Saturday, April 30th
Wind Energy Electric Transmission Line Approved
NextEra Energy, which has wind farms throughout Oklahoma including in Grady County, has received approval to build a 48-mile transmission line. The approval comes from the Southwest Power Pool board of directors. A 345-kilovolt line to connect the Minco and Draper substations is expected to be on-line in two years. The website OK Energy Today reports that the proposal had the support of an industry expert panel. The panel process is required under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's order for some transmission projects. Officials say the transmission line will address economic needs in the region. Matt Valle, President of NextEra Transmission said the project furthers the company's goal of creating America's leading competitive transmission company. He also said it is consistent with the company's strategy of adding high-quality regulated assets to its portfolio which includes assets in six states and in Canada.
State Tourism Department Fallout Continues
The fallout continues regarding the news of that controversial contract between the state's tourism department and a barbecue restaurant that had been operating at several state tourism locations. The director of the state's tourism department, Jerry Winchester, turned in his resignation yesterday. His resignation was announced by Gov. Kevin Stitt. The governor also announced that the state will be filing a lawsuit against Swadley's Foggy Bottom Kitchen. Winchester's resignation came the day after the formation of a special State House of Representatives committee to investigate potential misuse of taxpayer funds through a vendor agreement. That agreement had the tourism and recreation department paying Swadley's more than $16 million to install restaurants and make capital improvements to lodges, structures, and parking lots.
Chix Rotary Run; Open Streets Program are Today
You may see some runners in Chickasha neighborhoods this morning, as the Chickasha Rotary Club is holding its 5K and one-mile fun runs. They'll be starting at the Rock Island Railroad depot and run a route south and west through town and back. The Rotary Run precedes the Open Streets Chickasha event which will get underway later this morning. More than 30 vendors will be on hand with family-oriented activities including an inflatable water slide. The Chickasha Fire Department and Grady County Sheriff's Office will be on hand along with the Chickasha Area Arts Council, the YMCA, and Grady County 4H and many others. Alpacas of Oklahoma will have some of their animals in the depot area. Chickasha Avenue will be blocked off from the depot to 4th Street. Food booths will include Jungle Ice and Popworth's Kettle Corn. It's a free event and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
Blood Drive Also Scheduled Today
Also, the Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold a blood drive today. The bloodmobile will be at the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue. The OBI says a 'blood emergency' is still in effect and that the agency only has a one- or two-day supply of blood on hand. Normally OBI has a four- to five-day supply available. That will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome.
170+ USAO Grads Receive Diplomas
More than 170 USAO students were part of graduation ceremonies at the university this spring. President John Feaver said every one of them overcame incredible challenges, referring in part to the coronavirus pandemic. There were 108 Bachelor of Science degrees; 62 Bachelor of Arts degrees; and seven Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees awarded. Three students earned both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Outstanding graduate awards were issued to Joel Lane and Sidney Wilson from the Division of Arts and Sciences; Madison Homer, Mandy Ozment, and Daniel Roach from the Division of Social Science and Business; Mikaela Malloy and Lexie Sapp from the Division of Education and Speech Language Pathology; and Hunter Hamby, Emma Tripp, and Joseph Ummel from the Division of Science and Physical Education. Madison Homer was also awarded the USAO Alumni Association's distinguished graduate award with a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology.
Venita Fay Parker
Funeral service for Venita Fay Parker, 82, of Bradley will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 4th at the New Beginnings Church in Blanchard. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, April 29th
Bill Proposes Making Stalking a Felony
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties for stalking. The state senate this week passed HB 3286 which would make stalking a felony. The bill calls for increasing prison time from one year to up to three years in prison for those convicted of the crime. It also would increase the fine from $1,000 to up to $10,000. Additional prison time and fines could be levied for repeat offenders. State Senator Michael Bergstrom says Oklahoma has the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation and also ranks high for violent crimes. He says stalking is strongly connected to homicide as well as physical and emotional violence. In a prepared statement he said that three out every four women murdered by an intimate partner had been stalked prior to their deaths. The bill also calls for law enforcement to issue a stalking warning letter to the accused when a complaint is made which is similar to what happens when a protective order is issued. After its passage in the senate the bill is back in the house to consider amendments before it can be sent to the governor.
Open Streets, Chickasha Event This Weekend
Downtown Chickasha will be buzzing with activities tomorrow for the annual Open Streets, Chickasha event. It's part of an international campaign to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy quality time together. Lewis Knisley with the Chickasha Area YCMA says there will be a lot of vendors that will have different activities.
Chickasha Avenue will be blocked off between the Rock Island Railroad Depot and 4th Street. Food trucks will be available and free water will be on hand. Admission is free and participants can register to win door prizes. Open Streets Chickasha will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Certified Healthy Organizations Listed
A number of regional schools, businesses, and government offices have been designated as certified healthy organizations by the State Health Department. In Grady County they include the University of Science and Arts, Standley Systems, and the City of Minco. In Caddo County, they include Sunset Elementary School in Anadarko, the City of Anadarko, the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, and the Caddo County Health Department. In McClain County, they include Delta Head Start at Dibble and Blanchard; both the Blanchard and Newcastle libraries; and the City of Newcastle. The state department of health began a public health initiative in 2003 to recognize businesses, organizations, and communities which implement practices and policies that support improved health and wellness.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Beth Ann Meyer will be on the KOOL Konversation to talk about the annual walk to Stillwater that she and her husband Stewart do every year. This marks the 22nd year that the Meyers will make the journey on foot to benefit Oklahoma Special Olympics. On Real Estate Today, we'll talk to Bill Geist of DMOProz who is the guest speaker at tonight's annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet discussing destination marketing for communities. Look for links to the programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $105.36 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $107.59.
Natural gas is $6.89 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,917 and silver is 23.58.
Thursday, April 28th
Leak in Chix Main Water Supply Line May be Repaired Soon
City of Chickasha officials say repairs to broken water line that brings water from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir to the city could get started in a couple of weeks. Last month the Chickasha City Council approved the purchase of some very large O-rings that are needed for repairs. The break in the line is near a holding pond just north of Anadarko. Officials discovered the break when some land nearby flooded. The rupture is not affecting the flow of water to Chickasha. The large O-rings are about two feet in diameter but only about 8 to 12 inches in length. An Oklahoma City company had to custom-make the parts. Public Works Director David Buchanan said the parts are expected to be delivered sometime this week or next and that the project will start soon after. Buchanan believes the repairs will take one or two days to complete. He said during repairs the water flow to the city would be disrupted but that service to residents and businesses is not expected to be interrupted as there are holding ponds in Chickasha and Anadarko that have a 10-14 day supply of water on hand.
Foundation Honors Chix Teacher, Support Employee
Two Chickasha Public School employees were honored at the Chickasha Public School Foundation gala this week. High school special needs teacher Sharita Brown was named the District Teacher of the Year. She was one of five instructors who were recognized as the top teachers at their respective schools. Also honored was Eric Golightly as the District Support Employee of the Year. Golightly is a para-professional at Lincoln School.
Longtime CV Tech Superintendent Inducted into Hall of Fame
Also in education news, former Canadian Valley Technology Center superintendent Greg Winters is one of the newest members of the Oklahoma Career Tech Hall of Fame. Winters spent 44 years in education and spent his last 10 years at CV Tech before he retired in 2018. He also was superintendent at Eastern Oklahoma County and Kiamichi Technology Centers. His education career included teaching, coaching, adjunct professor, principal and assistant superintendent. Winters was superintendent at CV Tech when one of the largest tornadoes on record nearly wiped out the entire El Reno campus in 2013.
Caddo County First Responders Set Meet-and-Greet
First responder groups throughout Caddo County will join forces to hold a meet-and- greet to get to know each other as well as the communities they serve. The Fraternal Order of Police Local 118 in Anadarko along with area police and fire departments will be on hand including the Caddo County Sheriff's Office, highway patrol, Bureau of Indian Affairs, nurses from Physician's Hospital, the Air Evac Lifeteam and one of its helicopters. The Anadarko Chamber of Commerce and Anadarko Community Relations Board will be on hand as well. Officials say it will be an opportunity to show the public and especially children that they can have a positive interaction with first responders. There will be live taser demonstrations, a K9 officer demonstration, and a hands-on program with Anadarko fire department. The event will Saturday, May 7th at the Anadarko Police Department from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free hotdogs will be served.
Prescribed Burn Association Schedules Meeting
A group of regional agriculture producers and land owners have united to form the Grady and Caddo County Prescribed Burn Association. An organizational meeting was held last week with a representative from the state association. According to the state organization's website the goal is to increase landowner's capacity to do neighbor-to-neighbor prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads, improve wildlife habitat, increase grassland production, enhance public health and safety, and provide landowners with access to support, training, and equipment to safely implement prescribed burns. The Grady and Caddo county group will meet Wednesday May 3rd at 8:00 a.m. at the Grady County OSU Extension Office. The meeting will be available on the Zoom platform but it may be delayed because of an ag producers meeting scheduled earlier that morning. For information contact the extension offices either in Chickasha or Anadarko.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $102.20 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $105.32.
Natural gas is $7.26 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,889 and silver is $23.26.
Celestia Smith Roberts
Funeral service for Celestia Smith Roberts, 90, formerly of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 2nd at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 27th
Spending at Grady County Retailers is Down
Consumer spending was down for the second straight month in Grady County according to the most recent numbers available. Consumer spending for January was estimated at $82.4 million which was down 8.4 percent from December. We estimate consumer spending when we see the monthly county sales tax report from the county. The March sales tax revenue, which was paid on retail purchases made by consumers in January, was just under $620,000. The sales tax revenues are distributed a number of ways, all approved by county voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $206,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received $183,000; the seven senior nutrition centers shared $103,000 ($15,000 each); the 20 county fire departments shared $103,000 ($4,300 each); Tuttle EMS received $19,000; and Rush Springs EMS recevied $5,000.
Consumer Spending in Chickasha also Lower
In recent reports from the City of Chickasha it's April sales tax revenues were just under $1.2 million which is down about 6.4 percent from March. However it is up by more than 25 percent compared to the same period last year. Estimated consumer spending at Chickasha retail outlets was etimated at $29.3 million. Officials say the recent increase in prices for many products due to inflation is one of the reasons for higher sales tax receipts.
State Election Board Voids Candidacy of State House Challenger
State Representative Toni Hasenbeck (R-Elgin) will not have an opponent in her re-election bid. The State Election Board ruled that a challenger who filed against Hasenbeck was not a qualified candidate. Hasenbeck challenged the qualifications of Democrat Jennifer Kerstetter of Marlow who had filed for the House District 65 post. The state panel ruled that Kerstetter did not live in the district and is ineligible. Since no other candidate filed for the post the ruling means that Hasenbeck will serve another two-year term in the state house.
Voter ID Cards Mailed; Many to Cast Ballots in New Precincts
Oklahomans are receiving new voter identification cards in the mail. Election board officials say that due to the 2020 census and statewide redistricting many voters will be casting ballots in different precincts in the upcoming elections. In Grady County, some 10,000 voter ID cards were mailed out. Officials urge individuals to verify their polling places before heading out to vote in the June 28th primary election. Anyone who hasn’t received a new voter ID card can find out where to cast ballots on the state election board website at www.elections.ok.gov or by calling the election board in their county.
4Her Encourages More Adults to Volunteer
The number of adults volunteering has been on the decline in recent years. Grady County 4Her Maggie Evans addressed the issue in a recent speech. Citizenship is one of her program areas and she says donating even a small amount of time is beneficial.
Evans says a Tufts University study indicated that 4H members are four times more likely to volunteer than non-members. Evans said among the projects Grady County 4Hers have helped with include donating supplies to animal shelters, making coloring packs for children in distress, and picking up limbs after ice storms.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $101.70 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $104.99.
Natural gas is $6.85 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,896 and silver is $23.67.
Funeral service for Elnora Rock, 85, of Chickasha will held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 30th at Holy Name Catholic Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Janice Ford, 44, of the Lawton area will be held at noon Saturday, April 30th at the New Hope Church of God in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, April 26th
Dallas Firm Purchases Southern Plains Medical Clinics
The Southern Plains Medical Clinic and its facilities in Anadarko and Pauls Valley have been purchased by a Texas-based medical firm. Epic Medical Group of Dallas recently purchased Southern Plains Medical Group which includes 20 medical specialties and a new ambulatory surgery center in Chickasha. One of Epic's leaders is Dr. Haresh Boghara who is a renowned family medicine physician. Boghara says Epic has a proven track record in the ‘patient first’ health care model within a multi-state clinic system. The current Southern Plains facilities will re-named CareFirst Wellness Associates as of May 1st. Boghara says they are in the process of hiring new doctors.
Epic also owns clinics in Texas and Arkansas and has plans to expand into other states. Officials say new and additional resources aim to provide a rejuvenated physical appearance with a heavy focus on primary care services especially for older patients. In addition to a more patient-friendly practice Boghara says current employees will experience an uplifting cultural change which will allow them to focus more attention on patient care than in the past. Epic Medical Group is led by Dr. Boghara, Executive Vice President Don McCoy, and Chief Operating Officer Linda Vasquez of Dallas. Existing Southern Plains employees have been promoted into local leadership roles. Shauna Boxley will serve as director of operations, April Rowell will serve as director of clinical services, and Yami Nygaard will serve as director of patient services.
Burglary Suspect Arrested
A Chickasha man is arrested and charged with burglary after being caught breaking into a local business. Police were dispatched to the 300 block of South 4th Street last Thursday after getting a call about a suspicious person removing items from a building. The man had a number of items in a crate that was tied to a bicycle. He was confronted by the individuals and the man told them he had permission to be there. A probable cause affidavit indicates that when police arrived the man again said he had permission to be there and that the items were his. The individual also said he had been staying in the building because he was homeless. The property owner was called and when he arrived he said the suspect did not have permission to be there. Authorities arrested 36-year old Jimmy Don Robertson who has been in trouble numerous times in the past for crimes which include attempted burglary, obstruction, and assaulting an officer. Robertson remains in the Grady County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
Bills Benefitting Military Veterans Sent to Governor
Several pieces of legislation designed to benefit Oklahoma's military veterans and their families have been sent to the governor for his consideration. HB 1067 known as the Dignity in Burial Act directs the state Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a program to provide grants of up to $1,000 to families of veterans to help with burial expenses. HB 3050 would exclude the sales price of a purchased vehicle from the $25,000 annual sales tax allowance that is provided to veterans who are 100 percent disabled. And HB 1800 extends the eligibility for in-state tuition to Oklahoma colleges and universities for veterans who left the service within the past ten years. This would also be available to veterans’ spouses and dependents. If signed by the governor all three measures would become law November 1st.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $98.54 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $102.32.
Natural gas is $6.67 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,907 and silver is $23.86.
A memorial service for Raymond Berry, 60, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 29th at Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, April 25th
Weekend Tornados Touchdown in Tuttle, Harrah
Strong thunderstorms that pummeled Oklahoma Saturday night are responsible for a couple of tornado touchdowns. The National Weather Service says crews surveyed an area of damage about five miles northwest of Tuttle and the preliminary indication is that the tornado was rated at EF-Zero which is winds between 65 and 85 mph. That tornado was spawned by a storm that dropped golf-ball sized hail in Minco. Another tornado path was surveyed east of Oklahoma City near Harrah. Several tornado warnings were issued Saturday night including one for the Rush Springs and Marlow area as a thunderstorm was moving up from the Lawton area. That warning was canceled a few minutes after it was issued. There have been no reports of damage from that storm. Some areas did receive some heavy rainfall from those storms. The Oklahoma Mesonet site west of Rush Springs at Acme showed nearly three inches of rain, Minco picked up about 1.6 inches of rain, while Chickasha received just over one-half inch of rain.
Suspect Who Shot BIA Officer Incompetent to Aid in Defense
A Caddo County man accused of shooting at law enforcement officers and wounding one of them has been found incompetent to assist with his defense. 29-year old Taaron Jay Burchum of Carnegie was arrested last October after a stand-off with numerous law enforcement officials including Carnegie Police, the Caddo County Sheriff's Office, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A BIA officer was injured when Burchum is alleged to a have fired a shot from a .22-calibre rifle. Burchum was charged with shooting with intent to kill and possession of a firearm after conviction. The Lawton Constitution reports that a preliminary hearing was scheduled last week but Burchum was found incompetent and in need of treatment at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita. Burchum had only been out of prison for about a month prior to the standoff after serving time for convictions of burglary and eluding police.
Former Chix Councilman, USAO Prof Alan Todd Dies
Former Chickasha City Councilman and USAO professor Alan Todd has died. Todd was 74 years old when he passed away last Friday. He grew up in the Cox City area, earned a bachelor's degree in education with a minor in special education from Oklahoma State University, then served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After his service he worked at a Tulsa boys home then worked for Oklahoma City Public Schools. He went on to earn mis master's degree and his doctorate’s degree in philosophy. He was a professor at USAO for 34 years retiring in 2010. He spent about four years on the city council and served one year as vice mayor. He also served as president of the Chickasha Public Schools Foundation. Alan is survived by his wife Frances, their son Adam and his family, and a sister, Cheryl Sehon and husband Dwain. Memorial contributions may be made to the USAO Child Development Center. Funeral for Alan Todd will be at 2:00 o'clock this afternoon at Chickasha's First Christian Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Hwy 81 Project Through Minco to Begin Soon
Road work scheduled on U.S. Highway 81 through and north of Minco will impact traffic in the area for several months. A resurfacing project is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 9th. Crews will be resurfacing Highway 81 starting one mile south of Minco and then north to the Canadian River Bridge. Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) say the work will be done in the evening and overnight hours between 6 p.m. through 7 a.m. Motorists should expect lane shifts and reduced speed limits. Area residents should be prepared for construction noise and short-term overnight driveway closures. It is a more than $2 million project which was awarded to The Cummins Construction Company of Enid.
Grady Memorial to Hold Free Foot Screenings
Grady Memorial Hospital will be providing free foot screenings. Individuals with foot-related concerns or those having difficulty with their feet are welcome to stop in. The hospital's wound care center will offer the free screenings from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Team members will take a look at the skin on your feet and suggest proper footwear. The screenings are available for everyone. Walk-ins are welcome but they suggest calling ahead to make an appointment at 877-295-2273.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $102.07 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $106.65.
Natural gas is $6.53 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,918 and silver is $23.80.
Funeral service for Harvey Davidson will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 27th at the First Baptist Church of Pocasset. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Aubrey ‘Grant’ Nelson
A graveside service for ‘Grant’ Nelson, 73, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are also with Sevier Funeral Home.
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.