Saturday, August 14th
The Imaginaries to Kick-Off Nationwide Album Tour
The Imaginaries - Grady County's up-and-coming musical duo of Shane Henry and Maggie McLure - will be kick off a nationwide tour to promote their self-titled debut album soon. And the tour will include a stop in Chickasha. There are 11 dates scheduled between Aug. 20th and November 5th. The first stop on the tour will be at Maggie's Music Box in Jenks. The Chickasha stop will be at the Rock Island Grill on Saturday, Sept. 18th. They also have stops in Dallas, Arizona, and Los Angeles before returning to the Sooner State to play at VZD's in Oklahoma City. The tour will wrap up at a Songwriters Festival in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in November.
Watermelon Festival Underway
The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival is getting underway this morning. There have been a few showers which should make conditions a little damp for the 5K and 10K runs that are just getting underway, but the temperature is just right for the morning run. This is the 76th year for the festival which was cancelled last year because of the pandemic. Opening ceremonies will get underway at 9 o'clock. There is a carnival, over 100 arts and crafts vendors and food booths, live entertainment, a tiny tots contest, and the biggest and best watermelons will be on display in the watermelon exhibit barn. Did we mention there's a seed spitting contest? They'll be serving watermelon for $3 a wedge until 4 o'clock and then it’s free! There's free admission to the festival and visitors are encouraged to park at the high school football field and ride a shuttle to the park.
Friday, August 13th
Suspect Arrested in Connection with Illegal Grow Facility Posts Bond
We have an update to a story we reported earlier this week, about the man arrested in connection with that illegal marijuana growing operation in Rush Springs. Guang Si Li is out of jail after posting a $50,000 bond after being formally charged with drug trafficking and weapons charges in connection with the investigation. He's to announce his attorney later this month with his next court appearance to be Sept. 8th at a preliminary hearing conference. On-line court records indicate that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation have also filed a seizure and intended forfeiture notice against Li and six other defendants who list home towns in New York, Georgia, and Florida.
Chickasha Man Faces Felony in Connection with Domestic Violence Case
A Chickasha man is behind bars accused of strangling his girlfriend. 31-year old Brian Thomas Doro was arrested by Chickasha police earlier this week. Officers were called to the 1000 block of South 8th Street to investigate a domestic violence report. A probable cause affidavit filed by officers indicates Doro and the woman had been fighting for a couple of days. The victim had numerous bruises over her entire body. Witnesses said Doro had gone out the back door of the home and police found him hiding in a garage where he initially said they would have to kill him. Authorities were able to talk him out and arrested him without incident. Doro has been formally charged with domestic assault and battery by strangulation. He remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney on Aug. 26th with a preliminary hearing conference on Sept. 8th.
Donors to Pay for Repairs to Damaged Football Field
Chickasha school officials and police are still looking for the vandals who drove on to the high school football field and caused thousands of dollars in damage last Sunday night. In the meantime, some local individuals say they will foot the bill for the costs of repairing the field. Ashley Rayburn with the football team's booster club posted on her Facebook page that a couple of un-named individuals offered to pay the estimated $4,000 needed to fix the field.
1st National Bank Opens New Tuttle Branch
In Tuttle, First National Bank and Trust is holding a grand opening for a new building today. First National President and CEO John Gorten said they had outgrown their previous location.
The bank acquired numerous photographs of the history of Tuttle by meeting with members of the Tuttle and Grady County historical societies and even the Oklahoma Historical Society to obtain more than 100 photos that document the history of the community.
City of Anadarko to Re-instate Mask Mandate
The City of Anadarko will be re-instating mask mandates for all city-owned buildings. The announcement was made Thursday on the city's Facebook page. The post indicates that masks will be required when visiting city hall, the library, the police or fire departments, and any city-operated museum or building. The post indicates that it is due to the developing trend of increasing coronavirus infections in the city and Caddo County. The mandate will go into effect Monday, Aug. 16th.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. John Gorten and Randy Talley with the First National Bank will be on our KOOL Konversation to talk about the grand opening of the bank’s new Tuttle branch. On Real Estate today, our guest is Mike Ross, athletic director for the University of Science and Arts. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.31.
Natural gas is $3.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,759 and silver is $23.27.
Thursday, August 12th
Students Return to Classrooms Today
Summer vacations are over for many students. Today is the first day of classes for Chickasha, Anadarko and a lot of other area schools. The Chickasha school board this week adopted Superintendent Rick Croslin's Continuity of Services plan. It includes daily wellness screenings at each school where families and staff members are to screen children for fever and/or other COVID-19 symptoms. Masks are optional for students and staff. Current CDC guidelines recommend three-feet of social distancing in classrooms. Visitors are welcome at all school sites but could have limited access depending on current conditions. Quarantines will not be required for students or staff who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. If conditions change school officials will reconsider quarantines.
Vandals Damage Chickasha High School Football Field
Chickasha school officials are outraged about vandalism that occurred at the high school football field last weekend. Someone drove a vehicle onto the field and spun about a dozen donuts into the grass playing surface causing an estimated $4,000 in damage. Croslin said crews spent most of Sunday preparing the field but a gate to the field that is normally locked but was not locked that night. In addition to the damage, a 24-pack of beer as well as empty beer cans were scattered around the field. Chickasha police are investigating and are working some leads. A reward is being offered to find the culprits. Officials say the field is expected to be repaired in time for the start of the season, which is in two weeks. Anyone with information about the vandalism can call the Chickasha and Grady County Crimestoppers hot-line at 405-224-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip on the groups Facebook page.
Area Highway Maintenance Projects Approved
A few highway maintenance projects in the region were approved by the state transportation commission this week. In Grady County, a proposal to resurface about 4 1/2 miles of State Highway 4 from the H.E. Bailey Turnpike north to Bridge Creek is a nearly $1.3 million project which was awarded to Haskell Lemon Construction of Oklahoma City. In Caddo County, a project to re-surface about six miles of U.S. Highway 62 from the State Highway 9 junction to Anadarko was approved. That is a nearly $1.4 million project that was awarded to T and G Construction of Lawton. In Stephens County, a right-of-way clearance along a 5 1/2 mile stretch of State Highway 29 west of the border with Garvin County was awarded to M and M Wrecking of Blanchard at a cost of about $52,000.
State Regents Recognize Partnership
with Science and Arts, Local Contractor
A partnership between the University of Science and Arts and a local contractor gets recognition from the State Regents for Higher Education. The partnership with RCE General Contractors, owned and operated by Tony Tuthill, received the regents Business Partner Excellence Award. Tuthill has teamed with the university on a number of projects in recent years and is currently involved in a number of construction and rehabilitation work. Tuthill is also developing a broad-based internship for students interested in construction and small-business management providing students with hands-on experience in plumbing, electrical, construction, and other aspects of running a small business.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.25 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.44.
Natural gas is $4.06 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,754 and silver is $23.41.
Marilyn ‘Gay’ Young
Funeral service for Gay Young, 61, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 13th at Sharon Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Sharon Baptist Church.
Wednesday, August 11th
Missing Anadarko Woman's Truck Found;
Officials Work to Identify Body Found Nearby
The pickup of a missing Anadarko woman has been found and the state medical examiner is working to identify a body found nearby. 55-year old Dawn Sherill went missing three weeks ago today. She had just had brain surgery a couple of days before her disappearance on July 21st when she left her Anadarko home in her boyfriend's pickup. Caddo County authorities issued a Silver Alert to help find her. The pickup was found in the Fletcher area about 11:00 a.m. Tuesday. Sherrill's son Dylan and other family members and friends held a massive search a couple of weeks ago. They followed up on some tips that she may have been seen in the Weatherford and Clinton area but those did not pan out.
Rush Springs' Illegal Grow House Suspect Charged
One of the men arrested in connection with the illegal marijuana growing operation found in Rush Springs has been formally charged with drug trafficking. 59-year old Guang Si Li was taken into custody earlier this week. A warrant for his arrest was issued July 30th. Li is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The State Bureau of Narcotics, Grady County Sheriff's deputies and numerous other law enforcement agencies raided the grow facility back in June. Li has not yet had his initial appearance on the charges. Authorities destroyed more than 17,000 plants and about 80 pounds of finished marijuana product found at the facility.
Chickasha Man Charged with Drug Trafficking
A Chickasha man is also facing drug trafficking charges in an unrelated case. 58-year old Robert Earl Givens was taken into custody this week after a warrant was issued for his arrest following a traffic stop by Grady County deputies on July 20th. It's not the first time Givens has been in trouble for trafficking. He was on probation for a 2010 conviction for the same offense. At his initial appearance in Grady County District Court on the new charge this week, a judge set Givens bond at $125,000. Prosecutors have also set a revocation hearing on Givens probation for the 2010 sentence. Givens is to announce his attorney August 19th and a preliminary hearing conference is set for Aug. 27th.
Grady County OHCE Wins Big at State Meeting
It was a big day for Grady Oklahoma Home Community and Education (OHCE) groups at the state OHCE annual meeting. Several county groups and individuals received some top awards. Members of the Rural Neighbors OHCE noted for their work included Jyme Tiner, who was presented the Heart of OHCE Award; Mary Parrish was named Rookie of the Year; and Joyce Stockton won first place for her Family Committee report on activities that took place during OHCE Week. Grady County took third place for Madaline's Special award; and the county organization was second in the Southwest District for producing 2,000 COVID-19 masks. The Ninnekah and Spring Creek OHCE groups were recognized for their Centennial anniversaries. Pat King from Spring Creek was recognized for 50 years of service.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.63.
Natural gas is $4.09 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,735 and silver is $23.32.
A memorial service for Marilyn Herndon, 77, of Minco, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 14th at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Chickasha. She worked at the Grady County courthouse in the county clerk’s office and later worked for more than 20 years as the officer manager for the county commissioners. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Vivian Dixon-Martin, 83, of Oklahoma City will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 13th at Riverside Memory Gardens in Oklahoma City. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home of Chickasha.
Funeral service for Mitchell Johnson, 69, of Oklahomama City is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, August 10th
Consumer Spending Erratic for the First Half of 2021
Consumer spending throughout Grady County has had its ups and downs in the first half of 2021. There's been no clear trend in either direction. For the month of May consumer spending was estimated at $61.3 million - which is down about 15 percent from April but up about 26 percent compared to May of last year. Grady County received about $460,000 in sales tax revenue from that retail business. Here's the breakdown of where that money is allocated all of which were approved by Grady County voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $153,000; Grady Memorial Hospital collected $136,000; the seven senior nutrition centers shared $77,000 so each one received $11,000; The 20 fire districts including municipal departments shared $77,000 so each collected $3,800; Tuttle EMS received $14,000; and Rush Springs EMS obtained $3,500.
Chickasha School Employees Welcomed Back
Teachers and support employees for Chickasha Public Schools were given an enthusiastic welcome back to the district yesterday. All those attending the convocation were met by a lively group of cheerleaders and pom squad members cheering as the employees walked through a spirit line. A competitive cheer contest was won by Chickasha High School teachers in a cheer-off with Grand Avenue School teachers. Last year's District Teacher of the Year Jennifer Phillips told the group that collectively they met the challenges of COVID head-on last year and that everyone should use that as motivation to make the coming year better for students and each other-
Superintendent Rick Croslin said the district is ready to face any challenge head on and that this past June the district settled the last of several lawsuits filed against Chickasha schools in recent years. He also said the district has had its best audits in a long time. Two employees were recognized for their 40-plus years with the district - high school administrative assistant Elaine Murray and bus driver Louise Plummer. Chickasha students return to the classroom on Thursday.
Senator Lankford Blocks ICE Proposal
to House Illegal Migrants in Caddo County
A proposal from the Biden administration to house migrants at a former private prison in Caddo County has been shot down. The website OK Energy Today reports that Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford blocked a plan from the immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office from opening a ‘surge overflow temporary facility’ at the former Great Plains Correctional Center at Hinton. It would have been used to process migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and then release them into Western Oklahoma. 24-hours after Lankford spoke on the Senate floor and contacted the Department of Homeland Security Leadership directly with his objection, the agency announced it would not transfer illegal immigrants to Hinton. Lankford said that Oklahomans are concerned with what has been happening at the border in recent months and that they did not want an ICE facility designed to process and release undocumented individuals. Lankford said President Biden should spend more time focusing on how to stop the record number of illegal crossings rather than developing new places to release individuals after they have illegally entered the country.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.48 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.04.
Natural gas is $4.06 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,729 and silver is $23.40.
James Hall Jr.
Funeral service for James Hall, Jr. 65, of Pocasset will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 13th morning at Sonrise Baptist Church of Pocasset. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, August 9th
Chickasha Schools Prepare for Day 1
Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin says the district is making final preparations for the school year as students return to class this Thursday. New teachers reported last week and all teachers return today for three days of in-service training before school starts. Croslin said the district will have in-person learning but that there is a virtual learning option still available.
Croslin said there are only about 10 virtual students at this point. The superintendent said masks are optional for students and staff as the nation battles the new strain of COVID-19. Chickasha school staff will meet in a celebration of a return to classes this morning with the high school band, cheerleaders, and pom squads performing, and students will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Last year's district teacher of the year Jennifer Phillips is the speaker. By the way, all Chickasha school sites will be closed from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today as everyone attends this morning's event. Chickasha high school seniors will be able to pick up their schedules between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. this afternoon at the high school. Freshman orientation is tomorrow from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. starting at the high school activity center with meetings for parents at either 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. and freshmen students are urged to attend.
Ward 4 Chickasha Residents Meet Tonight
Residents in Chickasha's Ward 4 can meet with their city council representatives and other city officials tonight. City hall officials hold these informal sessions with residents in each of the city's four wards each year. The meeting will get underway at 6:30 tonight at city hall. Meetings for the city's other three wards were held earlier this year.
Leadership Chickasha Program Starts in September
The next Leadership Chickasha program will be getting underway Sept. 9th. The chamber of commerce-based program meets one day per month over a seven-month period. Those attending learn a lot about the community, themselves, and each other. Paul Lewis has helped to coordinate the annual program for several years. He says the first session is among his favorites.
This is the final week that the chamber is accepting applications for the program. Contact the chamber for more information.
Salvation Army Fan Drive Successful
A Chickasha business is thanking the community for its support of a Salvation Army project. Todd Morris and his staff at Todd's Tire and Auto held a fan drive in June and July asking residents to donate fans or contributions to purchase fans. The effort came through with more than 50 fans and more than $1,000 to purchase additional fans. The fans and contributions were given to the Salvation Army to distribute to needy families in the Grady and Caddo county region.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.28 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.70.
Natural gas is $4.14 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,744 and silver is $23.87.