Mollman Media News

2022, Feb. 28th-March 5th

Saturday, March 5th

 

Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Concerns State Official

State Treasurer Randy McDaniel said while Russia's attack on Ukraine is causing death and destruction in Ukraine, it represents an unacceptable threat to the economic stability all across America, including Oklahoma. The invasion has fueled an upsurge in oil prices and the spillover effect of Russian sanctions are expected to impact inflation in the months ahead. McDaniel said that while gross receipts to the treasury department in February were up by almost 12 percent compared to the same time last year, it is the slowest rate of growth in seven months. He said the repercussions from the invasion are just beginning to be felt.

State Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Invasion

In the meantime, the Oklahoma State Senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Russian invasion. Senator Roger Thompson of Okemah said Ukraine is similar to Oklahoma, with people who believe in freedom and people who are born with resilience. The resolution noted Oklahoma's history of Ukranian immigrants searching for land, farming opportunities, and jobs in the coal industry, and that many Oklahomans with Ukraine heritage still have family and friends in that country.

 

Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center Re-opens

After being closed for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, the visitors center at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is re-opening. The refuge will welcome visitors today for the first time since closing in March of 2020. Jim Meyer is the president of the Friends of the Wichitas and says they have been working hard over the last week to get the center ready for visitors. They are taking extra precautions to ensure everyone's safety. That includes adding sneeze guards at the front desk and hand sanitizer stations and masks will be required regardless of vaccination status. The visitor center will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Street Striping Project to be Overnight Monday, Tuesday

Parts of 4th Street and Choctaw Avenue in Chickasha are getting some upgrades from the State Department of Transportation. Officials are conducting lane striping projects and will continue their work early next week. Some work was done last night. The striping project will be along Choctaw Avenue through the downtown area - from 2nd Street west to 12th Street - and the 4th Street striping work will be from Choctaw Avenue south to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Most of the work will be done from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. Motorists should expect delays and be alert to slow-moving equipment in those areas.

 

Luke Holland Seeks Jim Inhofe's U.S. Senate's Seat

A number of individuals have announced their intentions of running for the Oklahoma U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated with the announced retirement of Jim Inhofe. Among them is Luke Holland who served as Inhofe's Chief of Staff for more than 12 years. Holland made a brief stop in Chickasha yesterday and tells KOOL News that he hopes to use what he's learned to try and get Republicans and Democrats to stop being so divisive and work together for the good of the country.

 

              

 

Holland is being endorsed for the post by Inhofe. Two other Republicans who have announced their intentions to run are Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin and State Senator Nathan Dahm. Candidates will file next month with a primary election in June and the general election in November.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. State Rep. Kyle Hilbert, Speaker Pro Tem of the State House of Representatives, is this week's guest on the KOOL Konversation. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson is on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs on this website under the Community tab.

 

Obituary

Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry

Funeral service for Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry, 76, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 8th at the Church of the Living God, P.G.T. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Friday, March 4th

 

State Lawmakers Consider Tax-Relief Measures

Republicans in the State House of Representatives have advanced several proposals they say will help Oklahoman's deal with inflation. House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) says the GOP has five options they say could provide relief without causing any budget problems. Among them, a one-time income tax rebate of $125 for individuals and $250 per household; a permanent income tax rate reduction of 1/4 of 1 percent; a two-year suspension of the sales tax on groceries; a two-year enhancement of the grocery sales tax-credit for low-income families; and an eight-year phase out of the corporate income tax. The measures were passed out the House rules committee yesterday and will now be heard on the House floor.

 

Anadarko Man Wanted for Suspected Child Abuse

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Anadarko ex-con accused of child abuse. Authorities are looking for 42-year old Brian Leroy Wetselline. Caddo County Judge David Stephens issued the arrest warrant earlier this week. Wetselline is accused of dragging a girl around by her hair. The Lawton Constitution cites a probable cause affidavit filed by Anadarko police that says the incident happened at the home of the child's grandmother in January. The grandmother told investigators it's not the first time Wetselline had attacked the girl. The grandmother alleged the assault occurred when Wetselline was coming down from the effects of being high on drugs. Wetselline has a lengthy criminal record including arrests for drugs, grand larceny, and assault on a peace officer.

 

Premium Auction Brings Big Bucks for Stock Show Exhibitors

It was a big night at the premium auction at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show last night. Nearly a quarter-million dollars was paid to the youth exhibiting animals this week. The combined payout for the auction and the add-ons totaled $249,599. Many of the animals will now be shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, which begins next Monday and runs through March 18th at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.

 

Cyril Teen to Perform on American Idol

A Cyril teenager is showing off her talents on a national TV show. 17-year old Skylie Thompson is competing on American Idol. She’s been singing ever since she could talk and won Cyril's Miss Pirate Pageant contest when she was three-year old. Thompson and her family moved to California in 2018 where she won a talent show on the YouTube channel Brat Productions. Thompson's audition will be aired on American Idol this Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. on ABC.

 

Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant 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 you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $107.67 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $110.46.

Natural gas is $4.72 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,950 and silver is $25.39.

 

Thursday, March 3rd

 

Another State Board Approves Bonds for State Utilities

to Re-coup Costs from Record Low Temps in Feb. 2021

Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Summit Utilities of Oklahoma (formerly Centerpoint Energy) are closer to getting long-term bonds approved to pay for the extremely high heating costs that occurred during the Polar Vortex of February of 2021. The website NonDoc reports that the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority has given its approval allowing the utilities to obtain bonds and pass their costs on to their customers. PSO is asking for $725 million in bonds which would be paid off over a 20-year period. Summit Utilities is seeking $95 million in bonds which would be paid off over 15 years. Bills for customers of each utility would increase between $4 and $5 per month over that time. There are still two more steps that need to be taken before the bonds get final approval. The requests must be reviewed by the Council on Bond Oversight which is scheduled to meet next week and the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

 

Record Drug Busts Praised by State Lawmakers

A number of state lawmakers have praised the work of state drug agents and other law enforcement groups for their recent success in executing what is considered to be the largest single-day drug bust in state history. State Representatives Dick Lowe (R-Amber) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) are among those who authored House Resolution 1044 which recognizes the effort. On February 22nd drug agents executed 12 search warrants on nine farms and three homes simultaneously, including two farms in Grady County. Authorities seized more than 100,000 plants and more than a ton of processed marijuana along with $500 million in assets from the illegal operations. Lowe said the resolution is a small token of the state legislature's gratitude for the service of the estimated 300 law enforcement personnel that took part in the raids.

 

Storm Spotter Training in Chickasha Next Week

The first week of March is considered 'meteoroligical spring' as temperatures begin warming up. It’s also a time for weather officials to start planning for the severe weather season that will be here before you know it. Severe weather incidents like violent thunderstorms and tornadoes peak during April, May, and June in Oklahoma. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson says the National Weather Service will be offering a storm spotter training course in Chickasha next week.

 

              

 

The program will be led by Rick Smith with the National Weather Service out of Norman. The program is free and will be Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.

 

Beef Results from County Livestock Show

At the beef show at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show, Ladd Turner of Ampo had the grand champion market steer. Ladd also had the champion county bred-and-owned steer. Lane Smith of Ampo had the reserve champion market steer. The grand champion heifer was shown by Braedon Callis of Minco who also had the champion county bred-and-owned heifer. The reserve champion heifer was shown by Hayes Devine of Verden. Senior showman was Sage Schenk of Ampo, intermediate showman was Caden Bracher of Rush Springs, and junior showman was Hayes Devine. Tonight is the highlight of the week-long show as the premium sale will be held. The top 125 animals will be auctioned although the exhibitors will get to keep their animals to exhibit at other spring livestock shows, including the Oklahoma Youth Expo. It's expected that the sale and add-ons will top $125,000 which will be awarded to the exhibitors.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $110.60 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $112.93.

Natural gas is $4.76 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,936 and silver is $25.51.

 

Obituaries

Jacquelyn Harger

Funeral service for Jacquelyn Harger, 57, of Duncan is pending. Memorial contributions may be provided to help with funeral expenses. Information is on Facebook by doing a search for Jacqueline Harger.

Mary Stewart

A private memorial service will be held at a later date for Mary Stewart, 81, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, March 2nd

 

Second Union City Police Officer Dies from COVID-19

The Union City Police Department is mourning the death of a second police officer who died from the coronavirus. Lt. Brandon Owens had been in the Intensive Care Unit in an Oklahoma City hospital for nearly two months. A post on the police department's Facebook page said Owens was the epitome of a servant. He was a U.S. Army veteran and during his time in the military served multiple tours overseas - and he brought that leadership and servitude with him into the law enforcement profession. A funeral service has not yet been announced. Just a few weeks ago, Union City Police Chief Richard Stephens also died as a result of the coronavirus.

 

More Info Shared on Last Week's Murder-Suicide

New information has been released regarding a murder-suicide which ended with a fatal traffic accident in Chickasha last week. Investigators say the body of 28-year old Jasmine Smith was found in an Oklahoma City apartment last Thursday. They say she died after being struck with a dumbbell and may also have been stabbed with a knife. The alleged suspect was 29-year old Christopher Johnson. They were in a relationship and had two children together. Authorities say Johnson dropped the children off at the home of relatives and told them he was going to kill himself. Johnson later died in the traffic accident where witnesses say he intentionally drove off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Chickasha and hit the end of a guardrail.

 

Road Striping Project to Affect Chix Traffic Thursday

Highway striping projects will have traffic narrowed to one-lane in Chickasha tomorrow. Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews will be working on 4th Street between Choctaw Avenue and the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. They will also be re-striping Choctaw Avenue between 2nd Street and 12th Street. The work is expected to take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Highway Near Apache to Close for Railroad Crossing Work

ODOT also says that in Caddo County, a portion of U.S. Highway 281 near Apache will be shut down for three days. Union Pacific Railroad will be doing some railroad crossing work about a mile north of Apache from Thursday, March 3rd through Saturday, March 5th. Traffic will be detoured around the closure on State Highway 19 and State Highway 8 through Cyril and Anadarko.

 

Sheep, Goat Show Results from County Livestock Show

We have the results from the sheep and goat shows from the Grady County Junior Livestock Show. For the sheep, the grand champion ewe was shown by Kobi Scroggins of Tuttle and the reserve was shown by Kayla Venable of Alex. The grand champion market lamb was shown by Brody Scroggins of Tuttle and the reserve was shown by Braelyn Brassfield of Minco. Senior showman was Brody Scroggins, intermediate showman was Kobi Scroggins, and junior showman was Dani Patterson of Verden. There were 66 sheep in the show.

Goat Show

The grand champion doe was shown by Macie McKinney of Minco and the reserve belonged to Destiny Emerson of Tuttle. The grand champion wether was shown by Destyn Emerson of Tuttle and the reserve shown by Jack Ferrell of Ampo. The senior showman was Destyn Emerson, the intermediate showman was Macie McKinney, and the junior showman was Kolton Kohler of Alex. There were 49 goats in the show.. The beef show will be held today.

 

Energy Prices Soar

Tuesday was a big day for energy  prices as oil surged to prices not seen in nearly eight years.

 

              

 

That's Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Natural gas climbed to $4.57 per million BTUs. Prices for metals were up as well. Gold was up to $1,930 and silver moved up to $25.14.

 

Tuesday, March 1st

 

No Injuries in School Bus Fire; Driver Called A Hero

Some tense moments on a Chickasha school bus as the bus caught fire as children were being taken home from school yesterday. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Superintendent Rick Croslin said it happened just outside of the town of Norge on Mockingbird Road about 3:15 p.m. There were six high school students on board. Croslin said bus driver Joe Molder noticed the bus over-heating and pulled the bus over.  He got all the students off the bus and when he opened the hood, saw a fire in the engine compartment. The fire quickly engulfed the entire bus. Molder moved the children further away from the bus and called 9-1-1 and the Chickasha Fire Department was dispatched. A small grass fire was also sparked but caused no property damage.  Croslin said the maintenance records of the bus had been kept up to date. School patrons were notified of the fire via the district's automated calling service. Croslin called Molder, who is the district's instructional technology coordinator, a hero for his quick action. Croslin said that the 17-year old Blue Bird bus was totally destroyed.

 

Retired Police Officer Starts New Career

A recently retired Chickasha police officer didn't stay retired very long. Former police lieutenant James Weidenmaier retired last week after 20 years of service. Yesterday, Weidenmaier was named as a new deputy with the Grady County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Jim Weir said Weidenmaier had an opportunity to work for another agency for more money but he decided to join the sheriff's office to continue serving the local community. Weir said Weidenmaier will be a vital asset to his department.

 

Grady County Junior Livestock Show Underway

FFA and 4H students are hoping their hard work over the last few months pays off at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show this week. Cattle, swine, sheep, and goats will all be led through the show rings at the Grady County Fairgrounds. At the swine show yesterday, the grand champion gilt was shown by Hadley Cooper of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Garrison Bass of Minco. The grand champion barrow was shown by Kaylee White of Rush Springs and the reserve was shown by Olivia Bradford of Ampo. Champion senior showman was Cheyenne Emerson of Tuttle; champion intermediate showman was Olivia Bradford; and champion junior showman was Kendall Dunn of Alex. A total of 210 hogs were shown. Today both the sheep and goat shows will be held. After all the animals are shown the top 125 animals will be selected to be in the premium sale Thursday night. The sale and additional payments provided by family, friends, and businesses has resulted in more than $125,000 being paid out to the youth in each of the last two years.

 

Science and Arts Teacher Education Program Grows

While some colleges and universities have suspended their teacher education programs, the University of Science and Arts reports its program has shown increases in enrollment and admission numbers and officials expect that trend to continue. Dr. Sarah Layman is an associate professor of education and the division chair and director of teacher education at the university. She says the small class sizes allows Science and Arts to build faculty and student relationships which prepare teacher candidates for success. Minco School Superintendent Kevin Sims said the Science and Arts program is second to none. He says in this day of teacher shortages that securing a teacher trained in the USAO program is a top priority at Minco schools.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.59 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $97.93.

Natural gas is $4.40 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,926 and silver is $24.68.

 

Obituaries

Wanda Jo Pendleton

Funeral service for Wanda Jo Pendleton, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 2nd at McRay Funeral Home.

Lois Prickett

A memorial service for Lois Prickett, 82, of Anadarko will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Monday, Feb. 28th

 

Caddo County Murder Trial Scheduled

A first-degree murder trial is on the docket for Caddo County District Court in Anadarko this week. The jury selection for 20-year old John Paul Williams-Ryan of Apache is scheduled. He is accused in the shooting death of a man near the Caddo-Comanche County line more than two years ago. Caddo County court documents indicate that Williams-Ryan and 19-year old Payden McCullar were fighting in November of 2019 prior to the fatal shooting. The Lawton Constitution reports that jurors likely won't hear about another charge Williams-Ryan is facing. He is among several inmates accused of trying to break out of the Caddo County jail last month.

 

Workforce Board Helps Businesses

Pay Training Costs for New Employees

Oklahoma businesses looking to hire new employees can get some assistance from the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board. The board gets federal funding to provide help for businesses looking for qualified employees. Erin Glass says the board will pay some of the costs of training new workers.

 

              

 

Glass said the workforce board can also help individuals find better jobs. Information about the workforce board is available through the Workforce Oklahoma office or the Chickasha Adult Learning Center. By the way, the board will be hosting a job fair featuring more than a dozen companies and employment agencies. The job fair will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center on Friday, March 4th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Public Hearing set for Residential Golf Practice Building

A Chickasha resident hopes to build an oversize building at his home that would be used as an indoor golf practice facility. John Holt is seeking a building permit from the City of Chickasha to construct the 3,200 sq. ft. metal building which will be nearly 18 feet tall. Holt is requesting a building permit from the city's Community Development Department to build the estimated $90,000 structure at his home in the 2400 block of South 24th. In his application Holt said it would be for family use. A public hearing regarding the request will be held during the Tuesday, March 8th Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at city hall.

 

Some Disabled Military Vets Needing Long Term Care

Can Live at Oklahoma Veteran's Homes at No Cost

A new program is underway to help disabled American veterans. It's called the 70 percent-plus Outreach Initiative. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) wants to contact veterans who are at least at the 70 percent level with their service-connected disability who need long-term care. Veterans within that category can live at one of the state's seven veteran’s homes at no cost. The state has more than 1,400 beds in seven locations which include Lawton, Norman, Clinton, and Ardmore. To be eligible, veterans must have served at least 90 days and received a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable. ODVA maintains an admissions waiting list for veterans who may want to take advantage of the program at a later date.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.59 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $97.93.

Natural gas is $4.47 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $24.43.

 

Obituary

Nathan Pipes

A graveside service for Nathan Pipes, 80, of Oklahoma City will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 1st at the Ninnekah Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Hospice in Oklahoma City or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Fund. 

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