Saturday, Sept. 16th
Admitted Killer Sentenced for Death of his Father
A man who admitted killing his father with a cinder block has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars. A federal judge sentenced Phillip Keith Ray, 45, to 300 months in prison this week. Ray pleaded guilty to second degree murder a year ago. The fatal attack occurred at a Chickasha home in October of 2021. The victim's body was found in the backyard of a home in the 900 block of South 13th Street. The case was heard in federal court as Ray is a member of the Comanche Nation and the crime occurred within Native American territory.
Oklahoma Song Writer Phil Sampson Dies
Oklahoma song writer Phil Sampson has died. Many say Sampson was one of Oklahoma's finest song-writers. He was best known for writing the No. 1 hit single "I Loved 'Em Everyone" released by T.G. Sheppard in 1981. Sampson was 80 years old when he passed away in Lawton last week from complications after a fall. Sampson grew up around the Chickasha area before he and his wife Susan settled in Lawton. In the 1960s he played the folk coffee house circuit. He then spent some time in California then returned to Oklahoma and began playing in a new bar in Medicine Park run by Vietnam veterans. He is survived by two brothers including Gary Sampson, a retired Chickasha school teacher and Kent Sampson of Stillwater; and one sister Mary Ann Lombard of Massachusetts. Funeral service for Phil Sampson was held today (Saturday, Sept. 16th) at St. John's Lutheran Church in Lawton.
Wildlife Refuge Hosting Elk Tours
Among the fall programs to enjoy at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife refuge are their bugling elk tours. The tours are offered every weekend through Oct. 22nd. These are 3-hour bus tours which go through the special use area of refuge during the height of the elk mating season. Members of the Friends of the Wichitas serve as guides for the tours. Most are in the evening beginning about 5 p.m. but there will be two morning tours available, at 6:30 a.m. Saturday Sept. 23rd and again on Saturday, Oct. 7th. The tours are free but reservations are required and can be made by calling the refuge. Children must be at least eight years old.
Talk Show Topics
Kristy Jarnagin with the Chickasha Community Theatre is on the KOOL Konversation and Sue Getman with the Chickasha Area Arts Council is on Real Estate Today. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A graveside service for Loretta Burton, 86, of Alex will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 19th at the Alex Cemetery. She worked at Grady Memorial Hospital and the highway department. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Natalie Pearson, 72, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 22nd at Abundant Life Christian Church in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
High School Football Scores
Chickasha 31, Anadarko 8
Minco 67, Merritt 24
Blanchard 34, Shawnee 31
Guthrie 20, Tuttle 3
Bridge Creek 42, Western Heights 12
Newcastle 69, Woodward 7
Alex 42, Maysville 16
Tipton 46, Cyril 0
Hinton 55, Carnegie 20
Apache 26, Ringling 0
Mt. View-Gotebo 32, Hollis 14
Marlow 27, Perkins-Tryon 21
Friday, Sept. 15th
Man Dies After Tree Falls on Him
A worker at a moto-cross track died in a tragic accident this week. The Grady County Sheriff's Office reports that 23-year old Tracy Farrow was using a front-end loader to clear out some trees at the track about two miles south of Rush Springs. A large tree rolled off the bucket and fell on to Farrow. Undersheriff Kori Brewer said a bike rider who discovered the accident called it in. It happened about 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.
Suspect Faces Murder Charge After Fatal Crash
A murder charge has been filed in connection with last weekend's traffic death of an Anadarko woman. 35-year old Billie Butler died in what was reported as a single vehicle accident last Saturday night. She was described as a passenger in an SUV that crashed but no driver was listed. Anadarko police say they were able to identify the driver as 45-year old Justin Chase Milford. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody at a Cyril home on Monday. A probable cause affidavit from Anadarko police says that an officer pulled the vehicle over for an expired tag. The vehicle then pulled away from the officer which led to a short pursuit. As the SUV approached a bridge on Highway 281 – the officer said it appeared that Butler was trying jump out. About the same time, the driver did jump out of the moving SUV and was able to elude authorities on foot. The SUV drifted toward the bridge and Butler became pinned between the SUV and the bridge where she died from her injuries. Milford has been charged with first degree murder and eluding and he remains in the Caddo County Jail with bond set at $800,000. Milford also has outstanding warrants out of Grady County including a felony for unauthorized use of a vehicle following an arrest just last week, and for a misdemeanor charge of driving under suspension following an arrest in July.
Driver Hospitalized Following SUV Rollover
An Amber man is hospitalized after his SUV crashed. 59-year old Steven Mackey was injured in the accident that happened just before noon yesterday. The highway patrol reported that Mackey's SUV ran off the road and rolled onto its top, pinning Mackey inside for an undetermined amount of time. He was wearing a seatbelt and the airbags did deploy. He was taken by ground ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was last in fair condition with head, trunk, and internal injuries.
Anonymous Donor Pays for New Swings in Chix Parks
A couple of Chickasha parks have some new playground equipment thanks to an anonymous donor. Parks and Recreation Director Spencer Winzenried said a contributor who wished to remain nameless gave the city $5,000 to purchase the equipment. Winzenreid said swings have been installed in Austin Park (which is near the Canadian Valley Technology Center) and at the 12th and Alabama Avenue park. The metal-framed swing sets are about eight feet tall and 32 feet wide and wood chips have been added for safety. The swings were installed at no cost thanks to CMS Willowbrook Development. Winzenreid said the swing sets could use some specialized swings for disabled children. He said they cost about $500 each and is hopeful another donor or donors would provide those funds.
Winner Announced in Chix PD Rib Cook-off
There's a new barbecue rib champion at the Chickasha Police Department. Lt. Traye Alexander was named the champion of the this week’s cook-off. A panel of four judges selected one of two of Alexander's entries as the winner. There were a total of eight entries in the competition. It was the first time for Alexander to win the cook-off after finishing runner-up several times. The defending champion was Lt. Lauren Jewell who was also among the competitors. The police department holds cooking challenges at different times throughout the year and sometimes has a chili cook-off.
Monthly Cars and Coffee at the Leg is Tomorrow
Classic and antique cars, truck, motorcycles, street rods, custom builts, ATVs, and UTVs will be on display in downtown Chickasha tomorrow morning. It’s Cars and Coffee at the Leg which is held the third Saturday of every month. It is not a judged show and no membership is required, so anyone who wants to show off their vehicle is welcome. Contact Brad Bates by calling 405- 426-7041 for information. There's free coffee and donuts for everyone. Cars and Coffee at the Leg runs from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in downtown Chickasha.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $90.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.70.
Natural gas is $2.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,939 and silver is $23.38.
Thursday, Sept. 14th
Chickasha Officials Respond to Water Complaints
Chickasha residents have been complaining about brown and smelly water recently. City officials blame the issue on an increase of manganese in the water supply coming from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir. The spike in manganese is a problem experienced in many Oklahoma communities this time of year. It typically occurs in late summer and some websites attribute the problem to reservoir water ‘turning over’ – where mineral-rich water at the bottom rises to the top and enters distribution lines. The city issued a prepared statement which says the contractor of the city's water treatment plant (USW) indicate manganese has not reached unsafe levels. USW representatives say their on-going testing shows the water is safe to drink and to use. City crews are flushing the city's water lines by opening fire hydrants throughout the city in an attempt to get the affected water through the system faster. The statement said that manganese is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in small amounts in the human body which supports bone and tissue health. However, websites indicate that exposure to high levels of manganese can affect the nervous system and damage kidneys.
More Info Released About Marijuana Grow Facility Break-in
We have more details about the arrest of a suspect alleged to have been involved with the break-in of a marijuana grow facility east of Chickasha earlier this week. The suspect, 24-year old Billy Eugene Thomas, is said to be part of an Oklahoma City gang. The Grady County Sheriff's Office posted information about Thomas’ arrest on its Facebook page. The post showed several bags that officials say contains 140 pounds of marijuana deputies recovered that Thomas and others allegedly stole from the facility then threw out of a car during a high-speed pursuit with law enforcement. Investigators are looking for two other suspects. Thomas has been charged with felony counts of burglary and drug possession. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
Electric School Buses Now Part of Chix Schools Fleet
Chickasha Public Schools now have some electric school buses in its fleet. Three buses arrived yesterday after being trucked in from Springfield, Illinois. Chickasha schools received a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to purchase five EV buses at a cost of $375,000 each. The school district's Director of Operations Dan Turner says they want to see if using electric buses will save the district money on fuel and maintenance costs.
The buses are much quieter than a standard gasoline or diesel bus. They will be used for in-town routes only. Turner said among the interesting features is that when buses are plugged in for re-charging, data is sent to a California firm showing if the bus is having any problems. That firm can contact an Oklahoma City company which will send a technician to Chickasha make repairs.
Carnegie Man Hospitalized after Crash
A Caddo County man was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital in a medical helicopter after being injured when his pickup ran off the roadway. 76-year old Michael Dietrich of Carnegie was last in stable condition. The accident happened just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on State Highway 58 about eight miles south of Carnegie. The highway patrol said Dietrich veered off the highway, drove through a fence, and came to rest on an embankment. It wasn't immediately known what caused Dietrich to run off the road.
Downtown Tattoo Earns Some Top Awards at Conference
KOOL-RANCH radio and Mollman Media send a shout out to Downtown Tattoo in Chickasha which had another great showing at this year's Texas Tattoo Conference in Paris, Texas recently. They had four first-place finishes including the most realistic tattoo, the best large black-and-gray tattoo, the best small black-and-gray tattoo, and the best black piece.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $91.88.
Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,929 and silver is $22.87.
Wednesday, Sept. 13th
Voters Reject CV Tech Bond Issue; Elect New Minco Mayor
Voters in more than 100 precincts across four counties turned down that massive $75 million bond proposal for the Canadian Valley Technology Center school districts in yesterday's special election. The voting was split nearly 50-50. Of the more than 5,000 ballots cast 2,556 were ‘no’ votes and 2,508 were ‘yes’ votes. The plan needed a 60 percent super majority for passage.
Plan supported in Grady County
Grady County voters overwhelmingly supported the plan with nearly three of every four of the more than 1,000 voters who cast ballots said yes. The unofficial count was 671 ‘yes’ votes and 379 ‘no’ votes.
Canadian County voters opposed the plan
However, nearly 55 percent of the more than 3,900 Canadian County voters rejected the measure. There were 2,104 ‘no’ votes and only 1,735 ‘yes’ votes.
Oklahoma and Caddo County voters liked the bond
150 voters in Oklahoma County gave just under 60 percent approval to the plan (91 ‘yes’ votes to 62 ‘no’ votes) and in Caddo County there were 15 votes cast with 8 ‘yes’ votes and 7 ‘no’ votes. Officials were hoping to make $25 million worth of improvements at the Chickasha campus and build a $50 million public safety training facility at the El Reno campus.
Hollandsworth to be next Minco mayor
Voters in the town of Minco have elected a new mayor. Long-time city councilwoman and vice mayor Susan Hollandsworth won by just 18 votes over challenger Dena Sanford. The unofficial tally shows Hollandsworth collecting just over 53 percent of the vote, 157 to 139. Hollandsworth will be sworn in during a future town council meeting and will take over the post previously held by Keith McMullen. McMullen stepped down earlier this year after a majority of the town council slashed the budget for the Minco police department.
1 of 3 Suspects in Custody for Marijuana Grow Facility Burglary
One suspect is in custody and authorities are looking for two others in connection with the break-in of a marijuana grow facility in the Tabler area. Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess said deputies were dispatched to investigate some suspicious activity just after midnight Tuesday. Authorities encountered a vehicle which began to speed away and the ensuing pursuit topped 100 miles per hour. During the chase the suspects threw numerous bags of marijuana out of the car. The vehicle became disabled when a tire blew out and three individuals got out and fled on foot. Authorities captured 24-year old Billy Eugene Thomas who his being held in the Grady County Jail on complaints of burglary and eluding. Boggess said officials at the grow facility believed about 150 pounds of product were stolen.
Rock Island Weekend Expected to Draw Thousands to Chix
We are about two weeks away from one of the biggest weekends of the year in Chickasha. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce is calling it The Rock Island Weekend with Bites, Bikes, and Art Vibes. The three-day event will be in downtown Chickasha from Friday, Sept. 29th through Sunday, Oct. 1st. It includes the 15th annual Rock Island Arts Festival hosted by the Chickasha Arts Council. The festival will take up the 400 and 500 blocks of Chickasha Avenue all three days. Saturday will be a huge day with the Chamber's Oklahoma Food Truck Championship. More than 30 food trucks will line the 100 through the 300 blocks of Chickasha Avenue competing for a $10,000 grand prize. Also Saturday, the annual Rock Island Ride bicycle tour will be held which is an event that has drawn more than 300 riders in recent years. Also Saturday, the Together We Heel walk against domestic violence hosted by the Grady County Coordinated Community Response Team and the Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN). Visit the website: www. visitchickasha.com/rock-island-weekend
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $88.84 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $92.06.
Natural gas is $2.74 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,933 and silver is $23.18.
Tuesday, Sept. 12th
CV Tech Bond Issue; Minco Mayoral Election on Ballots Today
There are special elections in some but not all areas of the state today. Voters in 14 school districts within the Canadian Valley Technology Center service areas are casting ballots on a $75 million bond issue. If approved, funds will pay for an estimated $25 million in improvements at the nearly 60-year old Chickasha campus; and a $50 million stand-alone public safety training facility at the El Reno campus. Some of the updates on the Chickasha campus could include major renovations to existing buildings; more focused points of entry for safety and security; a storm shelter to meet growth; additional parking, and new space designed to meet an increase in demand for workplace settings which include electrical, cosmetology, and hospitality fields. If approved, property taxes would increase about $30 per year on a $100,000 home. The bond issue needs a 60-percent super-majority from voters throughout Grady, Canadian, and Oklahoma counties to pass.
Two candidates vie for Minco Mayor
In Minco today, voters are electing a new mayor. Susan Hollandsworth and Dena Sanford are on the ballot. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.
Minco School Superintendent Discusses Proposed Bond Issue
Also in Minco, school superintendent Kevin Sims discussed details of a nearly $23 million bond proposal announced last week. Sims aired about a 25-minute video on the school district's Facebook page yesterday to outline the plan designed to build a new football stadium and track. Sims said the current facilities are outdated and while the district has about 100 students who run track - the district doesn't even have a track. Sims said it is one phase of future projects planned for the district.
Sims said the next project would be a new show barn for the agriculture program. If approved, property taxes for Minco school district patrons would increase about 4 percent - or about $40 per year on a $100,000 home. Voters will decide the issue in a special bond election in November.
Chix Planning Commission to Hold Two Public Hearings
Public hearings for a re-zoning application to build a new laundromat and approval of an over-sized structure already built will be held by the Chickasha Planning Commission today. Bassm Alzoubi is asking to re-zone some property at 16th and Park Avenue from residential-use to general commercial-use. The oversize building request is for Jim and Denise Gerlach at 820 East Choctaw. The Planning Commission meets at 4 o'clock this afternoon at city hall.
Grady County DAV Chapter's Monthly Meeting Tonight
Grady County Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 17 will hold its monthly meeting tonight. There will be an ice cream social so members are encouraged to stop in, visit with their fellow veterans, find out what's going on, and help plan for upcoming events. The meeting will get underway about 6 o'clock tonight. DAV Chapter 17 meets the second Tuesday of every month at the DAV Center downtown Chickasha at 6th and Chickasha Avenue.
Gov. Stitt Calls Another Special Session for Tax Cut Talks
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has called for a special session of state lawmakers to consider his on-going effort to cut taxes, and to increase transparency in the state budget process. In a prepared statement, Stitt said he's calling on lawmakers to put Oklahoma on a path to zero income tax and give Oklahomans a much-needed tax break. The agenda calls for lawmakers to consider a trigger law mandating that if a state or federal court finds some individuals who - due to their race, heritage, or political classification don't have to pay a state tax - then no Oklahoman would have to pay that tax. The agenda also calls for a measure to increase budget transparency to ensure Oklahomans and their elected representatives have the ability and opportunity to see how their tax dollars are being spent. Twice before, the governor has been unable to get his tax cut proposals through the legislature in either regular or special sessions. The special session is scheduled to start October 3rd.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $87.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $90.64.
Natural gas is $2.61 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,941 and silver is $23.31.
Monday, Sept. 11th
Chix Schools to End Shooting Sports Program
A clay-shooting sports program that began in Chickasha Public Schools last year is being closed down. Tonight, the Chickasha school board will act on a recommendation from Superintendent Rick Croslin to eliminate the program. Croslin said the reason is for safety concerns. The school board is being asked to transfer funds collected for the shooting sports program to the girls' power-lifting program.
Soccer coaches to teach an hour a day
The panel will also consider boys’ soccer coach Damon Mantooth and girls’ soccer coach Jimmy Hampton for part-time teaching positions for one hour each day.
Lease change for old Intermediate School proposed
The board of education will also consider a contract change with the Washita Valley Community Action Council's (WVCAC) lease of the former Intermediate School. The council leases the building from the school district for its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The WVCAC is asking to add another building at that site to the lease. If approved, WVCAC would be responsible for all utilities, maintenance, repair of water, sewer, and gas lines; heat and air units; and the fire control system.
Bill Wallace employees to be honored
The school board will also recognize a couple of Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center employees. Teacher Tonya Yokum was named the district's certified employee of the month and Flor Zubiate is the support employee of the month. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the School administration building.
Fatal Weekend Crashes Remain Under Investigation
Women dies in Anadarko accident
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) continues an investigation into a fatal crash that happened in Anadarko Saturday night. 35-year old Billie Butler of Oklahoma City died in the single-vehicle accident that happened 1/2 mile north of Anadarko on Highway 281 just before 11:00 p.m. Saturday. Butler was listed as a passenger in the SUV and investigators were trying to determine if she was the driver. Highway 281 was closed for more than 3 1/2 hours after the crash.
Motorcyclist dies in Fletcher crash
The OHP is also still investigating a fatal crash between a pickup and a motorcycle that happened in Fletcher early Saturday morning. 38-year old Gilbert Crow of Oklahoma City was pronounced dead at the scene. Crow was riding a motorcycle that was involved in a collision with a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. The truck was driven by 46-year old Randy Herring of Apache. Neither he, nor a passenger identified as 32-year old Jessica Dacus of Fletcher, were hurt.
Minco School District Voters to Decide Athletic Complex Bond
Minco school district patrons will be asked to approve a multi-million bond issue to build a new athletic complex. If approved, the nearly $23 million proposal would allow the district to install a new turf field for the football program and other improvements. The measure will be on a special election ballot in November.
Cattle Producers Announce Youth Steer Contest
Grady County youth who show cattle are being encouraged to take part in a performance steer contest. The program is hosted by the Grady County Cattle Producers Association. Youth will enter a calf in the program next month and raise the animal over the next several months. Officials with the cattle producers say it is a great way for the youth to learn about beef production. Cash prizes will be awarded in the spring. Entries need to be submitted by Oct. 15th and it is limited to 25 contestants. Contact the Grady County OSU Extension Office for information by calling 405-224-2216.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $87.51 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $90.65.
Natural gas is $2.61 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,949 and silver is $23.39.