Saturday, April 23rd
'A Cowgirl's Song' Premieres
The City of Chickasha was front-and-center this week with the release of a movie which was filmed entirely in the city. 'A Cowgirl's Song' premiered at the Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City Tuesday night and opened in select theatres nationwide last night. The film features Hollywood actresses Cheryl Ladd and Savannah Lee May as well as Edmond teenager Darci Lynn Farmer who was a big winner on America's Got Talent a few years ago. The film was written and directed by Timothy Armstrong with Shane Henry and Maggie McClure (The Imaginaries) and local film maker Reagan Elkins as co-producers. While Shane and Maggie had been in television commercials and other small roles while they were in California Maggie said this was their first venture into feature films.
Shane recalled shooting one scene that ended rather abruptly.
The film features original music written and performed by the Imaginaries and also performend by Ladd, May, and Farmer. In addition to being shown in theatres nationwide the film is also available on I-Tunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Voodoo. Numerous Chickasha residents are extras in the film. Crews spent three weeks in Chickasha filming last year and it's estimated they poured about $140,000 into the local economy. The work helped Chickasha become a certified Film Friendly City by the Oklahoma Film Office which is expected to bring more film makers to this area.
'Ava's Law' Designed to Help New Parents Learn Infant CPR
From tragedy springs hope that new parents can learn CPR to save the lives of infants. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Ava's Law this week, which is designed to educate new parents on infant cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). SB 1462 was authored by Senator Jessica Garvin (R-Duncan) and is named in memory of Ava, the daughter of Garvin’s close friend. Ava died just a few weeks after she was born. Struggling with whether they could have saved Ava had they known CPR, the family requested the legislation to help prevent other parents from experiencing such a devastating loss. The law will require anyone licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state - or those licensed as Advanced Registered Practice Nurses like Certified Nurse-Midwives, to provide expectant mothers with contact information about infant CPR, basic first aid, cord-blood banking, and donation information. Ava's Law will go into effect November 1st.
Energy Industry Helps Oklahomans Become Billionaires
You may not be surprised about this story about Oklahomans who have made a lot of money in the energy industry. Forbes magazine reports that oil and gas is responsible for most of the Sooner State's billionaires. The richest Oklahoman is Continental Resources founder Harold Hamm who is No. 98 on the Forbes 500 list. He has a $17.2 billion fortune. The magazine says he is a rags-to-riches story as Hamm was the 13th child of Oklahoma sharecroppers and as a child picked cotton barefoot. George Kaiser is No. 201 on the list with a fortune of just under $10 billion. Tom and Judy Love with the Love's convenience stores are at No. 213 with a $9.7 billion fortune. And Hobby Lobby's David Green is No. 324 with a fortune worth $7.3 billion. Green is also a rags-to-riches story, who took out a $600 loan to open his first craft shop in 1970.
Friday, April 22nd
New Superintendent Hired for Ninnekah Public Schools
The new superintendent for Ninnekah Public schools is Dr. Ashley Davis. Davis is currently the superintendent for Drumright, Oklahoma Public Schools which is east of Stillwater. The Ninnekah School Board announced the hire following a 10-minute executive session held during a special meeting last night. Davis has spent 25 years in education teaching in Yukon, Moore, and Oklahoma City and has also served as a principal, instructional facilitator, and curriculum coordinator. She has been superintendent at Drumright for the last four years. Ninnekah School Board President Dustin Tate and says Davis was selected from a competitive pool of candidates and that she is a student-driven administrator.
Davis said after spending much of her career in large school districts she likes how smaller communities rally behind their schools.
The school board approved a 13-month contract with Davis who will start June 1st. Her base salary will be $115,000. Interim Superintendent Robyn Morse will remain with the district through May.
Chickasha Man Arrested, Charged with Rape
A Chickasha man has been charged with first-degree rape after the victim tells police she suffered from unwanted advances from the man for years. 32-year old Jesse Minyard was arrested by Chickasha police Wednesday morning after the victim went to the police department to report the assaults. In a probable cause affidavit the victim said she and Minyard are not in a relationship but that she had been letting him stay in her apartment. She said she told Minyard to leave about a month ago but he refused to do so. The victim said she was afraid of Minyard and that she stays awake for days at a time until she eventually falls into an exhausted deep sleep. She alleged that the sexual assaults occurred while she was sleeping. Minyard is in the Grady County Jail awaiting his initial appearance on the rape charge.
Science and Arts Regents Issue Faculty Awards
Three faculty members at the University of Science and Arts have been recognized for their work. Dr. Christopher Garneau received the Superior Teaching Award from university regents. Garneau is an associate professor of sociology. Dr. Shelley Rees received the regents' Faculty Service Award. She is an English professor who chairs the university's inter-disciplinary studies program, is coordinator of language literature, and director of undergraduate research. Dr. Zach Simpson received the regents' Scholarly Activity Award. He is a professor of philosophy and religious studies.
First National Bank Announces Personnel Moves
The First National Bank and Trust has announced some personnel moves. Vice President Greg Dakil will be taking the helm at the bank's Minco branch next week. Dakil has nearly 30 years’ experience in the banking industry and has spent much of his career in consumer lending. Tonya Holding, who has spent the last two years as Minco branch manager and was previously assistant manager, has been promoted to bank auditor.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Lewis Knicely with the Chickasha Area YMCA is this week’s guest on the KOOL Konversation. Chickasha High School Athletic Director Jerry Don Bray and new high school football coach Eric Gibson are this week’s guests on Real Estate Today. Finds links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $103.79 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $108.33.
Natural gas is $6.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,944 and silver is $24.32.
Thursday, April 21st
Man Rescued from OKC Lake is Wanted for Murder
Authorities are surprised to learn that a man rescued from Lake Overholser was wanted for murder out of Caddo County. There aren't a lot of details available. What is known is that Oklahoma City police were called out to the lake yesterday afternoon and it wasn't until after the man was rescued that they found out about the warrant. Our partners at KWTV-News 9 reported that the individual has not been identified and information about the murder he is wanted for has not yet been released.
Motorcycle Rider Critically Injured in Crash with Pickup
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This is a corrected version from a story that was previously posted. We regret the error) A motorcycle rider was critically injured after crashing into a pick-up yesterday. The accident happened just before noon Wednesday on U.S. Highway 81 about one-half mile south of Country Club Road. 63-year old Daniel Capri of Fletcher was taken by an air ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital with head and internal injuries. He was wearing a helmet. The highway patrol reports that Capri was southbound on U.S. Highway 81 when he hit a pickup which failed to yield from a service road stop sign. The pickup driver was identified as 33-year old Stephanie Galvan of Chickasha. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with minor injuries and was treated and released.
Suspect Wanted for Hold Up of Anadarko Pizzeria
A man who robbed an Anadarko pizzeria at gunpoint and got less than $100 for his effort has a warrant out for his arrest. Anadarko police are looking for 25-year old Charles Whitewolf. The Lawton Constitution cites court documents indicating that Whitewolf held up a teenaged employee of the Pizza Hut Sunday night. Police identified Whitewolf from video surveillance obtained from the restaurant and the teen also identified Whitewolf out of a photo lineup. Whitewolf has previous felony convictions for burglary. Due to his prior convictions he faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted on the robbery charge.
New Ninnekah Superintendent May Be Hired Tonight
Ninnekah Public Schools are expected to have a new superintendent tonight. The board of education will initially go behind closed doors to discuss entering into a contract with the new administrator who has not been named. The panel has been seeking a new superintendent after Todd Bunch resigned from the post. Bunch resigned after a federal lawsuit was filed against the district over allegations that former girls basketball coach Ron Akins sexually assaulted players. Robyn Morse has been serving as interim superintendent since January. Tonight's meeting will be held at the school cafeteria starting at 6 o'clock and will be followed by a reception to welcome the new superintendent.
State Representative Challenges Candidacy of Opponent
A state representative is challenging the candidacy of an opponent who filed against her. State Representative Toni Hasenbeck (R-Elgin) who serves House District 65 submitted the challenge with the state election board this week. Hasenbeck said the home address listed for Democrat Jennifer Kerstetter of Marlow is not within the boundary of district 65 and therefore she is not a registered voter in the district. The state election board will hold a hearing on the challenge on Monday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $102.75 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $106.80.
Natural gas is $6.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,946 and silver is $24.97.
No service is scheduled at this time for Gerald Smith, 77, of Verden. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Peggy Sites, 85, of Cement will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 23rd at the Cement First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
A memorial service John Merritt, 31, of Yukon and formerly of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 28th at Epworth United Methodist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Wednesday, April 20th
Child Sex Crimes Suspect Accused of Violating Protective Order
A man arrested last month for alleged lewd acts to a child is facing some new accusations. 39-year old Travis Ray Smith of Tuttle was arrested this past weekend for violating a protective order. Smith was first arrested March 3rd and charged with two felony counts of lewd acts to a child under 16-years old, and a third charge of soliciting sexual conduct and communication with a minor. A probable cause affidavit from the Grady County Sheriff's Office alleges that Smith sent nearly 80 messages making sexual advances to the 15-year old girl. Smith was out of jail after posting a $100,000 bond on those charges and is alleged to have gone to the girl's home where she lives with her mother on Sunday and tried to make contact with them. Smith was arrested Sunday afternoon for violating a protective order and has been formally charged with two misdemeanors in connection with that allegation. A judge set a new bond of $250,000 for Smith and he remains in the Grady County Jail.
One Dead, Several Injured in Crash
A deadly crash near Marlow kills the driver of one vehicle and injures several others including a young child. 42-year old Matthew Graham of Comanche was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash happened just after 7 o'clock last night two miles west of Marlow on State Highway 7. The state trooper investigating the crash said Graham was westbound on the highway when a southbound Jeep driven by 22-year old Austin Windsor of Marlow failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed in to the SUV. Windsor was taken to a Duncan hospital where he was treated and released with a head injury. A 4-year old boy from Cyril and a 14-year old girl from Cache riding in Graham's vehicle were both taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. A 15-year old boy from Cache and 38-year old Makinzie Ash of Rush Springs also in the Graham vehicle were taken to a hospital where both were treated for their injuries and released.
Congressman Tom Cole Visits Chickasha
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole (R-Moore) spent much of the day in Chickasha yesterday meeting with city and business leaders. Cole is seeking re-election for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He says he is motivated to combat some of the decisions made by the Biden administration.
Cole has two Republican challengers. They are James Taylor of Norman and Frank Blacke of Oklahoma City and all will be on the June 28th Republican Primary ballot. One Democrat, Mary Brannon of Washington, has also filed for the post.
Consumer Energy Choice Act Sent to Governor
A bill that would ensure Oklahomans have access to the energy of their choice to power their cars and trucks has been sent to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his consideration. SB1352 would create the Consumer Energy Choice Act. It would prohibit cities, towns, and counties from adopting rules that limit consumer access to energy sources. State Representative Brad Boles (R-Marlow) carried the bill in the house. In a prepared statement he said energy policies should be determined at the state level and that the free market should be allowed to work according to consumer demands. Boles said the issue has been a problem in other states where cities and towns have banned some fuel types. He said the bans create confusion for energy companies trying offer services as well as for consumers wanting access to those services.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $102.56 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $107.25.
Natural gas is $7.17 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,953 and silver is $25.33.
A graveside service for Thomasita Rivas, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 22nd at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Tuesday, April 19th
Local Company to Finish County Courthouse Flooring Work
A flooring project at the Grady County courthouse will finished by a Chickasha firm. After a previous company was fired from the project Grady County Commissioners awarded the remaining work to All-American Home Center. The price is just over $8,500 and includes labor and most of the materials. Commissioners fired the original company. Carpet Masters of Oklahoma City was dismissed after asbestos was detected in an air sample after employees suffered from some respiratory problems. Officials said Carpet Masters didn't property seal off the room they were working in. Carpet Masters will be paid for the work that was completed before it was terminated.
Chix City Council Reps Sworn In
(EDITOR'S NOTE - A previous story wrongly indicated that a Ward 2 seat on the city council was vacant. While no candidates ran for the office in the recent city council election, Nate McAlla, who was previously appointed to the post will remain on the panel. We regret the error) Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley, Ward 4 Councilman Zach Grayson, Ward 3 Councilman Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, and new Ward 1 Councilwoman Kea Ginn took their oaths of office during last night's city council meeting and will serve two-year terms. Ward 2 Councilman Nate McCalla, who was appointed to the post earlier this year will continue to serve in that capacity.
Former Councilwoman Nationally Recognized For Volunteer Service
Also during last night's meeting, former councilwoman Kim Loggins was recognized for being one of the nation's top volunteers. Loggins was recently named second runner-up in the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Awards presented by a group called CivicPlus.
Grady County Fire Board to Hold Monthly Meeting Tonight
The Grady County Fire Board which governs the county volunteer fire departments will hold its monthly meeting tonight. The panel will consider taking action on property belonging to the Grady County Fire Department paid for by county tax dollars which is still in possession of former fire department volunteers. The group will ask each department for an inventory list of all equipment for insurance purposes, and will consider a request to raise daily limits on fuel cards for some equipment. The group will also consider electing new board officers, the resignation of Delmer Barthelme from administration, and the resignations of Silke Barthelme and Cody Wood from the Farwell Station. The fire board meets at 7 o'clock tonight in the community room of the Grady County Emergency Management office.
Grady, Caddo County Prescribed Burn Association Proposed
Farmers, ranchers, and land owners in the Grady and Caddo County region will meet tonight to discuss forming a local Prescribed Burn Association. There are several local associations including groups in McClain County, Lawton, and Geary. Harry Fritzler with the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association will be one of the speakers for the organizational meeting that will be held in Chickasha tonight. An organized local association would be eligible to get a grant from the state board to get some equipment needed for prescribed burns.
Also speaking tonight is John Weir who is a fire specialist with OSU Extension. Fritzler also said that volunteer firefighters are welcome to join the local group. Tonight's meeting will get underway at 6 o'clock at the Grady County OSU Extension Office.
Library Converts Newspaper Archives to Digital Storage
Searching the archives of local newspapers can be a tedious task. But some of that work is now much easier thanks to a recently completed project by the Chickasha Library. The library’s collection of local newspapers originally stored on micro-film has been digitized and is available on-line. The library was awarded a $20,000 grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program to make that possible. The Friends of the Library also contributed nearly $4,000 towards the project. Nearly 475 microfilm rolls containing Chickasha newspaper records from 1923 through 2018 have been digitized. They are available on the Gateway to Oklahoma History site which can be access for free. That website is: gateway.okhistory.org
Chickasha newspapers prior to 1923 were already available on Gateway.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $108.21 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $113.16.
Natural gas is $7.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,979 and silver is $26.20.
Monday, April 18th
New Chix City Council Rep, Others to be Sworn In
A swearing-in ceremony is part of tonight's city council meeting. Among those taking their oaths of office is Kea Ginn who won the Ward 1 seat on the council in the recent city council election. Also to be sworn in are Mayor Chris Mosley, Zack Grayson, and Dr. R.P. Ashanti- Alexander - all of whom ran un-opposed for re-election. All will serve two-year terms.
Council to Consider Agreement to Remove Part of U.S. 81 from State Highway System
The council will consider an agreement with the State Department of Transportation to remove a portion of U.S. Highway 81 from the state highway system once the Highway 81 bypass project is completed. The section of roadway would be from Choctaw Avenue south to Almar Drive. Currently, the state is responsible for maintaining the roadway. If the agreement is approved the city would take over the maintenance for snow removal and other general maintenance. It will still be some time before that would occur. ODOT officials say the first road grading work to build the bypass isn't scheduled to begin until next year.
Hiring New Firefighters, Repairs to Police Car to be Considered
The council will also consider hiring six new firefighters and awarding a nearly $10,000 bid to Parham's Body Shop to repair a police cruiser damaged in an accident that occurred last October. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
New State Director for Rural Development for USDA
Says Federal Funds Available for Numerous Projects
The new state director for rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has hit the ground running. Former Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn was appointed to the post just a few weeks ago. He's already promoting the numerous federal grants and low-interest loans that are available for cities, towns, and small businesses. He talks about a recent project approved for Grady Memorial Hospital.
There are also programs for individuals to get low-interest loans to help them buy their own homes. For information go to the website: rd.usda.gov
Two State Reps Run Unopposed for Re-election
State Representatives Dick Lowe (R-Amber) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) will continue to serve in the state legislature. Neither drew an opponent during last week's filing period. Lowe serves District 56 which includes the western half Grady County and much of Caddo County. Boles serves District 51 which is the eastern half of Grady County and parts of Stephens County. For Lowe it is his second two-year term and it is the fourth for Boles. In a prepared statement Boles said he is humbled and honored to serve. Boles said he plans to focus on economic development and protecting the state against unconstitutional federal over-reach. He'll also work to improve the state's infrastructure, support education, public safety officers, and veterans, and fight for Oklahoma's vital agriculture and energy industries.
Drug Trafficking Suspect Arrest Twice in Seven Months
A suspected drug dealer is facing a new charge of trafficking. 34-year old Joshua Jovan Nickson of Oklahoma City was arrested by state drug agents and Grady County Sheriff's deputies last week. The arrest came after authorities allege Nickson sold prescription pain killing drugs laced with fentanyl to a confidential informant. Nickson was previously arrested following a traffic stop on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Chickasha last September. Agents alleged then that Nickson was in transit to sell counterfeit pain killers in the area. His bond at that time was set at $350,000 but was reduced to $175,000 which was posted in December. Nickson remains in the Grady County Jail on a $750,000 bond set on the newest drug charge.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $106.95 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $111.70.
Natural gas is $7.30 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,997 and silver is $26.23.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date for Kenneth Stewart, 88, of Amber. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.