Saturday, Sept. 21st
SCOOP, Stack Continues Seeing High-Producing Wells
Continental Resources and Marathon Oil are both boasting of oil well sites producing 1,000 barrels of oil per day. Continental files a report with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission that indicate two wells just east of Chickasha had a combined production of more than 1,100 barrels of oil and nearly 2,200 metric cubic feet of natural gas on a daily basis. The Jantz Family well and the Nancy J well are in the Springer formation in Section 33 of Township 7 North and Range 6 West. The wells were both spudded and completed between January and April. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports the drilling depths were about 22,000 feet and 25,000 feet. Marathon reported that a well northeast of Watonga was producing more than 1,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Mississippi Lime play. That well is just over 20,000 feet deep.
Two Firms OK Natural Gas Supply Agreement
In other energy news, Cheniere Energy has signed a gas supply agreement with EOG Resources. Cheniere is building a $1 billion natural gas pipeline through the SCOOP and STACK regions, to deliver natural gas to the Durant area and eventually to the Gulf Coast. EOG recently reported three Grady County wells on a single pad producing 4,200 barrels of oil per day. The agreement is for EOG to sell natural gas to Cheniere over a 15-year period starting in 2020.
Stephens County Man Convicted of Child Sex Crimes
A Marlow man is convicted of several sex crimes against children. A Stephens County jury found Mathew Hale guilty of charges which include child sexual abuse and possession of child porn. The FBI arrested Hale two years ago and found a photo on Hale’s computer of him with a nine-year old girl. The jury has recommended that Hale spend life in prison. His formal sentencing will be held November 7th.
Woman Charged in Connection with Oil Field Theft
A Chickasha woman is arrested after a felony warrant was issued for her alleged involvement with concealing stolen property. 43-year old Jennifer Bullington was booked into the Grady County jail Thursday. The warrant was issued earlier in the week after an investigation by the Grady County Sheriff's Office. Authorities say Bullington was linked to the theft of numerous items from a Blanchard area well site back in May. Bullington is out of jail after posting bond.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
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.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. District Attorney Jason Hicks is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley our guest is Brent Kisling, who is the director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, Sept. 20th
Teen Arrested for Making Threats at School
A Bridge Creek teenager was arrested after making threats at school. The middle school student was taken into custody after classes had been dismissed Thursday. The Grady County Sheriff's Office posted information about the arrest on its Facebook page. School officials postponed the start of last night's junior high football games until the student was located. It wasn't clear what kind of threats the student made. The social media post indicated that in today's climate the threat had to be taken seriously and to find out if it was credible. Officials said the district attorney was notified and the teen would be evaluated.
Consumer Spending Mixed in Grady County Area
There is mixed news for consumer spending in the region. It was lower throughout Grady County in the most recent reporting period but up in Chickasha according to the latest numbers from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. In Grady County, consumer spending for July was estimated at $110 million which was down about 24 percent from the previous month and down about 9 percent compared to the same time a year ago. For the City of Chickasha, consumer spending was estimated at $30.1 million in July which was up about 5.8 percent from the previous month and an increase of about 3 percent from July of last year. As far as sales tax receipts, Grady County received about $826,000 in sales tax revenue this month (based on the July consumer spending). Chickasha collected more than $1.1 million. Use Tax receipts - those paid on Internet purchases - were about $131,000 for Grady County and more than $88,000 for the City of Chickasha.
OSU Extension Funding Concerns Aired
At the state capital on Thursday, there were a couple of interim studies to discuss concerns about funding for OSU County Extension offices. Offices have undergone several cuts in funding over the last decade which has led to fewer staff members at the county level. Currently, the funding comes through the state regents for higher education. State Rep. Tommy Hardin of Madill says he'll work to have the appropriations moved to another area.
Former State Senator Ron Justice of Chickasha addressed lawmakers and said that extension research is still relevant and that it’s important for county extension offices to get that information to farmers and ranchers.
Weekend Events in Chickasha, Anadarko
There are a lot of events taking place in the Chickasha and Anadarko areas this weekend. In Chickasha, there’s a huge car show tomorrow with the Saturday Night Cruisers. It's a day-long event in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church at 4th and Colorado Avenue. The Chickasha Antique Auto Club will have its monthly coffee and cars from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Daniel Terry's Pro Auto Care in the Grandview Shopping Center next to the Stage Store. The Grady County Historical Society Museum celebrates the Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day with a day of live music starting at 1:00 p.m. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce will hold its final outdoor summer concert tomorrow night with Weston Horn and the Hush, a free concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. at 3rd and Chickasha Avenue. And at the Legends Outdoor Concert venue, Steven Adler, who played drums for the rock and roll group Guns and Roses is scheduled to play with his new band. Tickets required for that event tomorrow night.
In Anadarko tomorrow, the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce will host Wings and Wheels at the Anadarko Airport. There will be free airplane rides for kids 8 to 18 years old and food vendors will be on site from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Another event in Anadarko will be a program for those who like to literally dig into the past. The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and researchers with the University of Oklahoma will host an archaeology event at the Wichita History Center. Visitors will be able to bring in artifacts or interesting items they have found to see if they can find out what they are and also to learn about preserving the culture of the ancient Plains Dwellers. It's a free program will be from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.13 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.40.
Natural gas slips to $2.53 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,511 and silver is $17.95.
Thursday, Sept. 19th
Grady Memorial, Blue Cross Still Negotiating Contract
Families with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma insurance continue being concerned about the stalled negotiations between Blue Cross and Grady Memorial Hospital. A contract for Grady Memorial to be in-network with Blue Cross expired earlier this year. However, the two sides have agreed to honor the previous contract through Oct. 28th. Blue Cross issued a statement saying families will have access to other in-network hospitals in the area after that date. Grady Memorial Hospital administrator Kean Spellman says families would still be able to go to Grady Memorial but will have to pay out-of-network rates. That means co-payments could increase, perhaps by as much as 20 percent. Spellman says Blue Cross has not responded to his most recent counter-offer, as he fights for a higher re-imbursement rate. He said it's possible that Blue Cross could wait right up until the Oct. 28th deadline to respond.
Woman Enters Blind Plea in Child Neglect Case
You may recall an awful case of child neglect from the Fletcher area a couple of years ago. A bed-ridden teen was stuck to her bed with multiple wounds and covered in cockroach eggs, feces, and urine. Reports at the time even indicated part of her buttocks was missing. The teen was hospitalized in critical condition. Authorities arrested Margo Zill and she was charged with one felony count of child neglect. On-line court records indicate she was scheduled to go to trial later this month. Instead, Zill entered a blind plea to the charge in Comanche County District Court. A judge could sentence her to life in prison. Her sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 4th.
Update on Some ODOT Road Projects
Look for more regional road repairs in the future by the State Department of Transportation. State Rep. Brad Boles says upgrades on State Highway 19 west of Alex is among them. Right-of-way acquisition is now underway along eight miles of the highway. Appraisal of properties should be done late next year, with the reconstruction expected to begin in 2023. Boles said current projects nearing completion include the installation of a cable barrier on U.S. Highway 81 in Ninnekah at a cost of $4.3 million, and a resurfacing project of a four-mile section of State Highway 92 in the Friend area which is a $1.3 million project.
USAO Announces New VP of Academic Affairs
A familiar face at USAO has been named the university's interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Donna Gower has been a member of the faculty for more than 10 years. She previously served as the chairman of the division of education and speech language pathology, the director of teacher education, and director of assessment. In a press release, USAO President John Feaver said that Gower has proven her dedication to the university, and recognized her background as a renowned educator and administrator. Gower fills the post after Dr. Krista Maxson accepted the position as vice chancellor of the Ohio State Department of Education.
Anadarko BIA Office Gets Technology Upgrade
The Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Anadarko is the first BIA office in the country to have better access to a national database. The Tribal Access Program is a state-of-the-art system which will allow agents to take mugshots, process finger and palm prints, and have improved access to the National Crimes Information Computer (NCIC). The Lawton Constitution reports that the system will also better ensure the safety of children placed in foster care. Before a tribe can place a child with a foster family, the Native American Children's Safety Act requires that all adults in foster homes undergo a criminal records check, and a check of tribal and state abuse-and-neglect registries. BIA Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney was on hand for the unveiling of the system. All 28 BIA offices nationwide will eventually have the same system.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.11 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.60.
Natural gas is $2.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,504 and silver is $17.74.
Wednesday, Sept. 18th
Search for Chix Schools Superintendent Underway
Chickasha residents share what qualities they think a new school superintendent should have. Consultants working with the Chickasha Board of Education spent the day Tuesday meeting with residents, business and civic leaders, and even school employees to develop a check list of personality and leadership traits they would like to see with a new administrator. Stephanie Hyder is the Director of Executive Search Services with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. That's the group hired by the Chickasha school board to find qualified candidates for the post. She discusses the next step in the process.
The group will accept applications and resumes from September 30th through November 8th. They will recommend four to eight candidates for the school board to interview between mid-November and late December. A new superintendent could be named in January or February, but may not be on board until next school year. Currently, the district is being led by interim Superintendent Jennifer Stegman.
Pre-Trial Conference Set for School Official
Who is Accused of Domestic Violence
The superintendent of Ninnekah schools has a pre-trial conference today, as he prepares to face a jury trial on a felony domestic abuse charge. The conference for Todd Bunch stems from his arrest last summer in connection with allegations that he assaulted a woman in Lindsay and tried to smother her with a pillow. The conference is scheduled this afternoon in Garvin County District Court in Pauls Valley. Bunch was initially charged with a misdemeanor but prosecutors have since charged him with a felony. Bunch has remained on the job at Ninnekah schools. The Ninnekah Board of Education issued a statement saying they believed in due process, and that Bunch is innocent until proven guilty. Bunch's trial is scheduled to start on Monday.
Suicide Prevention Program Scheduled
Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in Oklahoma and in 2017 resulted in more deaths than the flu. A program this weekend hopes to raise awareness about suicide in hopes of providing help to those considering taking their own lives. Melanie McKinley is a counselor with Grand Assembly of God. She points to several situations where an individual may choose death over life.
The church will host a free program Saturday called Overcomer. A couple of guest speakers will discuss the warning signs of individuals who may be considering suicide and how to intervene. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the program running from 9 a.m. to noon.
New 'Compass' Can be Seen at Chix Airport
The Chickasha Airport has a bright, new huge compass painted on its taxiway. This past weekend, about a dozen members of the Oklahoma Chapter of the 99s, a female pilots group, gathered at the airport to paint the 70-foot in diameter compass 'rose' and refresh the “Chickasha” lettering also on the taxiway. Compass rose markings are designed to help calibrate compasses in airplanes which is required each year by the Federal Aviation Administration. The 99s is an international organization of license women pilots with headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.55.
Natural gas is $2.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,509 and silver is $17.94.
Tuesday, Sept. 17th
City Council Extends Contract with Water Group
The contractor hired by the City of Chickasha for water treatment services will continue its work for an additional five years. Last night, the city council approved a five-year extension of its contract with the USW Utility Group. Mayor Chris Mosley said the company has made a lot of progress with the city's equipment as well as the city’s water quality.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board has recognized that Chickasha's water is among the best in the state. USW executive Mike Jump acknowledges there have been a few problems with water quality this year and says it is due in part to some equipment issues at the plant as well as flooding. He says some equipment repairs are expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The current contract with USW expires in June of 2020. The contract extension will run through June of 2025. The contract calls for the city to pay USW about $750,000 per year for its services. (EDITOR'S NOTE - That figure is a corrected from a story published Monday, September 16th. We apologize for the mistake)
City Land Sale Approved for RV Park
The city council also approved the sale of some city-owned land to Paul and Jan Knight. For years, the Knights have leased about four acres of land from the city to operate the Time Out RV Park. The Knights have previously tried to purchase the property but were turned down. Last night, the council approved the sale of about 5 1/2 acres of land to the Knights for about $7,000 per acre. The purchase will allow the Kinghts to add about 20 spaces to the RV park. Paul Knight said the expansion probably won't happen until next spring.
Firm to Study Storm Water Drainage
The council also approved an agreement with Smith, Roberts, and Baldischwiler LLC for engineering services on a storm water drainage study. Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said it will be the most detailed study of the city in more than 60 years. It's hoped the study might be able offer some solutions which might alleviate flooding problems the city has experienced over the years.
Firefighter's Funeral Set
The funeral for a volunteer firefighter killed in a non-fire related traffic accident is set. 21-year old Blaine Alexander died when his pickup was hit by a semi near Ft. Cobb last week. Alexander was a volunteer with Grady County's Acme fire department which is near Rush Springs. Firefighters from the region and the around state are expected to honor Alexander at the funeral which will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the Sterling High School gymnasium. Grady County fire officials say an initial staging of fire trucks will organize at the Hop N Sack in Rush Springs about 1:00 p.m. Thursday and will caravan to Sterling. Some departments may meet at the school prior to the service. After Thursday's funeral, there will be a graveside service for Alexander at the Woodlawn Cemetery.
Native American Activist to Visit USAO
The challenges that Native Americans face in the 21st century will be discussed at USAO next week. Lyla June, a Native American activist, musician, and poet, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Abelson Religious Reconciliation lecture. A USAO press release indicates that June is a student of global cycles of violence, and the destructive relationships between human beings and nature. June founded the Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council to help heal the inter-generational trauma and ethnic division in northern New Mexico. She also takes part in a 1,000-mile prayer walk which exposes how various energy industries have exploited the Navajo Nation's land. The renowned hip hop artist and singer-songwriter also founded the Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration of children held every September in 13 countries. June's lecture will be next Tuesday, Sept. 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the USAO ballroom. It is free and open to the public.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.90 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.02.
Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,505 and silver is $17.91.
Monday, Sept. 16th
Man Dies Following Turnpike Motorcycle Crash
There have been a lot of motorcycle accidents this summer, and there were two more over the weekend with one of them claiming the life of an Oklahoma man. Killed in a crash on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike was 71-year old Richard McDonald of Broken Arrow. The accident happened about nine miles southwest of Chickasha on the turnpike near Mile Marker 71 about 4:15 p.m. Sunday. A report from the trooper responding to the crash indicated that McDonald may have had a medical issue that caused him to run off the highway and crash.
Another Bike Accident Hospitalizes Rush Springs Man
A second crash involving a motorcycle injured a Rush Springs man. 53-year old Nicholas Jackson was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and was last in serious condition with head injuries. That accident happened just west of Elgin about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The OHP said Jackson swerved to miss an unidentified object then ran off the road and rolled. He was not wearing his helmet.
Contract for Chix' Water Treatment Firm Up for Renewal
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This is a correction to the version published Monday, September 16th. The previous story had an error regarding the annual payment. We apologize for the mistake)
It's contract renewal time for the firm that treats the City of Chickasha's drinking water and waste water. The city council is expected to sign off on a five-year extension of the contract with USW Utility Group when the council meets tonight. The current five-year contract is set to expire next June. The city pays USW more than $750,000 a year for water treatment services.
Proposed Land Sale Back on Council Agenda
The council is also to consider selling about 5 1/2 acres of city-owned land to Paul and Jan Knight. The Knight's have leased acreage from the city for 13 years to operate the Time Out RV Park at Ada Sipuel Avenue and Grand Avenue Extension. The issue was tabled from a meeting earlier this month. The council is also expected to waive bidding requirements in order to have PSO install a three-phase electrical distribution system at Shannon Springs Park. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Input Sought Regarding Chix School Superintendent
Consultants who are working to find candidates to be the next superintendent for Chickasha schools will be in town tomorrow to get local input. The school board contracted with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to do a nationwide search for candidates. The consultants will meet with business leaders, school administrators, teachers, and school employees in the afternoon, then will hold an inter-active community meeting tomorrow night. Individuals are encouraged to bring their laptops, tablets, or use their smart phone to provide instant feedback during the program That community meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.
Blanchard Sup't. Looks Foward to School Growth
Blanchard School Superintendent Jim Beckham is ready to move forward with the projects approved by school district voters last week. Voters passed a $31 million bond issue by a two-to-one margin. The projects include a new auditorium/performing arts center and a new football stadium.
Also part of the bond issue is a new middle school cafeteria that will double as a safe room, and some new classrooms at the elementary school. Groundbreaking is not likely for any of the projects until next spring.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.85 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.22.
Natural gas was up to $2.61 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,512 and silver is $17.93.