Saturday, Jan. 21st
Child Murder Suspect Held Without Bond
The man accused of the Christmas Day beating death of Athena Brownfield has been formally charged with murder. Ivon Neal Adams, III had his initial appearance on charges of murder and child neglect in Caddo County District Court in Anadarko yesterday. Judge David Stephens ordered Adams held in the Caddo County Jail without bond. Adams was found in Arizona last week after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) issued an arrested warrant in connection with Athena's death. Adams filed a pauper's affidavit application to obtain a court-appointed attorney from the state's indigent defense system. Judge Stephens issued a gag order in the case. Adams is to be back in court April 27th.
Thousands Challenge State's Broadband Service Map
A lot of Oklahomans took part in a month-long effort to challenge the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) proposed broadband map of the Sooner State. More than 10,000 responses came in to the state's broadband office challenging the proposal. Right now, the map shows that all areas of the state have service which some say is misleading. The FCC was asking for individuals to give information about their internet service. State officials are working to get $50 million in federal funds to improve broadband service in rural areas. Officials with the state office say the FCC will review the challenges and issue an updated map later this year.
Rural Jobs Act Designed to Help Rural Business, Industry
Five investment firms have been selected to potentially put millions of dollars into rural areas of Oklahoma. The firms would receive federal tax credits on part of their investments. The Oklahoman reported this week on the Rural Jobs Act. It's meant to stimulate Oklahoma's rural economy by giving a tax break to the investors that provide capital or debt-financing to businesses in rural areas. The state is allowed to authorize up to $15 million in tax credits each year beginning in 2026 but the money can been invested as soon as this year. Brent Kisling, director of the state department of commerce, said the financial flexibility will allow Oklahoma businesses to invest in equipment, purchase supplies, or hire employees when they have the opportunity to expand. Most of the funds have to be invested within two years and all funds have to be invested within three years. At least 70 percent of the investments must be made in businesses in rural areas, defined as counties with populations of less than 75,000 or cities or towns with populations of less than 7,000. Details about the program can be found on the state department of commerce website: www.okcommerce.gov
No services were held for Adrian Drew, 87, of of Minot, North Dakota and formerly of Chickasha. She worked for Chickasha Public Schools and in her retirement years volunteered with the Grady County Historical Society Museum.
Funeral service for Helen Foley, 93, of Chickasha will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24th at Ferguson Funeral Home. She worked at Grady Memorial Hospital and Hermetic Switch.
Friday, Jan. 20th
Suspected Child Killer Jailed in Caddo County
Ivon Adams, the man accused of the beating death of 4-year old Athena Brownfield is now in the Caddo County jail. Adams, who was arrested in the Phoenix, Arizona area last week, was brought back to Oklahoma yesterday and booked into the jail about 9 o'clock last night. He's facing complaints of murder and child neglect, and could have his initial court appearance and hear formal charges against him today. Adams has been implicated in the death of Brownfield and is alleged to have beaten her to death Christmas Day and then bury her body in the Agawam area. The remains of a child were found in that area earlier this week but officials are awaiting a report from the state medical examiner's office which is still in the process of identifying those remains.
Athena's Funeral Scheduled; Cyril Community Rallies for her Sister
In the meantime, a funeral service for Athena will be held in Enid next week. The service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Stride Center. And in Cyril, the community is rallying behind Athena's sister, Adina, who was found alone near their home by a mail carrier last week which resulted in the start of an extensive search for Athena. A benefit account has been established at the First National Bank and contributions can be made at the branch in Cyril or the banks’ 10 other branches. Also, t-shirts have been designed to help raise funds and they may be purchased through the Family Life Church in Cyril.
New Web Site Seeks Comments on City of Chickasha's Future
A new comprehensive plan for the City of Chickasha’s future is now available on-line. It's called Onward Chickasha. Officials say it a community engagement platform which will serve as the hub for project updates, will include educational components, engagement opportunities, and events. Officials encourage individuals to explore the site and take a look at the inter-active map and leave comments. This is the first of several opportunities the public will have to provide input on the projects being considered. Officials say it takes about 10 minutes to complete. The survey has its own website: Onwardchickasha.org
Robyn Morse to be Inducted into Educators Hall of Fame
A lifelong teacher and educator will be honored for work. Robyn Morse will be inducted in to the Grady County Educators Hall of Fame this weekend. Morse was a teacher for Chickasha Public Schools for several years then moved into administration for about 17 years where she served as a principal and then assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Federal programs. She retired in 2015 but returned to administration for a brief time last year when she served as interim superintendent for Ninnekah Public Schools. Morse has also spent several years on the Chickasha School Board. Morse will be inducted into the hall between the championship games of the Grady County basketball tournament in Verden tomorrow night.
Anadarko Utility Pole Replacement Continues
We have an update on the City of Anadarko's utility pole replacement project. Officials say crews will be in the 100 blocks of West Louisiana and West Alabama Streets today. Officials say there will be some power outages while that work is underway.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.96 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.16
Natural gas is $3.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,930 and silver is $24.06.
Thursday, Jan. 19th
Motorcyclist Critical After Hitting Animal
A Chickasha man is hospitalized in critical condition after hitting a deer while riding his motorcycle. 65-year old Greg Wendler was taken by ground ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital with arm, shoulder, and internal injuries. The accident happend just before 6:00 p.m. Wednesday southwest of Chickasha near Lake Burtchi. The highway patrol reports that Wendler was wearing a helmet.
Dad Faces Child Abuse Allegation over Infant's Broken Arm
A father is arrested on a child abuse complaint after his month-old child suffers a broken arm. 24-year old Hunter Gilles of Chickasha was taken into custody last week after a warrant was issued for his arrest. A probable cause affidavit states that authorities were called to Grady Memorial Hospital on December 29th where a five-week old baby was being treated for a broken arm. Gilles told investigators that he was feeding the child when she scratched his neck. Gilles said he grabbed the girl's arm and moved it out of the way and heard a ‘pop’ and immediately took the baby to the hospital. Doctors said the baby suffered a spiral fracture of her left arm and was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital for additional treatment. Gilles has been formally charged with a felony count of child abuse. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
Caddo County Towns Get Funds for Infrastructure Upgrades
A couple of Caddo County communities will be getting some financial help to make infrastructure improvements. Ft. Cobb has received approval for $1 million in funds from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The improvements will be financed by a 100 percent principal-forgiveness loan through the Oklahoma Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The public works authority at Ft. Cobb will also receive Rural Economic Action Plan or REAP grants from the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) totaling more than $6,000 to help pay for the project. The funds will be used to replace more than a mile of deteriorated water lines. The upgrade is expected to ensure water pressure is maintained in the community and reduce water loss issues from leaks and pipeline breaks. Ft. Cobb authorities say the grants will save customers more than $1.5 million compared to traditional funding measures.
Anadarko Also Receives REAP Grant
The City of Anadarko has received a $60,000 REAP grant from ASCOG to help replace fire hydrants. City officials say the funds will be used to replace 60 fire hydrants over a three-year period. The city will have to provide $30,000 for the project.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.48 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.98.
Natural gas is $3.31 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,911 and silver is $23.53.
Wednesday, Jan. 18th
Child's Body Found; No Confirmation
That it May be Missing Cyril Girl
Investigators looking for the body of 4-year old Athena Brownfield discovered the remains of a child in southern Grady County yesterday but they would not positively say that the remains were hers. The body was found in the Agawam area north of Rush Springs. Authorities previously searched the property including the use of dive teams to search a pond. Authorities say the remains were taken to the state medical examiner's office which will determine if the remains are those of Athena. As previously reported Alysia and Ivon Adams are facing charges in connection with Athena's disappearance with Ivon Adams arrested on a murder complaint. Court documents have graphic details of how Athena may have died. It's alleged that Ivon Adams beat the child on Christmas Day to the point where she barely could open her eyes. He then threw her on the floor and punched her in the chest several times and the child stopped moving. It's alleged that Ivon took the body to the Agawam property where he buried her. Alysia Adams was formally charged with two counts of child neglect in Caddo County District Court where a judge initially set bond at $1 million but that was lowered to $500,000. Ivon Adams is still in an Arizona jail after being arrested in the Phoenix area last week.
Fire Damages Ninnekah Pumpkin Patch, Animal Farm
Fire caused a lot of damage at a Ninnekah pumpkin patch and animal farm. The fire erupted Sunday afternoon at Dark Water Ranch and destroyed a gift shop and its contents, damaged a couple of barns, and killed more than a dozen animals. Ranch owner Phllip Anneler said he was running an errand in Chickasha when he got a call from a neighbor who asked if he was burning anything. Phillip said no - so they both hung up and called 9-1-1. Volunteer fire fighters from Ninnekah, Rush Springs, Farwell, and other crews with the Grady County Fire Department were dispatched and others were placed on standby. Anneler estimated damage at about $25,000 and that the fire killed eight chickens and six rabbits however a number of ducks, goats, pigs, and turkeys survived. The fire did not damage the family home or greenhouse. Anneler said the fire may have been sparked by an electrical short in the breaker box that may have occurred due to high winds. Anneler was hoping to open the ranch this spring for visitors to pick their own flowers but the opening has been delayed to late spring or early summer while they recover from the fire. Anneler says he's grateful for the efforts of the firefighters. He posted a ‘thank you’ message on the Grady County Fire Department’s Facebook page and said once they get back on their feet the ranch will offer free admission to volunteer fire fighters and their families.
Chix City Council OK's Fire Equipment Purchase
The Chickasha Fire Department will be getting new equipment to help them in their efforts. Last night, the Chickasha City Council approved the purchase of more than a dozen Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus tanks and related equipment at a cost of just under $140,000.
30-year old Fire Truck to be Sold to County Fire Department
The council also approved a proposal to sell the fire department's 1992 International pumper truck to the Grady County Fire Department for $5,000. The council initially ok'd a plan to sell the pumper on consignment but fire chief Tony Samaniego said selling it to Grady County would be more beneficial.
Bids to be Sought for Hwy 81 Bypass Sewer Line Project
The council also approved going out for bids for a sewer main replacement project near 29th Street and U.S. Highway 62 related to the Highway 81 bypass project. Public Works Director Jim Crosby said the State Department of Transportation is expected to reimburse the city as much as 60 percent of the cost of that project.
Ammunition to be Traded for New Supply
The council also declared 15 thousand rounds of ammunition as surplus and to exchange it for 9MM ammunition from R and M Arms in Minco.
New Residential Project Approved
The council also approved the final plat for some residential construction in the area of 12th and California Street on the west edge of Shannon Springs Park.
Emergency Planning Committee Meets Thursday
First responders who are part of Grady County's Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) are encouraged to attend the group's first meeting of the year tomorrow. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said the meetings are for volunteers as well as city and town leaders to discuss how to handle emergencies in the aftermath of tornadoes, floods, fires, and hazardous material spills. Guest speakers will include representatives from OKIE 811, Iron Horse Midstream, and Grady and Caddo County Salvation Army. The meeting will be held at the Canadian Valley Technology Center starting at 11:30 tomorrow morning and lunch will be provided.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.18 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.92.
Natural gas is $3.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,917 and silver is $24.38.
Tuesday, Jan. 17th
OSBI Confirms Missing Girl is Dead
It's news that nobody wanted to hear. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) says the week-long search for little Athena Brownfield is now a recovery operation. The agency announced that special agents and state troopers are searching areas of Caddo County for the child's remains. Dive teams searched a pond in southern Grady County in the Agawam area over the weekend. The two people entrusted to care for her - Alysia Adams and Ivon Adams - have been arrested. Our partners at KWTV-News 9 report that Alysia and Athena's mom are cousins and that Athena had been with Alysia for about 18 months. Alysia is being held in the Caddo County Jail on two complaints of child neglect. Ivon Adams is still in a Phoenix, Arizona jail awaiting extradition to Oklahoma. He's being held on complaints of murder and child neglect. Authorities say they were able to retrieve evidence from Ivon's cel phone that led to the arrest warrant being issued for a first-degree murder complaint but officials have not stated what evidence that is.
Area School Districts Have February Bond Elections
Verden and Gracemont school districts have special bond elections next month. Voters who would like absentee ballots mailed to them will need to apply for those ballots in the next couple of weeks. They are available to any qualified registered voter in those school districts and individuals don’t need an excuse to vote by absentee. Voters in the Verden school district can pick up applications at the Grady County Election Board and Gracemont school district voters can get them at the Caddo County Election board. Voters may also download applications from the state election board website: oklahoma.gov/elections
The deadline to apply is January 30th and the election is Tuesday, Feb. 14th.
Congressman Lucas Returns to House Ag Committee
Third District Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas is returning to the house agriculture committee. Lucas chaired the panel between 2011 and 2015. Lucas has been in congress for nearly 30 years and has been helping to write every farm bill since 1996. Lucas says it’s the responsibility of the committee to work with both Republicans and Democrats to craft the 2023 farm bill to ensure that farmers and ranchers have the tools and resources they need to thrive in the 21st century. Lucas will also chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and will be back on the House Financial Services Committee where he is the longest serving Republican.
Rig Numbers Up Nationally, Down Slightly in Oklahoma
Energy activity nationwide is on the rise however the trend is down a bit in the Sooner State. Here's Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission with the latest numbers.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.86 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.28.
Natural gas is $3.42 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,909 and silver is $24.06.
Monday, Jan. 16th
OSBI: Search for Missing Child Now a Recovery Operation
(BREAKING – The OSBI now reports the search for Athena Brownfield has turned into a recovery operation) Authorities are still searching for Athena Brownfield, the four-year old from Cyril who has been missing for more than a week. The man and woman who were her caretakers have both been arrested, and one of them is facing a murder complaint. Cyril residents gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night. Divers were called in to search ponds in the Agawam area...about 15 miles from where the child lived. Yesterday, the OSBI was back in Cyril serving a search warrant on the home where Athena lived. It was unclear what investigators were hoping to find. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has issued an alert for Athena. Information can be submitted anonymously to the OSBI via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the agency's toll-free phone number, 800-522-8017.
Rush Springs Driver Hospitalized After Pickup Crash
A Grady County man had to be air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after his pickup crashed in Duncan. 40-year old Matthew Hesbrook of Rush Springs suffered head, leg, and internal injuries and was last in fair condition. A passenger in the truck, 18-year old Israel Trujillo of Duncan, was not injured. The accident happened east of Duncan just before 11 o'clock last night. The highway patrol reports that for an unknown reason, Hesbrook veered off the road, ran into a ditch, and hit a couple of trees. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Chix Arts Council to Host 'Art Walk'
The Chickasha Area Arts Council has come up with a new event to promote local artists. It's called an 'art walk,' where individuals can take a stroll through downtown Chickasha and see the works of local artists. Erin Thompson is with the Arts Council –
It is a free event that will be held the evening of Friday, Feb. 10th. The arts council is seeking contributions from businesses that would like to support the event and pay a stipend to the artists. Reach out to the Arts Council on Facebook or at the arts council store downtown at 521 Chickasha Avenue.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.86 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.28.
Natural gas is $3.42 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,920 and silver is $24.36.
Funeral service for Juanita Walker, 102, of Ninnekah will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17th at Sevier Funeral Home. She worked at Pet Milk, and owned and operated a Conoco gas station with her husband Louie.
Larry Bob Short
Funeral Service for Larry Bob Short, 69, of Chickasha will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He was a mechanic and spent a lot of time at the Lawton Speedway and served as the exaulted ruler at the Elks Lodge.
Funeral service for Claudene Alt, 93, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20th at Parkview Christian Church. She and her husband Jack owned and operated the Big Burger Drive In and they also ran a Century 21 office and the Alt Lock and Safe Company. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.