Saturday, April 15th
Teen Shooting Suspected to be Tried as Youthful Offender
A Caddo County judge has ruled that a Cyril teenager will be tried as a youthful offender for shooting his father. Defense attorneys for 17-year old Lance Moore had filed a motion asking that Moore be certified as a juvenile. Moore was arrested in October of 2021 for shooting his father in the back. Court documents show that Cyril police were called to the Cyril Village Apartments to investigate the shooting. At the time, Moore told police that his father came to the apartment looking for the teen's mother and the teen and his dad had a confrontation. Moore said his father threatened him prior to the shooting. A jury trial has been schedule Sept. 25th.
Wind Turbine-Blade Junkyard Bill OK'd by State Senate Panel
A bill designed to regulate wind-turbine-blade junk yards will be heard in the state senate. Earlier this week we reported on HB 2359 which would require junkyard operators to show financial security that the blades are being properly disposed of and to file annual reports with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The bill from State Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) and State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) passed out of the senate energy and telecommunications committee with a 9-1 vote this week with an amendment for junkyards to pay a $1,000 annual filing fee. It's not clear when the bill will be debated by the full senate.
80-mph Speed Limit on H.E. Bailey Turnpike Ok'd
Officials with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) have approved increasing the speed limit on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. The Southwest Ledger reports that the speed limit will be increased to 80 miles per hour but it wasn't clear when that might go into effect. It will impact a nearly 50-mile stretch of the turnpike (I-44) between Newcastle and Lawton. A turnpike representative told the Ledger that cable barriers need to be installed on some sections and some resurfacing also must take place before the speed limit goes up. Last year the turnpike fully transitioned to a cashless tolling system which requires motorists to either purchase a PikePass or be sent a bill from the turnpike's PlatePay system. The PlatePay system takes a photograph of a vehicle's license plate and the OTA will mail a bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Apache Rattlesnake Festival Continues Through the Weekend
It should be a good weekend for the Apache Rattlesnake Festival. It's the 39th year for the event hosted by the Slick Hills Foundation and features a lot of events that don't even pertain to the slithering creatures which lurk in the Slick Hills just outside the town limits. There's a large flea market, a carnival, live music and entertainment (including a Native American fancy war dance competition), and a rodeo. Visitors can learn about the rattlers and other venomous and non-venomous snakes at the snake pit and can witness snake handlers walk within a den of dozens of snakes. There are even guided snake hunts and individuals may want a taste of some deep-fried rattlesnake. The festival is open until 10 o'clock tonight and runs from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. There's no charge to attend the flea market but there are fees for some of the activities.
Talk Show Topics
Anadarko City Manager Richard Rogalski and the city's neighborhood and community services director Corey Bowen are on the KOOL Konversation talking about the Great Anadarko Cleanup set for next week. On Real Estate Today the guests are Dan Turner and Jerry Don Bray with Chickasha Public Schools giving an update on the construction projects going on. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A graveside service for Doris Marshall, 91, of Amber will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, April 17th at the Amber Cemetery. She was a homemaker and she and her husband operated a dairy farm for many years. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Baptist Home for Children. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for 49-year old Amy Schoolfield of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 18th at New Life Christian Church. She was a registered nurse. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Friday, April 14th
Ex-Con Back in Jail After an OKC-to-Altus Trip
Takes Detour to Chickasha and Pocasset
A frightening situation occurred this week for a woman who agreed to help a man move some things from Oklahoma City to Altus. The trip took an unexpected turn to a rural area near Pocasset with the man threatening the woman with a handgun. A probable cause affidavit from the Grady County Sheriff’s Office indicates it started in Oklahoma City Monday morning. While driving down the turnpike in the woman’s van, she got nervous and pulled into the E-Z Go Convenience Store. The suspect pulled out a weapon and told her to keep driving and he threw her cell phone out of the vehicle. Then he told her to get off the turnpike at the Chickasha exit and they ended up near Pocasset. The suspect is alleged to have tried to push the woman out of the van and it got stuck in a ditch. The victim was able to run to a nearby home and called authorities while the suspect ran into a wooded area. On Tuesday, authorities got a call about a suspicious person in the Pocasset area. Deputies were told a man matching the suspect’s description was given a ride by an individual in a flat-bed truck. Deputies spotted the truck, made a traffic stop, and took the suspect into custody. Arrested was 39-year old Jarvis Earl Sanders, also known as 'Westside.' Prosecutors have charged Sanders with first degree robbery and having a weapon after former felony conviction. Sanders has previous convictions of assault and battery with dangerous weapon and unauthorized use of a vehicle out of Oklahoma County from 2018. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
School Safety Bills OK'd by State House Panels
Two bills supported by a Grady County state lawmaker that would increase security in Oklahoma schools get unanimous approval by house committees. State Rep. Dick Lowe (R-Amber) presented SB 100 to the house education committee and SB 101 to the appropriations and budget committee. Lowe reviewed the bills earlier this week on KOOL-RANCH News (see Monday, April 10th). SB 100 would require that every school district undergo a risk and vulnerability assessment and get recommendations for improving school security. SB 101 would require than the state department of education establish a school resource officer grant program which would provide rural and underserved schools with start-up grants to begin school resource officer programs. The bills passed their respective committees unanimously and will now be heard by the full house of representatives.
Chix 'Second Friday' Art Walk Tonight
Organizers of the monthly Second Friday art walk in downtown Chickasha expect tonight's event to be the best yet. More than 30 businesses and organizations will be open after regular hours and more than 25 artisans will have their works on display and many will have their items for sale. Organizer Dana Helms says to expect 'flash mobs' to pop up. She explains what a flash mob is-
The art walk will be mainly along Chickasha Avenue from the Leg Lamp to 8th Street but will also include some business on 4th Street, 5th Street, and Kansas Avenue from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight. The first flash mob will be at the Leg Lamp about 5:30 p.m. with a second flash mob at Shakespeare Wine Company about 7:00 p.m. There is no cost for families to stroll through downtown to visit with the local artists.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $82.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.09.
Natural gas is $2.01 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,055 and silver is $26.19.
A memorial service for Terry Andrews, 62, of Chickasha will be held by the family at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, April 13th
Wind-Turbine Blade 'Junkyard' Bill Proposed
What happens to wind-turbine blades when they are outdated? The life expectancy of the massive blades is about 20 years. State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) and State Representative Brad Boles (R-Marlow) are working on legislation regarding the disposal of wind turbine blades in Oklahoma. In recent years, the disposal of the blades has become an issue in other states. HB 2359 calls for operators of wind turbine junkyards to file annual reports with the corporation commission. The website OK Energy Today cites the bill as saying an owner of a wind farm operation who chooses to send old blades to a third party recycling facility in Oklahoma would have to use facilities that would be listed on the corporation commission's website. The measure is on today's agenda for the senate energy and telecommunications committee.
CHS Football Stadium Field Turf Project Ahead of Schedule
Construction crews are ahead of schedule for the renovations underway at the Chickasha High School football field. The field turf that replaces the natural grass surface was installed this week. School district operations director Dan Turner says crews now have the tedious task of detailing the field-
After that...crews have to insert the fill material needed to create a safe playing surface. Turner said crews are about two weeks ahead of schedule. The work is expected to be completed well before the start of football season this fall.
Driver Hospitalized After Car Hits Tree
An elderly Marlow driver was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after the car she was driving ran off the road and hit a tree. The highway patrol reports that 81-year old Cleo Ruth was last in poor condition with internal injuries. The accident happened just north of Duncan about 1:30 yesterday afternoon. It wasn't clear what caused Ruth to run off the road.
OSU Research Station Sets Wheat-and-Forages Field Day
Ag producers wanting to get the latest information on new wheat varieties might want to check out the annual wheat and forages field day at the OSU South Central Research Station in Chickasha later this month. A number of OSU professors and extension specialists will be on hand to discuss a wide range of topics. Extension specialists Brian Arnall, Amanda Silva, Alex Rocateli, Darrel Peel, and Bret Carver, the chairman of OSU's wheat genetics program are all scheduled. The program will be held on Friday, April 28th with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. and the program starting at 9:00 a.m. For information contact Michael Pettijohn at the research station or go on-line to: agriculture.okstate.edu
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $83.26 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $87.33.
Natural gas is $2.09 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,040 and silver is $25.69.
No service is scheduled for Stephan Boothe, 65, of Edmond. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Shirley Akins, 79, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 15th at Northside Church of Christ. She worked in the Chickasha schools food service department for 30 years. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 12th
Tax Cut Bills Being Considered at State Capital
State lawmakers have discussed a number of tax cut proposals at the state capital during the current legislative session. State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) discusses some of the measures which have been approved in the House of Representatives and sent to the State Senate for consideration-
A house bill that would eliminate the state sales tax on groceries is supported by the governor. A similar plan approved by the house last year did not make it through the state senate.
PSO Proposes Purchase of Wind, Solar Farms
Which is Expected to Lower Rates, However...
A state utility says its ratepayers would eventually get a rate reduction if a proposed $2.4 billion acquisition of some solar and wind farms is approved. Officials with Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) told the Oklahoma Corporation Commission yesterday that the 'benefits were immense.' However, before a reduction would take effect, PSO customers would see a monthly increase in their bills. PSO calls it the Fuel-Free Power Plan - and say it is a balanced approach that enables the utility to continue providing reliable, affordable power and would reduce volatility in prices. PSO parent company American Electric Power wants to purchase six solar and wind farms in Kansas and the Texas Panhandle. If approved monthly bills would initially increase nearly $2 per month beginning in 2025 and then in 2026 the bills would be reduced nearly $2.60 per month - or about 64 cents per month less than current costs. The commission took no action on the proposal saying they will await a decision from an administrative law judge who attended yesterday's meeting.
Two Arrested at Vacant Apartment Complex
Two people were arrested last weekend after police were summoned to a vacant apartment complex to investigate an argument. Chickasha police were dispatched to The Palms Apartments at 17th and Alabama which has been closed and boarded up for several years. A probable cause affidavit indicates that on Sunday police found an open door and announced they were there. A woman appeared and told officers that she was having a fight with her boyfriend. Officers walked through the area and discovered a man lying on the floor. The man told authorities his name was Mark but appeared nervous. The woman also identified the man as Mark but said he was not her boyfriend. The suspect then tried to run but he was caught after a short foot pursuit. Authorities found an identification card for a Clyde James Eldridge who was the man who tried to run. Police arrested both Eldridge and the woman, identified as Sara Danielle Files on complaints of obstruction. Eldridge has been formally charged with a felony for false personation and a misdemeanor for obstruction and remains in jail on a $10,000 bond. Files, already on probation for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge following an arrest last December, was charged with a misdemeanor for obstruction and remains in jail on a $7,500 bond.
USAO 'Giving Day' Successful
Donors came through in a big way for USAO's recent 'Giving Day.' Officials say they surpassed their goal to raise $150,000 during the one-day event which was a tribute to longtime university president John Feaver who is retiring this year. More than 260 gifts accounted for nearly $160,000 in contributions. USAO Foundation Director JP Audus said it was remarkable to see the outpouring of support for everything Feaver has done. Feaver has been associated with USAO for more than 40 years which includes more than 20 years as a faculty member followed by his more than 20 years as president.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.61.
Natural gas is $2.15 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,025 and silver is $25.27.
Tuesday, April 11th
Suspect Arrested for Assault; Attempting to Blow Up Home
A suspect is in custody facing felony assault and battery charges in connection with separate attacks last week. In one of the incidents he's accused of trying to blow up the trailer of his girlfriend's mother. 48-year old Jason Heath Annesley was arrested last Friday at a home in the Blanchard area. According to court documents, a Grady County deputy sheriff was called to the emergency room at an Oklahoma City hospital Friday where a woman alleged she had been beaten by Annesley. At one point, she said the suspect was beating her while they were driving down the turnpike and he told her to jump out of the vehicle while he was driving 90 miles per hour. He eventually pulled off the interstate where the victim did jump out of the car at a stop sign and ran away. A passerby picked her up and took her to the hospital. It's also alleged that on Thursday Annesley turned on the gas burners at the mobile home of the victim’s mother, saying when she came in and lit a cigarette it would blow up. Annesley is charged with felony counts of assault and battery by strangulation and assault and battery with a deadly weapon and he remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
State Insurance Commish Schedules Chix, 'Darko Visits
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready will be making town-hall stops in Chickasha and Anadarko next week. He'll be at the Anadarko Public Library Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to meet with insurance agents and others in a town hall format. He’ll be in Chickasha for a similar meeting at the Chamber of Commerce from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a town hall that’s open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP the Anadarko Library, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, or the state insurance commissioner's office.
City of Anadarko Schedules Clean Up Week
The City of Anadarko will have a clean-up campaign next week. Officials are encouraging residents and businesses to haul away brush, limbs, trash, and unwanted items and to clean up parks, streets, and neighborhoods. Roll-off dumpsters will be located next to the police department and at the city yard at 415 North Country Club Road from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Anadarko residents can take items to those locations at no cost as long as they show a city utility bill. No hazardous waste will be accepted but they will take passenger car and truck tires. They will accept debris from outside the Anadarko city limits however they ask that a $25 donation be made to the Anadarko Economic Development Authority. The Delaware Nation has arranged for a shredding day with a company coming in on Wednesday, April 19th which will be located at the former National Guard armory. Officials are also asking for volunteers to help clean up parks and plant flowers and trees. The city will provide bags, gloves, and protective vests. They'll finish up the week with a free cookout for the volunteers at Randlett Park on Saturday, April 22nd which is Earth Day. For information contact Corey Bowen at Anadarko City Hall or go to: #trashtag
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.74 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.18.
Natural gas is $2.17 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,019 and silver is $25.19.
A graveside service for Howard Richardson, 79, of Amber will be held at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 13th at Fairlawn Cemetery. He was a Millwright, a welder, and served as the acting chief of the Department of Environmental Quality at Ft. Sill. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for L.B. Carr, 91, of Alex will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 14th at the Alex High School gymnasium. He was a dairy farmer and rancher, worked for Grady County road maintenance, sold crop insurance, and was an adjuster. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, April 10th
Stand-off Ends with Murder-Suicide; Responding Officer Wounded
A stand-off at a home northeast of Blanchard over the weekend ends in tragedy. The McClain County Sheriff's office initially responded to a domestic violence call about 4 a.m. Saturday. Blanchard police also responded and the officers were met with gunfire when they arrived. A Blanchard police officer was shot in the arm and leg and was taken to a hospital with non-fatal injuries. The Grady County Sheriff's Office and OSBI were also summoned to the home where the stand-off lasted about two hours. At some point, officers entered the home and found the bodies of Ashley Pfannestiel and Konrad Pfannestiel. Investigators say Konrad fatally shot his wife then turned the gun on himself. Authorities say Ashley had filed a victim's protective order against her husband about a week earlier.
One Teen Hospitalized, One Unhurt in Weekend Pursuit
A Ft. Cobb teenager was hospitalized following a weekend pursuit in Caddo and Washita Counties. The highway patrol reports that the Caddo County Sheriff's Office was in pursuit of a pickup driven by a 17-year old male driver just before midnight Friday. The truck ran off the roadway, crashed through fence and rolled four times, partially ejecting the un-named driver. The teen was taken by ground ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in good condition. A second 17-year old Ft. Cobb male who was passenger in the truck was not hurt. The crash happened on State Highway 152 about five miles west of Eakly in Washita County. It wasn't clear why a deputy was pursuing the teens.
State Lawmakers to Discuss School Safety Bills
State lawmakers will be working on a number bills this week that supporters say are designed to improve school safety. Suspected threats last Thursday had Chickasha schools bring in extra security while Elgin and Clinton schools closed. And this morning, Yukon schools shut down due to a reported threat. State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber) discusses some of the legislation that will be debated-
Lowe said schools have spent a lot of money in recent years building safe rooms for tornado safety but that schools these days also need to be bullet-proof.
More Upgrades for CHS Football Field to be Discussed
Some additions to the Chickasha high school football field improvements underway will be considered by the Chickasha school board tonight. Authorities will discuss improvements that will add nearly $75,000 to the cost of the upgrades. One of them is to build a storage shed near the visitor bleachers at a cost of about $65,000; another is for fencing and gates for the track-and-field area for nearly $6,000; and a sidewalk at the cost of $5,500. If approved the projects would be paid for out of the safety and security bond issue.
Board to Recognize Employees
The board of education will honor the Chicken Express Employees of month. Operations Director Dan Turner is the certified employee of the month and bus driver Mke Kyees is the support employee of the month. Also to be recognized are Chickasha High School Art Teacher Allison Cofer as the District Teacher of the Year and Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center support employee who is the Support Employee of the Year. Also to be recognized is Cristy Cervantes as Support Employee of the Quarter who also works at Bill Wallace. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.70 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.12.
Natural gas is $2.01 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,016 and silver is $25.11.