Saturday, Feb. 11th
State Rep Sells Home to OTA
Ahead of Proposed Turnpike Project
State Rep. Sherrie Conley (R-Newcastle) is facing backlash for making a big profit by selling her home and property to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. The Oklahoman reports that Conley's home was in path of the proposed new toll roads that are included in the controversial $5 billon ACCESS Oklahoma Toll Road plan. The Oklahoman reported that Conley and her husband were paid $100,000 over the appraised value of their home and property, received more than $25,000 for moving expenses, and are allowed to stay in the home rent-free for a year. The Oklahoman also report that The Conleys were among nine landowners who sold property to the turnpike authority last year before the work on the proposed toll roads were put on pause due to ongoing litigation.
Pioneer Telephone to End Cell Phone Service
Oklahomans who have cell phone service with Pioneer Telephone Company will have to find a new provider. The company will be discontinuing its cell phone operations later this year. A press release announcing the move indicates it will not affect customers with broadband, hard-line telephone, or iVideo services. Pioneer Telephone serves numerous rural areas including Grady, Caddo, Comanche, and Stephens counties and much of western and northwestern Oklahoma. The firm has been in operation for 70 years. Officials say the move allows the company to focus on its core business of providing broadband services. The company is working with Verizon to ensure that customers maintain their connectivity. Officials say cellular customers don't have to take an action right now. They will be receiving letters in the next few weeks which will have more information. Officials promised to work to ensure the transition will be simple and seamless. Officials are also working to understand what impact the transition will have on its employees.
Oil, Gas Well Completions Reported
Oil and gas well completions in the area have been submitted to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Poloma Operating Company out of Houston filed reports on two wells in the Minco area and one near Yukon. Two Dumbledore Wells are on a single pad about three miles east of Minco in Section 25 of Township 10 North and Range 7 West in Grady County. The two wells were bringing in more than 500 barrels of oil-equivalent and more than 3,000 metric cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas per day at a true vertical depth of just over 10,000 feet. The well near Yukon is the Roseannadanna Well is about two miles southwest of that city in Section 34 of Township 12 North and Range 6 West in Canadian County. The well was producing nearly 200 barrels of oil-equivalent and about 400 Mcf of natural gas per day at a true vertical depth of just under 9,000 feet.
State Rep Brad Boles Reviews Opening Week of Session
State lawmakers have wrapped up the first week of the legislative session. State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) re-capped the week in a media release. He cited Gov. Kevin Stitt's State-of-the-State Address where the governor said he wants lawmakers to focus on lowering taxes, developing the state's workforce, improving infrastructure, and diversifying the state's energy grid to help attract more businesses. Boles is the chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee and meets with industry associations, the corporation commission, the secretary of energy, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the State Department of Environmental Quality to review all the bills assigned to the panel. He says he'll have the group's first meeting next week
Talk Show Topics
Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego and Dr. Bill Worden with Heartland Medical Directions are on our KOOL Konversation program. On Real Estate Today, this week's guests are Cameron Johnston and Evan Blasingame with the CPA firm of Angel, Johnston, and Blasingame. Podcasts of both programs can be found under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Delores Delacruz-Layton, 53, of Chickasha will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11th at Full Gospel Church. She worked at the Cottonwood Nursing Center. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
A memorial service for Theda Amerson, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13th at Sevier Funeral Home. She was a homemaker and babysitter.
Friday, Feb. 10th
Tactical Team Drill Surprises some Chix Residents
About 50 law enforcement personnel from across the state were in Chickasha this week for some training exercises. It caught a lot of people off guard yesterday when they saw officers dressed in tactical gear and carrying firearms in the downtown area near the city’s former police and fire departments. The training was provided by a company called Heartland Medical Direction which hosts training exercises throughout the state. Dr. Bill Wardon is the medical director for Heartland and said they went through several scenarios.
The drills included a medical helicopter landing in the parking lot at 7th and Choctaw Avenue. Agencies from Chickasha and Grady County, along with Caddo, Canadian and Logan counties were in town both Wednesday and Thursday for the training. Wednesday they had classroom lectures in several areas including breaching explosives and even mental health and resiliency training.
Cong. Tom Cole Pans Biden's State-of-the-Union Speech
4th District Congressman Tom Cole (R-Moore) was disappointed in President Biden's State of the Union address this week. Cole said the president didn't mention anything about energy production. In a prepared statement Cole said the president failed to mention a plan to unleash North American energy production to solve (Biden’s) self-created energy crisis. Cole said the U.S. was an almost entirely energy-independent nation when Biden took office but that has all changed. Cole said because of the president's anti-American energy policies and assault on domestic production, energy prices are the highest they've ever been. Cole also said it's time for the president to stop playing games with the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves saying that tapping into the reserves has left America in a vulnerable position and in the hands of other countries that don't have the best interests of the U.S. in mind.
Chix Arts Council Hosts Art Walk Tonight
The Chickasha Area Arts Council is hosting a first-of-a-kind event tonight. A number of businesses in the downtown area have displays of numerous local artists in their store-front windows or inside. About 30 businesses and groups have teamed up with the council to be part of the inaugural walk. Dana Helms helped to organize the event and says it’s patterned off a similar art walk held in Norman. The Art Walk is from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. mostly along Chickasha Avenue from the Rock Island Railroad Depot to 7th Street. Some businesses will be open after their normal business hours.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $78.06 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.50.
Natural gas is $2.43 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,872 and silver is $22.10.
Funeral service for Jack Parrish, 95, of Chickasha was held at 11:00 a.m. this morning at Epworth Methodist Church. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and worked for PSO for nearly 40 years. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home
A graveside service for Delores ‘Dody’ Meeks, 88, of Chickasha will be held by the family at a later date. At one time she was the private secretary for Kevin Eastman who created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, Feb. 9th
Three Chix City Councilors File Unopposed
Only five candidates filed to run for Chickasha city council this week and four of them currently serve on the panel. The only race that developed is in Ward 4, where Councilman Kelly Boyd is being challenged by Eric Anderson. It's the first time for Anderson to run for public office. Ward 3 Councilman Oscar Nelson, Ward 2 Councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite, and Ward 1 Councilman Brian Gerdes all ran unopposed and will serve two more years on the council. The city council election will be held in April.
Anadarko Mayor has Opponent; Two Council Reps were Unchallenged
In Anadarko, there is a race for the top council post, as Mayor Kelley McGlothin is being opposed by Patrick Michael Hays. Two council representatives ran unopposed and will keep their seats on the panel. Ward One councilor Jayme Miller and Ward 2 councilor Patrick Redbird will serve another term. Municipal elections will be held in April.
USAO Prez Touts Partnership with OU School of Nursing
USAO and Murray State College are combining efforts with the Fran and Earl Ziegler College OU School of Nursing train more nurses in an attempt to address Oklahoma's nursing shortage. At a press conference announcing the partnership yesterday, USAO president John Feaver said the university has a long and distinguished record of producing students who excel and graduate through the university's health sciences program.
This fall, USAO will offer a guaranteed admission opportunity to six qualified undergraduate students who are majoring in nursing and allow them to pursue their bachelor of science degrees at the OU College of Nursing at Cameron University in Lawton and at Duncan Regional Hospital.
'Onward Chickasha' Community Open House Set
The first community meeting of the Onward Chickasha community development plan is on the calendar. It will be a come-and-go event for individuals to meet with the project team of the Guernsey Engineering firm which was hired to conduct an 18-month study to provide the city with a 20-30 year improvement plan. The meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 23rd from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Chickasha High School commons area. There will be a number of static displays for residents to view and comment on. In addition to the community meeting, individuals are urged to take an on-line survey to provide input on what they would like to see for the city in the long-term. The survey is on the website:
www.OnwardChickasha.org with the deadline for comments being March 15th.
Chickasha Schools Name First Hall of Honor Members
Chickasha Public School officials have announced the first three individuals to be enshrined in the district's Hall of Honor. The hall was established to celebrate individuals who have contributed to the welfare of humanity and brought unusually positive attention to Chickasha.
Dr. Ada Sipuel-Fisher: She was the valedictorian of the 1941 class of Chickasha's Lincoln High School and civil rights pioneer who broke the color barrier at the OU Law School. She graduated from there in 1952; practiced law in Chickasha and Oklahoma City; taught at Langston University and retired as Langston's Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. She also served as a member of the OU Board of Regents.
Art Griffith: Griffith was a 1915 Chickasha High School graduate who fought in World War I and would serve as the wrestling coach at Oklahoma A and M and lead the team to eight national titles. He also coached the USA wrestling team to a gold medal in the 1948 Olympics and is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Darrell Harms: Harms was the speech and drama teacher for Chickasha Public Schools for 35 years in the district. He led students to an estimated 180 full-length plays and performances and one-night acts, and was the public address announcer for numerous high school and junior high football and basketball games. He is already a member of the Chickasha High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held during the annual Chickasha Public School Foundation Gala on March 31st.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $78.47 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.09.
Natural gas is $2.40 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,393 and silver is $22.47.
Wednesday, Feb. 8th
USAO to Assist in Filling Nursing Shortage
USAO will be working to help solve the shortage of nursing professionals in the state. USAO and Murray State will be partnering with the Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at OU to offer a guaranteed admission program. A press conference announcing the partnership will be held at the OU Health Sciences Center this afternoon.
Four Incumbents, One Challenger File for Chix City Council
Five candidates have come forward so far to run for Chickasha City Council with one apparent race so far. That's in Ward 4 where incumbent Kelly Boyd is being challenged by Eric Anderson. On Tuesday, Ward 3 councilman Oscar Nelson and Ward 1 councilman Brian Gerdes filed their paperwork to run for re-election. Ward 2 councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite had previously filed. Today is the final day for candidates to file for city or town council posts.
Regional Filings Update
Checking city and town council filings for other area communities:
Alex, Roy Marcum and Jim Bisel have filed for board of trustees;
Minco, Felicia Tinsley and Rex Ramey have filed for separate offices;
Ninnekah, Linda Clark and Teresa Dunn have filed for separate offices;
Rush Springs, Gary Langham and Hank Badertscher have filed for board of trustees and Kathy Adamson has filed for Town Clerk-Treasurer;
Verden, Amber King and Michael Hurley have fled for board of trustees;
Dibble, Matt Alexander has filed for board of trustees;
Blanchard, Michael Scalf and Joseph Davis have filed for separate offices;
Anadarko, Kelly McGlothlin and Patrick Michael Hayes have filed for Mayor; Jayme Miller has filed in Ward 1 and Patrick Redbird has filed in Ward 2;
Cement, Erik Williams, Linda Kawa, and Sarah Jiminez have filed for board of trustees;
Cyril, Monica Cooper, Kathy Castro and Shawn Ream have filed for board of trustees;
Gracemont, Curtis McPherson and Carol Abbott have filed for board of trustees;
Ft. Cobb, Chris Helton and Kendra West have filed for board of trustees;
Apache, Tina Johnson has filed for board of trustees;
Binger, Steve DeVaughn, Robert Doyel, and Mason Smith have filed for board of trustees of trustees and Taryn Gregory has filed for town clerk-treasurer;
Carnegie, Wesley Taylor and Donald Topfi have filed for bd. of trustees;
Eakly, Angel Castillo, board of trustees and Lisa Root, town clerk-treasurer;
Hinton, Casey McLoud, Brandon Hill, Randel House, Janie Smallwood, and Brian Sweeney for board of trustees and Brooke Hoehner for town clerk.
The filing period for municipal offices ends at 5 o'clock this afternoon.
Congressman Tom Cole Schedules Chickasha Stop
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole will be in Chickasha later this month. Cole will have a legislative update at the chamber of commerce on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd. The program will be at 11:30 a.m. and a box lunch will be available for $10. Contact Whitney Palesano at the chamber to sign up.
Assault Suspect Recently Served Jail Time for Vandalism
A Chickasha man is jailed on a $50,000 bond after being arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. 42-year old James Albert Eudy, II was arrested by Chickasha police last week. A probable cause affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates an officer was called to the 600 block of North 8th Street last Wednesday morning. The victim said she and Eudy had been arguing when he got physical struck her several times. Prosecutors have formally charged Eudy with a felony for domestic violence-assault and battery. He had just gotten out of jail last month after serving a short sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor vandalism charge stemming from an arrest in December.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.14 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.69.
Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,894 and silver is $22.51.
Funeral service for Jeffrey Douglas, 62, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He was a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and worked at Midwest Towers.
A graveside service for Lucy Burkett, 81, of Chickasha will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10th at Fairlawn Cemetery. She was a truck driver with her husband Don and was an accomplished seamstress. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Feb. 7th
Chix Resident Claims Economic Development Council
Not Being 'Transparent' with Use of Hotel-Motel Tax Funds
For the last several months, a Chickasha resident has complained that the city's Economic Development Council (EDC) is not providing information about how the panel is using some of the city's hotel-motel tax revenues. Laurie Allen has been to several city council meetings since December saying the information is public record but that EDC officials say it is not. Allen was in front of the city council again last night saying some information has come forward but she still wants more details. She has gone so far as to notify the state attorney general's office alleging EDC is violating the state's open records act. City Manager Keith Johnson admitted there has been some problems with a lack of transparency by the EDC but says more needs to be done.
Also during the meeting, the council approved a contract to replace a sewer line near 16th and Choctaw which has been dilapidated for several years. The project was awarded to Matthews Trenching at a cost of nearly $320,000. The panel also approved paying city manager Keith Johnson $10,000 for moving expenses which was part of his contract when he was hired last fall.
Candidates File for Area City, Town Council Posts
Three people filed for Chickasha City Council in the first day of filing for office yesterday. Ward 2 Councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite and Ward 4 Councilman Kelly Boyd filed for re-election. Also filing was Eric Anderson in Ward 4. Other filings in the region: In Ninnekah, Teresa Dunn has filed for Office 2 and Linda Clark filed for Office 3 for the town council; In Verden, Michael Hurley filed for board of trustees; In Rush Springs, Hank Badertscher and Gary Langham both filed for board of trustees and Kathy Adamson filed for town clerk-treasurer; In Alex, Jim Bisel filed for board of trustees; and in Minco, Rex Ramey filed for Ward No. 2 for town council. In Blanchard, Joseph Jody Davis has filed in Ward 1 and Michael Scalf has filed in Ward 2 for city council. In Anadarko, Patrick Michael Hayes has filed as a candidate for Mayor; in Cyril, Shawn Ream filed for board of trustees; in Gracemont, Carol Abbott filed for board of trustees; in Binger, Taryn Gregory filed for the town clerk-and-treasurer; and in Hinton, Casey McLoud and Janie Smallwood have filed for board of trustees. The filing period runs through Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Suspect Arrested Nearly a Year After Alleged Kidnapping
There's new information about a man who was arrested last week for kidnapping. It's alleged the incident took place on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike last February. It wasn't until nine months later (last November) that an arrest warrant was issued for 30-year old James Latour Burgess. A probable cause affidavit indicates the victim said he picked up Burgess and his girlfriend in Oklahoma City and agreed to give them a ride to Chickasha. At some point during the trip it’s alleged that Burgess pulled out two weapons and put one of them in the victim's side. He then took the victims' cel phone and told him to go back to Oklahoma City. After dropping Burgess and his girlfriend off the victim drove back to Chickasha where a report was filed with a state trooper. Burgess remains in the Grady County Jail awaiting arraignment.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.11 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $80.99.
Natural gas is $2.45 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,882 and silver is $22.25.
Monday, Feb. 6th
Chix Wal-Mart Evacuated After Report of Threat
Several law enforcement agencies responded to a threat at Chickasha's Wal-Mart store Saturday night. The call came in about 9:30 p.m. Chickasha police and Grady County sheriff's deputies were among those responding. A press release issued by Chickasha police said the store was evacuated as a precaution and later said there was an incident which was not related to the alleged threat but provided no other details. Authorities determined there was no threat to the public.
Kidnapping Suspect Arrested
A man wanted for alleged kidnapping has been taken into custody. Last November, A Grady County judge issued an arrest warrant for 30-year old James Latour Burgess of Oklahoma City stemming from an investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. In addition to kidnapping Burgess was also wanted for possession of a firearm after former conviction. No details were available about the investigation. Burgess could have his initial appearance on the charges in Grady County District Court as early as today.
Filing Period Opens for City, Town Council Offices
The filing period is underway for a number of city and town council posts. Candidates for Chickasha City Council will file at Chickasha City Hall and all others in Grady County will file at the Grady County Election Board. Chickasha City Council representatives who seats are up for election include Brian Gerdes in Ward 1; Georgianne Hebblethwaite in Ward 2; Oscar Nelson in Ward 3; and Kelly Boyd in Ward 4. The three-day filing period runs through 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Large Re-imbursement Grant to be Discussed By Chix Council
The Chickasha City Council tonight will consider approving a six-figure grant reimbursement to the group responsible for much of the new development in downtown Chickasha over the last couple of years. It's a $100,000 reimbursement request by a group called Chickasha Today for work done in the 100 block of Chickasha Avenue. The council is also to consider awarding a sewer line replacement project at 16th and Choctaw to Matthews Trenching for nearly $320,000. The panel will also consider a $10,000 payment to city manager Keith Johnson related to his moving expenses; and will consider accepting the appointment of Robert Brooks as City Treasurer. He’s expected to be named to the post to replace previous finance director Cindy Rogers who recently stepped down. The panel will also get an update from Jim Cowan with the Economic Development Council regarding downtown grants. The group will also consider approving engineering studies with Parkhill Engineering for a couple of projects at the Chickasha Airport. One is the make improvements to the runway and taxi way and the second is to design some new hangars for estimated costs of about $87,000 each. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at City Hall.
State Legislative Session Begins Today
State lawmakers are returning to the state capital today for the start of the 2023 legislative session. Thousands of bills have been submitted for consideration. Governor Kevin Stitt will give his State of the State address this afternoon and he's expected to continue his call for an end to the state sales tax on groceries and a cut in state income tax rates.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.39 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.94.
Natural gas is $2.41 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,883 and silver is $22.42.
Funeral service for John Nix, 90, of Chickasha was held at 2 o'clock today at Holy Name Catholic Church. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Rhonda Davis of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.