Mollman Media News

2022, Jan.17th-22nd

Saturday, Jan. 22nd

 

DA Jason Hicks Appointed to Lead Youth Advocacy Panel

District Attorney Jason Hicks has been selected to be the leader of a support group to help Oklahoma's children. Hicks will be serving as the commissioner for the District Attorneys Council for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. Hicks was appointed to the post yesterday by Gov. Kevin Stitt. The post does not include any compensation. Hicks will continue his role as the top prosecutor in Grady, Caddo, Stephens, and Jefferson counties. The commission has been around for 40 years and has helped to bring accountability and independent oversight into the state's child and youth services system. The mission of the panel is to improve services to Oklahoma kids by planning, coordinating, and communicating with communities and public and private agencies. In a prepared statement, Hicks said the appointment is an honor and that providing guidance on how state law affects families, children, and youth is essential to successful leadership. Learn more about the commission at #oklahomakids or #thrivingfamiliesok

 

Anadarko Community to Participate in COVID Conversation

The City of Anadarko has been selected to be one of three communities to take part in a conversation about COVID-19 vaccinations. It will be a virtual panel discussion with one of the panelists being KWTV-News 9's Amanda Taylor. Questions can be submitted in advance and participants can do so anonymously. The event will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 3rd and individuals can watch the discussion live at the Anadarko library. There will also be an opportunity watch the program at a later date. There is a drop box for questions at the library. For other information visit the website: www.smo.org

 

University to Host Religious Reconciliation Lecture

The University of Science and Arts will host a renowned author for its upcoming Ableson Religious Reconciliation lecture. Dr. Benjamin Zeller will discuss ‘New Religious Movements and Religious Radicalism in America’. He'll examine the growth of new and alternative currents in religious thought in the United States and how they have been used to justify extreme points of view about politics, ethics, education, and society at-large. Zeller is an associate professor and chair of religion at Lake Forrest College. The lecture will be on Tuesday, February 1st at 7:00 p.m. in the Science and Arts Ballroom. There is no charge to attend the program.

 

Friday, Jan. 21st

 

Civil Suit Filed Against County Commish Accused of Embezzlement

One current and some former employees of the Tuttle county commissioner's district have formally filed a civil lawsuit against County Commissioner Mike Walker. An attorney for five individuals claims that Walker set up surveillance equipment to spy on employees who were cooperating with state investigators looking into embezzlement allegations against Walker. Attorney Mark Hammons tells our partners at KWTV-New 9 that Walker took steps to find out who it was that was supplying information, including unlawfully bugging some of the offices. Walker's attorney Bret Burns said the surveillance equipment was installed as a standard security measure and there was no bad intent and nothing illegal about a county barn operating a security system. The fired employees were identified as office manager Janna Titler and road workers Jeff Autry, Zachary Davis, and Larry Brown. Zane Terry still works for District One but claims that Walker has harassed him to the point where he's had to take off work. Walker's criminal embezzlement trial is scheduled to begin in March.

 

Chickasha Fire Department to Receive Another New Truck

We have another segment today with Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego. A new fire engine was recently purchased to replace an older model. And firefighters will also be getting a new rescue truck. It's a 2022 ½-ton, 4-wheel drive Dodge Ram, which the chief says is more suitable for their work for calls outside the city limits.

 

              

 

The Grady County 522 EMS District is supplying nearly $70,000 to purchase and outfit the truck. The district also provided about $30,000 to buy battery-operated jaws-of-life equipment for the department.

 

Jury Duty Canceled for Next Week

Grady County residents who received a summons for jury duty next week are off the hook. District Judge Kory Kirkland said all the felony cases on the docket have been resolved. However the judge said that the following week of jury duty that starts the week of January 31 is still on as scheduled.

 

AARP Monitors Storm Cost Cases at Corporation Commission

An advocacy group for senior citizens is carefully watching the cases at the Corporation Commission that are related to the massive storm costs from a year ago. A representative from AARP believes the storm costs could top $6 billion. The website OK Energy Today reports that attorney Deborah Thompson spoke of AARPs effort to fight the moves of state utilities to put the enormously high storm costs on the backs of consumers. That includes the use of securitization and state bonds to spread the costs over two decades or longer.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $86.90.

London-based Brent crude is $88.38.

Natural gas is $3.80 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,838 and silver is $24.45.

 

Obituaries

Mario Hernandez, Sr.

A funeral service for Mario Hernandez, Sr., 75, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 22nd at New Life Christian Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Myrl Bird

Funeral service for Myrl Bird, 90, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 22nd at the First Assembly of God Church in Tuttle. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

Janet Rumbaugh

A graveside service for Janet Rumbaugh of Tuttle will be held Monday at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

Cindy Swopes

A service for Cindy Swopes, 61, of Tuttle will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

Thursday, Jan. 20th

 

Former Jailer Pleads Guilty to Inmate Abuse Charge

A one-time sergeant at the Grady County jail pleads guilty to a federal charge of using unreasonable force against an inmate. Johnnie Drewery faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The incident happened in July of 2020. KSWO-TV cites court documents filed by FBI investigators that say Drewery was in charge of changing an inmate into a suicide smock and moving him into a holding cell where the inmate spit on him. Drewery then demanded the door be re-opened and he punched and kneed the inmate causing the inmate to suffer a fractured rib. Drewery’s formal sentencing will be held within the next three months.

 

Murder Trial Scheduled for Caddo County Man

A Caddo County man will stand trial for first degree murder. 20-year old John Paul Williams-Ryan is accused of the November, 2019 shooting death of 19-year old Payden McCullar that took place south of Apache. The Lawton Constitution reports that the cut-off date for a plea deal ended earlier this week and the trial is now scheduled to begin Feb. 28th.

 

Chix Fire Chief Discusses Department Expansion

There have been a number of recent retirements from the Chickasha Fire Department and the help-wanted sign is out. Chief Tony Samaniego says the department will be expanding for the first time since the mid-1980s.

 

              

 

Candidates can find applications on the city of Chickasha's website: www.chickasha.org and the application deadline is February 4th.

 

Anadarko School Board to Sell Bonds

The board of education for Anadarko Public Schools will hold a special meeting tomorrow to consider a resolution to sell some previously approved general obligation bonds. The group will consider awarding the $830,000 in bonds to the lowest bidder. The meeting is set for 6:00 p.m. Friday at the school administration building.

 

University Fundraiser Tops Six Figures

A year-end fundraiser hits the six-figure mark for the University of Science and Arts. The December campaign brought in $120,000 all of which will be distributed to several areas. Officials say donations ranged from just a few dollars to $60,000. Vice President for Advancement JP Audas said that with state appropriations providing less than 35 percent of the university's annual operating budget, fundraisers like this help to bridge the gap to allow students to have a better college experience. The contributions will be going to the campus co-op food pantry; various alumni scholarships; the Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity; The John Feaver Student Success Fund, and others.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $86.96 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $88.44.

Natural gas is $4.03 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,839 and silver is $24.24.

 

Obituaries

Rose Marie Crumm

A private graveside service will be held at a later date for Rose Marie Crumm, 89, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Geraldine Hughes

A memorial service for Geraldine Hughes, 71, of Seattle, Washington will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 24th at Grand Assembly of God.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 19th

 

Grady County Sales Tax Revenues Show Mixed Results

Sales tax revenues in December for Grady County were the 4th highest month in 2021. It topped $520,000...and represents the purchases of taxable goods and services sold at retail outlets throughout the county last October. The December revenues were down about 12 percent from November - but up a huge 45 percent from December of 2020. The funds are distributed to several areas which were approved by voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $174,000; Grady Memorial Hospital collected $154,000; each of the seven senior nutrition centers received $13,000; and each of the 20 county fire districts picked up about $4,400. Tuttle EMS collected $16,000 and Rush Springs EMS received $4,000.

 

More Counties Added to Burn Ban List

There are now more than 30 counties in the state that have issued burn bans. Oklahoma County is one of the most recent areas to put a ban in effect. The only two counties in the region that do not have burn bans are McClain and Cleveland counties. There has been very little rain over the last few months, and January is typically the driest month of the year. The threat for wildfires will be up over the next couple of days, with winds out of the north today gusting to 40 miles per hour.

 

Update on Monday Crash in Amber

We have a follow-up regarding that semi accident that happened in Amber late Monday night. Amber Police Chief Daniel Fulton said it was a single vehicle accident...and a sand truck driver was seriously injured. Fulton said the truck was northbound on U.S. Highway 92...and was  traveling too fast to go around  a curve. The truck rolled on its side and slid several hundred feet. Fulton did not have the name of the driver, who was taken by air to an Oklahoma City hospital but his condition was unknown. Grady County sheriff's deputies and a state trooper assisted with traffic control, as the highway was narrowed to one lane through Amber for a couple of hours.

 

One Injured in 3-Vehicle Crash That Included Semi

One person is hospitalized in a three-vehicle crash which included a semi that happened south of Goldsby yesterday. 67-year old Ronald Coffman of Oklahoma City was admitted in fair condition at an Oklahoma City hospital. A Blanchard couple involved in the accident, 44-year old David Swanson and 38-year old Tiffany Swanson were not hurt. The accident happened just before 9 o'clock last night. The highway patrol reports that Coffman was southbound in the northbound lanes of I-35 then tried to make a U-turn. The Swanson's pickup and the semi both hit Coffman's truck. The trooper investigating the crash reported that Coffman was driving under the influence.

 

State Rep Appointed to National Panel

State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) will be serving on the Energy and Environment Committee on the Council of State Governments (CSG). Boles currently serves as chairman of the house energy and natural resources committee and was appointed to the CSG by house speaker Charles McCall. The CSG is the largest non-partisan group that serves all three branches of state elected and appointed officials. A press release indicates that the committee Boles will serve on hosts regional summits to exchange ideas for effective legislation, and organizes programs to create regional strategies to address common energy and environmental concerns. Oklahoma City will host the group's southern legislative conference this summer.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $86.49 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $88.30.

Natural gas is $4.26 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,818 and silver is $23.83.

 

Obituaries

Vickie Trout

A funeral service for Vickie Trout, 63, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 21st at Ferguson Funeral Home.

Laray Uzochukwa

Funeral service Laray Uzochuckwa, 39, of Chickasha is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, Jan. 18th

 

City of Chickasha Prepares to Move Water Lines

in Conjuction with the U.S. Highway 81 West Bypass

A proposal for the City of Chickasha and the State Department of Transportation to jointly spend nearly $1 million to re-locate city-owned water lines will be discussed by the city council tonight. Background information provided to the council shows this is the first of a three-phase project to re-locate the water lines in connection with U.S. Highway 81 west bypass project. ODOT is expected to pay about 60 percent of the total cost, or about $575,000. The first phase is just under $500,000 and includes installing new fire hydrants and valves on the line along the west city limits about a half-mile north of Iowa Avenue; relocating about 530 feet of water line along the west city limits at Iowa Avenue; and about 900 feet of water line along U.S. Highway 62 at U.S. Highway 81. Four bids were received for this phase and officials are recommending the low bid submitted by Miller Construction of Comanche.

 

Chix City Council to Discuss Lawsuit; OK CPR Equipment Purchase

The council will go behind closed doors to discuss a lawsuit filed against the city last year by the Water Quality Division of the state Department of Environmental Quality. The panel is expected to waive bidding requirements and authorize the purchase of nearly $80,000 in automated CPR equipment from a sole source provider (Stryker). The funds come from Grady County's American Rescue Plan Act monies. The group is also expected to approve the receipt of a $2,400 grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation to provide privatized mental health services. The council will also consider appointing James Schoppa to the Planning Commission. The commission had a vacancy after former member Nate McCalla was appointed to the city council. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

One Injured After Semi Topples onto Mail Vehicle

One person was reportedly injured when a semi overturned on a mail delivery vehicle in Amber. The highway patrol reports that the accident happened about 10:00 p.m. last night. No details about the accident were available from the highway patrol as they were called in to assist Amber authorities. There was no word on how seriously the individual was hurt.

 

Anadarko Re-Instates Mask Mandates in City Buildings

The City of Anadarko is again requiring that individuals wear masks when entering city buildings. Officials cite the rising corona virus infection rate as the reason. A post on the city's Facebook page indicates that masks are required regardless of vaccination status and is designed to protect the public and city employees. The mask mandate is in effect until further notice.

 

Future Geothermal Demo Funding Projects Threatened

Continued funding of a federal program for geothermal demonstration projects could be in jeopardy. While OU recently received such a grant to develop geothermal heat from oil and gas wells near Tuttle, additional funding and billions of dollars in tax incentives and research funding nationwide are in limbo. The website OK Energy Today cites the information in a report from Politico. You can access that report by going to the OK Energy Today website and look for the headline 'Tax Credits in Doubt for Geothermal Projects'.

 

More Oil, Gas Drilling Permits Approved

More permits to drill for oil and gas in the region get the approval of the Corporation Commission. Citizen Energy Company obtained two permits to drill in the STACK play in Canadian County. One will be just south of Union City and the other in the southwest part of the county between Union City and Hinton. Camino Natural Resources and Continental Resources have received permits to drill in the SCOOP play in Stephens County. Both are in an area northeast of Velma.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $83.82 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $86.06.

Natural gas is $4.26 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,810 and silver is $22.87.

 

Monday, Jan. 17th

 

Red Cross Issues National Blood Emergency

A national blood emergency has been issued by the American Red Cross. It's the first time in the agency's history that a national emergency has been declared. Officials say the omicron variant of the coronavirus has caused the worst blood shortage in more than 10 years. Officials also say doctors are being forced to make difficult decisions about  who gets blood transfusions and who will have to wait until the products become available. Misti McClellan with the Red Cross which services central and southwest Oklahoma says they are simply unable to supply hospitals with the amount of blood they need.

 

              

 

She says the agency normally has a five-day supply of blood available but that has dwindled down to a one-day supply. She said there is a big need for O-negative blood which is a universal blood type that can be used no matter what blood type an individual may be.

 

New Interchange Design Chosen for Busy Norman Area

A new design for a highway interchange at I-35 and State Highway 9 in Norman has been selected by the state department of transportation. ODOT says the design is known as a diverging diaming interchange which was was selected after input from the public and stakeholders. The option was the preferred choice of the City of Newcastle and the town of Goldsby and is expected to alleviate traffic backups on southbound I-35 during peak travel times. Officials say the traffic volume in that area is about 82,000 vehicles per day and its projected it could reach nearly 130,000 vehicles per day by the year 2050. The estimated cost of the interchange is about $20 million and it is scheduled to go to bid next year.

 

Bullock Memorial Center holds MLK Drive-Thru Fundraiser

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr Day. It’s a federal holiday with city, county, state, and federal offices closed to commemorate the life of the slain civil rights leader. He led a more than year-long bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama and in August of 1963 delivered his 'I Have a Dream' address to more than 250,000 civil rights supporters at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1968 was assassinated at the age of 39. Chickasha's Bullock Memorial Center is marking the day with a fund-raiser for its programs. They'll be serving drive-through meals of chicken wings, beans, cornbread, dessert, and drink for $10 per plate. The serving time will be from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The center is located at 917 S. 1st.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $83.82 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $86.06.

Natural gas is $4.26 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,821 and silver is $23.06.

 

Obituaries

Lena Byrd-Johnson

A graveside service for Lena Byrd-Johnson, 89, formerly of Chickasha will be held at noon Tuesday, January 18th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

Laveta Loveless

A graveside service for Laveta Loveless, 52, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 18th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

James Brookshire

A graveside service for James Brookshire, 54, of Chickasha will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 18th at the Verden Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

Park Anderson

Funeral service for Park Anderson, 63, of Alex will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 19th at the Alex High School gymnasium. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

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