Saturday, Aug. 7th
Drilling Increases in the Region
We're seeing an increase in drilling for oil and gas in the South Central Oil Province (SCOOP) region. Marathon Oil has received permits to drill five wells on a single pad near Alex. They are all called the Gretzky wells and are in Section 11 of Township 4 North and Range Six West which is about three miles south of Alex.
Scam Artists Put New Spins on Old Plans to Get Your Money
Oklahomans need to be aware of some new versions of popular scams looking to take their hard-earned money. One that has been around for a while is an e-mail or fax indicating that a prince in a foreign country has died and ask potential victims to send some money and in return receive a fortune. Now, scammers are sending the notices through direct mail which look like a subpoena or other official document telling individuals they need to show up as part of a grand jury - and if you don't show up - you have to pay a fine or go to jail. There's another scam where individuals get a phone call from a loved-one saying they've been kidnapped in Mexico and a ransom needs to be paid. The potential victim is told to wire money and their loved one will be released. Individuals who experience these or similar con games should ignore the requests then contact local law enforcement and provide as much information as they can.
ODOT Seeks Input on U.S. Highway 277 Project
The state department of transportation is seeking public input about a proposed project to improve U.S. Highway 277 in Elgin. Officials are considering upgrading the section of the highway between the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and State Highway 17. The area in question is a two-lane highway with heavy left-turning traffic and there are drainage issues and a lack of pedestrian access. Proposed improvements include the construction of a center turn lane, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks. ODOT is holding a virtual open house on the project through August 17th. The presentation is web-based only and no in-person meetings will be held. The presentation can be viewed on ODOT's website. Individuals without Internet access can call the state office in Oklahoma City.
Science and Arts Prof Part of Archaeological Dig
An associate professor at the University of Science and Arts is spending part of her summer at an archaeological dig in Israel. Dr. Rachel Jones was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to join the effort held at an area many say preserves some of the earliest traces of humans. Jones will use techniques combined with the team's data that hope to answer questions about how early humans impacted the development of eco-systems. A media release from Science and Arts says Jones will be able to use her experiences to enhance her classroom instruction and create future courses that will focus on anthropology and archaeology as well as develop outreach for regional schools. She hopes to raise awareness of quality research projects which can be done at smaller universities.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Dr. Rory Troub, a new chiropractor at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Five Oaks Medical group, is this week’s guest on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today, this week's guests are Paul Lewis, Mary Ann Burrus, and Cassandra Ersland with the Leadership Chickasha program, which gets underway next month. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Viola Pippins, 90, of Tuttle will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 9th at Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Friday, August 6th
Former Police Chief Faces Misdemeanor Charges
The former police chief at Cyril is accused of misdemeanor crimes. Alvin Pickens, III has been charged with one count of knowingly concealing stolen property and two counts of petty larceny. On-line court records indicate an arrest warrant for Pickens was issued last Thursday, July 29th and he turned himself in earlier this week. Pickens posted bond a $2,500 bond and his case has been placed on the October 28th disposition docket in Caddo County District Court. KSWO-TV cites an OSBI report which indicates Pickens admitted taking a Blue Tooth speaker and some night goggles he confiscated in a couple of traffic stops. Pickens stepped down from his post in June and resigned last month.
COVID Hits Blanchard PD Hard; 9-1-1 Calls Being Transferred
In Blanchard, there's been an outbreak of COVID-19 within the police department's emergency dispatch services. A notice was posted on the department's Facebook page yesterday. The department's 9-1-1 system and phones will be temporarily rolled over to the McClain County Sheriff's Office regular dispatch telephone number in Purcell. Blanchard authorities still encourage residents to call 9-1-1 with emergencies. The front door of the police department will be locked in order that decontamination can take place.
Grady County Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has updated its list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here’s Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett-
If you have information regarding any of these individuals you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office by calling 405-222-5085.
All Chickasha School Employees to Return Monday
Students across the state are preparing to return to the classroom. A few Chickasha schools have held meet-and-greets this week and others will hold similar programs next week. Teachers and support staff will officially report on Monday, Aug. 9th with classes to begin next Thursday. A post on the Chickasha schools Facebook page indicates that all schools will be closed from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday as school employees gather for a back-to-school meeting. Sites will re-open at 1:00 p.m. High school seniors will be able to pick up their schedules Monday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Freshmen orientation will be Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Middle School open house is Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Lincoln School’s open house is Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Pioneer School Hosts Enrollment, Open House Today
Pioneer School is having enrollment and an open house today. Both activities will run until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. Pioneer School also will have its first day of classes next Thursday, Aug. 12th.
Grady County Youth Nabs Top State Honor
A Grady County youth wins a top honor from a state organization. 11-year old Madilyn Norvell of Tuttle was named the All-Around Junior Cattleman of the Year at the Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen's Association annual awards luncheon this week. Members earn points for participating in contests like speech and sales; and placing in the Top 10 Triple Crown Heifers and Steers Shows and the top 10 of the steer feed-out contest. Madilyn has been showing cattle, pigs, and goats for several years. She also judges livestock, is involved in public speaking, and finds time to play basketball, tumble, and take piano lessons. She's even started her own cattle herd and plans to begin showing bred and owned heifers next year. She and her younger sister Saylor work together every day to help each other succeed with their livestock projects. Madilyn will be a 6th grader at Amber-Pocasset this year. She and Saylor are the daughters of Tyler and Beth Norvell.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.29.
Natural gas is $4.14 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,799 and silver is $25.09.
Thursday, August 5th
Public Hearing Set for Proposed Boat, RV Storage Regulations
The City of Chickasha’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing next week to get comments about boat and recreational vehicle storage requirements in all city zoning classifications. The topic is one of three public hearings scheduled during next Tuesday's meeting. Others are to get comments on the final plat for Red Bud Ridge, a gated community project for Shayla Crawford. The city council just approved a zoning change this week for the Red Bud Ridge project. The other public hearing is for a use-on-review permit for a community outreach center being proposed by Heidi Harrison who operates the non-profit group Heidi Helping the Homeless. Harrison wants to operate the center at 3rd and Minnesota Avenue. The Planning Commission meets at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 10th at city hall.
Grady County Fair to Have Full Schedule This Year
The Grady County Fair is just three weeks away. The fair is expected to return to its normal schedule after the pandemic forced officials to cut back on many events last year. The theme for the fair is County Nights and Carnival Lights and as the theme suggests there will be a carnival. A new carnival vendor will be at the fair. The Pride of Texas Carnival is based in Elm Mott which is not far from the Texas Motor Speedway. One of the newest attractions will be a tractor pull with the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association. Fair officials are currently looking for fair princess candidates. Candidates need to be a high school student living in the county or attending a county public, private, or home school. The top candidates of the fair princess contest will win cash prizes. Applications are due next Monday and an orientation for the candidates will be Tuesday, Aug. 10th. The actual princess contest will be Monday, Aug. 23rd. The fair will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Aug. 26th through 28th. Applications for the fair princess contest and information about the fair is available on the website: www.gradycountyfairgrounds.com
Anadarko Schools Back-to-School Expo Tonight
Students who will be attending Anadarko Public Schools for the upcoming year are encouraged to take part in the 9th annual back-to-school expo and meet-and-greet tonight. Students can pick up class schedules and learn about school programs; there will be college, career tech, and career information; and community outreach services. Student-athletes can get free sports physicals and the first 80 students can get free haircuts. There will be free hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks and drawings for door prizes. Anyone living in Caddo County who are 12 years old and older can stop by and get their COVID vaccination. Those who get their COVID shots and who have already been vaccinated can be entered into a drawing to win cash prizes that will be given away tomorrow morning. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to one person 18-and-over and two $500 prizes will be awarded to individuals in the 12-to-17 year old division. The expo and meet-and-greet is from 5 to 7 tonight at Anadarko's Warrior Fieldhouse.
Faith-Based Girls Youth Group Forming
A new faith-based leadership program for girls and young women will be getting underway soon. It's called The American Heritage Girls and has programs for children five through 18 years old. The program will be sponsored by Maranatha Baptist Church and there will be a kick-off meeting September 7th. A flyer for the program indicates it enables girls to grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, and enjoy outdoor experiences. For information, contact John Smith at 405-473-3968 and visit the national organization's website: www.americanheritagegirls.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.15.
London-based Brent crude is $70.38.
Natural gas climbs to $4.16 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,815 and silver is $25.47.
Wednesday, August 4th
Domestic Violence Suspect Faces Several Charges
A man arrested for holding his family against their will at their Alex home heard formal charges against him in Grady County District Court yesterday. 31-year old Jeffery Waylon Gregory was arrested Sunday on more than 20 complaints but prosecutors have charged him with four felonies which include child abuse by injury, domestic assault resulting in bodily harm, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. At his initial appearance on the charges in Grady County district court Tuesday a judge set Gregory's bond at $250,000. He's to announce his attorney Aug. 26th and a preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for Sept. 8th.
Silver Alert Canceled for Missing Blanchard Woman
A Blanchard family is breathing a collective sigh of relief after a missing woman was found safe. Blanchard police issued a Silver Alert for 78-year old Shirley Pickard on Monday. Officials canceled the alert after she was located late Tuesday afternoon. Officials did not indicate where Pickard was found.
Search Continues for Missing Anadarko Woman
An Anadarko family continues their search for Dawn Sherrill. She's been missing for two weeks after undergoing surgery for brain cancer. The family held an extensive search last weekend but had no success. There were unconfirmed reports that she may have been seen in Weatherford and Clinton and family members were following up on those tips. Anyone with information about Sherrill is asked to contact the Caddo County Sheriff’s Office, Anadarko Police, or local law enforcement.
Beloved Chickasha Man Dies in Freak Accident
A beloved member of the Chickasha community died in a freak accident this week. Jay Spradlin was riding his motorized bicycle Monday morning when the motor froze and threw him to the pavement where he suffered a fatal head injury. Spradlin was 71 years old. Spradlin worked for nearly 40 years with a Chickasha grocery store first known as Dunn's Food Center, then Spencer’s and now Williams Grocery. He was also a longtime member of the Chickasha Optimist Club and an elder at the First Christian Church. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Jay is survived by his wife Carolyn, a daughter and son and their families. A visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 8th at the First Christian Church and a memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 9th at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Chix City Council to Review City Manager Candidates
As the search for a new Chickasha city manager continues the Chickasha City Council will have a special meeting tonight to review some of the applicants. The panel will go behind closed doors to discuss the resumes and qualifications of some of the candidates. The council may schedule some interviews with some of the candidates which would be held at a later date. The council will also have a brief open meeting to discuss declaring an emergency to waive competitive bidding and get quotes for a new fire truck. The council will also consider declaring a 2007 Ford F-150 truck as surplus. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Two New Officers Sworn In to Serve Chix Police Department
Two new police officers have been sworn in to serve with the Chickasha Police Department. Zebadiah Wilson and Zach Banker both took their oaths of office yesterday. Both are 27 years old. Wilson has been with the department for four years and has served with the Oklahoma National Guard for nearly 10 years. He recently completed a nearly year-long combat deployment to Afghanistan and he has a degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. Banker also has a military background having served in the U.S. Army. He holds a degree in history from the University of Science and Arts. Banker will be attending the CLEET Academy later this month.
Anadarko Mayor Steps Down
In Anadarko, Mayor Kyle Eastwood is stepping down. Eastwood has spent the last six years at the helm of the city council there. According to a post on the city's Facebook page, Eastwood said he has to put the needs of his children ahead of his desire to serve. He said he has an opportunity to move closer to his parents and seek new opportunities for his kids. Eastwood said he promised change to the city and that he hopes and believes they've made improvements and restored financial order and accountability to the City of Anadarko.
Chix Schools Change Enrollment Location for New Students
Chickasha schools have changed the enrollment site for students who will be new to the district for the upcoming year. Officials announced yesterday that the new students now should enroll at the school the student will be attending. Enrollment for new students runs all this week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at each school. For information on which school students will attend - contact the administration office by calling 405-222-6500. Chickasha schools open next Thursday, August 12th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.56 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.41.
Natural gas is $4.02 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,816 and silver is $25.73.
Tuesday, August 3rd
Chix City Council OKs Firefighter Lawsuit Settlement
A lawsuit filed against the City of Chickasha by the Chickasha Firefighters Association is being settled out of court. The Chickasha City Council authorized a settlement following a seven-minute closed-door session during last night's city council meeting. Ward 2 Councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite made the formal move to end the suit.
The suit had been in the court system for the last nine months after the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041 filed suit against the city last December. In a statement posted on the firefighters’ Facebook page at that time the group said the city failed to repay the firefighters annual longevity pay they were owed under contract. We reached out to the firefighters association for comment but have not heard back from them yet. In a related issue, the council also approved a memorandum of understanding with the firefighters that addresses confidential employee matters pending the approval of a new collective bargaining agreement.
Re-Zoning Requests Approved, Other Council Action
The council unanimously approved three re-zoning requests following public hearings last night. No one spoke against any of them. Two of the hearings were for the southeast corner of 29th and Grand Avenue where EP Leasing out of Norman asked to re-zone about 12 acres from residential to commercial use. Part of the acreage will be commercial development and another section will be for 55 residential lots to be called Scissortail Crossing. The council also approved a rezoning request from Shelby Crawford to re-zone property near Pondridge Road to build some homes in a gated community to be called Redbud Ridge. The council also approved a $71,000 grant reimbursement to Gail Bush as recommended by the city's Economic Development Council. The re-imbursement was for the installation of a new elevator and some renovations in the Petroleum Building. The council also approved an 18-month extension of an economic development project by a group called Chickasha Today for work underway on a building near the Rock Island Railroad depot.
Alex Man Suspected in Brutal Domestic Violence Act
An Alex man is in custody facing more than 20 complaints in connection with a brutal domestic violence investigation. 31-year old Jeffery Gregory was arrested early Sunday morning after numerous law enforcement officials responded to a 9-1-1 call. Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess said an 11-year old boy had called to say he, his sister, and his mother were in trouble. Boggess said Gregory has a criminal past and describes some of the allegations against the suspect.
Gregory was arrested without incident. Boggess said the mother and children were taken to the hospital and that it appeared the woman had bruises on about 85 percent of her body. All were treated and released and the children were placed in DHS custody. Gregory could have his initial appearance on the complaints filed against him today.
Deputy OK After Crashing Car
A Grady County deputy was injured when his cruiser crashed while responding to that domestic violence call in Alex. Undersheriff Boggess says Corey Loftice was heading east on Highway 19 Sunday morning when he swerved to miss some oilfield equipment that was in the middle of the highway. Loftice veered around the debris and ended up rolling his new sheriff's car. Loftice was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released. The new car was totaled.
Silver Alert Issued for Missing Blanchard Woman
A Silver Alert remains active for a Blanchard woman who went missing from her home. 78-year old Shirley Pickard was last seen about 3:30 p.m. Monday near North Main and Northeast 10th Street. Blanchard police say she has Alzheimer's and dementia and becomes disoriented. The only available description is that she is Caucasian with dark brown hair with some gray and she walks with a limp due to a bowed right leg. Anyone with information is asked to call Blanchard police or local law enforcement.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.26 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72. 89.
Natural gas is $3.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,813 and silver is $25.52.
Obituaries today include John Carroll, 79, of Chickasha. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 6th in the St. Thomas More University Parish Church in Norman. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Monday, Aug. 2nd
Public Hearings Set to Re-zone Several Chix Properties
Public hearings to re-zone about 12 acres of residential property to commercial use will be held by the Chickasha City Council tonight. E-P Leasing out of Norman is requesting the re-zoning at the southeast corner of 29th Street and Grand Avenue for a development to be called Scissortail Crossing. There are two public hearings for that property. The council will also hold a public hearing to re-zone property to build a gated community along the south end of Pond Ridge Road. The request is from Shelby Crawford. The city’s Planning Commission is recommending that all the re-zoning requests be approved. The council will also present retirement watches to fire fighters Chris Calhoun and Randy Brown. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Chix Schools Schedule Open Houses, Meet-and-Greets
Many Oklahoma school districts will be opening their doors for the upcoming school year over the next couple of weeks. Chickasha schools will welcome students on Thursday, August 12th. For new students who will be in Chickasha schools, enrollment takes place all this week at the administration building at 9th Street and Choctaw Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or on-line at the district website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us New students will needs their birth certificates, immunization records, Social Security cards, and proof of residency. Various meet-and-greets will be held over the next week. Tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 4th), Bill Wallace will hold its meet-and-greet for Pre-K students at 5:30 p.m.; 1st graders will be at 6:00 p.m.; and kindergarten students at 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, August 5th, Grand Avenue Elementary will have its meet-and-greet from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Friday, August 6th, the middle school will have a schedule pick up from 1:00-3:00 p.m.; and an open house on Tuesday, Aug. 10th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lincoln School will also have a meet-and-greet on Tuesday, Aug. 10th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. At the high school, seniors pick up their schedules Monday August 9th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday is freshman orientation from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. - with parents meetings at either 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. Sophomores and juniors can get their schedules on Wednesday, Aug. 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. All the information is posted on the Chickasha school district website.
Chix Schools Foundation Names New Director
There is a changing of the guard at the Chickasha Public School Foundation. Gab Atwell has been named the foundation’s new executive director. She'll be taking over the post previously held by Jen Jantzen who has accepted a teaching position at Chickasha High School. Atwell previously worked at Arvest Bank and she has been serving on the board of directors for the Foundation. Among the projects for the foundation is providing all Chickasha school students with most of their classroom supplies for the entire year. Atwell says it’s a big help to families since school supplies typically cost about $100 per student per year.
The only supplies not provided are back-packs and napping-mats for pre-K students. Teachers pick up the supplies they need and will distribute them to their students. The foundation is in its 35th year and is funded entirely by private contributions.
OBI Offers Free Pre-Diabetes Screenings
for Blood Donors for a Limited Time
We see and hear a lot of information about diabetes and pre-diabetes these days. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will be offering free A1C hemoglobin testing for all donors for a limited time. The test monitors average blood sugar levels and can help monitor diabetes risk. One in three adults has pre-diabetes. There are a number of upcoming blood drives in the region so you can go to the Oklahoma Blood Institute website to find one close to you to make an appointment: www.obi.org KOOL-RANCH radio stations and the YMCA are hosting a bedlam blood drive next Tuesday, Aug. 10th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call George Plummer at 405-224-1560 to schedule your appointment for that day. All donors will receive either an OU or OSU t-shirt.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.95 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.33.
Natural gas is $3.91 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,811 and silver is $25.52.