Saturday, May 21st
Ninnekah Road Project Nears Completion
Roadways in and around Ninnekah are safer now after work crews have nearly finished a project that was first proposed about 15 years ago. A ceremony dedicating the completion of the work was held yesterday, with a number of town, school, county, and state officials attending along with the contractor, engineering and architectural teams there as well. Ninnekah Mayor Vernon Riddle says it's made a big difference.
Former District 3 County Commissioner Jack Porter first proposed the project back in 2007. Current commissioner Ralph Beard said it was first put on the county's six-year road plan in 2010 and was delayed several times. The money for the improvements came from a state fund to improve county roads and bridges. An estimated five miles of roads and streets were upgraded including old Highway 81 from State Highway 19 south to Ninnekah; Main Street from Old 81 east to the town limits; the Highway 277 extension from New Highway 81 to east old Highway 81; and Old Fred Road. Two new bridges were built over the Little Washita River. One of the improved intersections was the Nelsonville Y which is now a T-intersection. Beard said a short punch-list of items need to be taken care of before its finalized.
When it was first proposed the estimated cost of the project was about $5.2 million. The final price tag was about $9.2 million making it one of the largest small-town projects paid for from the state's county road and bridge fund. Officials had to obtain 113 rights-of-way to relocate utilities. The construction started in January of 2021 and was finished last month. Sewell Brothers of Oklahoma City was the contractor for the project.
Kiowa Black Leggings Society Honors Veterans, Doctor
Several military veterans of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma are being honored this weekend in a century's old tradition by the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society. Among them are Retired Army Sgt.-Major Richard Rocha, III who will be initiated into the revered society. Rocha served nearly 29 years of distinguished service. Dr. Everett Rhoades, who is already a member of the Black Leggings Society, will be honored for his years of dedicated service to the group. Rhoades currently serves as a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the OU Health Sciences Center. Previously he served as the first Indian Director of the U.S. Indian Health Service and also was Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service. Parker Emhoolah will receive a South Korean Peace Medal; and Army veteran Orville Paukei will be recognized by his family for his service in the Vietnam War. Paukei was a Specialist 4th Class of the 5th Special Forces Group. Frank Palmer, served as Chief Aviation Boatsman mate for Aviation and Surface Warfare will also be honored by his family. He retired from the Navy after serving nearly 21 years. The ceremonies will be held at Indian City south of Anadarko both today and tomorrow.
Friday, May 20th
Judge Issues 150-year Prison Sentence in Child Porn Case
A Caddo County man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after submitting a blind plea of no-contest to numerous charges of having child porn and obscene material. 66-year old Dave Olen Carter of Apache was sentenced to 150 years behind bars. Despite entering the blind plea and asking for mercy from the court District Judge Kory Kirkland issued the maximum sentences possible for each count. The Lawton Constitution reports that Carter was sentenced to 20 years on each of five counts of possession of child porn and 10 years on each of five counts of having obscene material. The charges stem from a lengthy investigation by the OSBI which began looking into child molestation allegations against Carter in 2018. The investigation led to the OSBI seizing Carter's computer where numerous disturbing images were found on its hard drive.
Chix City Council to Hold Budget Work Session
The fiscal year is winding down for city, county, and Oklahoma state governments. All only have six weeks to get their 2023 fiscal year budgets in place before the year begins July 1st. The Chickasha City Council will have a special work session tomorrow to work on the budgets for the City of Chickasha, the Chickasha Municipal Authority, and the Chickasha Airport Authority. The work session is open to the public and it will get underway at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at City Hall. All three budget proposals will have to be presented in a public hearing during a regular city council meeting next month before the budgets can be approved.
Blood 'Emergency' Still in Effect;
Several Blood Drives Scheduled
Officials with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) say there is still a critical need for blood. The agency is well below their three-to-four-day supply of blood. Zelda Sullivan with the OBI says the institute needs 1,200 units of blood daily for the hospitals they serve including those throughout central and southwest Oklahoma and north Texas. There is a Chickasha community blood drive tomorrow from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The OBI bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue and walk-ups are welcome. Future blood drives in the area include one at the Marlow First Baptist Church on Tuesday, May 24th and another Chickasha community blood drive will be Tuesday, May 31st also at the YMCA. Find a blood drive in your area by going to the Oklahoma Blood Institute's website: www.obi.org
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Election Board Secretary Katrina Hughes will be on our KOOL Konversation discussing recent precinct changes and what voters should do ahead of the June 28th primary election. On Real Estate Today this week's guests are Shae Mortimer with the City of Chickasha and Mitch Williams with the Chickasha Wings Flying School. They'll be providing information about the Wings and Wheels Air Show that will be held at the Chickasha Airport on Saturday, June 4th. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $112.21 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $112.04.
Natural gas is $8.31 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,851 and silver is $22.06.
Luther ‘Pat’ Hodges
Funeral service for ‘Pat’ Hodges, 90, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 21st at the Amber First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, May 19th
A $9.8 Billion Budget Proposal Sent to Gov. Stitt
A record $9.8 billion budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year budget for the State of Oklahoma has been sent to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his consideration. It includes an increase in spending for education, pay raises for some state workers (including a 30 percent raise for state troopers), and direct sales tax-rebate payments to taxpayers of up to $150 to help offset inflation. The proposal does not include the elimination of sales taxes on groceries. While the governor and leaders in both parties supported the idea officials said it would be more expensive than the tax rebate plan. The measure does include eliminating the sales tax on the purchase of cars and trucks. Among the issues getting overwhelming bi-partisan support is historic funding intended to eliminate the 13-year waiting list for developmental disability services. If the rebate plan remains in the final budget approved by the governor the rebate payments would be sent out later this year.
Chickasha Hosts Junior High Rodeo Association State Finals
Dozens of junior high school rodeo competitors are arriving in Chickasha today for the state finals of the Oklahoma Junior High School Rodeo Association. About 70 competitors will be checking in at the Grady County Fairgrounds. They'll be looking to earn enough points to qualify for the national junior high school rodeo in Des Moines, Iowa next month. Initially, the contestants will be working to get into the top 15 in their respective events where they would qualify for the short-go on Saturday. The top four in each event after Saturday’s go-round will qualify for nationals. Events include team roping, saddle bronc riding, ribbon roping, pole pending, goat tying, and bull riding. The first rodeo events will start at 4:30 this afternoon and there will be a grand entry parade. The competition runs through Saturday with awards handed out on Sunday. There is free admission to all the events.
Chix High School Seniors Earn Numerous Scholarships
A number of Chickasha High School seniors were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships which were announced at the senior awards banquet earlier this week. Several were recognized as Oklahoma Academic Scholars including Embry Josey, Clayton Edwards, Baylee Bradford, Pike Butler, and Amelia Bond. Bond and Butler were named the best All-Around Students. The Chickasha Public School Foundation issued the Dunnell Scholarship to Pike Butler; an Academic Scholarship to Sydney Stockstill; and the Jan Storms Memorial Scholarship to Lana James. Emry Josey and Matt Yokum received Rod Carroll Memorial Scholarships and Josey and Abbegail Pettit were awarded Denton Reese Walker Scholarships. Yokum, Kazia Miller, and Alexa Snyder were presented with Diane and Larry Brown Family Scholarships; Snyder was also awarded the H.F. and Mary Ellen Virgin Scholarship. Keaton McKinney and Matt Yokum were awarded the Shelter Foundation Scholarship; Ethan Brooks and Emry Josey were presented with the Tims/Drummond Memorial Scholarship. Brianna Alexander received the Mildred Kasper Pay-it-Forward Scholarship. Emry Josey received the Chickasha United Teaching Association Scholarship. Josey, Pike Butler, Quentin Mantooth and Matt Yokum all received Craig Meyer Memorial Scholarships; Timmy Pursley was awarded the Dave Tapp Memorial Scholarship; and Clayton Edwards and Abbegail Pettit were awarded the Duane and Villa Rae Carter Scholarship.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $109.50 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $109.11.
Natural gas is $8.37 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,834 and silver is $21.54.
USAO Softball Team Qualifies for NAIA
Women's College World Series
The USAO Drover softball team has earned a spot in the NAIA Women’s College World Series. The Drovers defeated College of Idaho 5-2 at USAO’S Bill Smith Ballpark yesterday to win one of the opening rounds of the NAIA National Softball Tournament. It is the sixth time in school history for the team to qualify for the NAIA version of the Women’s College World Series. The team will be looking to win its second national championship. The first one was in 2018.
Wednesday, May 18th
Nearly 50 Pounds of Illegal Pot Seized During Traffic Stop
A state trooper finds nearly 50 pounds of illegal marijuana during a traffic stop. The trooper pulled over a pickup on the H.E. Baley Turnpike in Caddo County Monday morning for not signaling to change lanes. The Lawton Constitution cites a probable cause affidavit indicating the trooper noticed a strong odor of marijuana in the truck. The trooper found three large trash bags with 47 pounds of pot which allegedly was for illicit distribution. There was no indication that the driver had a medical marijuana license. The trooper arrested 53-year old Guang Lian Li who listed a Cyril address. Prosecutors have charged Li with trafficking, which carries maximum penalties of 20 years to life in prison and a $100,000 fine. Li is being held in the Caddo County Jail on a $250,000 bond and a preliminary hearing conference is set for July 28th.
Survey Seeks Input on Future Transportation Needs
Time is running out to take part in a survey regarding the future of transportation in the region. A group called the Southwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization is looking for input. The area includes much of central and western Oklahoma including Grady, Caddo, Comanche, Stephens, and McClain counties. The Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) and the Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) are also involved. The group is looking to address future road, transit, and freight needs as well as bicycle and pedestrian travel needs in the next 20 years. Officials say the survey takes about five minutes to complete. Survey responses need to completed by tomorrow night. The link is: https://surveymonkey.com/r/6VV9GTL
Partnership Formed to Keep Downtown Chix Clean
There is a new effort to keep downtown Chickasha free of trash, debris, and weeds. The Chickasha Economic Development Council (EDC) and Life Skills institute (LSI) are working together to make that happen. The area getting the attention is from 1st Street to 6th Street along both Chickasha and Choctaw Avenues. The EDC will be asking downtown merchants to sponsor one month of the clean-up by contributing to LSI’s work program. Life Skills institute is a non-profit agency. EDC director Jim Cowan says as work on revitalizing downtown continues it's important to focus on the small details. Cowan said in addition to this project other cosmetic improvements are planned to get ready for block parties like Christmas in July; The Oklahoma Food Truck Championship, Rock Island Arts Festival, and Rock Island Ride all in October; and the opening of the new park next to the Rock Island Railroad depot.
New Law Designed to Allow Firefighters
to Transport Injured People to Hospitals
A new law will keep firefighters from facing disciplinary action if they transport injured patients to a hospital. Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed SB 1515 which gives firefighters legal authority to transport patients. State lawmakers passed the bill which was proposed after a firefighter was disciplined for driving a 3-year old burn victim to a hospital in his fire truck after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance. State Senator Darrell Weaver (R-Moore) said the new law will ensure that important protocols are followed but does allow for flexibility in emergency situations. The law will go into effect in November.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $112.40 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $111.92.
Natural gas is $8.30 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,817 and silver is $21.73.
Tuesday, May 17th
Chix Water Transmission Line
from Ft. Cobb Reservoir Repaired
City of Chickasha work crews have repaired the main water line that brings water from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir to Chickasha. City Manager Tyler Brooks said crews were able to make repairs last Friday without any disruption of the city’s water service. The break in the line was discovered near a holding pond north of Anadarko earlier this spring. City officials had to special order some large custom-made O-rings about two feet in diameter to make repairs. It took about a month for those parts to be manufactured at an Oklahoma City plant. Officials had the company make several of the coupling joints so the city could have some on hand in case of future breaks.
Council Moves Forward with Plan to Allow 'Congregate' Housing
The Chickasha City Council has given its preliminary approval to suggest changing some zoning ordinances to allow for what's called congregate housing. The proposal was discussed during a short public hearing during last night's city council meeting. Developer Josh Woods remodeled a home in the 1800 block of Grand Avenue across from USAO and he petitioned the council to modify residential zoning ordinances to allow property owners to apply for a use-on-review permit. It would allow for college students or other un-related adults to live in a home. The city’s Community Development Department will work with the planning commission to suggest the revision and bring it back to the council for final approval.
More Funds OK'd to Help Bring More Planes to City Air Show
The council also approved spending about $8,400 to bring some additional aircraft in for the city's wings and wheels air show on June 4th. The contracts are mainly to help pay fuel costs for some of the groups as most are performing at no cost. City Manager Tyler Brooks says the air show will have more events in the air and the ground than ever before.
YMCA to Manage pool; DAV Lease Renewed;
Elks Lodge Fishing Derby is a 'Go'
The council approved a contract with the Chickasha Family YMCA to manage the swimming pool at Shannon Springs Park this summer. The pool is expected to be open after Memorial Day. The group also approved a lease with the Grady County Disabled American Veterans to continue using its current headquarters at 6th and Chickasha Avenue. The panel also approved a request from the Chickasha Elks Lodge to hold its annual fishing derby at Shannon Springs Park on June 11th.
Fire Board to Discuss Status of Norge Firefighter
A closed-door session scheduled during tonight’s monthly Grady County Fire Board meeting concerns the status of a Naples fire fighter. No details were available, however the agenda for tonight’s meeting calls for discussing the employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, disciplining or resignation of Robert Keith Henry. The panel will acknowledge Cassandra Anderson and Ethan Warren as new firefighters at Naples. The group will also consider an application from John Journeycake to serve with the Harold department. The fire board will get reports from county fire chiefs; discuss and possibly take action on inventory for all stations and firefighter gear; and get an update on the Pioneer Fire Department’s insurance claim and invoice on repairs for a damaged engine. There will also be discussion of American Rescue Plan Act monies and requests and an update on a new part-time assistant for the office. The group will also hear a presentation from Blake Braden, the NRP Director of Operations of Heartland Medical Direction. The fire board meets at 7 o'clock tonight in the community room of the Grady County Emergency Management complex.
Chix High School Seniors Celebrate 'Senior Week'
This is the last week of classes for students in Chickasha schools. High School seniors had their final day yesterday with semester tests and now they get ready for graduation later this week. Last night, the seniors had their parade through downtown Chickasha with family and friends gathering for a salute. This morning, they had what's called the Senior Walk-through. They donned their caps and gowns and strolled through the hallways of Lincoln School, Bill Wallace, and Grand Elementary. Tonight is the senior academic and athletic awards banquet; they’ll have a play-day in Norman tomorrow; and the class picnic and wall painting will be Thursday on the back of the concrete wall that has the football schedule on it. The senior breakfast will be Friday morning at Bible Baptist Church with graduation Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the high school auditorium. The top two Valedictorians, Amanda Bond and Pike Butler, will give speeches.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $114.20 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $114.24.
Natural gas is $7.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,827 and silver is $21.81.
Beth Ann Anderson
Funeral service for Beth Ann Anderson, 64, of Alex was held at 2:00 p.m. today at the Alex High School gymnasium. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service Inez ‘June’ Hendrix, 92, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 18th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Ella Marie Chapman
Funeral service for Ella Marie Chapman, 100, of Cushing and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 20th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, May 16th
Grady County Sheriff Hopes to Hire Additional Deputies
An increase in crime throughout Grady County has Sheriff Jim Weir concerned. He's looking to add some additional deputies in the coming months. Weir already has a budget of more than $2 million a year but says he needs more deputies to handle an increasing number of calls.
Weir also said a number of deputies have accumulated comp time from working overtime. Weir and other county officials will be submitting their budget requests soon which will be reviewed by the county excise board. The 2023 fiscal year begins in July.
Sheriff's Office to Hold K9 Fundraiser
Also, the sheriff's office is revitalizing its K9 officer program. There will be a spaghetti lunch and dinner fundraiser to benefit that program tomorrow. That will be at the Grady County Fairgrounds and is a donation event.
'Congregate' Housing Proposal to Get Public Hearing
A proposal to change a Chickasha zoning ordinance to allow congregate living facilities will get a public hearing during tonight's city council meeting. Josh Woods has petitioned the city for the change. The revision calls for a use-on-review permit which would allow university students or other un-related individuals to live in a home in R-1 single-family housing areas. Following the public hearing the city council is expected to hand off the proposal to the city’s Planning Commission to get the process started.
More Police Department Equipment to be Discussed
The council will also consider buying some hand-held radios with lapel microphones for the police department. The estimated cost of nearly $41,000 would be reimbursed by the county's 522 EMS district.
Development Agreement for New Tea Shop Proposed
The group will also consider a development agreement with Moonlight Ownership Company for a cost-sharing project not to exceed $32,000. That is for the new H-Tea-Oh business proposed for the corner of 4th and Missouri.
Wings and Wheels Event to Expand
The council will also consider some additional activities for the upcoming Wings and Wheels air show on June 4th. That includes a contract with the Oklahoma Museum of Flying to provide up to $3,000 in fuel costs. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Comanche Nation Receives HUD Funds
More than $1 million in federal funds will help the Comanche Nation build some new homes. The Comanche Nation Housing Authority was awarded the funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for COVID relief. It would help the authority with its prevention, preparation, and response efforts to the pandemic through new housing construction as well as rehabilitating older homes. The Lawton Constitution reports that the grant is part of the Indian Community Development Block Grant Imminent-Threat American Rescue Plan. Plans are to build 12 new homes and install ventilation systems in 15 homes. The housing authority serves Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Cotton, and Tillman Counties.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $110.49 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $111.55.
Natural gas is $7.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,802 and silver is $21.14.
Funeral service for Mareitta ‘Rita’ Davis, 83, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 17th at Southern Oaks Church of Christ. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Mary Threadgill, 90, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 18th at Sevier Funeral Home.