Mollman Media News Archives for 2018-01

2018 January 22nd - 27th

Your News

2018,  January 22nd - 27th 

 

 

Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is Middle school Student Kylin Chaffin

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 27th

 

Hearing Set for Another Suspended Chix Schools Employee

The Chickasha school board will have another special meeting on Monday. This time, to discuss a recommendation that the school district's Director of Special Services be fired. Pam Huggins was among several employees suspended last month. It's believed Huggins is accused of failure to report child abuse of a special needs student. The hearing is scheduled to be held during an open session of the school board. It may include statements from former interim superintendent Cindy Schmidt, as well as from Huggins or her attorney. Cross-examination and questions from school board members, and rebuttal may also take place. The panel could opt to go into a closed-door meeting, as they did this past week with the district’s former transportation director, Pete Bush. It was also recommended that Bush be fired, but after negotiating with school attorneys he opted to resign. The meeting is Monday night at 6 o'clock at the middle school auditorium. KOOL 105 will live stream the school board meeting on the website: https://kool1055fm.com/sports/chickasha-sports

 

Man Dies in Chain-Reaction Crash

A Lindsay man dies when his CanAm Spider was part of a chain-reaction traffic accident. 61-year old Tonnie Dutton died in the crash that happened about 7:30 Friday morning. The crash occurred three miles south of Lindsay on Highway 76. The Highway Patrol reports that Dutton's CanAm was the third of four vehicles traveling southbound on the highway. Dutton's vehicle was rear-ended by a pick-up, causing a collision with two other vehicles. Dutton, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected from the motorcycle and died at the scene. None of the drivers of the other vehicles were hurt.

 

Caddo County Authorities Probe Elk Hunt Scam

A different kind of scam is being investigated in Caddo County, where victims say they were tricked into paying for a big-game hunting trip that never happened.  Investigators say at least 20 people paid to go on a guided elk hunt. When they arrived at a pre-designated site, a guide never showed up. Some of the victims said they paid $1,000 or more to go on the expedition.  Officials with the state wildlife department say elk hunting is legal under the right circumstances. However, Oklahoma does not require hunting guides to have licenses, which makes it difficult to track down the suspect or suspects. Investigators say they do have a person of interest they are looking for. Any others who may have been victimized, or may have information that can help find the scam artist is asked to call the Caddo County Sheriff's Office.

               

Man Accused of Forging $32,000 Check

A man is arrested after authorities say he forged a check for several thousand dollars. 51-year old Glen Carole White was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies Friday. A probable cause affidavit from Tuttle police indicates officers were summoned to one of the town's banks last May. The affidavit indicates White presented two forms of identification with the check. The clerk verified everything was fine and gave White $32,000 in cash. The check was from an El Reno truck and tractor firm, where owners said they did not write the check. White, who lists a Tecumseh address, will spend the weekend in jail. He may have initial appearance on the charge in Grady County District Court on Monday.

 

Horse Remains Found; Animal Cruelty Investigation Begins

A disturbing discovery in Bray, as the remains of two horses were found. Stephens County authorities are investigating and may consider pursuing animal cruelty charges against the owner. A witnesss tells KSWO-TV that one of the horses had a rope tied  around its neck, and appeared it was alive when it had been dragged into the woods from a nearby ranch. Remains of another horse were so old, they were just a pile of bones. The witness claims it looked like that animal's head had been bashed in with a sledge hammer. The man, who did not want to be identified, said the carcasses should have been buried.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. The Chickasha Library's annual chocolate celebration is coming up, and we have library director Lillie Huckaby and Friends of the Library member Angie Lewis on our KOOL Konversation to talk about the event and other happenings at the library. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Alex School Superintendent Jason James will discuss what he thinks is needed to happen in public education. You’ll find the links elsewhere on this website, under the Community tab.

 

 

Friday, January 26th

 

Baby Overdoses at Day Care

Reports that a baby received an overdose of heart medication at a day care. While the baby is fine, the child’s mother still has concerns about what happened. Cassandra Roberts of Chickasha tells KSWO-TV that her one-year old boy was born with half a heart and needs medication three times a day. Roberts said a substitute teacher mistakenly gave the baby three days’ worth of the medicine in one day. The teacher was fired and the daycare self-reported the incident to DHS. It's reported the day care said that the teacher was out of line, and that only certain workers are supposed to give medicine to the children. Roberts said it's been a nightmare. She said the day care needs to be more cautious and read up on the children they have, or another parent will experience the same thing. Neither the name of the day care, its location, nor the teacher were identified.

 

Arrests Made After Loaded Gun Found at Anadarko School

Two Anadarko middle school students are arrested after a loaded gun was found in a school bathroom. Police arrested a 12-year old and a 14-year old after the weapon was found Wednesday. Our partners at KWTV News 9 report that the school was placed on lockdown, and Anadarko police brought in a couple of K-9 officers to sweep the school. The gun reportedly belonged to the 14-year old, and the 12-year old is alleged to have had some meth and drug items. Anadarko police chief Tracy Roles said it happened the day after a school shooting in Kentucky that left people dead and injured. He said his department would not deal with the situation lightly.    

 

Child Sex Abuse Occurred for Years, Police Say

Now a KOOL/RANCH News follow-up to a story we aired yesterday about a man arrested on a child sexual abuse charge. The man is accused of molesting a nine-year old boy. A probable cause affidavit from Tuttle police alleges that 40-year old Jimmy Ray VanBuskirk sexually assaulted the boy several times over the last four years, starting when the boy was only five years old. The affidavit indicates the abuse was first reported last November. An arrest warrant was eventually issued this past Monday. VanBuskirk turned himself in, walking into the Grady County jail Wednesday night. VanBuskirk remains in jail. His initial appearance on the charge has been delayed until his attorney can attend.

 

Academic Person of the Week

Time to hear about a Chickasha public school student who is excelling. Our Dennis Linam has his weekly feature.

 

                

 

Thanks, Dennis! There's a photo of Kylin above.

 

Uncomfortable Speaking in Public? Try Toastmasters 

If you have a fear of public speaking, or would like to improve your communication skills in general, there's a group that can help. Toastmasters is a international group that provides techniques to help individuals get their point across in whatever day-to-day situation they may face, or in special  presentations. There is a Chickasha branch of Toastmasters, and the group meets Saturday mornings at the Chickasha Area YMCA. The group invites the public to an open house at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at the YMCA.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is down slightly to $65.51 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $70.41.

Natural gas is down to $3.44 per million BTUs.

Gold down to $1,358 and silver is $17.46.

 

 

Thursday, January 25th

 

Child Sexual Abuse Suspect in Custody

A Grady County man alleged to have molested a child is behind bars. Records on the Grady County Jail log show 40-year old Jimmy Ray Vanbuskirk surrendered to authorities by walking into the jail about 9 o'clock  last night. Tuttle police and the district attorney’s office requested a warrant for his arrest earlier this week. No details are available, but the website On Demand Court Records show the Tuttle man is charged with one count of child sexual abuse. The child reported to be under 12 years old. An emergency protective order was issued against Vanbuskirk last month.

 

Man Accused of Using Log to Choke Girlfriend

A Blanchard man is accused of choking his girlfriend with a log from a fireplace. A warrant was issued last October for 55-year old Robert Earl Morrow. He was picked up by Grady County Sheriff's deputies Monday night, but it wasn't clear how authorities tracked him down. Documents on file at the Grady County Courthouse indicate Morrow and his girlfriend were arguing at ahome in Bridge Creek. It's alleged that Morrow pinned the woman on the floor by holding the log against her neck, and that he also slammed her face in the floor. Morrow's is out of jail after posting $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled March 7th.

 

Chix Resident Avoids Injury in Crash; One Critically Hurt

A Chickasha man avoids serious injury in a crash in western Oklahoma that critically injured one person. 59-year old Billy Trent was taken to a Weatherford hospital, where he was treated and released. The accident happened five miles south of Thomas about 4:30 p.m. yesterday. The driver of the pick-up, 46-year old Bryan Clymer of Harrah, was last in critical condition in an Oklahoma City hospital. The Highway patrol reports that Clymer and Trent were northbound on Highway 54. A southbound truck turned in front of them and hit the Clymer pick-up, sending it off the highway, where it rolled and landed on its top. The driver of the other vehicle 26-year old Randall White, Jr. of Del City, was not hurt.

 

Chix School Bus Rear-Ended; No Injuries

A Chickasha school bus with several students on board was involved in a minor traffic accident yesterday morning. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The accident happened at the railroad crossing at 17th and Iowa just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Chickasha police say the bus had stopped at the crossing, when it was rear-ended by a car driven by an in-attentive teenage driver. Police tell us there were about 10 high school-age students on the bus. The bus received only minor damage, and bus driver Alton Rawlins was able to finish the route. The vehicle driven by the unidentified 17-year old had to be towed. Police did not say why the teen wasn't paying attention.

 

New Domed School, Fieldhouse in Alex Nears Completion

Construction crews are putting some of the final touches on a brand new school and fieldhouse at Alex Public Schools. Voters in the district approved an $18.7 million bond issue for the construction a few years ago.  Superintendent Jason James reviews what the new building includes.

 

                

 

James said the domed structure is rated by FEMA to withstand an F-5 tornado. The bond issue also allowed the district to build a new football stadium with field turf, and a college-level track. Those facilities have been in use the last couple of years. The first-ever high school basketball games in the new fieldhouse will be played tomorrow night, when Alex will entertain Walters.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX soars past $65 to $65.61 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude tops $70 to $70.53.

Natural gas climbs to $3.51 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,364 and silver is $17.56.

 

Wednesday, January 24th

 

Pete Bush Resigns School Post

Pete Bush has resigned his post as transportation and maintenance director for Chickasha Public Schools. His attorney announced the decision to the crowd attending a special meeting of the Chickasha school board last night. Bush's attorney, Woody Glass, told KOOL/RANCH News.

 

                

 

The school board unanimously accepted Bush's resignation, which is effective immediately. The announcement was made following a two-hour closed door session with Bush, the school board, and their respective attorneys. In a statement to the crowd, Bush's attorney, Woody Glass said that neither Bush nor the school board wanted to be a sword that causes a division  with the district or the community. There was no public hearing held during the meeting, so no details of the embezzlement allegations against Bush were revealed.

 

Many Saddened with Bush's Decision

Many of those attending the meeting were disappointed to hear of Bush's resignation. Alot of them were current and former students involved in the school's archery program that Bush started from scratch several years ago. The archery program has continued without his supervision, as other coaches have stepped in to fill the void. No financial terms of Bush's resignation were made available. Bush was among several school employees suspended last month, over allegations of embezzlment and failure to report child abuse. One of them, Pam Huggins, has a due-process hearing next Monday with the board. Another, Yohance Brown, was re-instated. Supporters of the suspended employees say they were targeted by administrators for citing irrregularities with the controversial personalized learning curriculum.

 

Another New School Board Member Sworn In

The Chickasha school board is back to a full five members. The panel appointed Shawna Covington to fill the vacancy left when board president Chris Ludwell resigned last week. Covington's appointment is good for a year. She'll have to run for the seat in next year's school election.

 

School Petition Effort Continues

In the meantime, a group petitioning for a state audit of school finances continues gathering signatures to bring in the state auditor to look at financial records. Laurie Allen is one of the coordinators. She says they need about 800 verified signatures on the petition in order to bring in state officials.  The group is looking to get about 1,100 total signatures, before taking them to the state capital. Some signatures may be nullified if their signatures are determined to be invalid. The group has until Feb. 5th to submit their petition.

 

Sheriff Names New Lead Investigator

A new primary crime investigator is in place with the Grady County sheriff's office. Corporal Justin Johnston has been elevated to the post. He takes over for Phil Blevins, who was recently promoted to under-sheriff. Johnston has about 15 years’ experience in law enforcement, beginning as a detention officer at the Canadian County jail and as a reserve officer with the Minco police department. Johnston has been with the Grady County sheriff's office for five years, starting as a reserve, and working his way in to a full-time role in 2014.

 

Oklahoma's Wheat Crop Suffers

The extremely dry weather has not been good for Oklahoma's wheat crop. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says producers should take a look its condition, and consider filing a notice of loss.

 

                

 

Jackson said the fall-winter wheat pasture season ends March 15th, so the final date to file a notice of loss would be March 30th. He said a notice of loss can be filed at any time before that March 30th deadline.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $64.47 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude with a gain to $69.96.

Natural gas also up to $3.44 per million BTUs.

Gold rises to $1,354 and silver is $17.24.

 

Tuesday, January 23rd

 

Suspended School Administrator's Hearing Tonight

Suspended Chickasha schools Transportation and Maintenance Director Pete Bush's job is on the line tonight. Bush will have his due process hearing tonight, in yet another special meeting of the Chickasha board of education.  Administrators are recommending Bush be fired, however, it's up to the school board make the final decision. The meeting will be held at the middle school auditorium, to hold what is expected to be another large crowd which has been attending school board meetings since a number of school employees were suspended. To date, there's been no official word on why Bush was suspended. School attorneys only said there were allegations of embezzlement and failure to report child abuse, but did not indicate which allegations were against which employees. It could be a long evening. Bush's due-process hearing will be held in open session. The hearing will be similar to a court hearing. Opening statements will be presented by a school administrator, and Bush or his attorney. That will be followed by witness statements, cross-examination, and rebuttal. School board members will be able to ask questions. After the hearing, the board of education will go behind closed doors for further discussion, after which they'll return to open session to vote.

 

 

School Board May Name New Officer

The school board may also appoint a new member, to replace Chris Ludwell, who resigned last week. Ludwell resigned saying he was being blackmailed and bullied. If there is an appointment to the board, it will come before Bush's hearing. The meeting gets underway at 6 o'clock tonight at the middle school auditorium.

 

Area Dodges Wildifres Despite High Winds

Firefighters were on alert yesterday with the 50-mile per hour winds, but thankfully, no major fires broke out. In the Chickasha and Anadarko area, fire crews were dispatched to a grass fire east of Verden Monday morning, but quickly got it under control. Burn bans are starting to be enacted across the state. However, Grady County Commissioners did not implement a ban yesterday. A ban was put in place in Garvin County, which does include the Lindsay area. 14 counties now have burn bans, including Jefferson and Cotton counties in south-central Oklahoma around Waurika and in Jackson and Tillman counties around Altus.

 

Museum to Host Annual Fundraiser

History buffs should enjoy an upcoming program which delves into the storied past of local churches. The 9th annual story-telling and soul food evening will discuss the role of African-American churches. The event is a fund-raiser for the Loretta Jackson African American Historical Society. The event will take a look at the history of Chickasha and Verden African-American churches, dating back to the late 19th century. Entertainment includes the Langston University Choir, featuring soloist Sheryl Johnson Robinson of Chickasha. The program will be held Saturday, Feb. 10th at the USAO Ballroom. Tickets are $20 and you can contact Loretta Jackson for more information by calling 224-5297.

 

Check and Balance Program Scheduled

Many times young families have financial issues. To help them, or anyone needing guidance with money management, an upcoming program may be beneficial.    A Check and Balance seminar will be offered next month. It's a joint-effort of Grady County OSU Extension and the District Attorney's office, held in part to reduce bogus check problems. Susan Routh with the extension service.

 

                

 

The program will be held the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 9th at the Grady County extension office at 9th and Choctaw. There is a $30 fee for materials. Register at the extension office.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $63.49 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.03.

Natural gas was up to $3.22 per million BTUs.

Gold is up to $1,336 and silver down to $16.98.

 

Monday, January 22nd

 

Pioneer School Schedules Bond Election

Voters in the Pioneer School district will decide a special bond issue in a few weeks. The district is asking for a five-year, $310,000 bond measure. The ballot calls for the money to be used for construction, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings. It also would allow the buying of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The issue will be decided on Feb. 13th

               

School Board Elections Upcoming as Well

Some school districts in the region will have school board elections on that date. Districts in Grady County that will have elections include Chickasha, Rush Springs and Bridge Creek. Districts in Caddo County are Anadarko, Carnegie, Apache, and Hinton. Also in Caddo County, a municipal issue on the ballot in Hydro, to decide if the mayor should appoint the town clerk. Sample ballots of all the elections are available at county election board offices. If you would like to apply for an absentee ballot, those applications need to be filled out and returned to your local county election board by Feb. 7th. Those forms are available from the state election board website, at www.elections.ok.gov

 

Flu Still a Problem

Flu deaths in Oklahoma are climbing. Almost 300 new flu cases listed in the most recent weekly report, with three additional deaths. Total flu cases since Sept. 1st have reached 1,150 and a total of 45 deaths attributed to the illness. A couple of Stephens County school districts have closed or are closing because of the flu. Bray-Doyle schools are closed both today and tomorrow. Last Friday, Empire schools shut down. While schools there were closed, workers from the town of Empire helped to clean and disinfect  classrooms, hallways, the gymnasium, and even school buses. Grady County flu cases requiring a stay in the hospital rose to a total of 30. In Stephens County, the number climbed to 20; it's 18 in McClain County and 13 in Garvin County. Comanche County is up to 29 cases and in Caddo County, just eight.

 

YMCA Fund-Raising Campaign Underway

The Chickasha Area YMCA's annual fundraiser is underway. Officials hope to raise more than $80,000 over the next few weeks to help families take advantage of their programs. YMCA director Lewis Knicely says the campaign:

 

                

 

Knicely said last year's contributions were $76,000 and the YMCA paid more than $100,000 in scholarships.

 

Grady County Fair Board Incumbents to Continue Serving

There won't be any changes on the Grady County Fairgrounds board of trustees this year. Three incumbents whose terms were expiring all ran un-opposed for re-election. Eddie Rathbun of Rush Springs in District 3;  Steve Standridge of the Chickasha area in District 2; and Beth Norvell of the Tuttle area in District 1 all will serve three more years on the panel, which oversees operations at the Grady County Fairgrounds.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.37 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $68.61.

Natural gas is $3.18 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,333 and silver is $17.06.

 

Thursday, January 25th

 

Child Sexual Abuse Suspect in Custody

A Grady County man alleged to have molested a child is behind bars. Records on the Grady County Jail log show 40-year old Jimmy Ray Vanbuskirk surrendered to authorities by walking into the jail about 9 o'clock  last night. Tuttle police and the district attorney’s office requested a warrant for his arrest earlier this week. No details are available, but the website On Demand Court Records show the Tuttle man is charged with one count of child sexual abuse. The child reported to be under 12 years old. An emergency protective order was issued against Vanbuskirk last month.

 

Man Accused of Using Log to Choke Girlfriend

A Blanchard man is accused of choking his girlfriend with a log from a fireplace. A warrant was issued last October for 55-year old Robert Earl Morrow. He was picked up by Grady County Sheriff's deputies Monday night, but it wasn't clear how authorities tracked him down. Documents on file at the Grady County Courthouse indicate Morrow and his girlfriend were arguing at ahome in Bridge Creek. It's alleged that Morrow pinned the woman on the floor by holding the log against her neck, and that he also slammed her face in the floor. Morrow's is out of jail after posting $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled March 7th.

 

Chix Resident Avoids Injury in Crash; One Critically Hurt

A Chickasha man avoids serious injury in a crash in western Oklahoma that critically injured one person. 59-year old Billy Trent was taken to a Weatherford hospital, where he was treated and released. The accident happened five miles south of Thomas about 4:30 p.m. yesterday. The driver of the pick-up, 46-year old Bryan Clymer of Harrah, was last in critical condition in an Oklahoma City hospital. The Highway patrol reports that Clymer and Trent were northbound on Highway 54. A southbound truck turned in front of them and hit the Clymer pick-up, sending it off the highway, where it rolled and landed on its top. The driver of the other vehicle 26-year old Randall White, Jr. of Del City, was not hurt.

 

Chix School Bus Rear-Ended; No Injuries

A Chickasha school bus with several students on board was involved in a minor traffic accident yesterday morning. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The accident happened at the railroad crossing at 17th and Iowa just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Chickasha police say the bus had stopped at the crossing, when it was rear-ended by a car driven by an in-attentive teenage driver. Police tell us there were about 10 high school-age students on the bus. The bus received only minor damage, and bus driver Alton Rawlins was able to finish the route. The vehicle driven by the unidentified 17-year old had to be towed. Police did not say why the teen wasn't paying attention.

 

New Domed School, Fieldhouse in Alex Nears Completion

Construction crews are putting some of the final touches on a brand new school and fieldhouse at Alex Public Schools. Voters in the district approved an $18.7 million bond issue for the construction a few years ago.  Superintendent Jason James reviews what the new building includes.

 

                

 

James said the domed structure is rated by FEMA to withstand an F-5 tornado. The bond issue also allowed the district to build a new football stadium with field turf, and a college-level track. Those facilities have been in use the last couple of years. The first-ever high school basketball games in the new fieldhouse will be played tomorrow night, when Alex will entertain Walters.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX soars past $65 to $65.61 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude tops $70 to $70.53.

Natural gas climbs to $3.51 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,364 and silver is $17.56.

Friday, January 26th

 

Baby Overdoses at Day Care

Reports that a baby received an overdose of heart medication at a day care. While the baby is fine, the child’s mother still has concerns about what happened. Cassandra Roberts of Chickasha tells KSWO-TV that her one-year old boy was born with half a heart and needs medication three times a day. Roberts said a substitute teacher mistakenly gave the baby three days’ worth of the medicine in one day. The teacher was fired and the daycare self-reported the incident to DHS. It's reported the day care said that the teacher was out of line, and that only certain workers are supposed to give medicine to the children. Roberts said it's been a nightmare. She said the day care needs to be more cautious and read up on the children they have, or another parent will experience the same thing. Neither the name of the day care, its location, nor the teacher were identified.

 

Arrests Made After Loaded Gun Found at Anadarko School

Two Anadarko middle school students are arrested after a loaded gun was found in a school bathroom. Police arrested a 12-year old and a 14-year old after the weapon was found Wednesday. Our partners at KWTV News 9 report that the school was placed on lockdown, and Anadarko police brought in a couple of K-9 officers to sweep the school. The gun reportedly belonged to the 14-year old, and the 12-year old is alleged to have had some meth and drug items. Anadarko police chief Tracy Roles said it happened the day after a school shooting in Kentucky that left people dead and injured. He said his department would not deal with the situation lightly.    

 

Child Sex Abuse Occurred for Years, Police Say

Now a KOOL/RANCH News follow-up to a story we aired yesterday about a man arrested on a child sexual abuse charge. The man is accused of molesting a nine-year old boy. A probable cause affidavit from Tuttle police alleges that 40-year old Jimmy Ray VanBuskirk sexually assaulted the boy several times over the last four years, starting when the boy was only five years old. The affidavit indicates the abuse was first reported last November. An arrest warrant was eventually issued this past Monday. VanBuskirk turned himself in, walking into the Grady County jail Wednesday night. VanBuskirk remains in jail. His initial appearance on the charge has been delayed until his attorney can attend.

 

Academic Person of the Week

Time to hear about a Chickasha public school student who is excelling. Our Dennis Linam has his weekly feature.

 

                

 

Thanks, Dennis! There's a photo of Kylin above.

 

Uncomfortable Speaking in Public? Try Toastmasters 

If you have a fear of public speaking, or would like to improve your communication skills in general, there's a group that can help. Toastmasters is a international group that provides techniques to help individuals get their point across in whatever day-to-day situation they may face, or in special  presentations. There is a Chickasha branch of Toastmasters, and the group meets Saturday mornings at the Chickasha Area YMCA. The group invites the public to an open house at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at the YMCA.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is down slightly to $65.51 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $70.41.

Natural gas is down to $3.44 per million BTUs.

Gold down to $1,358 and silver is $17.46.

2018 January 15th - 20th

 

2018,  January 15th - 20th  

Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is

High school student, …. Jakob Kennedy!

 

 

Saturday, January 20th

 

Teacher Suspended After Dodge Ball Incident with Student

A Ninnekah teacher is on paid leave pending an investigation into allegations that he whipped a student with a belt. It happened in a PE class this week. The student claims he was beaten, after he accidentally hit the teacher in the groin with a dodge ball. 13-year old Nick Johnson said it was an accident. Johnson said he was aiming for the teacher's chest, but the ball hit the teacher below the belt. Johnson claims the teacher chased him down and hit him several times with the belt. Johnson's mother wants the teacher fired. Ninnekah Superintendent Todd Bunch says the matter was taken care of promptly, and that the unidentified teacher is suspended with pay until an investigation is completed. The teen said he was sorry the incident even happened.

 

Man Arrested on Weapons Charges

A woman helping a friend who didn't have a place to stay is shocked when she alleges the friend pulls a gun on her. The woman called 911 after she found some drug items and some property her friend said had been stolen. According to Chickasha police affidavit, she told the man to leave, and at some point, the friend pulled the gun and pointed it to her head. The friend left for a short time, only to come back and try to climb through a window in woman's apartment. Police arrested 29-year old Kody Dean Jones of Chickasha. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony of pointing a firearm and for having firearm after conviction. The DA also wants to revoke a 5-year suspended sentence Jones received after he pleaded no contest to a 2014 charge of assault. Jones remains in jail pending a $100,000 bond

 

Federal Official Visits Kiowa Tribe

A top official from the nation's capitol meets with members of the Kiowa Tribe this week. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Department of Interior, spent some time in Carnegie with tribal leaders. Also joining Zinke was deputy assistant secretary, John Tahsuda, who is member of the Kiowa Tribe. The Lawton Constitution reports that Zinke told the Carnegie gathering the most frustrating issue he deals with is the government red tape which gets in the way of handling matters at the front lines with tribal leaders. He said sovereignty should mean something and that the federal government was put in place to work for and by the people, and they have to get better. Zinke said there are 562 federally-recognized tribes in the U.S. and each one is a unique and equal nation. He says he's an advocate for each. Zinke was also  scheduled to meet with the Chickasaw nation.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Lewis Knicely with the Chickasha Area YMCA is on our KOOL Konversation program, talking about the annual fundraising campaign for the Y. There are links to this program on this website, under the Community tab.

 

Friday, January 19th

 

Chix Schools Interim Super Comments

KOOL/RANCH news sat down for an exclusive interview with the new interim superintendent for Chickasha schools yesterday. Jack Herron brings a wealth of educational experience to the post. He's spent several years lobbying for public education at the state capital, and has even given presentations to state lawmaker about Oklahoma school finances. Herron is optimistic that he can be part of the solution to a number of issues that have come forward within the Chickasha school district over the last  few months.

 

                

 

Herron said he's been following the stories regarding the suspension of school employees, and the personalized learning curriculum and considered applying for the interim superintendent post. He said he also had some friends locally that encouraged him to apply. Herron signed a contract valued at $140,000 per year, which is about $11,700 per month. The contract runs through June 30, 2018.

 

Woman Dies in Car Crash

A Cement woman dies when her car runs off a rural Grady County road. 86-year old Zella Faye Fulton passed away in the accident that happened about five miles south of Verden on Lake Burtchi Road. Investigators think the crash happened between one o'clock and three o'clock yesterday. Fulton's car was found overturned in a creek bed.

 

Chris Mosley to Run for Mayor of Chix

Chickasha will have a new mayor later this year, as Hank Ross has announced he is not running for re-election. At least three candidates could be on the ballot in the April election. Businessman Chris Mosley has officially announced his candidacy. Mosley previously served on the city council for four years. He's a Chickasha native, and currently works in the family business at Century 21/Mosley Real Estate. Two other candidates have also announced their intentions to run for mayor, including current councilman Cody Turpin, and retired Col. Tom Rose, who lost to Ross in the 2016 mayoral election. The filing period for city council will be next month.

 

One Week of Grady County Jury Duty Canceled

Grady County residents who received jury duty notices for the week of January 22nd do not have to report. The court clerk’s office says the entire week has been cancelled. However, residents who received jury duty notices for the week of January 29th will have to report as scheduled on Monday, January 29th. Anyone with questions can contact the court clerk’s office by calling 405-224-7446.

 

Chix Chamber of Commerce Names New Directors

New officers are sworn for the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Ed Stanton with Liberty National Bank will serve as the new chairman for 2018. He takes over from Jeff McClure. He’s joined on the Chamber Board’s Executive Committee by Travis Posey of HSI Sensing, who will serve as vice chairman. Other executive committee members are Karen Gentry of Bank of Commerce, and Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension, and McClure. The board of directors will include Christie Elkins with the Economic Development Council; Michele Pace of 1st National Bank; Justin Yahola of Salt Creek Casino; Sherri Kell of Standley Systems; Brian Gerdes of  Dr. Pepper; Cassandra Ersland from USAO; Warren Spellman, Grady Memorial Hospital, William Conner with Enduro Bond; Daniel Cobarrubio with PSO; LaRonda McArther of Century 21/Mosley Real Estate; Andrew Bratton of Physical Therapy Central; and Heather Witt with Bank SNB. All will take their public oaths of office at next month's chamber banquet.

 

School Student Recognized

This week, we're resuming our series where we highlight an individual excelling in Chickasha public schools. Our Dennis Linam reports.

 

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX down to $63.95 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude down to $69.31.

Natural gas down to $3.19 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,334 and silver is $17.04.

 

 

Thursday, January 18th

 

New Interim Superintendent On Duty

The new administrator on board for Chickasha public schools spent his first day on the job Wednesday meeting school principals and many of the people he'll be working with over the next few months. Jack Herron was hired by the school board during its special meeting Tuesday night. According to his Facebook page, Herron has a background in education financing, having worked in that area at the state department of education. He also has served as a lobbyist with the Professional Oklahoma Educators, a non-union, non-partisan, non- profit group of educators. He's served as superintendent in several school districts, including Duncan and Guthrie. Terms of Herron's contract were not immediately available. While the school board terminated its monthly stipend with Superintendent Emeritus Dave Cash, he (Cash) continues to serve the district without pay or benefits. Sources say Herron can reach out to Cash if he needs information.

 

Rape Suspect Bound Over for Trial

A Caddo County man has been bound over for trial, for his alleged rape of a teenaged girl. 34-year old Cecil Gordon of Carnegie entered an innocent plea to the rape charge following his preliminary hearing in Caddo County District Court this week. His trial was set for August. Court documents in the case indicate Gordon's DNA ties him to the alleged sexual assault. The teen that Gordon over-powered her in the summer of 2016, when she was only 15 years old.

 

Chickasha Airport Important for the Region

Millions of dollars in improvements have been made to the Chickasha airport over the last several years. City Manager John Noblitt says about $5 million has been spent on things like extending the runway to just over 5,000 feet, repairs to drainage, and even developing the airport industrial park. Noblitt most of that money comes from state and federal sources.

 

                

 

The airport itself sits on about 300 acres just north of Chickasha, but the entire region is about 700 acres, which includes the industrial park. Noblitt said future plans include extending the runway for another 1,000 feet. About 30 planes per day use the airport.

 

Credit Union to Hold Ground-Breaking

A ground-breaking ceremony today (Thursday) for the expansion of a local financial institution. Work is already underway for the new stand-alone location for Focus Federal Credit Union. A building permit for the site was issued last month. It's a $600,000 project, which officials hope to have opened by this fall. The new location at 1st and Chisholm Drive is only about one block  south of its current location.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $63.97 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude up to $69.38.

Natural gas climbs to $3.23 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,330 and silver is $17.11.

 

 

Wednesday, January 17th

 

Chix School Board President Resigns

Saying he was being blackmailed and bullied, Chickasha Board of Education president Chris Ludwell resigns. The resignation came during a special meeting of the school board last night. He read from a prepared statement which lasted about five minutes. Ludwell called some patrons cowards, and said they made it clear that they would spread innuendos and sinister suggestions about him, even though the patrons know the allegations are false.

 

                

 

A video of Ludwell's resignation was posted on Facebook. Ludwell said he had hoped to be a peacemaker between the district and some angry patrons over recent suspensions of school employees, and some charges of grade tampering and attendance irregularities regarding the personalized learning curriculum. Regarding the suspended employees, Ludwell said the school board did not initiate the suspensions. He said there were two inappropriate events which caused the suspensions, and that any administrator would have been negligent to ignore them. Previously, attorneys for the school district claimed allegations of embezzlement, and failure to report child abuse. After Ludwell's statement he immediately left the room, and board vice president Doug Brown presided over the rest of the meeting. It was reported that the school board did hire a long-term interim superintendent, but we have not been able to confirm the name of that individual.

 

City Council OKs Sales Tax Rebate Plan for Retail Expansion

By a 7-0 vote, the Chickasha City Council approves a sales tax rebate incentive proposal that paves the way for more retail development in the city. Without debate, the panel OK'd the plan with local developer Steve LaForge to make millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements south of Grand Avenue between 4th and 9th Streets. Councilman Mark Keeling and R.P. Ashanti Alexander did not attend last night's meeting. LaForge's plans include building up low-lying areas out of the flood plain, installing water and sewer lines, and building a new road behind the Grandview Shopping Center. The rebate incentive calls for LaForge to receive a portion of the sales tax revenue that comes in from any new business which locates within the improved area. It's an agreement similar to one LaForge had with the city for the development of the Shoppes at Chisholm Trail development, east of 4th and Grand. The agreement runs through 2040.

 

Chickasha Firefighters Get New Contract

After a 15-minute closed-door session, the city council approved a collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Firefighters, Local 2041. The agreement runs through June 30, 2018.

 

Councilman Praises DAV

City Councilman Howard Carpenter likes what has been done to renovate a city building into a permanent home for veterans.

 

                

 

DAV Post 17 just opened this week. The post has a five-year lease with the city to use the former police department and city hall at 6th and Chickasha Ave.

 

City Honors Employee of the Month

The council also recognized Darren Martin as the city's employee of the month. Martin has worked in the Community Development Department  for three years, and previously worked in the fire department for 27 years.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.73 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.15.

Natural gas is $3.13 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,337 and silver is $17.24.

 

Tuesday, January 16th

 

Chix City Council to Review Development Proposal

Chickasha officials call it a sales tax rebate incentive which supporters say would create more retail business. The plan will be reviewed by the city council when the panel meets later today (Tuesday). The proposal calls for the development of property south of Grand Avenue between 4th and 9th Streets. After major infrastructure improvements are made, the developer would receive a small percentage of sales tax revenue which results from any new business that locates within that area. That could be up to $3 million, with the agreement running through 2040. The infrastructure  improvements would include elevating land out of the flood plain, and building a new east-west road behind Homeland. Also on tonight's city council agenda, a closed-door discussion to get an update on negotiations with the International Assocation of Fire Fighters Local 2041, with the possible approval of a contract for the current fiscal year. The council will also consider granting an easement to a Colorado firm which recently purchased land in the north part of the city to build a pipe yard. The group needs the  easement to build a rail spur.

 

Interim Super May be Hired for Chix Schools

A new long-term interim superintendent may be hired for Chickasha schools tonight. The board of education has a special meeting to discuss a possible contract with one of three individuals who were interviewed last month. The contract discussion will be held behind closed doors, with any announcement to come after the panel returns to open session. The school board is also to consider putting a halt to its $2,500 per month payment to Superintendent Emeritus Dave Cash. Cash is expected to continue some part-time work for the district without pay or benefits.

 

Veterans Center Opens

The new Grady County DAV Center is now open. The Disabled American Veterans Post 17 welcomed its first group of veterans yesterday. The DAV recently obtained a five-year lease for the former Chickasha Police Headquarters and city hall at 6th and Chickasha Avenue. Volunteers spent the last 2 ½ months making improvements to the building, which had been empty for about three years. Michael Chavers and Chris Mackey have spent a lot of time making repairs. Chavers says they want to help all the veterans in the area.

 

                

 

Right now, the center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a goal of being open five days a week, once they get staff trained.

 

Exercise of Any Kind Beneficial for the Elderly

Falling is one of the most frequent ways that senior citizens get hurt. It not only costs them their freedom and mobility but many times also leads to expensive medical bills. Susan Routh with Grady  County OSU Extension points to a new study suggesting that seniors who get even a minimal amount of exercise benefit from the activity.

 

                

 

Right now, there are free Tai Chi classes at the Chickasha Library, held in cooperation of the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative. You might also check with local senior nutrition centers, or YMCA or other health clubs.

               

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.30 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.87.

Natural gas $3.20 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,334 and silver is $17.05.

 

Monday, January 15th

 

Chix School Board May Halt Supe's Pay

There's another special meeting of the Chickasha Board of Education tomorrow. On the agenda is a proposal to stop paying Superintendent Emeritus Dave Cash a monthly $2,500 payment for his services. Cash will remain as superintendent emeritus without pay, and his financial services to the district would also end, if the item is approved. Cash was allowed to take an extended leave of absence to work with another company to recruit other schools to implement the controversial Personalized Learning Curriculum he brought to Chickasha schools. His pay was reduced from his normal salary to  $2,500 per month. The school board is also expected to name a long-term interim superintendent to fill in for the rest of the school year for Cash. The board interviewed three candidates last month. Cindy Schmidt has been the interim superintendent for the last couple of months. The special meeting will be at 5:30 tomorrow afternoon at the school administration building.

 

Duncan Girl Dies after Dog Attack

A Duncan girl has died after being attacked by a family dog. KSWO-TV reports that Duncan police were called to a home about 3 o'clock yesterday. The child was taken to a hospital where she died. It wasn't known how old the child was. When police arrived, the medium-sized mixed breed dog ran away, but officers were able to track it down. Reports indicate the dog started toward an officer, who then shot the animal. It wasn't clear if the animal also died, but it has been taken to a veterinarian to determine its breed.

 

CHS Robotics Team Begins Project

Over the next several weeks, several Chickasha High School students will be building a robot for a couple of upcoming competitions. The team will once again build the robot for the international FIRST Robotics competition. FIRST is an acronym meaning For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Teams just learned of their assignment last week, and have only six weeks in which to put their project together. The team has other responsibilities, too.  Lexi Hendricks is in her third year with the program.

 

                

 

The team only works on the project after school and weekends.

 

Wildfire Scorches Marlow Area

We've been talking about the risk for wildfires, and there was one near Marlow yesterday that had fire crews busy for quite a while. Firefighters from Rush Springs, Marlow, Duncan, Bray, and Central High responded. Officials said the fire had the potential to threaten some structures, but there were no reports of damage.

 

Donation Benefits Chix Animal Shelter

Another donation to the Chickasha police department. This one will help out the animal shelter. The state branch of the Humane Society of the United States sent items that included a cat den, a couple of traps, protective bite gloves, and about 25 leashes. Lt. Traye Alexander, who is the animal control division commander, said he was going to purchase some bite gloves, but now he doesn't have to. The delivery arrived with a note which thanked the department for its work for animals.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.30 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.87.

Natural gas is $3.20 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,342 and silver is $17.36.
 

Get TuneIn and hear our unique music blend (a.k.a. "Chickasha's Country") anywhere you go.

 

2018 January 8th-13th

Saturday, January 13th

 

School Board May Stop Paying Part-Time Super

The Chickasha Board of Education has been under fire for several months, allowing Superintendent Dave Cash to take an extended leave of absence, but still pay him $2,500 a month for part-time work. That payment could stop this month. The school board will have yet another special meeting next week, to consider discontinuing the payment to Cash, and to discontinue any obligation he has to provide financial services for the school district. However, Cash would still have his Superintendent Emeritus status, but without pay or benefits.

 

Long-term Interim School Super May be Hired

The school board may also name a long-term interim superintendent, who would fill the gap left after Cash was allowed to go to work for another company. The panel will go behind closed doors to meet with a candidate for possible appointment. The panel interviewed three candidates for the post last month. Cindy Schmidt has been serving as the short-term interim superintendent. The new interim is expected to serve through the remainder of the school year. The school board has an agreement with Cash that will allow him to return full time to the district in July. The special school board meeting will be held Tuesday night.

 

More Details on Planned Retail Expansion

KOOL News has learned of a few more details regarding a sales tax rebate incentive proposal between the city and a local developer, regarding the expansion of what could be another retail shopping area. In an e-mail to KOOL 105.5, developer Steve LaForge presented some facts about the proposal. It calls for making improvements to an area south of Grand Avenue, between 4th and 9th Streets. LaForge said the agreement is nearly identical to the one he has with the city for the improvements that have taken place in the Shoppes at Chisholm Trail, which is east of 4th and Grand. LaForge said developers will spend a significant amount of money on infrastructure repairs, which would be made at no cost to the city. That would include the elevation of low-lying areas out of the flood plain, building streets and storm drains with a retention pond, and water and sewer extensions. Also, a new road would be built between 4th and 9th Streets. The proposal calls for the developer to receive a small portion of the sales tax collected on new businesses which locate in the improved area, through the year 2040. The city council will review the proposal when it meets Tuesday night.

 

Fish, and Turtles, and...Snakes! Oh My!

One of Southwest Oklahoma's newest tourist attractions has only been open about six months, but it's already preparing to add some new features in hopes of drawing more visitors. The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center will soon include a snake exhibit, as well as a river otter habitat. The new additions are still part of the first phase of construction at the aquarium, which opened last June. Director Doug Kemper says the Snake Shack will initially have the five venomous snakes in the Sooner State, which includes three species of rattlesnakes, as well as copperheads, and water moccasins. Non venomous snakes will be added later. The snakes will be enclosed in a Plexi-glass area. The Otter Habitat will be about 40 feet long and 15 feet wide, and will include a waterfall, a long stream and a pool. In addition, the center is working to develop a wildflower and butterfly garden. Besides the aquarium, there is an area called Turtle Town where visitors can feed several species of turtles. The aquarium is open seven days a week, and welcomes school groups to tour the attraction.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend: The Chickasha High School robotics team has just started its 2018 project. Instructor Brandon Willis, and students Lexi Hendricks and Matthew Thomas will talk about their challenge on our KOOL Konversation program. You can hear that program on this website, under the Community Tab.

 

 

 
 

Friday, January 12th

 

 

Chix City Council to Review Retail Development Plan

A proposal that supporters say would bring more retailers to Chickasha will be discussed by the city council next week. Earlier this month, the council gave City Manager John Noblitt the go-ahead to put together what was being called a sales-tax-rebate incentive that might jump-start the project. Developer Steve LaForge wants to make improvements on property he owns south of Grand Avenue, between 4th and 9th Streets. The proposal calls for LaForge to receive a portion of sales tax receipts from any new businesses that locate in that area, up to $3 million. Officials point out that while the property is in a current Tax Increment Finance District, the proposed agreement would take affect after the TIF expires. It's not clear when that TIF agreement is to end. The proposal states that if no taxable development is added to the tax rolls, the agreement would end in 2030. If there is taxable development, the agreement could be extended to 2040. Details of the proposed agreement are included in a packet of information provided to city council members ahead of the group’s meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16th. The proposal will be discussed during that meeting.

 

Pipeyard Firm Needs Easement for Rail Spur

A Colorado-based pipeline company which has announced plans to expand to Chickasha needs a railroad spur to get the project up and running. Officials made the announcement last fall that CTAP, LLC will be developing a rail yard near 4th Street in the north part of the city. When the council meets Tuesday it will consider granting easement to CTAP on two properties in the area for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the spur. CTAP has been around for more than 30 years, providing oilfield casing, tubing, and couplings to drilling locations. The firm has locations in Oklahoma City and Dallas, as well as Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and in the northeast part of the country.

 

Flu Hits Hard In State

Grady County flu cases have risen dramatically over the last couple of weeks. The state health department reports 21 flu cases in Grady County since the flu season started Sept. 1st. Comanche and Canadian Counties have each had 20 flu cases;  Stephens County has had 15; McClain County has had 12; and Caddo County and Garvin Counties have each had seven. Four more people have died from the flu in Oklahoma in the last week. That brings the total number of deaths blamed on the flu to 22 since the flu season started. All 22 deaths are individuals who were over the age of 50. With more than 230 new flu cases reported last week, the total number of flu cases in Oklahoma is now 1,020.

               

 

Grady County Sheriff's Most-Wanted

Each week, the Grady County Sheriff's Office issues a list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's public information officer, Lisa Hatchett.

 

                

 

If you have information on any of these individuals, you're asked to contact the sheriff's office.

 

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is to $63.80 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.26.

Natural gas is $3.08 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,332 and silver is $17.15.

 

Thursday, January 11th

 

Alledged Kidnapper Now Faces Witness Tampering Charge

A man accused of kidnapping his girlfriend is facing another charge in connection with the incident. Prosecutors in Caddo County have now charged 38-year old Joshua Lee Wertz with trying to prevent a witness from testifying. Wertz has been in the Caddo County jail since November. He was arrested by Anadarko police after he allegedly kidnapped his girlfriend at gunpoint and forced her into his pickup. He had already been charged with kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. Wertz is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted of kidnapping, and 10 years on the weapons charge. The Lawton Constitution reports Wertz is facing an additional 10 years behind bars if convicted of witness tampering.

               

Judge Disallows Man to Withdraw Guilty Plea

A Caddo County man who pleaded guilty to a murder charge out of Lawton will not be allowed to withdraw his plea. Last fall, 29-year old Joshua Codynah of Apache pleaded guilty to the 2016 stabbing death of a man at a Lawton apartment. Codynah was back in court yesterday wanting to withdraw the plea, but the judge refused. Codynah not only pleaded guilty to murder, but also to burglary, child neglect, and assault with a deadly weapon. The judge also upheld Codynah's sentence of life in prison plus 15 years.

 

CPD Receives Life-Saving Tourniquets

Some additional life-saving equipment has been donated to the Chickasha Police Department. Several Combat Application Tourniquets were provided to the agency from the Department of Homeland Security. Police say one of these tourniquets saved the life of Officer Matthew Schoolfield when he was injured in a shootout with a man while delivering a search warrant last fall. There is a short training course needed to learn how to apply the tourniquet. Chickasha police are planning to hold the four-hour training with other law enforcement groups as well as civilians.

 

High Winds Elevate Fire Danger

Fire danger is elevated today because of the fierce winds that are part of a cold front moving through Oklahoma. Randy Cozad is a fire prevention technician with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He says just about all of western Oklahoma is in a near-critical to critical designation for wildfires. His crew stands ready to respond, if needed.

 

                

 

While there are no active county burn bans, Cozad asked individuals to delay any burning of trash, brush, or pastures until the fire danger drops.

 

Huge Youth Stock Show Set for February

We're about a month away from the largest stock show of the year in this region. More than 2,000 animals are expected for the Southwest District Livestock Show. It is scheduled for the Grady County Fairgrounds Feb. 14th through 17th. Some say the only youth stock that's bigger is the Oklahoma Youth Expo. Cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats will all be paraded through the arena. Youth from 14 counties from basically the southwest quadrant of the state will exhibit. The show pays up to $1,000 for the Grand champion market steer, heifer, market wether lamb, and barrow. While most shows have a grand and reserve champion, this show also has a third place bronze prize that can be up to $250. Animals need to be pre-registered by Feb. 2nd.

 

Deadline Looms for School Election Voter Registration

Annual school elections are coming up in a few weeks. First time voters who need to register, or those who need to update their voter registration, need to do so by next Friday. Jan. 19th. You can visit your local county election board, or forms are available at most libraries, tag offices, and post offices. You can also download a form from the state election board website, www.elections.ok.gov

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.57 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.20.

Natural gas is $2.90 per million BTUs.

Gold $1,319 and silver is $17.04.

 

Wednesday, January 10th

 

Petition Calls for Audit of Chickasha Schools

An initiative petition effort is underway which calls for the state auditor to look into the finances of the Chickasha Public School District. The petition calls for a review of all Oklahoma Public School Resource Center contracts, as well as alleged double-dipping by former school administrators. The petition also calls for a review of alleged nepotism on the part of an un-named administrator. Ruth Bingham is one of the leaders of the petition drive.

 

                

 

The group has until Feb. 5th to gather about 1,100 signatures, which will then be delivered to the state auditor. The next step would be to have the Grady County Election Board determine if there are enough certified signatures before the audit can be ordered. The petition was circulated during last night’s regular meeting of the Chickasha school board, while the panel was meeting in executive session discussing personnel issues.

 

Chix School Board Members Asked to Resign

There was a call for all the school board members to step down during last night's meeting. Laurie Allen first thanked school board members for their service, then announced:

 

                

 

There was no comment from any of the four school board members regarding Allen’s request. There was an item on the agenda dealing with un-specified resignations, but board president Chris Ludwell said no action would be taken on that issue.

 

Marlow Mayor Wins GOP Nod for HD 51

Marlow Mayor Brad Boles easily wins Tuesday’s Special Republican Primary election in House District 51. Boles defeated Chickasha restaurant owner Dustin Payne, collecting more than 80 percent of the vote, 942 to 206. Boles will face Democrat Charles Murdock of Marlow in the special election for House District 51 in March.

               

Lime-Hauling Semi Crashes; Blocks City Street

A semi hauling lime overturns near the Chickasha sports complex Tuesday, blocking a city street for a couple of hours. The accident happened about 5 o'clock last night, near the city's waste water treatment plant. The driver was not seriously injured. Unofficial reports indicate the driver may have been driving too fast. The semi was northbound on Grand Avenue extension when it turned on its side. See a video of the crash on our Facebook page.

 

City of Chix Begins Employee-of-the Month Program

The City of Chickasha is starting a new program in 2018, publicly recognizing the work of employees. An employee of the month will be selected for their performance. The first honor is presented to Darren Martin, who works in the Community Development Department. A press release from the city states that Martin has a mindset that citizens come first, and that he is always exceeding the expectations of his job. Martin has worked for the city for 30 years -- 27 with the fire department and the last three with Community Development. Martin will be recognized at next week's city council meeting.

 

FSA County Committee Election Results

Election results are in for county committees that direct the Farm Service Agencies in Chickasha and Anadarko. Mark Jackson with the Grady County FSA office.

 

                

 

Jackson also reminds small-grain producers that Tuesday, January 16th is the deadline to report wheat and other small-grain acreages. Jackson asks producers to at least call by the close of business that day to schedule an appointment, which can be held after the 16th without having to pay a fine.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $62.96 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude up to $68.62.

Natural gas up to $2.92 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,324 and sliver is $17.19.

 

Tuesday, January 9th

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Chix School Board to Meet

The embattled Chickasha Board of Education meets tonight for the sixth time in the last five weeks. School administrators and attorneys have been dealing with the controversial suspensions of school employees. However, there's nothing on tonight's agenda that calls for any action regarding the suspended workers. Pete Bush, Pam Huggins, Stacy Crutchfield, and Greg Hackney were among those suspended last month. Only one of the suspended employees, Athletic Director Yohance Brown has returned. Tonight's gathering is the board's regular monthly meeting, which will allow public comment on matters which are listed on the agenda. One of the items includes the consideration of any resignation that may have been submitted since the panel met last week. It wasn't specified if it may be a school employee or a board member. A few employee resignations will be considered during a closed-door meeting of the board, including a couple of custodians and a para-professional. The board is expected to formally approve the firing of para-professional Jason Finch, who was terminated last month. The school board meets at 6:30 tonight at the school administration building.

 

County Man Faces Child Sex Allegations

A Grady County man is charged with having sex with a little girl. 31-year old Eric Anthony Smith of Rush Springs is accused of assaulting the child several times over a two-year period, starting when she was just six years old. Records at the Grady County Courthouse indicate that the DHS Child Abuse hotline received a tip about the allegations last week. Smith has been in jail since last Wednesday. Yesterday Smith was formally charged with a felony count of  child sexual abuse. He remains in jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. Smith faces up to 25 years in prison if he's convicted.

 

Special GOP Primary Election Underway

Some Republican voters are going to the polls today to select a candidate for an empty seat in the State House of Representatives. GOP voters are deciding a candidate in House District 51, which includes parts of Grady and Stephens counties, and one precinct in Newcastle, which is in McClain County. Chickasha businessman Dustin Payne and Marlow businessman and Mayor Brad Boles are on the ballot. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight. The winner will face Democrat Charles Murdock in a special election in March.

 

Commissioners OK Under-Sheriff Appointment

As expected, Grady County Commissioners formally approved the appointment of Phil Blevins as Grady County under-sheriff yesterday. Sheriff Jim Weir announced Blevins promotion last week, pending the commissioners' approval. Blevins' was also named a requisitioning officer for the sheriff's office. Commissoners also allowed the sheriff's office to purchase a used SUV. A bid of $20,000 for a 2015 Ford Explorer was approved. The bid from Police Units Unlimited of Shawnee was the only bid that came in.

 

Fair Board Filing Period Runs Thru Friday

The filing period is underway for three positions on the Grady county Fair Board. One office in each of the three county commissioner districts are up for election. In District One, it’s the seat held by Beth Norvell; in District Two, it’s the post held by Steve Standridge; and in District Three, it’s the office held by Eddie Rathbun. Candidates file at the Grady County Clerk’s Office through Friday. If elections are needed, they will be held Jan. 30th.

 

Kiowa Tribe Law-Making Body to Meet

The Kiowa Tribe Legislature will hold its monthly meeting this Saturday, January 13th at 9 a.m. at the Kiowa Complex in Carnegie. The meeting will be streamed live on the tribal Facebook page.

 

Use Your PC to Help Family Budgets

Keeping a close eye on your family finances is a little easier if you use your personal computer. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension says there are several software programs available that can help you keep track of your spending habits.

 

                

 

She also says check your credit report often, which you can do for free on the website, www.freecreditreport.com

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.73 a barrel.

London-based Brent is $67.73.

Natural gas is $2.83 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,314 and silver is $17.04.

 

Monday, January 8th

 

New Construction Includes Expanding Credit Union

Last month was not a typical December for new construction permits in Chickasha. Numbers were a little better than average, with about a dozen permits approved with a combined dollar value of more than $820,000. Among the permits approved by the city's Community Development Department, a new stand-alone building for Focus Federal Credit Union. The site will be where the credit union's ATM is located, near 1st and Chisholm Drive. Other commercial projects approved were a $116,000 remodel at Wal-mart; $12,000 for McNatt Construction for the new Legends Cafe, which is going in at the old Long John Silver's restaurant; and Calvary Baptist Church was also approved for a $5,000 remodeling project. Seven residential remodel projects were approved totalling just over $72,000. For all of 2017, new construction in Chickasha totaled more than $51 million. The December construction report does not include the anticipated Aldi's grocery store that was announced. Contractors only requested an application for the permit, which is not expected for several weeks.

 

Grady County Jail to Expand

Another expansion of the Grady County jail is expected to begin soon. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach says they'll be building another facility next to the women's jail that will add another 180 beds. Right now, he said they are waiting on the final approval of the archiect's plans.

 

                

 

Gerlach says it will cost about $3.5 million to construct the new one-story facility. The jail is under the direction of the county's criminal justice authority, and Gerlach says the authority has the cash on hand to pay for the construction. The construction is expected to take about a year and be open in late spring of 2019.

 

Bomb Threat Clears Store

A bomb threat at the Chickasha Wal-Mart store forced the evacuation of the store Saturday afternoon. Chickasha police say they received a 911 call from an individual who said they placed three explosive devices in the store, and that they would set them off in 10 minutes. Store officials were notified and immediately asked customers to leave, and police arrived to search the building, but found nothing suspicious. Through a press release, police say the call was made from a cell phone that had not been initialized. They are still trying to identify the caller.

 

More Gubernatorial Candidates Coming to Chickasha

USAO is resuming its effort to bring gubernatorial candidates to the area. Tulsa Republican Kevin Stitt is the next candidate to discuss his reasons for wanting to serve at the state capital. The program will be tomorrow evening at the USAO Ballroom, starting at 7 o'clock. Stitt will offer his platform and will also field questions. The program was developed by USAO history professor Kevin Crow and is part of the university's Nita Giles Public Policy program.

 

Nominations Due for Chamber Awards

This is the last week to nominate individuals for top awards which will be issued by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce during its annual banquet next month. Four awards will be announced including Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, a Living Civic Hall of Fame, and a Legacy Hall of Famer. Deadline for nominations are this Friday.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up for the week to $61.41 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude was also higher, to $67.62.

Natural gas was lower, to $2.79 per million BTUs.

Metals rose last week, Gold to $1,320 and silver up to $17.20

2018 January 1st-6th

Saturday, January 6th

 

One Dies in Deadly Turnpike Crash

Officials are working to identify the victim who died in a tragic and bizarre traffic accident southwest of Chickasha yesterday. The victim was the driver of a disabled car that erupted in flames after being hit by a pick-up. The accident happened in the eastbound lanes on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike near Mile Marker 74 turnpike just after 3 o'clock Friday afternoon. The highway patrol reports that the vehicle that caught fire had already been in an accident, and stalled just over the crest of a hill in the outside lane of the interstate. One vehicle managed to swerve around the car, but a pick up right behind was unable to avoid a collision, which caused the vehicle to go up in flames. 22-year old Brock Barger of Bixby was the driver of the pick-up. He was not injured. The state medical examiner is working to identify the remains of the individual who died in the crash.

 

Neighbor Gets Credit for Spying Burglary Supects

An individual seeing some suspicious activity around his neighbor's barn helps officials nab several burglary suspects. Grady County authorities were called out to a farm northwest of Pocasset Thursday night, after the alert neighbor saw some activity next door. Grady county deputies and Minco police were dispatched to the area, where they found the individuals with about $2,000 in decorative lumber loaded on to a flat-bed trailer. The suspects told investigators they had permission to be there, however the property owner said they didn't. The property owner said he had noticed some lumber missing from his barn over the last week. The four suspects were all hauled off to the Grady County Jail on complaints that include burglary and grand larceny. Arrested were Julie Maxon, Larry Abel, Danny Harrison, and Jerry Stroud. They'll spend the weekend in jail, and formal charges could be filed on Monday. 

 

Youth Rodeo Underway

There's a big rodeo for kids in Chickasha this weekend. The Heart of Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association has numerous events for the youngsters, some as young as four years old. The events include tie-down calf roping team roping, steer break-away, and steer stopping. Others include goat tying, barrel racing and pole bending. There are four age divisions, with some 150 youth members in the non-profit group. The association's website indicates it has paid out as much as $140,000 in cash and prizes to competitors in one season. Activities are today and tomorrow at the Grady County Fairgrounds. This is the fourth of eight stops for the group this season. They'll move on to Duncan, Purcell, and Binger over the next couple of months, with the state finals in Cherokee in April.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's part of what we're talking about this weekend. Chickasha business man Dustin Payne, one of the candidates in next Tuesday's Special Republican Primary Election for House District 51 is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. We have the interview posted on this website, under the Community Tab.

Friday, January 5th

     

Deputies Nab Four Burglary Suspects          

Four suspects are in custody in connection with a late night Grady County burglary. We don't have any details, but Grady County Sheriff's deputies take three men and one woman to jail. In custody on complaints ranging from burglary to grand larceny are 42-year old Jerry Stroud of the Lindsay area; 55-year old Danny Harrison believed to be from the Alex area; 52-year old Julie Carlene Maxon from around Bradley; and 45-year old Larry Ray Abel of the Rush Springs region. Ray is also on hold for unknown complaints out of Stephens County. Formal charges could be filed today.

 

New Grady County Under-Sheriff Announced

A new under-sheriff has been appointed in Grady County. Sheriff Jim Weir has named Lt. Phil Blevins as the second-in-command at the sheriff's office. Blevins has about 20 years of law enforcement experience. He's worked at police departments in Minco and Union City, and also with the Canadian County Sheriff's Office. Blevins has been a Grady County deputy for about five years, and has served as chief investigator. Sheriff Weir talks about Blevins' promotion.            

 

                

 

Blevins' appointment requires the approval of county commissioners, who are expected to sign off on it next week. Blevins takes over the post from Rusty Pyle, who recently retired after serving more than 40 years in law enforcement.

 

Chickasha Street and Storm Drain Repairs Planned

Chickasha city officials will advertise for bids on about a half-million dollars in infrastructure repairs. This week, the city council approved looking for vendors for street and storm drain repairs in the 1500 block of Virginia, and for storm drain inlet replacements throughout the city. Cost estimates for each project is in the $250,000 range. The council also approved going out for bids to improve the right-of-way area in the parking lot just west of city hall. The owner of the building next to the lot recently complained that the lot was built higher than his building, and that every time it rains, nearly all the businesses in that building flood. Estimated cost of the project about $120,000.

 

City to Re-bid Lake Chickasha Dam Repairs

The Chickasha City Council will try again to find a vendor to make some upgrades on the Lake Chickasha dam. Last fall the city received four bids, and the only qualified bid was higher than what officials budgeted, so the panel turned it down. A recent inspection of the dam showed no structural deficiencies and that the dam is in fair condition. However some areas need significant improvements. Officials estimate the cost to be about $150,000 and are hoping for more competitive bids this time around. Most of the work will be repairing the dam, removing trees, and doing some fence work.

               

Utilities Urged to Pass Tax Savings on to Customers

Customers of PSO and Centerpoint Energy could get rebates on their utility bills, if a proposal in front of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission gets final approval. Administrative law judges are recommending those utilities and others give rebates to customers, due to the federal tax reforms approved by Congress and signed by President Trump. Officials say the tax savings the utilities will realize should be passed on to their customers.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.01.

London-based Brent crude is $68.07.                                                           

Natural is $2.88 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,317 and silver is $17.19.

 

Thursday, January 4th

 

One Suspended Chickasha School Employee Back at Work

At least one of the Chickasha school administrators suspended last month has been reinstated. Athletic Director Yohance Brown was back in the office yesterday, more than two weeks after he and several others were placed on paid leave. Brown even attended last night's special school board meeting, where a number of well-wishers welcomed his return. The fate of the other suspended employees is unknown. Pam Huggins, Pete Bush, Greg Hackney, and Stacy Crutchfield were also suspended with pay last month, pending investigations by school officials and lawyers. A school attorney said they were looking into allegations of embezzlement and failure to report child abuse.

 

New School Board Member Takes Oath

It was another standing-room only crowd attending last night's special school board meeting, where new board member, Ginny Howell was sworn in.

 

                

 

Howell was sworn in by school board clerk, Laura Martin. Howell fills the office previously held by Amos Franco, who resigned last month.

 

Second School Board Resignation Fails to Happen

Before the meeting, there were reports that another school board member might resign - but that didn't happen. An item on the agenda was to consider any pending resignations, but there were none. The full board was in attendance last night. Julie Hibbard had been not been present at the two previous special meetings.

 

School Board Hires Firm to Perform Detailed Audit

After a closed-door school board meeting that lasted an hour and twenty minutes, the panel unanimously approved the hiring of a firm to perform a forensic audit of school finances. That came at the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Education. The panel also hired a law firm to serve as the board's legal advisor in upcoming administrative hearings, which are expected to decide the fate of the remaining suspended employees.

 

Semi Driver Hospitalized After Big Rig Hits Tree

A Lindsay truck driver is air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after his semi runs off a gravel road and crashes into a tree. 34-year old Ty Corners was last in serious condition with head, arm, and leg injuries after last night's crash. The accident happened about 4 miles south of Alex just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Highway Patrol reports that Corners was driving at an unsafe speed, when the 1999 Peterbilt ran off the road and into the tree.

 

Chickasha Codes Revised to Limit Downtown Apartments

Some revisions to the City of Chickasha's special use permits include potential development of apartments in the downtown area. City Councilman Howard Carpenter wanted to make sure that the change was clear that no apartments could be built on the ground floor.

 

                

 

City Manager John Noblitt said the proposal would not allow apartments to be built in basements or on the ground floor. The revisions were approved during this week’s city council meeting with an 8 to 1 vote, with councilman mark Keeling voting against the measure.

 

Voting Begins in GOP Special Primary for HD 51

Early voting is underway today in the special Republican primary election for House District 51, which includes parts of Grady, McClain, and Stephens counties. On the ballot are Chickasha businessman Dustin Payne and Marlow Mayor Brad Boles. Early voting is available today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at county election board offices in Chickasha, Purcell, and Duncan. The district includes most of eastern Grady County, as well northern and eastern Stephens County. There is one precinct in the McClain County town of Newcastle, which is Precinct 15 at Woodland Hills Baptist Church. Voters in that precinct may vote early at the McClain County Election Board in Purcell. Regular precincts will be open next Tuesday, Jan. 9th.

 

U.S. Chamber Rep Schedules Chickasha Visit

A discussion regarding the impact that small businesses have on the national level is coming up later this month. John Gonzales with the United States Chamber of Commerce is the guest at the first 2018 program by the Chickasha  Chamber of Commerce. The program is next Friday, January 12th at the InterUrban Restaurant. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m., with the program beginning about 8 a.m.  Cost is $10 per person and you're asked to RSVP Mark Rathe at the Chickasha Chamber office.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.63 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $67.84.

Natural gas is $3.01 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,314 and silver is $17.17.

 

Wednesday, January 3rd

 

Special Chickasha School Board Meeting Tonight

Another special meeting of the Chickasha school board is scheduled tonight, as the panel continues to deal with the suspensions of several employees last month. During the open session of tonight's meeting, the panel is to consider a contract with a legal firm to serve as the board's advisor in administrative hearings. The group will then go behind closed doors to have confidential discussions with the firm concerning a pending investigation, claim, or action. However, no details of those topics are listed on the agenda. After the closed door meeting, the school board may hire a firm to perform a detailed audit of school records. It’s a move recommended by a special agent of the U.S. Department of Education, and Office of the Inspector General.

 

Will Another School Board Member Resign?

In another development with the school board, another member of the panel may be stepping down. The agenda also calls for consideration of pending resignations of board members, and to take action to vacate any seats. Just last month, Amos Franco stepped down from the school board for personal reasons. The board appointed Ginny Howell to temporarily fill that spot. Howell is expected to be sworn in to the post during tonight's meeting.

2017 December 26th - 30th

 

Your News

2017,  December 26th - 30th     

Saturday, December 30th

 

DUI Checkpoint Arrests

Law enforcement picked up five people for drinking and driving and found several individuals with outstanding warrants during a DUI checkpoint in Grady County last night. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Nathanial Mackey says the arrests from the ENDUI campaign are preliminary numbers, and could change when all the agencies involved in the checkpoint turn in their numbers. Tuttle police, Grady County Sheriff's deputies, state troopers, and officers from the Chickasaw Nation's Lighthorse patrol set up the check point near the junction of Highways 4 and 37 east ot Tuttle last night. Three of the suspected DUI offenders were under 21. One was even alleged to have had a concealed weapon.

 

Man in Custody in Alleged Child Abuse Case

A Chickasha area man is behind bars, accused of injuring a toddler. 26-year old Corey Henderson was arrested by Chickasha police Friday morning, and is being held in the Grady County Jail on a complaint of child abuse by injury. Unconfirmed reports indicate a child was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Neither Chickasha police nor the Grady County District Attorney's Office would comment. Henderson will remain in jail through the long weekend. He could have his initial appearance in Grady County District Court on the child abuse complaint sometime Tuesday.

 

Still No Arrests in Ft. Cobb Shooting Death

At last report, there have still not been any arrests in connection with the shooting death of a Ft. Cobb man on Christmas Day. 38-year old Wallace Bointy, Jr. died from a gunshot wound to his chest late Monday night. Ft. Cobb police asked the OSBI to help with the investigation. OSBI spokesman Jessica Brown says agents spoke with two women, and collected evidence from the area. Brown gave no details of what the evidence might be, nor if a weapon was found. Brown also said they were waiting on Bointy's official cause of death from the state medical examiner. The website On Demand Court Records shows that Bointy was arrested by Anadarko police in June of 2016 for felony assault with a  dangerous weapon. The case was dismissed when a witness failed to testify.

 

Alex Man Faces Assault Charge

A Grady County man is charged with felony assault and battery after his arrest this week. 32-year old Kevin Carl Braziel was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies Thursday afternoon. The circumstances regarding his arrest aren't known. An emergency protective order had just been approved against Braziel earlier that day. The website On Demand Court Records indicates Braziel recently completed a deferred sentence after pleading guilty to a 2014 misdemeanor assault charge. Braziel remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $16,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney Jan. 25th, and a preliminary hearing conference is set for Feb. 7th.          

 

Medicaid Cuts Reversed

SoonerCare patients get a reprieve from provider rate cuts that were supposed to go into effect next week. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority reversed provider rate cuts in a special meeting yesterday. The action was taken after state lawmakers approved a more than $17 million emergency funding measure. The Health Care Authority was one of three state agencies whose budgets were drastically cut when the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned a cigarette tax that was supposed to bring in millions for health care. The news is not all good however, as the agency only has enough money to operate through April. Lawmakers will still have to figure out what to do for May and June, the final two months of the fiscal year.

               

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Marlow Mayor Brad Boles is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. Boles is one of two Republican candidates running for House District 51. And on Real Estate Today with John Mosley, this week's guest is Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt. We have links to both programs on this website under the Community tab, so you can listen to them whenever you want.

 

Friday, December 29th

 

OSBI Investigates Ft. Cobb Homicide

The OSBI is leading an investigation into the shooting death of a man in Caddo County on Christmas night. 38-year old Wallace Bointy, Jr. was found with a gunshot wound to the chest late Monday outside a home in Ft. Cobb. The Ft. Cobb Police Department asked the OSBI to help with the investigation. The OSBI's Facebook page indicates that a couple of women told investigators they were inside the home late Monday, and heard a noise outside. When they went to see what it was, they found Bointy on the ground. As of late Thursday, no suspects were in custody. If you have information that can help authorities, contact the Ft. Cobb Police Department, Caddo County Sheriff's Office, or the OSBI.

 

Task Force Plan Would Eliminate Local College Regents

A proposal that would remove local control of some Oklahoma colleges and universities is facing opposition. USAO is among those that could be affected. A higher education task force is recommending that USAO and some two-year colleges be directed by a regional board of regents such as the OU Board of Regents or the OSU and A and M Colleges Board of Regents. USAO president John Feaver says it’s an issue that comes up from time to time.

 

                

 

Officials with the task force believe the unification would better serve students, but some say it could lead to an increase in tuition.

 

Police Officers Earn Awards

Three Chickasha police officers are awarded the police department’s highest honor. The Medal of Valor was presented to Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield, Officer Daniel Ramirez, and Lt. James Weidenmaier in a recent ceremony. Schoolfied, Ramirez, and Training Officer Colton Weger were presented Police Shields for being wounded in the line of duty. Weidenmaier and Cpl. Lauren Matthews were presented life-saving awards. Master Sgt. Jason Myrko was named Officer of the Year, Laura Miller was named the department's Civilian Employee of the Year. Citizen commendations were awarded to Chris and Lindy Holder, and Clark VanDyck. The awards were posted on the police department's Facebook page.

 

New Finance Officer Joins Chickasha City Hall

There is a new face at Chickasha City Hall. Mary Fuqua is the city’s new chief financial officer. City Manager John Noblitt says she brings a wealth of experience to city hall. Fuqua is a Certified Public Accountant who previously worked as associate finance director in Utah. She’s an Oklahoma native who operated her own CPA firm in Yukon. She does have municipal government experience as finance director and assistant city manager in Frederick. Fuqua holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State. The city has been without a finance person since Gina Snedeker retired more than a year ago.

 

Officials Look to Take Down Drinking Drivers

Some regional law enforcement groups are joining forces to find individuals who may be drinking and driving. A DUI checkpoint will be established somewhere in the Tuttle area tonight. Tuttle police, the Grady County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Chickasaw Nation’s Lighthorse Patrol are taking part in an ENDUI campaign. Tuttle police officer Andrew Graham.

 

                

 

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration are also helping with the campaign. Those agencies provide the funding for overtime pay for law enforcement officers working the checkpoint.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX climbs to $59.84 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is up to $66.72

Natural gas jumps to $2.91 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,299 and silver is $16.92.

 

    

Thursday, December 28th

 

New Information Released on Reported Kidnapping

Court documents reveal details of a man arrested for kidnapping in rural Grady County yesterday. 35-year old Steven Gene Loyd of Cement has been formally charged with felony kidnapping and two drug-related misdemeanors in connection with the incident. He remains in jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. Documents filed in Grady County District Court indicate Ninnekah police and a sheriff's deputy were called to a home early Tuesday morning, where it's alleged a woman and her child were being held against their will. The mother managed to send a text message to a neighbor asking her to call 911. The mother and child managed to escape the home through a bedroom window. The man was suspected of being on meth, and said he was trying to protect the woman and child from people he thought were in the home. Loyd was awaiting court appearance on charges of felony child neglect and other drug charges filed just three months ago.

               

Gunfire Erupts in Assault Case

Also, a follow-up to a Christmas Eve assault at a Chickasha home we reported Wednesday. Court documents indicate a gun was fired in the home when a fight erupted between two men. No one was injured by the gunfire. One of the men managed wrestle a gun away from the other and hit him in the head with it. One man suffered bites on his hands and arms while the other suffered head injuries after being hit with his own gun. Police arrested 41-year old Willie Lee Pippins, who has been formally charged with a felony for pointing a firearm, and a misdemeanor for assault and battery. Pippins is being held in the Grady County Jail pending a $50,000 bond.

 

Machete Case Goes to Trial

A Caddo County man is bound over for trial in connection with a vicious machete attack on his on-again, off-again girlfriend. 39-year old Ralph Dimitri Ramnarine, Jr. of Carnegie pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and maiming in Caddo County District Court yesterday. He has previous convictions of at least two felonies. The case was scheduled for the Jan. 17th felony disposition docket, and Ramnarine remains in jail in lieu of a $1 million bond. Authorities allege Ramnarine climbed through a window of the woman's home while she was sleeping, and attacked her with the machete. She suffered serious facial injuries in the attack.

 

County Gets est. $4 Million in Sales Tax Revenue

We told you yesterday about recent sales tax receipts for Grady County. Today, we have a little closer look at what a 3/4 of a penny sales tax has brought in to the county for all of 2017, and the amount of money going to the projects that received voter approval for that revenue. Nearly $4 million in sales tax revenue were received for the entire calendar year. The Grady County Fairgrounds received about half that total, about $1.9 million, which will pay for the climate-controlled indoor arena that was just opened this past summer. Grady Memorial Hospital receives about $1.8 million for the construction of its new surgery wing and imaging center, which is now projected to open around the first of March. Each of the county’s seven senior nutrition centers collected about $140,000; and each of the 20 fire districts received about $50,000. Tuttle Emergency Medical Services picked up about $200,000 and Rush Springs EMS about $45,000.

 

Teen Hurt in SUV Rollover

A teenager injured in a rollover accident east of Lindsay yesterday. The unidentified 16-year old girl from Maysville was hurt when the SUV she was driving ran off the road, crashed through a fence and rolled 1 1/2 times. The teen suffered neck and shoulder injuries, and was last in fair condition at a Norman hospital. The Highway Patrol said the teen was wearing her seatbelt and that  driver inexperience was the reason for the crash.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX was lower to $59.64 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude down to $66.44.

Natural gas up to $2.74 per million BTUs.

Gold was up to $1,294 and silver up to $16.84.

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 27th

 

County Consumer Spending Down Slightly; Still Good

Consumer spending in Grady County was down slightly in the most recent reporting period. The numbers for October are down one-half of one percent from September to October, to around $80 million. The number is up drastically from October of last year by more than 37 percent. We estimate consumer spending when we see the sales tax revenue for the county, and factor in the sales tax rate. Grady County collected nearly $600,000 in sales taxes this month, collected from the retail sales from October. Sales tax numbers have been right around $600,000 in each of the last five months. Here's where the money goes, as voted on by county residents. The Grady County Fairgrounds gets $198,000; Grady Memorial Hospital receives $175,000; 20 fire districts share in $100,000 so each receives about $5,000; seven senior nutrition centers share $100,000 with each getting $14,000; Tuttle EMS receives $18,000 and Rush Springs EMS receives $4,500. Use tax collections nearly doubled from the same time last year, up to $135,000. Use taxes are those collected on Internet purchases.

 

Chickasha Consumer Spending Good as Well

For the City of Chickasha, consumer spending in October is up more than 7 percent compared to the same time last year, to about $23.6 million. Sales tax revenue for Chickasha this month was $886,000. Use tax collection was also up in Chickasha, growing about 24 percent to $66,000.

 

Christmas Eve Fire Destroys Anadarko Home

A fire has left an Anadarko family homeless. Patty Chasenah and a number of family and friends were celebrating Christmas Sunday evening, when neighbors alerted them to the fire in their roof. Chasenah says fire officials told her an electrical problem started the blaze. While the home was damaged beyond repair, no one was hurt, and they managed to save all the children's Christmas presents. KWTV News 9 reports the Apache Tribe is helping the family, allowing them to stay in a local motel. Anadarko schools and the First United Methodist Church are accepting donations for the family.

               

Suspect in Custody in Alleged Kidnapping

We don't have a lot of details, but a Cement area man is arrested on a kidnapping complaint early this morning. 35-year old Steven Gene Loyd was arrested by a Grady County Sheriff's deputy and booked into jail about 3 a.m. Loyd had just been arrested in September on felony counts of child neglect, cultivation of a controlled substance, and having a firearm after conviction. He was out of jail on bond, awaiting a preliminary hearing conference on those charges in February.

 

Arrest Made in Reported Assault

Chickasha police are investigating a Christmas Eve assault where one man was arrested. Over the weekend, police were called to a home in the 1100 block of Florida on a domestic assault report. 41-year old Willie Lee Pippins was taken into custody on complaints of pointing a firearm, having a firearm while intoxicated, obstructing an officer, and domestic abuse. He remains in jail pending his initial appearance.

 

ElderCare Workshop Set 

A lot of people care for elderly relatives, though many say they don't have enough information to properly care for them. A one-afternoon workshop is coming up next month that may help. Caregiving 101 is a program developed within Oklahoma State University. Susan Routh is with Grady County OSU Extension.

 

                

 

The program will be Tuesday, Jan. 23rd at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building, starting at 1 o'clock that afternoon. Contact the Grady County Extension Office for more information.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.97 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude up to $67.02.

Natural gas down to $2.64 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,290 and silver is $16.70

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 26th

 

Major oil and gas investments projected in Grady County!

FieldPoint Petroleum Corporation is engaging in the acquisition, development, and operation of oil and natural gas properties in the Chickasha Fields.According to American Assets Investment Management , they increased Noble Energy stakes by 150%. The company properties have a market cap of $2.13 million that include Apache Field, Chickasha Field, and West Allen Field, and interests in 462 gross wells in the US. The American Assets Investment Management LLC holds 50,000 shares in Noble Inc. with a $1.42M value, up from 20,000 last quarter increasing $0.09 during the last trading session, reaching $28.79 per share. As projected many Oil and Gas corporations are investing in Grady County. Translating to more jobs in the near future.  For more information go to kgazette.com.

 

DUI's

Since last Thursday, the Grady County detention center has logged in 4 DUI Arrests and Several people charged with possession, and - or assault. Law enforcement is no doubt looking for impaired drivers, with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Officials encourage those who may be attending holiday parties where alcohol is served o be smart, and think ahead … Get a designated driver, or you could be… bring in the New Year behind bars!

 

Gov Fallin Signed 44 million to Medicaid and human services Friday

Gov. Mary Fallin signed two measures providing about $44 million to meet the budgets state Medicaid, and human services agencies. The House unanimously approved 2 bills,

one to appropriate $17.7 million to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and the other providing $26.5 million to the Department of Human Services all before the temporarily recess of Legislature's second special session.

 

Opioids in Oklahoma are dropping Life expectancy Stats in the US.

According to the CDC and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), accidental deaths from the prescription and illicit opioids have declined life expectancy to just above 78 years old,

down from almost 79 in 2015. If you have unused medications, No Question disposal drop boxes are located at The CPD, and the Grady County Jail 24/7, Also during work hours at Cedar Springs Pharmacy Tuttle, Chickasha Clinic Pharmacy, Grand Care Pharmacy and Liberty Drug Pharmacy. The leading causes of death in the US is still heart disease and cancer,

but the opioid epidemic is taking a heavy toll.

 

Aldi's coming to Chickasha.

Chickasha city officials have told us that the (All-dee’s) Aldi’s grocery store chain

is coming to our region. Chickasha planner, Gene Winsett, said the company submitted a building permit application at city hall Friday to renovate the old Staples Store on South 81. The city, and Economics Development Council have been working with (All-dee’s) Aldi’s Officials for at least six months on the project. The company is headquartered in Illinois and originated in Germany in 1961. The first U.S. store opened the same year, and now (All-dee’s) Aldi’s operates sixteen hundred stores in thirty-five states, with twenty-five thousand employees. Winsett, went on to say (All-dee’s) Aldi’s contractors have applied for a two-million dollar permit to renovate the location. The building permit is expected to be issued next month. Work will begin soon in the New Year, but no timetable on when the store may open.

 

Energy company Announces New SCOOP Wells in Grady County.

According to oilandgas360.com, Gulfport Energy announced the results of recent Grady County well Production. Gulfport brought the Serenity on line, and it produced a 24-hour initial peak production rate of 15.7 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, composed of 70 percent natural gas, 19 percent natural gas liquids, and 11 percent oil. When normalized to the company's standard 7,500-foot lateral, the well-produced an initial rate of 19.6 million cubic feet, and is age equivalent to the Meramec.

 

CMS is raising awareness in our young.

Chickasha Middle School students collected 303 pounds of food for their School Pantry The student pantry, helps students who are in need. The Program teaches our kids the importance of taking care of others. To make a tax-deductible donation, call 600-3136 or visit regionalfoodbank.org.

 

Flight and Travel

Be early if your planning to fly out of Oklahoma City Will Rogers Airport during the next two weeks. Will Rogers world airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said, Their expecting about 117 thousand people coming through the airport for the holidays and Bowl games. So if you’re traveling through Will Rogers and other airports throughout the country you should count on arriving extra early, and dealing with longer than usual lines. An increased number of airport staff will be on hand to help deal with the extra travelers.

 

Obit

Funeral services for Connie Louise Duncan, 67, of Chickasha, will be held Thursday, at 10:30 in the Ferguson Funeral Home Chapel.  She worked as a caregiver for local families, and in home health Care. She received several awards for her volunteer work with the Washita Valley Head-start, and Grand Avenue School, helping children read. Interment will be in Fairlawn Cemetery under the direction of Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

In Local Sports

USAO Selects Duncan tennis coach Phil Barnes into the Hall Of Fame. Coach Phil Barnes is being honored in January, enshrining him into the USAO Athletic Hall of Fame at the Drovers first home basketball game. Reception is at 2:30 Jan. 6 at the Regents Room, and the ceremony starts at 5 during the men’s game. Barnes, a USAO graduate of 1982, won 30 Matches, and is the first tennis player in the Hall of Fame.

 

In OU Basketball

Oklahoma takes on TCU Saturday afternoon at 1 on ES PU

 

In Bowl games 

Today 

02:30 in the afternoon Heart of Dallas Bowl, West Virginia vs Utah on ESPN

06:15 in the evening the Quick Lane Bowl where Duke vs Northern Illinois on ESPN

10 at night The Cactus Bowl where UCLA vs Kansas State on ESPN

 

In OSU sports

The OSU Band is on its way to Orlando!

Seven charter buses and 320 students lined up at 11 Christmas Morning

 to take the Cowboys band to the… Thursday evening 06:15 game between

Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech at the Camping World Bowl…. Aired on ESPN

 

In OU Football

The Rose Bowl airs Monday evening Jan 01 at 6

Between the #2 Oklahoma sooners and #3 Georgia bulldogs on ESPN.

 

In Pro Basketball tonight

Our Thunder battled the Houston Rockets last night winning 112 to 107

And take on the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night at 7 on FS OK

 
 
   

 

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