Saturday, Oct. 16th
Suspicious Grady County Death Under Investigation
Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) are looking into a suspicious death in eastern Grady County. The agency reports that a body was found in the 8300 block of Garvin Drive on Friday. A mapping app indicates that is an area about two miles east of Bridge Creek schools. The individual has not been identified. Officials did not indicate if there was any trauma to the body. Agency officials said the state medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.
Suspended Superintendent's Teaching Certificate Re-instated;
State Board to Move Forward with Plans to Revoke the Document
A suspended Ninnekah school administrator was able to get his teaching certificate re-instated but officials still want to revoke that certification. The State Board of Education initially suspended the teaching license of Superintendent Todd Bunch on Sept. 30th as a result of that federal lawsuit filed against Bunch and others over allegations of years of alleged sexual assaults of girls basketball players by a former coach. On Friday, the board voted 4-0 to reinstate Bunch's certification following a recent recommendation of a judge who ruled that Bunch presents no immediate harm and doesn't fit the bill for emergency action. The judge advised the state board to schedule a hearing to potentially revoke Bunch's certification. An attorney for the board said the group will proceed immediately with that hearing although no date has yet been set.
State Senate Group to Consider Daylight Savings Time Year 'Round
A group of Oklahoma state lawmakers will consider a proposal to establish Daylight Savings Time year round. The Senate's General Government Committee will have an interim study on the measure next week. State Senator Blake Stephens (R-Tahlequah) and others will review the health and work-day benefits of not having to change times in the spring and fall. Individuals to address the meeting include representatives from the agriculture industry, business sector, health and mental health fields, and even a retired meteorologist. The interim study will get underway at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 19th in Room 230 at the State Capital. It will be live-streamed on the state senate's website: www.oksenate.gov
Home Heating Bills Could be Higher for Natural Gas Users
Home heating bills are expected to be higher this coming winter especially if you use natural gas. A couple of reasons for that are the prediction of a colder than normal winter and that natural gas prices are on the rise. A report from the Energy Information Administration indicates that natural gas prices will be at their highest levels in nearly 15 years. Officials say among the reasons for the recent price hike for natural gas is that storage levels are at below-average levels heading into the winter months.
Betty Jo Scarbarough
A graveside service for Betty Jo Scarbarough, 94, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, Oct. 15th
Suspended Ninnekah School Administrator
Fights Ruling Pulling his Teaching Certificate
The suspended superintendent at Ninnekah Public Schools may have his teaching license reinstated today. However, the state board of education still wants to revoke his certification. The Oklahoman reports that Todd Bunch is expected to have his teaching license re-instated after a judge recommended that the suspension be lifted. The state panel is meeting today to vote again on the matter. Bunch remains on paid suspension from Ninnekah schools after several current and former girls basketball players filed a federal lawsuit against Bunch, other administrators, and the school district, alleging that they ignored complaints that they were being sexually assaulted by a coach. The Oklahoman reports that Bunch's attorney said his client was never told of any concrete allegations about the actions of former coach Ron Akins who is facing charges of rape and sexual assault in connection with the alleged attacks.
Chickasha's New Fire Engine in Service
The Chickasha Fire Department now has its new fire engine ready when needed. It's a demonstration 2020 model Pierce Enforcer that Fire Chief Tony Samaniego says is one of the best engines available. It can pump more than 1,200 gallons of water per minute. Samaniego talks about one of the many features of the engine.
Mayor Chris Mosley and City Manager Tyler Brooks joined current and retired firefighters in long-standing traditions of washing the engine and pushing it into the fire station prior to a radio call indicating the engine is now in service. The engine came in at a total cost of just over $500,000 and will replace an older engine which is being kept to serve as a back-up.
Site Teachers Selected for Chickasha Schools
Five Chickasha school teachers are being recognized for their work in the classroom. All have been selected as teachers of the year at their respective school. Sharita Brown is an instructor for special needs students at the high school; Michael Boyles is a language arts teacher at the middle school; Megan Drennon is a 6th grade teacher at Lincoln School; Chris Albrecht is a 4th grade teacher at Grand; and Nancy Ragain is a pre-K teacher at Bill Wallace. All are now candidates for the district teacher of the year with the winner to be announced in the spring.
Ag Producers Meeting to Address Winter Cattle Needs
Cattle producers who would like to make sure their animals will be getting adequate and proper minerals during the upcoming winter can get helpful information at the next Grady County OSU Extension ag producers meeting. Dr. Paul Beck will discuss winter supplementation for cattle herds at the next meeting, which will be Tuesday, Oct. 19th at 7 a.m. Producers can attend in person or via the Zoom platform. Contact the extension office for more information by calling 405-224-2216.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Kimmie Loggins and Julie Bohannon-Dais with the Salvation Army and attorney David Ratcliff are on our KOOL Konversation discussing estate planning. On Real Estate Today this week's guest is Ray Walker, the director of the Medicare Assistance Program at the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $81.31 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.
Natural gas is $5.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,784 and silver is $23.34.
Thursday, Oct. 14th
Woman Accused of Taking Child from Neighbor's Yard
A Chickasha woman is behind bars after allegedly taking a two-year old from her neighbor's backyard. 44-year old Brandi Denise Bennett was arrested by Chickasha police after the incident Monday afternoon. A probable cause affidavit filed by police indicates that the child was playing in the backyard alone while his teenaged sister was inside. Witnesses saw Bennett reach over the chain-link fence and take the boy and the witnesses went to tell the teen what had happened. The teen went to Bennett's house to get the child and Bennett refused to let the boy go. Bennett told police that she had seen a baby crying and thought the child was home alone and that the child had a dirty diaper. Bennett told investigators she went to the take the child home but no one answered the door. However, witnesses said Bennett did not try to return him. Bennett was originally arrested on a kidnapping complaint but prosecutors have charged her with a felony of forcibly taking a child. Bond for Bennett has not yet been set. On-line court records indicate that she has been un-cooperative and has not yet had her initial appearance on the charge.
Embezzlement Hearing for County Commissioner Delayed
A Grady County commissioner accused of allegedly using county resources for personal gain has had his preliminary hearing delayed. District One Commissioner Mike Walker was to be in Grady County District Court today but officials have postponed the hearing to November 24th. This past May, Walker was charged with one count of felony embezzlement following a nine-month investigation by the OSBI. It's alleged he used county materials, equipment, and labor to pave a private road to his Tuttle home. Walker called the investigation a witch hunt. Walker remains on the job while the case is being adjudicated. Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks recused himself from the case and officials named Brian Hermanson of Newkirk as the prosecutor. Also, Judge Gina Lowe has also stepped down from hearing the case which will now be presided over by David Stephens of Caddo County.
Tornado Clean-up Continues in Anadarko
The clean-up continues in Anadarko where a tornado caused alot damage in the downtown area and downed trees and limbs throughout the city. The city has opened a roll-off site for trash and debris that will be open through Saturday. Residents can take brush and limbs to an area south of the hangars at the airport or put them on the curb. Starting on Monday, city crews will start picking them up, beginning in the Shady Acres area and working their way north. Crews will only be making one pass through the city. Officials say this will be for brush pick up and not for other trash or debris.
Section of Chickasha Street Temporarily Closed
A short section of a Chickasha street is temporarily closed for repairs. It’s 16th Street from Grand Avenue south to California Avenue. City crews are making improvements to a section of the street where they repaired a water line a few weeks ago. Streets are accessible to local traffic. Repairs are expected to be completed Friday afternoon and the street re-opened Saturday morning.
Swap Meet, Team Roping Highlight Weekend Events
There is a lot going on in Chickasha this weekend. The 53rd annual Chickasha Antique Auto Club’s fall swap meet is underway. Vendors started setting up shop yesterday with many more expected to arrive today. The meet draws thousands of antique car and truck enthusiasts from across the country. The event runs through Saturday at the Chickasha Antique Auto Club property next to the Grady County Fairgrounds. There are also vendors in the north exhibit building of the fairgrounds where a craft show is also being held.
The Capitalist Team Roping
Also getting underway today, many of the top team ropers in North and South America will be competing in what's called the pro bowl of team ropers. It's called the Capitalist Team Roping event which will run through Sunday in the two indoor arenas at the fairgrounds. The ropers come from as far away as Brazil and Canada to compete for cash prizes and $80,000 added money. There are men's, women's and youth divisions. There is no admission for anyone who wants to check out the competition which is in Chickasha for the fourth straight year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.44 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.18.
Natural gas is $5.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,799 and silver is $23.30.
Funeral service for Elizabeth Nitzel, 90, of Oklahoma City will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 15th at Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Wednesday, Oct. 13th
Power in Anadarko Almost Completely Restored
Dozens of power crews were back in Anadarko yesterday working to get electricity restored after Sunday night's fierce storms. The National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes in and near Anadarko and Verden which are among seven confirmed twisters statewide Sunday night. Five other suspected tornadoes were still being assessed. Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn posted another video message on the City of Anadarko’s Facebook page and said only a few customers are still without power today.
Crews from Purcell, Lexington, Edmond and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association were on hand to help Anadarko crews in their efforts.
Tuttle Voters Approve School Bond Issue
Voters in the Tuttle school district approved a special bond issue that will help fund nearly $10 million in improvements. Unofficial results from yesterday's special election show a $4.7 million bond issue passed by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The measure needed a super-majority 60 percent approval and it picked up more than 67 percent of the vote. Less than 600 voters turned out to pass the plan with the unofficial tally being 394 to 194. The bonds will be combined with a $4.7 million contribution from the Richison Family. It will allow the district to build a new agriculture building and will provide a big facelift for athletics - including a 2,000 seat home grandstand with a two-story press box, a 1,000-seat visitor's grandstand, a video scoreboard and LED sports lighting. Also included are a new weight room and locker room which will include classrooms and offices.
New Chickasha City Manager On Board
Chickasha's new city manager is on the job. Tyler Brooks officially started this past Monday. There will be an informal meet-and-greet for the former Air Force captain next Monday, Oct. 18th, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. before the regularly scheduled city council meeting at 6:30 p.m..
Chix Mayor to Give 'State of the City' Address
Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley will be giving a State of the City address next week. In a public forum put together by the Chamber of Commerce Mosley is expected to address recent achievements for the city as well as future plans. The State of the City address will be Tuesday, Oct. 19th at noon at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Alexander Eats will cater a meal with the cost for chamber members at $20 and the cost for prospective chamber members is $25. Individuals who plan on attending are asked to RSVP the chamber by noon Monday.
Chix High School Band Gets Top Rating
Congratulations are in order for the Pride of Chickasha High School marching band! The band received a superior rating at the OSSAA regional marching contest yesterday. The rating is the highest a band can receive. Regionals are the highest competition at the state level for high school bands.
Oil Lease Vandal Suspect Also Faces Eluding Charges
A Lindsay man already behind bars is wanted in Stephens County for crimes that allegedly took place when he tried to elude the law. 34-year old Seth Daniel Coots is wanted in the Duncan court for damaging an oil and gas lease. The Lawton Constitution cites an arrest warrant that indicates Coots was running from Garvin County authorities two weeks ago when he drove into the eastern Stephens County lease. Coots is accused of causing nearly $5,000 dollars in damage which shut down the site for several hours. Coots is being held in the Garvin County Jail in Pauls Valley where he is facing felony charges of endangering others while eluding and DUI. Coots has prior felony convictions out of Stephens County.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.42.
Natural gas is $5.50 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,771 and silver is $22.82.
Funeral service for Harvey Reed, 84, of Ninnekah will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18th at Sevier Funeral Home. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.
Tuesday, Oct. 12th
Power Returns to Parts of Chickasha After Brief Outage
An early morning power outage forced Chickasha school officials to make a snap decision about whether to have classes at one of its schools. The power outage about 6:15 this morning impacted Grand Avenue school and superintendent Rick Croslin said PSO estimated that power would not be back on until 11 a.m. Croslin initially said Grand would be closed just before 7 a.m. however power was back on at the school at 7:05 - so officials said classes would go on as scheduled. About 800 PSO customers were without power for about 45 minutes. A PSO spokesman said an equipment malfunction caused the outage. The outage area was between 4th and 29th Streets and between Almar Drive and Georgia Avenue.
Most Eletricity Back On in Anadarko After Storms
Most of the City of Anadarko has power restored after Sunday night's violent storms. City Manager Kenneth Corn kept residents up to date with a number of Facebook live posts with the last coming just before midnight last night.
Corn said most of the central circuit should be also on while the south part of the city is still without electricity. All the crews that were working yesterday were to be back today and Corn is hopeful that power can be fully restored today.
Corn Credits New System for Saving Lives
There were no deaths or serious injuries as a result of that Anadarko storm and Corn credits part of that to the city's new hyper-reach notification system that sends out text messages, phone calls, and e-mails about emergencies. A link to that hyper-reach notification system can be accessed from Anadarko's Facebook page or website: www.cityofanadarko.org
Teenager in Critical Condition After ATV Crash
Two Lindsay teenagers were injured and one is in critical condition following an ATV accident near Dibble. The highway patrol reports that a 14-year old female passenger was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with head injuries. The 16-year old male driving the ATV was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was treated and released. State troopers do not identify juveniles who are involved in accidents. The crash happened southwest of Dibble near 170th Street and Council Avenue Saturday afternoon.
Tuttle School Patrons Deciding Bond Issue Today
Voters in the Tuttle school district are going to the polls today to decide a unique bond issue. On the ballot is a $4.7 million supplemental bond with proceeds going toward improvements to athletic facilities and a new agriculture barn. Among the athletic facility improvements are seating for 3,000 fans at the football field, a two-story press box, a video scoreboard, and LED sports lighting. Also additional classrooms, offices, locker rooms, and a weight room would be built. If approved, the district would get a matching $4.7 million donation from the Richison family. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.
State Auditor Schedules Visit with Grady County GOP
Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd will be in Chickasha to address Grady County Republicans next week. Byrd is expected to discuss wasteful spending and the upcoming first-ever audit of the State Department of Education. Byrd will address the county GOP members at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 21st at Bible Baptist Church. There is no charge to attend the meeting.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.65.
Natural gas is $5.34 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,759 and silver is $22.62.
Monday, Oct. 11th
Storms, Tornadoes Leave Trail of Damage
Last night's severe storms left a lengthy trail of damage from southwest to central Oklahoma. Storms that began in Hobart late yesterday afternoon tracked eastward through Anadarko, to Verden, north of Chickasha and to Amber, Blanchard, and Norman. KWTV News 9 weather coverage reported a tornado in Anadarko just before 7:00 p.m. Sunday where power was knocked out and there were reports of damage. Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn issued on update on the city's Facebook page.
The National Weather Service issued a number of tornado warnings throughout the evening. A tornado warning in Chickasha was issued just before 7:00 p.m. and stretched until 7:45 p.m. In Amber there were reports of power poles being snapped and a shop building, a house, and an old grain silo in town damaged. The storm tracked to the Blanchard area and into Norman where there were more reports of damage.
Many Still Without Power in Storm's Aftermath
Thousands of households were without electricity for a period of time. Last night there were reports of 10,000 customers throughout Grady County and about 5,000 customers with no power in Caddo County. As of this morning, Grady County still had about 1,000 customers without power, including PSO customers at Verden, near the Chickasha Airport, and in Amber. About 1,800 CK Energy customers were still without power throughout Caddo County.
Chickasha School Principal Honored
A big honor for a Chickasha educator and city councilman. Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander is one of the newest members of the Oklahoma African-American American Educators Hall of Fame. He is the principal at Lincoln School and also serves as a city councilman. Dr. A as he is known is a Chickasha native and a graduate of Chickasha High School. He has worked in the education field for more than 40 years in Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Annual School Land, Mineral Lease Auctions Underway
Oklahoma's School Land Commission is beginning its annual auction of land and mineral leases today. Those auctions begin in the Panhandle and will continue through other sections of the state over the next couple of weeks. An auction for school land in Caddo, Kiowa, Washita, and Beckham counties will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Oct. 18th at the Elk City Convention Center. An auction for land in Grady, Comanche, Cotton, Jackson, and Tillman counties will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19th at the Comanche County Fairgrounds in Lawton. For information about the leases that are available visit the website: www.clo.ok.gov
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $82.39.
Natural gas is $5.56 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,756 and silver is $22.58.
Funeral service for Sharron Carlisle, 64, of Ninnekah was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11th at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements were with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Eleanor Koehler, 93, of Cement will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13th at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Cement. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Guwanna ‘Kay’ Moore
A memorial service for Kay Moore, 65, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14th at College Heights Baptist Church. Arrangements are also with Ferguson Funeral Home.