Saturday, Feb. 5th
Union City Police Chief Dies from COVID
Union City Police Chief Richard Stephens has died. Stephens passed away Friday after battling COVID-19 for the last six weeks. The Union City Police Department posted on its Facebook page that Stephens was the epitome of a great leader. He put his people first and inspired everyone around him. Stephens served 30 years as a first responder and in law enforcement. Prior to Union City he worked with the Logan County Sheriff's Office. Tributes have been sent by numerous law enforcement agencies and even officials from the Center for Law Enforcement, Education, and Training (CLEET). Officials with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial said that Stephens is the third line-of-duty death from the coronavirus this year. A date for a funeral service has not been announced.
Chickasha Residents to get Trash Pick-up Service Today
It looks like enough snow and ice has melted to allow Waste Connections to run their trucks through Chickasha neighborhoods for trash pick-up today. The City of Chickasha indicates that the company will be servicing residents who missed their pick-ups on Thursday and Friday. Officials say if trucks are unable to get down a street residents are asked to leave their dumpsters out until they are collected.
SCOOP Drilling Permits Issued
There's new drilling activity in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP). In Grady County, Gulfport MidCon received a permit to drill east of Rush Springs and southwest of Lindsay in Section 30 of Township 4 North and Range 5 West. A company called Warwick-Jupiter received a permit to drill nearby in Section 19 of Township 3 North and Range 5 West. A few miles south of those locations in Stephens County Hays Production was awarded a permit to drill west of Velma.
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 regarding any of these individuals you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin is our guest on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today guests are Amber State Representative Dick Lowe and Marlow State Representative Brad Boles. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A funeral service for Faustin Lowery, 23, of the Del City area was held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 5th at Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Arrangements were with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Friday, Feb. 4th
Impact of Winter Storm Still Being Felt
While the snow storm has moved past Oklahoma, the state continues to suffer the lingering effects of this week's winter weather. There are numerous school closings again today or schools have gone to remote learning, many government offices are closed, and dangerous driving conditions continue. Among the closings, Chickasha City Hall and the Grady County Courthouse, and the Five Oaks Medical Group clinics in Chickasha, Rush Springs, and Tuttle. Trash pick-up services in Chickasha will resume when Waste Connections officials believe it is safe for drivers to go through neighborhoods. They are hoping trash service can resume tomorrow (Saturday). Among activities that have been re-scheduled, The Chickasha Optimist Club Pancake Day that was supposed to be today is now scheduled for next Friday, February 11th. And the Rush Springs Ag Booster fund-raiser that was scheduled for tomorrow has been moved to Saturday, February 19th.
National Guard Assists OHP
The Oklahoma National Guard is helping out the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) with the hundreds of calls about traffic accidents and stranded motorists. The guard has assembled Stranded Motorist Assistance Recovery Teams (SMART). Each team includes a trooper, 10 National Guardsmen, two Humvees, and a wrecker. At the height of the storm OHP says troopers responded to almost 900 calls statewide. That's more than double the number of calls they would take over a two-day period. Most of the accidents they've seen are single-vehicle crashes where motorists get stuck on the side of the road, or slide in to concrete barriers and ditches. Officials still encourage Oklahomans to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary.
Some Brave Storm to Cast Early Ballots
A handful of voters braved the cold and snowy weather yesterday to cast ballots in the first day of in-person, absentee voting ahead of next Tuesday's scheduled elections. Individuals can cast ballots early at their county election board offices again today until 6:00 p.m even if their county courthouse is closed.
Blanchard Voters to Decide Sales Tax for Street Upgrades
Blanchard voters will be going to the polls next Tuesday to decide a proposed one-cent city sales tax increase. If approved, the funds would pay for needed street and road improvements. City Manager Robert Floyd says a citizens committee recommended the sales tax as a way to get the funds needed to pay for the projects.
Floyd said if the sales tax passes some projects could start as early as this summer.
Replacement Found for Canceled Science and Arts Show
It didn't take long for the University of Science and Arts to find a replacement act for an upcoming performance of the Davis Waldorf Performing Arts Series. Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions the scheduled performance of The Peking Acrobats was canceled. But officials have announced that they have been able to book a show with The Silhouettes for Thursday, Feb. 17th. The Silhouettes is a shadow-dancing group which was the first runner-up on season six of America's Got Talent (AGT) in 2011 and also the Golden Buzzer winners on AGT's The Champions just two years ago. Season ticket holders and others who have previously purchased tickets for the Feb. 17th show will just need to show their tickets at the door. Individual tickets will be available for purchase once the university re-opens Monday.
Community Blood Drive Scheduled Today
The Oklahoma Blood Institute will be in Chickasha today for a community blood drive. The bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot across from the KOOL-RANCH studios at 7th and Chickasha Avenue. The blood drive will be from 1:30 to 5:30 this afternoon. A number of appointments are scheduled but officials say walk-ins will be welcome though donors may have to wait to be worked in. There were a few openings between 3 and 5:30 this afternoon. All donations will be tested for coronavirus antibodies. The next Chickasha community blood drive is scheduled for Valentine’s Day on Monday, Feb. 14th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $90.27 per barrel
London-based Brent crude is $91.11.
Natural gas is $4.89 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,813 and silver is $22.60.
Thursday, Feb. 3rd
Winter Storm Continues
A winter storm warning continues for all of Oklahoma through 6:00 p.m. today. Much of central Oklahoma has received 2-4 inches of snow with another 1-2 inches of snow possible today. Roads are snow-packed and slick and officials are discouraging travel. Among the accidents overnight, a snow plow driver was injured when his plow ran off State Highway 4 north of Tuttle near the Canadian River. The driver was taken to a hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Wind Chill Advisory Remains in Effect
In addition to more snow, temperatures will remain in the teens over the next 36 hours or longer. A wind chill advisory issued by the National Weather Service remains in place through noon tomorrow. Wind chills will range from zero to ten- or 15-below with north winds gusting to 30 miles per hour at times.
Some Good News; No Power Outages
There are no power outages to report this morning. The websites for Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the electric co-ops in the region show no outages in Grady, Caddo, McClain, Garvin, or Stephens counties.
Some Closings, Cancellations
The winter weather has forced the cancellation of schools. The Grady County Courthouse will be closed again today, and Chickasha City Hall, the library, and the administrative offices of the police and fire departments will all be closed today. The Five Oaks Medical Clinic is closed, although they will accept tele-medicine calls. The Grady Memorial Hospital Emergency Room is open. The Southern Oaks Church of Christ Food Pantry will be closed tonight.
Election Board Offices Open for In-Person, Absentee Voting
While some county courthouses are closed, election board offices are expected to be open today for in-person, absentee voting ahead of next Tuesday's elections. In Grady County, there are school bond elections for Friend, Bridge Creek, and Marlow school patrons. In Blanchard, city voters will decide a one-cent sales tax to fund road improvement projects. There is also a school board primary election for Blanchard school district patrons. Some Verden residents will cast ballots in the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center millage election. In-person, absentee voting is available from 8-6 both today and tomorrow.
Tuttle City Manager Steps Down
Tuttle City Manager Tim Young has resigned. Young's resignation was accepted after a nearly 90-minute closed door session that was part of a special Tuttle City Council meeting on Tuesday, according to the Tuttle Times. Young had served as city manager for more than 13 years. He was hired in September of 2013 after spending a couple of years as the assistant city manager in Durant. Tuttle Police Chief Don Cluck was appointed acting city manager.
Science and Arts Receives Arts Grant
USAO is the beneficiary of a grant to help with its Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series. The university received a $20,000 grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. It was made possible by the National Endowment of the Arts as part of its allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The grant will be used to support costs of presenting workshops, educational outreach performances, and performances by world-class professional performing artists. By the way, the university announced that an upcoming Davis Waldorf Performing Arts Series program has been canceled. The Peking Acrobats were scheduled to perform on Feb. 17th. However the group is not able to leave Taiwan for an undisclosed reason. Officials were working to get a replacement act but one has not yet been scheduled.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.26 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $89.47.
Natural gas is $5.50 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,803 and silver is $22.40.
A memorial service for Patsy DeVilliers, 77, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Feb. 2nd
Winter Storm Begins Impact on Sooner State
A powerful winter storm is already making life miserable for some Oklahomans and the storm is just getting started. About 1,300 PSO customers were without power in northern Grady and central McClain County for a short time this morning including areas of Minco, Pocasset, Amber, Tuttle, Blanchard, and the Bridge Creek area. Power was restored by 8:00 a.m. About 130 CK Energy customers in Caddo County were also without power. Gov. Kevin Stitt has declared a state of emergency for all 77 counties as the storm is expected to bring freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Many schools have declared snow days or in the case of Chickasha Public Schools and some others, distance learning from home will take place today. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin made that call before noon yesterday. He said officials will be monitoring the weather to determine what steps to take after today.
Among the latest closings to report this morning are the Grady County Courthouse, the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center, and Washita Valley Transit. Forecasters say drizzle and freezing drizzle will be around this morning turning to sleet and snow this afternoon. Areas of central Oklahoma could get six inches of snow or more by the time the snow ends tomorrow afternoon.
Chickasha Officials Urge Motorists to Use Snow Routes
Chickasha officials remind motorists to use snow routes once the snow begins impacting traffic. The main east-west routes are Country Club Road, Grand Avenue, Iowa Avenue, and Frisco Avenue. North-south routes are 1st Street; 8th Street from Choctaw Avenue to Grand Avenue; 9th Street from Grand Avenue to Country Club Road; 16th Street from Grand Avenue to Country Club Road; 17th Street from Iowa Avenue to Grand Avenue; and 29th Street from U.S. Highway 62 to Grand Avenue. A map that shows all the city's snow routes can be found on the city's website and Facebook page.
Manslaughter Suspect Apprehended
Caddo County authorities say they have captured a suspect who was wanted for felony manslaughter. Authorities say Shawn Michael Tillman was taken into custody in Watonga yesterday. A post on the Caddo County Sheriff's Office Facebook page indicates that numerous law enforcement agencies were involved in Tillman's arrest including sheriff's offices in Canadian, Blaine, and Kingfisher counties, along with the highway patrol and Watonga Police Department. A woman alleged to have been harboring Tillman was also arrested. Tillman is charged with two counts of felony manslaughter in Caddo County in connection with a fatal traffic accident that occurred near Lookeba in May of last year.
Wanted Verden Couple Arrested
A Grady County couple has been arrested after warrants were issued for their arrests. 39-year old Joshua David Kitchens and 41-year old Monica Cherie Kitchens of Verden were arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies last week. Joshua Kitchens was wanted for burglary after it was alleged he broke into a neighbor's home last November. He has had some previous run-ins with the law for knowingly receiving or concealing stolen merchandise and larceny. Joshua Kitchens remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. Monica Kitchens had old warrants dating back to 2012 for child abuse and 2014 for aggravated DUI. She remains in jail on a $20,000 bond.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.20 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $91.29.
Natural gas is $4.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,803 and silver is $22.81.
A memorial service for Alice Roberts, 97, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 5th at Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
A memorial service for Tonja Turner, 49, of Chickasha will be held Saturday, February 5th at Full Gospel Church. A lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. followed by the service at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 1st
Winter Storm Watch Issued for Much of Oklahoma
Weather forecasters are urging Oklahomans to get prepared ahead of a winter storm that is expected to hit the Sooner State tomorrow and Thursday. A winter storm watch has been posted for much of the state with the possibility of freezing rain, sleet, ice, and snow over the course of a nearly 48-year period. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said the most recent model from the National Weather Service shows the I-44 corridor between Lawton and Oklahoma City could get about a tenth of an inch of ice followed by 4-6 inches of snow which would make travel difficult. Thompson said power companies are preparing for possible power outages. He said Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has been in contact with the Grady County Fairgrounds to have that facility serve as a staging area for its crews should they be needed. A winter storm watch is posted from 9 o'clock tonight until 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening. Rain is expected late tonight with a wintry mix anticipated to arrive between 10 a.m. and noon tomorrow, followed by 4-6 inches of snow from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. Dangerous wind chills to 10-below zero are forecast Thursday and Friday mornings.
Public Hearings Set for Boat-RV Storage Ordinance,
Use-on-Review for Proposed Winery in Chickasha
A public hearing to get input about a revised boat and recreational vehicle storage ordinance for the City of Chickasha will be held by the city's Planning Commission next week. The ordinance discusses storage regulations in both residential and commercially-zoned areas. The Planning Commission will have a second public hearing to consider a use-on-review for a winery at 524 Kansas Avenue. The applicant is DJ Jenks of Shakespeare Wine Company. Jenks is proposing that wine be made and manufactured at the location and plans to offer wine tastings, wine by the glass, and various snacks. Officials say while the business would be located within 300 feet of two nearby churches Jenks says the churches have no opposition to the proposed business. Regardless of how the Planning Commission votes on the two issues they will be sent to the city council for final rulings. The Planning Commission will meet at 4:00 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 8th at Chickasha City Hall.
Tuttle City Manager's Job May be on the Line
The Tuttle City Council will hold a special meeting later today to consider firing city manager Tim Young. The council will go behind closed doors to discuss the city manager's performance and employment. Included on the agenda is an item to discuss the continued employment, disciplining, demotion, re-assignment, resignation, or termination of the city manager. Another item is to discuss the appointment and the terms of appointment for an interim city manager in the event a vacancy occurs. The meeting will be held at 5 o'clock this afternoon at Tuttle City Hall.
Arrest Warrant Issued for Manslaughter Suspect
Caddo County authorities are searching for a suspect who was involved in a fatal car crash that killed two people last year. Authorities have issued a felony manslaughter arrest warrant for Shaun Michael Tillman. The accident happened in May have last year near Lookeba and the warrant was issued last September. Tillman is facing two charges of first-degree manslaughter and well as driving with a suspended license. Anyone with information about Tillman is asked to contact the Caddo County Sheriff's office by calling 405-247-5700.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.15 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $91.21.
Natural gas is $4.87 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,808 and silver is $22.83.
Monday, Jan. 31st
Lawmakers Look to Reduce Robo Calls, Phone Scams
State lawmakers may have an opportunity to do something about the nuisance robo calls and telephone scams that plague almost anyone who has a phone. State Reps. Logan Phillips (R-Mounds) and Danny Williams (R-Seminole) and Sen. Zack Taylor (R-Seminole) hope HB 1386 and HB1891 get some traction during the upcoming legislative session. The Federal Trade Commission reports that phone scams cost older Americans nearly $3 billion every year. HB 1386 would require companies to get an individual’s written consent before placing automated calls or texts. The proposal would have the violators pay their victims up to $500 as a penalty. HB 1891 would allow district attorneys and the state attorney general to prosecute bad actors who spoof or mask their telephone numbers. A fine of up to $10,000 per occurrence is proposed in that bill.
GOP, Dems Seek Elimination of State Sales Tax on Groceries
Also at the state capitol, there appears to be bi-partisan support to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries. The Oklahoman reports that both Republican and Democratic leaders have filed bills regarding the subject. However, the lawmakers say they have no intention of eliminating local grocery taxes, as cities and towns are almost entirely dependent on sales tax revenues to fund local government. For the upcoming fiscal year, that state tax commission projects that the state could earn more than $300 million in the sales taxes levied on groceries. Officials say if lawmakers do eliminate the sales tax they would still have to decide which food and beverage items would be considered groceries.
Filing for Chix City Council Posts set Feb. 7th-9th
Five seats on the Chickasha city council will be up for election this spring including that of mayor. The filing period for candidates will be next week. The posts held by Mayor Chris Mosley; Ward 1 councilman David Sikes; Ward 2 councilman Nate McCalla; Ward 3 councilman Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander; and Ward 4 councilman Zach Grayson are all set to be filled. The filing period is Monday, February 7th through Wednesday, February 9th at city hall. The city council election will be held in April.
Blanchard Voters to Decide Sales Tax for Road Repairs
Voters in the City of Blanchard will decide if a new sales tax should be implemented to pay for road and bridge repairs. The proposed one-cent sales tax is expected to bring in $25 million. Officials say if the measure passes the city would issue low-interest bonds in order to get the projects started as soon as possible. City officials say under Blanchard's current street maintenance budget, it would take decades to fund pay-as-you-go projects. The issue goes before voters next Tuesday, February 8th.
'Christmas Town' Meeting Today
A community meeting to get input about growing Chickasha's Christmas Town image will be held this afternoon. Jim Cowan with the city's Economic Development Council is reaching out to see what new events, or even activities from years past might be added to the 2022 Festival of Light that will start in mid-November. The meeting will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at the Chamber of Commerce.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $86.82 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $90.03.
Natural gas is $4.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,792 and silver is $22.53.
Funeral service for Joan Ely, 63, of Amber was held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, January 31st at Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Jerry Winstone, 87, Ninnekah will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 1st at the Ninnekah First Baptist Church. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service Otis Culpepper, 85, of Lindsay will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 1st at the Blanchard Church of Christ. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service for James Lane, 82, of Oklahoma City will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 8th at McRay Funeral Home. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran.