Mollman Media News Archives for 2019-07

2019, July 22-27

Saturday, July 27th

 

2nd Alleged Copper Thief Charged

We're continuing to follow-up on the recent arrests made in connection with spools of expensive copper being stolen from oil field locations. The most recent suspect arrested, 47-year old James Brannon Swanson of Blanchard, went before a Grady County judge Friday to hear a formal charge filed against him by prosecutors. Swanson is facing a felony charge of possession of stolen copper. He was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond. Swanson and 34-year old Steven Hickman of Duncan were both arrested this week, after allegedly taking 80-pound spools of copper from oil field locations near Blanchard. Hickman has been charged with knowingly concealing stolen property. It wasn’t clear if their arrests are connected. Hickman is also out of jail after posting bond. Both suspects are to be back in court August 15th to announce their attorneys with their preliminary hearing conferences set for early September.

 

'Old' Grady County Jail Now Empty              

The top floor of the Grady County Courthouse is now empty after dozens of jail inmates have been moved out of the building and into the newer facilities operated by the Grady County Criminal Justice Authority. The group's new 200-bed facility one block east of the four-story jail recently passed all inspections from the state health department and fire marshal's office. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said there were 75 inmates being housed in the jail on the top floor of the courthouse. Gerlach said the inmates were moved last week, with some of the inmates were placed in the new annex, while others were taken to the facility right behind the courthouse. County commissioners on Monday are expected to take formal action to close the old jail for good. Plans are to renovate the entire floor, with the possibility of the district attorney's office re-locating there.

 

American Legion Bikers Have Unique Mission              

Two separate groups of motorcycle riders with the same mission will soon meet in the middle of America. And an Oklahoma group of motorcycle enthusiasts will take part. Together, the groups are making a trip of nearly 1,900 miles. They are participating in what’s called the American Legion Centennial Ride. One group will start at the U.S. Mexico border in Texas and the other at the U.S. Canadian border in North Dakota. The groups will be connecting two halves of a banner dubbed “Legacy and Vision.” Oklahoma American Legion Riders are part of the Team Vision group riding north. They will be riding along U.S. Highway 281 which has been named American Legion Highway. They will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin next Saturday. The group traveling from Canada is carrying the Team Legacy banner. Both banners are being signed by post commanders of American Legions along the route. The two parts of the banner will be united when the riders meet in Great Bend, Kansas next Sunday. The banner will then be presented to the American Legion’s National Commander at the group’s national convention next month.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. The next Leadership Chickasha program will be getting underway in September. Cassandra Ersland, Paul Lewis, Johnny Trammell, and Mary Ann Burruss will discuss the Chamber of Commerce program on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Interim Chickasha School Superintendent Jennifer Stegman and school board president Zack McGill will be talking about the district preparing for the upcoming school year. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, July 26th

 

Man Hides Under Bed of Ninnekah Home              

A Ninnekah man is in custody after it’s alleged he broke into an apartment and hid underneath a bed to surprise a woman who lived there. Authorities arrested 31-year old Jesse Evan Newberry after a 9-1-1 call was made to the Grady County Sheriff's Office Tuesday night. A probable cause affidavit from law enforcement indicates the man who owns the apartment has a shop next door. He noticed a suspicious man in the apartment, where his granddaughter and great-granddaughter live. The property owner called his granddaughter and asked if someone was there, and she told him no. After an initial search, they didn't find anybody but following another search a few minutes later, they found the suspect under a bed. The suspect left the home on foot, and the property owner called 9-1-1. En route to investigate, authorities saw a man that matched the suspect's description and took him into custody. The affidavit alleges Newberry eventually admitted to hiding under the bed, wanting to surprise the woman. Newberry is charged with a misdemeanor for breaking and entering. He remains in jail pending a $25,000 bond. Court records indicate the victim asked for and received an emergency protective order against Newberry.

 

Update on Oilfield Copper Thefts

Now a follow-up to the story we had yesterday about thieves stealing copper from oilfield sites. Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins says two arrests have been made in the Blanchard area this week alone, with other arrests made over the last few weeks. Blevins says the crooks are taking large spools of copper in hopes of taking it to a recycling center in exchange for cash. Each spool weighs about 80 pounds and costs about $3,000. One of the suspects arrested this week has already been charged with a felony. Steven Layne Hickman of Duncan is out of jail after posting bond. A second suspect who is in custody, James Brandon Swanson of the Blanchard area, is awaiting his initial appearance after being arrested on complaints of entering with intent to steal copper and receiving, possessing, or transporting stolen copper.

              

Crews Replacing Leaky Gas Pipelines at CHS

Work crews are on site at Chickasha High School replacing underground natural gas pipelines. A gas leak was discovered by an employee a few weeks ago, so the gas was shut off to the entire campus. There has been no hot water at the school since the leak was detected and Interim Superintendent Jennifer Stegman says there was no water at all yesterday. Stegman says the contractor is able to replace the gas lines without digging.

 

              

 

The school board declared an emergency in order to waive competitive bidding for the project, so the work could be completed before school begins August 15th.

 

WFEC, Next Era OK Pact for Wind, Solar Energy              

An agreement between Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) and Next Era Energy Resources is expected to result in the development of the largest combined wind, solar, and energy storage project in the nation. The agreement would allow WFEC to purchase 200 megawatts of battery-stored power from a Next Era wind farm in northern Oklahoma. The website OK Energy Today reports that the Next Era Skeleton Creek project will be located in northern Oklahoma in the Garfield, Alfalfa and Major county region.  It will eventually have the ability to generate 250 megawatts of solar energy. The first phase for the wind power is expected to be online by the end of this year, with solar power storage not operational until 2023.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.02 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $63.39.

Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,431 and silver is $16.47.

 

 

Thursday, July 25th

 

Copper Theft Suspects Arrested

The theft of copper from oil field and construction sites seems to be on the rise again. Grady County authorities have made two such arrests in the last few days. 34-year old Steven Layne Hickman of Duncan was taken into custody after a spool of copper was taken from an oilfield site near Blanchard late Monday night. Hickman has been formally charged with a felony for knowingly concealing stolen property. He is out of jail after posting a $5,000 bond. Sheriff's deputies made a similar arrest yesterday. In custody is 47-year old James Swanson, who is being held on complaints of entering with intent to steal copper; and receiving, possessing or transporting stolen copper. Details of that arrest were not available this morning.

 

Okla. Congressmen Schedule Chickasha Stops              

Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and 4th District Congressman Tom Cole will both be in Chickasha over the next few weeks. Sen. Inhofe will be meeting with business leaders on Monday, August 5th.  It was previously announced that Congressman Cole will be in town on Wednesday, August 21st. Both lawmakers will have roundtable discussions with the help of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. The meeting with Sen. Inhofe will be at InterUrban starting about noon.  The gathering with Congressman Cole will be at the Chamber office  starting about 11:30 a.m. Space is limited for both events so chamber officials ask that you make reservations early. Cost is $12 per program for chamber members and $15 per program for prospective members.

 

Chickasha Schools Release Start Times

Classes will start a little later for some students at Chickasha schools for the upcoming school year. Students at Grand Elementary and the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center will be starting school at 8:30 a.m. which is 15 minutes later than last year. The school day will end a few minutes later with dismissal time set for 3:15 p.m. Start times will remain the same for Lincoln, the middle school and high school. The school day at each of those sites will start at 7:45 a.m. The new times were approved in a special meeting of the school board this week. Chickasha schools will get started on Thursday, August 15th.

 

Career Techs Prepare for High School Students              

In addition to public schools re-opening soon, Oklahoma's career tech schools will be welcoming high school students back to their campuses. Canadian Valley Technology Center in Chickasha and El Reno, and Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb are among the career techs in the region that remain open year-round for their adult students in training. However the influx of high school students will swell their classrooms within the next few weeks. A number of career-tech students spent part of their summer in various national competitions, and a Rush Springs native helped Canadian Valley earn a second consecutive award. Ryan Looper, a welding student at the El Reno campus, was part of the six-member team of adult students who brought back another top award in the Chapter Business Procedure competition. It requires students to be proficient with Roberts Rules of Order, to properly conduct meetings.

 

Actress Returns for More Filming in Grady County

For the second time in a week, a Hollywood actress was in Grady County filming some scenes for her upcoming movie. Bella Thorne and a production crew spent several hours filming at the historic Vivian's Café in Verden Wednesday. Thorne's movie is called Southland. Reagan Elkins, whose local company Intellego Media was serving as the location management firm, says things went well. Thorne was in Chickasha just last week to film a chase scene for the movie.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.88 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $63.18.

Natural gas is $2.23 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,439 and silver is $16.57.

 

 

Wednesday, July 24th

              

Fairgrounds Upgrades Bring New Events to the Area              

A few years ago, Grady County voters approved the extension of a county-wide sales tax to support the county fairgrounds. Proceeds from that sales tax are paying for the construction of the climate-controlled Event Center which was completed a couple of years ago. Over the past year, the fairgrounds hosted 225 different events with many of them held over several days. Fairgrounds director Andy Maher says the facility is among the best in the state for its size, and considers it to be ranked right behind facilities at the Oklahoma and Tulsa state fair parks. Maher says the Grady County Fair Board, which operates the fairgrounds, wants to keep it that way.

 

              

 

Recently, the fairgrounds has hosted a three-day monster truck show and a three-day professional team roping event. Coming up this weekend are programs with the Oklahoma Horse Show Association and the Oklahoma Appaloosa Horse Club.  Coming up next month, the annual Grady County Fair scheduled August 22nd through 24th.

 

SW Oklahoma Air Quality Improving: EPA

Air quality in southwest Oklahoma is getting better. That's according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report shows significant improvement in the Wichita Mountains region over the last 20 years. Part of the report is reviewed by the website www.okenergytoday.com

It states that coal-fired power plants in Texas were to blame for haze issues. The EPA, National Park Service, and other agencies monitor visibility trends in most of the country's 156 national parks and wilderness areas. The report stated that air pollutant emissions are declining, despite the claims to the contrary from some environmental groups.

 

Back-to-School Events Scheduled              

Summer vacation will be coming to an end for Oklahoma school children soon. Back-to-school events are scheduled to help students get prepared. The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will have a program at its legislative district office in Lawton at the end of the week. Gift cards will be provided to eligible tribal members, and students or parents must have proof of Kiowa Tribal enrollment and a form verifying school enrollment. The gift cards will help with school supplies, clothes, shoes, and backpacks. That program is part of the tribe's Higher Education Grant program. It will be this Friday, July 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Kiowa Tribe's District 4 Legislative Office at 219 SW C Avenue in Lawton. Next week, Anadarko Public Schools will have its 8th annual back-to-school expo. It will feature a lot of information for students and parents, with free books, haircuts, physicals for student-athletes, food and some door prizes. That is Thursday, Aug. 1st from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Anadarko's Warrior Fieldhouse. On Saturday, August 10th, there's a community outreach for students in Chickasha schools. Free clothing and personal hygiene packets will be given away, and there's fun and games for the kids. That will be held at Shepherd Street Christian Church at 802 S. Shepherd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. that day. The outreach will continue Monday, August 12th with free haircuts at the Washita Valley Park Community Building from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Businesses and individuals who would like to help with donations to the Chickasha community outreach are asked to contact Rochelle Bowens by calling 405-408-4408.

 

OHP Cadet Academy Extends Application Period              

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is looking for applicants for its next cadet academy. Originally scheduled to begin this fall, the academy is now scheduled to start next February. A press release from the state Department of Public Safety indicates that candidates who have already moved through the initial phases of the recruitment process will continue. Current candidates will now have the option of selecting up to three areas where they would like to be assigned, once completing the academy. An extended application period is now underway and runs through Saturday, Aug. 31st. Interested individuals might reach out to the highway patrol through social media or by contacting the Department of Public Safety by calling 405-425-7000.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.77.

London-based Brent crude is $63.83.

Natural gas is to $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,426 and silver is $16.56.

 

 

Tuesday, July 23rd

 

Area State Lawmaker Won't Run for Re-election

State Representative David Perryman won't be running for re-election next year. Perryman, who serves House District 56, is in his 4th term at the state capital. The Chickasha Democrat says it’s a struggle being in what he called the Super Minority. Only 24 of the 101 members in the state house are Democrats.

 

              

 

Perryman, who says he is a young 62 years old, wants to spend more time with family and his full-time law practice. He has served as the House Minority Floor Leader the last four years. Perryman will keep his seat through the fall of 2020. Perryman says among his accomplishments is the increase of the state's gross production tax, which he said is a big benefit to school districts.

 

Escapee Back Behind Bars              

An update to a story we had this past weekend, about an escapee from a halfway house. Reports indicate that 29-year old Christopher Coffey is back in custody. Coffey was serving a 10-year sentence for vehicle theft and assault and battery out of Stephens County. He went missing about two weeks ago when he and some other inmates went to a church outing. KSWO-TV reports that Coffey was found by Cleveland County authorities yesterday. No details about the arrest were available.

 

Suspect Faces Lewd Act Allegation

A Chickasha man is accused of lewd acts with a child. Chickasha police were called to an apartment complex on East Country Club Road to investigate the complaint. A mother told police her eight-year old daughter was the victim. A probable cause affidavit filed by police indicates the suspect told the victim he was going to show her an amusement park ride on his cel phone when the act occurred. The suspect admitted to drinking prior to the incident. Authorities arrested 39-year old Thomas Phillip Brent Love. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony for lewd or indecent acts to a child. Love is out of jail after posting $30,000 bail.

 

USAO Food Pantry Gets Help

USAO is teaming up with the Regional Food Bank to help fill the campus food pantry. The campus co-op is open to all students who are in need. John Bobb-Semple is with the Regional Food Bank-

 

              

 

USAO started the co-op with a grass-roots effort in 2015. Bobb-Semple said organizers are retro-fitting the space they have to help as many students as they can.

 

More Ft. Sill Soldiers Back Home

Another unit of soldiers from Ft. Sill has returned from an overseas mission. Members of the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery are back home after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. About 350 soldiers are with the "Dragon Slayer Battalion”. Their homecoming was held just a couple of hours before the return of the "Red Dragons" 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Division which just completed a 9-month mission in South Korea.

 

Silver Alert Cancelled          

A Silver Alert issued for a man missing from Oklahoma City has been cancelled. Authorities on Monday issued the alert for 63-year old Willie Jordan who went missing from his home earlier this month. The Silver Alert was issued just before noon but Oklahoma City police canceled it a couple of hours later.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.22 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $63.26.

Natural gas is $2.31 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,418 and silver is $16.44.

 

 

Monday, July 22nd

 

Preliminary Autopsy Shows Chickasha Man

Shot Seven Times in Officer-Involved Shooting

There’s new information today regarding the death of a man who was shot and killed by Chickasha police earlier this year. 47-year old Kevin Capers was shot seven times by police in a confrontation at a Chickasha home back in March. The report from the State Medical Examiner's Office indicates there were five penetrating gunshot wounds, one perforating wound, and one that grazed his back. Police were called to a home where a man was said to have been armed with a knife. Reports indicate that Capers first cut himself and then attacked police. It was reported that as many as three police officers were suspended, pending an investigation. The officers have not been identified, and the investigation is believed to be on-going.

              

Jobless Rate Steady Despite Loss in Energy Sector              

The jobless rate in Oklahoma remained steady from May to June of this year but there were fewer jobs in the oil and gas industry. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports unemployment last month was 3.2 percent, with more than 58,000 people without a job and seeking work through the state agency. Oklahoma has a total labor force of more than 1.8 million people. The oil and gas industry is included in the Mining and Logging sector for employment. There were more than 52,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry in June, which is down 200 from May and down 500 compared to June of 2018.

 

Ft. Sill Soldiers Return from Deployment              

A homecoming celebration at Ft. Sill over the weekend, as nearly 300 soldiers wrapped up a deployment in South Korea. Family and friends were more than happy to make the trip to Ft. Sill despite the 2:30 a.m. reunion Sunday morning. Members of the "Red Dragons" 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Division spent nine months in Southeast Asia. The homecoming comes just six days before Korean War Rememberance Day. This Saturday marks the 66th anniversary of the armistice that brought to a close the involvement of the U.S. and its NATO partners in Korea.

 

Congressman Cole Schedules Chickasha Stop

4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole will be in Chickasha next month. Cole is scheduled to have a roundtable discussion with the chamber of commerce and its members on Wednesday, August 21st. Lunch will be provided at a cost of $12 for chamber members and $15 for prospective members. Space is limited so interested individuals should contact the chamber as soon as possible. The program is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

 

Leadership Chickasha Schedules Next Class

Also, the chamber is making plans for its next Leadership Chickasha class. Participants meet one day a month over a seven-month period to learn about business, government, education, and issues that impact the community. The program will be starting in September. Applications are currently being accepted and are available at the chamber office or on-line at www.chickashachamber.com

 

Blanchard Sets 'National Night Out'

Residents in Blanchard are invited to meet the men and women who serve with the police department. In conjunction with the National Night Out, the City of Blanchard city will have family-friendly activities and a meet-and-greet with police officers. There will be inflatables for the kids, live music, and free hot dogs. Blanchard's National Night Out will be Tuesday, August 6th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Highway 62 and Jackson in the food truck lot.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.63 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $62.47.

Natural gas is $2.22 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,426 and silver if $16.36.

 

 

2019, July 1-6

Saturday, June 6th

 

Councilman Explains Proposal to Rename

City Street for Civil Rights Pioneer

Re-naming a Chickasha street after a civil rights pioneer would be beneficial for the city in a cultural way. That's according to City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, who has been pushing for the city to do more to honor the work of Ada Sipuel-Fisher. Her landmark lawsuit against the University of Oklahoma in the 1940s led her to become the first black student at the OU School of Law. Helping her in the lawsuit was a young attorney by the name of Thurgood Marshall - who would go on to become a  U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Ashanti-Alexander tells KOOL/RANCH News-

 

              

 

The city council will have a work session Monday night to discuss the proposal. Currently, Ada Sipuel Avenue runs from 4th Street east through the neighborhood where Ada Sipuel grew up. Ashanti-Alexander is suggesting that Idaho Street from 4th Street west to 30th Street be re-named in her honor.

 

Ft. Sill Soldiers Prepare for Deployment

More soldiers from Ft. Sill will soon deploy overseas. Troops with the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery division will be leaving soon for South Korea. A ceremony to encase the flags of the unit was held earlier this week. A similar ceremony to unfurl the colors will be held when the unit returns. According to the Lawton Constitution, Lt. Col. James Raines says this is the second rotation of the troops to southeast Asia, to support the last of the remaining permanently forward-stationed fighting force in the U.S. Army. Rains said the soldiers will wield the Army's all-weather, surface-to-surface destruction weapon of choice between 30 and 300 kilometers, and that the troops will do their part to deter aggression and maintain peace on the Korean peninsula.

 

Gov. Stitt Continues Crackdown on State Agencies

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt takes action against state agencies which have entered into expensive contracts with external lobbyists. Stitt yesterday signed an executive order to make permanent a restriction on those agencies. Back in January, Stitt's second ever executive order required state agencies to submit a list of every contract lobbyist hired, and the amount of each contract dating back the last four years. Stitt says he found out that several agencies were spending over $1 million a year on contract lobbyists to advocate for their own special interests. In a press release, Stitt said those efforts skirt transparency laws, and empowers agencies to ignore mandates set forth by state voters. The order is permanent for as long as Stitt is governor. He said Oklahomans are united around a vision to make Oklahoma a Top Ten state, and that he'll continue to pursue common-sense reforms to ensure state agencies are in alignment.

 

Cyril Rodeo Wraps Up Tonight

Family events in the area this weekend include the 55th annual Cyril Rodeo. In addition to the rough stock events like bull riding and bronc busting, there's an open barrel racing category, and even barrel racing categories for juniors and pee wees. There's mutton bustin’ and even businessman's wild steer saddling event. The Cyril Rodeo wraps up tonight with Grand Entry at 8 o'clock. Tickets are $8 at the gate, with kids five-and-under, free.

 

 

Friday, July 5th

 

Drownings Reported at Southwest Oklahoma Lakes

It was a deadly Independence Day holiday at a couple of lakes in southwest Oklahoma. Drownings were reported at Lake Ellsworth and Lake Altus-Lugert. Officials were called to Lake Ellsworth about 6:30 a.m. Thursday where it was reported a man went under the water and did not re-surface. A dive team recovered the body of 21-year old Fernando Esparza just after 9 a.m. At Lake Altus-Lugert, a man jumped out of a boat into about five feet of water at the North Shore swim beach and didn't re-surface. Bystanders pulled him out of the water and attempted to resuscitate him until paramedics arrived. 56-year old Robert Kolasch of Austin, Texas was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

 

One Hospitalized in Crash Near Bray

A Marlow man was hospitalized after a pickup careens off a county road and crashes into a tree in a creek bed. 35-year old Jerry Boyce was first air-lifted to a Duncan hospital, then taken by ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in fair condition with trunk, arm, leg, and internal injuries. Boyce was a passenger in a pickup driven by 56-year old Katrina Whitehead of Marlow who was not injured. The crash happened just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday about a mile north of Bray. The trooper investigating the crash sys Whitehead may have been distracted before running off the road.

 

City Council Work Session Scheduled to Discuss

Additional Honor for Chickasha Civil Rights Pioneer               

An effort for the City of Chickasha to more fully honor a civil rights pioneer resumes next week. The city council will have a work session Monday night to discuss the proposal to recognize Ada Sipuel. She broke the color barrier at the OU Law School by becoming the first black student to attend the school. Her case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The effort is led by City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander. Several years ago, the city re-named a portion of Idaho Street after Ada Sipuel, but only the portion of the street that runs through the neighborhood where she lived. The work session will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the city council chambers at city hall.

 

Road May Close for Filming Purposes              

A film crew is asking the city to close a road for one day. After Monday's work session, the city council will have a special meeting to discuss the temporary closing of Sooner Road from the Grand Avenue extension south to Country Club Road. City Manager John Noblitt said local resident Reagan Elkins is working with an unidentified production company to do some filming along that roadway. Noblitt said he didn't know the extent of the project. The temporary closing is scheduled for July 17th. 

 

Official Warns of Company Soliciting Property Owners    

Grady County officials are warning property owners to beware of an out-of-state company wanting to charge property owners for information that is free. The company called Property Profile, Inc. is sending letters to some property owners. County Clerk Jill Lock says individuals have brought these letters to her office - including an employee in the court house. The letter indicates the company is offering to compile a Property Assessment Profile and will obtain copies of deeds and other information at a cost of $86. The letter does indicate that it is a solicitation, and that property owners are under no obligation participate. The letter also states the service is NOT associated with any government agency, and that property owners can obtain their own copy of a deed or other county records for a nominal fee. Locke says you property owners can view all the documents at the courthouse at no cost, though a fee will be charged if you want copies.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Zelda Sullivan with the Oklahoma Blood Institute is this week’s guest on our KOOL Konversation to encourage individuals to donate blood during the summer months. We have a link to the program under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.34 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $63.82.

Natural gas is $2.29 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,416 and silver is $15.24.

 

 

Thursday, July 4th

No news reports due to the holiday.

 

 

Wednesday, July 3rd

 

Construction Complete on Grady County Jail Annex

Officials celebrated the completion of a new annex to the Grady County Jail on Tuesday. The new one-story building across the street from the sheriff's office will house just over 200 inmates. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said the project came in under the projected $4.2 million budget and they were able to double the initial estimate of beds. Gerlach credited the efforts of the Grady County Criminal Justice Authority, which oversees the operation of the jail. He also said it will finally fulfill a promise that was made nearly 20 years ago.

 

              

 

Gerlach said that with the addition of the new annex, the two jails could house up to 750 inmates. County taxpayers are not paying for the new construction. Gerlach said the funds come from the revenue derived from fees charged to federal, state, and other county agencies that contract with the jail to hold their prisoners.

 

Trucker Dies in Watonga Crash

A truck driver from Cement has died in a traffic accident near Watonga. 48-year old Jerry Wayne Smith died when his big rig ran off the highway, hit a creek embankment, and rolled. The accident happened about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 270 about five miles south of Watonga. Smith was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he died from his injuries. The trooper investigating the crash reports that Smith may have been sleepy while driving.

 

Mile-Long Sidewalk Planned for Chickasha

Chickasha officials hope to build a sidewalk that would run from Wal-Mart to downtown Chickasha in the next year. The city council this week approved a resolution to take part in a federal Community Development Block Grant Small Cities Program. The grant is from HUD, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's a more than $144,000 grant, which must be matched dollar-for-dollar by the city. City Manager John Noblitt said the city’s portion of the funding is included in the fiscal year budget that just started this week. Noblitt said the sidewalk will likely be built off the street.

              

              

 

The sidewalk will be about 6,500 linear feet in length, which is about 1 ¼ miles. Noblitt said the lack of sidewalks throughout the city was a big issue discussed during ward meetings that  were held earlier this year.

 

Boots and Badges Blood Drive Today              

We're always looking for ways to support local firefighters and law enforcement. Today, the first responders are asking us to help by donating blood. The annual Boots and Badges Blood Drive will be held this afternoon. It's a friendly challenge between the groups, to see if firefighters or law enforcement can bring out the most donors. The blood drive is conducted by the Oklahoma Blood Institute. It's in a new location this year, at the Canadian Valley Technology Center's Helen Ward Seminar Center. The blood drive is from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.25 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $62.40.

Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,428 and silver $15.25.

 

 

Tuesday, July 2nd

 

Muscle Car Ranch to Remain in Chix City Limits

The Muscle Car Ranch is staying in the Chickasha city limits. In a split vote, the city council voted against a proposal to de-annex the ranch. There's been a long-standing feud between the city and Muscle Car Ranch owner, Curtis Hart. Hart had filed a lawsuit against the city over its objections to him developing an RV park at the ranch. Councilman Kimmie Loggins said -

 

              

 

Hart had not asked for de-annexation. Rather, City Manager John Noblitt recommended the plan, saying it would save the city money in the future.

 

              

 

The council voted 6-3 against the de-annexation, with Mayor Chris Mosley, Tom Rose, Joe Molder, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Kim Loggins, and David Sikes voting against. Voting for the proposal were Jim Hopkins, Oscar Nelson, and Zack Grayson.

              

 Council OK's Separate De-annexation Plan             

The council did approve the de-annexation of about 57 acres of property on the east edge of Chickasha. This after the measure failed last month. In the June 17th city council meeting, the proposal failed to get the five positive votes needed for passage with only six council members attending that meeting. With all nine councilors present during last night's meeting, the measure passed by an 8-1 vote, with Mayor Chris Mosley recusing himself as he did at the previous meeting. Councilman Joe Molder, who voted against the proposal last month, voted in favor of the de-annexation last night.

 

One Injured in Crash Near Blanchard

A driver is taken to the hospital after a crash between Chickasha and Blanchard yesterday. 37-year old David Goingkeen of Anadarko was pinned briefly in the car before being rescued by the Naples volunteer fire department. The accident happened just before 8:00 a.m. Monday, about five miles south of Blanchard on Highway 62. The highway patrol reports that a tanker truck, an SUV, and Goingkeen were all traveling in the same direction. The tanker truck slowed to turn into a private drive, and Goingkeen rear-ended the SUV, then went off the road and overturned. It wasn't clear how seriously Goingkeen was hurt. The unidentified driver of the SUV was uninjured. We have video from the crash site on our Facebook page.

 

New Election Board Secretary in Place for Grady County              

Some changes have taken place at the Grady County Election Board. Long-time election board secretary Susan Turner has retired. She spent 12 years in that post, and previously worked eight years at the Grady County treasurer's office. A retirement reception was held for Turner last week. JoAnn Hames has been named the new election board secretary. She previously served as Turner's assistant. She was recommended for the post by State Sen. Lonnie Paxton, and won approval from the state election board. The new assistant election board secretary is Tonya Hodges, and Kim Foli is on staff as well.

 

Blanchard Celebrates the 4th of July Tonight

Blanchard is the place to celebrate the 4th of July early tonight. The Blanchard Parks and Recreation Department is hosting its community event to mark Independence Day. There will be live music with Banana Seat and The Oklahoma Symphonic Band, a carnival, and food trucks. Fireworks will get underway at dusk. The location will be at U.S. Highway 62 and 10th Street. Admission is free.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.94 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $65.06.

Natural gas is $2.26 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,395 and silver is $15.20.

 

 

Monday, July 1st

 

Victim Drowns in Freak Accident at a Farm Pond

A tragic accident near Ninnekah yesterday, when a woman drowns while mowing around a farm pond. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said the drowning occurred southwest of Ninnekah. Myers said the riding mower tumbled into the pond, and trapped the women underneath the water. It happened at a home on CS 2800 about four miles south of Highway 277. The woman's name was not available.

 

House Goes Up in Flames              

Fire crews spent about 2 1/2 hours battling a house fire yesterday. The fire erupted just after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, about two miles east of the junction of U.S. Highways 81 and 19. Fire crews from Chickasha, Ninnekah, and Alex were summoned. No one was home at the time of the fire. It wasn’t clear how much damage was done and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

Four Hospitalized After Cyril Accident

Several were people hospitalized after a teen driver crashes into a pick-up this past weekend. The accident happened just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday, west of Cyril on Highway 19. Two 16-year old Apache girls in the car were both air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. The passenger was admitted in critical condition and the driver admitted in fair condition. Their names were not released by the highway patrol. Two passengers in the pick-up - 77-year old Phillip Wetselline and  64-year old Verna Wetselline - were taken to a Lawton hospital and were last in fair condition.  The trooper investigating the crash reported that the teen driving the car went off the roadway and over-corrected, then crossed the center line and crashed into the on-coming truck the Wetsellines were riding in.

 

Trucks Collide; Two Hurt              

Two men are hospitalized when two pickups collide near Marlow. 67-year old Kenneth Davis of Marlow was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in serious condition. 49-year old Mikel Kloft of Lawton was taken to a Lawton hospital where he was last in good condition. That accident happened just after 1:00 a.m. Sunday about nine miles west of Marlow. The trooper investigating that crash said Davis failed to yield from a stop sign and did not have his headlights on.

 

De-Annexation Issues Back on Chix City Council Agenda              

The Chickasha City Council will once again consider removing two properties from the city limits. The de-annexation issues were both on the agenda for June 17th council meeting. A proposal to de-annex property east of Chickasha owned by Jerry and Elaine Knox failed, but three council representatives were absent. A proposal to de-annex the Muscle Car Ranch owned by Curtis Hart was tabled in that meeting. The council will also consider an ordinance to change the height  requirements for buildings in C-2 zoning, and hold a public hearing on a Community Development Block Grant for a proposed sidewalk improvement project. The group will also go behind closed doors to discuss a couple of lawsuits against the city, including one from Curtis Hart and one from former city employee Juliana Buckmaster. The closed-door meeting will also include an update regarding the on-going collective bargaining agreement discussions with the fire and police unions. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

July 4th Celebrations Continue

More fireworks are planned for this week, as we approach the 4th of July. Blanchard will have a pre-fireworks party tomorrow night, ahead of their fireworks display. The City of Chickasha will hold its Independence Day fireworks show at Shannon Springs Park on Thursday night, July 4th. About 20 businesses and individuals have contributed a combined $15,000 for the show. There's free admission to both the Blanchard and Chickasha fireworks shows.     

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.47.

London-based Brent crude is $66.55.

Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold is to $1,392. Silver is $15.30.

2019, July 15-20

Saturday, July 20th

 

Turnpike Re-opened After Morning Crash              

There was quite a mess on the H.E. Bailey turnpike this morning when a semi and a passenger vehicle collide. Fortunately, the OHP reports it was a non-injury accident, but traffic was slow-going for quite some time. The accident happened just before 5:00 a.m. this morning. It occurred in the westbound lanes of the turnpike, between mile markers 99 and 100. That’s not far from the junction on I-44 with State Highway 4. Both westbound lanes of traffic were blocked for a brief period while the site was cleared. It took about an hour and a half to completely re-open the interstate. No details about the accident were available.

 

Sleepy Driver Critically Injured

A driver is critically injured when his pick-up crashes near Ninnekah. 28-year old Jerad Snyder of Duncan suffered head, trunk, and arm injuries in the accident. He was initially taken to a Duncan hospital by private vehicle, then by ambulance to Oklahoma City. The accident happened about 6:30 a.m. Friday, about one mile south of Highways  81 and 277 at Half-Penny Road. The trooper investigating the crash said that Snyder was north bound when he fell asleep behind the wheel, ran off the road, hit a guard rail, and rolled one time. Snyder was not wearing his seat belt.

 

Halfway House Escapee Sought

Authorities are looking for an escapee from an Oklahoma City halfway house. Christopher Glenn Coffey was serving a 10-year sentence for stealing a vehicle out of Stephens County. He went missing July 11th when he left the Clara Waters Community Corrections Center with a group of fellow inmates for church. Authorities say Coffey has a previous conviction for aggravated assault and battery, also out of Stephens County. Coffey is Caucasian and 29-years old. He stands about 6'2" and weighs 270 pounds, with close-shaven brown hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo of a jester on his right arm and a tribal tattoo on his left arm. Authorities say not to approach Coffey or try to apprehend him but to call any local law enforcement office. Tips can be e-mailed confidentially to warrants@doc.ok.gov or through the Department of Corrections Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.

 

Holy City Looking to be Nationally Recognized              

A southwest Oklahoma landmark is getting closer to being placed among national historic locations. The Holy City of the Wichitas may soon be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Oklahoma Historical Society this week approved the Holy City an Oklahoma historical landmark. The Holy City was built in 1936. Officials are hoping the national designation will provide opportunities to receive grants to help them make improvements to the aging structures, now more than 80 years old. The Holy City is known for hosting Easter pageants each spring and has a museum that is open year-round.

              

More on Hollywood Actors in Chickasha

As you know, a couple of Hollywood actors made their way to Chickasha over the last few weeks. Bella Thorne was in town a few days ago to film a scene for her upcoming movie called Southland. The actress filmed a chase scene along Sooner Road on Wednesday. Thorne is now moving on to Guthrie, where a casting company is asking for extras to be in a bank robbery scene that will be filmed on Monday. The movie is said to be a crime drama about two lovers who rob their way across the country and post their work on social media, gaining followers and fame ala Bonnie and Clyde. Matt Damon was in Chickasha last month, said to be researching a role for his next film. It's now reported that the film will be called Stillwater. Variety Magazine reports that Damon will play an Oklahoma roughneck who travels to France to visit his estranged daughter. She's in prison and accused of a murder she claims she did not commit. Release dates for the films have not been set.

 

 

Friday, July 19th

 

Chickasha School Enrollment is Declining              

A new report shows the number of students enrolling in Chickasha public schools is falling. The report is from the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, which has released its tentative list of Average Daily Memberships (ADM) for Oklahoma school districts for the 2019-20 school year. The list shows the average number of students per day in school districts, and helps the organization place schools in their respective divisions for athletic, band, and scholastic competitions. The largest school districts are in Class 6A with the smallest school districts in Class C. Once a Class 5A school, Chickasha has been near the top of 4A in recent years. However, the new report shows Chickasha down to the middle of the pack in 4A with 599 students. That’s 13th out of the 32 schools in the class. Chickasha numbers have fallen behind regional schools like Elgin which has an ADM of 667; Blanchard’s ADM at 634; and Newcastle’s ADM at 606. Tuttle is just behind Chickasha with an ADM of 594. Anadarko, Bridge Creek, and Marlow will be designated as Class 3A schools. Bridge Creek's ADM is 419; Anadarko is 418 and Marlow is 380. The OSSAA board of directors will have the final say-so before the ADM's are considered official. See the full report:

http://www.ossaa.net/docs/2019-20/Classifications/MF_2019-20_ADMS.pdf

 

Mom Faces Child Neglect Allegation

A mother is charged with felony child neglect, after a toddler swallows a prescription allergy pill. 28-year old Alexis Reshell Veve-Howard surrendered to authorities yesterday, walking in to the Grady County Jail. A warrant for her arrest was issued back in May. The arrest warrant affidavit issued by Chickasha police indicates an officer was called to assist paramedics summoned to Veve-Howard's apartment in April. The document states an 18-month old child swallowed Promethazine, an allergy pill which is also used as a sedative. The document indicates the child was taken to the emergency room for treatment and testing. In the affidavit, the officer alleged that Veve-Howard maliciously failed to provide adequate supervision and failed to protect the toddler from exposure to illegal drugs. Marijuana was also reportedly found in the apartment. Following her initial appearance on the child neglect charge yesterday, a judge set Veve-Howard's bond at $30,000.

 

Blanchard Watering Ban Lifted

A ban on outdoor watering in Blanchard has been lifted. An emergency proclamation was issued July 9th due to some problems receiving water from Oklahoma City. The City of Blanchard's Facebook page said the issue was on Oklahoma City's end. The Facebook post indicates that Oklahoma City is back on course with its system and that Blanchard water towers are full again. Officials say, though, that Blanchard residents remain on a mandatory odd-even watering system. City officials also said that the city's splash pad has re-opened.

 

Rural Water Well Testing Still Encouraged

A warning for rural residents with water wells. The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says well water could still be contaminated due to flooding from this past spring. A lot of water wells were submerged during the flooding and the DEQ says even after all this time, there could still be bacteria left behind. Agency officials have announced that they will continue free testing of private water wells through August 15th. The free tests are available for residents in all 77 counties. Information regarding the free testing is available on the agency's website: www.deq.ok.gov

They recommend not drinking well water until it has been tested and disinfected.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. On our KOOL Konversation, John Bobb-Semple with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is this week’s guest. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, guests are Andy Maher and Jamie Jones with the Grady County Fairgrounds. There are links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.30 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $64.35.

Natural gas is $2.28 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,442 and silver is $16.41.

 

 

Thursday, July 18th

 

Two Die in Head-on Crash

A deadly head-on collision in Garvin County results in the deaths of the drivers of the two vehicles involved. 21-year old Dustin Davis and 24-year old Kylie Newey – both of Lindsay - died in the crash which happened four miles west of Maysville about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. The highway patrol reports that Davis was westbound on Highway 19 in a pickup, and Newey was eastbound in her car. Davis crossed the center line and crashed into Newey's vehicle. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

              

Part of Petree Road in Anadarko Closed Today

If you'll be driving through Anadarko today, a section of Petree Road is closed for repairs. The road will be closed between Highways 8 and 62 until about 4 o'clock this afternoon. An alternate route would be using Central Boulevard throughout the day.

 

Effort Underway for Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma

Organizers are preparing a state initiative petition drive in an attempt to put the Medicaid expansion issue to a vote of the people. A group called Oklahomans Decide Healthcare wants the federal health care program in Oklahoma - something that state lawmakers have turned down over the last 10 years. The Oklahoma Hospital Association is among the groups which support Medicaid Expansion. Patti Davis is the director of the group.

 

              

 

The initiative petition effort has not yet begun. Once it does, supporters will have 90 days to collect the signatures of 178,000 registered Oklahoma voters. Supporters are looking at getting the issue on a statewide ballot in November of next year.

 

Actress Bella Thorne Films in Chickasha

Hollywood actress Bella Thorne was in Chickasha yesterday, filming some scenes of an upcoming independent film. Thorne and a large cast were working along Sooner Road between Grand Avenue and Country Club Road. Thorne spent a little time at the InterUrban Restaurant, where she posed for a picture with employees which was posted on Facebook. Wikipedia shows the 21-year old actress gained notoriety as child actor CeCe Jones on the Disney Channel series Shake it Up. Her film credits include the 2014 movie Blended, which included Adam Sandler; the 2017 film Amityville: The Awakening; and a couple of 2018 films, Midnight Sun and Assassination Nation. Reagan Elkins of Chickasha served as the location manager for the film, tentatively called Southland. 

 

Driver Allegedly Causes Accident With Injury              

A Marlow man is alleged to have caused a serious injury to a passenger in his car while driving under the influence of drugs. 19-year old Devin Brisco was arrested after the accident that occurred south of Rush Springs Sunday afternoon. The trooper called to investigate the crash alleges that Brisco failed a field sobriety test and that there was marijuana in the vehicle. A woman and a 4-year old child in the car were both taken to a Duncan hospital for treatment. The woman suffered an arm injury. It wasn't clear how seriously the child was hurt. Brisco has been charged in Grady County District Court with felony counts of DUI with great bodily injury and child endangerment. He also faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge. Brisco is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

 

Hey! Hay Fair Entries Coming Up

The Grady County Fair is about a month away, and organizers are working to put the finishing touches on the annual event. Officials are already asking hay producers to be preparing their entries for the county hay show and the state fair hay show. Grady County OSU Extension will be taking hay show entries on Wednesday, August 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the county fairgrounds. Individuals will need either five small square bales, or one large round or square bale. Only the small bales will be entered at the state fair. Contact the extension office for more information.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.78 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $64.35.

Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,422 and silver is $16.11

 

 

Wednesday, July 17th

 

Details of  the Re-capture of  Jail Trustee              

A Grady County Jail trustee who ran away from a work detail Tuesday morning wasn't gone very long. Law enforcement had 40-year old Erick Starr back in custody within minutes of his escape. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said Starr was among several trustees unloading kitchen supplies from a truck when he decided to run. Starr took off into a residential area north of the jail, with corrections officers and sheriff's deputies on his heels. Sheriff Jim Weir said a woman who saw the escapee flagged down deputies and told them he ran into a creek, just a few blocks from the jail. Starr was taken back into custody without incident, only about six minutes after he escaped. Starr, who is from the Tulsa area, had been in the jail less than a month. He had arrests for larceny, drug possession, ordered to appear, and had outstanding warrants out of Texas. He's now likely facing escape charges. The district attorney's office will decide if local charges will be filed.

 

More Counties Approved for FEMA Help              

A number of central Oklahoma counties have been approved for FEMA disaster assistance from spring storms and flooding. Grady and Canadian counties are included on the list of 41 counties that are eligible. Gov. Kevin Stitt announced in a press release that the federal funding is available for city, county, and state government agencies, along with rural electric co-operatives to help pay for infrastructure repairs which occurred due to damaging tornados, straight-line winds, and flooding. Damage estimate throughout the 41 counties was estimated at $22 million. Some counties have been approved for individual assistance from FEMA because of storm damage, including Canadian and Kingfisher counties.

 

Tribal Chief Survives Re-call Effort              

The president of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes remains on the job, after an effort to remove her from office. A recall petition filed against Terri Parton has been dismissed. According to a press release issued by the tribe, the petition dismissal took place this past weekend. It was part of a ruling by the Court of Indian Offenses within the Southern Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A final vote to dismiss the petition was passed by tribal members in attendance, 123 to 39. The decision comes nearly two years after the recall petition was brought forth in September of 2017. Parton was first elected president in 2012 and she was re-elected in 2016.

 

Companies Help Chix Fire Department 

The Chickasha Fire Department gets some help in their fire-fighting and rescue efforts with contributions from a couple of businesses. At this week's city council meeting, fire chief Brian Zalewski presented a certificate of appreciation to USW for providing helmets and screw jacks to be used for trench rescue operations. Zalewski talks about how the screw jacks work.

 

              

 

USW also provided a number of modified helmets to be used in trench rescues. The contribution totaled about $2,400. Also, the fire department received about $3,000 from Oklahoma Electric Co-oerative's Operation Roundup program, to purchase 11 new fire helmets.

 

USDA Relief Progam Approved for Grady County

Grady County farmers and ranchers can apply for federal help to repair damage as a result of spring flooding. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says sign-up for USDA's Emergency Conservation Program will start next Monday.

 

              

 

Jackson said producers must be approved for the program before starting any projects. The sign-up runs from July 22nd through August 5th.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.62 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $65 to $64.35.

Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,403 and silver is $15.63.

 

 

Tuesday, July 16th

 

Jail Escapee Back in Custody              

BREAKING – An escapee from the Grady County Jail is re-captured just minutes after his escape this morning. Listen to KOOL News at noon today for details.

 

Council OKs Sale of City-Owned Land

A new motel being built near the Grady County Fairgrounds may be leading to some additional development in that region. The Chickasha City Council approved the sale of about 21 acres of city-owned land to a Mustang development company last night. City Manager John Noblitt tells what the company, HBIC,  is planning for that area.

 

              

 

Noblitt said the city is offering a number of incentives in order to try get the development started within a couple of years. The purchase price was $180,000 which was about $8,500 per acre.

 

Infrastructure Repairs Get Council Approval

The council approved a bid to replace a main water line and the repair of a reinforced concrete box at Congo Creek and Henderson Street. City officials did not recommend the low bid on the project, saying it was incomplete. Authorities recommended the second-lowest but most qualified bid of just under $128,000 which was submitted by H and H Plumbing. That's about $50,000 less than the engineer's estimate. The council also approved the purchase of a new ambulance to the tune of about $260,000. Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said the new ambulance will replace one which is now out of service after amassing about 200,000 miles. Zalewski said it would take about a year for the ambulance to be built. The city council also approved the purchase of a used SUV for the police department. The panel approved the purchase a 2017 Ford Explorer from another law enforcement agency for $25,000. The vehicle has about 50,000 miles on it.

 

Gun-Toting Homeowner Helps Nab Break-in Suspects

A couple of suspects alleged to have been involved in a residential break-in are held at gunpoint by the homeowner until police arrive. This happened Saturday night in the 100 block of Sooner Road. Chickasha and Ninnekah police and a Grady County sheriff's deputy answered the call. A probable cause affidavit from Chickasha police indicates that two women had gone to the home because they had been told there was a lot of stuff inside. The suspects found the door ajar and went inside. The affidavit indicated that video surveillance shows the women inside the home. Authorities arrested 45-year old Trenda Sue Haile and 44-year old Tricia Marie Missey, both of Chickasha. Both have been formally charged with a misdemeanor for breaking and entering. Haile's bond is $20,000. She was wanted for failure to appear, and prosecutors want to revoke her bond on previous charges. Missey's bond is $5,000. Both remain in the Grady County Jail.

                             

PSO Proposes New Power Plan

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has announced a new long-range plan that calls for the use of more renewable energy resources and natural gas to produce electricity. PSO has filed an application with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to add 675 megawatts of wind-generated power to its energy mix. The proposal reflects about a 45 percent share of the total power requested along with its sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Company. PSO issued a press release stating that the proposal includes part ownership in three Oklahoma wind farms located in north-central and northwestern Oklahoma. It represents a $2 billion investment in Oklahoma and it's projected to save PSO customers over $1 billion. Currently, wind power makes up about 20 percent of the energy provided to PSO customers. The new plan also includes using natural gas and solar power to provide electricity over the next decade.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.58 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $66.48.

Natural gas is $2.40 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,416 and silver is $15.43.

 

 

Monday, July 15th

 

OHP Investigates Truck-Train Crash              

A dump truck and a train collide just south of Minco yesterday. The accident happened just east of U.S. Highway 81 and CR 1210, which is about two miles south of Minco. No details of the accident were released by the highway patrol other than to say CR 1210 was blocked  until another train crew could arrive.

 

Two Hospitalized in Truck Rollover              

Two people were hospitalized in a rollover accident near Sterling. 41-year old Charles Hale of Sterling and 38-year old Alicia Harrel of Fletcher were taken to a Lawton hospital. Hale was admitted in serious condition, and Harrel admitted in fair condition. The accident happened about 2:00 a.m. Sunday on Meers-Porter Hill Road three miles northwest of Sterling. The highway patrol reports that Hale was driving the truck when it went off the road, hit a bridge support, rolled, struck a fence, then landed in a creek bed. The trooper investigating the crash reported an odor of alcohol in the truck.

 

Ambulance, Street Repairs on tap for City Council              

A new ambulance and some street repair bids are among the discussion items for the Chickasha City Council tonight. The panel is expected to authorize the purchase of a new ambulance at a cost of nearly $260,000. Officials say it would replace an ambulance that has exceeded its useful life. The unit has nearly 200,000 miles on it. The Grady Emergency Management District would reimburse the city 10 percent of its cost. The council may also award bids to make concrete street repairs to both Maple Lane and Ponderosa Drive. The Public Works Department is recommending that low bids submitted by Bordwine Development be approved for both projects. Bordwine's bid was just under $20,000 for Maple Lane. The highest of three bids on that project was $28,000. Bordwine's bid of just under $46,000 for Ponderosa Drive was significantly lower than one other bid, which was more than $115,000. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Stephens County OK'd for FEMA Help 

Stephens County is one of several areas approved for federal help to clean up from spring storms. 18 Oklahoma counties were approved for FEMA assistance to help city, county, and state governments as well as rural electric coops with infra-structure repairs. Early estimates are that damage, debris removal, and response costs was $7 million. Oklahoma is still awaiting word on a request for a federal disaster declaration for public assistance for 41 counties as a result of flooding and severe weather which occurred, where damage has been estimated at $22 million.

              

Library Sets Moon-Landing Anniversary Program

This week marks the 50th anniversary of man first walking on the moon. The Chickasha Public Library will host a program at Centennial Park tomorrow night to commemorate the event. It's part of the library's summer reading program, Universe Stories. The library installed ten reading stations at Centennial Park this spring, and the new story is "I Took the Moon for a Walk." Courtney Mayall with the library says tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission, and they have a lot of activities scheduled.

 

              

 

The program is free, and will run from about 8:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. The library will also be showing a video of the original Apollo 11 launch and moon landing.

 

Ducklings Rescued from Storm Drain

Now for an animal rescue story with a happy ending. Chickasha Animal Control Officer Layce Graham saved some ducklings that were trapped in a storm drain. The City of Chickasha's Facebook page indicates that Graham rescued the tiny birds during the heat of the day on Thursday. There were nine ducklings in all. Six of the ducklings were re-united with their motherand three were taken to a new home at Wildcare.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.21 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $66.72.

Natural gas is $2.45 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,417 and silver is $15.35.

 

 

2019, July 8th-13th

Saturday, July 13th

 

Murder Trial to be Set for Cyril Man              

A man accused of the shooting death of an individual in Lawton earlier this year will go to trial for murder. 28-year old Johnny Jones of Cyril was arrested after allegedly shooting two men in January. One of the victims died and a second was hospitalized. KSWO-TV reports that Jones has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case, clearing the way for the case to go right to trial. The trial will be scheduled at a formal arraignment later this month. A witness identified Jones as the trigger man in the shooting death of Joshua Seavert.

 

One Dead in Turnpike Crash              

A Blanchard man has died when his van crashes and flips over the concrete barrier on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 27-year old Nickolas Harbison died in the accident that happened near Mile Marker 91 just northeast of Chickasha early Friday morning. The state trooper dispatched to the accident reports that Harbison was westbound on the highway when he ran off the road, over-corrected, and hit the concrete median. The van then rolled 2 1/2 times and flipped over the concrete barrier, and landed upside down in the eastbound lanes.

 

Women Faces Child Abuse Allegation              

A woman is charged with child abuse after allegedly trying to drag a teenager out of a house by her hair. 30-year old Amanda Rightmire was arrested by Chickasha police Thursday. Officers were dispatched to a home near Shannon Springs Park to investigate a 9-1-1 hang-up call. A probable cause affidavit filed by police indicates the teen had a large bump on her head and scratches on her collarbone, stomach, and hands. The document indicates a 9-year old boy in the home witnessed the confrontation. Prosecutors have filed a felony charge of child abuse against Rightmire. She is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

 

Officer OK After Being Kicked by Suspect

A Chickasha police officer is OK after being kicked in the stomach by a woman believed to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Authorities were called out to a minor traffic accident near 17th and Tennessee early Friday morning. Officer Hayden Jarrett was dispatched to the scene. Two other officers were questioning a woman they say backed into a parked car. A probable cause affidavit indicates the woman became belligerent, and was placed inside a patrol car. When Hayden started reading her the implied consent for a field sobriety test, she starting kicking and yelling at the officer. Jarrett was kicked in the hand and stomach. The woman even broke the officer's body camera. In custody is 21-year old Marissa Leeann Bryce of Chickasha, who prosecutors have charged with a felony count of assault on a police officer, and misdemeanor counts of DUI and malicious injury to property. She remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

 

Chickasha's EDC Director Resigns

After just over a year on the job, the director of Chickasha's Economic Development Council (EDC) has stepped down. Cody Mosley resigned from the panel this week. His resignation was accepted during a special meeting of the EDC’s board of directors yesterday. Mosley helped to create some new investment in downtown Chickasha, and credited a partnership between the EDC and City of Chickasha for doing so. Mosley said he hopes similar investment will continue.


              

Mosley says he has accepted a new job with the Oklahoma Career Tech Education system, where he will be working in workforce and economic development. EDC board chairman Jay Epperson said the search for a new director is already underway.

 

 

Talk Show Topics

Patti Davis with the Oklahoma Hospital Association is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, we have Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt, along with Mike Jump and Debbie Segroves with U.S. Water Corporation, the city's private contractor for water and waste water treatment. There are links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, July 12th

 

Pursuit Ends with Arrest

of Suspect with Criminal Record

An ex-con finds himself in more trouble with the law, after trying to elude police in a pursuit. The pursuit took place Tuesday afternoon, as Chickasha police attempted to pull over a motorist for what is believed to be a routine traffic stop. Details of the chase weren't immediately available, but officers were finally able to get the driver to stop. Authorities arrested 46-year old Ralph Junior Nixon of Blanchard on complaints which include eluding, reckless driving, having a broken windshield, and driving with a suspended license. Prosecutors have filed felony charges against Nixon that include endangering others while eluding, and having a firearm after felony conviction. Nixon has previous felony arrests for burglary, drug possession, and even escape from a penal institution. Nixon remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.

              

Co-Worker Accused in Alledge Sexual Assault              

Now a follow-up to a story we had yesterday about a man arrested on a sexual assault complaint. It's alleged that 21-year old Albert Justus Tarwater made an inappropriate advance towards a co-worker. A probable cause affidavit filed by Chickasha police indicates the assault occurred in the break room at the Goodwill store Tuesday afternoon. The victim told authorities that Tarwater's actions made her uncomfortable, and that she raised her voice and asked him to stop. The victim left the room and told the store manager. Police say video surveillance supports the victim's account of what happened. Tarwater remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

Group to Protest in Lawton              

Another protest is scheduled in Lawton tonight, as Ft. Sill prepares to house unaccompanied migrant children now at the U.S. and Mexico border. Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps will be held at Lawton's Shepler Park. The program will begin about 9:00 p.m. The Lawton Constitution reports that Lights for Liberty is a loose coalition of grassroots activists, with support from long-standing immigrants' rights organizations. A previous protest against the housing of the children was held by a different group last month.

 

Binger Police Get Body Cameras

In Binger, police officers will soon be wearing body cameras. Thanks to a grant from the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group, the Binger Police Department will be added to the long list of law enforcement agencies that now use the cameras. The nearly $5,000 grant allowed the department to purchase three cameras for officers. They'll be in use as soon as the cameras can be programmed.

 

Fairgrounds Hosts World Series of Team Ropers              

Team ropers from several states will be in Chickasha this weekend competing for thousands of dollars in prize money, and looking to qualify for a national competition later this year. The World Series of Team Roping has three days of competition at the Grady County Fairgrounds. James Watson is coordinating this weekend's event.


              

 

Teams are paying anywhere from $300 to $400 per event. There's an open event at 2:00 p.m. today, with roping starting at 9:00 a.m. Saturday and 8:00 a.m. Sunday. The group will be using both indoor arenas at the fairgrounds tomorrow at Sunday. The public is welcome to check out the competition at no charge.

 

Free Concerts in Chickasha Tonight, Tomorrow

There are a couple of free outdoor concerts in Chickasha this weekend. Tonight, USAO is hosting another Listen Local at the Greek event. Kansas City-based Victor and Penny will be performing their swing-infused, folk-jazz music with their trio, the Loose Change Orchestra. Bring your family, lawn chairs and blankets to tonight's concert at the Greek theatre, just off 16th and Grand. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Tomorrow night, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce hosts its ongoing summer concert series. Performing will be Beau Jennings and the Tigers. Jennings won the international Woody Guthrie Folk Festival songwriting competition in 2017. He was nominated for a Heartland Emmy for his film about the life of Will Rogers which aired on public television stations across the country. There will be kid friendly events starting at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night with face-painting and inflatables, and a food truck and beer vendor will be on hand. The concert will be held at 3rd and Chickasha Avenue and begins at 7:00 p.m.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.20.

London-based Brent crude is $66.52.

Natural gas is $2.42 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,408 and silver is $15.15.

 

 

Thursday, July 11th

 

Search Begins for New Chix School Superintendent              

The Chickasha school board is in no hurry to find a new permanent superintendent for the district. Former superintendent Jack Herron had his official last day on June 30th, after he and the board came to terms on a separation agreement. In the meantime, Jennifer Stegman, the district's assistant superintendent and chief financial officer is serving as the interim superintendent. School Board President Zack McGill says Stegman is being paid an additional $1,500 per month stipend along with her regular salary for the extra duties. McGill said the school board has contracted with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to find candidates. McGill said the $7,500 fee is well worth the cost as the group will actively recruit candidates and hold community meetings in Chickasha to get input to try and find candidates who would be a good match. McGill said the opening will be posted in early September for six weeks before any interviews take place. McGill said it could be November or later before a new permanent superintendent is in place.

 

June Construction Projects in Chix Nears $2 Million

June was a good month for new construction in Chickasha. The city’s Community Development Department approved 20 building permits totaling nearly $2 million last month. In the commercial sector, Bruce Bates was approved to build a new truck repair building at U.S. Highway 81 and Pikes Peak Road. That will be a more than 12,000 sq. ft. facility at a cost of some $875,000. Grady Memorial Hospital was awarded a $250,000 building permit to construct some new business offices just north of the actual hospital. Bordwine Development was approved for a $150,000 project to build some retail shops at 420 West Grand Avenue, next to Joe's Maytag. The Double B RV Park in the 700 block of North 13th was approved for $172,000 in new construction, and a contractor for Arvest Bank was awarded a $75,000 permit to install a drive-up ATM which is currently under construction at 17th and Grand. In residential construction, a $150,000 remodel project was approved for a home at 101 Todd Estates. For the first six months of the year, new construction in Chickasha is just under $8.4 million. That compares to more than $17 million for the first half of 2018; $22 million in 2017; and $11 million in 2016.

 

Suspect Jailed in Sexual Assault Case

A suspect arrested in connection with a sexual assault investigation is in jail on a $250,000 bond. Chickasha police were dispatched to the 800 block of Grand Avenue Tuesday afternoon, where they arrested Albert Justus Tarwater. According to on-line court records, prosecutors have charged the 21-year old  Blanchard man with a felony count of sexual battery. Tarwater is scheduled to be back in court in two weeks to announce his attorney, and a preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for Aug. 7th.

 

Residents Oppose Plans for RV, Boat Storage Site

A Chickasha businessman is again facing opposition in his efforts to create an RV and boat storage facility. Several property owners who live near the proposed site were on hand to protest a re-zoning request for the facility at this week’s meeting of the Planning Commission. Kelly Boyd has been unsuccessful in his attempt to create the facility just north of 29th and Georgia over the last few years. City Planner Gene Winsett said that after a public hearing, the Commission voted to not recommend the re-zoning. The Planning Commission is only an advisory group. The re-zoning issue will go to the Chickasha City Council next month for a final decision.

 

Teen Hospitalized After Truck Roll-over

A Chickasha teenager was injured when the pickup he was driving ran off a county road and overturned. The unidentified 17-year old was taken by a private vehicle to a Norman hospital with arm injuries, where he was admitted in fair condition. A passenger in the truck, 18-year old Brittney Brown of Blanchard, was not hurt. The accident happened southeast of Amber just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. The trooper called out to the accident said the teenaged driver whose name was not released was traveling at an unsafe speed on a gravel road. Both occupants of the truck were wearing their seatbelts.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.43 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $67.01.

Natural gas is $2.44 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,423 and silver is $15.29.

 

 

Wednesday, July 10th

 

New Chix School Board Member Takes Oath of Office

A local businesswoman has been appointed to serve on the board of education for Chickasha Public Schools. Dr. Christy Clift was sworn in to office during last night's school board meeting. She has an optometry office downtown.

 

 

School board clerk Kelly O'Hair issued the oath. Clift fills the seat left vacant after the resignation of Doug Brown this past spring. She'll serve through next April.

 

Natural Gas Line Leak Found at CHS              

School officials hope to have a natural gas-line leak at the high school repaired by the time school starts next month. The school board declared an emergency in order to waive the competitive bidding process and find a contractor to get started on the project as soon as possible. A school employee discovered the leak and CenterPoint Energy has shut down the line, so there is no hot water at the high school right now. One school official estimated several hundred feet of pipeline may have to be replaced. Chickasha students will return to class on August. 15th.

 

Water Treatment Process

to Change Temporarily in August              

The City of Chickasha's water supply will be going through a change in the next few weeks. Officials at the water treatment plant will be temporarily changing the chemicals used to treat the water. Officials with U.S. Water Corporation - the city's private contractor for water treatment - will be switching over to a free-chorine addition for the month of August. Officials say this is done every summer to remove sediment that has built up over the last year. Residents may initially notice a 'swimming pool' like odor, taste, and cloudiness during the transition, but officials say the water will be safe to drink and use. Officials will be flushing water hydrants during this time, to help move the free chlorine through the system faster. USW officials say consumers who experience the initial changeover should run the tap water for a couple of minutes. The changeover will begin August 1st.

 

County Residents Selected to Leadership Oklahoma              

A couple of Grady County residents have been accepted into the next class of Leadership Oklahoma. Chickasha City Councilman and Vice Mayor Kimmie Loggins of HSI Sensing and Alex School Superintendent Jason James are among those selected for the 33rd annual class. 52 individuals will meet once a month for ten months to visit several communities to discuss social, environmental, and economic issues. Leadership Oklahoma was founded in 1986 and more than 1,600 individuals have taken part in the program.

 

Caddo County Author

to Address Library Friends              

A monthly summer program by the Friends of the Chickasha Library offers you the opportunity to meet Oklahoma authors. For July, Caddo County rancher Pete Hammert will share some homespun stories and discuss his newest release, "Secondhand Cowboys, a Slice of Life in Early Day Anadarko, Oklahoma." The program will be next Thursday, July 18th, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Grady County Historical Society Museum in downtown Chickasha. Cost for the lunch is $10 and reservations are required by Monday, July 15th. For information, contact the Chickasha Library, or contact Jana Dabney by calling 405-824-5118.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.83 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $64.16.

Natural gas is $2.42 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,397 and silver is $15.15.

 

 

Tuesday, July 9th

 

Tense Discussion Held Regarding

Proposed Street Name Change

A discussion about re-naming a Chickasha street after civil rights pioneer Ada Sipuel had some tense moments during a work session of the Chickasha City Council last night. The sensitive issue of race relations in the city came into play. City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander hoped that wouldn't happen. He wants the city as a whole to recognize the important work of Dr. Ada Sipuel-Fisher.

 

              

 

A proposal to re-name Idaho Avenue west of 4th Street to honor Sipuel was opposed by several residents and property owners. Many said there are better ways to honor her than to have a street named after her. Others complained that the one mile section of a street which currently bears her name is not enough to recognize her accomplishments. Several proposals were discussed during the hour-long work session, including building a monument or a statue in Sipuel-Fisher's honor at a local park;  naming a bridge on the H.E. Bailey turnpike in her honor, or naming part of the new Highway 81 bypass after her. No formal decisions were made during the work session. Future discussions are expected to be held.

 

Chix School Board May Appoint New Member              

A new member is expected to be sworn in to serve on the Chickasha Board of Education tonight. The panel will have an executive session to discuss appointing someone to fill the post left vacant when Doug Brown resigned in June. If a prospective candidate has been found, the individual will take the oath of office. The school board will also go behind closed doors to discuss the contract of interim superintendent Jennifer Stegman, and also review collective bargaining discussions with the Chickasha United Teaching Association and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees. The school board meets at 6:30 tonight at the school administration building. The school board held a special meeting yesterday to discuss the search for a new permanent superintendent, and the characteristics and criteria to be used for the search.

 

Film Crew to Visit Chickasha              

Chickasha was abuzz recently when actor Matt Damon was seen in town, said to be researching a role for an upcoming movie. Another Hollywood star may be coming to Chickasha later this month, to film part of an independent film that is in currently in pre-production. Reagan Elkins of Chickasha has a firm called Intellego Media said he is working with a production company as a location manager. Chickasha is one of several Oklahoma sites selected for filming. Elkins is working conjunction with the Oklahoma Film Commission. Elkins says there are several movies in various phases of filming right now in the Sooner State.

 

              

 

Elkins says he's not at liberty to say who may be in town. The Chickasha City Council last night approved the temporary closing of Sooner Road  from Grand Avenue south to Country Club Road next Wednesday, July 17th for the filming. As many as 50 production crew members are expected to be on hand.

 

USAO Names New Associate for Alumni, Fundraising

USAO has a new staff member to help with alumni development and fundraising. Sarah Stagg has been named Associate Director of Alumni and Development. Stagg earned a master's degree in higher education administration from OU and also earned a bachelor's degree in communication. According to a USAO press release, Stagg spent time in several departments while studying at OU, including graduate assistant for both the Student Life office and for the alumni association. She also served as an intern for Donor Engagement Services. At USAO, Stagg will serve as the point of contact for all development events and help direct annual fund solicitations. USAO Director of Development JP Audus said Stagg has a track record of success and will bring enthusiasm and a high level of professionalism to the university.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.66 per barrel.

London based Brent crude is $64.11.

Natural gas is $2.40 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,391 and silver is $15.04.

 

 

Monday, July 8th

 

Truck Fire Closes State Highway

A late-night truck fire shut down a state highway between Chickasha and Purcell last night. A semi hauling oil-based drilling mud caught fire on State Highway 39 near Dibble about 1:00 p.m. Sunday. The highway was closed for about 45 minutes just west of the Grady-McClain County line. Three units and five fire fighters from the Naples Volunteer Fire Department were called out to the blaze. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers says the driver reported hearing a "popping" noise similar to a tire blowout. The driver pulled over to check out the noise and noticed flames near the rear axle of the truck. Myers said the driver was not hurt and no hazardous materials were spilled. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

City Street Name Change Plan to be Discussed 

An informal work session of the Chickasha City Council is scheduled tonight, to discuss a proposal to re-name a city street. The group will discuss possibly changing Idaho Avenue to Ada Sipuel Avenue - from 4th Street west to 30th Street. Property owners along the route were mailed notices announcing the work session and seeking input on the suggestion. A proposal to more properly honor Ada Sipuel Fisher for her civil rights work in the first half of the 20th century has long been supported by City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander. He says he's heard minimal opposition to the plan.

 

              

 

Ada Sipuel was the first black student admitted to the OU Law School, after a lawsuit against the university went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in her favor. The work session will be held at 5:30 p.m. today at city hall. Right after the work session, the council will have a special meeting to discuss the temporary closing of Sooner Road between Grand Avenue Extension to Country Club Road for one day later this month.

 

PSO Working on Future Power Plans              

Public Service Company of Oklahoma is going back to the drawing board when it comes to generating electricity for the future. PSO's Windcatcher program - which would have been the second-largest wind-power project in the country - was rejected by the State of Texas. PSO's Tim Hushbeck says the utility has sent out some request for proposals for alternative plans, and expects a new plan could be unveiled.

 

              

 

Hushbeck said with the new proposal, PSO would use much of its existing transmission lines.

 

New Substitute Teacher Workshop This Week              

Here’s a reminder that Chickasha schools will have an orientation for new substitute teachers for the coming school year. Candidates should bring a photo ID with Social Security Card and their bank's direct deposit information. Candidates need to have a high school diploma and will have to pass a background check. Substitute teachers can be former or retired teachers, college students, or anyone looking for flexible, part-time employment. The workshop will get underway at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, July 11th at the school administration office. For information, contact Whitney Molder at the office or by calling 405-222-6500.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.51

London-based Brent crude is $64.23

Natural gas is $2.41 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,407 and silver is $15.07.

June, 24-29

Saturday, June 29th

 

Rush Springs Man Jailed Following Pursuit

A Rush Springs man is in custody after leading authorities on a high-speed chase on his motorcycle. We're just learning of the pursuit that happened last weekend, where police were trying to make traffic stop on a motorcycle on the Highway 81 bypass west of Duncan. The Lawton Constitution cites court records that indicate speeds during the chase topped 90 miles per hour as the biker headed west on Highway 7 toward Lawton, weaving in and out of traffic and forcing vehicles off the road. The perp ended up ditching his bike, and then tried to elude officers on foot, but officials were able to track him down and haul him back to the Stephens County Jail. 23-year old Michael James Petisca Brown of Rush Springs was charged with a felony for endangering others while attempting to elude after former conviction of a felony. He's also charged with driving with a suspended license. Brown is being held in the Stephens County jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond and has applied for a court-appointed attorney.

 

Woman Dies in Accident Near Ft. Cobb

A 19-year old Caddo County woman has died after her pick-up runs off a Caddo County bridge. Amy Diane Sells of Binger died in the crash that occurred before dawn Friday. The accident happened just after 4:30 a.m. and about eight miles north of Ft. Cobb. The highway patrol reports that Sells ran off a county road and over-corrected, hit a bridge guard rail and went off the bridge, with the truck landing upside-down. The trooper investigating the accident alleged Sells may have been under the influence of illegal drugs.

 

State Horse Group Competes in Chickasha

For those of you who enjoy working with horses, The Oklahoma Horse Show Association is in Chickasha today for one of its six competitions the group is holding in 2019. Jaclynn Gray of Edmond is the president of the group, which has about 200 members throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas. Horsemen from as far away as Iowa also compete. About 90 individuals and as many as 140 horses will take part in today's event at the Grady County Fairgrounds. There are divisions for the young and young-at-heart, with one division for kids as young as five years old. There will be more than 70 different competitions, with riders looking to earn points toward an end-of-year awards ceremony. Admission is free, and there are numerous vendors on hand. The group will hold another competition at the Grady County Fairgrounds July 27th, one in October at the McClain County Expo Center in Purcell, and the season-ending competition will be back in Chickasha in November. Check out the group's website: www.okhsa.com

              

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley the guest is Gary Caimano with Western Enterprises, the company that provides the fireworks for Chickasha 4th of July celebration at Shannon Springs Park. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, June 28th

 

New Superintendent Named for Tuttle Public Schools

A lot of heads are turning with the announcement of the new superintendent for the Tuttle Public School district. Keith Sinor, the former athletic director for Oklahoma City Public schools, was named the new superintendent earlier this week. The Oklahoman reports that Sinor brought millions of dollars to Oklahoma City through his fundraising efforts. Sinor was recently promoted to a new position created for him at Oklahoma City - Director of Athletic Partnerships and Program Support. Tuttle athletic programs have had a lot of success of their own over the last few years, including seven state championships in the last school year alone. Tuttle voters also just passed a $35 million bond issue that will include installing artificial turf on the football, baseball, and softball fields. Sinor takes over the superintendent's post from Bobby Waitman, who was recently named the new superintendent at Tishomingo.

 

Chix Police Lieutenant Earns Medal of Valor              

A Chickasha police officer is honored for his work by the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. Lt. Traye Alexander was awarded a Medal of Valor at the group's annual state conference in Durant this week. A news release indicates that Alexander was selected for the honor for his bravery while negotiating with an armed suspect in extreme weather conditions. The situation ended peacefully. The Medal of Valor is the second highest award presented by the board of directors for the state police chiefs.

              

Group Seeks to Place

Medicaid Expansion on State Ballot              

A group which supports the expansion of Medicaid into Oklahoma is preparing an initiative petition effort which they hope will put the proposal on a statewide ballot. The group called Oklahomans Decide will need to collect the signatures of nearly 180,000 registered voters to put the measure on the ballot in November of 2020. The coalition includes doctors, hospitals, health care advocates, patients, and non-profit groups. Some 200,000 Oklahomans would benefit from Medicaid expansion. The group says many uninsured adults have jobs that don't come with health insurance. Those workers also earn too much to qualify for existing Medicaid, and too little to afford care on the health insurance exchange. If approved, supporters say it would bring more than $1 billion in funds back to Oklahoma. A press release from the group indicates that 36 states are taking advantage of the program. The federal government would provide 90 percent of the funding for the program. Under the plan, an individual with an income of less than $17,000 a year and a family of three with an income of less than $28,000 a year would qualify.

 

Early Independence Day Celebrations this Weekend

America is about to celebrate its 243rd birthday and some communities will be celebrating a few days early. Independence Day is July 4th, however Anadarko and Lindsay will both host activities tomorrow. Anadarko’s Honor America celebration will be held at Randlett Park. It will start with a 5K run in the morning, followed by three-on-three basketball tournaments, a rock wall, inflatable games, food trucks, vendors, live music, and ending with fireworks tomorrow night. Lindsay’s "Freedom Fest" activities start at noon at George Brown Park. There will be more than 50 vendors, live music, a dunk tank, inflatables, and the Marlow Gunfighters will cause trouble every hour. There's a petting zoo and Chickasha's Friends Fur Change will have a pet adoption. There's a day-night golf tournament at the golf course, with the second round of the tournament held after the fireworks.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.43 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $66.55.

Natural gas is $2.32 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,415 and silver is $15.27

 

 

Thursday, June 27th

 

Fee to Pick Up Tree Limbs Starts Next Week

Starting next week, the City of Chickasha will charge residents $50 if city crews are called out to pick up tree limbs and other brush. This has been a free service, but officials say the fee  is needed to offset rising costs of labor and maintenance of the grapple truck that picks up the brush. It's one of several new fees that were approved recently by the city council. City Manager John Noblitt said residents can avoid the fee by using the free bulk pick-up service available from the city's private sanitation contractor, Waste Connections. The company provides two free bulk pick-up services for residents each month.  It does include brush, although it must be tied into three-foot long bundles and about 18-inches in diameter. Noblitt said anyone currently needing tree limb pick-up services now will not be charged the new fee, as long as they call by the close of business tomorrow. New callers will be added to the current list and will not be charged, even if the brush can't be picked up until after the first of the month. Noblitt also said the fee would be waived after severe weather or ice storms cause widespread tree damage and during times of city-wide clean-up campaigns. You can call the city to get more information about the service by contacting the Public Works Department by calling 405-222-6080.

 

U.S. Senator Disputes Claims of Ft. Sill Protesters

A plan to house hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children at Ft. Sill drew a protest in Lawton last weekend. Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe says complaints that the children would be forced to live in conditions similar to prisoner-of-war-camps aren’t true.

 

              

 

We had a chance to talk with Inhofe earlier this week about the border crisis, the escalating tensions with Iran and other issues. Hear the interview in its entirety on our KOOL Konversation program this weekend.

 

Will Gasoline Prices Spike This Summer?

Could gasoline prices being going up in the near future? Fuel prices traditionally rise for the summer driving season but costs have not escalated much this year. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission points to a problem that may cause a spike in the price we pay at the pump.

 

              

 

Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

 

Chix Schools to Host Orientation

For New Substitute Teachers

While students and teachers are enjoying summer vacation, you may find it hard to believe that classes for many schools will be back in session in six short weeks. The Chickasha school district is already looking for new substitute teachers for the upcoming year. An orientation for the new subs will be held in a couple of weeks. The workshop will be held on Thursday, July 11th at 8:00 a.m. in the school administration building at 900 Choctaw Avenue. Substitutes should bring an ID, Social Security card, and direct deposit information. For any questions, call the administration office at 405-222-6500.

 

Parents Urged to Limit Screen Time for Children

Kids may have a tendency to play more video games and watch more TV than they should during the summer. Beth Armstrong reports from Grady County OSU Extension that the added screen time could lead to health problems.

 

              

 

Armstrong says parenting specialists recommend kids take a break from screen time to play with friends outdoors, and to turn off the TV, phones, and video games while eating. They also say youngsters should not play video games in their bedrooms.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.38 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $66.49

Natural gas is $2.29 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,408 and silver is $15.31.

 

 

Wednesday, June 26th

 

Police Officer Allegedly Offered Teen Money for Sex

The Town of Cement is looking for a new police officer. That's after its only law enforcement official has been arrested for allegedly offering to pay a teenager for sex. 41-year old Stacy Don Burger was arrested Monday, following an investigation by the Chickasha Police Department. It's alleged that Burger met a 16-year old girl at her home and offered to pay her a lot of money for sex. Documents on file at the Grady County Courthouse say after the teen refused, Burger asked if she had any friends that might be interested. The teen told Burger he was sick. The affidavit indicates that Burger confessed. He's being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. If convicted he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In the meantime, The Cement Board of Trustees met yesterday and fired Burger. The Caddo County Sheriff's Office is working to provide patrol and police services for the time being.

 

Lawmaker Says Dems, GOP Often Work Together              

Chickasha State Representative David Perryman says it took a joint effort of Democrats and Republicans at the state capital last year to raise the state's gross production taxes. His weekly media column is published on the website www.okenergytoday.com Perryman cites an ancient idea that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."  Perryman, a Democrat, said it’s not unusual for members of his party and those of the Republican majority to work with each other to solve problems. In a tumultuous legislative session in 2017, state lawmakers finally agreed to raise gross production taxes from 2 percent to 5 percent. Perryman said the oil and gas industry chastised Republican lawmakers for caving into the demands of the Democrats, and Democrats caught flak from constituents for not asking for a higher tax. In the end, Perryman said they managed to come up with a bi-partisan bill to provide sufficient revenue for education funding.

 

Chickasha Mourns Death

of Longtime Community Leader              

Chickasha is mourning the death of Jim Loy. Loy was one of the first administrators of what was then the Chickasha Clinic and Hospital on Choctaw Avenue in the mid-1950s. Loy passed away Monday at the age of 93. Loy was also deeply involved with the original construction of Grady Memorial Hospital, then spent several more years with the clinic, later re-named Southern Plains Medical Center.  He served on local, state, and national boards, including the city council, school board, and chamber of commerce. He served several years with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and was also president of the American Medical Group Management Association. Loy volunteered time with the Chickasha Public School Foundation and the USAO Foundation, the United Way, and Chickasha Jaycees. He was inducted into the chamber of commerce Civic Hall of Fame in 2016. Loy was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving at the end World War II. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chickasha Public School Foundation or the USAO Foundation.

 

STACK Play a Hot Bed for Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil Company is reporting more large-producing wells in the STACK. Four wells are jointly producing nearly 4,900 barrels of oil per day. The wells are all about 10 miles west of Okarche. Each of the wells is producing between 900 and 1,800 barrels of oil per day, and from 7,000 to 9,000 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.83 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $65.05.

Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold was down to $1,408 and silver is $15.34.

 

 

Tuesday, June 25th

 

Double-Organ Transplant Recipient Doing Well              

An amazing story to tell you about regarding a Chickasha man who is a double-organ transplant recipient. Kyle Perry had a kidney and pancreas transplant last summer. Today, almost a year after the surgery which took place in Oklahoma City, Kyle says it's been years since he's felt this good.

 

              

 

Kyle says he lives about as normal a life as anyone. He does take anti-organ rejection medications and his doctor's visits are down to about once every three months. Kyle said he was able to meet with the donor's parents – who live in Nepal - in Dallas just a couple of months after the surgery.

 

Suspect Faces Child Prostitution Allegations

Grady County prosecutors have charged a Cement man with allegedly soliciting child prostitution. On-line court records indicate an arrest warrant was issued for 41-year old Stacy Don Burger on Monday. He was arrested and taken to the Grady County Jail. Those on-line records also indicate the arrest stems from an investigation by the Chickasha Police Department. No details about the investigation were available this morning. Burger could go before a judge to hear the formal charge against him today.

              

Distracted Driver Blamed on Crash

Two pickups collide near Elgin, sending two men to the hospital. The accident happened just before 2:00 p.m. Monday about three miles east of Elgin. 23-year old Trevor Vaughn of Windthorst, Texas was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was last in serious condition. 72-year old Richard Vaughn of Fletcher was taken to a Lawton hospital where he was treated and released. The highway patrol did not indicate if the two men were related. The trooper dispatched to the crash said Trevor Vaughn may have been distracted prior to the crash and failed to stop at a stop sign, hitting the other pick-up.

 

Sheriff's Office Storm Damage Nearly $10,000              

The repair bill is in for damage done to the Grady County Sheriff's Office which occurred during one of the many thunderstorms that happened this past spring. Grady County Commissioners signed off a bid of nearly $10,000 from Oklahoma All State Roofing. Wind damage separated one of the radio towers from the two-story building, sending several large concrete blocks tumbling to the ground. No one was injured when the damage occurred.

 

Pesky Water Line Break Repaired

A water line break caused some headaches for some Chickasha residents and city work crews yesterday. The break was found in a residential area just north of 5th and Missouri Avenue Monday morning. Crews spent a couple of hours repairing the line, but were called back out when another problem developed. Crews were finally able to get the problem solved about 4:00 p.m. Monday.

 

Sinkhole Repair Progressing              

Most of the repairs of a collapsed manhole and sewer line near Chickasha's First Baptist Church are completed. A sinkhole developed near 4th and Colorado Avenue three weeks ago as a result of recent heavy rains. Public Works Director David Buchanan said the manhole was very old and eroded by the rains. The manhole has been replaced, and rock that has been placed on top of the new sewer line is being allowed to settle before the roadway can be repaired. The State Department of Transportation is expected to put the final touches on the street repairs in the next few days. In the meantime, traffic on 4th  Street is still down to one lane in each direction between Iowa and Kansas Avenues.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.90 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is to $64.86.

Natural gas is $2.30 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,433 and silver is $15.49.

 

 

Monday, June 24th

 

U.S. Highway 81 Chickasha Bypass Update

The building of a U.S. Highway 81 bypass of Chickasha is closer now that it ever has been. Initial construction which would include clearing land and drainage work could start in two or three years. Jay Earp with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) says the agency is close to having all the right-of-way obtained for the bypass. Earp tells KOOL/RANCH News-

 

              

 

Earp says utility re-location will be starting soon and that ODOT has applied for a federal grant to help pay for the $250 million project. A previous grant request was denied. Earp says the project will include an additional set of bridges over the Washita River north of Chickasha.

 

Power Outages Linger After Sunday Storms

There are still a few scattered power outages as a result of strong thunderstorms that moved through the region on Sunday. The town of Lindsay was without electricity for about 12 hours after lightning hit a substation. Electricity was finally restored about 4:00 a.m. this morning. AT & T phone service was also out in Lindsay during much of that time. KWTV News 9 reports that 9-1-1 calls had to be re-routed to the Garvin County Sheriff's Office, which would then radio the information to Lindsay police. Oklahoma Electric Co-op reported about a dozen outages early this morning with most in the Garvin County area. There was one in Grady County and a couple in Stephens County.

              

 State Jobless Rate Remains Low             

Unemployment across the state remains at a very low level of 3.2 percent for the month of May. That's below the national jobless rate of 3.6 percent. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports that more than 1.7 million people were working last month, while 59,000 individuals were listed as unemployed. Sectors that experienced the largest growth in the number of jobs  included trade, transportation and utilities with 500 more jobs; and government, which includes local, state, and federal agencies, also with a gain of 500 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest loss in jobs, down 1,800 positions from the previous month. County-by-county unemployment numbers will be released later.

 

 Oklahoma's High-Tech Salaries Lag Behind Texas             

Oklahoma's high-tech jobs are paying less than those south of the Red River. A new survey shows that while the Sooner State's high-tech salaries are increasing, they still trail those in the Dallas area by about $25,000 a year. The website www.business.org found that the average salary for a tech worker in Oklahoma City was just under $75,000 and similar jobs in Tulsa  were about $74,000 for 2018. In Dallas, the average tech salary was more than $98,000 a year. The website found that annual tech salaries in Colorado Springs were about $90,000 and in Albuquerque about $85,000.

 

Low-Income Households May Apply Soon

for Help in Paying Summer Cooling Bills              

Low-income families will soon be able to apply for help in paying summer cooling bills. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) will begin accepting on-line applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on July 9th. Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal government. DHS says eligible households which already receive assistance and are pre-authorized to receive LIHEAP don't have to apply.  Households which receive DHS help but are not pre-authorized for LIHEAP have been notified by mail,  and should apply on-line. The website is www.OKDHSlive.org

Applicants will need their most recent cooling bill information; identification, Social Security Number, and income verification. Only one payment per household is allowed each year for summer cooling assistance. A family of four is eligible for about $2,700.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.43 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $65.20.

Natural gas is $2.18 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,411 and silver is $15.47.

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