Saturday, July 16th
Suspect Accused of Shooting Girlfriend
A Chickasha man already on probation on a felony conviction is in more legal trouble after allegedly shooting his girlfriend and holding her captive. 27-year old Clifton Jermaine Holder was taken into custody this week after a warrant was issued for his arrest. A probable cause affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates that officers were called to a home in the 1700 block of South Henderson in the early-morning hours of June 19th where a woman was allegedly shot in the arm during a confrontation with Holder. The victim said that Holder was acting paranoid and believed someone was after him. The victim said she tried to leave but Holder waved a gun at her and would not let her out. At one point, she again tried to get out and as Holder pointed the weapon at her she tried grabbed the gun and he shot her in in the arm. The victim said she didn't know she was hurt until she went next door. She was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where she had surgery but was later released. Prosecutors have charged Holder with kidnapping, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and having a firearm after a previous conviction. Holder remains in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Suspect Arrested for Threatening to Kill his Mother
A man is behind bars facing an assault charge after allegedly threatening to kill his mother with knife. 29-year old Jeremy Edward Madison of Chickasha was taken into custody this week after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The arrest stems from an incident that occurred three months ago. The arrest warrant affidavit indicates Chickasha police were called to a home in the 600 block of North 7th Street in April to investigate a disturbance. A woman said her son was burning wires on a barbecue grill and she asked him to stop. The son became angry, grabbed a knife, cursed her, and threatened to kill her. The woman yelled for help and a man working on the roof went inside to see what was going on. The man saw the son with a knife standing over his mother and threatening to kill her. The son eventually left the house. Prosecutors have charged Madison with a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He remains in jail on a $15,000 bond. He's had previous arrests on drug and assault and battery crimes.
Search Resumes for Missing Duncan Woman
The search continues for an elderly Duncan woman missing now for more than a month. 84-year old Margie Pickens was last heard from June 15th. She had sent a text message to her landlord saying she was headed to the family farm east of Duncan. KSWO-TV reports that Oklahoma City Search and Rescue has been active in trying to help find Pickens. Officials say she may have some mental health issues as there were reports that she thought the CIA was after her. This weekend, the search team plans on looking in road sides and ditches. Authorities also said she carried a black suitcase and satchel with her where ever she went and that they are looking for those items.. Anyone with information about Margie Pickens is asked to contact local law enforcement or Duncan police.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego and Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music are on the KOOL Konversation program. And Pat Cunningham with the Grady County Historical Society and Museum is on Real Estate Today. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A private memorial service will be held for Deborah Butler, 64, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, July 15th
Officials Issue Advisory for Midwest Power Grid
The heat wave covering much of the Midwest has prompted an advisory notice from the board that oversees the power grid operation in the region. The Southwest Power Pool issued the advisory for more than a dozen states as extreme heat covers the area from Texas to North Dakota and Montana due to high electricity demand and resource availability. The website OK Energy Today reports the advisory does not require consumers to conserve electricity, an effort which would help prevent the need for rolling blackouts. The Conservative Operations Advisory will go into effect at noon today with an anticipated end at 10 o'clock tonight.
Rape Suspect Arrest for Failure to Appear
A Chickasha man accused of the rape of teen-aged girl nearly two years ago has been arrested for not showing up for a court appearance. 20-year old Ronald Merritt of was out of jail on bond after being arrested and charged with one count of rape in May of 2021. A 17-year old girl told Chickasha police that Merritt had raped her numerous times over a three-month time frame in 2020. Merritt was supposed to be in court this past April but he was a no-show and a warrant for his arrest was issued. A Grady County deputy picked him up Wednesday morning. Merritt remains in jail in lieu of an $80,000 bond. He is to announce his attorney next week and a preliminary hearing conference has been set for July 27th.
Minco Man Suspected of Drug Distribution
Minco police arrest a suspect for allegedly distributing methamphetamine. 58-year old Harold Lee Norman was taken into custody early Monday. A probable cause affidavit from Minco police indicates an officer initially questioned Norman about suspected criminal activity at a local business. The officer said Norman was nervous during the interview and thought he might have a weapon. During a routine pat down the officer found a knife and a couple of baggies that had about 30 grams of substances which field-tested positive for meth. Norman said he got the baggies from a friend and he was going to sell them for about $300. Prosecutors have formally charged Norman with a felony for drug possession with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor for having drug paraphernalia. Norman remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $40,000 bond.
Water Emergency Declared in Apache
A water emergency has been issued in Apache. Due to heavy water usage the community is experiencing low water pressure and there were concerns that there may not be enough water pressure to fight fires. Residents are asked to water their landscapes – but not their lawns - only once a week, with even-numbered addresses allowed to water on Tuesdays and odd-numbered addresses allowed to water on Thursdays. The school district can water athletic fields for two hours on Wednesdays. Apache Town Clerk and Treasurer Gena Montgomery told KSWO-TV that when water is scarce the fire department's ability to fight fires outweighs the need to water lawns. The emergency is in effect for 30 days during which time the splash pad at the town park will be closed.
New Kiowa Tribe Leaders to be Sworn In
The newly-elected chairman and vice chairman of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will take their oaths of office today. Chairman-elect Lawrence Spottedbird and vice chairman-elect Jacob Tsotigh will be sworn during a ceremony at the tribe's headquarters in Carnegie. The new leaders began the day with a breakfast in Hobart then moved on to Carnegie for a mid-morning cedar ceremony, with the swearing in ceremony at noon. Spottedbird takes over the chairman's post from Matt Komalty who held the post the last four years. Komalty did not run for re-election due to health issues.
Chix Construction Firm Employees Honored
A couple of employees at a Chickasha company earn some state recognition. Dennis Downs and Zach Parnell of CMS Willowbrook pick up honors from the Journal Record as part of its Excellence in Construction and Real Estate Awards program. Downs is a project manager and was noted for his work with the construction of a new Homeland grocery store in Oklahoma City. Parnell is a project engineer and was presented with the Rising Star Award. His current project is a new housing development in Oklahoma City and he has also worked on a $135 million bond project for Mid-Del Schools.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $95.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $99.10.
Natural gas is $6.60 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,699 and silver is $18.17.
Thursday, July 14th
Bottled Water Drive for Chix City Workers Underway
The long-range weather forecast shows that much of Oklahoma will be impacted by an intense heat wave with several consecutive days with high temperatures over 100-degrees. That can take a toll on workers who may have to spend an extended amount time in the heat. The City of Chickasha has started a water drive to help the many city workers who will be out in the heat. Fire Chief Tony Samaniego says the donations would be extremely helpful. His crews have been under-going some extensive training.
In addition to firefighters, police officers can also spend an extended amount of time in the heat. So do public works employees working on street and water line repairs, along with parks and recreation department crews with their mowing and other demands. Water donations can be dropped off at city hall, the police department, Fire Station No. 1, the public works department, and the library.
OSBI Warns of Phony Phone Calls
A scam alert has been issued by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). Officials say citizens have reached out to the agency complaining that they are getting phones calls from individuals posing as OSBI representatives. Some say the callers threaten to open an investigation into the potential victim. Others say that callers identify themselves as OSBI agents threatening arrests unless money or other things of value are provided. The authorized OSBI Facebook page says the OSBI will never ask for money or valuable items to make an investigation go away. If you are ever in doubt about who is contacting you, get the name of the caller if you can and hang up, then call the OSBI and ask for verification of the caller's identity.
Biker Hospitalized After Hitting Deer
A motorcycle rider is hospitalized after hitting a deer in southwest Oklahoma. 39-year old Seth McCool of Mt. View was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and was admitted in fair condition with head, trunk, and arm injuries. The highway patrol reports that the accident happened about 5:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon south of Mt. View and east of Cooperton in Kiowa County.
Grady County Health Board Adds New Rep
A new member has been appointed to the Grady County Board of Health. County Commissioners have appointed Kristi Keller to the panel. Her term begins immediately and will run through January 3rd of 2024. Keller also serves as a member of the Access Health Clinic Board, the Ninnekah Safe and Healthy Schools Committee, and was a medical volunteer at the Oklahoma City memorial marathon this year. Grady County Health Department Administrator Daryn Kirkpatrick says Keller will be actively involved in identifying public health problems and leading community efforts to solve them. Keller joins Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley, County Commissioner Ralph Beard, LaRonda McCarther, and Alton Rawlins on the five-member panel.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $96.30 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $99.57.
Natural gas is $6.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,711 and silver is $18.80.
Wednesday, July 13th
Anadarko Asked to Conserve Electricity
Residents in Anadarko were asked to conserve electricity Monday as demand for power is on the rise because of searing temperatures over the last couple of weeks. The City of Anadarko posted the news on its Facebook page. The city provides power to the community through the Anadarko Public Works Authority (APWA) which purchases electricity from Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC). The post indicated that WFEC advised that the heat wave that has settled on western Oklahoma and much of the U.S. is driving an increased demand for electricity and that other grid operators are under similar conservation measures. In addition to the heat wave, low wind is a factor as wind-generated electricity is coming in at less than 10 percent capacity. Officials say ways to conserve electricity include turning up the thermostat a couple of degrees and by turning off or even unplugging non-essential lights and appliances. Other tips include - avoid running large appliances like washers, dryers, and electric ovens during peak energy use times between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Also, avoid watering lawns and washing cars during peak hours.
Man Suspected of Holding Loaded Gun to Woman's Head
A Rush Springs man is facing a weapons charge after allegedly pointing a gun at a woman. A probable cause affidavit from the Grady County Sheriff's Office indicates a deputy was called to a convenience store in Ninnekah over the weekend where the distraught victim said she and the suspect had been arguing about money. She reported the suspect grabbed a gun, cocked it, then held the gun against her head. Investigators went to the suspect's home and arrested 48-year old Andrew Stephen Olivier. On Monday, prosecutors formally charged Olivier with feloniously pointing a firearm and misdemeanors of domestic violence and threatening violence. Olivier is out of jail after posting a $5,000 bond.
Monthly Household Bills in Chickasha
Less that State, National Averages
A new study shows Chickasha residents pay less than most Oklahomans on their most common household bills. The numbers were released in a recent state-by-state market report from a group called DOXO-Insights. The report shows that Chickasha households pay nearly 1,400 per month on things like mortgage or rent; utilities; auto loans; and cable and internet services. The cost is about 14 percent lower than the state average of about $1,635 and more than 30 percent below the national average of just over $2,000 per month. The study shows mortgage payments averaged nearly $790 and rent about $715 to make up more than half the cost of monthly bills. Auto loans were about $424; utilities which include lights, water, and gas were just over $225; auto insurance was $175; health insurance was $100; and life insurance was about $70. Mobile phone service was about $85 per month and cable and internet services were about $80. The report shows Chickasha is the 44th most expensive city in Oklahoma for household bills.
CV Tech Students Do Well in National Contests
Some Canadian Valley Technology Center students brought home some hardware from national competitions this summer. Kaitlyn Perkins of Minco won both gold and silver medals at the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America contest in San Diego. James Mayhugh of Cement finished runner-up in the National CNC Technician contest. The Chickasha campus post-secondary Skills USA quiz bowl team of Cash Muncrief, Zayne Jiminez, Alysa Hughen-Green, Brock Voyle, Kyle Perry, Omar Arredondo, and Jarret Linden placed third. CNC Technician Andrew Martinez placed 7th; Trenten Rippey was 9th in prepared speech; and Josh Morris was 9th in Mobile Robotics.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $95.84.
London-based Brent crude is $99.49.
Natural gas is $6.16 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,726 and silver is $18.91.
Funeral service for Shelley Henderson, 62, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 16th at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, July 12th
Truck Driver Dies in Crash with Train
A deadly crash occurred southwest of Amber yesterday when a train hit a semi hauling gravel. The accident claimed the life of 45-year old Troy Zielinski of Duncan. The accident occurred just before 4:30 Monday afternoon at an uncontrolled railroad crossing near CR 1300 and CS 2840. The highway patrol reports that Zielinski was westbound on CR 1300 and failed to yield to the southbound Union Pacific train. Two men on the train were not injured. They were identified as the engineer, 40-year old Michael Seller - and the conductor, 40-year old Brandon Walden both of Chickasha. The roadway was blocked for about six hours and was re-opened just before 10:30 last night.
Blanchard Residents Suffer Minor Injuries in Weekend Pile-up
A Blanchard couple escaped serious injury in a multi-car pile-up in southern Oklahoma. 44-year old Kenya Gates and 42-year old Michaela Gates were among those involved in a five-car crash on I-35 in Thackerville Sunday evening. Several people were taken to hospitals and one was admitted in serious condition. Michaela Gates was taken by ground ambulance to a helipad but refused medical treatment or transport for a possible head injury. The highway patrol is still investigating that crash.
Pursuit Suspect Sought
A man who led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in a stolen pickup is being sought by authorities. The pursuit occurred last Friday after the truck was reported stolen from the NAPA Auto Parts store in Chickasha. The Grady County Sheriff's Office received a call from the father of the pickup owner who was following the truck in the Pocasset area. A press release from the sheriff's office indicates that Undersheriff Gary Boggess was in Amber when the call came in and headed to Pocasset and encountered the vehicle on the way. Boggess initially had the truck pulled over but the driver sped away, driving through a field and a church yard before crashing into a brick mail box. The suspect then fled on foot but was chased down about a 1/4 mile away. The suspect told Boggess he bought the truck at a casino. The suspect was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital after complaining of neck and back injuries and was later released. The sheriff's office was seeking an arrest warrant for 54-year old Randy Mitchel Reed who is being sought for eluding and other crimes.
Chickasha Water Restrictions Lifted
The City of Chickasha has lifted a call for voluntary water conservation efforts. Officials had asked residents to reduce outdoor watering as crews were installing and sanitized new water lines near the U.S. Highway 81 bypass route west of town. Officials issued a statement Monday afternoon saying the project had been completed and that residents could resume their normal water usage.
City Intersection Closed for Storm Sewer Repair
A storm sewer repair project in the north part of Chickasha has temporarily closed an intersection. The area of 10th and Frisco Avenue was shut down yesterday while repairs were made. The roadway was expected to be blocked through today.
Assistant Prosecutor to be Recognized
A big honor will be awarded to a member of District Attorney Jason Hicks' staff. Jeff Sifers will be recognized as the Professional Advocate of the Year by the Criminal Law Division of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Sifers is the managing assistant DA in Hicks’ Grady County office. Hicks said it’s a huge honor and speaks volumes about Sifers whom Hicks called an amazing prosecutor and person.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $104.09 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $107.10.
Natural gas is $6.43 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,733 and silver is $18.84.
Monday, July 11th
Chix Residents Still Asked to Conserve Water Use
Residents in Chickasha are still being asked to reduce their outdoor water usage. The city issued the request on Friday, saying they were re-routing water to the west side of town due to water line installation along the Highway 81 Bypass route. Officials said the extra water is needed to sterilize the lines. Officials are asking residents to not do any outdoor watering on their lawns, gardens, or landscapes during the day. They also ask residents to not wash their cars and trucks at home. Officials say the request would run into this week but did not give any indication when it might be lifted. We'll provide updates when the city makes them available to us and any new information will also be posted on the city's Facebook page and website at: www.chickasha.org
Annual Ward 3 Meeting With Council Reps is Tonight
Also from city hall - residents in Ward Three can meet with their city council representatives tonight. Each year the city schedules annual ward meetings so residents can discuss concerns in a non-formal setting. Ward 3 councilmen R.P. Ashanti-Alexander and Oscar Nelson will meet with their constituents at 6:30 tonight in the community building at Washita Valley Park.
Chix Schools Begin Enrollment for 2022-23 School Year
Enrollment for fall classes at Chickasha Public Schools begins today. This is for returning and new students. Parents can enroll their children on-line on the school district's website or by visiting the enrollment center at 7th and Kansas Avenue which is across the street from the post office. The enrollment center is open Monday through Thursday through much of the summer.
Changes for Some for Chix School Lunch Program
School officials also say there will be some changes to meals provided to students to accommodate new program and federal guidelines. Meals for all pre-K through 8th grade will still be free. However, high school students will pay for meals unless they qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. School officials said that not enough high school students were identified in order for the high school to apply for the Community Eligible Provision of the USDA. Families can apply for free or reduced-priced lunches when they enroll their children. Also changing at the high school, there will be a closed-campus at lunch for the freshmen class. The information is posted on the district's Facebook page.
Horrors of Native American Boarding School Abuse
Detailed in Dept. of Interior Meeting in Anadarko
Former students of Native American boarding schools detailed the torture they endured. Officials with the U.S. Department of the Interior began a nationwide ‘listening tour’ at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko on Saturday. '12 years of Hell' is how one former student described his time at St. Patrick’s Catholic school and at Riverside many years ago. Many of those speaking are now 60 and 70 years old and older. The Oklahoman reports that one of the individuals said he arrived at St. Patrick's Catholic School where they took off his clothes and poured green stuff all over him that stung, and when he cried they beat him. And when he spoke his native Kiowa language they washed his mouth with lye to make him stop. Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland says while recalling the abuse is painful, their stories must be told.
About 300 people were in attendance and only about an hour of the meeting was open to the media. The role of boarding schools has changed dramatically as most now focus on embracing and not erasing Native American cultures.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $104.79 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $107.02.
Natural gas is $6.03 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,732 and silver is $19.17.