Saturday, May 7th
Salvation Army Deployed to Help Seminole Tornado Victims
A lot of organizations have come forward to lend a hand in Seminole where a tornado caused massive destruction this week. Lt. Crystal McFarland with the Grady and Caddo County Salvation Army was deployed to help the victims. A press release from the Salvation Army says McFarland is serving as an emotional and spiritual care officer. A disabled man in a wheelchair came out as soon as the Salvation Army team arrived. His family was able to take shelter at a neighbor's home as the tornado swept through town. Their mobile home and their vehicle were destroyed. McFarland ministered to the family which had grown to 13 people living in the damaged home next door. McFarland said it was humbling to see how grateful the family was even with their losses. She said it is a reminder that even when times are tough we need to rely on each other and the Lord sends us comfort when we need it.
Lindsay Celebrates Founders Day
The town of Lindsay is celebrating its birthday today. The Lindsay Founders Day will mark the 120th anniversary of the community. Records indicate that in December of 1901, the Rock Island Railroad and the Santa Fe Railroad agreed to meet in an area about halfway between Chickasha and Pauls Valley and just a few months later Lindsay was born. Today’s celebration will include arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, a car show, kids activities, live music from the Wyatt Zane Band, and a parade. Also, the Murray-Lindsay Mansion and the Ryan Taylor Dutton family museum will be open.
Company Reports McClain County Well Completions
We have some oil well completions to report in the area. Casillas Petroleum Resources Partners report the completions in McClain County north of Lindsay in Section 3 of Township 5 North and Range 4 West. Two wells on a single pad were bringing in more than 1,600 barrels of oil equivalent and more than 1,100 Mcf of natural gas per day. The spud date on the wells was last October and completion was in January. The wells were drilled to a depth of more than 18,000 feet.
Kiowa Tribe Chairman-Vice Chairman Election Today
Members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will be electing a new chairman and vice chairman today. Current chairman Matt Komalty who has served the last four years did not run for re-election due to health issues. It's a crowded ballot, with current vice chairman Rhonda Ahhaitty running for chairman along with her vice-chair running mate Kevin Squarcia. Other candidates include the combination of Leonard Spottedbird for chairman and Jacob Tsotigh as vice chair; Charles Eisenberger as chairman and Kylie Callahan as vice chair; and Enoch Kaulaity as chairman and Nylvia Holland as vice chair. There are also four candidates on the ballot for District 1 legislator and two for District 4 legislator.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Tommy Phillips with the Chickasha post office and Steve Riggs, the state chairman of the letter carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive are on the KOOL Konversation. A second segment of the program is with Chase O'Brien and Bud Andrus from the Chickasha Antique Club talking about the group's spring swap meet next week. On Real Estate Today this week’s guests are Wendy King, Patrisha McConnell, and Sheri Thrash with Special Young Adults. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, May 6th
Trial Date to be Set For Coach Alleged to have Raped Players
Former high school and junior high school girls basketball coach Ronald Gene Akins will go to trial on charges that he raped and sexually assaulted some of his players. Akins appeared electronically in front of a judge in Grady County District Court yesterday, and waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the 10 felonies he's been charged with. Akins is to be back in court June 2nd for an arraignment where a trial date will be scheduled. Akins was arrested last June after several former players accused him of coercing them to be intimate with him. Their attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against Akins and others, saying they took their allegations to school officials and law enforcement but neither did anything about the complaints.
Kidnapping Suspect Arrested
A Grady County man is arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting and kidnapping an ex-girlfriend. 40-year old Brandon Keith Pendley of Rush Springs was booked into the Grady County Jail on Wednesday. A probable cause affidavit indicates a deputy sheriff was called to a Duncan hospital late Wednesday night where a woman was being treated for numerous injuries. She said she and Pendley had recently broken up after dating for a couple of years, and he had been following her around. The victim said she was at a friend's house near Lake Taylor south of Rush Springs when Pendley showed up. The two began fighting and the victim tried to leave, but alleged Pendley got in the car with her forced her to drive to his home. The woman said Pendley held her against her will for about 18 hours. The victim was able to escape when Pendley left and she called a relative. Authorities later found Pendley and took him to jail. Pendley has been charged with felony kidnapping and a misdemeanor for assault. He remains in jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.
Grant Sought to Help Upgrade Some Chickasha Water Lines
At Chickasha city hall, the wheels are in motion to obtain a federal grant to help upgrade some of the city's water lines. After an 11-minute public hearing during last night’s city council meeting where no residents spoke either for or against the proposal, the city council approved a resolution to participate in the Community Development Block Grant small cities program. The city will apply for a nearly $200,000 grant to help fund the project. The city will have to match that dollar amount with the funds to be budgeted in the 2023 fiscal year that starts in July. The area where the improvements are planned are generally from Henderson to 4th Street and from Missouri to Alabama Avenue. Officials say once everything is in place it will take about two years for the work to be completed.
Negotations Approved to Consider Purchase of New Ambulances
The council also approved a plan to negotiate with the 522 EMS District to purchase two new ambulances at a cost not to exceed $325,000 each. If approved the EMS District would re-imburse the city for its costs. Any agreement that may be reached would have to return to the council for approval.
Annual Ward 2 Meeting is Monday
Residents in Chickasha's Ward 2 will be able to meet face-to-face with their city council representatives to discuss their concerns. Councilwoman Georgieanne Hebblethwaite and Councilman Nate McAlla will meet constituents at the Shannon Springs Park Bath House Monday evening at 6:30. Those who may have questions can submit them in advance. E-mails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org To find out if you live in Ward 2, a map showing the city's four wards can be seen on the City of Chickasha's website.
Chickasha Farmers Market Opens Tomorrow
The Chickasha Farmers Market will be opening tomorrow. Locally grown produce and other items will be available to the public. The group's Facebook page indicates they will have potted plants, flowers, and seedlings, baked goods, breads, jellies, farm eggs, and honey. Wheeler Farms will be there with some of their products and the Four B’s food truck will be there. The market will once again be located in the parking lot at 7th and Choctaw Avenue across from Dairy Queen. They'll open at 7:00 a.m. and will be there until noon or so. Anyone who would like to be a vendor can get information from the Chickasha Farmers Market Facebook page.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $108.26 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $110.90.
Natural gas is $8.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,883 and silver is $22.46.
A celebration of life for Jack Grisham, 82, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 9th at the Chickasha Country Club. He served in the Army Reserves. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation or Mobile Meals in Chickasha.
Thursday, May 5th
Former Coach Accused of Rape Has Court Appearance Today
Former Ninnekah and Friend girls basketball coach Ron Akins, accused of rape and indecent acts with some of his players, is due in court today. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Grady County District Court. Akins is facing 10 felony counts related to allegations that he groomed several players to have intimate contact with him. Formal charges were filed against Akins last summer. Also, a number of his alleged victims have filed a federal lawsuit against him and others related to the accusations. The victims said they had told school officials and law enforcement about Akins’ actions but nothing was done. Today's preliminary hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence for Akins to stand trial on the charges he's facing. Akins is being represented by Oklahoma City attorneys John Coyle and James Radford.
New Law Expected to Help Victims of Human Trafficking
Legislation approved by the state house and senate designed to give greater protection to victims of human trafficking and child abduction has been signed into law. SB 1569 is called the Address Confidentiality for Child Survivors and their Families Act. Gov. Stitt has signed the bill and it will go into effect November 1st. The measure gives victims of human trafficking and child abduction the ability to keep their addresses confidential to better protect them from stalking, harassment, and from being re-victimized. Officials say it will help address victims' concerns that where they live could be easily discovered through government records. Officials say human traffickers can be relentless so their victims could use this extra layer of protection that the act is expected to provide.
Couple Resumes Walk to Stillwater for Special Olympics
A Chickasha couple will soon be headed to Stillwater...on foot! Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer will be walking to Stillwater in support of Special Olympics. This is the 22nd year for them to make the 125-mile walk. The last couple of years they have done a virtual walk because of COVID but they still made sure they walked the entire 125 miles. That’s the distance from Chickasha to Boone-Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State University where the state Special Olympic games are held. Beth Ann says they will have help from state troopers on the journey.
The walk to Stillwater is preceded by Craig's Walk which will be held tonight. It is a memorial for Stewart and Beth Ann's son Craig who died in a plane crash several years ago. Craig's Walk will be held at the Chickasha High School football field from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where supporters will gather to also raise money for Special Olympics. Beth Ann said the goal tonight is to have all the participants walk a combined 125 miles to match her and Stewart's journey. The Tim Brauer and First Look Band will perform. The Myer's will start their walk to Stillwater tomorrow morning. They'll walk 20 to 25 miles each day and will arrive at OSU in time for the opening ceremonies of the state games next Wednesday.
Grady Cattle Group Becomes Unified with State Association
Grady County Cattle Producers have elected to become a unified county with the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. The move was approved during the group's recent annual meeting. About 140 were in attendance. Harold Gillenwaters was recognized as being named the Cattleman of the Year by the state association and he received citations from State Representatives Dick Lowe (R-Amber) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) and State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle). In the carcass contest for the youth, Boston Schenk of Chickasha had the champion overall steer; Clair Janssen of Ampo had the reserve; and Ladd Turner, also of Ampo was third. Schenk also had the steer with best carcass; Brady Mitchell of Friend had the steer with the best weight gain; and Blake Janssen of Ampo had the best interview.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $107.81 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $110.14.
Natural gas is $8.41 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,896 and silver is $23.04
A graveside service for Carolyn Seely, 90, of Chickasha will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 6th at the Mount Olive Cemetery in Pauls Valley. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Wednesday, May 4th
Chickasha Clean-up Days Set
Chickasha city and business leaders have again joined forces to hold a city-wide clean-up campaign. The clean-up will be next week starting Monday, May 9th and running through Sunday, May 15th. Chickasha City Manager Tyler Brooks said it’s an opportunity to show civic pride. Economic Development Council (EDC) director Jim Cowan said it’s much more than spring clean-up - it’s about growing a culture of being proud of where we work and live. In addition to the city and EDC, Cherokee Temps is helping to sponsor the event. Here's what is scheduled - several large roll-off dumpsters will be located throughout the city including Washita Valley Park; 6th and Frisco; Borden Park (on Iowa Avenue across from the high school baseball field); Centennial Park, and at Willard Hall at USAO (18th and Grand). Items that should not be put in the dumpsters include tires, batteries, oil, pesticides, liquids, hazardous materials, concrete or Freon. For information follow the Economic Development Council on Facebook.
Chix City Council Meeting Re-scheduled
A special meeting of the Chickasha City Council has been scheduled for tomorrow night. The panel's meeting this past Monday night was canceled because of severe weather. All the items that were supposed to be discussed at that time are to be reviewed at tomorrow night's meeting. That includes the public hearing on a nearly $200,000 Community Development Block Grant to improve part of the city's water distribution where low water pressure is an issue. The panel will also consider using American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase a server and other computer equipment. The group will also consider approving a resolution to establish a crosswalk at 2nd and Michigan Avenue. The council will meet at 6:30 tomorrow night at City Hall.
Grady County Museum Curator Pat Cunningham
Earns Top Honor at Chamber of Commerce Banquet
A number of awards were doled out at the 99th annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet. Pat Cunningham, the curator of the Grady County Historical Society Museum and long-time teacher was the top honoree as she was inducted into the Civic Hall of Fame. Josh Woods and Zach Grayson of the InterUrban restaurant, and who created the Oklahoma Food Truck Championships were named co-Citizens of the Year; Zack Bowles with the Life Skills Institute and Resurrection House is the Volunteer of the Year; the City of Chickasha's Public Works Director David Buchanan is the Public Servant of the Year; Kelly Wilkerson of Chicken Express who is also a USAO Regent is the Woman of the Year; Baity Screw Machine Products is the Small Business of the Year; Grady Memorial Hospital is the Business of the Year; and Kristen McGregor and Kristyn Allbritton with the Oh-18 Magazine are The Young Professionals of the Year. Margaret Davis received the Legacy Ambassador Award for 30 years of service to the Chamber Ambassadors and a surprise Chairman's award was presented to Chamber President and Economic Development Council Director Jim Cowan.
State FFA Convention Wraps Up in Tulsa
A lot of FFA students in the area are joining their colleagues at the State FFA Convention. For the first time the convention is being held in Tulsa. State Agriculture Secretary Blayne Arthur, who is a Chickasha native, says it is an opportunity to meet youth who will go on to do great things.
The state FFA convention will wrap up today with the naming of the Stars of Oklahoma and the announcement of the new state officer team.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $102.41 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $104.97.
Natural gas is $7.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,870 and silver is $22.67.
Erma Dee Harrison
Funeral service for Erma Dee Harrison, 98, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 6th at the First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A graveside service for William Grimes, 82, Kent, Washington will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 7th at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, May 3rd
Violent Storms Drop Twisters, Hail on the Region
As many as 10 tornadoes are reported to have touched down from the powerful thunderstorms that moved through much of Oklahoma Monday afternoon and evening. One of them was in Cyril where a mobile home was flipped over and a nearby brick home had heavy roof damage. Fortunately the residents were not at home. There were no reports of deaths nor serious injuries from any of the storms. A tornado watch was first issued for much of the state about 2:00 p.m. Monday and the first severe weather hit the north-central part of the state about 3:30 p.m. Tornado warnings were issued for Grady and Caddo counties from a storm that originated near Apache and moved east-northeast. Storm sirens wailed in Chickasha a couple of times as a supercell thunderstorm closed in on the city around 6:00 p.m. Much of the region was pummeled with pea- and marble-sized hail although much larger hail was witnessed throughout the county. While the Grady County Emergency Management Agency had reports of ping-pong ball sized hail, photos sent to our partners at KWTV News 9 showed a baseball- sized hail stone in Chickasha and a grapefruit-sized stone in Pocasset. Heavy rainfall caused some minor flooding in low-lying areas including a section of U.S. Highway 81 near Country Club Road.
Storm Forces Cancelation of City Council Meeting
The severe weather forced officials to cancel the Chickasha City Council meeting that was scheduled Monday evening. The agenda included a public hearing on a community development block grant for a project to improve a part of the city's water distribution system. The items scheduled to be considered will be placed on the agenda of another meeting to be scheduled later.
Storms Arrive the Day Before Anniversary of Deadly 1999 Tornado
Today marks the anniversary of one of the largest tornadoes on record which swept through the Sooner State. It was May 3rd, 1999 when an F5 tornado killed 41 people and caused an estimated $1 billion in damage. Like yesterday’s weather that storm also started near Apache. It destroyed a home south of Verden then tracked to the Chickasha airport where a couple of hangars were damaged. The huge tornado formed near Amber then tore through Bridge Creek where four people died. The massive twister then moved on to Moore and Oklahoma City. Wind speeds were recorded at more than 300 miles per hour and the tornado was on the round for nearly an hour and a half and left a 38-mile path of destruction.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Set
It's called the largest one-day food drive in the country. The National Letter Carriers Association, rural mail carriers, and post offices across throughout America unite in what's called the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Nationwide, individuals are being asked to put some non-perishable food items next to their mailboxes on Saturday, May 14th. The food drive was canceled the previous two years because of the coronavirus so letter carriers are excited about the return of the event. All the food will be collected by mail carriers, family members, and other volunteers that day. The food will be distributed that afternoon to local food banks in each community. The food drive is supported by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma which serves hundreds of communities throughout central and western Oklahoma. A plastic bag will be sent out in the mail within the next few days that residents can use. A follow-up post card will also be sent reminding postal patrons of the food drive on the 14th. Food may also be taken to local post offices. Individuals can also donate money to the food drive with a simple text message. Individuals can text the word 'food' to 501-501 to make a $10 donation. Every dollar donated helps to provide four meals. In the 30 years since the national Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive first started in 1992 nearly 12 million pounds of food and $10 million has been donated to fight hunger in Oklahoma.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $105.17 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $109.36.
Natural gas is $7.47 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,860 and silver is 22.71.
Mary Ann Vinyard
Funeral service for Mary Ann Vinyard, 89, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 6th at Epworth Methodist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://act.alz.org/donate or any charity of your choice.
Monday, May 2nd
Deadly Crash in Blanchard Under Investigation
A weekend rollover crash in Blanchard which claimed the life of Norman man remains under investigation. 44-year old James Daughtery died in the accident that happened just before 10:00 p.m. Saturday along U.S. Highway 62 near South Truman and South Ford Avenues. The highway patrol reports that Daughtery failed to go around a curve on the highway, crossed the center median, crashed into a ditch, then the car rolled several times.
Water Line Upgrades Up for Discussion by Chix City Council
A public hearing concerning a grant to improve part of Chickasha's water distribution system will be held by the city council tonight. The city has been awarded a nearly $200,000 Community Development Block Grant for the project. The target area is between Henderson Street on the east and 4th Street on the west - and from Missouri Avenue on the north to Alabama Avenue on the south. It is a matching grant program so the city will also have to kick in an additional $200,000 to make it a nearly $400,000 project. The city will also consider approving an anti-displacement and relocation assistance plan in conjunction with the work. No residents are expected to lose their homes should the project be approved.
Ambulances, Public Pool, Volunteer Program Also up for Discussion
The council is also expected to approve a proposal to purchase two new ambulances at a total cost not to exceed $325,000. If approved, the county's 522 EMS district is expected to reimburse the city. The council is also expected to approve a contract with the Chickasha Area YMCA to manage the public pool at Shannon Springs Park this summer; and consider establishing a volunteer program for the city and approve an application and a handbook that includes guidelines and requirements for volunteers. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Doug Prince, Former Grady County Commissioner Dies
Former Grady County Commissioner Doug Prince has died. Prince was 78 when he passed away last Friday. Prince served as county commissioner for eight years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He also worked as a truck driver. He grew up in Pauls Valley where he played high school basketball and led the state in scoring in his junior and senior years. He also coached Little League baseball, softball, and football teams for 50 years. Survivors include his wife of more than 60 years, Glorida; son Mark and wife Mechelle, son Ron; and daughter Angie. Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 5 at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Chix Tourism Work Touted
A lot of things have taken shape over the last few years to increase tourism in Chickasha. The Oklahoma Food Truck Championship and a replica of The Leg Lamp from the holiday film classic ‘A Christmas Story’ movie are just a couple of events that bring thousands of visitors to the city each year. Those events started with an idea from one person which grew to get community support. Bill Geist, a destination marketing coordinator with a group called DMOProz, addressed that very issue at the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce annual banquet last Friday night. He said many times an idea is shot down because people who may oppose an idea are more vocal about it.
Geist said individuals who support ideas like a new park by the Rock Island Railroad Depot should share their thoughts with city leaders to get their opinions heard.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $104.69 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $109.34.
Natural gas is $7.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,879 and silver is $22.70.
Funeral service for Sheila Hart, 73, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 3rd at Holy Name Catholic Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Barrett Rhyne, 23 months, will be at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 3rd at the Alex High School Gymnasium. Memorial contributions may be made to the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital's Child Life and Expressive Therapies or the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Venita Fay Parker
Funeral service for Venita Fay Parker, 82, of Bradley will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 4th at New Beginnings Church in Blanchard. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.