Saturday, Sept. 25th
Work Still Needed Regarding Property Tax Protests
We have a follow-up to the story we brought you this week about state officials who are concerned about energy companies protesting their ad valorem taxes. State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber) was among those with the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee holding an interim study on the matter. On his Facebook page Lowe said among those presenting information were Minco School Superintendent Kevin Sims and Caddo Kiowa Technology Center Superintendent Tony Hancock. One of the reasons for the interim study is that Grady County has the highest dollar value of protested property taxes of any county in the state at $10.2 million which is mainly owed by pipeline and wind energy companies. The ad valorem taxes are paid to school districts which Lowe says need the funds to operate. Lowe said there is still some work to do but they are moving in a positive direction to find a solution. A recording of the interim study is available on the website www.okhouse.gov and you can search for the energy and natural resources committee.
Teacher's Aide Arrested for Raping Male Student
A teacher's aide is booked in to the Grady County Jail on a rape complaint. 24-year old Morgan Moore, a teacher’s aide at Maysville High School, was arrested late Thursday. She's accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a senior male student. Maysville Police Chief Paul Bush says Moore initially told a teacher about the incident. The teacher then told the principal and the principal contacted police. Authorities interviewed the victim who said he accepted an invitation from Moore to go to her home where they had consensual sex. Bush said Moore initially denied the allegation but then admitted the deed. Bush told authorities she is a member of the Choctaw tribe so federal authorities including the Bureau of Indian Affairs are now part of the investigation due to the McGirt Decision.
Woman Flees Courthouse During Bond Hearing
There was a strange incident at the Caddo County Courthouse in Anadarko this week. A woman taking care of some legal business with her attorney and a bail bondsman ran out of the building after being old her bond was revoked. The Lawton Constitution reports that officers received a tip that she was hiding in the bed of a nearby pickup where she was found and taken into custody. 39-year old Sarah Virginia Knauss of Weatherford has prior felony convictions out of Oklahoma County in connection with burglary and drug arrests. She's now facing Caddo County charges of felony escape and her bond is $100,000.
Grady County Sheriff's Office Updates Wanted 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 on any of these individuals contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
David ‘Mike’ Halcomb
A memorial service for 67-year old Mike Halcomb of Cement will be held at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, September 30th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, Sept. 24th
Suspect Arrested in Brutal Domestic Violence Case
A Blanchard-area man is in jail on domestic violence charges after woman was taken to a hospital with a possible broken arm and facial injuries that may include a fractured eye socket. A probable cause affidavit from the Grady County Sheriff's Office indicates a deputy was called to a Mustang hospital early Sunday, September 19th where the woman was being treated for her injuries. Also at the hospital was 41-year old Michael James Powell from the Bridge Creek area. The affidavit indicates that Powell and the victim were arguing and the confrontation became physical. The affidavit also states that Powell was arrested back in April on a domestic violence complaint and is facing a misdemeanor charge in connection with that incident. Powell is now facing felony charges of domestic abuse, preventing a witness from giving testimony, and possession of a firearm after a previous conviction. Powell is in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Anadarko Drive-by Shooting Suspect in Custody
An Anadarko man faces weapons charges in connection with a drive-by shooting that took place a residence where children were inside the home. 50-year old Marshall Cantrell Taylor was arrested in connection with the shooting rampage that occurred Thursday, Sept. 16th. The Lawton Constitution cites court documents that say Taylor drove by a home in the 400 block of East Central Boulevard in Anadarko and fired six to nine shots. Nobody at the home was hurt. A man at the home identified the driver as Taylor. Taylor told officers that individuals at the home had previously shot at him. Taylor is charged with felonies which include shooting with intent to kill, firing a weapon into a dwelling, and having a firearm after a previous conviction. He's being held in the Caddo County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
Pioneer School Named National Blue Ribbon School
Pioneer School is one of just six Oklahoma schools chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School. The honor is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Education. A press release from the agency says it affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Officials say it also demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create cultures where teaching and learning can flourish.
Master Cattleman Program Being Considered
For cattle producers in the region, officials are testing the waters to see if there is interest in offering a master cattleman program. Grady County OSU Extension is considering offering the series which officials say can enhance the profitability of beef operations. The series includes business planning, risk management, and marketing. The curriculum is based on the Oklahoma Beef Cattle manual. The cost is $100 and pays for instructional materials. For information contact the Grady County OSU Extension office or visit the website: www.extension.okstate.edu and search for the master cattleman program.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Phillip Anneler and Kasey Wilkerson with the Dark Water Ranch are on our KOOL Konversation talking about the ranch's hay maze and pumpkin patch that will be opening next week. On Real Estate Today, this week's guest is Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.30 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.25.
Natural gas is $4.98 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,754 and silver is $22.85.
A memorial service for Robert McCullough, 65, of Oklahoma City will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Integris Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.
Thursday, Sept. 23rd
Supporters of Ninnekah Sexual Assault Victims
to Hold Rally at Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park
A rally to support victims of sexual assault and to create awareness of the issue will be held at Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park this weekend. Shelby Ross is among the supporters of current and former female athletes at Ninnekah and Friend schools who have filed a federal lawsuit in connection with allegations that they were molested or were being groomed for sex by coaches. Ross says since the lawsuit was filed there have been reports of sexual assault in other school districts.
The rally is also to provide information on how to be aware of sexual predators and show some self-defense techniques. Among the groups at the rally will be the Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), The Red Cord, The American Indian Movement, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Bikers Against Child Abuse, the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chickasha Fire Department. The rally will be held Saturday afternoon from 1-3 p.m.
Suspect Charged for Civil War Memorabilia Theft
A Chickasha man is charged with burglary after being accused of breaking into a shop and stealing some Civil War memorabilia. 30-year old Cory Don Robertson is facing three felony charges in connection with the break-in which occurred in Norge last weekend. Some of the items taken include medals of war, uniform patches, and jewelry. Prosecutors have charged Robertson with burglary, knowingly receiving or concealing stolen property, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Robertson is being held in the Grady County Jail pending a $30,000 bond which includes bond on a 2018 felony charge of possession of contraband by an inmate.
Roy's Barbecue Owners Retire
One of Chickasha’s long-time family-owned barbecue restaurants is closed until further notice. Roy's Barbecue has been in business for more than 50 years. A letter posted on the door says the restaurant is closed until further notice and that Roy and Clara Bryant say they can no longer be involved in operating the restaurant and have decided to retire. The letter states that they are still evaluating whether other family members want to continue. The letter states that it has been their great pleasure to welcome and serve so many guests and friends. It says what started as a little one room restaurant grew into a place that welcomed thousands of guests and employed hundreds of people over the years and they are humbled that so many embraced the restaurant and that they were able to succeed as long as they have.
Chix High School Cheerleaders Qualify
for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Some Chickasha High School cheerleaders will be taking part in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in November. Monica Mills, Naudia McDaniel, and Breauna Thibodeaux-Benoi were among nine Chickasha cheerleaders who qualified as part of the Spirit of America productions event. The company will have two groups in the parade, each with about 650 cheerleaders from across the country. In addition to the parade, the students tour the 9-11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, climb to the top of the Empire State Building, and see a Broadway show. The cheerleaders have to raise about $3,000 each to make the trip. They are having a number of fund-raisers to help out. Individuals and businesses can message the group on Facebook at Chickasha Cheer 2021-2022 to help.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.19.
Natural gas is $4.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,772 and silver is $22.80.
Wednesday, Sept. 22nd
New Chix City Manager Looks Forward to Role
Facing challenges head on is something that Chickasha's new city manager has a lot of experience with. U.S. Air Force Capt. Tyler Brooks was announced as the city's top administrator yesterday. Brooks, who will be coming to Chickasha from South Daytona, Florida, has spent the last eight years in the Air Force and has most recently been a flight commander. The press release making the announcement indicates Brooks has led more than 200 employees in public works and IT infrastructure, human resources, and has worked with project and records management. He served two deployments to Kuwait where he created the first back-up communications circuit for the U.S. in the Middle East. KOOL-RANCH News had the first media interview with Brooks. He said while this will be his first role in public life as a city manager his military background will help him get started quickly.
Brooks holds a master's degree in public administration with a concentration in local government. Mayor Chris Mosley said the city council was looking for a great communicator and believes they have one. He said Brooks knows how to lead and manage large teams with diverse backgrounds. Brooks and his wife Gail have five children - one in college and four in public schools. He said they will be in town next week and his expected start date is Oct. 11th.
Lawmakers Hold Interim Study
on Protested Ad Valorem Tax Payments
State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber) says Grady County has the highest dollar value of ad valorem tax protests in the state. Officials say more than $10 million in property taxes payments are being protested - mainly by energy companies - and that is hampering school districts which rely on ad valorem taxes for operations. Lowe and members of the House Energy and Natural Resources committee are holding an interim study on the issue at the state capital today. In a press release, Lowe said it is growing funding issue that is crippling some public schools and counties and the legislature must soon find a solution. During the study, valuation standards and protest procedures will be discussed and reviewed and the costs of the protests to schools, counties, and the state will be detailed. Presenters include representatives of the state's oil, gas, and wind industries; county assessors; public school; and career tech representatives. There two times for the interim study today, one at 9:30 a.m. and other at 1:30 p.m. The study will be live-streamed on the website: www.okhouse.gov and individuals should search for the energy and natural resources committee.
Chix Police Officers Asked to Work Extended Shifts
A shortage of Chickasha police officers is leading to an increased number of hours for those who are on staff. The Chickasha City Council will have a special meeting tomorrow night to discuss a memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 regarding the matter. Among the considerations is a call for union members to work seven 12-hour shifts and have seven days off in a 14-day, 80-hour work period. The city would pay time-and-a-half for all authorized overtime work in excess of 80 hours during a two-week time span. The two sides will meet at least once every 90 days to discuss any progress made in hiring additional officers. The department currently has 19 fully qualified officers with two officers slated for retirement at the start of 2022. The memorandum states that hiring new officers is a challenge facing police departments across the state. Also during tomorrow night's special meeting the council is expected to approve a resolution to receive more than $21,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the library. Tomorrow night’s meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
Armed Robbery Suspect Jailed
A suspect accused of holding up a Tuttle store has been charged with armed robbery. 30-year old Octavious Zevelle Thompson of Oklahoma City was arrested by Tuttle police last Thursday night after a store east of Tuttle reported that workers were held up at gunpoint by a man wearing a blonde wig. Thompson has been charged with robbery, possession of a firearm after conviction, and eluding. He's being held in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.49 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.36.
Natural gas is $4.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,775 and silver is $22.70.
A memorial service for Sandra Travis, 53, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 23rd at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Life Choices of Chickasha.
Funeral service for Marsha Schmidt, 46, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 24th at the Plainview Mennonite Church of Verden. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Sept. 21st
Air Force Captain Named New Chix City Manager
(BREAKING - This story was not available for the 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on-air news) A United States Air Force captain has been named Chickasha's next city manager. Capt. Tyler Brooks of South Daytona, Florida was one of four finalists interviewed for the post. The announcement was made in a press release issued by the city this morning. Brooks has been with the Air Force for eight years and has been serving as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies. In a prepared statement, Brooks said the city as an organization is similar to what he's been doing as a flight commander. He said there will be a learning curve transitioning from the military to city government, but he has several mentors in Oklahoma who have reached out to offer their support. He holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Brooks is expected to be on the job in early October. He and his wife Gail have five children. The city council has been looking for a new city manager since January, following the resignation of John Noblitt. Mayor Chris Mosley has been filling in as the interim city manager for the last eight months.
Chickasha Receives Nearly $3 million in ARPA Funds
The City of Chickasha has received nearly $3 million in coronavirus relief funds from the federal government. The city council approved a resolution accepting the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds during last night's council meeting. The money can be used for responses to the public health and economic emergency; providing premium pay to essential workers; replacing revenue lost during the pandemic; and making necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. The city council did not indicate what the city funds might be used for. ARPA funds must be allocated for specific projects by December of 2024 and fully spent by December of 2026. By the way, Grady County received just under $11 million in ARPA funds.
Council Oks Funding for Joint Road Project with County Commissioners
The council approved an agreement with Grady County commissioners to make improvements to a road in the south part of Chickasha. The project is for Pikes Peak Road from U.S. Highway 81 west to 16th Street. The agreement calls for the city to pay $100,000 for the asphalt materials that will be needed and the county will pay the costs of the remaining materials and supply the labor. The contract calls for the two governments to loan any equipment to the other if needed. The agreement runs through June of next year. It's not clear when that project might get underway.
Final Red Bud Ridge Plat Approved
The city council also approved the final plat for what will be known as Red Bud Ridge, a new housing development planned for an area southwest of 16th and Country Club Road. The approval followed a four-minute public hearing where engineer Dan Andrulonis addressed a few questions regarding rain water drainage. The council unanimously approved the plat submitted by Shayla Crawford.
Animal Shelter to get New Water Heater
The council approved a bid of nearly $2,600 to replace a water heater at the animal shelter. The bid from Copeland Plumbing was not the lowest bid but Mayor Chris Mosley suggested it was the best of the three bids submitted.
Memorandum with Police Union Delayed
The council took no action on a proposed memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 regarding 12-hour shifts. It will be addressed at a later date.
Chickasha Groups Organize 'Civic Pride Week'
There’s another effort to encourage Chickasha residents and businesses to spruce up their properties. The Economic Development Council and Chamber of Commerce will promote Chickasha Civic Pride Week September 26-30th. The groups are encouraging residents to take pride in the community by pledging to Keep Chickasha Beautiful. Volunteer groups will work to spruce up specific areas of town including cleaning up entry-ways, picking up trash, weeding flowerbeds, painting street lights, and painting art in downtown crosswalks. Officials want the community to look good for all the events set for October 1st through 3rd which include The Rock Island Arts Festival, The Rock Island Ride, and The Oklahoma Food Truck Championship. Other activities will be Chickasha High school Homecoming activities and reunions, a performance with the Chickasha Community Theatre, a theatrical event at the University of Science and Arts, and the Together We Heel walk to stop domestic violence. For information contact the chamber or economic development council.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.92.
Natural gas is $4.92 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,767 and silver is $22.55.
A memorial service for Ronald Wood, 84, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 22nd at Parkview Christian Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Betty Sparks, 60, of Dibble will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 22nd at the Free Will Baptist Church in Dibble. Arrangements are with Eisenhour Funeral Home of Blanchard.
A graveside service for Clifford Hosley, 79, of Tuttle will be at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 22nd at Tuttle's Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
A graveside service for Dennis Sparkman, 69, of Tuttle will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 23rd at the Mustang Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Monday, Sept. 20th
Chickasha School Board Member Named
Interim Superintendent for Ninnekah Schools
A member of the Chickasha Board of Education has been hired to serve as the interim superintendent at Ninnekah schools. Robyn Morse was hired during last Thursday's Ninnekah Board of Education meeting. Morse is a long-time educator and administrator who retired from Chickasha schools several years ago and has been serving on the Chickasha school board for a few years. Morse says she is allowed to fill both positions without stepping down from the Chickasha school board. Morse was hired at Ninnekah after Todd Bunch was suspended pending an investigation into the federal lawsuit filed by former female student athletes who said they were sexually assaulted by coaches - and that administrators turned a deaf ear to the allegations. The Chickasha Express-Star reported that Morse does not plan on becoming a permanent employee for Ninnekah. She said her main goal is to help the district move forward amongst uncertainty, unanswered questions, and investigations. She said she'll focus on deadlines and help fill current and future vacancies.
Chix City Council Meets Tonight
While the Chickasha City Council has not formally hired a new city manager the panel is taking steps to put the proposed candidate in charge of some city business. One item to be considered during tonight's city council meeting calls for the acceptance and approval of an employment agreement with Tyler Brooks to serve as Trust manager for the city. The item is under the consent docket on the municipal authority agenda. The council will also consider an inter-local agreement with Grady County Commissioners to help make repairs to Pikes Peak Road. The council is expected to approve $100,000 to pay for asphalt materials for that work. The panel is also to consider approving issuing the final $40,000 economic development payment to Mark McPherson and Great Plains Land and Cattle Company for the restoration of the former Chickasha Star Newspaper building. The group will also consider approving a memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 concerning 12-hour shifts. The panel is also expected to approve the consumption of beer and wine in a specified area during the upcoming Rock Island Arts Festival. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Ft. Cobb Man Injured in Crash
A Ft. Cobb man was hospitalized after his car crashed into an unoccupied pickup. 28-year old Jeremy Koomsa was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital and was last in fair condition with head injuries. The highway patrol reports that Koomsa was westbound on Main Street and his car ran off the road for more than 150 feet before hitting the legally parked truck. The crashed happened about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
City of Blanchard gets Grant to Replace Some Waterlines
In Blanchard, the city has received a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant to help replace some of the city's old water lines. The city will have to provide an additional $250,000 to make it a $500,000 project. Blanchard City Manager Robert Floyd-
Floyd said Blanchard is also working with communities including Chickasha to find a secondary water source to support existing sources. Blanchard gets its water from Oklahoma City while Chickasha gets water from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.97 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.34.
Natural gas is $5.10 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,759 and silver is $22.46.
Mary Goodson Smith
Funeral service for Mary Goodson Smith, 82, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 21st at Ferguson Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Travis Palmertree, 75, of Verden, will be at noon Saturday, September 25th at the Carnegie Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army Veteran. He owned Palmertree Trenching in Verden for more 40 years.