. A Community Development Block Grant and another grant from Indian Health Services and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will help pay for those projects.
Air Show Set Saturday at Chickasha Airport
Father's Day weekend will feature quite a treat at the Chickasha airport. The City of Chickasha and the Chickasha Wings Flying School are again combining efforts to host the annual Wings and Wheels Fly-in and Car Show. The last couple of years they have brought in some historic World War Two aircraft but Mitch Williams of Chickasha Wings says they shifted gears this year-
The air show will be Saturday, June 19th and will feature an aerobatics pilot; an experimental aircraft flying formation; races between a motorcycle and an airplane; and radio controlled planes. There will be free airplane rides for children 8 to 17 years old and awards for car show and fly-in participants. Food trucks will be on site. Registration for the free airplane rides for children will start at 8:30 a.m. with flights from 9 a.m. to noon and again after 2 p.m. The actual air show will get underway about noon. Admission is free and individuals are urged to bring lawn chairs, hats, and sunscreen.
Science and Arts' Regents Hold Tuition, Fees Steady
Good news for students who will be returning to the University of Science and Arts this fall. The university’s board of regents voted to keep tuition and fees at current levels. In a prepared statement, university president John Feaver said that as they begin to resume more normal operations after the pandemic, it is his hope that keeping rates flat will take some of the pressure off students and allow them to concentrate on their classroom work. On average, Oklahoma students enrolled in 15 credit hours at Science and Arts can expect to pay a little more than $4,000 per trimester.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.88 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.86.
Natural gas is $3.35 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,865 and silver is $27.73.
A graveside service for David Tobey, 83, formerly of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 16th at the Alex Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army Reserves veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, June 14th
PSO Re-Thinking Proposed Ft. Sill Power Plant
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSA) officials may be re-considering their plans to build an emergency power plant at Ft. Sill. We reported last week that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved the project with some restrictions. The Oklahoman is reporting that the panel approved a plan that is about half of the cost of the original proposal put forth by the utility. PSO was seeking $118 million to build the power plant which would provide emergency power to Ft. Sill for about two weeks. The corporation commission only approved a $60 million plan saying they didn't object to the plans to help the base upgrade its abilities to operate during emergency situations. The panel did take issue with its estimated cost. PSO indicated that the revisions would add less than one dollar per month to their customers’ monthly bills.
Chix' Ward 2 Residents to Meet with Council Reps
Chickasha residents who live in Ward 2 will have their annual meeting with their city council representatives and other city officials tonight. The meeting will be at city hall with Councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite and Councilman Clark Van Dyck on hand to discuss issues, concerns, and ideas for a better city. That meeting will be at 6:30 tonight in the city council chambers at city hall.
Chix School Board to Consider Resource Officer Contract
A contract with the Grady County Sheriff's Office and revisions to handbooks for foster families and English learners are to be considered by the Chickasha school board tonight. The panel contracts with the sheriff's office to pay for a school security officer. The proposal calls for the officer to be paid nearly $4,000 per month from August 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. The officer would work no more than 171 hours per month. The panel will also consider some personnel changes which include adding Dr. Demeka Norwood as the district’s Federal Programs Coordinator; moving Milton Bowens from the Graduation and Instructional Coach position at the high school to Curriculum Coordinator in administration; and hiring Tammie Swinburne as the district's Special Education Counselor. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building. The meeting will be video-streamed on the school district's website.
Anadarko School Board to Consider Elem School Changes
Anadarko school administrators are considering changing the grade spans in their elementary schools. The Anadarko school board will consider changing Sunset Elementary to Pre-K and Kindergarten; East Elementary to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades; and Mission Elementary to 4th and 5th grades. The panel will also consider a number of fund raisers and an overnight stay for FFA members in Stillwater to participate in a livestock judging contest. The Anadarko school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Choctaw Avenue Repairs Underway
Here's a reminder that ODOT will have a portion of Choctaw Avenue narrowed to one lane in each direction for a highway improvement project. This will be at 11th and Choctaw Ave. near Love's and the Plaza North shopping center. Repairs are expected to take place much of the week.
FAA Extends Spaceport License
Oklahoma's Spaceport has had its license renewed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that the license for the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority was renewed for five years. It authorizes the Authority to operate a launch site at the Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark in Burns Flat. The article indicates that the FAA's top priority in regulating commercial space transportation is that launch and re-entry operations are safe for the public. The Oklahoma Spaceport is one of only 12 such sites in the country. Others are in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Alaska, Florida, and Virginia.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.91 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.69.
Natural gas is $3.30 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,857 and silver is $27.82.