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Tuesday, May 29th
Retired Green Beret Addresses Memorial Day Ceremony
A solemn ceremony at the Grady County Veteran's Memorial in Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park Monday, as a small crowd gathered for a Memorial Day program. Guest speaker was retired Lt. Col. Mark Oschenbein, a Green Beret who spent time in special operations. He said the soldiers who laid down their lives should be honored by battling tyranny around the world, and supporting veterans who served our country.
Oschenbein spoke of the sacrifice of Walter Edmond Steele who was born in Chickasha and was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Steele enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was serving on the USS Forestall when a rocket was fired from one aircraft and hit another. Steele was among more than 130 sailors who died, and another 160 were injured in the accident.
Retired Marine Walking Across America Attends Memorial
Also part of the Memorial Day program, retired Marine sergeant, Roy Brady. We told you about Brady last week and his mission to walk across America to support veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to further research to improve prosthetics to help veterans who lost limbs while serving. Brady said individuals must make an effort to help veterans talk about their issues.
Brady walks 15-20 miles per day. He's on his way to Tulsa this week. He started his journey in California in March, and will be walking more than six months. He’s raising awareness and funds for the non-profit group, Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge.
Energy Prices Fluctuate
Crude oil prices were lower last week. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission explains why prices have been fluctuating.
Skinner said the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in Oklahoma was up by two last week, to 140. That is an increase of 14 percent from the same time last year. Nationwide, the rig count grew by 13 to 1,059 which is also higher that for this time in 2017.
State High School Rodeo Finals in Chickasha This Week
The Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association state finals will be held in Chickasha this week. About 130 high school youth will be competing for spots in the national high school rodeo competition later this year. Many of the competitors will be arriving in Chickasha today. Official competition will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There's even a prom for participants tomorrow night and later in the week, the selection of a new OHSRA queen.
Food Preservation Program Set
There have been a lot of changes in the area of food preservation over the years. A workshop to provide updates on home canning of fruits and vegetables is coming up. Dr. Barbara Brown is the state extension food specialist at Oklahoma State University. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension describes what Brown will be discussing.
Dr. Brown's program will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center on Tuesday, June 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The program is limited to 25 participants, and individuals should pre-register by this Friday by calling the technology center, 405-222-7565.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.88 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.44.
Natural gas is up to $2.94 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,307 and silver is $16.46.
Saturday, May 26th
Hospital Surgery Center Opening Delayed Again
The opening of the new surgery center at Grady Memorial Hospital is put on hold once again. State inspectors have still not signed off on the final punch- list of discrepancies that need to be dealt with before the hospital can move in. In a soft opening of the new center two weeks ago, Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman hoped the first surgeries could have been performed this week. However, Spellman said inspectors found a minor flaw in a closet, which Spellman said could be easily repaired with new sheet rock. Spellman said the fix could be confirmed by sending a photo to the inspector, so he wouldn't have to make a personal visit. When the hospital finally gets its occupancy permit, it will take a little over a week to move all the equipment into the center and sterilize all the surgical tools. Spellman now says the target date for the first surgery is Monday, June 4th. There have been no surgeries performed at the hospital since August of 2015, when federal and state regulators closed the previous operating rooms due to the hospital’s age. Grady County voters approved a 25-year, one-quarter-penny county sales tax to build the new $17 million addition. The new construction also includes a new imaging center. The imaging center won't be opening until the end of June.
Formal Charges Filed in Go-Cart Theft
A man arrested in connection with a stolen go-cart is now formally charged with grand larceny. In addition to that felony charge, 25-year old Chason Joseph Daniel Grigg of Chickasha is charged with a misdemeanor for knowingly concealing stolen property. Grigg was arrested by Chickasha police earlier this week in connection with a Grady County Sheriff's investigation regarding the stolen go-cart. Grigg was also wanted for failure to pay on a 2015 guilty plea on a domestic violence case, in which he received a two-year deferred sentence. Grigg remains in jail on a $39,000 bond. He's to be back in court June 28th to announce his attorney with a preliminary hearing conference set for July 11th.
Alleged Stalker Faces Misdemeanor Charge
A man charged with stalking a department store employee is charged with a misdemeanor in connection with the alleged assault. 26-year old Brian Clinton Cooper of Chickasha was arrested at Wal-Mart this week when a worker complained that Cooper followed her around the store, hugged her and touched her hair, and lifted up her shirt to put money in her pants pocket without her permission. Cooper remains in jail pending a $2,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney June 28th, with the case scheduled for the misdemeanor disposition docket July 13th. Cooper pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges out of Alex in 2015.
Memorial Day Ceremony Features Special Forces Vet
A ceremony to remember military veterans who lost their lives in combat will be held at the Grady County Veterans Memorial on Monday. Memorial Day was originally set aside to honor those who died in the Civil War, then was expanded to include all men and women who died while serving their country. The Oklahoma Veterans Recognition Committee will hold the ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Monday at the Veteran's Memorial in Shannon Springs Park. Guest speaker is Mark Oschenbein, retired from the Army Special Forces, who now works with the national Soldier's Wish Program. Following the Monday ceremony, the Chickasha Elks Lodge will serve free lunch to veterans and their spouses.
USDA Cost-Share Conservation Funds Available
Landowners wanting to implement conservation programs might consider taking advantage of a USDA program that will help fund those improvements. Eligible landowners can receive up to $5,000 with this cost share program. Funds may be used to implement soil conservation practices like cover-crop planting; forage and bio-mass planting; critical area planting; and even ponds and water wells. The cost-share rate is 75 percent of the state average cost. Applications will be accepted through June 25th. Information is available from local Conservation District offices.
Grady County Sheriff's 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, you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. State Representative David Perryman, D-Chickasha will re-cap some of the activity during the recently completed legislative session at the state capital on our KOOL Konversation program. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, we're talking to Lee Ann Smith with the Oklahoma Home Finance Agency, which offers down-payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. We have links to both programs elsewhere on this website. Find them under the Community tab.
Friday, May 25th
Project to Revitalize Anadarko Gets EPA Approval
A project designed to make some big improvements in Anadarko will get help from a federal agency. The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that its offering financial assistance to the Delaware Nation to improve Anadarko's quality of life. The help will come from a program called the Local Foods, Local Places Initiative. It's part of a Trump Administration plan to promote agriculture and rural prosperity. According to an article published on the website www.okenergytoday.com the Delaware Nation would create a community anchor for physical activities, and healthy, local food. Among the projects are a permanent farmers market; the development of a walking and biking trail; creating a community garden that will help manage stormwater run-off, improve air and soil quality, and reduce waste through composting. No dollar amount was revealed by the EPA. The program is also supported by the USDA, the Centers for Disease Control and the Delta Regional Authority.
Retired Marine Walking Across America
While many will take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend with trips to the lake or other family gatherings, a retired Marine will continue his walk across the country to help wounded veterans. Retired Gunnery Sgt. Roy Brady is in Oklahoma this week. He spent the last couple of days at Ft. Sill, and will be walking toward Chickasha this weekend. Brady's cross-country walk started in San Diego in March. He'll wrap up his walk in New Jersey later this year. Brady is raising funds and awareness for a group called the Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge. It's for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Brady has some personal reasons for the journey. He says his brother and a friend both committed suicide after serving in the military. For information about Brady's mission, go to the website www.combatwounded.org You can follow him on Facebook at Gunny Roy Brady's Walk 4 Warriors, or #majorwalk
Alleged Stalker Arrested After Following Woman at Work
A Chickasha man arrested on a stalking complaint has twice pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges. Plus, he's currently on probation after pleading guilty to felony charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and escape from custody. Chickasha police arrested 26-year old Brian Clinton Cooper Wednesday afternoon. He's accused of following a department store employee while she was working. It's alleged he hugged her, played with her hair, put money in her pants pocket, and even followed her to her car. The victim said she did not give the man permission to do so, and that his actions scared her. Cooper is in the Grady County Jail awaiting his initial appearance on any charges that may be filed by prosecutors.
Suspect in Custody in Connection with Go-Cart Theft
A man wanted in connection with the theft of a go-cart is behind bars. 25-year old Chason Grigg was arrested by Chickasha police Thursday morning. The Grady County Sheriff's Office asked for the warrant after investigating the go-cart theft back in March. A few weeks ago, Chickasha police pursued a pick-up driven by Grigg which had a go-cart in the back that matched the description of the one that was stolen. Grigg is in the Grady County Jail pending his initial appearance on a misdemeanor count of knowingly concealing stolen property.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil is $70.71 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is$78.79.
Natural gas is $2.94 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,309 and silver is $16.70
Thursday, May 24th
Special Needs School Bus Driver Caught Texting, Driving
A Chickasha woman is in trouble for texting while driving a school bus filled with special needs students. It happened in Sulphur this week, where video believed to be from a student’s cell phone shows Darla Skinner texting while driving the bus. Skinner is a teacher at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur. School Superintendent Larry Hawkins says that Skinner was given a letter of reprimand. Our partners at KWTV News 9 also indicate the Department of Human Services may investigate. The incident happened Monday, while Skinner was taking some students on a field trip. Hawkins said they've never had any prior complaints about Skinner. A grandmother of one of the students says Skinner is not a bad person, but that people could be crying for the rest of their lives because someone was foolish enough to want to send a message while driving.
SUV Crashes into Cemetery Fence
There were some frightening moments for an SUV driver, when the vehicle jumps a curb and crashes through a fence at a cemetery. It happened about 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at Chickasha’s Rose Hill Cemetery in the 900 block of Grand Avenue. Normally there is a lot of traffic on that street however no other vehicles were involved. Chickasha police say the SUV was headed east on Grand Avenue and veered into the westbound lanes. The SUV jumped the curb and flipped, crashing on to and through the fence, and landed in the cemetery on its side. The SUV driver, whose name has not been released, was not hurt. No tombstones in the cemetery were damaged. City officials say more than 100 feet of the decorative fence will have to be replaced. Estimated cost is about $6,000. City Manager John Noblitt said it's not known when the fence can be replaced. They had a hard time finding the same style of fence when having to replace it from a previous crash.
State Rep Sounds off on Health Department Probe
A grand jury investigation into a scandal at the state health department apparently found no wrong-doing, but many state officials say the scandal is far from over. State Representative David Perryman D-Chickasha said officials put state money into hidden accounts, however says there was no misuse of funds.
No indictments were issued by the grand jury, and Perryman said that's because the panel said no laws were broken.
Weekly Food, Fun Program Starts Next Week
A program to make sure children don't go hungry during summer vacation will resume next week. It's the Summer Food and Fun program offered by the First Presbyterian Church. Volunteers meet on Wednesday evenings through the summer to assemble sack lunches and some healthy take-home snacks for the students. The children also get free books. The program will start next Thursday, May 31st at the church at 6th and Minnesota, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will run for 10 weeks. It’s for all school children under the age of 18.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.82 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.80.
Natural gas is $2.91 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,300 and silver is $16.56.
Wednesday, May 23rd
County Employee Survives Tractor Fire
A county worker mowing grass on a rural Grady County road is uninjured when his tractor burns. The tractor caught fire about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday while mowing in the Ninnekah area, just south of State Highway 19 on Sooner Road. The driver was identified as Alfred Smith, according to District 2 County Commissioner Kirk Painter. Painter said Smith tried to put the fire out himself but was unable to. The Ninnekah Fire Department was called to put down the flames. Painter said the tractor is a total loss but they were able to save the mower. The tractor is a 2015 model, 115-horsepower 6115 M John Deere. Painter said they had just bought it from a sale in Elk City in March, and just got it out of the shop. He thought they got a good deal by paying $49,000 for a tractor with low miles, valued at $84,000. Painter said it wasn’t clear what started the fire.
Motorcyclist Dies From Crash Injuries
A motorcyclist involved in a crash near Elgin last month has died. 65-year old Stephen Jones of Duncan passed away of his injuries recently in an Oklahoma City hospital. The accident happened on April 19th about five miles south of Elgin. Jones was traveling on a county road when his 2017 Harley Davidson ran off the roadway and he was thrown from the bike. The highway patrol reports that Jones was wearing a helmet.
Blanchard Man Hurt in Cushing Collision
A Blanchard man is among several people hurt in a traffic accident near Cushing. 61-year old Charles English was taken to an urgent care clinic in Oklahoma City after the crash Tuesday morning. Two passengers in the other vehicle from Cushing - including a 9-year old girl - were hospitalized and last reported in stable condition. The Highway Patrol reports that English failed to yield at a four-way stop sign and collided with the driver’s side of the other vehicle.
Calls to Tobacco Quit Line Increase
Health officials say the news that the price of cigarettes will be going up later this year has led to an increase in the number of people wanting to kick the habit. John Woods is the director of the Oklahoma TSET program, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. Woods says more smokers are calling the toll-free hot-line to get help.
Woods spoke to those attending a Chamber of Commerce program regarding the Grady County Healthy Living program, and TSET's mission to encourage all Oklahomans to live healthier lives. The helpline is 1-800-QUIT-NOW. First time callers can get free lozenges and patches to help them in their effort to stop tobacco use.
Chix Police Take Part in 'Click It or Ticket' Campaign
The Chickasha Police Department will be among numerous law enforcement groups taking part in the Click It or Ticket campaign over the next couple of weeks. More than 300 agencies will be enforcing the state's seat belt laws as part of the Memorial Day holiday. Officials say the effort is more about saving lives than it is handing out tickets for seat belt violations. The Click It or Ticket Campaign runs through June 3rd.
More Outdoor Concerts Set this Summer
There will be a lot of opportunities to enjoy music outdoors this summer. In addition to TwisterFest at the Muscle Car Ranch next month, the USAO Alumni Association will begin a summer concert series. It's called Listen Local at the Greek. Those tall columns you see on the USAO campus just off Grand Avenue is a Greek theatre. Starting June 22nd, the alumni association will hold a concert at the theatre once each month through August. USAO Director of Alumni Development Misti McClellean says nationally known recording artist with local roots, Travis Linville is the first artist.
The music programs are free and open to the public. They'll start at 7:30 each evening. You're invited to bring coolers with food and beverages, chairs, and blankets.
Wind Company With Local Interest Expands
NextEra Energy, said to be the most valuable power company in America, is expanding even more. The company owns wind farms in this region and throughout the state, and will spend several billion dollars to acquire power companies in Florida. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports Next Era will spend nearly $6.5 billion to purchase Gulf Power, Florida City Gas, and its interests a couple of natural gas plants. The purchase will be made with more than $5 billion in cash as well as some assets. Next Era will also assume $1.4 billion in debt. Earlier this year, Next Era Energy Partners announced it had acquired almost 300 megawatts of wind power capacity in Oklahoma from its sponsor, Next Era Energy Resources
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.13 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.57.
Natural gas is $2.90 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,301 and silver is $16.55.
Tuesday, May 22nd
New Housing Starts on the Rise
Local economic development officials say one of the big factors preventing new companies from expanding operations to the Chickasha area is a lack of housing. The Chickasha City Council takes another step toward helping to solve that problem. Last night, the panel approved the final plat to allow Home Creations to add more single-family homes in the on-going expansion of the Sleepy Hollow Addition. Home Creations has built a number of new homes in that neighborhood over the last couple of years. Earlier this year, the council previously approved the construction of about 35 new homes in the north part of the city. Officials are working on long-range plans to build high-end single family homes in the price range of $250,000 and higher.
TwisterFest Wins Council Approval
The council also approved a plan for Curtis Hart to hold a three-day concert at his Muscle Car Ranch. The measure passed unanimously with minimal council debate. Hart and several supporters spoke about the benefits of TwisterFest, including long-time supporter and former City Councilman Howard Carpenter. Carpenter said Hart has had some previous issues with the city, but asked the current council look to the future.
TwisterFest will be held the weekend of June 15th, and will include the headliner band Firefall.
YMCA to Manage City's Swimming Pool
The council also approved a contract between the city and the Chickasha Area YMCA to let the organization manage the swimming pool at Shannon Springs Park. The group has managed the pool for several years.YMCA Director Lewis Knicely is hoping the pool can be open this weekend - and said if things go well - it could open as early as Friday. Right now, plans are for the pool to be open to the public both Saturday and Sunday. Normally, the pool is closed to the public on Sundays, although private parties can be scheduled. Knicely said YMCA members get free admission to the pool when it’s open to the public. Admission for non-YMCA members is $5.
Next Phase of Plans OK'd for New Storage Business
Construction is already underway for another storage business in the region. What will be known as Chickasha USA Storage is being built on Almar Drive next to Jake's Rib and J. Danielle Salon. The Chickasha City council approved an ordinance for the short-form plat for the business during last night's meeting.
Sun Screen Use Recommended
Oklahoma has already had some temperatures in the 90s and there's a lot of sun in the forecast for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Too much fun in the sun without protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays can spoil the long days out doors. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension says using sun screen properly will help.
Sun screen should have an SPF Factor of at least 15. Routh also says to check the expiration date if you have old tubes or bottles of sunscreen. Products without expiration dates typically have a shelf- life of about three years.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $72.24 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.22.
Natural gas is $2.81 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,294 and silver is $16.61.
Monday, May 21st
Lindsay Woman Dies in Weekend Traffic Accident
From this past weekend, there was a fatal traffic accident at the Tabler Y east of Chickasha. 27-year old Kayla Blake Braziel of Lindsay died in the crash that happened about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Tabler Y is about six miles east of Chickasha. The Highway Patrol reports that Braziel was westbound on State Highway 39 and failed to yield from a stop sign. Her vehicle was hit by a pickup driven by 46-year old Niles Thomas of Fayetteville, Arkansas who was westbound on U.S. Highway 62. Thomas, and an unidentified nine-year old girl in the truck with him were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where they were both treated and released. Two other people in the pick-up, an adult woman and an unidentified eight-year old boy were not hurt.
Lighting Blamed for House Fire
Lightning is said to be the cause of a house fire in Chickasha yesterday. The fire erupted just after 3:00 p.m. Sunday in the 900 block of West Iowa. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said they were called in to assist Chickasha firefighters with the blaze. Myers said the home was being remodeled. There was no word on damage.
Music Festival, Traffic Light Plan on Tap for City Council
A three-day music festival, and going out for bids for some traffic signal modifications are among the items to be discussed by the Chickasha City Council tonight. TwisterFest is scheduled for June 15th through 17th at the Muscle Car Ranch. The council will consider allowing that event to be held. Regarding the signalization project, officials want to see traffic move more smoothly on 4th Street between the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and Choctaw Avenue. The council will also go behind closed doors to discuss the status of negotiations with the fire and police unions. The council may adopt a memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 and the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041 regarding new collective bargaining agreements for the 2019 fiscal year which starts July first. The council will also consider approving an ordinance for the final plat for more new home construction in the Sleepy Hollow Addition. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
County Mineral, Surface Rights Owners to Meet
Issues affecting mineral rights owners will be discussed during the annual banquet of the Grady County Mineral and Surface Owners Association tomorrow night. Guest speaker is Dr. Shannon Ferrell from Oklahoma State University, who is well-versed in contracts, as well as oil-and-gas, and agriculture. Ferrell will also review solar and wind issues as they relate to surface owners. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Grady County Fairgrounds. For information, call the Grady County Extension Office, 405-224-2216.
Sample Ballots Out for June 26th Primary Election
Sample ballots are available for the June 26th primary election. The ballots can be seen at local county election boards. There are numerous Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. Locally, there are three candidates for District Judge in Grady and Caddo counties. There are also three Democratic candidates for Grady County Commissioner in District Three; and three Republican candidates for the District One Commissioner post. There is also a Republican primary for McClain County Commissioner in District 3, and both a Republican and Democratic primary for McClain County Commissioner in District 1. By the way, the final day to register to vote in the June 26th primary is Friday, June 1st. Register at your county election board, or pick up applications at most any tag office, post office, or library. Applications may also be downloaded from the state Election Board website which is www.elections.ok.gov
Water Needs for Livestock
Water needs for livestock increase during spring and summer months. Shiann Burns with Grady County OSU Extension talks about typical water needs for cattle.
Other factors which determine water consumption is whether the herd has any shade. Wind may also help animals get some relief from the heat.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.28 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $78.41.
Natural gas is $2.84 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,284 and silver is $16.36.