Saturday, May 27th
Authorities Investigate Separate 'Shots Fired' Reports
The Memorial Day weekend got off to a bizarre start as officials were called to investigate reports of shots fired in both Chickasha and Alex. In Chickasha, Police Lt. Gillian O'Brien says authorities were dispatched to the neighborhood at 6th and Illinois about six o'clock last night where there was a report of one man shooting at another man from his backyard. Authorities arrested 46-year old Jonathan Bridges who was taken to the Grady County Jail on complaints of having a firearm while on probation and reckless conduct with a firearm. Bridges was on probation after pleading guilty to a drug charge stemming from an arrest in 2015. No one was injured in the shooting.
Second incident occurred in Alex
Grady County deputies were summoned to a home in the Alex area to investigate a shots fired report. Sheriff Gary Boggess tells KOOL-RANCH News that there was an argument and that one person fired shots into the air. No arrests were made and no one was injured.
Tire Blowout Sends Chix Driver to the Hospital
A Chickasha driver is hospitalized after a tire blew out on his pickup while driving down the turnpike. 43-year old Curtis Reece suffered trunk and internal injuries in the accident that happened near mile marker 98 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 11:30 Friday morning in the eastbound lanes of the turnpike near the State Highway 4 junction. The blowout caused the truck to run off the highway and hit a culvert. Reece was wearing a seat belt.
Memorial Day Ceremonies Include 'TAPS Across America'
Many Americans will set aside some time this weekend to honor those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms Americans treasure.
KOOL-RANCH radio stations will be joining thousands of radio stations across the country to participate in the TAPS Across America event at 3:00 p.m. Monday.
Grady and Stephens County Programs Scheduled
There will be a number of organized Memorial Day programs in local communities. One will be at the Grady County Veterans Memorial at Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park at 11 o'clock Monday morning. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Chickasha Elks Lodge. In Stephens County, the Stephens County Honor Guard, AMVETS, VFW, DAV, and the American Legion will have several joint services. The first will be at the Comanche cemetery at 10 a.m.; followed by a program in Duncan at Memorial Park north of the Earl Halliburton Memorial at noon; with a final program at the Marlow Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
Report: Oklahoma Leads Country in Drone 'Preparedness'
There's a new report that shows Oklahoma is tops in the nation when it comes to preparedness for the drone industry. OK Energy Today cites the study from George Mason University. Officials say the No. 1 ranking is due to the leading efforts of OU, OSU, and the University of Tulsa. All are leaders in national efforts investing in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Advanced Air Mobility research and development which is designed to strengthen economic and national security. OSU established its Unmanned Systems Research Institute in 2015 and just recently launched the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education. Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas - who chairs the house Science, Space, and Technology Committee - has written a bill called the National Drone and Advanced Air Mobility and Research Act. The measure was passed out of that committee. He said it would provide for a coordinated Federal effort to accelerate the U.S. leadership in drone technology. Lucas said the U.S. is already dangerously behind China when it comes to the production of drones. The drone technology market was $5 billion in 2018; is expected to grow to more than $60 billion by 2025; and to more than $115 billion by 2035 which could create more than 250,000 jobs.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. On the KOOL Konversation our guest is Ginna Waddell with the Department of Human Services OK Fosters program. On Real Estate Today our guests are Shae Mortimer with the City of Chickasha and Mitch Williams with Chickasha Wings talking out the Wings and Wheels Air Show and Car Show at the Chickasha Airport next week. Find podcasts of both programs under the community tab on this website.
Friday, May 26th
Effort to get Resource Officers in All Public Schools Underway
Improving safety in Oklahoma schools was the primary focus of a couple of bills passed by state lawmakers this year. HB 2903 and HB 2904 create a pilot program for school safety and provided more than $95,000 to every Oklahoma school district for School Resource Officers (SRO). Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess tells KOOL-RANCH news he'll be asking county commissioners for a budget increase of some $650,000 in the upcoming fiscal year to initially pay for the salaries of seven new deputies who will be assigned as SROs, as well as purchase vehicles for them. Boggess said the school districts would re-imburse the county for the salaries. State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber) was one of the authors of the legislation. He said parents want their children to be safe at school and that the bills represent an investment in school safety for school districts of all sizes. School resource officers will have to take active-shooter emergency response training from CLEET.
Burglary Suspect was on Probation for Previous Crime
A suspect is charged with burglary after allegedly kicking in the door of a Chickasha home. 37-year old Bryson Scott Johnson of Alex was arrested by Chickasha police last week after authorities were called to a home in the 300 block of South 6th Street to investigate a possible burglary in progress. A probable cause affidavit indicates an officer saw Johnson walked out the back door of the house. When asked if he was supposed to be there and he told the officer that he had permission to be there. The resident, who had gone next door after hearing a loud bang on her door, told investigators Johnson did have not permission from her to be there. Johnson is said to have admitted to kicking in the door and he was taken into custody. Johnson has been charged with a felony count of first degree burglary. He is currently on probation after pleading guilty to a felony assault with a deadly weapon charge in connection with a 2018 arrest after an incident in Bradley. Johnson is being held in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Broadband Office 'Listening Tour' in Chickasha Tonight
Today's the day that officials with the Oklahoma Broadband Office will be in Chickasha as part of its statewide listening tour. Director Mike Sanders and his staff are making several stops over the next few weeks to get information about the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas. He said the need was really brought to light about three years ago.
Officials with the state broadband office will be at the Chickasha Public Library tonight from 4:30 p.m. to about 8:00 p.m.
Special Olympics Benefit Walk Again Successful
A big milestone was reached for Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer this year. Every May for the last 23 years the couple and a team of supporters walk 125 miles from Chickasha to Stillwater to raise money for Oklahoma Special Olympics. Beth Ann shared on her Facebook page that the team raised more than $13,000 this year and that their total contributions since the first walk have topped $200,000. Beth Ann said they’ll be adding to that total when they re-schedule Craig’s Walk which had to postponed because of weather conditions.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.83 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.26.
Natural gas is $2.31 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,965 and silver is $23.23.
Carl Douglas ‘Doug’ Schnider
Funeral service for Doug Schnider, 67, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 30th at Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle. He was a self-contracted house painter and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Thursday, May 25th
New Phase of 'Onward Chickasha' Survey Underway
The firm gathering input to guide the City of Chickasha into the middle part of the century and beyond is still in the early phases of its work. Called the Onward Chickasha program the group gathered information earlier this year on what residents and other stakeholders thought were important issues to consider. Now the group has created what it calls a 'visual preference survey'. It shows images of potential development and design alternatives and is now asking participants to choose the ones they like best. The input will lead to policy-making and create a consensus of what homes, stores, offices, and streets should look like. The new survey is posted on the website: www.onwardchickasha.org
Minco and Blanchard Voters to Decide Hotel-Motel Taxes
Voters in Minco and Blanchard will be going to the polls next month to decide if hotel and motel taxes should be implemented. Both communities are proposing a 5 percent excise tax for hotel and motel users. The Minco proposal calls for the proceeds to go into the city's general fund and each year the city council would determine how to use those funds. In Blanchard, the proposal calls for the proceeds to go into a Blanchard Tourism Revenue Fund to encourage, promote, and foster tourism in Blanchard. The issues will be decided in special elections which are scheduled Tuesday, June 13th.
Dep't of Corrections to host Hiring Event for Hinton Prison
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) has a number of job openings at the Hinton prison. The agency recently re-opened that facility after a contract with a private firm operating the Sayre prison was not renewed. In addition to the need for corrections officers, there are numerous other positions available including LPNs and RNs, construction and maintenance, food service, and lab technicians. ODOC officials will be holding a hiring event in Chickasha looking for candidates in a couple of weeks. It will be held at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Office on Wednesday, June 7th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is located in the commercial building downtown Chickasha at 2nd and Chickasha Avenue. Candidates must be at least 20-years old, have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver's license, and pass a background check and drug screening.
Rush Springs Community Names Watermelon Festival Queen
There's new royalty in Rush Springs. Lilly Ball will be the queen of this year's Watermelon Festival. She was one of three candidates in the running for the post and was selected by the community this past weekend. The 17-year old will be a senior at Rush Springs High School this fall where she is a three-sport athlete in softball, track, and basketball. She's also in FFA and on the yearbook staff. She hopes to earn a scholarship to play softball or run track in college. Her parents are Daniel and Lindsay Ball. The watermelon festival will be held the second Saturday in August.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $78.36.
Natural gas is $2.40 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,981 and silver is $23.24.
A graveside service for Melvin Judkins, 87, formerly of Newcastle was held at 10:00 a.m. this morning (Thursday, May 25th) at Resthaven Cemetery in Oklahoma City. He was the head of the maintenance department at Newcastle Public Schools and at one time served on the school board there. He was also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
A graveside service for 52-year old Ricky Peterman will be held at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon (May 25th) at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Jody Jacques, 48, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 26th at Bible Baptist Church. He was a scrub tech, a musician, and a U.S. Navy veteran.
A graveside service for Joe Griffin, 85, of Blanchard was held earlier this week. He worked for Western Electric in Oklahoma City and was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, May 24th
Suspected Drug Trafficker Arrested After Traffic Stop
A joint investigation by the District Attorneys Drug Task Force, DEA agent Jim Peek with the Grady County Sheriff's Office, and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics led to a traffic stop on a motorist at the Campus Corner Convenience Store at 16th and Grand Ave. in Chickasha Monday night. A probable cause affidavit indicates that a K-9 officer was brought in and alerted officers that drugs may be in the vehicle. Authorities say they found more than 1,000 grams of drugs which field-tested positive as methamphetamine and other drugs which field-tested positive as Fentanyl. Authorities arrested 48-year old Jerrod Alan Halbrooks of Elgin. Prosecutors have charged him with one felony count of aggravated trafficking with bond set at $500,000. He's to announce his attorney June 1st and a preliminary hearing conference is set for June 7th.
Shop Fire Totals Building, SUV
Fire destroyed a metal shop building west of Chickasha Monday afternoon. Chickasha Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said fire crews were dispatched to the blaze just before 5 p.m. with Verden and Pioneer volunteer departments and Grady County Fire Chief Rodney Gregory called in to assist. Samaniego said the fire damaged about 60 percent of the 2,500 sq. ft. building along with a Cadillac Escalade SUV that was inside. Officials say the fire may have been started from an acetylene torch. Total damage was estimated at about $200,000. There were no injuries and crews were on the scene for about two hours.
Suspect Arrested After Body Found at Wildlife Refuge
A suspect is in custody in connection the death of a woman whose body was found in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The FBI arrested Tevin Semien on a pre-meditated murder complaint. He was taken to a Texas jail. KSWO TV reports that federal court documents show that authorities searched the victim's home in Lawton and found evidence of a violent struggle and that the victim's car was missing. Texas authorities found the suspect driving the victim's car in Dallas on Sunday and a high-speed pursuit began. The chase ended when the car was driven into a lake. Semien was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. Semien reportedly admitted killing the victim with a brick. Authorities have only identified the victim by her initials.
Cyril Mail Carrier Earns USPS Hero Award
The letter carrier who discovered a little girl wandering the streets of Cyril which led to the discovery of a child's body has been recognized for her efforts. Maci Myers has been presented a Postmaster General Hero Award which is one of the most prestigious honors issued by the United States Postal Service. Myers discovered the five-year old girl in January which led to the investigation into the death of four-year old Athena Brownfield. Athena's body was found buried on a farm in Agawam about a week later.
State Broadband Office 'Listening Tour' in Chix Friday
Here's a reminder that representatives of the Oklahoma Broadband Office will be in Chickasha this week. It's part of a statewide 'listening tour' as officials gather information about the needs of high-speed internet in rural areas. The information will be used to develop a five-year plan for the state to have improved broadband service. Residents, business owners, school and town leaders, tribal groups, and non-profits are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be at the Chickasha Public Library Friday night from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Participants can register in advance and get more information on-line at: www.oklahoma.gov/broadband
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.91 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.84.
Natural gas is $2.32 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,994 and silver is $23.37.
A graveside service for Mignonne McDaniel, 64, of Oklahoma City and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 26th at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
A memorial service for Dennis Wilkerson, 71, of Cyril will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 26th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He was the Chief of the Anadarko Fire Department for many years.
Tuesday, May 23rd
Fugitive On the Run for Years is in Custody
Royce Lee Jarnagin, one of the top 10 most wanted fugitives in Grady County, is behind bars. Jarnagin was arrested at a Chickasha home last night after authorities received a tip regarding his whereabouts. Jarnagin had been eluding authorities for six years. A warrant was issued for his arrest in March of 2017. He was wanted for domestic assault and battery resulting in great bodily harm and for failure to appear. Grady County deputies surrounded a home in the 1500 block of South 20th just after 6 p.m. Monday and Jarnagin was arrested without incident. Jarnagin could have his initial appearance on the charges in Grady County district court today.
Exploitation Suspect to Enter Plea
An Anadarko woman accused of taking advantage of an elderly person will be entering a plea in connection with her arrest. An arrest warrant was issued for 45-year old Jenna Sue Johnson last September for the alleged exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult. Johnson waived her right to a preliminary hearing and is expected to enter a plea in front of District Judge Kory Kirkland in Caddo County District Court on July 5th.
Veterans Group to Hold Memorial Day Ceremony
Memorial Day weekend is just ahead. It marks the unofficial start of summer and many families across the country will take advantage of a three-day weekend since Memorial Day is a national holiday. Memorial Day is always the last Monday of May and it is set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. There will be a formal ceremony at the Grady County Veterans Memorial in Shannon Springs Park on Monday, May 29th. The Oklahoma Veterans Recognition Committee holds the first of two ceremonies at the memorial each year on Memorial Day. The other is Veterans Day in November. Guest Speaker will be Chickasha City Councilman and Vice Mayor Zach Grayson. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and served two tours in Iraq. The ceremony will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the memorial which is on the west side of Shannon Springs Park. In case of inclement weather the ceremony will be held at the Chickasha Elks Lodge, 1818 W. Country Club Road.
4Her Has Tips for Stressed Teens
There is a study which indicates nearly half of all teenagers experience consistent stress. Pressures in school, work, relationships, peer pressure, and even poor time management are some of the reasons. Maggie Evans with the Grady County Rock Island 4H Club has some recommendations on how teens can deal with stress.
She also says that teens should find someone to talk to about their stressors whether it’s a parent or trusted relative, teacher, or a pastor. She says if stress or anxiety disrupts daily activities than individuals should seek the help of a counselor.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.99 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.99.
Natural gas is $2.40 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,974 and silver is $23.26.
A celebration of life for Julia 'Berniece" Steelman, 103, was held at 10:00 a.m. this morning at Sevier Funeral Home. She and her husband Elmer founded Steelman's Decorating in downtown Chickasha in 1960.
Monday, May 22nd
Motorcyclist Dies in Ninnekah Crash
A motorcycle rider died when his bike ran off the highway and crashed in Ninnekah over the weekend. 52-year old Ricky Peterman of Lexington died in the crash that happened just before 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Ninnekah Police Chief Scott Miller cited witness reports which indicated that Peterman was southbound on U.S. Highway 81 near Quail Road at a high rate of speed when he failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the roadway.
Suspect in Fake Shots-Fired Call at Tech Center Pleads Guilty
A report of a gunman firing shots at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb in February had that campus on lockdown for several hours. Numerous law enforcement authorities on campus for a training session that day spent several hours searching for a suspect. It turned out the report was fake and authorities eventually arrested 34-year old Donald Steve Tee Jr. of Ft. Cobb as a suspect. Tee pleaded guilty to a felony charge of a terrorism hoax in Caddo County District Court earlier this month. Formal sentencing is set for June 22nd.
Investigation Continues into Body Found at Wildlife Refuge
Officials still have not released the name of a woman whose body was found in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge last week. A passer-by found the woman's body under a blanket last Wednesday. Officials say they 'believe' they know who the woman is based on tips received from the public which led to the search of a home in Lawton where the woman may have lived. The FBI and the OSBI are jointly investigating the case. Authorities have not yet said how the woman may have died. At last report authorities said they were still trying to notify next of kin.
Chickasha Firm Employee Named a Top Young Achiever
A state publication recognizes a young professional working for a Chickasha-based firm. Bryan Miles, Director Operations of Willowbrook Development Company's Tulsa Office, was among a number of individuals selected by the Journal Record as being an Achiever Under 40 years old. Awards are presented to individuals who focus on making Oklahoma a better place to live. Miles has worked in construction management for 20 years. Among projects he's worked with include those for Bixby and Tahlequah Public Schools, OSU, Tulsa Tech, Connors State College, the Oklahoma Military Department, and the city of Pryor.
Artscope Summer Camp has Openings
Summer vacation is here and there are a number of activities to keep kids busy. The Chickasha Area Arts Council is once again holding its Artscope camp. This is the 25th year for Artscope which offers a number of courses for young artists in visual arts, music, theatre, and dance. Co-directors are Emily Hector-Godwin and Jeanie Lee. Artscope runs for two weeks from June 5th through June 16th at USAO from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Cost is $195 per student. Registration is still open and students can sign-up on-line at www.chickashaarts.org
Funding for Artscope is provided by community donors, the Chickasha Area Arts Council, The Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and USAO.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.55 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.58.
Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,001 and silver is $24.06.