Saturday, Feb. 4th
Jury Issues Not Guilty Verdict in Manslaughter Trial
A Chickasha man is found not guilty of first degree manslaughter in connection with the death of a bicycle rider. A Grady County jury acquitted Bryan Bingham of manslaughter yesterday. Bingham was charged in connection with the death of Scott Womack in May of 2020. Bingham driving a car that struck and killed Womack as he was riding his bicycle near his home. Bret Burns was Bingham's attorney-
Burns said the jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about an hour an half before returning the not-guilty verdict.
Kidnapping Suspect Captured
A man wanted for alleged kidnapping has been taken into custody. A felony arrest warrant for 30-year old James Latour Burgess of Oklahoma City was issued by Grady County authorities last November. Burgess was also wanted for possession of a firearm after former conviction. On-line court records indicate the warrant was issued following an investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. No details were immediately available about the investigation. Burgess could have his initial appearance on the charges in Grady County District Court next week.
City of Chickasha Begins 'Onward Chickasha' Project
An effort to develop a comprehensive plan to improve Chickasha's infrastructure and to take the city into the middle part of this century and beyond is in the works - and city officials want public input. It's called ‘Onward Chickasha’ and city leaders will be interacting with residents to find out their ideas of what improvements are needed. Last summer the city council approved the hiring of the Guernsey Engineering Firm out of Oklahoma City to lead the project. Officials will spend the next 18 months putting together the master plan which officials hope will prepare the city for the second half of the 21st century. A community survey is underway right now asking participants to share what they think the city's biggest needs are whether it is better streets, water, and water systems; better police and fire protection; parks and recreation; land use; and housing needs and affordability. Residents have until March 15th to comment. The survey is available on the website: www.onwardchickasha.org
Participants will have to create a user name and password. In addition to the survey there will be an open house later this month for the public to get more information during an informal setting. The survey is the first of many workshops and open-house type programs which will be held over the next year-and-a-half to get the public’s suggestions. There is a citizens committee that is helping to guide the project. Anyone who would like to serve on the committee or would like other information can reach out to city planner Rachel Bernish at the Community Development Department at city hall.
Talk Show Topics
We are discussing the Onward Chickasha project on Real Estate Today this week. Mayor Chris Mosley, City Planner Rachel Bernish, and representatives of the Guernsey Engineering firm are featured. On the KOOL Konversation this week’s guests are Angie Lewis and Jana Dabney with the Friends of the Chickasha Library. They'll be talking about some of their projects including the return of the group's Chocolate Celebration which is back after a two-year break. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, February 3rd
ODOT Considers 'Tax per Mile Driven' Instead of Gas Tax
Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) are looking for alternative ways to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of state highways. For years road maintenance funds have been paid with funds collected on a state tax on gasoline. ODOT officials say with the higher fuel-efficiency of new cars and trucks and the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road that gas tax revenues are declining. ODOT has created a pilot program called Fair Miles Oklahoma and are looking at alternative ways to collect road repair funds. One proposal is for motorists to pay for every mile that they drive. Officials are studying the options and could have more information later this year. They say the goal is to learn lessons and figure out what works and what doesn’t work for Oklahomans.
Energy Mogul Predicts Favorable Future for Oil and Gas
Oklahoma energy magnate Harold Hamm is optimistic about the future of the energy industry. Hamm, the chairman of Continental Resources, says the country is going to need the oil and gas industry for the next 100 years. He addressed a meeting this week at the Hamm Institute for American Energy in Oklahoma City. The Institute was named for him. He praised the oil and gas workforce calling them the backbone of the industry. Hamm said that’s where he started and it’s where his loyalties lie. Also attending the meeting was Molly Determan who is the president of Energy Workforce. She said they are coming out of some of the most challenging times that the nation and world have faced but are still providing affordable, reliable energy. She said it’s important to end the negative rhetoric about the oil and gas industry which directly impacts its ability to access talent and long-term investments. Determan said its critical that they enable their employees to be advocates for the industry.
Chix Chamber of Commerce Plans Centennial Banquet
2023 is a big year for the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is celebrating its 100th year. The group is currently planning its annual banquet and is accepting nominations for a number of awards which will be announced at that time. Among the awards are Civic Hall of Fame, Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Small Business of the Year. Nominations can be submitted on-line at:
The banquet will be held Friday, April 21st and individuals are asked to RSVP by April 15th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.88 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $82.17.
Natural gas is $2.45 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,923 and silver is $23.49.
Thursday, Feb. 2nd
Gary Boggess Sworn is as Grady County Sheriff
There was a changing of the guard at the Grady County Sheriff's Office yesterday. Grady County Commissioners appointed Undersheriff Gary Boggess to serve as sheriff in a special meeting. That was followed by Boggess taking his oath of office from District Judge Kory Kirkland. Boggess said he's blessed to have the opportunity and credited retiring sheriff Jim Weir for his work.
Boggess was named undersheriff in May of 2021 following his retirement after a 20-year career at the Newcastle Police Department. He has more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement. He is a U.S. Army veteran and served in both Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield and afterwards spent eight years in the Oklahoma National Guard.
Retired Sheriff Saluted in Final Radio Call
For Weir, he spent 10 years as sheriff and spent 40 years in law enforcement. We wanted to share this post from the Grady County Sheriff's Office Facebook page with Weir's final call from dispatch-
Weir’s retirement was effective Tuesday, Jan. 31st. By the way, all the Grady County deputies will take their oaths of office to serve under the new sheriff in a ceremonial swearing-in which will be held at Bible Baptist Church this Saturday.
Verden, Gracemont Schools to Have Special Bond Elections
Voters in the Verden and Gracemont school districts will decide bond issues this month. In Verden, a $675,000 bond issue is proposed to include building a security vestibule at the high school. Superintendent Mickey Edwards say the vestibule will double as a commons area and will provide an extra layer of protection for students. A reception area will allow administrative assistants to screen visitors before they are allowed in the building. Edwards said property taxes would not increase if the measure is approved as a current bond issue will come of the tax rolls. If approved the bonds would be paid off in five-years after they are issued.
Gracemont Plan Detailed
Gracemont school patrons will consider a nearly $310,000 bond issue. Superintendent David Garner said the project was developed after holding a community survey. The funds would be used to improve security; make repairs to the foundation of the gymnasium to fix some drainage issues; and make some safety improvements to playgrounds. Garner said property taxes in the Gracemont School District would not increase should the measure be approved. The proposal is also a five-year bond issue. The elections for both bond issues is Tuesday, Feb. 14th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.41 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.51.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,968 and silver is $24.43.
Funeral service for Betty Nobles, 77, of Tuttle will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3rd at Sevier Funeral Home in Tuttle.
Funeral service for Timothy Tims, 80, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He owned and operated Jimmy's Cleaners for more than 20 years.
Wednesday, Feb. 1st
Tanker Truck Hauling Sewage Crashes
A tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of sewage ran off the road and took out two power poles and crashed through a fence in Ninnekah this morning. It happened about 12:30 a.m. near the Washita Valley RV Park at 1907 North Old Highway 81. The dispatch log from the Grady County Sheriff's Office indicates the truck was hauling about 4,000 gallons of sewage. It's not believed that any of the sewage leaked out of the tanker. Ninnekah police and fire, a sheriff's deputy and Chickasha EMS were called. However, the driver of the truck was not injured. PSO was also called out to replace the poles and there were a few power outages. PSO is not reporting any outages in that area this morning. Also, some cattle may have also gotten out with the broken down fence. At last report, the cattle owner was still looking for a missing donkey.
Pursuit Suspect Wanted from Last Summer Arrested
A suspect wanted in connection with the pursuit of a stolen vehicle last summer was taken into custody recently. An arrest warrant was issued last July for 28-year old Randy Mitchell Reed of Chickasha. He was booked into the Grady County Jail last Friday. KOOL-RANCH news reported on the incident in which a pick-up was stolen from the Chickasha Napa Auto Parts store in early July. The pickup owner’s father called the sheriff’s office as he was following the truck north on U.S. Highway 81. While a deputy was responding he saw a pick up that matched the description of the one reported stolen on a county road between Pocasset and Amber. The pursuit went into and through Amber and ended when the pickup crashed – however the driver fled on foot but the deputy managed to take him into custody at the point. The suspect complained of injuries and he was then taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. Reed was arraigned in Grady County District Court this past Monday on felony charges of endangering others while eluding and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond.
Blood Shortage Continues; Pop-up Blood Drive Set
The winter weather over the past week has forced the cancelation of a lot of blood drives for the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). The agency has issued an emergency blood shortage and is working to schedule pop-up blood drives. Christi Chambers is the director of the OBI Lawton office. She says every day that blood drives are canceled means that they don't get the more than 1,000 units of blood they need for all the hospitals they serve in Oklahoma and North Texas. Chambers says they need -
KOOL-RANCH radio and the Chickasha Area YMCA are teaming up with the OBI for a pop-up blood drive. A bloodmobile will be in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow and officials encourage eligible donors to stop in and no appointment is necessary. Other upcoming blood drives can be found on the blood institute’s website: www.obi.org
USAO Program Helps Autistic Students Earn Degrees
A program for autistic college students at USAO is helping the students earn their degrees and help them obtain social skills they'll need in society. Cathy Perri is the director of the Neil-Wint Center for Neurodiversity. She says other USAO students play a big role in serving as mentors.
The program began in 2017 with four students and has grown to 18. Four of the students have earned their college degrees.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $78.87 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.49.
Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,943 and silver is $23.57.
Wilma Dee Roberson
No services are scheduled for Wilma Dee Roberson, 85, of Chickasha. She worked for Southwestern Bell for several years. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Alan Joseph Smart
A private memorial service will be held for Alan Smart, 54, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Jan. 31st
Winter Weather Advisory Extended
A traveler's advisory for much of the state has been extended as weather forecasters say periods of freezing rain, sleet, and snow are anticipated through Thursday morning. The National Weather Service now says the winter weather advisory is in effect until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday for periods of freezing rain, sleet, or snow – with some freezing rain possible into Thursday morning. Additional ice accumulations of up to one quarter-of-an-inch are possible in some areas. Most highways are slick in spots but interior roads could be the most hazardous to drive on. Many schools have gone to virtual learning which means students are at home and in contact with teachers with mobile devices. Today’s closings include the Grady County Courthouse which is expected to re-open an hour later Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. County Commissioner Kirk Painter said individuals summoned for jury duty won't need to report Wednesday until 10:00 a.m.
Jury Selection Begins for Manslaughter Trial
Jury selection began in Grady County District Court yesterday for the trial of a Chickasha man accused in connection with a fatal crash that killed a bicycle rider. Bryan Bingham was charged with manslaughter after the accident which occurred in May of 2020. Scott Womack died in the accident that occurred near his home and Bingham is alleged to have been behind the wheel of the car that hit Womack.
One Dead, One Hospitalized After Ft. Cobb Crash
One person died and another was hospitalized following a traffic accident in Ft. Cobb. 78-year old Gary Orrell of Ft. Cobb died in an ambulance while being taken to a hospital. The accident happened just before 6:00 a.m. Monday. 71-year old Javier Salazar of Carnegie was taken to the Anadarko hospital where he was admitted in serious condition. Also injured was 59-year old Mary Salazar of Carnegie who was also taken to the Anadarko hospital where she was treated and released.
New Grady County Sheriff to be Named Wednesday
A new Grady County sheriff is expected to be named tomorrow. Grady County commissioners held a closed-door session during the group’s Monday morning meeting to discuss the applications of two candidates. Commissioner Kirk Painter said the panel took no action after the executive session but said the new sheriff would be named during a special commissioners meeting scheduled tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Undersheriff Gary Boggess is believed to be the front-runner for the post. Sheriff Jim Weir who is retiring today recommended that commissioners appoint Boggess to the office.
New Turf, Track, Scoreboard Approved for Chix High School
The Chickasha school board approved multi-million dollar contracts with a several companies yesterday to install artificial turf, a new track surface, and a video scoreboard at the high school football stadium. The total cost of the improvements is about $4.2 million with the funds coming from a $35 million bond issue approved by school district voters last summer. A contract with Field Turf USA and partner company Beynon Track was for $3.5 million. Both companies have installed similar surfaces at high schools and colleges throughout the country. Superintendent Rick Croslin talked about some of the benefits.
The school board also approved a $600,000 contract with Metro Sign Company to install a state-of-the-art scoreboard with a large video playback screen and high-tech sound system. Officials hope to begin work around Feb. 20th with completion expected in early July.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.98 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.90.
Natural gas is $2.67 per million BTUS.
Gold is $1,919 and silver is $23.22.
Marion Lennox, Jr.
Funeral service for Marion Lennox, Jr., 92, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4th at the First Baptist Church in Duncan. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Monday, Jan. 30th
Winter Weather Expected Through Noon Wednesday
Old Man Winter has once again tightened his grip on the Sooner State. Many areas of Oklahoma could see a variety of freezing rain, sleet, and snow over the next three days along with sub-freezing temperatures and wind chill values below zero. A travelers advisory is in effect through noon Wednesday as the entire I-40 corridor could get about an inch of snow and some ice accumulation which will create hazardous driving conditions. Temperatures will be steady in the upper-teens and low-twenties through mid-day Wednesday with highs in the mid-to-upper 30s Wednesday afternoon.
Warming Centers Open During Cold Spell
The Chickasha Community Alliance has opened warming centers for the homeless and for families who may not have proper heating in their homes. During the day, Linked Church at 902 S. 9th Street will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Heidi Helping the Homeless at 3rd and Minnesota Ave will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food will be provided at both locations. During the overnight hours The Resurrection House at 7th and Colorado will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
New Grady County Sheriff May be Named
Grady County Commissioners will meet behind closed doors this morning to consider appointing a new sheriff. Current Sheriff Jim Weir is retiring and tomorrow is his last day in office. Officials are expected to elevate Undersheriff Gary Boggess to the post who (if approved) would serve the remaining two years of the sheriff’s term. Weir said Boggess has been basically running the office over the last year and recommended that commissioners appoint Boggess to the post. A swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Weir has spent 40 years in law enforcement with the last 10 years as Grady County Sheriff.
Field Turf Bid for CHS Football Field May be OK'd
The Chickasha school board will consider replacing the natural grass at Memorial Stadium with field turf today. It is part of the bond issue approved by voters last summer. The action is to be discussed in a special meeting of board at noon. The panel will consider approving a contract with Field Turf USA for a new football field and eight-lane track. The price tag is just over $3.5 million. It includes paving, electrical work, fencing, and a metal storage building. The panel will also consider purchasing a new scoreboard for the football field and would include a 20’ X 37’ video board to allow for replays and video ads. Two new play clocks would also be included. The cost of the scoreboard is just over $600,000 and it is from Metro Sign Company. The panel will also discuss considering approving a proposal to surplus all the natural grass and dirt on the field which will have to be removed before the new surface can be installed.
2023-24 School Year Revisions also to be Discussed
The school board will also consider some changes for the 2023-24 school year including spring break for the week of March 18th of 2024 and starting the 4th quarter of the school year March 11th. The group will also consider some changes in the appeal process for students who are suspended. The panel will also consider spending about $12,000 to send the district's administrative team to a conference in Orlando, Florida in June of this year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.68 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.66.
Natural gas is $3.11 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,938 and silver is $23.70.
Funeral service for Stella Carlisle, 89, of Chickasha will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1st at Bible Baptist Church. She owned and operated an antique store and also worked at T, G and Y; Kress Department Store; and Pet Milk. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.