Saturday, Aug. 24th
Warrant Issued in Connection with Turnpike Death
Caddo County authorities have issued a felony arrest warrant for a man blamed for the traffic death of a woman earlier this year. Authorities are looking for 56-year old Guadalupe Martinez of Grand Canyon, Arizona. He's wanted for manslaughter in connection with the death of Darwina Clark back in May. The Lawton Constitution cites Caddo County Court records that allege Martinez was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when the accident occurred. Clark was in an SUV that had pulled over on the shoulder of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike when it ran out of gas. It was the opinion of the state trooper investigating the accident that Martinez ran off the road and hit the SUV, which resulted in Clark's death and injured a second individual.
Identity Theft Suspect Behind Bars
A woman wanted for identity theft has been picked up by authorities. 35-year old Heather Nicole Priest of Oklahoma City was wanted for numerous other alleged crimes as well, including violation of state statute with a computer and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. The warrant was issued out of Grady County earlier this month. No details were available about the charges. Priest was arrested by Chickasha police in 2017 and was charged with misdemeanors for having drug paraphernalia but has failed to show up for any court appearances in connection with that arrest.
Kiowa Tribal Members Going to the Polls Today
Kiowa tribal members are going to the polls today to consider legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana use. It's one of several issues on the ballot, in which voters will also decide on the tribe's budget. Also to be decided is whether the tribe should approve a loan agreement to build a casino in Hobart. Polls are open until 5:00 p.m. today. Voters in District One cast ballots at the Kiowa Housing Authority in Anadarko; District Two voters cast ballots at the tribal complex in Carnegie; and District Three voters go to the Methodist Church in Apache.
The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has released an updated list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here’s Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett.
If you have information regarding any of these individuals, you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office by calling 405-222-5085.
Grady County Fair Wraps Up Today
There’s a flurry of activity today at the final day of the Grady County Fair. The poultry and rabbit shows are this morning, as is the tractor driving contest for the youth. The dairy and beef cattle shows are this afternoon, and there is a pet show for the youngsters as well. The carnival opens at noon, there is a kiddie pedal-tractor pull, and the featured band tonight will be Dollar 98. The cake auction this year brought more than $7,000 for the fair. More than 50 delectable delights were entered, with the Senior Division Grand Champion winner being a sour cream coconut cake entered by Sharon Horton. That cake brought $175. The Reserve Grand Champion entry was a yellow cake with coconut filling from Pam McCarty. The Junior Division Grand Champion cake was an Italian Cream from Chase Patterson, which sold for $225. The Reserve Grand was a chocolate cake from Hayden Terrell. Nine cakes sold for $200 or more, with the highest bid coming in at $300. Mindy Walker's Division Champion Italian Cream was bought by Joe Victery for that price. Another Italian Cream entered by Jill Rumley also sold for $300 to Joe Powell from Solutions Auto, with that money being donated to the American Cancer Society.
Blanchard Bluegrass Festival Resumes
A day full of music is set for Blanchard today, with the community's Bluegrass Music Festival. The event kicked off last night with a number of regional groups entertaining the crowd. Among the groups performing are Southbound Mule, The Pot County Stringslingers, Hanks and Company, and Honey Creek Pass. There's free admission to the festival at Lion's Park, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Food trucks are on site.
Friday, Aug. 23rd
Hospital Battles Blue Cross-Blue Shield OK
Grady Memorial Hospital is at odds with insurance giant Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) over the hospital's re-imbursement rates. Unless the two sides come to an agreement within the next couple of months, families with Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverage will have to find another facility to get medical care. Hospital administrator Kean Spellman-
Spellman also said the hospital's trustees have the area's best interest in mind in the negotiations.
The most recent contract expired in July, but Spellman said they have until Oct. 28th to negotiate a new contract, and that trustees have every intention to come to an acceptable agreement. Spellman urged those with Blue Cross Blue Shield to call BCBSOK to say they want the keep Grady Memorial in-network. The number is 1-866-520-2507.
Teacher Sentenced for Drinking Alcohol at School
Now, a KOOL/RANCH News follow-up to a story from this past spring, where a Chickasha teacher was arrested for drinking at school. Deborah Reed has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor public intoxication charge in Grady County District Court. Reed was arrested in May when it was alleged that she appeared to be drunk during the school day at Grand Avenue School. A police affidavit indicated she admitted consuming alcohol at school. Reed was given a two-year deferred sentence and fined $200.
City Crews Repair More Water Line Breaks
A few Chickasha residents spent much of Thursday without water. Households around 5th and Missouri were affected when a water line break was discovered. Public Works Director David Buchanan said crews were able to get the line repaired late yesterday afternoon. Crews were also called out to the area near 14th and Grand for another water line break. City workers were able to make quick work of that problem.
Chickasha Officials Hold Off on Water Restrictions
Now an update to a story we had earlier this week, regarding potential water restrictions for the City of Chickasha. Officials said the city's water tower levels are beginning to rise. Two of the city's three towers lost millions of gallons of water due a large water line break recently, coupled with a huge demand due to the hot weather. City officials say they will continue monitoring the water levels, and should water restrictions become necessary, they will alert the general public through the media, along with the putting the information on the city's website and Facebook page.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. 4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole is this week’s guest on our KOOL Konversation. Chickasha High School Athletic Director and head football coach Jerry Don Bray is the guest on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. We have links to the programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on NYMEX is $55.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $59.22.
Natural gas is $2.16 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,506 and silver is $17.18.
Thursday, Aug. 22nd
Local Officers Help in Federal Narcotics Sting
Federal agents arrested a number of suspects alleged to have been involved in a nationwide heroin trafficking operation. 16 arrests were made in Oklahoma. Regional law enforcement agencies included in the investigation were the Grady County Sheriff's Office and the Duncan, Yukon, and El Reno police departments. Officials with the Western District of the U.S. Department of Justice announced the results of their investigation yesterday. Agents seized more than 16 pounds of heroin - enough for 30,000 doses. They also found three pounds of meth, a number of firearms, and $30,000 in cash. Officials say drugs would be shipped from several states to Oklahoma for re-distribution. Authorities are still looking for a couple of suspects. Officials say the investigation began in December of 2015 and involved more than 200 law enforcement personnel.
'Person of Interest' Sought for Questioning
in Connection with Weekend Shooting
Chickasha police still aren't saying much about last weekend's shooting of a bicycle rider. Authorities do say there is a person of interest but did not want to release the name since it could hinder their investigation. The victim suffered at least one gunshot wound to his chest. At last report he was in stable condition. Police have not yet released his name.
Cong. Tom Cole Visits Chickasha
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole discussed the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, America's trade war with China, and national gun control legislation during a couple of stops in Chickasha yesterday. Cole said he's not a fan of the tariffs President Trump has implement against China, saying his constituents in the 4th District lose in a trade war. He also said that a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico should be completed this fall. The Moore Republican said that’s important because 40 percent of U.S. exports go to those countries. In an exclusive interview with KOOL/RANCH News, we asked Cole if he has much interaction with New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
You can hear our interview with Congressman Cole on our KOOL Konversation program this weekend.
Semi Topples, Hits Utility Pole
Two men were taken to the hospital after a semi ran off a Grady County road and hit a utility pole. 39-year old Tony Banks of Oklahoma City was a passenger in the big rig. He was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in good condition with internal and external injuries. The driver of the semi, 54-year old Anthony Clayton of Blanchard, was also taken to a hospital with arm injuries where he was treated and released. The accident happened a couple of miles east of Bridge Creek School just before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The highway patrol reports that Clayton tried to slow down due to traffic. He drove off the edge the road then over-corrected. The semi crossed the road and fell on its side before hitting the pole. The trooper on the scene reported that Clayton may have been driving too fast.
Kiowas To Decide Marijuana Legalization, Other Issues
Kiowa tribal members will vote on legalizing the use of recreational and medical marijuana in a special election this Saturday. Other measures on the ballot include a loan agreement to build a casino in Hobart, and another is the tribe's budget. There are polling locations at the Kiowa Housing Authority in Anadarko, the tribal complex in Carnegie, and at the Methodist Church in Apache. Mail-in ballots must be received at the Carnegie Post Office by 10:00 a.m. Saturday
Grady County Fair Begins
The 104th Grady County Fair is underway. The first order of business is the livestock shows will be goats and sheep, both of which are this afternoon. The opening ceremony will be at 7:00 p.m. with fair honorees Marge McClaughlin and Shirley Burns recognized for their long time work with the fair. That will be followed by the cake auction, which brings several thousand dollars to the fair which is paid out to the many exhibitors. The carnival opens at 6:00 p.m., and there will be live music at 7:00 p.m. featuring Tim Brauer and First Look. The fair runs through Saturday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.68 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.30.
Natural gas is $2.17 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,507 and silver is $17.13.
Wednesday, Aug. 21st
Energy Jobs Rise to Start Second Half of the Year
With the number of drilling rigs slipping in Oklahoma, there's been a decline in energy-related jobs over the last year. But there has been a short-term increase in that sector. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports there was an increase of 400 jobs from June to July of this year. More than 53,000 people were employed in the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas. The number is down about 300 jobs from the same time a year ago. Overall, the Oklahoma employment picture is still in good shape. The jobless rate was steady at 3.2 percent in July, which is the same rate as July of last year.
Heat and Air Unit Bids to be Accepted for Chix City Hall
The heating and air conditioning units at Chickasha City Hall are aging, so the city council this week approved going out for bids to replace about a dozen mechanical units in the historic building. City Manager John Noblitt wasn't sure how old they are, but said a couple of the units have not been working properly for some time.
The council also approved going out for bids to replace heat and air units at the library and the wastewater treatment plant.
Incentive Grant Approved to Renovate Downtown Bldg
The council also approved awarding an incentive grant to a firm wanting to renovate the former Chickasha Star newspaper office. The grant is not to exceed $160,000 for Mark McPherson and the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company. The building does fall within the downtown historic district. McPherson hopes to create a number of small businesses within the building. He'll be investing more than $500,000 of his own money to develop the property. A couple of years ago, officials had talked about demolishing the building.
Purchase of Water Treatment Plant Pump Ok'd
The council also approved the purchase of a large pump for the water treatment plant at a cost of $97,000. Earlier this year, the council waived bidding requirements to authorize the emergency purchase of a pump for about $80,000. The city manager said the Department of Environmental Quality suggested that a larger pump was needed. The new equipment will be able to pump about 4,500 gallons per minute. In other council action, the panel met behind closed doors for nearly two hours to discuss a sensitive economic development project which was not identified. After returning to open session, the council took no action on the matter.
Congressman Tom Cole in Chickasha Today
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole will be spending some time in Chickasha today. He's scheduled to meet with business leaders around mid-day, and will have a town hall meeting tonight. The meeting with Chamber of Commerce members will be at the InterUrban Restaurant starting about 11:30 a.m. this morning. The town hall meeting will be at Canadian Valley Technology Center starting about 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. He's expected to discuss some current issues regarding the district and in Washington, D.C. and will also answer questions from those attending.
Grady County Fair Vendors Set Up Today
It's move-in day for vendors who will have displays at the Grady County fair. Some of the more than 125 vendors can begin setting up their booth spaces for the three-day event which opens tomorrow. The judging of all the still exhibits will be done today and the hay show is set for this morning.
Part of Country Club Road Closed thru Thursday
A traffic advisory for motorists in Chickasha who use Country Club Road. A portion of the road will be closed today and tomorrow for the installation of a water line. The road will be closed to through traffic between 16th Street and 29th Street. The actual closing is for a couple of blocks between Caulder Drive and Flanders Drive. Local traffic will be able to access their neighborhoods from nearby streets.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.03.
Natural gas is $2.21 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,510 and silver is $17.08.
Tuesday, Aug. 20th
Water Restrictions Possible in Chickasha
A major water line break and equipment problems at the city’s water treatment plant may force Chickasha officials to implement water restrictions. City Manager John Noblitt said a recent water line rupture in the west part of town allowed a significant amount of water to be released from two of the city's three water towers. Coupled with the equipment issues, Noblitt said the towers aren't filling up as quickly as they normally do.
Noblitt said water usage has been up because of the recent stretch of extremely hot weather. He said they'll know tomorrow afternoon if any water restrictions may be necessary. Officials could possibly implement an odd-even water restriction.
Council OK's FEMA Funding for City Drainage Study
The city council approved the funding for a major drainage study in its meeting last night. The council authorized the receipt of a matching grant from FEMA and the Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency to fund the study. It's a $300,000 project, with $225,000 provided through FEMA and $75,000 from the city. Background information regarding the study indicated officials would have up to three years to complete the work, but Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said it might be able to be completed in about six months. The study is expected to provide an overall plan to improve water drainage throughout the city.
Chix Airport to see Improvements
The city council also approved a big project for the city's airport. The city is combining with the Federal Aviation Administration to build a new taxiway and aprons. The project was awarded to Contech, Incorporated of Broken Arrow for more than $550,000. It was not the low bid, which was disqualified as engineers said it did not meet all the bid requirements. The FAA will provide 90 percent of the project’s funding .
Domestic Violence Suspect Allegedly Breaks Victim's Ribs
In a brutal case of domestic violence, authorities say a man stomped on his girlfriend and broke her ribs - then waited several hours before taking her the hospital. And police say it wasn't the first time the man broke the victim's ribs. KOOL/RANCH News reported over the weekend that 44-year old Gary Lee Cabe, Jr. of Chickasha was taken into custody after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. The arrest warrant affidavit alleges Cabe got mad at his girlfriend because should wouldn't wake up to eat the food he brought home. It's alleged Cabe threatened the victim with a knife, then stepped on her torso. Authorities say Cabe took the victim's cell phone so she couldn't call 911. He eventually took her to the hospital about 12 hours later, then left her there, driving away in her car. Cabe was taken into custody last week. He has been charged with a felony for domestic violence resulting in great bodily injury. He remains in jail on a $75,000 bond.
Former Store Clerk Charged in Bogus Check Case
A former grocery store employee is behind bars after it’s alleged she cashed more than $4,500 in bogus checks. A Grady County judge issued an arrest warrant for 52-year old Susan Nicole Johnson of Oklahoma City. She was arrested yesterday and booked into the Grady County Jail. Tuttle police were called to the store in June after managers discovered that three large checks had been cashed, and the bank returned them as altered and fictitious. One check was for nearly $2,000 and the others were for nearly $1,300 each. Johnson told managers that she believed they were insurance settlement checks. Prosecutors have charged Johnson with one felony count of uttering a forged instrument.
Chickasha YMCA Closed One Day for Renovations
The Chickasha YMCA is closed today for some renovation work. A new front door is being installed along with new carpet and countertops, and improvements in the locker rooms. The upgrades are part of more than $50,000 of upgrades to the building, which at one time served as the headquarters for local National Guard troops. Some of the funds are from a grant from the Chickasha Community Foundation, which contributed more than $30,000. The Y will still have its after-school program this afternoon. The YMCA is expected to re-open for its regular hours on Wednesday.
Verden Student Named Fair Princess
The princess for the 104th Grady County Fair is Rylea Bennett of Verden. She was among 10 candidates vying for the title and will have a number of responsibilities at the fair. First runner-up was Morgan Matchen of Tuttle, second runner-up and Miss Congeniality was Cayden Copeland of Ampo, third runner-up was Miana Moon of Chickasha, and Miss Photogenic was Camryn Schroeder of Ampo. Today is the day that still exhibits need to be entered for the fair. That will take place from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.21 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $59.74.
Natural gas is per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,513 and silver is $17.00.
Monday, Aug. 19th
Bicyclist Injured in Drive-by Shooting
Chickasha police are looking into a shooting late Sunday night where a man suffered a gunshot wound while riding his bicycle. The shooting occurred in a residential near 10th and Texas Avenue just before 10:00 p.m. The area is not far from the Chickasha Middle School. The victim, an unidentified 40-year old man, was shot in the chest and was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. Police have not released the victim’s name and his condition is unknown. In a written statement, police only said he was taken to Oklahoma City for advanced medical care. The victim told police he was riding his bicycle when vehicle drove past him and at least one shot was fired. No suspects are in custody. If you have information about the shooting, contact Chickasha Police by calling 405-222-6050 or the Chickasha and Grady County Crimestoppers at 405-224-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be placed on the Crimestoppers Facebook page.
Dick Lowe Announces Candidacy for House Seat
Another candidate has announced his intentions of running for office at the state level. Dick Lowe will be seeking the House District 56 post next year. Lowe has long been involved in agriculture and wants to use that background to make urban lawmakers be more knowledgeable about issues impacting the field.
In addition to his agriculture background, Lowe is the Industrial Coordinator for Business and Industry with Canadian Valley Technology Center. Lowe is running as a Republican. He joins fellow Republican Randy Talley who also announced he’s running for the post. The office is currently held by Democrat David Perryman of Chickasha who recently he will not run for re-election next year.
City Council to Consider FEMA Grant for Drainage Study
Some federal monies have been approved for a master drainage study for the City of Chickasha. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has award the city a $225,000 hazard mitigation grant. The city will provide an additional $75,000 for the review, should the city council approve the matching grant program. The review is expected to take about three years to complete.
Firm Seeks City Grant to Refurbish Downtown Building
The council is also to consider awarding $160,000 toward the rehabilitation of the former Chickasha Star newspaper building. City manager John Noblitt said the funds come from an account that's earmarked for downtown redevelopment. The city's Economic Development Council is recommending that the funding be approved. The request is from Mark McPherson and the Great Plains Land and Cattle Company. The firm is investing more than $500,000 of its own money for the project. The company will have to submit a letter of occupancy before the city funds would be awarded.
Council to Consider Incentive Funds for New Jobs
The city council will also consider awarding up to $100,000 to a company to bring some energy-related jobs to the area. The firm is Liquid Power Specialty Products, which recently purchased Optum Energy at the former Delta Faucet location. The council will consider issuing the company $2,000 per new employee, up to 50 workers. It requires the new workers to enter into a housing lease term of at least 12 months or purchase a home within the city limits. The incentive plan would expire next June. The city council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Grady County Fair Set This Week
The Grady County Fair starts later this week but tonight a princess will be selected to serve as ambassador and help promote the event. About 10 candidates will compete for the title. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top placers. The contestants will wear evening gowns during a reception which will be held at the fairgrounds community building starting at 5:00 pm. this afternoon. The competition starts at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the princess, judges will award a first- and second-runner-up, Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic. Fair officials will also be taking still exhibits from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and exhibitors can pick up their numbers and exhibit tags at the OSU Extension Office. The 104th Grady County Fair runs this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.87 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.64.
Natural gas is to $2.20 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,510 and silver is $16.90.