Saturday, Dec. 4th
Family, Friends Mourn Deaths of Accident Victims
A Dibble family is faced with having to deal with the tragic deaths of three people killed in a head-on collision near Purcell Thursday night. 39-year old Kimberly Hartline, her daughter 18-year old Madysun Faber both of Dibble, and a 15-year old teen identified as Tyler Durham of Moore died in the crash. Faber had just recently graduated from Dibble High School and Durham was a junior who played on the football team. They all were headed to a basketball game when the accident happened. A statement issued by Dibble school officials says everyone is deeply saddened by the tragedy and that they have taken measures to facilitate a grieving and healing process for students and staff. The note said they appreciate the many expressions of sympathy that have been sent. Memorial funds may be contributed to accounts for both families which have been established at the First National Bank in Blanchard. Donations may also be made to Dibble agriculture teacher Jeff Evans at Dibble High School. In the mean-time, the driver of the pickup that hit their vehicle is still in the hospital. 34-year old Patricia McLeod of Blanchard suffered serious injuries and is expected to be hospitalized for several days. Investigators noticed an odor of alcohol in her vehicle and believe she may have been impaired while behind the wheel.
Controversial Cel Phone Tower Up for Discussion Again
A company wanting to build a controversial cell phone tower in a Chickasha neighborhood is again trying to get approval to do so. Branch Communications is looking to construct the tower in the 500 block of South 8th Street but the permit has already been denied. Residents in the area have spoken out against the proposal in public hearings with the city's planning commission and city council and officials have rejected the permit in those meetings. The city council will hold another public hearing on the special use permit application during Monday night's city council meeting.
Chickasha Christmas Parade is Tonight
Chickasha's annual nighttime Christmas parade is tonight. The Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event will have the usual holiday-themed floats and entries following the traditional east-west route along Chickasha Avenue. The grand marshal is KFOR-TV meteorologist Emily Sutton and other special entries are the Express Clydesdale horses. There's an extra special event happening after the parade. The musical duo of The Imaginaries - Maggie McClure and Shane Henry - will perform a benefit acoustic concert and will also have a screening of their newly-released holiday music video Christmas town which was filmed entirely in Chickasha with local actors. That will start after the parade about 8:00 p.m. and will be indoors at the Chickasha Community Theatre. Admission is $10 with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the Resurrection House and The Chickasha Soup Kitchen.
Anadarko Welcomes Walking Trail Ideas
In Anadarko, officials are asking for input on a proposed walking trail for the community. The city has received a grant to build the trail and is looking for recommendations to identify points of interest, trail types, and future construction. Chisholm Trail Consulting is requesting the input prior to designing the trail which could include shade and rest areas, drinking fountains, exercise stations, or other additions to make the trail attractive and useful. The survey is available at Anadarko City Hall or can be downloaded from the City of Anadarko's website.
A graveside service for Alan McCroskey, 61, of Tuttle will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, December 6th at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Friday, December 3rd
Three Die in Head-on Collision
Three people were killed and two others - including a toddler - are hospitalized following a multi-vehicle traffic accident between Dibble and Purcell. The highway patrol reports that a pick-up tried to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone and hit an SUV head on. The accident happened just after 6:00 p.m. Thursday on State Highway 39 about 3 1/2 miles west of Purcell. The three people who died were all riding in the SUV. They were identified as 39-year old Kimberly Hartline and 18-year old Madysun Faber both of Dibble, and a 15-year old unidentified male from Moore. A two-year old girl also in the SUV was hospitalized with minor head and internal injuries. The driver of the pick-up, 34-year old Patricia McLeod of Blanchard, was last in serious condition. The trooper investigating the crash reported the McLeod tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone and crashed into the SUV driven by Hartline. The driver of the third vehicle, 34-year old Keith Frazier of Purcell, was not injured.
Suspects Arrested After Fight at Illegal Pot Farm
In Garvin County, the owner of an illegal marijuana growing operation and two of his employees were arrested after a fight erupted outside the facility. Authorities received a 9-1-1 call Monday afternoon about the suspects dragging a man along a county road near Elmore City. When sheriff's deputies arrived the victim told authorities he was being forced to stay there so the suspects could extort money from a wealthy family. Our partners at KWTV News 9 reports that Garvin County Sheriff Jim Mullett said investigators found more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana that had a street value of about $2 million. They also found over $32,000 in cash and numerous weapons. Mullet said his office would work with the State Bureau of Narcotics to destroy the illegal marijuana.
FOL's 'December at the Depot' Debuts Tonight
A new addition to Chickasha's Festival of Light is designed to attract more visitors to the downtown area over the next few weekends. It's called December at the Depot. Several downtown stores will be open into the evening, pop-up vendors will be around the railroad depot, there are children's activities, and photos with Santa. The iconic leg lamp from The Christmas Story movie and a 60-foot tall lighted Christmas tree are also there. December at the Depot also allows Festival of Light visitors to park near the depot and take a shuttle to the Festival of Light at Shannon Springs Park and they won't have to wait in the long traffic line. December at the Depot will be every Friday and Saturday night through December 25th.
Minco Honey Festival is Tomorrow
The town of Minco will be hosting its annual Honey Festival tomorrow. It's a day full of activities with tours of the honey plant and cotton gin, nearly 100 vendors, free samples of cheese and milk products, carriage rides, and photos with Santa. A morning breakfast kicks off the day the First Methodist Church from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Salvation Army National Challenge is Today
The Salvation Army which serves the Grady and Caddo County region has a big day today. Officers are taking part in the Salvation Army National Commander's Red Kettle Challenge. The goal is to raise $1 million nationwide during a four-hour period. Lts. Bobby and Crystal McFarland with the local Salvation Army will be ringing the bells at Chickasha Wal-Mart from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The McFarland's have a goal of raising more than $115,000 locally throughout the local Red Kettle drives underway in Chickasha, Anadarko, and Newcastle. All the funds collected will stay in the area to help needy families in Grady and Caddo counties.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.50 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.67.
Natural gas is $4.06 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,769 and silver is $22.27
Funeral service for Devin Harris, 25, of Altus will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, December 6th at Spirit of the Lord Church in Altus. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Rosalind Givens, 40, of Chickasha will be at 12:00 p.m. Monday, December 6th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Thursday, Dec. 2nd
Former Janitor Pleads Guilty To Child Sexual Assault
A one-time janitor facing charges of the sexual assault of a 14-year old girl has pleaded guilty to those charges. A trial for 31-year old Richard Dayton Pewenofkit of Anadarko was supposed to be held in Caddo County District Court this week but Pewenofkit entered his plea prior to the trail getting underway. Pewenofkit, who worked for Anadarko Public Schools, was arrested nearly two years ago after the victim and her grandmother reported the incident. The Lawton Constitution reports that Pewenofkit admitted giving the teen alcohol and marijuana. He pleaded guilty to felony charges of rape and sodomy and a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A judge sentenced Pewenofkit to two concurrent terms of 15-years in prison with seven years suspended.
Overturned Semi Slows Traffic on H.E. Bailey Turnpike
An overturned semi on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike between Chickasha and Newcastle is backing up traffic this morning. The big rig overturned near mile marker 100 - right underneath the overpass of State Highway 4. There was no immediate word of injuries. Traffic was being diverted on to State Highway 4.
Lawmaker Proposes Change to Fatality Crash Probe Process
A state lawmaker hopes to make some changes in how fatality traffic accidents are handled. Sen. George Burns (R-Pollard) says under current law, a body cannot be removed from an accident scene until a medical examiner arrives and conducts an investigation. Burns says there are not enough medical examiners to cover all 77 Oklahoma counties. That has resulted in some instances where a body remains at an accident scene for several hours and there have been times when family members have arrived long before the medical examiner. Burns’ Senate Bill 1123 would allow Emergency Medical Technicians to transport bodies to hospitals where the medical examiners would conduct their investigations. Burns says it’s about dignity for those who died and it would reduce trauma experienced by loved ones.
Chickasha Police Receive OneOk Grant
A grant to the Chickasha Police Department will help the agency purchase some life-saving equipment. OneOk delivered a nearly $1,400 Emergency Responder grant to the department. Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music says the grant will be used to purchase AED pads, tourniquets, and crime scene tape.
Chix Library Begins Annual Food-for-Fines Campaign
It's the time of year when the Chickasha Library and its patrons help re-stock the shelves of the Emergency Food Pantry. Every December the library has its Food-for-Fines campaign. It allows individuals who have failed to return materials in a timely manner to have their fines waived by donating some non-perishable food items. Librarian Lillie Huckaby said the donation does not have to match the fine. Library patrons who don't have fines also contribute to the food drive and the general public is also invited to participate. Huckaby said if any materials have been lost the fine will be waived with a food donation, but the monetary value of the lost item will have to be paid. The Food for Fines program runs through the end of December.
Rush Springs Sets 'Back Home for Christmas'
Saturday will be a big day in Rush Springs where downtown merchants will be offering sales for holiday shoppers, inviting local vendors to set up booths at no cost, serving free refreshments, and holding drawings for numerous prizes. The theme is Back Home for Christmas and it will also feature a toy run and parade. Officials are inviting car clubs, motorcycle groups, horse riding clubs, and farmers to have their tractors in the parade. All parade participants are asked to bring a new toy or gift for children of any age. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be on hand for pictures with proceeds donated to charity. Parade participants should begin lining up at the high school and toward the football field starting about 12:30 p.m. with the parade to start at 1:00 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.57 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.54.
Natural gas is $4.26 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,777 and silver is $22.40.
Funeral service for Phillip Wilson, 63, of Mustang will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, December 3rd at the First Baptist Church of Verden. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Mitchell West of Austin, Texas and formerly of Ninnekah will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 4th at Sevier Funeral Home. He was a military veteran having served in the U.S. Marines. Memorial contributions may be made to the Semper Fi and Americas Foundation at www.thefund.org/donate
Wednesday, Dec. 1st
Water Line Break Repairs Made
Crews for the City of Chickasha worked for several hours Monday on a water line break that left many with no or low water pressure. Residents and businesses in the southwest part of the city were affected in the area south of Grand Avenue from 24th Street west to University in the Harbors Addition (west of 29th and Grand). Officials say repairs were completed about 6:30 last night.
Some Grady County ARPA Fund Spending Approved
Grady County Commissioners have approved the use of some of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds the county has received. Chickasha's homeless shelter, the Resurrection House, will receive about $1.2 million to help finance the construction of new dormitories for men, women, and families. Four county fire departments will share in $500,000 in ARPA funds – those being Chickasha, Tuttle, Bridge Creek and Grady County fire departments. Funds will be used to purchase equipment, new radios, and AEDs. The Chickasha Express-Star reported that legal consultants look over requests for ARPA funds. The county still has about $2.5 million funds remaining from the first ARPA distribution. The county will receive another $5 million next summer.
OSBI Seeks Info in Stephens County Cold Case
Officials with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are re-opening an investigation from the 1980s out of Stephens County. The agency's official Facebook page shows photographs of two unidentified women they are looking for. Agents say they are not suspects or persons of interest in connection with their investigation. The agency did not disclose details about the case they are looking into. You can see photographs of the women on the OSBI official Facebook page. Anyone with information can e-mail the agency at email@example.com or call a toll-free number, 800-522-8017.
Chickasha Certified as 'Film Friendly' City
Chickasha has been a popular spot for filming Hollywood movies over the last couple of years. Now, the Oklahoma Film and Music Office has designated Chickasha a certified Film Friendly City. Tava Sofsky is the director of the state office. She says city leaders have worked hard to diligently support the state's film and music industries in a way that benefits the region. This past summer, crews were in town filming ‘A Cowgirl's Song’, written and directed by Timothy Armstrong which will be distributed world-wide by Samuel Goldwyn. The film stars Cheryl Ladd and features music from local musical duo The Imaginaries and is being co-produced by Chickasha’s Reagan Elkins. Film crews were in Chickasha over the last couple of years to film scenes for movies like 'Infamous' and 'What Josiah Saw'. Jim Cowan with the Chickasha Economic Development Council says the city has embraced film and music to help tell the story of why it makes sense to live, work, and play in Chickasha.
School Board Filings are Next Week
Individuals who are considering opportunities to serve on their local school boards have just a few days to decide whether or not they want to do so. Filing for annual school board elections will be Monday, December 6th through Wednesday, Dec. 8th. If school board elections are needed they will be held next spring. School board candidates will file at the county election board office in the county in which their school district is located.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.18 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.57.
Natural gas is $4.56 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,787 and silver is $22.92.
A memorial service for Evelyn Reed, 62, of Chickasha will be held at 6:00 p.m. Monday, December 6th at Full Gospel Church. She worked for many years in the mail room for the Chickasha Express-Star.
Tuesday, Nov. 30th
Suspect Faces Multiple Child Porn Charges
A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children leads local investigators to a Chickasha man accused of having numerous files of child pornography. In custody is 40-year old Samuel Elijah Young who was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies last week. A probable cause affidavit indicates the sheriff's office received the tip on November 3rd. The suspected user had an e-mail address linked to Young. Authorities obtained a couple of search warrants for Young's home in the 1600 block of South 5th Street where he was arrested last Monday. Prosecutors have charged Young with more than 25 felonies in connection with the investigation. Young remains in the Grady County Jail. Bond has not yet been set as he has not had his initial appearance on the charges.
Man Suspected of Pawning Neighbor's Generator
A Verden man is accused of having of stolen property in connection with a couple of break-ins which occurred at his neighbor's home. 39-year old Joshua David Kitchens is charged with misdemeanors in connection with the break-ins that occurred over the last couple of months. A probable cause affidavit from the Verden Police Department indicates witnesses saw Kitchens break a window at the home in October. The victim said some meat from a freezer and a generator were taken. Police were able to locate the generator at a Chickasha pawn shop. Kitchens is facing charges of possession of stolen property and false declaration of ownership and he remains in jail on a $10,000 bond.
Researcher Seeks Chix National Guard Photos
Chickasha once served as one of three home bases for the 158th Field Artillery Battalion of the Oklahoma National Guard. Chickasha was known as Charlie Battery which was housed at the airport and what is now the YMCA. There is an effort by an individual to collect photographs of the troops from area residents. John Jensen has been researching the unit and is looking for pictures that may include local soldiers or those of anyone whose parents or grandparents who may have served. A poster requesting the photos says when National Guard soldiers went to summer camp they took unit photos to commemorate the training. Cell phone photos or scanned copies can be e-mailed to:
Chix Schools Re-Stocking Food Pantries
Chickasha schools are collecting non-perishable food items to stock their food pantries. Officials are looking for foods like Ramen noodles; macaroni and cheese; granola and breakfast bars; cereal and oatmeal; canned soups, vegetables, and meats; peanut butter; crackers; beans; rice; and tortillas. Each school is collecting food for their respective pantries and an award will be presented to the school which collects the most food.
Local Salvation Army Accepts National Challenge
A challenge has been issued to Salvation Army locations nationwide - and the division that serves the Grady and Caddo County region has accepted. It's the national commander's Red Kettle Challenge. The goal is to raise $1 million in a four-hour period nationwide. Lts. Bobby and Crystal McFarland with the Grady and Caddo county group say it's a rallying cry for their supporters and a boost of excitement for the campaign. The event winner will be recognized by the national Salvation Army leadership and a with special spotlight video of one of their local programs. All the funds raised in the Grady and Caddo County region will remain in the area. The McFarlands will be at Chickasha's Wal-Mart Friday, December 3rd from 3-7 p.m. for their challenge. The McFarland's have a goal of raising more than $115,000 during the Red Kettle drive to help the missions in the two counties.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.95 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.44.
Natural gas is $4.85 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,797 and silver is $22.88.
Edward ‘Mr. D’ Deplois
No services are scheduled for Edward 'Mr. D' Deplois, 96, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkview Christian Church Women's Ministries. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, Nov. 29th
Study: Okla. Kids Suffer Nation's Highest Rate of Trauma
Oklahoma children experience more trauma, including abuse and neglect than most children in America. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy points to a study that indicates the alarming statistic.
Dorman said the issue was one of many discussed in the OICA's fall forum, where advocates put together a legislative agenda to present to state lawmakers to try and reduce the child trauma, abuse, and neglect numbers.
Fees, Purchasing Discussions on Tap for Chix City Council
Discussions of fees charged by the City of Chickasha, along with city purchasing practices will be held during an informal work session of the city council tonight. The work session will get underway at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
City of Anadarko Plans to E-mail Utility Bills
The City of Anadarko will be changing its utility billing process for many of its users after the first of the year. Officials say beginning in January the bills will be e-mailed to customers who have e-mail addresses. Those without e-mail service will still get their bills through the regular mail. A post on the City of Anadarko's Facebook page indicates that individuals can opt-out of the e-mail process and continue receiving bills through the regular mail. The forms to opt-out are available at Anadarko city hall or can be found on the website www.cityofanadarko.org
'Deck the Streets' Campaign Adds to Chix Holiday Theme
Chickasha businesses are being encouraged to increase their holiday spirit through a window decorating contest. It's called "Deck the Streets" and it’s just one more way the Chamber of Commerce is encouraging merchants to show their holiday cheer. Business owners and operators can decorate their store fronts with painted holiday scenes, lights and lighted displays, animated figures or whatever holiday scene they might come up with. The entry fee is $10 per business with all proceeds donated to a local charity selected by the winner. Judging will be decided by the community through likes or reactions to the displays on the chamber's Facebook page. The deadline for entries is Monday, December 6th with the winner announced Friday, December 10th. For information visit the chamber's Facebook page or website.
Christmas Parade, Benefit Concert This Week
Speaking of the holidays, Chickasha's annual lighted Christmas parade will be later this week. The parade will be downtown Saturday night and will begin at the YMCA and end at the railroad depot. Today is the deadline for groups to submit applications. The grand marshals for the parade are Emily Sutton with KFOR-TV and the Express Clydesdales. The parade will start at 7 p.m. After the parade, The Imaginaries will perform in concert at the Chickasha Community Theatre and will host a screening of their new music video. Admission is $10 to the concert with proceeds benefitting The Soup Kitchen and Life Skills Institute.
Girls Earn Boy Scouts of America Top Honor
Two southwest Oklahoma teenaged girls are among the first in the state to receive Eagle Scout awards from the Boy Scouts of America. The Lawton Constitution reports that Erika 'Mili' Miller of Fletcher and Isabella Lengel of the Lawton area were recently recognized for their work during a formal ceremony. Both are in the Black Beaver Council which includes most of southwest Oklahoma. The Boy Scouts began admitting girls in February of 2019. Only about one out of every 100 Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout designation. They have to earn 49 merit badges and complete a public service project.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.15 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.72.
Natural gas is $5.44 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,796 and silver is $23.34.