Saturday, July 3rd
END-DUI Campaign Underway
As the nation celebrates Independence Day, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies will be working to make highways and lakes safer. The Oklahoma Highway patrol's END DUI team is partnering with a number of agencies throughout the state with high visibility patrols and to conduct sobriety checkpoints. Officials say five people died on state highways during last year’s July 4th weekend and four of them were involved in either alcohol or drug-related crashes. OHP says a DUI conviction can cost a driver up to $10,000. Officials ask those who chose to drink this weekend to have a designated driver, call a friend or family member or call a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
World War I Traveling Museum is Back on Tour
A traveling museum featuring artifacts from the first world war will be on display at this weekend's Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration in Marlow. It will be the first time in a year-and-a-half for the World War I 100th anniversary mobile museum to visit communities. Curator Keith Colley tells the Lawton Constitution he's really stoked to get back on the road. Colley's collection includes uniforms, binoculars, television sets, typewriters that soldiers used to write letters on to send home, and even bi-planes. There's information about Alvin York, the most decorated soldier of the war, and Jacob "Pappy" Stevens who served as a runner. “Pappy” actually ran messages to the general in the middle of battle. Colley says he started the museum to help Alzheimer's patients, taking them items that they could see and feel for mental connectivity. The museum is open all day today during Marlow's Old Fashioned Independence Day celebration and will be open tomorrow and Monday from 1-5. Admission is free. Other 4th of July events in the region include Apache’s Freedom Festival starting at 5 o’clock tonight and there will be fireworks only in Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park tomorrow night (Sunday, July 4th)
Muscle Car Ranch Hosts 'BliserFest'
Chickasha's Curtis Hart is a resilient individual. While his annual TwisterFest music festival at the Muscle Car Ranch was rained out last week, he has another event this 4th of July weekend which has a much better weather forecast. Hart calls this event the BlisterFest. Hart has a number of bands from the Austin, Texas area coming in which include Ramsay Midwood who has written a song about the county seat of of Grady County.
All the bands will play at the Trail Boss Amphitheatre. Tickets are $10 per day and there is plenty of RV and primitive camping available on the 82-acre Muscle Car Ranch. For information on the bands performing, see Curtis Hart's Facebook page.
Friday, July 2nd
Child Molesation Charges Filed Against Ninnekah Man
The Grady County District Attorney's Office has filed formal charges against a Ninnekah man for alleged child molestation. 41-year old Clay Dietrich, a former reserve police officer, is facing three charges of child sexual abuse. A judge set Dietrich's bond at $250,000 and he remains in the Grady County Jail. Dietrich is to announce his attorney July 15th and with a preliminary hearing conference scheduled July 28th.
Courthouse Flooding Issues Persist
The Grady County Courthouse will be closed again today. Officials are battling flooding problems from backed up sewer lines because of all this week’s rain. Other than a few hours on Monday the courthouse has been closed all week. And with next Monday being a holiday because of the Independence Day weekend the courthouse is not scheduled to re-open until next Tuesday.
Semi Fire Shuts Down Highway
A semi on fire shut down U.S. Highway 81 near Minco last night. No details are available other than the OHP said traffic was shut down just before 10:00 last night. The fire occurred three miles south of Minco at CR 1220. The highway was closed for about an hour and a half and re-opened about 11:30.
Regional Independence Day Celebrations
There are a number of 4th of July celebrations in the region this weekend. Tonight in Blanchard there's live music, kids games, and fireworks behind the Sonic Drive In. All the activities start at 6:00 p.m. Tomorrow in Apache, the chamber of commerce is hosting a Freedom Fest which gets underway at 5:00 p.m. with activities downtown, including awards for the best patriotic display, activities for the kids, and fireworks. And Sunday evening Chickasha's 4th of July fireworks will be held at Shannon Springs Park.
Marlow Teen's Artwork Wins Award
A Marlow teenager will have a piece of her artwork on display in Washington, D.C. Alayna Hill was named the winner of the Congressional Art Competition for Oklahoma's District Four. That's Congressman Tom Cole's district. Hill's submission called Still Life in Graphite was among more than 100 entries submitted by high school students throughout Cole’s district. Hill's entry done with a No. 2 pencil will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building. A reception for all top prize winners will be held later this year in the nation's capitol.
Community Blood Drive Today
KOOL/RANCH radio stations and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are holding a community blood drive today. Before heading out on your Independence Day weekend celebration we ask that you take a few minutes to help the blood institute re-stock their shelves. Officials say a blood emergency is still in effect. The OBI bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot across the street from the stations at 7th and Chickasha Avenue from 12:30 to 5:30 today. No appointment is needed.
Propane Prices May be Higher This Winter
While air conditioners are hard at work keeping us cool this summer not too many people are thinking ahead to next winter. But there is speculation that propane prices could be higher. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says that summer propane prices are climbing which experts say is unusual. Skinner discusses reasons why propane prices are on the rise.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir and the sheriff’s office public information officer Lisa Hatchett are this week’s guests on our KOOL Konversation. Find a link to teh program under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.11.
Natural gas is $3.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is 1,783 and silver is $26.25.
Thursday, July 1st
Reserve Cop Arrested on Child Molestation Complaint
A reserve officer for the Ninnekah Police Department is arrested on a complaint of child sexual abuse. 41-year old Kenneth "Clay" Dietrich was arrested by Grady County authorities Tuesday night. Dietrich is being held in the Grady County Jail and is accused of rape and child sexual abuse. No formal charges have been filed at this time. Ninnekah Police Chief Scott Miller said Dietrich had been an unpaid reserve officer for about 18 months. Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess said that a 14-year old girl and her mother filed a report alleging that the sexual abuse occurred several times over the last six months. Boggess said that Dietrich has turned in all of reserve officer certifications.
County Courthouse Closed A 4th Day
Ongoing plumbing issues have forced officials to close the Grady County Courthouse again today. Heavy rains from this past weekend are to blame as several offices were flooded. Officials say the problems are the result of a small sewage line that can't handle the volume of waste water from the courthouse and the jail. There is only a 4-inch sewer line in place and some officials say it needs to be replaced with an 8-inch line.
City of Chix has New Finance Director
A new finance director is on board at Chickasha City Hall. Cindy Rogers begin her new duties this week. She previously served as the vice president and chief financial officer at the Oklahoma State Fair for 16 years. As a Certified Public Accountant, Rogers has also worked in finance with a social services non-profit organization. Rogers has extended family members who live in the Chickasha area. In a prepared statement Rogers said there is a great team in place at city hall and she's excited to be part of it. Mayor Chris Mosley said that Rogers has a long track record of establishing solid financial standards. He also said her experience with help city officials understand the city's true cost of services, assist with accurately setting rates, and that she will continue to improve the transparency of the city's financial records.
Chix Public Schools has New Enrollment Office
Public schools statewide are in the midst of preparing for the new school year that will be starting in August. The Chickasha Public School district has opened a new site that will be used for many student services. The district will be in an office building at 7th and Kansas Avenue which is across the street from the post office. Superintendent Rick Croslin said that's where Mona Greenfield, who was recently named the district's student accounting, assessment, and communications coordinator will be.
Chickasha schools are scheduled to open Thursday, August 12th.
Study Requested to Remove Grocery Sales Tax
Should state officials eliminate Oklahoma's sales tax on groceries? A state lawmaker has filed an interim study request to consider the issue. House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) wants to examine the benefits of ending the tax. She says doing so would keep money in the pockets of low- and middle-income Oklahomans. Virgin also said many parents are stretching every dollar in order to feed their children and they shouldn't have to calculate a cut for the state in their grocery bills. Oklahoma is one of just 13 states to impose sales taxes on groceries. Virgin said if 37 states can fund their governments without a tax on milk and bread then Oklahoma can, too. She said the measure has bi-partisan support of lawmakers and voters.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.47 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.13.
Natural gas is $3.65 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,776 and silver is $26.37.
Billie Marie Hayes
Funeral service for Billie Marie Hayes, 83, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 2nd at First Christian Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Wednesday, June 30th
Coach Faces Four Felony Counts of Child Sex Crimes
A girls basketball coach accused of having inappropriate contact with players is charged with four felonies in connection with the allegations. Grady County prosecutors have charged Ninnekah coach Ron Akins with two counts of rape by instrumentation and two counts of sexual battery. A judge set bond at $100,000 and Akins is to announce his attorney July 15th with a preliminary hearing conference set for July 28th. Akins was arrested last Friday after a former player came forward with the allegations. Ninnekah schools have placed Akins on administrative leave. In a prepared statement, Superintendent Todd Bunch said the district is cooperating with law enforcement and will take appropriate steps based on the results of the investigation.
Sewer Problems Close County Courthouse Again
The Grady County Courthouse is closed again today due to sewer back-up issues related to the heavy rains over the last few days. The courthouse closed at noon on Monday and officials tried to open the doors yesterday but sent employees home. Several meetings scheduled at the courthouse this week have been cancelled and rescheduled as emergency meetings. Those included a joint meeting with county commissioners and the excise board. Others are individual meetings of the commissioners and excise board. All of the canceled meetings have been rescheduled for tomorrow morning and will be held at the district attorney's office across the street.
Leg Lamp Named State's 'Outstanding New Attraction'
Last year's Christmas Leg Lamp promotion in Chickasha lands a top award for the city's Economic Development Council. It received a Redbud Award from the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association as the state's Outstanding New Attraction during an awards ceremony in Edmond yesterday. The 40-foot tall inflatable leg lamp was the brainchild of Tim Elliott and the Economic Development Council and drew attention from around the world. The EDC's Hometown Christmas music video with the Imaginaries and a short film produced about Chickasha's home town charm were also nominated for Red Bud awards.
State Rep Named to Energy Council
State Representative Brad Boles has been appointed to an international energy panel. The Marlow Republican will be working with the Energy Council which is a non-partisan legislative group formed to promote a balanced national energy strategy and related environmental policies. Boles, who serves as chairman of the house energy and natural resources committee, was appointed to the council by house speaker Charles McCall. Boles says he's spent much of his career away from state government focused on energy and that he's honored to have been selected to serve. The Energy Council also works to promote an understanding of energy and its role in the global economy and also gives legislative policy makers a chance to learn even more about energy issues.
DHS Accepting LIHEAP Applications
Low-income families needing help to pay for summer cooling bills can now apply for assistance on-line through the state Department of Human Services (DHS). It's known as LIHEAP or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. DHS receives federal funds for LIHEAP. Eligible households that already receive DHS assistance are pre-qualified and won't have to apply. Native American families may apply with either DHS or their tribal program but not both. The program assists families with one month of their cooling expenses. The website to apply is: www.okdhslive.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.98 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.76.
Natural gas is $3.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,758 and silver is $25.94.
Funeral service for Diana Francis Cooper-Freeman, 51, of Lawton will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 2nd at the New Hope Church of God in Christ in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, June 29th
State Fire Marshall Investigates Blaze
at Home of Coach Accused of Child Sex Crimes
State officials have been summoned to investigate a suspicious fire that destroyed the home of a girls basketball coach who was arrested last week on allegations that he molested players. The Friend Volunteer Fire Department was paged about 7:00 a.m. Monday to the home of Ron Akins. The home was a complete loss. Akins was arrested last Friday night after a former player alleged that he had been inappropriate with her and other girls. Akins remains in the Grady County Jail on complaints of rape and sexual battery. Prosecutors have not yet filed any formal charges.
Courthouse Re-opens After Being Closed Monday Afternoon
The Grady County Courthouse closed its doors Monday afternoon after heavy weekend rains caused some plumbing problems. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said several rooms in the basement flooded and were being cleaned and sanitized. The courthouse did open for business at its regular time today.
Chix Sees Increase in Home Construction
There has long been a need for newer homes in Chickasha. Building contractors are working on a number of projects to address that need. Mayor Chris Mosley discusses some of them.
Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley.
Area Blood Drives Scheduled to Deal with Blood Emergency
In response to Oklahoma's blood emergency the Oklahoma Blood Institute has scheduled a number of blood drives in the region. On Thursday, July 1st the Friend community will have a blood drive at Sharon Baptist Church from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Friday, July 2nd KOOL/RANCH radio stations will have a community blood drive from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot across the street from the radio stations at 7th and Chickasha Avenue. On Tuesday, July 6th Southern Plains Medical Center in Chickasha will have a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Also on Tuesday, July 6th the City of Tuttle will have a blood drive at city hall on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at City Hall. On Wednesday, July 7th, the annual Boots and Badges blood drive for Grady County law enforcement and fire fighters will be at the Grady County Fairgrounds from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Friday, July 9th in Anadarko, Western Farmers Electric Co-op will have a blood drive from 7:30 a.m. to noon. To find a blood drive in your area visit the website: www.obi.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.91.
London-based Brent crude is $74.68.
Natural gas is $3.62 per million BTUs
Gold is $1,770 and silver is $26.06.
Anna Jenell Campbell
Funeral service for Anna Jenell Campbell, 88, of Tuttle will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, July 1st at Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
A graveside service for Roger Wagner, 78 of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 2nd at the El Reno Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, June 28th
Coach Arrested on Rape, Sex Complaints
Ninnekah girls basketball coach Ron Akins has been arrested on complaints of rape and sexual battery. Akins was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies Friday night and booked into the county jail. Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess told KFOR-TV that a former student told investigators that Akins had been inappropriate with her and that deputies found enough evidence to talk to the coach but that he would not speak with them. A former team member told KFOR that she was not surprised about the arrest. She said Akins would make comments about them and about their bodies and even talk about the women he was dating or sleeping with. She said she and her friends didn't come forward earlier because they were scared what would happen if school officials didn't believe them. She is encouraging others who may have been victims to tell their truth. Boggess says anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Search for Chix City Manager Continues
The search for a new Chickasha city manager continues. Mayor Chris Mosley has been filling in as the acting city manager for about five months since previous city manager John Noblitt stepped down in January. The city has hired a search firm to find some candidates and Mosley says they have narrowed down the list.
Interviews could begin soon and a new city manager could be on board by the end of the summer.
Anadarko Residents Warned of 'Fake' City Facebook Page
Officials in Anadarko say residents should beware of a fake City of Anadarko Facebook page that has been created. On the city's official Facebook page a post indicates that a scammer created the fake page and that users should not accept a friend request and to never give out personal information. Officials urge users to report the fake page to Facebook as a fraud and delete the message.
Amber Alert for Missing Moore Children Canceled
That Amber Alert issued over the weekend for two missing children from Moore has been canceled. Authorities say the six-year old girl and the two-year old boy were found in Jenks Saturday afternoon. The children were with their grandmother Twila Brinlee who failed to return them to their parents Friday. They were found at a motel next to a restaurant where an alert worker saw a woman with two children and notified authorities. The children have been reunited with their father and Brinlee was taken to the Moore police department.
Chix 'Christmas in July' Promotion Begins Thursday
A major summer promotion involving Chickasha merchants will get underway this week. Christmas in July begins Thursday with a month-long campaign designed to increase sales at retail outlets. It’s a joint effort of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council. Cassandra Ersland with the chamber of commerce says among them is a scavenger hunt with an interesting twist-
Individuals can take a selfie with the character and get their name in a drawing for $50 in gift cards from the participating merchants. The 160-foot tall Christmas tree at Shannon Springs Park will be lit up all month and the Chickasha Community Theater will show free Christmas movies every Thursday night at 7 p.m. The first movie will be shown this Thursday, July 1st and will be The Grinch with Jim Carrey. Starting July 22nd the inflatable leg lamp will be standing at the depot downtown (weather permitting) and on Saturday, July 24th there will be a free concert at the depot downtown featuring The Imaginaries along with Billy Davis and the Band of Brothers. For information about Chickasha's Christmas in July celebration visit the chambers website at www.chickashachamber.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.05 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.18.
Natural gas is $3.50 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,778 and silver is $26.21.