Saturday, Jan. 14th
Both Caretakers of Missing Cyril Girl Arrested;
One Faces Murder Complaint, Child Still Missing
Both caretakers of Athena Brownfield - the four-year old girl reported missing from Cyril this week - are in custody. Alysia Adams and Ivon Adams were both arrested Thursday in separate parts of the country. Alysia Adams was taken into custody at the Grady County Sheriff's Office in Chickasha and Ivon Adams was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona. Reports indicate that Ivon Adams has been arrested on pending complaints of murder and child neglect. Alysia Adams is facing two complaints child neglect. It's not clear how authorities were able to track down Ivon Adams in Arizona. KSWO-TV reports court documents say investigators issued a warrant for his arrest after allegedly finding evidence on his cell phone. During his court appearance in Phoenix, a judge set bond at $1 million if he opted to remain in Arizona. Adams told the judge he wanted to get back to Oklahoma and ‘take care of it.’ Ivon Adams is expected to be returned to Oklahoma within the next 30 days. Regarding the search for Athena, Investigators spent much of the day Friday searching an area north of Rush Springs in the Agawam area. Nearby residents say Alysia Adams was known to spend time in that area. Back in Cyril, the community is expected to hold a candelight vigil for Athena tonight.
GOP Lawmakers at Odds over Ukraine Troops at Ft. Sill
Some Republican state lawmakers have an issue with a fellow party member who crtitcized the training of troops from the Ukraine at Ft. Sill. Sen. Nathan Dahm filed a resolution at the state capital to reject the move to train about 100 Ukranian troops there. But other senate GOP members, including president pro tem Greg Treat, issued a statement supporting the action. Dahm filed a resolution which would direct the Pentagon, Department of Defense, and the federal government to no longer send foreign troops to the state for training - after the Ukranian military fired a rocket into Poland that killed two civilians. Dahm said we don't need the troops training in Oklahoma where citizens could be under the constant threat of a similar failure. But Treat and other senate leaders say Oklahoma has had partnerships with military forces from partner countries and other allies for decades, and that cutting those ties could jeopardize the United States. The statement says Dahm's resolution does not speak for the vast majority of Oklahomans who welcome training exercises to defend the land we love and our neighbors in foreign countries.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Erin Thompson and Dana Helms with the Chickasha Area Arts Council are on our KOOL Konversation program. And on Real Estate Today the guest is Ashton Bennett with Evans National which develops employee benefit plans for businesses. Find podcasts to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, Jan. 13th
Arrest Made in Missing Child Case
Four-year old Athena Brownfield of Cyril is still missing. And while officials continue their efforts to find her, the OSBI has arrested the caretaker responsible for her well-being. 31-year old Alysia Adams was taken into custody at the Grady County Sheriff's Office just after 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The OSBI says she was arrested on two complaints of child neglect. Both Athena and her 5-year old sister were in the care of Adams and her husband. Regarding the search for Athena, authorities are looking over video surveillance which has been submitted and are following tips which have come in - including some from out of state. The OSBI suspended trash pick-up services in Cyril in an attempt to find clues as to Athena's whereabouts.
Road Work to Close Part of SH 39
Road construction work continues in Grady County on State Highway 39 west of the Dibble Crossroads. Contractors are widening the highway as part of a more than $10.5 million project to make travel on that section of the highway safer. Department of Transportation officials are planning to close the highway to through traffic early next month. Local traffic will be able to access county roads while the highway is closed. Beginning on Monday, Feb. 6th (weather permitting) the highway is expected to be closed for more than three months. The contractor, Silver Star Construction of Moore, would qualify for a significant bonus if they can get the highway re-opened within 100 days which would be around the Memorial Day weekend in May.
Other Highway Projects to Begin
ODOT officials also say that other road construction projects in Grady are expected to get underway next month including upgrades to State Highway 19 between Alex and Bradley. Another project is U.S. U.S. Highway 277 southwest of Chickasha from the Lake Burtschi turn-off to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Both of those roadways will be open during construction.
WWI Soldier to Get Headstone
A headstone for a forgotten World War I soldier will be dedicated later this month. The marker for 21-year old Ivan Brady will be placed at the abandoned Mt. Scott Cemetery near Lake Elsworth. The Lawton-Ft. Sill Chamber of Commerce says the effort is due to the help of a patriotic woman named Melanie Jackson. Bruce Dwyer, the adjutant for the Mt. Scott Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, will make some comments. The ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21st.
Snags Delay Start of Abandoned Oil, Gas Well Clean-up
The Sooner State is moving forward with a plan to use millions in federal funds to plug abandoned oil and gas wells. However, officials with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission say there have been some issues to contend with. One of them is the loss of the initial selected bidder chosen to be the 'third party' administrator of the $25 million. According to the website OK Energy Today, there is no date when Oklahoma will officially launch the project. In the meantime, a new federal office has been established to handle clean-up projects nationwide. Officials with the U.S. Department of the Interior say they want to ensure that there is efficient use of the Biden Administration's $4.7 billion investment in the clean-p campaign.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $78.39 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.03.
Natural gas is $3.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,908 and silver is $23.95.
Thursday, Jan. 12th
Search for Missing Cyril Girl Continues
Hundreds of volunteers combed the community of Cyril yesterday looking for four-year old Athena Brownfield. The child was reported missing on Tuesday but reportedly had not been seen for several days. The child was reported missing after a postal worker found Athena’s five year old sister alone and called police. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is leading the effort to locate Athena and there's word that the FBI is involved although they are not on the scene. Search dogs from the Department of Corrections were brought in to assist in the ground search where authorities say all abandoned properties, vacant buildings, and bodies of water have been checked. There have been air searches with the Highway Patrol using helicopters with infrared cameras, and the state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs brought in drones to survey the area. A command post at the Family Life Church serves as the focal point for searchers. The OSBI continues asking anyone who may have information to call their toll-free hot-line at 800-522-8017 or e-mail information to: email@example.com
City of Chickasha December Construction Report
Nearly $1.8 million in new construction projects were approved by the City of Chickasha's Community Development Department last month. Officials issued 15 permits in residential and commercial work. At the top of the list was nearly $200,000 in renovations for Elite Star Construction for improvements at 323 W. Chickasha Ave. RiderVale Construction was issued a $150,000 permit for a remodel project at 3102 S. 4th. Among the new home construction, LandMark Fine Homes was issued permits to build eight new homes – all of which are in the $170,000 range. A $50,000 remodel project was approved for Eyes on Properties at 107 Windsor; a $21,000 residential remodel project was ok'd for Guss Construction at 706 Idaho; a $20,000 residential remodel effort got a stamp of approval for Jannelle Pichon at 610 Pennsylvania; and a $10,000 remodel project was ok'd for George Samuel at 24 Highland Drive.
New Voting Precinct Named in Chickasha
Some Chickasha voters will be casting ballots in a new precinct this year. Precinct No. 3 which has been at the Holiday Inn Express at 2610 S. 4th Street is moving. The new location will be close by at Grand Assembly of God Church at 102 E. Almar. The first election for the new location will be March 7th. Grady County Election Board secretary Katrina Hughes said that all registered voters in that precinct will be receiving new voter identification cards in the mail.
Chix Chamber to Host Workforce Development Program
Many employers face numerous challenges in their searches to find qualified workers to fill vacant slots. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a program later this month designed to help. The monthly Lunch and Learn program will feature a representative from the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board. It will be an opportunity for any small business owner and human resources officers for larger companies to get tips and tricks to recruit skilled employees, understand local labor markets, and manage changes in the workforce. The program will be held Thursday, Jan. 26th at noon at the Chamber office. It's exclusively for chamber members and there is a $10 fee for lunch. Seating is limited. Interested chamber members are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 24th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.41 per barrel.
London-based Brent is $82.67.
Natural gas is $3.67 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,887 and silver is $23.84.
Wednesday, Jan. 11th
Searchers in Cyril Look for Missing Three -Year Old
A three-year old child is missing from Cyril and numerous law enforcement agencies and volunteers are helping with the search. The OSBI reports that Athena Brownfield was reported missing from her home yesterday although reports say she had not been seen since Saturday. Cyril police called in the Caddo County Sheriff's Office and the OSBI to assist with the investigation. A search team of about 250 people gathered late yesterday afternoon. Authorities say a sister of Brownfield also went missing over the weekend but she was found on Monday. No details were made available about where or when the sibling was located. A command post has been set up at the Family Life Church in Cyril. Authorities ask anyone who wants to aid in the search to first check in with the command post and ask for the OSBI. Anyone who may have information can contact the OSBI by calling 800-522-8017 or e-mail info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minco-Area Father Accused of Child Abuse
A Minco area man is accused of beating his 10-month old child. 41-year old William Olen Hatcher has been charged with felony child abuse after his arrest. The Lawton Constitution reports that Hatcher told deputies with the Caddo County Sheriff's Office that the child fell on some blocks. However officials alleged that the child's head injuries could only have come from being beaten. Hatcher was arraigned on the felony charge in Caddo County District Court on Monday and his bond was set at $250,000. He's to announce his attorney March 13th and a preliminary hearing conference is set for March 23rd.
Pursuit, Crash Close Turnpike
A pursuit by law enforcement on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike late yesterday resulted in a crash and the turnpike had to be shut down for nearly two hours. The Highway Patrol reported the turnpike was shut down in both directions northeast of Chickasha near mile marker 92 about 5:45 last night and re-opened about 7:30. No details about the pursuit or crash were released.
Homeless Count Set for Jan. 26th
Chickasha area agencies will be part of a southwest Oklahoma effort to get an idea of the extent of homelessness in the region. The Chickasha Community Alliance and Heidi Helping the Homeless will be part of a Point-in-Time effort on Thursday, Jan. 26th. The alliance which includes the Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo Counties, the Life Skills Institute, and Resurrection House will hold its point-in-time event at Michigan Avenue Baptist Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The health department will have flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, individuals will be able to apply for SNAP benefits, and survival kits will be available. Heidi Helping the Homeless will have a similar point-in-time event at its location at 3rd and Minnesota Ave. that same day. Both are in conjunction with the Continuum of Care based in Lawton which serves southwest Oklahoma. The Point-in-Time event Is to help the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) get better information in order to assist communities that apply for funding to try and prevent homelessness.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.12 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $80.10.
Natural gas is $3.64 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,888 and silver is $24.04.
A memorial service for Joseph Phillips, 30, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13th at New Life Christian Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service Sonja Hightower-Smith, 82, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14th at McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Jan. 10th
Grady County Sheriff to Retire
After a more than 40-year career in law enforcement, Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir is retiring. Grady County commissioners accepted Weir's retirement letter in their meeting yesterday. Weir will be stepping down at the end of the month. Weir has spent 10 years as sheriff and was first elected in 2012, and was in the middle of his third term. Weir cites personal reasons for his decision to retire. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. He said it has been an honor and privilege to serve and he'll miss working with the deputies and all county employees. He also said that working with other elected officials has been the highlight of his law enforcement career. Weir is recommending that commissioners appoint Undersheriff Gary Boggess to fill out the two years remaining on his term. He said Boggess’ combination of education, training, experience, skills, and leadership would be hard to find in anyone else. He said Boggess has been basically running the sheriff's office over the last year and has already attended the sheriff's academy.
Chix PD Dispatcher Awaiting Heart Transplant
A dispatcher for the Chickasha Police Department is hospitalized and awaiting a heart transplant. Jerry Rich has been a communications specialist for the department for nearly five years. A post on the department's Facebook page says anyone who has called the dispatch center has likely spoken with Rich. The post indicates that Rich and his wife are grateful for the prayers, help, and support from the community. A Go Fund Me page has been established for those who would like to provide financial support.
Former Band Director to Serve Time in Federal Prison
A former band director for Marlow Public Schools will serve some time in a federal prison. 46-year old William Joseph Daniel was indicted on two counts of sexual battery by a federal grand jury for improper sexual incidents with a student. A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice indicates Daniel was accused of two separate incidents of inappropriate contact with a student between February and May of last year. Charges were filed against him in June and he pleaded guilty in July. Daniel faced a maximum sentence of life in prison but a U.S. District Judge sentenced him to 18 months behind bars. That will be followed by three years of probation and he will have to register as a sex offender.
School Bus Drivers Sought
Many school districts are facing shortages of bus drivers and Chickasha Public Schools are among them. Director of Operations Dan Turner says starting pay at Chickasha is just under $16 per hour, hours are flexible, and it’s a good part time job for retirees and college students. Individuals need a commercial driver's license and there is a class coming up the week of February 6th. For information reach out to Turner by calling 405-222-6500.
Anadarko to Begin Power Line Maintenance Project
A program to replace many of the aging utility poles in Anadarko will soon get underway. City officials say the pole replacement and utility line maintenance project has been in the works for quite some time and they are ready to go. There will be brief power outages and officials say contractors will be in neighborhoods 24 hours prior to the work in those areas. They’ll be placing door hangars at homes to make residents aware of when the work is expected to take place.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.63 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.65.
Natural gas is $3.91 per million BTUs.
Gold $1,879 and silver is $23.69.
Monday, Jan. 9th
Suspect Charged with Lewd Acts Bound Over for Trial
A Cement man will stand trial on more than a half-dozen charges of lewd acts to a child. 48-year old Lonnie Franklin Henson waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges in Caddo County District Court in Anadarko last week. Henson was arrested in March of 2022 following an investigation by the Caddo County Sheriff's Office. He was initially charged with five counts of lewd acts to a child under 16 and prosecutors added three additional charges in April. Henson is being held in the Caddo County Jail. Henson is to be back in court March 8th when a trial date could be set later in the year.
Busy County Fairgrounds Wraps Up Another Good Year
The Grady County Fairgrounds continues hosting numerous events. Marketing Director Jamie Jones said the facility had about 320 event-days last year. Here's a summary of the last half of 2022 starting with the attendance at Grady County Fair-
Upcoming events at the fairgrounds include the extreme dwarfanators wresting this weekend; the southwest vintage toy show Jan. 28th; the Southwest District Livestock Show next month; and the Grady County Junior Live Stock show in March.
CHS Ag Educators to be Noted for National Award
The Chickasha Board of Education holds its first meeting of the new year tonight. The panel will consider some minor changes in the job description for the Individual Education Plan instructors. Chickasha agriculture teachers Kolby and Emily Schmidt will be recognized for their work as they were recently presented an award from the National Association of Agriculture Educators. Chicken Express Employees of the Month come from the Chickasha High School. Miranda Molder is the certified employee and Terri Snyder is the support employee of the month. Dominic Neff will be recognized as the support employee of the quarter. The school board will meet at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Anadarko Superintendent to Have Annual Review
The Anadarko school board also meets tonight and will hold its annual evaluation of Superintendent Jerry McCormick in a behind closed-door segment. The panel will then consider retaining both McCormick and Assistant Superintendent Daniel Pittman for the 2023-24 school year. That meeting will also get underway at 6 o'clock tonight. The group is also scheduled to hold a special meeting at noon tomorrow to discuss bids received for $835,000 in general obligation bonds and award them to the lowest bidder; and to employee Stephen McDonald and Associates as the district's financial consultant.
Regional Prescribed Burn Association to Get Equipment
Members of the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association will be featured at the first Grady and Caddo County Prescribed Burn Association meeting of the year tomorrow night. John Weir and Harry Fritzer will be bringing a burn trailer and equipment to the local group. It includes drip torches, fire rakes, road signs, hand held radios, a weather instrument, a 60-gallon UTV sprayer, and other items. That meeting will be held at 6:30 tomorrow night (Tuesday, Jan. 10th) at the Grady County OSU Extension Office in Chickasha. The meeting is open to all interested parties including firefighters who would like to learn about the benefits of prescribed burning.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.77 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $78.57.
Natural gas is $3.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,876 and silver is $23.96.
Judy Ann Mayrhofen
Funeral service for Judy Ann Mayrhofen, 79, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11th at Ferguson Funeral Home.