Saturday, Nov. 19th
Chickasha's Festival of Light Opens Tonight
The holiday season for Chickasha officially begins today with the opening of the Festival of Light. It's a special year for organizers as this marks the 30th year for the event at Shannon Springs Park featuring more than 40 acres of holiday lights, displays, and activities. Some of the founding families who helped to kick off the first festival in 1993 will be on hand to flip the switch to turn on an estimated 4 million lights that will shine this year. Festival of Light director Logan Lassley says the festival has expanded to use a portion of the park that hasn't been used before.
About a half-million blue-colored lights adorn the Frozen Forest. Visitors will be able to drive or walk through the park. Some of the highlights of the festival innclude the more than 160-foot tall lighted Christmas tree and the glimmering bridge of lights over the pond. There are family activities which include a Ferris wheel, carousel, an ice skating rink, and carriage rides. Lassley said the festival will include a lot of locally-owned companies with souvenirs and other items for sale.
Local food trucks will also be on hand. The festival opens nightly at 6 p.m. It's a given that many visitors will also spend some time in downtown Chickasha to check out the new 50-foot tall permanent leg lamp which is an identiical copy of the one in the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story. For details about the festival see the Festival of Light Facebook page or the website: www.chickashafestivaloflight.org
PSO Seeks Approval to Buy Wind, Solar Farms
An Oklahoma utility is looking to buy some new alternative energy properties. Public Service Company of Oklahoma is seeking permission from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to buy three wind farms and three solar facilities. The price tag for the nearly 1,000 megawatts of new, cost effective renewable energy is nearly $2.5 billion. Customers would see their electric bills go up if the purchase is approved. PSO officials said the fuel-free plan would help meet projected power needs - while protecting customers from volatility in energy costs which they say has been driven by high natural gas and power prices. The website ok energy today reports that the six projects are located in and Kansas and Texas and PSO selected them after a competive bidding process. Some of the properties are still under construction. If approved - and after all the facilities are on-line by the end of 2025 - average residential electric bills for PSO customers could increase about $3.50 per month.
Friday, Nov. 18th
U.S. Highway 81 Bypass Project Slowly Progressing
The U.S. Highway 81 bypass project around Chickasha is slowly moving along. The bypass will eventually take traffic on the highway west of the city easing the big truck traffic that goes through the downtown area. The start of the actual road construction is still a couple of years away. District 7 Engineer for the State Department of Transportation Jay Earp gives an update-
Earp said the road construction will take place in several phases starting with dirt work in a couple of years. He's anticipating part of the bypass will be open by the end of the decade. Earp said the cost of the project is approaching $300 million.
Suspect Arrested After Lengthy Sexual Assault Investigation
A Chickasha man is facing rape and sexual assault charges. 38-year old Edgar 'Souk' Burrowns was arrested this week following a more than six-month investigation by Chickasha police. A probable cause affidavit indicates that an officer was summoned to Grady Memorial Hospital in March to talk to a man who alleged he was sexually assaulted by Burrowns. An arrest warrant was issued Nov. 8th and he was arrested Nov. 16th. He's facing charges of rape, sodomy, and permitting a person under 21 to possess or consume alcohol or drugs. Burrowns remains in the Grady County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Anadarko Suspect Sought in Connection with Burglary, Stabbing
Caddo County authorities are seeking an Anadarko man wanted for stabbing a victim during a burglary attempt. An arrest warrant was issued for 21-year old Jeremiah Nimsey this week. A probable cause affidavit indicates that police were called to a home in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Street last Friday morning to investigate the break-in. A victim was taken to a Lawton hospital. The victim's condition is not known. A witness told police that they saw Nimsey attack the victim. Nimsey is wanted for assault with a dangerous weapon and first degree burglary.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we’re talking about this weekend. Logan Lassley with Chickasha's Festival of Light will be on our KOOL Konversation talking about the holiday light display which opens this weekend. Ray Walker with the Oklahoma Insurance Department will be on Real Estate Today program to talk about the Medicare enrollment that is underway.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $81.64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $89.78.
Natural gas is $6.37 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,779 and silver is $21.43.
Thursday, Nov. 17th
Police Name Those Involved in Fatal Home Invasion Shooting
Chickasha police have released the names of the individuals involved in a fatal shooting in a residential area earlier this week. The shooting victim was identified as Varnell Tall, Jr. No hometown was provided. Authorities say Tall kicked in the door of a home in the Shadow Valley addition Tuesday afternoon and was shot by the homeowner identified as Logan M. Wasson. Wasson was briefly taken into custody for questioning then released. Authorities have not said why Tall was trying to break into the home and that the cause and nature of the disturbance is still under investigation.
Cyril Family Escapes Fire Uninjured
Fire destroys the Caddo County home of a young family with a newborn. The flames destroyed the home of Trenton Lepree and Brooke Delk of Cyril around midnight Tuesday. KSWO-TV reports that Brooke was giving the baby a bath when she smelled something burning. She opened the bedroom door and was hit by a cloud of smoke. She woke up Trenton and all were able to get out unhurt, however a family pet perished. Brooke said the dog had been barking and believes he was trying to alert them to the fire. Investigators say the cause of the fire was a propane heater. A group out of Lawton, Ellipsis has arranged for the family to stay in a furnished home rent-free until February. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.
Driver Hospitalized After Head-on Collision with Semi
A driver is hospitalized after she made a U-turn on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike Spur and was hit head-on by a semi. 36-year old Deserae Dowdy of Blanchard was taken by ground ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was admitted in fair condition. The accident happened just before 1 o'clock this morning. The highway patrol reports that Dowdy was traveling west on the spur near mile marker 101 about four miles south of Tuttle and missed her exit. She made a U-turn and was headed east in the westbound lanes when the accident occurred. The truck driver, 32-year old Audon Lara of Enid was not hurt. The roadway was closed for about 90 minutes.
Crash Closes U.S. Highway Briefly
A traffic accident that occurred near the Grady and Caddo county line shut down U.S. Highway 277 for about an hour last night. The accident happened about 6:30 p.m. near CS 2770 which is about a mile east of the county line. No details of the accident were available.
Nation's Top Dogs Make Stop in Chickasha
Hundreds of the top dog breeds across the country are in Chickasha to participate in the Sooner Circuit Cluster of Dog shows. A couple of regional kennel clubs, including the Town and Country Kennel Club of Norman, are hosting the shows at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Handlers are exhibiting the dogs and working to earn points to qualify for the national Eukanuba and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows next spring. Admission is free for spectators with competitions beginning about 8:00 a.m. each day through Sunday in the Event Center at the fairgrounds.
OHCE Celebration of Crafts Show
Also at the fairgrounds this weekend will be the Grady County OHCE Celebration of Crafts Show. More than 40 vendors will have holiday gift items available and many of them are hand-made. There will also be holiday foods available for purchase. There is also an informal quilt exhibit. The crafts show will be held in the north exhibit building of the fairgrounds. Friday hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is also free.
Producers Asked to Take Drought Study Survey
Ag producers are encouraged to take part in a survey that officials hope will improve future drought and forage monitoring and predictions. The National Drought Mitigation Center and USDA Climate Hubs are conducting the survey for the Western Great Plains and the Southwest part of the country. Officials are asking producers to provide on-the-ground reports of end-of-season forage production in the pastures they manage or monitor. The information provided will remain confidential. It could take 10 to 20 minutes to complete the survey. The link to the survey is: ssp.qualtrics.com
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $85.59 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $92.86.
Natural gas is $6.20 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,785 and silver is $21.33.
Wednesday, Nov. 16th
Home Invasion Suspect Shot, Killed by Homeowner
Chickasha police say a home invasion suspect is dead after being shot and killed by the homeowner. Interim Police Chief G.G. Music said officers were called to a home at 3015 Westbrook about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a disturbance. The home is in the Shadow Valley housing development in southwest part of Chickasha. Music said the homeowner told officers an individual came to the home and kicked in the door. Music said the homeowner fired a number of shots from a rifle and the suspect died at the scene. It's believed the two men knew each other but authorities have not indicated how. The victim's name has not been released as authorities were working to notify relatives. The homeowner, whose name was not released, was taken to the police department for questioning then released. Reports indicate the information from the investigation will be turned over to the district attorney to determine if any charges should be filed.
Drug Trafficking Suspect Jailed
Another drug trafficking arrest has been made in the on-going battle to get counterfeit pain meds off the streets. 34-year old Victoria Heskett of Chickasha was arrested Sunday night at the Maverick Inn. A probable cause affidavit indicates that Grady County Deputy Jim Peek - who also works with the Drug Enforcement Administration - and Deputy Chris Kennell went to conduct a 'knock and talk' investigation with Heskett for her alleged involvement with selling prescription pain pills with Fentanyl. She allegedly told them she was not doing so but that she was aware of a large fentanyl distributor from Oklahoma City coming to the area. Peek and Kennell obtained a search warrant and found a number of pills that field-tested positive for having Fentanyl. Heskett was taken into custody and the district attorney's office has charged her with one felony count of trafficking. Heskett remains in jail on a $250,000 bond. Also arrested was 31-year old Jaron Garrett Burton who had an outstanding warrant for a traffic ticket.
Grady County Property Tax Statements Mailed
Grady County property owners should be receiving their 2022 property tax statements if they haven’t received them already. County Treasurer Robin Burton said the office mailed 39,000 statements earlier this month. Most went to property owners while about 8,000 statements were mailed to mortgage companies whose customers have their property taxes included in their monthly mortgage payments. Burton said the 39,000 statements represent nearly $84 million in property tax revenue, most of which goes to school districts. Some taxes also go to fire departments and emergency medical services, health, and general county expenses. Property owners have the option of paying the entire amount due or they can pay half by January 15, 2023 with the second half due by April 15, 2023. Taxes can be paid by check through the mail or by placing them in the drop box outside the county courthouse. Taxes can also be paid in person at the treasurer’s office in the county courthouse. Individuals can pay with a credit or debit card or by e-check however fees are applied to those payments although the fees do not go to the county.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $85.92 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.86.
Natural gas is $6.03 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,785 and silver is $22.07.
Teddy Jo Ann Watson
Funeral service for Teddy Jo Ann Watson, 91, of Oklahoma City and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18th at Deer Creek Church of Christ in Edmond at Northwest 178th and MacArthur. Viewing will be held 5:00 pm. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17th at Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Jack Weaver, 78, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18th at Epworth United Methodist Church. He spent several years as Chickasha’s city manager in the 1970s. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Nov. 15th
Festival of Light to Begin 30th Season
The countdown is on for the opening of Chickasha's Festival of Light. The holiday attraction brings tens of thousands of people to the city every year. This is the 30th anniversary for the festival created in 1992. Organizers will be recognizing some of the founding families who provided some of the financial backing to make that first year possible. The season begins this Saturday night with an opening ceremony at the park beginning about 5:00 o'clock. There will be performances by the Chickasha and Blanchard high school choirs and individuals will give a short history of the festival. Festival of Light director Logan Lassley said a couple of favorite events are returning.
Officials are still looking for groups to volunteer to be part of the live nativity and groups can call 405-224-6225 for details and reserve dates and times. The ice skating rink is back as are carriage rides, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel. The gift shop will feature local vendors and concessions and some local food trucks will be available. Lassley said there will be an estimated 4 million lights in the park including the new Frozen Forest with 500,000 new lights. The festival will run nightly starting Saturday night and running through New Year’s Eve.
Bag of Military Uniforms Left in Chickasha Yard
A Chickasha man is hoping to find the owner of a bag of military uniforms that was left in his yard. Christopher Danforth was leaving for work one morning when he saw a black bag with a U.S. Army insignia next to a tree. Inside were two full sets of dress blues, two white shirts in plastic bags, a pair of patent leather shoes, a tie, a razor, and some old airplane tickets. Danforth told KSWO-TV that he doesn't know if someone may have stolen the bag and left it there, if somebody lost it, or if it belongs to a homeless veteran - but that it belongs to somebody. Danforth said he values military service members and their sacrifices and that's why it’s important to him to return the items to the owner. Officials at the Ft. Sill Army base in Lawton say they are also trying to find the owner or owners of the items.
Grady County Fire Board Meets Tonight
Discussions on open meeting act procedures and rulings by the Oklahoma State Firefighter Pension Board are on tap for the monthly Grady County Fire Board meeting tonight. The panel will also get an update on American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA funds. The group will go behind closed doors to discuss the acknowledgement of two new volunteers - Dallas Smith at Naples and Kimberly Ashbey at Friend. They will also discuss applications of new firefighters Leonard Santos at Ninnekah and Brandi Martinez at Acme. The fire board will meet at 7 o'clock tonight in the conference room of the Grady County Emergency Management Office.
Masonic Lodge to Hold Historic Cornerstone Ceremony
(Editor's Note: This is a corrected version of one that was previously published. The time of the ceremony has been changed) A special ceremony will be held by the Chickasha Masonic Lodge this weekend. Members of Lodge No. 94 will dedicate a cornerstone on the historic Masonic Lodge building in downtown Chickasha. The ceremony will be identical to the one that President George Washington performed when laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol in 1793. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley is to issue a proclamation for the event which will be held at noon this Saturday, Nov. 19th at the lodge located at 112 1/2 South 6th Street. State Masonic Lodge officials will be on hand for the ceremony which is open to the public. The cornerstone will be set with a time capsule to include a variety of items which will be opened sometime in the future.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $85.87 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.14.
Natural gas is $5.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,779 and silver is $21.99.
Funeral service for Mary Naney, 87, was held at 1:00 p.m. today (Tuesday, Nov. 15th) at Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, Nov. 14th
Chix Schools May Seek Grants to Help Pay for Safe Rooms
Among the projects included in a $35 million bond proposal for Chickasha Public Schools that passed this summer are new safe rooms at Lincoln Elementary and Grand Elementary schools. Superintendent Rick Croslin said the costs of the projects are rising so they are looking at applying for additional federal funds that may be available to help pay for them.
The gymnasium at Lincoln Elementary and the library at Grand Elementary will double as safe rooms.
Chix Schools Site Teachers-of-the-Year Named
Five Chickasha teachers will be recognized for their work in the classroom. The Site Teachers of the Year are Allison Cofer at the high school; Cheryl Music-Sweeden at the middle school; Mandy Brooks at Lincoln Elementary; Lisa Youngblood at Grand Elementary; and Brandi Mantooth at the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. All will be introduced during tonight’s board of education meeting and are candidates for the District Teacher of the Year Award with the winner to be selected next spring. Also during the school board meeting tonight, a couple of Lincoln school employees will be honored as the Chicken Express Employees of the Month. The certified employee is Mike Elliott and the support employee is Janice Cockrum. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Trio of USAO Alums Honored
Three USAO alumni were noted for their efforts during recent Homecoming ceremonies on campus. Chris Willard and Lonnie Iannazzo were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame and Reagan Elkins received the young alumni award. Willard graduated in 2007 and is currently a senior vice president with Warner Brothers Discover. Ianazzo is a 2004 graduate and is a technology producer for a special effects company. Elkins is a 2013 graduate and began his own production company, Intellego Media. He produces commercials and music videos and worked closely with the producers of A Cowgirl's Song, the movie that was filmed entirely in Chickasha two years ago.
Tuttle Road Project Delayed
A utility project in Tuttle that will close down a portion of State Highway 92 has been delayed. A portion of the highway south of Main Street in Tuttle was to be closed this morning for utility work to be done by the city of Tuttle. The State Department of Transportation says the project is now scheduled to begin tomorrow, weather permitting.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.96 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $95.99.
Natural gas is $5.88 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,758 and silver is $21.57.
Funeral service for Patricia Smith, 74, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17th at the Ninnekah Church of Christ. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.