Saturday, June 17th
Former Jailer Sentenced for Inmate Assault
Former Grady County jail employee Johnnie Drewery will himself serve some time behind bars. Drewery was recently sentenced after pleading guilty to a federal charge of civil rights violations. The incident occurred in July of 2020 when Drewery and other jailers were placing an inmate in a holding cell when the inmate spit on Drewery. The Southwest Ledger cited court documents indicating that Drewery screamed for the cell door to be re-opened and that he rushed in and repeatedly punched and kneed the inmate. The inmate suffered a fractured rib. Drewery pleaded guilty to the federal charge in January of 2022. A federal judge recently sentenced Drewery to 30 days in jail on weekends, perform 104 hours of community service, and four years’ probation.
SCOOP Well Completions
Completion reports have been filed on a few more oil and gas wells in the SCOOP region. CPRP Services of Oklahoma City show nearly 1,500 barrels of oil and nearly 1,600 Mcf of natural gas per day being produced from two wells on a single pad in McClain County south of Dibble. The Guinness wells are in the Woodford formation in Section 29 of Township 6 North Range 4 West and were drilled to a depth of nearly 12,000 feet. CPRP also reported production of 2,300 barrels of oil and more than 3,000 Mcf of natural gas per day for two Dogfish Fed wells in Section 6 of Township 5 North Range 4 West, also in the Woodford formation. Those wells were drilled to a depth of more than 11,000 feet.
Chickasha, Nation Commemorate Juneteenth
Chickasha and communities across the country are celebrating Juneteenth this weekend. Juneteenth, which is officially called Juneteenth National Independence Day, marks the day that the last of enslaved African-Americans received word of their emancipation following the Civil War. While President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in in Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it wasn't until June 19th, 1865 that Major General Gordon Granger notified those still enslaved in Texas that they were free. Chickasha Juneteenth activities include a parade with opening ceremonies at Washita Valley Park at 11 o'clock. Mayor Chris Mosley will read a proclamation and guest speaker is Dr. Tonnia Anderson with the Ada Sipuel-Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing at USAO. Activities at start at noon with live music, lots of activities for the kids, free food, and vendors will be on hand.
Talk Show Topics
Jim Cowan with the Chickasha Economic Development Council and the Chamber of Commerce is our guest on the KOOL Konversation. Verden School Superintendent Mickey Edwards is our guest on Real Estate Today. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Becky Stephenson, 58, of Rush Springs will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 19th at the Southern Oaks Church of Christ in Chickasha. She was the postmaster at Alex for many years. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Friday, June 16th
Consumer Spending on the Rise
Cash registers at Grady County retail outlets have ringing a lot more over the last couple of months. Consumer spending for the region in March was estimated at $92.5 million - and that's the third straight monthly increase. The number is about 3.1 percent higher than February but it was off a fraction from March of 2022 by less than 1 percent. The $92.5 million figure is the largest since September of last year. We estimate consumer spending when we see the sales tax revenue for the county. The April amount was about $694,000 which represents the taxable goods and services purchased in February. Here is a breakdown of where the sales tax money goes. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $231,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received $205,000; the 20 county fire districts shared $116,000 and each one collected $5,800; the seven senior nutrition centers also shared $116,000 and each picked up more than $16,000; Tuttle EMS collected $21,000 and Rush Springs EMS received $5,300.
Chickasha Consumer Spending
The most recent numbers for the city of Chickasha show consumer spending from March which was estimated to be $32 million. That number is based on city sales revenues in May which were just over than $1.2 million.
Lawton, Duncan Evaluating Storm Damage
Officials in Lawton and Duncan are tallying up damage from strong storms which moved through those areas last night. Large hail and 70 mph winds were reported in Lawton and Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported as many as 17,000 customers without power in those regions. PSO officials also said the utility sustained substantial damage to its power grid including transmission structures, broken poles, cross arms, and downed wires.
Onward Chickasha Program Rescheduled
The Chickasha area managed to avoid much of the severe weather which pummeled parts of central and southwest Oklahoma last night. But the threat of bad weather forced officials to postpone the open house for the Onward Chickasha long-range planning meeting. Officials have re-scheduled the program for Thursday, June 29th between 5:30 and 7:30 that evening at Chickasha City Hall.
Chix Public Pool Opens Today
After some delays the public swimming pool at Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park will be opening today. The pool will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today and tomorrow and will be closed Sundays (except for parties). The regular hours for the pool are Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The pool is operated by the YMCA. Corbin Lee with the Y says they have a staff of 12 including the lifeguards who undergo 36 hours of training.
YMCA members get to swim free all summer long. Admission for non-YMCA members is $5 per person. The pool does offer private parties seven days a week. Swimming lessons for children are available and there are several two-week sessions throughout the summer with the first session starting Monday. Reach out to the Y for information about the parties and swimming lessons.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.62 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.67,
Natural gas is $2.53 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,976 and silver is $24.09.
No services are scheduled for Ruby Howard, 74, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, June 15th
'Onward, Chickasha' Open House Tonight
Chickasha residents can meet with city leaders and the engineering firm putting together a plan to guide the city into the middle part of the 21st century tonight. There's an open house at city hall which will be another opportunity for residents to submit ideas. Laura Bergey is with the Guernsey Engineering firm which is leading the project-
There will be informational displays and opportunities to discuss the work done so far in the come-and-go event. The open house will be in the lobby of city hall from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tonight.
Chix City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Budget
Also tonight, the Chickasha City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed city budgets for the upcoming fiscal year which begins in just a couple of weeks. The public hearing will be part of a special city council meeting which will get underway at 6:30 tonight in the city council chambers at city hall.
Chickasha Hosts Mayors Council Conference
Mayors from communities across the state are meeting in Chickasha today and tomorrow. The Mayors Council of Oklahoma is holding its annual conference at USAO. Amber Mayor Craig Parham is the current president of the council and says the conference has been instrumental in helping him make his community better.
Mike Fina is the executive director of the group-
Holt is the mayor of Oklahoma City and Bynum the mayor of Tulsa.
Cyril Honors Memory of Athena Brownfield
The community of Cyril has memorialized Athene Brownfield, the four-year old reported missing in January and her body found at a farm several miles from her home. A granite bench with her photo, some butterflies, and an inscription was unveiled at the Cyril Town Plaza. The inscription etched into the bench reads: 'Little Sister' Athena Alexandria Brownfield. There are no footprints too small to leave an imprint on this world. Sweet little Athena, taken from us too soon, your smile was contagious. Your laugh could fill a room. When God was searching for the most beautiful angel, He found you. Love conquers all, our shy butterfly, now resting in the arms of Jesus, dancing in the sky.' Authorities arrested her caretakers in connection with Athena’s death. Ivon Adams is charged with murder and child neglect. Alysia Adams is charged with two counts of child neglect. Preliminary hearings are scheduled in October.
Anadarko Seeks Vendors for 'Honor America' Celebration
With the 4th of July quickly approaching there are a lot of communities marking the holiday with Independence Day events. In Anadarko, the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce will once again host its Honor America Celebration. It will be Friday evening, June 30th at Randlett Park. There will be family-friendly fun and games, food trucks and vendors, and fireworks at dusk. Organizers are looking for vendors and food trucks to take part. Contact Alicia White with the chamber by June 23rd for the details. Information is available on the Anadarko chamber's Facebook page.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.27 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.20.
Natural gas is $2.34 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,946 and silver is $23.49.
Obituaries today include 66-year old Steven Verhines of Chickasha. He was a teacher at Friend School. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 21st at Friend School Auditorium. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dementia Society of America or Chisholm Trail Hospice.
Wednesday, June 14th
Doctors Save Life of Child who OD'd; Two Suspects in Custody
A 9-month old baby who officials say overdosed on opioids is expected to be okay after doctors gave the child Noxalone. And two people are in jail charged with child neglect for allegedly allowing the overdose to occur. Chickasha police were dispatched to the emergency room at Grady Memorial Hospital Sunday afternoon. The child was brought in because he was having difficulty breathing and turning blue. A probable-cause affidavit indicates that hospital staff believed the child was experiencing an opioid overdose and gave the child Noxalone, or Narcan, which saved the child's life. Doctors found a piece of burnt foil inside the child's mouth, which is alleged to have been used by someone who ingested drugs. Officers believed that a two-year old in the home may have placed the foil in the baby's mouth. Authorities arrested the child's mother, 21-year old Lauren Elizabeth Lane, and her brother, 20-year old Jason Cordova Lane after finding drugs in their home. Both have been formally charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor drug charges with bond set at $100,000 each.
Suspect Arrested in Connection with Gun Theft
Chickasha police made quick work of a recent burglary that took place at a veteran-owned company. Saturday, officers were dispatched to the Two Vets Clothing Store in the 1400 block of South 4th Street to investigate a report of a firearm being stolen. And one of the store's owners, Army reserve veteran Zach Grayson, was holding the suspect until police arrived. A probable cause affidavit indicates that video surveillance showed the suspect putting a pistol in his pocket and leaving the store. The suspect returned a few minutes later and attempted to take another pistol and that's when Grayson, Chickasha's vice mayor, stopped the man and called police. Authorities say the suspect was living in a home a few blocks away so officials obtained a search warrant and found the first pistol that was stolen. Authorities arrested 31-year old Theodes Shells on a complaint of grand larceny. Authorities later found out that Shells was listed as sex offender out of Lubbock, Texas after being convicted of aggravated assault on a child in 2012. Authorities say there is no record of Shells completing any type of sex offender registration as required by law. Shells is in the Grady County Jail on a $150,000 bond and is facing felony charges of grand larceny, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and failure to register as a sex offender.
Blanchard Voters Approve New Hotel-Motel Tax
Voters in Blanchard overwhelmingly approved a new hotel-motel tax in yesterday’s special election. The measure passed with more than 70 percent of the vote. Just over 300 ballots were cast with the unofficial vote being 217 to 92. The 5 percent tax will be placed in a special tourism fund and used to encourage, promote, and foster tourism.
Minco Proposal Fails by Single Vote
In Minco, however, a similar 5 percent hotel-motel tax failed by one vote. The measure needed a simple majority to pass but the unofficial vote was tied at 42-42.
Nation Celebrates Flag Day
Today is Flag Day - set aside to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. The flag was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 while the Revolutionary War was still in progress. KenLynn Chaney with the Grady County Rock Island 4H Club has a few guidelines to follow when flying the flag.
There are a couple of locations where tattered flags can be taken so they can be properly retired. They are the Grady County Veterans Memorial at Shannon Springs Park and the boy scout headquarters at 18th and Iowa Avenue. The boy scouts will occasionally have flag retirement ceremonies.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.42 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.29.
Natural gas is $2.34 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,963 and silver is $23.96.
Tuesday, June 13th
USAO Regents Name New President
USAO will begin a new era this summer. The board of regents has announced that Dr. Kayla Hale has been named the university's next president. Hale will be the 13th president for the University and will take the helm from retiring president John Feaver in August. Hale comes from the University of Tulsa, where she has worked for 25 years and most recently served as vice president of university advancement and alumni engagement. She has 35 years’ experience in higher education advancement. Hale says among her initial goals is student recruitment.
Hale is a USAO alum and attended in the early 1980s. She said Feaver was her history professor. She says she's worked a lot with Feaver in recent years at the state level to enhance the efforts of Oklahoma's colleges and universities. She will be USAO's first female president. Feaver is retiring after being with the university for more than 40 years which includes more than 20 years as president.
Minco, Blanchard Voters to Decide Hotel-Motel Tax Issues
Voters in Minco and Blanchard head to the polls today for special elections. Those casting ballots will decide if the communities should implement hotel-motel taxes. Both communities are seeking a 5 percent hotel-motel tax to be charged to individuals who rent hotel or motel rooms. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.
Public Hearing Set for Special Zoning
to Allow Horses, Goats in Chix City Limits
A request for a special zoning exemption to allow horses and goats in the Chickasha city limits will again be addressed by the city’s planning commission this afternoon. A public hearing will be held on the matter regarding property in the 2400 block of South 24th Street. The Chickasha City Council recently denied a request for the exemption which is being sought by Davina and Roosevelt May. The planning commission will also hold a public hearing to consider a request for an exemption to the city's facade requirements on an oversized building. That request is for applicant Jim Camp on Mockingbird Lane.
ODOT Schedules Transporation Needs Surveys
Improving the transportation needs of those with disabilities, senior citizens, and low-income families is a goal of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Officials will have a series of regional meetings over the next couple of weeks to get public input on what officials call the 2023 Coordinated Transportation Plan. Oklahomans can take part in an on-line survey as well as a series of virtual meetings. The central region virtual meeting will be on Thursday, June 22nd with the southwest region virtual meeting to be held on Wednesday, June 28th. The on-line survey can be found at surveymonkey.com
Additional information is available on-line at oklahoma.gov/odot
Chix Tattoo Parlor Earns National Awards
A Chickasha business picked up a number of awards for its work. Garrett Hall of Downtown Tattoo received the awards at the National Tattoo Arts Festival in Oklahoma City this past weekend. Awards included best large black and gray tattoo; best small black and gray tattoo; best large color; and best cover up. Downtown Tattoo is at 421 Chickasha Avenue.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.12 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.84.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,976 and silver is $24.25.
Jo Ann Polly
A gathering of friends of Jo Ann Polly, 86, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 16th at the Cowboy Church in Apache. She worked for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission offices in Chickasha and Anadarko. Memorial contributions may be made to breast cancer research. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Monday, June 12th
Onward Chickasha Update Set Thursday
The most recent work of an engineering firm which is generating a 30-year plan for the City of Chickasha will be on display this week. Officials with the Guernsey Engineering firm of Oklahoma City will present a draft of a community vision statement and have an update of an on-going survey which is gathering ideas for the city's long-range plans. Laura Bergey is one of the Guernsey officials leading the project.
A come-and-go open house will be held Thursday evening in the lobby of Chickasha City Hall from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
State Mayors' Conference in Chickasha This Week
Mayors from communities across the state will be meeting in Chickasha this week. The Oklahoma Municipal League will hold its annual Mayor's Conference. Some officials will be arriving as early as tomorrow as board meetings for the Mayors Council of Oklahoma and the Municipal League will be held at Canadian Valley Technology Center. By the way, the president of the Mayors Council is Mayor Craig Parham of Amber. In his welcoming address on the municipal league's website, Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley says the city is a great example of how a future-focused community can collaborate to inspire change. He says the city has made changes over the last couple of years to its internal processes and have partnered with the business community for positive impacts on the city.
Chix School Board to Discuss 2023-24 Budget
A preliminary budget for next school year is among the issues to be reviewed by the Chickasha school board tonight. Officials say the district has received a record level of gross production revenue this year although officials say that will impact state-aid chargeables. Officials also say new state laws regarding teacher pay raises will mean that the district will have to shell out an additional $1 million for teacher salaries. The state will provide additional funds for those raises but it's not clear how much. The additional funding does not include raises for support employees. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.
Teens Injured in Caddo County Crash
Several teenagers avoided serious injury when the car they were riding in ran through a T-intersection and crashed through a fence in Caddo County. The accident happened in Eakly just before 3 o'clock Sunday morning. One of the six teenagers crammed into a 2017 Dodge Challenger was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City Hospital with leg injuries. She was admitted in good condition. Three of the teens, including the 16-year old driver, were taken by private vehicle to an Oklahoma City hospital and all were treated and released. The teens were all 16-18 years old and were from Carnegie, Mt. View, Tuttle, and Mustang. The highway patrol reported the driver's condition was apparently normal and cited inattention inside the vehicle as the cause of the accident.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.17 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.79.
Natural gas is $2.25 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,980 and silver is $24.38.
Mary Belle Carr
Funeral service for Mary Belle Carr, 89, of Alex was held at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon at the Alex Church of Christ. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
A private graveside service was held for Karen Cox, 76, of Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.