Saturday, Oct. 26th
Suspect Faces Rape, Assault Charges
A domestic violence report leads to a man being arrested and charged with rape and assault. 37-year old Justin Barnett of Chickasha was arrested by Chickasha police after officers were asked to do a welfare check on a woman near 8th and Utah earlier this week. A probable cause affidavit indicates a woman at the home told officers Barnett had been hurting her. She reported that she and the suspect had been arguing and then things got physical. The victim alleged that Barnett tried to strangle her and then said he was going to kill her and himself. The victim was taken to Lawton for a sexual assault exam. Prosecutors have formally charged Barnett with rape by instrumentation and domestic assault and battery by strangulation. A judge set Barnett’s bond at $250,000.
No Injuries After Semi Crashes in to Camper-Trailer
A semi slams into a camper trailer in Ninnekah and amazingly there were no injuries. The accident happened on U.S. Highway 81 about a mile south of State Highway 277 next to the Little Washita River Bridge about 3:00 p.m. Friday. Ninnekah Police Chief Scott Miller said a pick up pulling a camper-trailer was southbound on Highway 81 and attempted to make a U-turn. A semi following the camper-pulling truck collided with the camper. The accident closed the southbound section of the highway for a couple of hours.
Another Poaching Incident Reported at Ft. Sill
There's been another report of poaching at Ft. Sill. It's the second such report within the last month. Post authorities say they have received a number of calls but have yet made any arrests. KSWO-TV reports that hunting on the post is open only to service members, retirees, and civilians who work at Ft. Sill and that those eligible to hunt must have taken a safety class. They are to bring in their animals for harvest with the remains to be properly disposed of.
Chickasha Bakery Named State's 'Sweetest' - Again
For the second straight year, a Chickasha bakery is honored as part of a national contest. Shollie's Sweets was named the sweetest full-service bakery in Oklahoma. The national competition is put together by Dawn Foods, which a national bakery supplier of items which include mixes, frozen dough, icings, fillings, and glazes. Owner Shollie Pritchard thanks all those who cast ballots for the shop. Other Oklahoma winners were Busy B's Donuts of Shawnee as Oklahoma's favorite donut shop; and Frosted out of Jones which was named Oklahoma's favorite cupcake shop.
Well Site Near Newcastle Posting Big Numbers
Big production numbers reported on a two-well pad west of Newcastle. EOG out of Oklahoma City reports production of 1,800 barrels of oil per day. The Nighthawk 718 wells are about seven miles west of Newcastle. One of the wells was also producing about 1,000 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day. Both are in the Woodford formation and both wells were drilled to depths around 20,000 feet.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson is on our KOOL Konversation program to talk about winter weather preparedness. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, we have Pat Cunningham with the Grady County Historical Society and John Dwyer, an author-historian. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
High Shool Football Scores
Chickasha 15, Elgin 8
Tuttle 18, Blanchard 14
Clinton 21, Anadarko 20
Weatherford 35, Cache 26
Minco 35, Christian Heritage 19
Ringling 35, Rush Springs 0
Newcastle 55, Elk City 7
Perkins-Tryon 42, Bridge Creek 6
Dibble 35, Healdton 6
Apache 43, Elmore City 12
Lindsay 28, Comanche 7
Marlow 26, Sulphur 12
Alex 54, Carnegie 6
Burns Flat-Dill City 48, Cyril 0
Ryan 30, Bray-Doyle 14
Waurika 60, Central High 0
Mt. View-Gotebo 60, Grandfield 14
Friday, Oct. 25th
CV Tech Superintendent Makes Top 50 List
It’s quite the honor for the top administrator for the regional career tech schools. Gayla Lutts, superintendent of Canadian Valley Technology Centers in Chickasha, El Reno and Yukon, was named one of the 50 women making a difference in Oklahoma. The list was compiled by the Journal Record. Lutts has been in education for nearly 30 years and has put on the top of her list of priorities the task of meeting workforce needs for Oklahoma businesses and working for the success of career-tech students. CV Tech is undergoing rapid growth at its campus sites in El Reno and Yukon. At El Reno, construction was recently completed on a new education wing. At Yukon, a transition is underway to create a health care education only facility.
Anadarko's Kids, Kites, and Frights Set for Tomorrow
Anadarko officials are hoping for some dry weather tomorrow for a huge day of activities. It's called Kids, Kites, and Frights. It will include a haunted house at the armory, Native American dancing exhibitions and competitions, and some of the largest kites in the world. Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn-
The kite event will be at the airport, with many events downtown. There's a 5K run in the morning; arts, crafts, and food vendors; an OU and OSU tailgating contest with big screen TVs to watch both games. There’s also mutton bustin’ at the Caddo County Fairgrounds. Events are free with the exception of the arts, crafts, and food vendors.
Ankle Monitor Helps Solve Burglary
An ankle monitor helps law enforcement solve a burglary. Police in Verden were called to a home last month to investigate the theft of a generator and a video game system. While investigating an unrelated larceny which occurred at a Chickasha hardware store, officials identified a suspect from the store’s video surveillance. That suspect was known to have lived near the thefts which took place in Verden. Officers checked the GPS coordinates on the suspect's ankle monitor which allegedly put him at the Verden home at the time of the burglary, and at a pawn shop where the stolen items had been sold. Authorities arrested 25-year old Kevin Lee Keeton of Verden and he has been formally charged with felony counts of burglary and false declaration of ownership. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond. Keeton had an ankle monitor because he was on probation for pleading guilty to a charge of escape from arrest back in 2017.
Sheriff's Office Wanted 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.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.67.
Natural gas is $2.13 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,507 and silver is $18.10.
Thursday, Oct. 24th
Consumer Spending Still Good, But Slipping
Consumer spending is still at a good level in the region but the numbers are trending downward. The latest numbers show consumer spending across Grady County for August was about $121 million. While that total is up about 9.6 percent on a month-to-month basis it is down about 14 percent compared to the same time last year. For the City of Chickasha consumer spending for August was estimated at $29 million which is down about 6.7 percent from the previous month and down about 4 percent from August of 2018. The state tax commission doled out the sales taxes paid on those numbers to cities and counties earlier this month. Grady County received about $906,000 and the City of Chickasha collected nearly $1.1 million.
Chickasha Walk to End Alzheimer's Set for Saturday
Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s blamed on more deaths than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. There is no cure for the disease. The Alzheimer's Association of Oklahoma will have a walk to end Alzheimer's in Chickasha this weekend in an effort to raise funds for research and to provide support for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. Lyndse Sager with the association talks about a couple of free services available, including a 24-7 help-line.
The Chickasha walk to end Alzheimer's will be Saturday morning at the Grady County Fairgrounds. They'll start at 8:30 a.m. Get information by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chix Police Seek Grant for K9 Officer Program
The Chickasha Police Department is again participating in a nationwide competition which provides grants to law enforcement grants for K9 officer programs. It's called the Aftermath K-9 Grant. Only seven grants will be awarded and it all comes down to popular vote. Chickasha finished in the top 15 last year. You can vote every 24 hours and individuals can vote for any department on the list, so family and friends who live outside Chickasha can vote for Chickasha. Voting runs through November 3rd. Cast votes on-line at: aftermath.com/k9grant
Funeral Set for Long-time Maremont Plant Manager
The long-time plant manager of Maremont has died. Perry Ramsey died Wednesday, Oct. 23rd just one day shy of his 80th birthday. Ramsey was born in Chickasha and graduated from Central State College which is now the University of Central Oklahoma. He spent some time in the Air National Guard and then began his career in the automotive industry with General Motors. He worked for GM in both Oklahoma City and Detroit. He moved back to Chickasha to work for Maremont where he was the vice president of operations and plant manager for nearly 25 years. He is survived by his wife Virginia, two sons, and their families. Survivors also include a brother Dan Ramsey, a former member of the State House of Representatives. The funeral for Perry Ramsey will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25th at First Christian Church of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Author to Address Historical Society Annual Meeting
The Grady County Historical Society is preparing for its annual meeting. Author and historian John Dwyer is the guest speaker for the event which will be held Monday Nov. 4th at USAO. For information contact Pat Cunningham at the historical society museum in downtown Chickasha or call 405-224-6480.
More Big Oil Producing Wells Reported in the Region
In energy news, Marathon Oil reports a 1,000-barrel-a-day oil well in the STACK region. The location is about five miles north of El Reno. The well was also producing more than 1,800 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day. Production reports out of the SCOOP area in Grady County show two wells for Houston-based Riviera with one of them topping 775 barrels of oil per day.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.97 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.17.
Natural gas is $2.28 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,491 and silver is $17.52.
Wednesday, Oct. 23rd
More info on GMH-BCBSOK Contract Extension
Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman says he's confident a long-term contract can be reached between the hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma. This week's announcement that keeps the hospital and the Five Oaks Medical Group in-network with the insurance company was good news for local families which have that coverage. In an exclusive interview with KOOL-RANCH News, Spellman says it’s his belief that efforts to get higher reimbursement rates will pay off.
Spellman said with help from community leaders, State Senator Lonnie Paxton, State Representative David Perryman and the governor's office, they were able to extend the current contract agreement through June 30th of next year.
In other hospital news, Spellman announced a new pediatric center will be built. Spellman said the funding for the $1.2 million project will come from the county-wide sales tax approved by voters in 2016. He also said that they are working to get obstetrics back at the hospital and Five Oaks, once the pediatric center construction is completed. The center will be located in the basement of the Five Oaks building. Estimated completion time is November of next year, with the obstetrics program to return after that.
Suspect Saught for Using Elderly Woman's Credit Cards
Caddo County authorities are looking for a man they say racked up several thousand dollars in credit card debt using cards belonging to an elderly woman. An arrest warrant has been issued for 37-year old Tom Gaylon Belase of Carnegie. Prosecutors have charged him with 12 counts of credit card fraud for buying more than $13,000 in items between January and July of this year. Authorities were contacted this past summer when the victim's son noticed money was missing from his mother's checking account. A probable cause affidavit lists some of the purchases as nearly $5,000 in Moneygram transfers; more than $4,000 for Facebook transfers; a nearly $2,000 Western Union transfer, more than $1,000 in utility bill payments; $500 to Amazon, and purchases at Sonic and for flowers. Belase has prior felony convictions and his facing up to life in prison if convicted on the most recent charges.
Ag Producers Face Deadline to Sign Up for Tariff Program
Ag producers hurt by the on-going trade negotiations between the U.S. and China can get some relief from USDA. The Market Facilitation Program is designed to offset the decrease in crop prices because of the tariff war between the two countries. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says the payment rates differ from county to county.
Jackson said applications for the Market Facilitation program need to be in by Dec. 6th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil is $54.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $59.10.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,495 and silver is $17.58.
Tuesday, Oct. 22nd
Grady Memorial, BCBS-OK Extend Agreement
Families in the region with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma health insurance get some good news. Grady Memorial Hospital and the health insurance giant have reached an agreement to keep the hospital in-network through June of next year. An extension of the previous contract was set to expire next week. Grady Memorial administrator Kean Spellman posted on Facebook that he received a counter-signed agreement from company officials yesterday and that Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Oklahoma would be running some news releases indicating the two sides came to a mutual decision. In a press release Spellman said he'll continue working with Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Oklahoma to negotiate a new multi-year contract. He also thanked area residents and staff members of Grady Memorial and the Five Oaks Medical Group for their patience and support during the negotiations.
City Council OKs Firefighter Contract
A new collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the City of Chickasha and the local firefighters union. After a 45-minute closed-door session during last night’s city council meeting, the panel voted to approve the contract with the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041. City Manager John Noblitt says it does include a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA).
The new contract runs through June 30th of next year. The council previously approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129.
Re-Zoning Approved for More Medicinal Marijuana Shops
The city council clears the way for two more medicinal marijuana dispensaries to open, approving zoning changes at a couple of locations - at 4th and Tennessee and 1111 West Choctaw Avenue. There was no opposition voiced during public hearings for either request. With the minimum number of council members attending, the panel voted 5-0 to approve both. With two more medicinal marijuana dispensaries approved, that would increase the number of dispensaries within the city limits to nine.
Council Passes Re-zoning for Miniature Golf Course
The council also approved re-zoning some agriculture land near the Chickasha Sports Complex to allow for the development of a miniature golf course. There was no opposition for that proposal during a public hearing and that measure also passed with a 5-0 vote.
Site Teachers Named at Chickasha Schools
Several Chickasha teachers are recognized for their work as they have been named Teacher of the Year at their respective school. At the high school, it’s computer teacher and coach Joe Molder; at the Middle School, it’s English teacher Greg Gibson; at Lincoln School, it’s art teacher Allison Cofer; at Grand Elementary, it’s gifted and talented teacher Brandon Willis; and at Bill Wallace, it’s pre-K teacher Melissa Josey. All are now in the running to be teacher of the year for the entire school district, with the winner to be announced in the spring.
Team Roping Event Expects Hundreds of Competitors
Many of the top team ropers in the country will be in Chickasha this week for the second annual Capitalist Classic, one of the richest team-roping events in the country. There's $85,000 added-money for the event and organizers are expecting about 300 teams to compete. Kollin VonAhn of Blanchard is one of the organizers. He says many of the ropers will be competing at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas later this year. The Capitalist Classic gets underway with open roping today, with competitions beginning about 9 a.m. each day through Sunday at the Grady County Fairgrounds Event Center. Admission is free.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil in the NYMEX is $53.31 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.96.
Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,491 and silver is $17.66.
Monday, Oct. 21st
Public Hearings Set for More Medical Marijuana Stores
Numerous medical marijuana dispensaries have opened throughout Oklahoma since the sale of the product was legalized. Several are already open in Chickasha and the city council will hold public hearings tonight to re-zone properties for what could be two more. One location is 1111 W. Choctaw Avenue which is a former day care center. The other is at 4th and Tennessee Avenue which is a former restaurant. Both are currently zoned local commercial and are requesting a general commercial zoning classification. The city's planning commission recommended that both requests be approved. Another re-zoning request is for property near the city’s sports complex where applicants are hoping to build a miniature golf course. The land is currently zoned for agriculture use and the applicants are asking to re-zone it for general commercial use. The planning commission recommended that request be approved as well.
Council to Consider Economic Development Grants
The city council will also consider issuing two economic development incentive grants totaling $135,000 to encourage a couple of business to open. A $50,000 grant would help Crazy 8 Cafe re-open at a new location at 424 Chickasha Avenue. This is part of a city program to offer companies one dollar from the city for every two dollars invested by the business. The other is an $85,000 incentive grant for Viridian Coffee to open a store in Chickasha. Viridian is a top-of-line coffee shop that might be compared to Starbucks. Viridian is based in Duncan. The Chickasha Economic Development Council recommended both grants be approved. The council will also consider approving the installation of a couple of fiber optic lines. One is for Trace Fiber Optics which is a division of the Chickasaw Nation. They are seeking a permit to install about 10 miles of fiber optics on the west side of the city which tribal officials say is a $250,000 construction project. The city would receive about $17,000. A second fiber optic project is a request from Dobson Technologies to install fiber along 4th Street for the new Domino’s Convenience Store at 4th and Missouri Ave. The council will also have a closed-door session to get an update on the contract negotiations with the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Funeral Set for Deputy Who Died After Brief Illness
A Grady County deputy who also served as the Rush Springs police chief has died. Paul Markham was just 46 years old when he passed away after a brief illness. Markham died in an Oklahoma City hospital last Friday. His body received an escort home from law enforcement including the Grady County Sheriff's Office, Chickasha, Rush Springs and Oklahoma City Police Departments, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Markham served as the police chief in Rush Springs for 3 1/2 years before joining the sheriff's office. He is survived by his wife Dawn and two children. Funeral for Cpl. Markham will be at 11:00 a..m. Tuesday, Oct. 22nd at Bible Baptist Church with burial in the Westview Cemetery in Rush Springs. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
City Holds Coat Drive for Chickasha Students
A partnership between the City of Chickasha and Chickasha Public Schools will help needy students this winter. The city is asking residents to donate coats, jackets, gloves and other items in what is being called the Coats for Chickasha drive. There are donation boxes at city hall, the Chickasha police department, both fire stations, and the library. Other suggestions for donations are scarves, warm hats, and socks. Items can be new or gently used although officials ask that the socks be new. The Coats for Chickasha drive will run through Nov. 4th.
Water Disposal Company Continues Expansion
Bison, said to be the be No. 1 provider of water midstream solutions in Oklahoma, continues to grow. Bison officials announced a 15-year agreement with Chaparral Energy to manage produced water logistics within the SCOOP and STACK plays. That's on top of similar previously announced agreements with Paloma Operating Company which operates in the STACK, and Tapstone Energy. Bison trucks will now be hauling water from nearly 4.5 million acres throughout central and northwest Oklahoma.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $59.42.
Natural gas is $2.32 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,494 and silver is $17.74.