Saturday, May 13th
Weather Service Works to Determine Tornado Count
Officials with the National Weather Service are working to confirm how many tornadoes may have touched down in this spring's most recent outbreak. Officials began surveying 13 areas of damage where twisters were reported Thursday night. One of them was near the town of Cole, which was just hit by an EF-3 tornado last month that caused massing destruction and killed three people. Weather service crews are looking through data from possible tornadoes near Ninnekah, Rush Springs, Dibble, Tuttle, and Bridge Creek. There was significant damage in downtown Noble. Authorities have not yet released the ratings on Thursday night's twisters.
Spotter Sees Twister Near Alex
Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said a storm spotter in Alex reported a weak tornado touched down briefly, spinning up some hay in a field. Thompson said no significant damage was reported from tornado warnings that were issued in Rush Springs or Ninnekah. There were damage reports in the Dibble area in McClain County.
Two Suspects Arrested in Connection with Lawton Break-in
Suspects from Chickasha and Cement have been arrested in connection with a burglary in Lawton. Christopher Warren Marker of Chickasha and Ester Knight of Cement, both 34, were reportedly caught in the act of breaking into a wrecker company. Both have been formally charged in Comanche District Court with burglary and knowingly receiving, concealing, and/or with holding stolen property. Knight's bond was set at $50,000 and Marker's bond was set at $10,000.
State Gets Millions in Fed Funds to Build EV Charging Network
Oklahoma has received millions of dollars in federal funds which will be used to build an electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Officials with the State Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hold a meeting later this month to explain how it intends to use the $66 million over the next five years through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program (NEVI). The website OK Energy Today reports the funding for the first year is nearly $23 million which will be used to start construction of charging stations along interstate highways. ODOT is mobilizing business leaders, manufacturers, contractors, vendors, and other interested parties to join efforts to bring EV charging stations to the Sooner State. The state agency will be releasing a Request for Proposals or RFPs for stakeholders to review. Companies will be able to receive up to 80 percent of their costs to build, operate, and maintain compliant EV charging stations. There will be a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, May 30th for those interested in getting details. The RFPs are expected to be posted in July with proposals to be submitted in September and selected proposals to be awarded funding in October.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess and Capt. Jim Peek with the Drug Enforcement Administration are on the KOOL Konversation program. On Real Estate Today, guests are broker Suehzen Mosely with Century 21/Mosley Real Estate and staff members Kayla Quillin, Maddie Mosley, and Blair Schoppa. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, May 12th
Tornadoes Again Strike Central Oklahoma
Another round of severe weather last night had the National Weather Service issuing several tornado warnings. There were reports of more damage in the small town of Cole which was which was hit by an EF-3 tornado last month. A tornado in downtown Noble caused structure damage and downed power lines. Officials in McClain County set up a command post in Goldsby to assist.
Several Grady County Tornado Warnings Issued
Several tornado warnings were issued in Grady County as the massive storm system continued to build. The first was issued just east of Tuttle which was followed by warnings for storms south of Ninnekah and in Rush Springs. There were no immediate reports of damage. The threat for severe weather will continue tonight and through the middle of next week as weather forecasters say thunderstorms could bring baseball sized hail, 80 mile per hour winds, locally heavy rain, and tornadoes.
State Dep't of Corrections Re-Opens Hinton Prison
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is re-opening the prison in Hinton. The Great Plains Correctional Center had been closed for about two years after a contract with a private operator was not renewed. The prison is within the district served by State Rep. Dick Lowe (R-Amber). In a prepared statement, Lowe said it's great to see the facility back up and running and that it will bring a number of jobs back to Caddo County. Corrections officials say the decision to re-open the Hinton facility was made after a contract with a private firm operating the prison in Sayre was not re-newed. Employees at the Sayre prison will have the opportunity to make the transition to Hinton. Officials have begun moving inmates from Sayre to Hinton and the facility is expected to be fully operational by July 1st.
Letter Carriers to 'Stamp Out Hunger' with Food Drive
Letter carriers in local neighborhoods are joining fellow carriers across the country for a nationwide food drive. The National Association of Letters Carriers hold their Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive the second Saturday in May every year to re-stock local food pantries. Postal patrons should have received a plastic bag in the mail this week as well as a post card to remind them of the food drive. Postal customers are asked to put non-perishable food items in the bags and place them next to their mail boxes tomorrow and they'll be picked up when mail is delivered. Donation boxes are also located in many post offices for those who have post office boxes. The drive is supported by the Regional Food Banks of Oklahoma.
Lots to do in Chickasha This Weekend
(EDITOR'S NOTE - The Extreme Monster Truck Spring Nationals scheduled for the Grady County Fairgrounds this week have been postponed until August. For those who purchased tickets in advance, those tickets will be honored at the August show)
There is a lot of activity in and around Chickasha over the next several days. The Chickasha Antique Auto Club continues its spring swap meet just east of the Grady County Fairgrounds. There is also an arts and crafts show piggy-backing with the swap meet in the north exhibit building at the fairgrounds. There are also town-wide garage sales all weekend.
Monthly Art Walk on Tap
Also scheduled tonight is the monthly art walk in downtown Chickasha held on the second Friday of each month. Dozens of artists will display their works with many businesses open after hours. There will also be performing artists ranging from musicians, to belly dancers, to glass blowers. It costs nothing to take the family for a walk downtown to enjoy the art and interact with the artisans. That will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. weather permitting.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.87 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.98.
Natural gas is $2.19 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,008 and silver is $23.94.
Thursday, May 11th
'Suspicious' Fire Destroys Vacant Commercial Building
A fire that destroyed a vacant warehouse near downtown Chickasha yesterday remains under investigation. The blaze destroyed a building that was previously used by the Stephens Oil Company in the 500 block of North 6th Street. Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said a 9-1-1 call alerted authorities to the fire about 12:30 yesterday afternoon. The metal building was nearly fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. Samaniego said their efforts were hampered because none of the three nearby fire hydrants were fully functional. So they called in support from the Grady County Fire Department with Ninnekah and Friend volunteer departments sending in tankers to provide water to help douse the flames. Samaniego said the building had been vacant for years. The 3,000 sq. ft. building was a total loss with the value estimated upwards of $45,000. Samaniego said the cause of the fire is suspicious in nature. Building owners said that they have had issues with transients going in and out of the building. Crews were on the scene for more than three hours.
OHCE Groups Celebrate Their 'Week'
Oklahoma Home and Community Education groups across the state are marking OHCE week. There are OHCE groups in every county and there are about 3,000 members statewide. There are six OHCE groups in Grady County with a combined membership of more than 100 women and men. Each holds monthly educational meetings and discuss the needs of the communities they serve. Coming up this summer, Grady County OHCE will hold a ‘Kitchen Basics for Youth’ class. Tammy Watts reviews the course.
She said the final day of the program there will be a food showdown competition. Classes will be held each Tuesday and Thursday in July at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Contact the Grady County OSU Extension Office for information by calling 4054-224-2216.
A memorial service for Mary Wood, 100, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 15th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, May 10th
CV Tech School Board sets Multi-Million Bond Issue Election
Voters in Grady and Canadian counties will decide a multi-million dollar bond issue for the Canadian Valley Technology Center school district later this year. A $75 million bond issue will be on ballots. Superintendent Gayla Lutts says among the improvements will be safety and security upgrades for the Chickasha campus and improvements and expansion of the first responder program at the El Reno campus.
The special bond election will be on ballots in September.
Antique Auto Swap Meet About to Begin
Vendors for this weekend's Chickasha Antique Auto Club's spring swap meet will be arriving today. The spring swap meet attracts thousands of visitors around the world looking for hard-to-find parts or even fully restored vehicles. While the vendors will be arriving today the swap meet won't officially open until tomorrow and will run through Saturday. Most of the vendors will be on the 30-plus acre site owned by the antique auto club just east of the Grady County Fairgrounds. Other vendors will be located on the fairgrounds property in the north exhibit building where there will also be an arts and crafts show Friday and Saturday. Admission to the swap meet is free while paid parking will benefit local charities. In support of the swap meet there will be town-wide garage sales and residents will not have to get permits from city hall.
Chickasha Altrusa Group Honored at District Convention
A Chickasha group receives some recognition at a multi-state meeting. Altrusa International of Chickasha was presented with a Distinguished Service Award at the Altrusa District 8 conference in Tulsa recently. Members of more than 100 Altrusa clubs from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas attended. The award was issued for the Chickasha group’s work with the Chickasha GED Awards and Reception program for issuing scholarships and awards to graduating GED students for more than 20 years. The local group won first place in membership growth and placed third in the district display competition. Altrusa President-elect Cassie Poole was presented with the Rising Star in Leadership award; Laura Wijkowski was inducted to serve on the district board; Christy Clift was inducted as first vice governor for the district; and Altrusa Foundation president-elect Sarah Davis was recognized as the district's newest member.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.71 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.44.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUS.
Gold is $2,038 and silver is $25.81.
A graveside service for Albert Parker, 85, formerly of the Bradley area will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 15th at the Alex Cemetery. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, May 9th
OHP Continues Investigation of Fatal Crash
The highway patrol is still investigating a fatal crash that occurred just outside Ninnekah yesterday. A semi and an SUV collided at the intersection of U.S. Highways 81 and 277 just after 4 p.m. Killed in the crash was 48-year old David Boyd of Ft. Smith, Arkansas who was the driver of the SUV. A passenger, 53-year old Lisa Boyd also of Ft. Smith, was taken to a Norman hospital by Chickasha EMS where she was treated and released. The driver of the semi, 55-year old Anthony Phillips of McLoud, was not injured. A portion of Highway 81 was shut down for about four hours after the crash.
Suspects Formally Charged After Drug-related Arrests
Four people arrested in Chickasha for drug-related crimes last week were formally charged in Grady County District Court yesterday. Traydon Sledge, Sandra Robinson, Kristi Robinson, and Cameron Mitchell were all arrested last Friday following an investigation by the Grady County Sheriff's Office and Drug Enforcement Adminstration. 31-year old Traydon Sledge was charged with distribution and his bond set at $175,000. Prosecutors also filed a motion to revoke his probation from a previous guilty plea of a drug charge stemming from a 2014 arrest. 59-year old Sandra Robinson was charged with distribution and maintaining a place for keeping or selling drugs with her bond at $100,000. Sandra’s daughter, 34-year old Kristi Robinson was charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor drug charges with bond set at $50,000. 24-year old Cameron Mitchell was charged with two misdemeanor drug charges and his bond was set at $2,500.
Anadarko Boil Order issued After Water Line Repair
Residents in Anadarko are encouraged to boil their tap water following repairs of a water line break. The break was discovered last week on Central Boulevard near East 3rd Street. City Manager Richard Rogalski said crews initially tried to patch the ruptured pipe but were unsuccessful. They spent all day Monday replacing a five-foot section of the 12-inch diameter pipe and much of the city had no or low water pressure. The cost for parts and a new valve was about $4,000. Rogalski said the state Department of Environmental Quality issued the voluntary boil order to run for 48-hours or until they get two consecutive negative tests for bacteria.
Public Hearings on Tap for Chix Planning Commission
Public hearings for a zoning exemption to allow horses and goats in one Chickasha neighborhood and use-on-review permit for a home day care in another will be held by the Chickasha Planning Commission this afternoon. Davina and Roosevelt May want to have horses and goats at their home in the 2400 block of South 20th. Terry and Kimberly Cole are asking for a use-on-review for a day care in the 1100 block of South 5th Street. Another public hearing will be held for a rezoning request for Mike McGill to expand his OK Carpet Store at 15th and Missouri.
Construction Impacts Highway 9 Traffic Near Ft. Cobb
Here’s a traffic advisory for motorists in Caddo County. Portions of State Highway 9 between Ft. Cobb and the Apache Y will be closed intermittently due to ongoing highway construction. There could be delays and congestion and officials with the state department of transportation suggests motorists find an alternate route. ODOT also says motorists should be aware of lane shifts through the summer while the construction project is underway.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.01.
Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,036 and silver is $25.82.
Funeral service for Mack Alexander, 61, of Norman and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 11th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Delores Austin, 84, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 13th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Monday, May 8th
Sheriff's Office, DEA Make More Drug Arrests
Armed with arrest warrants, law enforcement officials rounded up of several more suspected drug dealers late last week. Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess said deputies and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made a number of arrests in Chickasha during pre-dawn hours Friday. Boggess posted information on the sheriff's office Facebook page that four individuals were arrested on drug charges which include distribution of Fentanyl near a school, conspiracy to distribute controlled and dangerous drugs, maintaining a dwelling to distribute drugs, drug possession, and child endangerment. Boggess identified the suspects as Traydon Sledge, Sandra Robinson, Kristi Robinson, and Cameron Mitchell. All are expected to have their initial appearances on the charges in Grady County District Court today.
Anadarko Water Line Break May Leave City Without Water
The City of Anadarko could be without water for much of the day. A broken main water line was discovered late last week and authorities say they'll begin repairs this morning. Officials announced on the city's Facebook page that much of the community may have no or low water pressure for six to eight hours. Officials say if that happens that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will require a boil order for 48 hours. The Facebook post indicates that individuals who have questions can call water plant supervisor Kim Goodin, 405-933-4655.
Chickasha School Classes End Soon; Officials Plan for Summer School
There are just two weeks of classes remaining in the school year for Chickasha Public Schools. Graduation is set for Friday, May 19th. Tonight, the Chickasha school board will consider a proposal for summer school for students in the middle school, Lincoln, Grand, and Bill Wallace schools. Summer school for Grand and Bill Wallace will be June 5th through 29th while it will be different for Lincoln and Middle School students. The plan is to hold summer school for just one week in late July as a 'jump start' to next school year which will begin in early August. That will be a four-day program to run July 24th through 28th, pending school board approval.
Officials seek additional funds for new athletic projects
The school board will also consider a change-order for the construction underway for the new track-and-field competition area and the new football field. Officials are asking for an additional $10,000 to purchase covers for the sand pits to minimize wind erosion and to prevent weed and grass from growing. The funds would also be used to purchase some coverings for the new track that is being installed around the football field. They would help protect the track surface from damage by the cleats of football players who walk across the track. The funds would come from the bond issue passed last fall the fund the projects.
Employees to be cited for going 'Above and Beyond' their duties
The panel is to recognize a number of employees as going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty or what officials call the ABCD awards. They are Melissa James at Bill Wallace; Anita Nacoste-Wilkins at Grand; Michelle Fowler at Lincoln; Kendra Curtis at the middle school; Pam Brandt at the high school; Cindy Ferguson at the adult learning center; Evelyn Taylor-Griswold in child nutrition; Jeff Kinsey in maintenance; Mike Minard in transportation; and Patty Balinger at the administration office. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.30.
Natural gas is $2.14 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,031 and silver is $25.87.