Mollman Media News Archives for 2018-02

2018 Febuary 12th - 15th

Your News

2018,  February 12th - Feb. 15th  

 

Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is CHS Sr. Ian Turpin

Tune in to hear Ian’s story!

 

 

Saturday, February 17th

 

Petition Signatures Validated for Chix School Audit

A petition seeking a state audit of the financial and other records at Chickasha Public Schools has enough valid signatures for the audit to occur. Officials at the Grady County election board say of the nearly 1,700 signatures that were submitted, about 1,200 were from registered voters within the school district. That number was about 400 more than were needed to request the audit. Petitioners want state officials to look into allegations which include the mismanagement of funds;  a review of all contracts with the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, the company that provides the personalized learning curriculum for the district; and possible nepotism. State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones says there is no timetable of when the audit will take place as there is a back-log of other cases. The petition indicates the school will have to pay for the audit,  which could cost up to $75,000.

 

Details of School Audit Contract Released

Earlier this week, the Chickasha school board approved a contract for its own detailed audit of school records. The panel hired Workman Forensics out of Tulsa to review the district's books. The contract calls for fees running from $100 to $245 per hour, plus mileage, meals, hotel costs, and any special supplies that may be needed. The contract will run until the completion of the firm's work or up to 12 months after the last date billed for services.

 

Marlow Resident Dies in Head-on Crash

One person has died and another is hospitalized after a head-on collision near Marlow. Killed in the crash was 24-year old Jason Muller of Marlow. The accident happened near the intersection of State Highway 29 and Scott Street on the east edge of Marlow early Friday morning. Injured in the crash was 18-year old Anthony Hornbeck of Walters. He was taken to a Duncan hospital, where he was last in fair condition with arm and leg injuries. The state trooper investigating the crash reports that Hornbeck crossed the center line on the highway, and his pick-up crashed into Muller's on-coming Jeep.

               

Man Arrested on Kidnapping Allegations

A Chickasha man on probation for burglary and drug-related crimes is now facing kidnapping charges following an alleged confrontation with his ex. 20-year old Keyvon Richardson has been formally charged with a felony kidnapping, after Chickasha police requested and were approved a warrant for his arrest. Richardson surrendered to law enforcement but is now out of jail after posting bond. The arrest warrant affidavit states the incident occurred the night of Feb. 1st. It alleges Richardson and the victim were arguing while riding in Richardson's pick-up, and that Richardson assaulted the woman in front of their  two-year old daughter. The victim got out of the truck while it was moving, and she ran into a convenience store and locked herself in the bathroom. The affidavit also states Richardson went into the store and forcefully carried the woman out of the store while she was screaming and crying for employees to help her. Richardson received a 10-year deferred sentence after pleading guilty the burglary and drug charges which were from 2016. Prosecutors also want to accelerate the deferred sentence he received in connection with those crimes. Richardson is to return to court March 6th for a preliminary hearing conference.

 

Big Youth Livestock Show Winds Down

The Southwest District Livestock show wraps up at the Grady County Fairgrounds today with the last of the swine show. In the gilt show, Ashton Keeter of Chattanooga had a good day, showing the grand champion pure bred, and the reserve champion commercial gilts; Grace Lambert of Chattanooga had the reserve champion pure-bred; and Aiden Hopper of Merritt had the bronze. Kelsee Smith of Sterling had the grand champion commercial gilt and Holden Powell of Clinton had the bronze. More than 2,300 animals were shown by an estimated 1,000 4H andFFA youth this week. The show pays out about $100,000 to the exhibitors every year.

 

Grady County Sheriff's Office Warrant List

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 regarding any of these individuals, you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson is on KOOL Konversation, talking about a proposal to apply for a FEMA grant which would pay rebates to county residents who install storm shelters. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, the guest is local land man John Tointigh. We have links to both programs elsewhere on this website. Find them under the Community tab.

 

 

 

Friday, February 16th

 

Hundreds Without Power in Chickasha, Ninnekah

About 1,400 PSO customers are without power in the Chickasha and Ninnekah area this morning. Power went out about 6:20 a.m. and includes the area in Chickasha from 29th and Country Club Road east to Sooner Road, then south to Old Highway 81 and Highway 277. Signal lights are out at Highway 81 at both Almar Drive and Country Club Road. PSO reported a power line was down at 2904 S. 4th Street.

 

Fatal Crash Near Marlow

There's breaking news out of the Marlow area, as the highway patrol is working a deadly traffic accident. The crash is two miles east of Marlow on State Highway 29 near Scott Road. Traffic is shut down in both directions as officials work that crash.

 

Body  Found Dowtown Chickasha Identified

The body of a Duncan man was found in a downtown Chickasha alley Thursday morning. Authorities were called to the alley south of the 600 block of Chickasha Avenue just after 6 a.m. Chickasha police say it appears the man committed suicide but did not indicate how he may have died. Authorities identified the man as 30-year old James R. Wilson of Duncan. His body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office where officials will determine how he died.

               

Kidnapping Suspect Surrenders

A Chickasha man is in custody after an arrest warrant is issued for kidnapping. 20-year old Keyvon Jaquese Richardson surrendered to his parole officer yesterday. Chickasha police requested the warrant which was issued on Wednesday. Richardson is also charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic assault and battery in front of a child.  No details are available about the case. Richardson was on probation after pleading guilty to several burglary and drug charges from 2016.

 

Gov's Burn Ban Extended, Widened

Gov. Mary Fallin has extended a burn ban for much of the state, and has added several counties to that list. 52 of Oklahoma's 77 counties are now under the ban, which is in effect until midnight, March 2nd. The western two-thirds of Oklahoma are within the burn ban area.

 

Braum's Dairy Fire Contained

A fire at the Braum’s Dairy near Tuttle yesterday was cause for concern for a while, however fire fighters from a number of departments were able to get it under control fairly quickly. The fire was sparked inside a large barn that was storing straw. It wasn't clear how the fire started. Crews contained the blaze to the structure and a small area surrounding it. The amount of damage wasn't reported.

 

Cattle Show Results from Southwest District

From the Southwest District Livestock Show yesterday, about 200 cattle were paraded through the show ring. A Chickasha exhibitor had the grand champion prospect steer. Allyson Arthur collects the $1,000 cash prize for having the top prospect out of the 15 that were shown. Cooper Cummins of Hollis had the reserve and Landry Chaplin of Weatherford the bronze. Cierra Collins of Frederick had the grand champion market steer out of the 28 that were shown. Avery Smith of Yukon had the reserve; and Timber Mefford of Frederick had the bronze. William Hassenbeck of Elgin had the grand champion heifer out of the 167 in the show. Brayden Buckwald of Chattanooga had the reserve; and Garrison Miller of Clinton had the bronze winner. The swine show will get underway later today, with about 1,400 animals to be shown over the next couple of days. Officials say there were more than 1,000 barrows pre-registered for the show. The show wraps up tomorrow at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Officials will be awarding two Vernon Crose Memorial scholarships.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $61.34 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude down to $64.33.

Natural gas down to $2.50 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,361 and silver is $16.84.

 

 

 

Thursday, February 15th

 

Petition Signatures Under Review

Grady County election board officials say they are in the process of verifying signatures on a petition from Chickasha residents, which calls for the state auditor to look into alleged mismanagement of funds in the Chickasha school district. Petitioners delivered documents with about 1,700 signatures to the state auditor's office last week. Grady County Election Board Secretary Susan Turner said her office received a packet with those documents in the mail last Friday. Turner said they have been working on verifying the signatures while also dealing with this week's school elections. Turner says they could wrap up the verification process by tomorrow. Petitioners need about 800 verified signatures in order for the state auditor's office come in and review the school district’s finances. The petition alleges mismanagement of funds and also wants a review of the personalized learning curriculum at the high school and related attendance records.

 

Chix School Board Hires Tulsa Auditing Firm

In the meantime, the Chickasha school board hired a Tulsa firm to also audit the district's financial records. During Tuesday night's board of education meeting, the panel approved a recommendation from interim superintendent Jack Herron to hire Workman Forensics. School members spent several minutes reviewing the contract but had no questions about the proposal. A copy of the contract has not yet been made available to the media. We'll continue our efforts to get a copy of that document.

 

Support Employee Honored

The school board did recognize a support employee this week. Judy Thomas, who is a pre-K teacher's assistant at Bill Wallace School, was recognized as Support Employee of the Quarter for her long time commitment to the children of the district. Wilma Dudley, president of the Chickasha Association of Support Employees, says Thomas even spends time at home preparing materials for the students. Thomas has worked for the district for 22 years.

 

Pete Bush to be Hired at Ninnekah

There are some saying today that Chickasha's loss is Ninnekah's gain. Pete Bush, who resigned from Chickasha schools after he was suspended back in December amid all the controversy within the district, is now the assistant high school baseball coach at Ninnekah. The Ninnekah school board is expected to approve his contract when that group meets tonight. Bush stepped down from his post as transportation and maintenance director for Chickasha schools last month. His resignation came before a public hearing that was to be held regarding allegations against Bush that led to his suspension. Ninnekah superintendent Todd Bunch is recommending Bush be on board through the end of the school year.

 

Suspect in Custody in Caddo County Hold-up

Frightening moments for a clerk at a rural Caddo County convenience store, when masked gunmen brandished weapons and demanded money. The clerk handed over some cash and the two men drove away. The clerk was not hurt. It happened in Eakly Saturday night. Investigators with the Caddo County Sheriff's Office looked at the store’s video surveillance and recognized a man who had walked into the store before the hold-up. The Lawton Constitution reports that the photos were posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page which led to several tips. Authorities arrested 24-year old Garrett Cole Cooper of Anadarko in connection with the hold up. He’s being held on $500,000 bond.

 

Volunteer Firefighter Hurt Helping with Accident

A volunteer firefighter is injured while helping with a traffic accident in Caddo County. 62-year old Michael Taylor, a volunteer with the Lookeba Fire Department, suffered head and leg injuries. He was last in fair condition after Wednesday night's crash about a mile north of that community. The highway patrol reports Taylor had legally parked his pickup and activated emergency lights to help with traffic control on a prior accident. Reliable sources tell us that an oncoming vehicle was weaving through the stopped emergency vehicles, struck Taylor’s pick-up when then hit him. The driver of the other pick-up, 39-year old Tacherami Zarecki of Binger, was not injured.

 

Lamb, Goat Show Results from Southwest District

Here is a list of winners from the first day of the Southwest District Livestock Show. In the wether lamb show, Kamden Urban of Mt. View-Gotebo had the grand champion; Kylee Elliott of El Reno had the reserve grand; and Colt Randall of Mt. View-Gotebo had the bronze. In the ewe lamb show, Kailen Urban of Mt. View-Gotebo had the grand; Baylor Pearson of Lookeba-Sickles had the reserve; and Clay Randall of Canute had the bronze. In the wether goat show, Brooklyn Read of Weatherford had the grand; Baylor Pearson of Lookeba-Sickles the reserve; and Kade Squires of Lookeba-Sickles had bronze. For the doe goat show, Noah Hollars of Elgin had the grand; Karsen McPherson of Weatherford had the reserve; and Caden Church of Sentinel at the bronze.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.60 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is$64.36.

Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,354 and silver is $16.83.

 

 

Wednesday, February 14th

 

 

McGill Wins Landslide School Board Election

There will be another new member on the Chickasha school board. Zack McGill was a landslide winner in yesterday's school board election by defeating incumbent Julie Badgett-Sinn. McGill collected more than nine out of every 10 votes, 875 to 73. McGill is the third new member for the board in the last three months but is the first to be elected. Ginny Howell and Shawna Covington were both appointed to their posts, following the resignations of board president Chris Ludwell and board member Amos Franco. McGill will serve a five-year term. It's expected that he'll be sworn in during the March school board meeting.

 

Chix School Board Approves Several Resignations

The resignations of two Chickasha high school administrators were accepted by the school board last night. Resignation agreements with principal Michele Pontikos and assistant principal Kim Nelson were approve by a 4-0 vote. Badgett-Sinn did not attend last night's school board meeting. Details of those agreements were not revealed. The school board also accepted the resignations of the final two employees who had been suspended in December. Stacy Crutchield, who was an administrative assistant at the bus barn; and Director of Information Technology Greg Hackney submitted their resignations. Both were among five employees suspended. Details were never released about the Crutchfield or Hackney suspensions. Regarding three other suspensions, Director of Transportation and Maintenance Pete Bush also resigned; while Athletic Director Yohance Brown and Special Education Director Pam Huggins were re-instated. With the resignations of Pontikos and Nelson at the high school, administrative duties will be covered by another assistant principal, Rhonda Snow, and Jerry Don Bray. Interim Superintendent Jack Herron said they will fill in for the rest of the school year.

 

Alex, Pioneer Voters OK Bond Issues

In other school elections yesterday, Alex voters approved a nearly $14.7 million bond issue with 10 votes to spare. The measure collected 66 percent of the vote, 112 to 59. Pioneer school district voters approved a bond issue with nearly 95 percent approval, 73 to 4.

 

More School Board Election Results

At Rush Springs, Del Ford won a seat on the school board, picking up 55 percent of the vote over Tommy Jordan, 177 to 145. In Anadarko, Ronald McLemore defeated two candidates for a seat on the school board. McLemore picked up nearly 70 percent of the vote, defeating Brett Stephens and Justin Myers. McLemore will take the seat held by Kathy Kappelle, who did not run for re-election. In Carnegie, Michael Longhat wins a seat on the school board, defeating Ryan Clark, 288 to 154.

 

Carnegie Bond Issue Fails by 13 Votes

In Carnegie, voters turned down a $4.2 million bond issue for school improvements by 13 votes. While getting a majority of the votes, it fell short of the 60 percent needed for approval, failing 252 to 193. 

 

1st National Bank Celebrates Renovations

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held yesterday at the renovated 1st National Bank building in downtown Chickasha. The historic building which was originally constructed in 1931, went through a $3 million facelift over the last year. The project uncovered a beautiful ceiling and light fixtures as well as a marble floor. Vice president of communications Randy Talley said the floor was a surprise to many.

 

                

             

Talley said it took about 19,000 labor hours. Since 2015, the bank has invested $6 million in the downtown branch, which also included an expansion for improved technology.

 

Huge Southwest District Livestock Show Begins

The Southwest District Livestock Show gets underway today at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Over the next four days, more than 2,300 animals will be shown with exhibitors competing for up to $1,000 in prize money. It's believed to be the second largest spring stock show for youth, behind the Oklahoma Youth Expo. More than 1,000 youth from 14 southwest Oklahoma counties will participate. Today, some 400 sheep and 350 goats will be shown. About 240 cattle will be shown tomorrow and the pig show will be over two days, Friday and Saturday, with more than 1,300 swine to be led through the arena.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.19 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $62.79.

Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,333 and silver is $16.56.

 

Tuesday, February 13th

 

 

CHS Principal, Ass't Principal To Resign

Chickasha High School Principal Michele Pontikos and Assistant Principal Kim Nelson are apparently resigning. Among the items on the agenda for the Chickasha Board of Education tonight includes the consideration of their resignation agreements. Pontikos and Nelson were among those testifying in the recent failed attempt to fire the school district's special education director. If approved, the resignations are effective today. During a due process hearing for special education director Pam Huggins, Pontikos and Nelson both said they took statements from several teachers regarding alleged abuse of a high school special needs student. While many of those teachers said they initialed their statements, they said they never received a formal document to review. The school board re-instated Huggins earlier this month.

 

Chix School Board to Consider Audit

The school board is also to consider hiring a firm to perform a forensic audit of the district's financial records. That is separate from an audit request by a group of petitioners who want the state auditor to review school financial records. A petition with nearly 1,700 signatures was submitted to the state auditor's office last week. Election board officials still need to verify if there are enough certified signatures in order for that audit to take place.

 

School Board Elections, Bond Issues on Area Ballots

School board and special bond elections are underway throughout Oklahoma. In Chickasha, school board incumbent Julie Badgett-Sinn is facing challenger Zack McGill. There are also school board races in Rush Springs, Blanchard, Anadarko, and Carnegie. Also in Carnegie, voters are deciding a $4.2 million bond issue. If approved, funds would be used to replace the roofs on the middle school and high school; build two storm shelters; remodel the football stadium fieldhouse and build a new softball fieldhouse; and install new heat and air systems at the high school and at the Memorial Building.

 

Water Continues Spewing from Oil Rig

Crews are still on site of a Continental Resources oil rig north of Chickasha where water and water vapor continues to spray out from a completed well. It's been more than 48 hours since a water valve malfunction on the well. One family was evacuated, and Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said there are a few other families that  - as of yesterday -  were being allowed to stay in their homes.

 

                

 

Thompson said about 20 workers were on site trying to stop the water and vapor from spewing. We tried to contact a representative from Continental Resources for comment but they have not provided an update.

 

Step-Up Oklahoma Plan Fails in House Vote

Despite receiving a majority of votes, the State House of Representatives failed to approve the proposed Step-Up Oklahoma plan introduced by a statewide coalition of business and civic leaders. The vote was 63-35 and fell 13 votes shy of the number needed to pass. Lawmakers from this region voting against the $581 million plan included Democrat David Perryman of Chickasha. Voting for the plan were Republicans Leslie Osborn of Mustang and Scooter Park of Devol.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is 59.29 a barrel.

London-based Brent is $62.59.

Natural gas is $2.55 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,331 and silver is $16.50.

 

 

 

Monday, February 12th

 

 

Crash Slows Traffic Near Tuttle

There is a one-vehicle accident near Tuttle this morning. A witness reports a pick-up overturned near the intersection of State Highways 4 and 37. Emergency vehicles are on the scene. Traffic may be delayed for several minutes.

 

Repairs Continue at Evacuated Oil Rig

Work crews are still at an oil rig location just north of Chickasha that was evacuated early Sunday. Officials say a malfunctioning water valve led to the spewing of water vapor into the air about 5 o'clock Sunday morning. Workers on the Contintental  Resources rig near 4th Street and Reding Road were evacuated and traffic around the location detoured. There were no reports of any injuries.  Continental Resources released a statement saying there was a failure of a wellhead isolation tool, and that no one on  location was in harm's way at any time.

 

Jury Awards Rancher $1.5 Million

A Verden rancher is awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit he filed against his insurance company. A Grady County jury awarded Bryan Linn the payment from Oklahoma Farm Bureau, in a lawsuit filed over stolen cattle. KFOR-TV reports the award comes nearly five years after Linn filed the claim. Linn said about 550 head of cattle were stolen and estimated the loss at nearly $600,000. Over the years, Linn claims the loss cost him his entire operation which he valued about $ 2.5 million. He also said he lost his credit  and his reputation. Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company claimed there was no physical or tangible evidence of theft.

 

Remains of Korean War Soldier Identified

The remains of another Korean War soldier with Grady County ties have been identified. Sgt. Ollie Shepherd was reported missing in Korea in 1951 and declared dead in 1953. Shepherd's remains were among hundreds sent from Korea to Hawaii in 2004. It took several years to find family members. His niece, Paula Cudd, says she got a call last November that officials had identified Sgt. Shepherd's DNA from a small bone fragment. Cudd said her father had always hoped his brother's remains would be identified. Cudd's father passed away several years ago. Shepherd's remains were flown to Oklahoma City last week. He was buried in the Bradley cemetery next to his parents over the weekend. It was just over a year ago that the remains of Cpl. Melvin "Mutt" Hill identified and returned to the area. His remains are buried in the Alex Cemetery.

 

Local Economic Development Pro to Lead State Group

The president of Chickasha's Economic Development Council  will soon lead a state-wide group of her peers. Christy Elkins will serve the next year as chairman of the Governor's Economic Development Marketing Team.  Elkins will be handed the gavel to the group in a meeting in the Blue Room at the state capital tomorrow  morning. She'll take over for Brian Thorstenburg, who served as the group's chairman over the last 12 months. Elkins will continue her work with the Chickasha panel

 

Chix Officials Consider Work to Improve Traffic Flow 

Efforts to make traffic flow more smoothly through Chickasha are underway. Rob Camp is the city's public works director, and he says officials hope to go out for bid to implement a plan to relieve some of the congestion.

 

                

 

Camp says they want to start at the intersection of 4th and Grand and move north through downtown Chickasha with that project.

 

HS Students Recieve Military Academy Nominations

A number of area high school students have been nominated to attend military academies. Congressman Tom Cole announces that some students have been nominated to more than one. Keaton Rogers of Amber-Pocasset has been nominated to both the Air Force Academy and West Point. Enrique Orozco of Tuttle, who attends the Oklahoma School of Science and Math, has been nominated to the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy. Cody Watson of Tuttle was also nominated to the Naval Academy.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.20 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $62.79.

Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,322 and silver is $16.38.

 

 

Saturday, February 10th

 

Fired City Hall Employee Sues City

A former Chickasha City Hall employee is suing the city for wrongful termination. Juliana Buckmaster claims she was fired after she alleged a co-worker was embezzling public funds. An attorney for Buckmaster filed the lawsuit in Grady County District Court last month. She's seeking damages in excess of $10,000. The suit claims Buckmaster was fired from her job in the utility department last August for her alleged conduct toward customers. Buckmaster said she was fired in retaliation for reporting concerns to the city manager and others in authority positions about possible embezzlement. She claims she was confront several times by superiors who treated her poorly. Buckmaster wants the case to be heard by a jury. No court date has been scheduled.

 

Man Tied to Terrorist Group Took Flying Lessons in Chickasha

A new report indicates an Oklahoman alleged to have ties with a terrorist group took flying lessons at the Chickasha airport. Naif Alfallaj of Weatherford was indicted this week by the FBI for visa fraud and making false statements. KFOR-TV reports Alfallaj was a student at the Chickasha Wings Flight school. A teacher there said Alfallaj was difficult to work with. It wasn't clear when Alfallaj attended the school. Alfallaj pleaded not guilty to FBI allegations that he concealed his application and attendance of a training camp for terrorists in Afghanistan back in 2000. It was the same camp attended by some of the hijackers involved in the 9-11 attacks.

 

Man Arrested for Seeking Nude Photos of Girls

A Chickasha man is arrested for soliciting sex and nude photos from underage girls. 21-year old Jacob Fourkiller was arrested following a two-month undercover sting operation by the Canadian County sheriff's office. It's reported that authorities found hundreds of images of underaged girls on his phone, many of which were considered to be porn.  It's alleged Fourkiller believed he was talking to a 14-year old girl from Blanchard. Instead, he was talking to the undercover officer on a social media app. Canadian County investigators arrested Fourkiller at his workplace on Wednesday. Fourkiller has been charged in Canadian County with soliciting sex with a minor. Authorities also say they may pursue similar charges in Grady County.

 

Big Response for Free Dental Care

Around 200 people were able to take advantage of free dental services that were available in Chickasha yesterday. The 29th Street Dental Clinic opened its doors for its 11th annual dentistry from the heart campaign. Dr. John Phillips says one patient was from North Dakota, who was driving through and heard about the event. We talked to James from Hinton, who waited in line about five hours to get two teeth pulled. He tells how he passed some of the time.

 

                

 

Phillips says he offers the clinic each year with the help of the his staff, additional dental hygenists, and oral surgeons that are among 100 volunteers.

 

                

 

Patients could choose to have their teeth cleaned, a filling, or to have a tooth pulled.

 

Active Grady County Arrest Warrants

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 regarding any of these individuals, you're asked to contact the sheriff's office.

 

 

Chickasha Basketball Team to Play for State Title

A Chickasha basketball team will play for a state championship tonight. James Carraway Christian Academy Jaguars advanced to the title game of the Class A Oklahoma Christian School state tournament, with a 49-41 win over Bradford Christian of Pryor last night. Jassten Sanchez had 20 points to  help the Jaguars qualify for its first ever state title game. They'll play Community Christian School of Oklahoma City at 7 o'clock tonight in Norman.

               

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Information which will be helpful to many farmers market vendors will be available at an upcoming conference. Jade Owen with the Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education Project is our guest on KOOL Konversation to discuss the Farmers Market and Agri-tourism Conference to be held in Oklahoma City later this month. On Real Estate today with John Mosley, Chickasha Public works director Rob Camp is this week's guest. Find the links on this website, under the Community Tab.

 

 

 

Friday, February 9th

 

 

Consumer Spending Spikes in Grady County

Last November saw the best month for consumer spending in Grady County in more than two years. Based on the most recent sales tax collection numbers, it's estimated that $100 million was spent on taxable goods and services at retail outlets in the region. That's an increase of more than 26 percent from October, and more than 77 percent over November of 2016. Grady County sales tax revenue for January, which reflects retail trade from last November, was nearly $750,000. Here's how that money is distributed. Grady County Fairgrounds gets nearly $250,000; Grady Memorial Hospital receives $221,000; Each of the county's seven senior nutrition centers collects nearly $18,000; Each of the 20 fire districts will get $6,200; Tuttle EMS is to get $23,000 and Rush Springs EMS to receive $5,700. Grady County use tax collections, paid on internet purchases, were also up dramatically, to $161,000.

 

Spending Up in Chickasha, Too

For the City of Chickasha, consumer spending last November was nearly $25 million, up about 5.7 percent from the same period the year before. City sales tax revenue was $930,000. Chickasha's use tax collection was down about 17.5 percent to $56,000.

 

Step-Up Oklahoma Plan Passes First Test

A bi-partisan plan calling for reforms in state government clears its first hurdle at the state capital. The Step Up Oklahoma plan calls for a combination of reforms and tax hikes which supporters say would eliminate abuse and waste of state funds, and end the boom-and-bust cycle of state government. Among the supporters is David Griffin, who is president and chief executive officer of Griffin Communications.

 

                

 

The measure was passed by the state House of Representatives Thursday. It now goes to the senate for consideration.

 

Long Line Forms for Free Dental Work

Dozens of people are already in line for free dental services available in Chickasha today. The 11th annual Dentistry from the Heart campaign is about to get underway at the 29th Street Dental Clinic. Some braved the elements and camped out overnight to be among the first in line. Each year, the clinic serves more than 200 patients who take advantage of the free dental work. Patients can either get their teeth cleaned, get a filling, or have a tooth pulled. Dentistry From the Heart runs until 4 o'clock this afternoon at the clinic located at 29th and Grand.

 

Personnel Changes at Chickasha City Hall

There have been some personnel changes at Chickasha City Hall. Susan McDaniel has been promoted to city clerk, and serves as a department leader. McDaniel has spent the last couple of years as assistant to the city manager. Taking over for the assistant to the city manager post is Andrea Pinkerton. She is from Duncan, where she spent a couple of years as assistant to the city clerk for the City of Duncan.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.65 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $64.81.

Natural gas is to $2.69 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,316 and silver is $16.32.

 

 

 

2018 February 5th - 10

Your News

2018,  February 12th - Feb. 15th  

 

Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is CHS Sr. Ian Turpin

Tune in to hear Ian’s story!

 

 

 

Saturday, February 10th

Fired City Hall Employee Sues City

A former Chickasha City Hall employee is suing the city for wrongful termination. Juliana Buckmaster claims she was fired after she alleged a co-worker was embezzling public funds. An attorney for Buckmaster filed the lawsuit in Grady County District Court last month. She's seeking damages in excess of $10,000. The suit claims Buckmaster was fired from her job in the utility department last August for her alleged conduct toward customers. Buckmaster said she was fired in retaliation for reporting concerns to the city manager and others in authority positions about possible embezzlement. She claims she was confront several times by superiors who treated her poorly. Buckmaster wants the case to be heard by a jury. No court date has been scheduled.

 

Man Tied to Terrorist Group Took Flying Lessons in Chickasha

A new report indicates an Oklahoman alleged to have ties with a terrorist group took flying lessons at the Chickasha airport. Naif Alfallaj of Weatherford was indicted this week by the FBI for visa fraud and making false statements. KFOR-TV reports Alfallaj was a student at the Chickasha Wings Flight school. A teacher there said Alfallaj was difficult to work with. It wasn't clear when Alfallaj attended the school. Alfallaj pleaded not guilty to FBI allegations that he concealed his application and attendance of a training camp for terrorists in Afghanistan back in 2000. It was the same camp attended by some of the hijackers involved in the 9-11 attacks.

 

Man Arrested for Seeking Nude Photos of Girls

A Chickasha man is arrested for soliciting sex and nude photos from underage girls. 21-year old Jacob Fourkiller was arrested following a two-month undercover sting operation by the Canadian County sheriff's office. It's reported that authorities found hundreds of images of underaged girls on his phone, many of which were considered to be porn.  It's alleged Fourkiller believed he was talking to a 14-year old girl from Blanchard. Instead, he was talking to the undercover officer on a social media app. Canadian County investigators arrested Fourkiller at his workplace on Wednesday. Fourkiller has been charged in Canadian County with soliciting sex with a minor. Authorities also say they may pursue similar charges in Grady County.

 

Big Response for Free Dental Care

Around 200 people were able to take advantage of free dental services that were available in Chickasha yesterday. The 29th Street Dental Clinic opened its doors for its 11th annual dentistry from the heart campaign. Dr. John Phillips says one patient was from North Dakota, who was driving through and heard about the event. We talked to James from Hinton, who waited in line about five hours to get two teeth pulled. He tells how he passed some of the time.

 

                

 

Phillips says he offers the clinic each year with the help of the his staff, additional dental hygenists, and oral surgeons that are among 100 volunteers.

 

                

 

Patients could choose to have their teeth cleaned, a filling, or to have a tooth pulled.

 

Active Grady County Arrest Warrants

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 regarding any of these individuals, you're asked to contact the sheriff's office.

 

 

Chickasha Basketball Team to Play for State Title

A Chickasha basketball team will play for a state championship tonight. James Carraway Christian Academy Jaguars advanced to the title game of the Class A Oklahoma Christian School state tournament, with a 49-41 win over Bradford Christian of Pryor last night. Jassten Sanchez had 20 points to  help the Jaguars qualify for its first ever state title game. They'll play Community Christian School of Oklahoma City at 7 o'clock tonight in Norman.

               

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Information which will be helpful to many farmers market vendors will be available at an upcoming conference. Jade Owen with the Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education Project is our guest on KOOL Konversation. Find the interview under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, February 9th

 

 

 

Consumer Spending Spikes in Grady County

Last November saw the best month for consumer spending in Grady County in more than two years. Based on the most recent sales tax collection numbers, it's estimated that $100 million was spent on taxable goods and services at retail outlets in the region. That's an increase of more than 26 percent from October, and more than 77 percent over November of 2016. Grady County sales tax revenue for January, which reflects retail trade from last November, was nearly $750,000. Here's how that money is distributed. Grady County Fairgrounds gets nearly $250,000; Grady Memorial Hospital receives $221,000; Each of the county's seven senior nutrition centers collects nearly $18,000; Each of the 20 fire districts will get $6,200; Tuttle EMS is to get $23,000 and Rush Springs EMS to receive $5,700. Grady County use tax collections, paid on internet purchases, were also up dramatically, to $161,000.

 

Spending Up in Chickasha, Too

For the City of Chickasha, consumer spending last November was nearly $25 million, up about 5.7 percent from the same period the year before. City sales tax revenue was $930,000. Chickasha's use tax collection was down about 17.5 percent to $56,000.

 

Step-Up Oklahoma Plan Passes First Test

A bi-partisan plan calling for reforms in state government clears its first hurdle at the state capital. The Step Up Oklahoma plan calls for a combination of reforms and tax hikes which supporters say would eliminate abuse and waste of state funds, and end the boom-and-bust cycle of state government. Among the supporters is David Griffin, who is president and chief executive officer of Griffin Communications.

 

                

 

The measure was passed by the state House of Representatives Thursday. It now goes to the senate for consideration.

 

Long Line Forms for Free Dental Work

Dozens of people are already in line for free dental services available in Chickasha today. The 11th annual Dentistry from the Heart campaign is about to get underway at the 29th Street Dental Clinic. Some braved the elements and camped out overnight to be among the first in line. Each year, the clinic serves more than 200 patients who take advantage of the free dental work. Patients can either get their teeth cleaned, get a filling, or have a tooth pulled. Dentistry From the Heart runs until 4 o'clock this afternoon at the clinic located at 29th and Grand.

 

Personnel Changes at Chickasha City Hall

There have been some personnel changes at Chickasha City Hall. Susan McDaniel has been promoted to city clerk, and serves as a department leader. McDaniel has spent the last couple of years as assistant to the city manager. Taking over for the assistant to the city manager post is Andrea Pinkerton. She is from Duncan, where she spent a couple of years as assistant to the city clerk for the City of Duncan.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.65 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $64.81.

Natural gas is to $2.69 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,316 and silver is $16.32.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, February 8th

 

Smoke Forces School Evacuation

Grand Elementary School had to be evacuated Wednesday  after a report of smoke in the building. Students were led out of the school and taken next door to Bill Wallace School  while the fire department was called in. There were no injuries and very little damage to the school. Major Chris Dennis with the Chickasha Fire Department said there was no fire, but they did find smoke coming from a maintenance room  in one of the hallways. They traced the problem to some debris that had collected in an exhaust fan vent. Fire crews used a couple of hand-held fire extinguishers to eliminate the problem. Dennis also said heat and air technicians were called in to make sure  that equipment was working properly. Fire crews were on the scene about an hour. School officials did send out a Facebook notice that the school was evacuated and that the kids were safe. Parents were allowed to pick up their children early.

 

Two City Council Races Set; Three Candidates Unopposed               

There will be at least three new members on the Chickasha City Council later this year, and one of them will be the mayor. Seven candidates filed for the five council positions up for election this year. Two candidates had filed for mayor. Chris Mosley and Tom Rose are seeking the post currently held by Hank Ross, who did not run for re-election. One other race will be in Ward 4, where incumbent Councilman Howard Carpenter will face Zach Grayson. The city council election will be April 3rd. Running unopposed for council seats were Ward 3 councilman, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander and newcomers David Sikes in Ward 1 and Joe Molder in Ward 2.

               

Chickasha Names New Police Chief

After a nation-wide search, Chickasha's new police chief was found just a few miles away. He is Greg Anderson, who is currently a captain with the Moore Police Department. Anderson was among 27 candidates who applied and four finalists who were interviewed. Anderson has 23 years’ experience as a certified law enforcement officer with the last 12 as a supervisor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in law enforcement administration and ethics from Mid America Christian University. He also has more than 2,000 hours of police training. Anderson is expected to be on the job March 5th. He'll take over for interim chief G.G. Music. He was filling in after former chief Stewart Steele accepted a similar position in another state.

 

Burglary Suspect Nabbed in Traffic Stop

A suspect wanted in connection with several auto burglaries is arrested following a traffic stop by Chickasha police. 18-year old Dalton Cordell Null was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over Tuesday night because of a non-working center brake light. A warrant had been issued for Null’s arrest on burglary and grand larceny charges. Null is alleged to have stolen some tools out of a pick-up at Wal-Mart, and is also suspected in residential auto burglaries which occurred in the 200 block of South 6th and near 17th and Louisiana, all of which happened last November. The arrest warrant affidavit indicates police have video surveillance in two of the incidents. Null spent Tuesday night in jail, and had his initial appearance on the charges in Grady County District Court Wednesday. He's out of jail after posting $10,000 bond.

 

Comments Sought for Proposed Food Truck, Handler Rules

The  City of Chickasha is looking for input regarding some proposed regulations concerning food truck vendors and food handlers. City Planner and Building Inspector Gene Winsett invites comment from the public during hearings on the issues next week. Winsett said the city has no current regulations regarding either issue. The hearings will be held during the Tuesday, February 13th Planning Commission meeting, which will be held at city hall starting at 4 p.m. Copies of the proposed regulations can be picked up from the Community Development office for review. Winsett said the information compiled from the hearings will be used to develop the proposed new guidelines, which will have to be approved by the city council before they are implemented.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.79 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $65.51.

Natural gas is $2.70 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,313 and silver is $16.24.

 

 

Wednesday, February 7th

 

 

Shooting Victim Hospitalized

A shooting victim is in fair condition in an Oklahoma City hospital this morning, after he was found in the yard of a Chickasha home. Police are looking into the shooting but have not released a lot of information. Authorities were dispatched to the  home near 10th and Harvey in the north part of the city about 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The victim was shot in the stomach with a small-caliber weapon. Police say he was conscious and coherent and taken to Grady Memorial, then air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. Police identified the victim as 31-year old Khristopher Walker of Chickasha. Authorities say he was uncooperative and would not say much about what happened.

 

Medical Examiner Releases Report on Pastor's Death

The state medical examiner has issued a conflicting report about the death of a local pastor. You probably remember the story from last June, regarding the death of Michael Dean Walworth.  A one-page report released by the medical examiner indicates Walworth suffered an apparent fire death, but the report also says his probable cause of death is unknown. Walworth's body was found between his home and his First Missionary Church next door. There was no fire at his home nor the church. Chickasha police said at the time they were investigating his death as a homicide. However, no arrests were ever made.

               

Cash, Gun Stolen from Pastor's Home

More than $2,000 in cash and a loaded gun are stolen from the home of a Chickasha minister. The home of Sister Alice Wendling with Full Gospel Church was burglarized while she was at church Sunday night. Authorities say the garage door was kicked in The safe had about $2,500 in cash was in one room and the handgun in another. Wendling thinks the burglar is someone they know, and who knew they would be away  from their home. Sister Alice said the money that was stolen was going towards building a new church gymnasium.

               

Two More Candidates File for Chix City Council

A current Chickasha city councilman, and a previously announced candidate for mayor were the only individuals to file for the spring city council election on Tuesday. Ward 3 City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander and  Tom Rose were the only new candidates to come forward on day two of city council filings. Two races have developed so far. Rose and Chris Mosley are the two announced candidates for mayor. The other is in Ward 4 where current councilman Howard Carpenter and challenger Zach Grayson have filed. Filing un-opposed so far is Ashanti-Alexander in Ward 3; Joe Molder in Ward 2; and David Sikes in Ward 1. Today is the final day candidates can file, at Chickasha City Hall.

 

One Candidate Files for Minco City Council

In Minco, only one candidate has filed for a city council post. Sara Jensen is seeking the Ward 2, Office 2 post that will be filled. Today is the last day to file for that election as well. Candidates file at the Grady County Election Board.

 

Open House to Celebrate Bank Renovations

After several months of renovations, Chickasha's First National Bank is ready to unveil the upgrades made to its main downtown branch and 3rd and Chickasha Ave. An open house will be held next Tuesday, February 13th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to show off the improvements made to the historic bank originally built in 1931. A ribbon cutting and dedication will be held at 3:30 p.m. that day.

 

Missing Norman Couple Found

A special needs couple missing from their Norman apartment has been found and they are ok. A Silver Alert for 59-year old Robert Osbourn and 57-year old Bertha Peppiat was canceled yesterday. Osbourn is autistic and Peppiat developmentally disabled and can't read or write. The pair was reported missing last Tuesday, when they failed to return after walking to a nearby convenience store. Norman police would only say the couple was found living in a hotel.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.39 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $66.86.

Natural gas is $2.76 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,330 and silver is $16.63.

 

Tuesday, February 6th

 

 

Chix Mayor, City Council Candidates File

One candidate for mayor and four candidates for city council were at Chickasha City Hall yesterday, filing paperwork to put their name on the spring city council election ballot. Chris Mosley was the only candidate to file for mayor. The other announced candidate, Tom Rose, says he plans on doing so today. One race has already formed. That's in Ward 4, where incumbent Howard Carpenter is being challenged by Zach Grayson. Grayson is a business partner with InterUrban Restaurant. Others filing include David Sikes, who is seeking the Ward 1 post currently held by Jerry Pittman. Sikes is a mineral manager and oil and gas consultant. As of late yesterday afternoon, the only other candidate to file was Joe Molder, who filed in Ward 2 for the seat currently held by Blake Elliott. There were no candidates filing in Ward 3, for the seat held by R.P. Ashanti-Alexander. The filing period runs through tomorrow.

 

Crash Injures Chickasha Resident

A Chickasha woman is hospitalized following a Caddo County crash. 32-year old Lacreisha Haskell was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and admitted in serious condition after last-night's accident. The crash occurred just before midnight, about 7 1/2 miles east of Binger. The highway patrol reports that Haskell was going to fast on a curve, ran off the road, rolled one time and hit several trees. Haskell suffered numerous head, arm, leg and internal injuries.

 

Petioners to Submit Signatures Asking for School Audit

A citizens group petitioning for a state audit of the finances of the Chickasha school district will be heading to Oklahoma City this morning to turn in their documents. The group wants the state auditor and inspector to go through the books to determine if there has been a mismanagement of school funds. Petitioners said they need about 800 verified signatures in order for the audit to take place. Officials said they have obtained nearly 1,700 signatures. The state auditor will turn the documents over to the state election board, which will determine if there are enough valid signatures to call for the audit.

 

Free Dental Services to be Offered

A Chickasha dental clinic will open its doors for free dental services later this week. Dr. John Phillips and his crew at 29th Street Dental Clinic will again host the annual Dentistry from the Heart campaign. Each year, they treat more than 200 patients in a single day. Dozens of volunteers help to make the operation go smoothly. Phillips says the team includes a number of oral surgeons.

 

               

 

Dentistry from the Heart will be this Friday, Feb. 9th at the 29th Street Dental Clinic, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some patients camp out overnight to be among the first in line. Patients can choose one of three services: teeth cleaning, a filling, or getting a tooth pulled.

 

FEMA Approves Storm Shelter Rebate Plan

A plan to give  Grady County residents a partial rebate for the installation of storm shelters has been approved. A federal grant has been provided to give rebates to as many as 150 families to take part in the program. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson says there will be meetings county-wide next month to discuss the details, and to allow residents to sign up. Thompson said to qualify for a rebate, applicants must own the property where the storm shelter will be located; and the property must be the applicant’s primary residence. Mobile home owners must own the land where the shelter will be installed. Meetings will be held in Tuttle and Rush Springs on Friday, March 16th. A meeting at Tuttle City Hall will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A meeting at the Rush Springs Lions Club building will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. that evening. A third meeting will be in Chickasha on Saturday, March 17th at the Canadian Valley Technology Center from 11 am. to 2 p.m.

 

Choose Healthy Sweet Treats Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is about a week away. Teachers who may have gatherings for their young students might consider serving healthy sweet treats instead of pre-packaged candies. Here’s Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension.

 

                

 

She also suggests setting up a table with cut-up vegetables, whole-grain pita chips, and low-fat cheese cubes with tomato salsa. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole-wheat bread, and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make Valentines.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.15 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $67.62.

Natural gas is $2.74 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,345 and silver is $16.79.

 

 

Monday, February 5th

 

 

Filing Period Opens for City Council Candidates

Candidates for city council in two communities are getting their paperwork in order today. The filing period is now underway for council posts in Chickasha and Minco. There are five council posts to be filled in Chickasha, including mayor. The city will have a new mayor when the April 3rd election comes around. Current Mayor Hank Ross will not be running for re-election. Two candidates who have already announced their plans to run for mayor are Chris Mosley and Tom Rose. The other four Chickasha City Council offices up for election are Jerry Pittman in Ward 1; Blake Elliott in Ward 2; R.P. Ashanti-Alexander in Ward 3; and Howard Carpenter in Ward 4. Candidates file at Chickasha City Hall. The filing period runs through Wednesday. There is one Minco city council post to be filled. That is Ward Two, Office 2. Candidates for that post file at the Grady County Election Board.

 

City Lawsuit Update Expected

An update on a lawsuit filed by the City of Chickasha against a firm that failed to follow through on a promise to expand to the area will be provided to the city council tonight. The lawsuit against Word Industries will be discussed behind closed doors with the city attorney. The lawsuit regards a $250,000 loan the city provided to the company to help with re-location expenses. Company officials announced in January of 2016 that they were moving to the region, but the move never materialized. The council will meet at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

New Hotel Boosts Building Report

Winter months aren't normally big months for building permit applications at Chickasha City Hall, but January was an exception. Permits for more than $3.6 million in construction were approved by the city's community development department last month. Topping the list was the permit for the new Best Western Plus Hotel to be built near the Grady County Fairgrounds. A ground-breaking ceremony for the hotel was held in December. That permit was among nine building permits issued in January. One other commercial work order was for a $3,500 upgrade for the Pregnancy Testing and Guidance Center at 12th and Choctaw.  Seven residential construction permits were approved totaling about $160,000.

 

Four Hospitalized Following Two Weekend Crashes

Weekend traffic accidents in the region sent four people to hospitals, with two victims admitted in critical condition. A crash west of Anadarko injured three men. 39-year old Steven Meyers of Anadarko was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and admitted in critical condition 33-year old Charles Price Jr, and 47-year old Michael Downs, both of Cyril, were taken to a Lawton hospital and admitted in fair condition. That accident happened just after midnight Sunday morning. Price was driving a car that failed to go around a curve on a county road and hit a tree. The trooper on the scene reported an odor of alcohol at the site. The other crash critically injured a Marlow man. 33-year old Shane Sacco was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital when his SUV crashed northeast of Walters late Saturday night. The trooper on the scene of that crash says Sacco was taking a curve too fast when he ran off State Highway 65 and rolled nearly two times.

 

Cattle-on-Feed Numbers Released

In agriculture news, nearly 11.5 million head of cattle were on hand in feedlots around the country as of January 1st. That's up more than 8 percent from the previous year, and the largest on-feed count in six years. Shiann Burns with Grady County OSU Extension has other numbers concerning the report.

 

                

 

She said placement numbers for the 600- to 900-pound animals were down a little more than 4.5 percent.

               

More Contributions for Chickasha's Animal Shelter

Another nice contribution to the city of Chickasha's Animal Shelter. Tractor Supply has donated a half-ton of dog food to help care for lost and abandoned animals. A pallet loaded with several 25- and 50-pound bags of food were delivered to the shelter last week.  Lt. Traye Alexander was thankful for the contribution, saying the city appreciates the donations from residents and businesses. Just a few weeks ago, the Oklahoma division of the Humane Society of the United States donated some needed equipment and supplies to the shelter.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.45 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $68.58.

Natural gas is to $2.84 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,340 and silver is $16.85.

2018 January 29th - February 3rd

KOOL News
Saturday, February 3rd

Former Pharmacist Wants Life Sentence Commuted

Jerome Ersland is back in the news again. The former Chickasha pharmacist is serving a life sentence after being convicted of killing a teenager who tried to rob the Oklahoma City pharmacy where Ersland worked back in 2009. Ersland has been granted a rare hearing with the state pardon and parole board. Ersland is 66-years old and says he'll likely die in prison. He's not eligible for parole until 2049, when he would be 97 years old. The hearing will be held in April. The website NewsOK.com reports that Ersland called his conviction an injustice. The Oklahoma County district attorney's office says they'll protest the commutation. Should the parole board recommend commutation, it will be sent to the governor who will make the decision.

 

Social Media Reports Fatal Flu Case in Grady County

A flu death is reported in Grady County. Unconfirmed social media posts indicate an Amber man died from the flu this week. The state health department would not confirm the report. A spokesman said they only release county flu deaths in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. Any deaths outside the metro areas are grouped in a region. Grady County is part of 14 counties in southwest Oklahoma. There have been 39 confirmed flu cases in Grady County since September.

 

Sen. Inhofe Stops in Chickasha

Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe was in Chickasha yesterday meeting with local business leaders. He discussed topics that included this week's State-of-the-Union Address from President Trump to the economy. He thinks the president might have conceded too much in his compromise with Democrats to allow more children of illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens...in exchange for Trump's plans to increase military spending.

 

                

 

Worries Grow over Missing Special Needs Couple

A Silver Alert is still in effect for a special needs couple missing from their Norman apartment. 59-year old Robert Osbourn and 57-year old Bertha Peppiat have not been seen since Tuesday. Robert has autism and kidney problems. Peppiat is developmentally disabled and can't read or write. Neither has a driver's license, nor do they have a car. Their caregiver says they typically aren't gone for more than an hour without checking in. Neighbors are concerned about their safety as well. The couple was last seen near a 7-11 store at NW 24th and Robinson.  If you come in contact with the couple or know where they are, call Norman police or local law enforcement.

 

Candidates for Governor will be Forum Guests

More Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates are bringing their campaigns to the region. Three of them are part of an on-going forum at USAO in the coming weeks. Republican candidates include Lt Gov. Todd Lamb and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Lamb will address the forum on Tuesday, Feb. 20th and Cornett on Monday, March 5th. Democrat and former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson will be at the university on Tuesday, March 6th. All of the forums are open to the public. Candidates will discuss their ideas and take questions from the audience. All programs are in the USAO Ballroom starting at 7 p.m. The forums are part of USAO's Nita Giles Public Policy Programs.

 

Sheriff's Office Posts Most Wanted List

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 regarding any of these individuals, contact the Sheriff’s office.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Dentist Dr. John Phillips is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. He'll talk about his upcoming Dentistry from the Heart campaign, providing some free dental services, which is Friday, Feb. 9th.. On real Estate Today with John Mosley, our guest isCertified Public Accountant Evan Blasingame. Find links to these program on this website under the Community Tab.

 

Friday, February 2nd

 

 

Chix Schools' Special Ed Director Re-instated

Pam Huggins, director of Special Education for Chickasha schools, will soon be back at work. Last night, the Chickasha school board rejected a recommendation to fire Huggins following a 10 ½-hour hearing over a course of two days. The vote was 4-0 to reject the recommendation. Board member Julie Badgett-Sinn did not attend last night's meeting. School board vice-president Doug Brown said Badgett-Sinn was ill. Administrators had called for Huggins’ termination, alleging she failed to report the abuse of a special needs student. One of the most dramatic moments of last night's proceedings came from Sharita Brown, a special needs teacher who was testifying on behalf of Huggins. She had an exchange with the district’s attorney, regarding Tammy Fincher. Fincher was supposed to testify against Huggins, but did not show up during the course of the two-day hearing.

 

               

 

O'Carroll said Fincher signed an affidavit saying there were two or three people who witnessed mis-treatment of a high school special needs student. Huggins had this reaction after the board's decision.

 

                

 

We asked for comments from school board vice president Doug Brown and assistant Superintendent Cindy Schmidt, but both declined comment. School attorney Richard O'Carroll said the decision was not what the administration wanted, and was disappointed Fincher did not testify. O’Carroll and said the school board decision was a prudent one.

 

Optimist Club Serves Pancakes on Groundhog Day

The Chickasha Optimist Club Groundhog Day Pancake Day  is underway. They're flippin' flapjacks at Epworth United Methodist Church until 1 o'clock this afternoon. It’s all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, coffee and orange juice. Tickets are $5, with proceeds benefitting the club's youth projects.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.80 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.65.

Natural gas is to $2.85 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,348 and silver is $17.13.

 

 

Thursday, February 1st

 

Hearing for Suspended Chix School Employee to Resume

A special meeting of the Chickasha school board will continue later today. The panel will consider if the district's director of special education should be fired. Pam Huggins was placed on leave in December, over allegations of failure to report child abuse. Earlier this week, Huggins testified she was never told of any allegations of abuse of a special needs high school student by a teacher. Former interim Superintendent Cindy Schmidt and high school Principal Michelle Pontikos both said Huggins had knowledge of some problems between the student and the teacher. Several individuals are expected to testify on Huggins’ behalf during the hearing. Among them are Bill Wallace Principal Tressia Meeks and retired educator Robyn Morse. The hearing will resume at 5 o'clock this afternoon at the Chickasha Middle School Auditorium. We will video stream the hearing on this website. Go to the “Sports” tab, scroll down to “Chickasha Sports”,  then click on the Chickasha school logo.

 

Four Injured in Crash

Four people are hospitalized following a crash at a Chickasha railroad crossing. Three people were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, one of them flown by an air ambulance. A child was among those hurt. The accident happened just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, on U.S. Highway 81 just north of U.S. Highway 62 where a pick-up and a van collided on the rail crossing.  No details of the crash have been released. The accident remains under investigation by the Chickasha Police Department. The names of the injured have not been released, and their conditions are unknown. See video of the crash site on our Facebook page.

 

Minco Voters to Decide $15 Million School Bond Issue

In Minco, school district voters will decide if a new middle school should be among millions of dollars of improvements for the district. Two bond issues which total about $15 million will be on the ballot in March. Superintendent Kevin Sims said that in addition to a new middle school, the district would also build a new cafeteria which will double as a safe room. If the plans are approved, the elementary school would move to the current middle school. A single drop-off and pick up point would be created to improve campus security.  Proceeds would also be used to buy Chromebooks for all students in grades 4-12 and three years of text books. The district would also buy five new school buses, a 15-passenger van, a truck for the agriculture program, and other vehicles. A town hall meeting on the plans will be held Sunday, Feb. 18th. The special bond election will be March 6th.

 

New Ag Educator Joins Grady County OSU Extension

There's a new face at the Grady County OSU Extension Office. Shiann Burns is the new agriculture educator for the center. Burns joined the extension office last week, and fills a spot that became available when David Nowlin returned to full-time duty in Caddo County. Nowlin was splitting time between the Anadarko and Chickasha extension offices for the past year. Burns grew up in Madill on her family's commercial cow-calf operation and was active in 4H and FFA. She credits her interest in pursuing an agriculture career to not only her family, but her ag educator in Madill, David Sorrell.

 

                

 

             

Burns earned her bachelor's degree in animal science from Oklahoma State and is finishing her master's degree from New Mexico State University. She has worked for the USDA agriculture research stations in Stillwater and Miles City, Montana.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.73 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.05.

Natural gas is $2.99 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,341 and silver is $17.20.

 

Wednesday, January 31st

 

Resident Helps Police Solve Auto Burglaries

A series of auto burglaries near USAO may have been solved with the help of local resident. A homeowner called police last Friday, when he discovered someone rummaging through his vehicle. A Chickasha police affidavit indicates the homeowner pulled a gun on the man, who had a knife, and told him to leave, which he did on foot. Officers arrested the alleged suspect a few minutes later.  The police affidavit also indicates authorities found a bag belonging to the suspect had which had a number of items which had taken from other auto burglaries in the area of 21st and Grand. Police arrested 23-year old Douglas Bruce Littlecalf, who lives in that area. Littlecalf has been charged with a felony count of burglary. He’s being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond. Littlecalf was on probation after pleading guilty last year to misdemeanor counts of larceny, domestic assault and public drunk.

 

Governor Issues Burn Ban for Western Oklahoma

Dangerous wildfire conditions lead Gov. Mary Fallin to implement a burn ban for all of western Oklahoma. The ban covers the 40 counties west of I-35 and is effective through Feb. 16th. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers says there haven't been any major fires in the area last couple of weeks, and credits the awareness of residents concerning the high fire danger.

 

             

 

Myers says there was a controlled burn on 400 acres near Rush Springs earlier this week. A silo fire near Pocasset is being allowed to burn itself out, though fire officials are keeping a close eye on it. Welders are asked to take precautions to prevent sparks that may lead to fires. Outdoor cooking is allowed with propane or natural gas grills, but the grills must be on a solid surface.

 

Traffic Accident Hospitalizes Two People

Two pick-ups collide north of Pocasset and sends two people to the hospital. The accident happened just before noon Tuesday at U.S. Highway 81 and CR 1240 which is about a mile north of Pocasset. The highway patrol says both vehicles were northbound on the highway, when one pick-up had slowed to turn, and was rear-ended by the other. The two people in the trailing pickup were hurt. A passenger, 81-year old Lois Thompson of Ringling, was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was last in critical condition. The driver, 71-year old Jerry Henderson of Fox, was taken by ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he was admitted in fair condition. The driver of the other truck, 32 year old Eric Schatte of Oklahoma City was not injured.

 

Prom Boutique To Open

Prom season will be here before you know it. A group from USAO wants to help young ladies who may not be able to afford expensive gowns. The 8th annual Prom Boutique will allow the girls to choose dresses, shoes, and accessories for their prom for free. USAO Student Services welcomes contributions from the general public. Dean of Students Nancy Hughes says they have given away more than 80 dresses over the last three years. The boutique will be held Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the USAO Student Center. It's first-come, first-served. If you would like to contribute to the prom boutique, contact USAO Student Services.

               

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.50 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.02.

Natural gas is $3.19 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,346 and silver is $17.23

 

Tuesday, January 30th

 

Hearing to Fire School Special Ed Director to Continue

Allegations of abuse of an autistic student at Chickasha High School were aired during a special school board meeting last night. The information was part of lengthy testimony presented during a six-hour hearing. The hearing was to determine if Pam Huggins, the district's special education director, should be fired for failure to report child abuse. Former interim superintendent Cindy Schmidt is recommending Huggins be terminated. Schmidt said that Huggins knew a para-professional instructor bent the student’s fingers backwards; threw a large medicine ball that hit the student in the face; and stood on the student’s foot for not throwing away some trash. Huggins later testified she was not told of the incidents. Also testifying for the district were high school principal Michelle Pontikos, and assistant high school principal Kim Nelson. Attorneys Richard O'Carroll, representing the school district, and Bret Burns, representing Huggins, got testy at times throughout the hearing. Burns alleged that Schmidt, Pontikos, and Nelson were retaliating against Huggins, because of her concerns with the Personalized Learning Curriculum at the high school. O'Carroll challenged many of Burns questions, saying they weren't relevant to the failure to report child abuse allegation. Huggins also presented testimony, saying the incidents of the alleged abuse were  never reported to her. She said she was told of some situations between the student and the para-professional, but did not consider them to be serious enough to be considered child abuse. Woody Glass, another attorney for Huggins, said Huggins followed district policy, and that she did not report the incident to DHS because she didn't suspect abuse. Burns asked the school board to dismiss the charges against Huggins, but no such motion came from the panel. About midnight, the school board opted to recess the meeting, and return Thursday to continue. Several witnesses are to testify in support of Huggins when the meeting re-convenes at 5 p.m. Thursday.

 

Parole Denied for Mom Convicted of Killing Child

A Grady County woman convicted in the 1997 death of her 13-month old daughter has again been denied parole. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denied parole to 41-year old Mary Ann Leadford last week. Leadford was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the death of her daughter, Tessa. Prosecutors said Leadford allowed her husband, James Patrick Malicoat to violently beat the toddler over the course of 19 days. Leadford was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, but the recent ruling is at least the third time she has been denied. Malicoat was convicted of first degree murder in the case and was given the death sentence. He was executed in 2006.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.56 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $69.46.

Natural gas is $3.63 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,347 and silver is $17.22

 

 

Monday, January 29th

 

 

Suspended School Employee Hearing Set Tonight

There's another special meeting of the Chickasha Board of Education tonight. The panel is to consider a recommendation that Pam Huggins, director of special services, should be fired. It's alleged Huggins failed to report child abuse of a special needs student. Opening statements are scheduled for school administrators and Huggins, or their attorneys. There is also time for rebuttal and questions from school board members. The statements are scheduled to be made in public. However, the board may opt to go to a closed-door session for negotiations. The school board is also to formally act on the resignation of former transportation and maintenance director, Pete Bush, who stepped down during a special meeting last week. The meeting will be video-streamed on this website. Look under the Sports tab for the Chickasha Sports link, then click on the Fightin’ Chick logo.

 

Crash Shuts Down Turnpike

Westbound lanes of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike northeast of Chickasha were shut down for a couple of hours this morning. A car and a salt-water tanker were involved in a crash. The interstate was closed between mile markers 84 and 83, just before the exit ramp on highway 62. The roadway was closed just after 4 a.m. and re-opened just before 6 am. The highway patrol says at least one person was injured, but it wasn't clear how serious the injuries were. Details of the crash have not yet been release.

 

Driver Critical Following Weekend Accident

The driver of a car that crashed north of Verden over the weekend remains in critical condition this morning. 18-year old Brent Durbin-Daniel of Lawton suffered head, arm, leg, and internal injuries. He was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. Sunday about one-half mile north of Verden on CR 2750. The highway patrol reports that Durbin-Daniel lost control of his car. It ran off the road and hit a concrete bridge, then rolled into a creek bed.

 

Proposal Would Shift Stem Region Control to Career Tech

A proposal to allow Oklahoma's career tech system to expand high-level math and science classes will be heard by state lawmakers this spring. The measure has the support of Greg Winters, superintendent of Canadian Valley Technology Center. SB 880 would shift oversight of the group that creates what are known as STEM regions to career tech. Winters tells KOOL/RANCH News

 

                

 

Currently, oversight of these STEM regions is the responsibility of a group known as the Coalition for the Advancement of Science and Math Education in Oklahoma. That group’s Director Ben Robinson supports the move. He says STEM programs have been growing quickly, and the coalition doesn't have the means to continue overseeing it. He said having career tech monitor the development of the STEM regions means they'll be able to reach more areas, help more students, and be more beneficial to industry.

 

High Bond Set for Child Sex Abuse Suspect

A Tuttle man charged with child sexual abuse remains in jail on bond that was set at six figures. Jimmy Ray VanBuskirk had his initial appearance on the charge in Grady County District Court last week. A judge set VanBuskirk's bond at $150,000. Prosecutors allege VanBuskirk assaulted a 9-year old boy at a Tuttle home several times over the last four years. VanBuskirk's next court appearance is Feb. 22nd to announce his attorney, with a preliminary hearing conference on March. 7th.

 

Special City Council Work Session Set

A special work session is scheduled for the Chickasha City Council tomorrow. The panel will hear a presentation from the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group. The informal session is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at city hall.

 

Arts Festival Schedules First Meeting

Chickasha's Rock Island Arts Festival will reach a milestone this year. 2018 will mark the 10th year for the event. The weekend features arts, music, and food, and is scheduled for Sept. 28th-30th this fall. The Chickasha Area Arts Council will have its first meeting for the festival tomorrow night. The meeting is open to the public, and officials welcome new ideas to expand the event. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the old Head Start school at 7th and Arkansas.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.14 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $70.52.

Natural gas is $3.50 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,350 and silver is $17.33

 

 

 

Weather

Recently Played

Kool Calendar

4:20 Kool Comedy Break!

Pro Auto Care Drive @ 5