Saturday, Aug. 12th
Earthquake Shuts Down Well
Drilling on a well near Union City was temporarily shut down this week due to an earthquake. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission implemented its earthquake mitigation plan Thursday morning following reports of a tremor registering 2.2 on the Richter scale which was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks. The plan is implemented when earthquakes top 2.0 on the Richter Scale. The website OK Energy Today cited reports from the Oklahoma Geological Survey which indicated the tremor was among four recorded in the previous 24 hours. The strongest was about six miles northwest of Union City and the epicenter was about one mile west of the El Reno Airport. The well being drilled by Paloma Resources reportedly ceased operation for about six hours.
Rush Springs Watermelon Festival Underway
The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival will officially get underway a little later this morning. However, some early risers have already made their way to the area for both a 5K and 10 run. The 10K runners have just taken off from Jeff Davis Park and will run a route which includes much of the downtown area, out to the high school football field and back to the park. The opening ceremonies will get underway at 9 a.m....and that’s when most of the estimated 125 arts and crafts and food vendors will open their areas for business. The watermelon barn will open at 10 a.m. as local growers compete for the top prizes including the largest watermelon. The prize melons will be auctioned off this afternoon. An estimated 50,000 pounds - or 25 tons of watermelon - will be sold or given away today. The watermelon is free after 4 p.m.
Talk Show Topics
Liz Taylor and Shelby Kelsey with the Grady County 4H program are guests on the KOOL Konversation. Real Estate Today guests are Sheppard McConnell, USAO vice president for enrollment management, and USAO Drama Professor Katie Davis. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A graveside service for Oleta Brown, 93, of Tuttle was held at 10:00 a.m. today (Saturday, August 12th) at the Ninnekah Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Friday, Aug. 11th
Grady County Deputies Earn Promotions
Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess held ceremonies this week to promote a number of deputies. In the patrol division, Brittany Mayer was promoted to master sergeant. In the communications division, Josh Huffines was promoted to captain and division commander; Amanda Cox was promoted to lieutenant and commander; and Kayla Briley was promoted to sergeant. In the school resource division, deputy Perry Settle was promoted to lieutenant and supervisor. The promotions were posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page.
Funeral Set for Chickasha's First Black Police Officer
Chickasha's first black police officer has died. Theodore Ligons passed away this week at the age of 85. He also worked as the city’s street superintendent from which he retired. Ligons was a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean Conflict. His mother Ethel purchased the first truckload of bricks used to build Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Funeral service for Theodore Ligons will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Rush Springs Set for 78th Watermelon Festival
The town of Rush Springs is ready for the thousands of visitors who will be coming to town for the community's annual watermelon festival. The event is all day tomorrow at Jeff Davis Park just east of the downtown area. The annual rodeo kicked things off last night and there will be a second go-round tonight. That's following the parade that will be held at 5 o'clock. There are 10 growers in the area vying for bragging rights over this year's crop. Lillian Ball is this year's watermelon queen. She says growers will be trying to break the record of the heaviest watermelon.
The day kicks off with 5K and 10K runs; there are more than 100 arts, crafts, and food vendors; there is a car show, a carnival, and live music and entertainment. Throughout the day, 50,000 pounds of watermelon will be sold or given away. Watermelon is free after four o'clock tomorrow afternoon.
Morning of Prayer to be held at Grady County Courthouse
A number of Grady County and Chickasha leaders will be meeting for a morning of prayer to ask for spiritual guidance and support for government, schools, community service organizations, and families. Christian leaders in these areas have been meeting about once a month to pray over the sectors. The group will be meeting on the south steps of the Grady County Courthouse at 7 a.m. next Thursday, August 17th, and invite the public to join them. Among them are Grady County District Judge Kory Kirkland, who will have an introduction and prayer for the church; District Attorney Jason Hicks will pray for government; Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess will pray for law enforcement; Chaplain Luke Harris will pray for the military; Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley will ask for guidance for community service organizations; and Minco school superintendent Kevin Sims will cover education. Michael Butler with Chickasha's First Baptist Church will pray for revival in the community; Ryan Posey will cover business and commerce; Rewa Blackstar with Wee Care Learning Center will pray for families; and track coach and electrician Shevon Blair will pray for student-athletes.
Second Friday Art Walk is Tonight
This is the second Friday of August which means it’s time for the second Friday art walk downtown Chickasha. Local artisans will be located throughout the downtown area with their art on display. Among the new events are a John Wayne impersonator and a chainsaw art specialist on the west end. The art walk is along Chickasha Avenue from the Leg Lamp and railroad depot area to near 7th Street to include the Chickasha Art Center. It also includes part of Kansas Avenue to include the Shakespeare Wine Company. The art walk is from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. tonight.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $82.82 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.40.
Natural gas is $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,949 and silver is $22.76.
Funeral service for Joe Slawson, 67, of Rush Springs will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 16th at Vimy Ridge Baptist Church in Rush Springs. He served as a Grady County deputy sheriff from 1999 to 2005.
Thursday, Aug. 10th
Area Schools Begin New Year
Today is the first day of classes for many, but not all schools in the region. Chickasha Public Schools is among them and has 175 class days scheduled over the next nine months. As students return to the classroom there has been a last-minute change at Grand Elementary where students and parents will see a familiar face back in the principal's office. Kathy Wenzel was named interim principal just this week. For the last several years she served as the assistant principal at Bill Wallace and prior to that she was the principal at Grand. Wenzel will fill the post which was previously held by Dereth Harrison. Harrison was just hired by Ninnekah schools to be the elementary school principal there. Wenzel is among the most veteran of teachers and administrators for Chickasha. She is in her 32nd year in education with all of them being with the Chickasha school district. She has worked at virtually every school site either as a teacher, counselor, or administrator.
Blanchard Driver Hospitalized After Accident
An SUV crash in McClain County sends a Blanchard woman to the hospital. 65-year old Tammy Durgen suffered head and neck injuries in the accident and was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was last in good condition. The accident happened just after noon Wednesday on State Highway 39 north of Purcell. The highway patrol reports that Durgen's SUV ran off the highway, hit a culvert, then came to rest against a utility pole. The trooper indicated that speed may have been a factor. Durgen was wearing her seat belt.
Suspect Arrested for Alleged Truck Theft
A Chickasha woman was arrested and charged for allegedly stealing a truck. 40-year old Jessica Renee Trent was taken into custody by police after the victim reported his truck was taken without his permission this past Sunday. Officials were summoned to a home in the 600 block of North 2nd Street about 4 o'clock that afternoon to take the report. A witness said they saw Trent take the truck. A few hours later, police spotted the vehicle at the Dollar General Store at 6th and Grand and found Trent inside the store where she was arrested and taken to the Grady County Jail. A probable cause affidavit indicates Trent told the officer she took the truck to get some drinks and that she probably should have taken the truck back sooner. Trent has been charged with a felony for possession of stolen vehicle. She remains in jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
Suspected Reckless Driver Accused of Assaulting Cop
A Tuttle woman was arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Tuttle police arrested 42-year old Susanna Dawn Shelton-Parker last weekend after an officer responded to a report of a reckless driver who had parked her pickup at the Sonic Drive In. A probable cause affidavit indicates the officer pulled her over as she left the drive in and that while he was talking to her she appeared to be intoxicated. Shelton-Parker became combative and began slapping the officer when he asked her to get out of the truck. The officer said he had to tase her to get her to comply. Shelton-Parker was eventually arrested and taken to the Grady County Jail. She has been charged with a felony for assault and battery on a police officer, and misdemeanors for threatening an officer and municipal DUI. She remains in jail on a $15,000 bond.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $84.40.
London-based Brent crude is $87.55.
Natural gas is $2.96 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,952 and silver is $22.85.
A private service for Mark Johnson, 72, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. He worked at Land of Lakes and was a preacher at the Called Out Full Gospel Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Aug. 9th
Chix Voters OK Sales Tax to Fund Water Treatment Plant
Chickasha voters gave a landslide approval to sales tax that will fund the construction of a new water treatment plant for the city. The proposal for a 1 1/4 cent sales tax received nearly 94 percent of the total votes in a low turnout yesterday. The final tally was 1,206 to 81. That's an unofficial count until it is certified by the election board on Friday. The nearly 1,300 votes cast is only about 16 percent of the number of registered voters in the city. The sales tax will go into effect January 1st. The city’s sales tax rate will only increase by one-half of one cent as a current 3/4ths of a penny sales tax will expire December 31st. Mayor Chris Mosley says much of the sales tax revenue will pay for about a $70 million, 30-year loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to build the plant.
Officials estimate that the sales tax could bring in about $4.5 million a year with $3 million of that going to loan payments. Mosley talks about what the remaining $1.5 million per year could be used for.
Other capital improvements could include the purchase of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. Mosley said it will be a long process to build the new plant. Engineering is just starting and that will take a year. It will take at least another two years to build the plant which means it could be 2027 at the earliest that the plant will begin operations.
Carnegie Voters OK PSO Franchise Extension
The town of Carnegie also had a special election yesterday. Voters gave near unanimous approval for Public Service Company of Oklahoma to continue its franchise agreement for another 25 years. The measure received 60 of the 61 votes cast.
State Highway 19 Upgrades Approved
The State Transportation Commission awarded a contract this week to widen State Highway 19 between Chickasha and Alex. The panel awarded a more than $50 million contract to Silver Star Construction Company. It will start about five miles southeast of the Highway 19 and 81 junction then go east nearly 8 ½ miles. Work is expected to start later this year. Once completed State Highway 19 will be a super two-lane roadway with eight-foot wide shoulders from Chickasha eastward to the Washita River Bridge west of Lindsay.
Suspect in Custody After High-Speed Chase in Verden Area
Verden police arrest a man following a pursuit that reached 100 miles per hour through parts of rural Grady and Caddo counties. 42-year old Mikel Charles Frazier of Ponca City was taken into custody after last Saturday’s chase. A probable cause affidavit indicates Verden police attempted to pull over a pickup speeding through town. The driver sped away and failed to stop at stop signs and at one point put children's lives in danger. The pursuit ended when the truck blew a tire. Frazier tried to make a run for it but he was quickly detained. Frazier has been charged with felonies which include endangering others while eluding and possession of a stolen vehicle. He remains in the Grady County in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $82.92 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.17.
Natural gas is $2.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,959 and silver is $22.79.
Funeral service for Janet Stewart, 74, of Duncan will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11th at the First Baptist Church of Duncan. She was a teacher and a homemaker. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, August 8th
Injured Chix Police Officer has Badge Retired
In a ceremony that many believed was long overdue retired Chickasha Police Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield had his badge retired last night. The ceremony was during last night's Chickasha City Council meeting. Police Chief G.G. Music said Schoolfield was part of the police department's Special Response Team (SRT) that attempted to issue a search warrant on Sept. 17th, 2017. Music said a gun battle ensued with more than 200 rounds being fired and Schoolfield suffered several gunshot wounds. Following a long recovery Schoolfield returned to work and honorably retired in March of 2020. In last night's meeting Music said-
Several members of that SRT team were and others who worked with Schoolfield were on hand for the presentation. A proclamation issued by Mayor Chris Mosley noted Schoofield's more than 12 years of service, commitment, dedication, heroism, and suffering great physical loss. Schoolfield’s badge No. 319 will never be issued again.
Chix Voters to Decide Sales Tax Issue
Chickasha voters go to the polls today to decide on a sales tax proposal that would pay to build a new water treatment plant. The proposal calls for a permanent 1 1/4 cent sales tax which officials say would not only pay for the $74 million plant, it would also provide funding for various capital improvement projects including street and water line repairs and needed equipment for police and fire. If the sales tax is approved, it would result in just a 1/2 of a penny net increase in the sales tax as a current 3/4 of a penny tax expires at the end of the year. If the sales tax does not pass the city's water users will see their rates rise 82 percent in order to pay for the project. Polls are open until 7 o’clock tonight.
Carnegie Has Special Election
There is also a special election in Carnegie today, where voters will decide on a 25-year extension for Public Service Company's franchise agreement.
Chix City Council Tidbits
The city council approved a payment of nearly $288,000 to a contractor for the recent repairs made to the storm drain and intersection at 14th and Missouri damaged during heavy rains in June. The panel also approved a request by Brannan Bordwine to rezone several acres on West Country Club Road from agricultural to residential use. The panel also approved a number of oil and gas leases to Petroven. The leases total about 40 acres and range in size from less than one-half acre to 31 acres. The panel also approved a request to waive the competitive bidding process and purchase 25 new AR-15 platform police rifles at a cost of nearly $79,000 from Ares State Armory. The panel also authorized the purchase of 10 new Glock 9mm with night sights for the police department totaling just under $5,000 from H and H Shooting Sports.
Chix School Teachers Challenged to Find 'Amazing' Things
Chickasha school teachers have been challenged to find something amazing to talk about every day during the upcoming school this year. During the opening convocation for the district’s teachers yesterday, officials asked them to find 175 amazing things about the district. That’s one for every day of the school year. Guest speaker was Dr. April Grace, former Shawnee school superintendent who was the state school superintendent of the year in 2021. Gab Shepard with the Chickasha Public School Foundation reminded teachers that the classroom closet is open and that most of the school supplies students need can be picked up. She also said that the foundation issued more than $40,000 in teacher grants last year and that applications for this year's grants will open this week. In the spirit competition among each school site Lincoln School was declared the winner and will get to be the home for the large ‘Cluck’ Norris Fightin' Chick mascot. Chickasha school students return to class on Thursday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $81.94 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $85.34.
Natural gas is $2.72 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,969 and silver is $23.22
Monday, Aug. 7th
Chix Police Officer to Receive Retirement Badge
Years After Being Injured in Shootout
A Chickasha police officer severely injured in a shootout will finally get his retirement badge. Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield was among several law enforcement personnel injured while trying to execute a search warrant at a home in September of 2017. Schoolfield was shot six times. Chickasha Police Chief G.G. Music recently discovered that Schoolfield never received his retirement badge - but that will change tonight as Schoolfield is expected to receive the badge during tonight's Chickasha City Council meeting.
Storm Drain, Street Repair Project Payment to be Considered
The council is expected to approved the payment of the emergency storm drain and road repairs made to the intersection of 14th and Missouri which were completed this past week. Mayfield Construction, now doing business as Bear Creek Construction, bid just under $290,000 for the project.
Resident Wants Agriculture Property Re-zoned
Also on the agenda is a public hearing to consider a request from Brannan Bordwine to re-zone several acres west of 25th and Country Club Road from agriculture to residential use. The Planning Commission has recommended that the re-zoning be approved.
Fire Department Seeks New Truck
The group will consider purchasing a new squad truck for the fire department. Fire Chief Tony Samaniego is asking to buy a Dodge Ram 2500 from Emergency Vehicle Sales and Service of Oklahoma. The purchase price of just under $83,000 is expected to be reimbursed by the Grady County 522 EMS District.
Oil and Gas Leases to be Considered
The council will also consider approving a number of oil and gas leases with Petroven totaling nearly 40 acres in the city limits.
Hallowe'en Events up for Discussion
The panel will also consider requests from the chamber of commerce to hold a walking Hallowe'en costume parade downtown on Friday, Oct. 13th and the annual Neewollah Festival downtown on Saturday, Oct. 28th. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Back-to-School Time; Info for Chix Public Schools
Students will be returning to area classrooms this week including those in Chickasha Public Schools. Teachers return today with their opening convocation at 9 o'clock this morning at the high school activity center. Classes begin Thursday.
High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors can pick up their class schedules this morning between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. or this afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Freshman preview is tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at the high school activity center auditorium.
Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center
Meet-the-teacher night at Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center will be tomorrow afternoon and evening. Kindergarten is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and first grade is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln School meet-the-teacher is tomorrow evening 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Grand Elementary meet-the-teacher is Wednesday, Aug. 9th 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
School Times Changing
There are new start times at each school this year so students and parents are urged to get those new times before Thursday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $82.82 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.24.
Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,969 and silver is $23.46.
Funeral service for Regina Mitchell, 70, of Ninnekah was held at 10:30 this morning (Monday, August 7th) at Ferguson Funeral Home. She was a home-maker and bookkeeper for her husband Harry's diesel truck repair service.