Saturday, Dec. 28th
Tribal Leaders Challenge Governor on Compact Plan
The leaders of Oklahoma's Native American tribes and Gov. Kevin Stitt are at odds over the governor's attempt to re-negotiate the gaming agreements between the state and the tribes. One tribal leader says the governor should look to other sectors to increase state revenue. Matt Komalty, chairman of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, suggests turning to the oil and gas industry. Komalty said the governor is comparing casino revenues in Oklahoma to states like New York which have a higher per capita income. Komalty also said Stitt is insisting that tribes pay higher fees, as it would be 'fair' to other Oklahoma industries. Komalty said the governor only has to look at the oil and gas industry to see that Stitt is being dishonest. Stitt recently issued a six-month extension to the Jan. 1st deadline for the compacts.
State's Sierra Club Branch to be More Pro-Active in 2020
An environmental group will be more aggressive in their efforts to make Oklahoma a cleaner, greener state. The Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club is making plans to step up and push back against the state's fossil fuel giants and bad state leadership. Johnson Bridgewater is the group’s president. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that some of the issues they plan to tackle include water pollution and earthquakes caused by toxic wastewater injection, the waste of millions of gallons of fresh water used for unlimited fracking, and dangerous pipeline projects. The group also want something done about the state's large chicken operations which officials say are polluting protected waters, and coal ash ground contamination. The group is asking its members for more contributions in order make progress on their issues.
Reserve Officer Honored for 41 Years of Service
The Chickasha Police Department honors one its own. Reserve police officer Jerry Atkinson has retired after serving 41 years with the department. That's longer than many of his fellow officers have been alive. Chief Dee Rowell praised Atkinson for his years of service.
It's estimated that Atkinson volunteered more than 12,000 hours or more than 510 eight-hour days during his 41 years. Atkinson served under 15 chiefs or interim police chiefs, beginning with Henry Jones in the late 1970s. Atkinson says he's not sure what the next chapter in his life holds. He says when one door closes, another one opens.
Everything Christmas Store to Close
A group dedicated to help the homeless in Chickasha will be closing its doors for good. Officials with The Everything Christmas Store say they’ve lost the building where they stored their inventory. Proceeds from the sale of merchandise has supported the Resurrection House and the Life Skills institute. Coordinator Pam Morgan thanks all the volunteers and customers for their help over the last nine years. The store will be open today (Saturday), Monday, December 30th and the final day the store will be open is Tuesday, December 31st. The store is located at 804 S. 4th, in the former location of Friendly Travel, next to Locke Supply.
Graveside service for 93-year old Ples Fulton of Cement. will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, December 29th December 29th at Laverty Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral for 82-year old Mildred Sullivan of Alex will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 31st at the Westside Church of Christ in Alex. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Memorial service for 98-year old Anna Lee Hunt, formerly of the Chickasha and Amber area, will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 4th at the First Baptist Church of Amber. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, Dec. 27th
Tuttle Man Arrested, Charged with Child Sexual Abuse
A Grady County man is jailed on a $250,000 bond for allegedly molesting a 12-year old. Prosecutors have formally charged 58-year old Marvin Marshall Larson, Jr. with felony child sexual abuse. A Grady County Sheriff's Office affidavit indicates that investigators were called to a Tuttle church two weeks ago, after the child told church volunteers that Larson had been molesting her. Larson was called in to the sheriff's office for an interview last week, where he is alleged to have admitted molesting the child. Larson had his initial appearance on the charge in Grady County District Court yesterday. He is to announce his attorney Jan. 24th with a preliminary hearing conference set for Feb. 11th. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has 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.
Longtime Reserve Police Officer to Retire
After more than 40 years of serving as a reserve Chickasha police officer, Jerry Atkinson is retiring. Atkinson began working as a reserve officer in 1978. Atkinson earned the rank of Captain in his many years working part time with the department. Lt. Traye Alexander says Atkinson has been an important part of the police department, working during critical times and events which just needing a police presence.
Alexander says reserve officers are asked to spend 8 to 10 hours per month working with the department, but Atkinson has worked about 25 hours a month. He estimates that Atkinson has volunteered more than 12,000 hours during those 41 years. A retirement reception for Capt. Atkinson will be held at noon today at Chickasha police headquarters.
No Funding Approved for Route 66 Projects
Federal grants which have helped with the restoration of the country's historic Route 66 have dried up. Members of Congress did not pass any funding for highway projects before adjourning for the holidays and that has some worried. Many cities and towns along the 2,400 mile road from Chicago to Los Angeles have been able to leverage local funding with federal grants to renovate historic stops along the highway. Ken Busby with the Route 66 Alliance told Public Radio Tulsa that the lack of dedicated federal funding for preservation work puts people trying to save the Mother Road in a tough spot. Legislation to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail stalled in both the U.S. House and Senate. A few years ago, the World Monuments Fund listed Route 66 on the 'Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.'
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Cathy Nestlen with the Regional Food Bank is on our KOOL Konversation program. And on Real Estate Today with John Mosley our guest is USAO president John Feaver. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.68 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $67.92.
Natural gas is $2.29 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,514 and silver is $17.91. `
Thursday, Dec. 26th
Chix Mayor Looks Back on 2019; Ahead to 2020
Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley says 2019 was a good year for the city, with growth in the business sector and some needed development in housing getting underway. Mosley said there's been an increase in business activity in the downtown area with the use of the city’s economic development funds.
The other acreage near the fairgrounds is anticipated to be residential with multi-family housing units. The mayor also said activity in the Tax Increment Finance District south of Grand Avenue between 4th Street and 9th Street will bring more retail to the city. Looking ahead to the new year, the mayor anticipates addressing additional housing needs with single family homes in the Sleepy Hollow Addition and additional single-family homes and multi-family units west of 16th and Country Club Road.
Unemployment On the Rise
Unemployment rates are beginning to inch upward, led by the loss of many jobs in the energy sector. The latest numbers indicate that the jobless rate in Grady County increased slightly from 3.1 percent in September to 3.2 percent in October. That compares to 2.6 percent from October of 2018. New unemployment numbers for November should be out in a couple of days. The largest jump in unemployment in the region was seen in Stephens County, where the jobless rate increased from 4.4 percent in September to 4.9 percent in October. That compares to 3.5 percent in October of last year.
Chix Trash Pick-up Schedule Revised
Here’s another reminder of the revised trash pick-up schedule for Chickasha residents. For those whose normal trash pick-up day is Wednesday, Waste Connections will be making rounds today. For residents whose normal trash pickup day is Thursday, it will instead be tomorrow. And for those whose regular pick up day is Friday, it will instead be on Saturday.
Energy Firm Joins Climate Change Reduction Effort
Schulmberger is announcing an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that company officials say the energy industry has a role to play in reducing the effects of climate change. The application of the firm's industry- and environmentally-friendly technologies will help improve the efficiency of its processes and reduce its environmental footprint. The company looks to help meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement established in 2016 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.11 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $67.20.
Natural gas is $2.18 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,506 and silver is $18.01.
Obituaries today include 35-year old David Wentz of Chickasha. Funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, December 27th at Chickasha’s First Christian Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Resurrection House, Make Promises Happen in Guthrie, or the Buddha Mind Monastery in Oklahoma City.
Funeral for 47-year old John Mitchell of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27th at the Tuttle First Assembly of God Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Funeral for 30-year old Hailey Henderson of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28th Chickasha’s Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network.
Wednesday, Dec. 25th
No news due to the Christmas holiday.
Tuesday, Dec. 24th
SUV Crash Claims Life of Chickasha Woman
Tragedy for a Grady County family here at the Christmas holiday season. A one-vehicle accident claims the life of 30-year old Hailey Henderson of Chickasha. Henderson died in a crash that happened late Sunday or early Monday near Alex. The accident is under investigation by the highway patrol. Henderson's SUV was found about a mile south of State Highway 19 on Cemetery Road, which is southeast of Alex. Reports are that the SUV ran off the road and rolled several times. Henderson's body has been taken to the state medical examiner’s office.
Two Semis, Pickup Pile-up in Fog
Two Caddo County truck drivers were involved in a foggy three-vehicle crash which sent one of the truck drivers to the hospital. 45-year old Dusty Francis of Ft. Cobb was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was last in serious condition. 68-year old James Bryant of Carnegie and the driver of a pickup also involved in the accident were not injured. The accident happened west of Burns Flat on State Highway 152 about 9:00 a.m. Monday. The driver of the pickup was stopped at a stop light. Both truck drivers were westbound behind that vehicle. The highway patrol reports Francis had slowed to make a turn, and Bryant’s big rig rear-ended Francis’ semi and trailer.
Teen, Father Accused of Fraud in Car-Buying Scam
A teenager and his father are accused of fraud for allegedly trying to purchase several vehicles from a car dealership. The Grady County District Attorney’s Office has charged 70-year old Phillip Gerald Bailey of Fletcher with a felony for bogus checks and running a con game. His 15-year old son is going through the juvenile justice system. Papers filed in Grady County District Court indicate that Chickasha police were called to a local dealership to investigate a report that someone tried to buy a new truck through an electronic bank transfer. Later, it's alleged the teen called the dealership to purchase two additional vehicles. The total purchase price was more than $140,000. However, it was determined that the account number provided belonged to a high-end car dealership in Beverly Hills, California. The affidavit also states that the teen wrote bad checks on a closed account to purchase a new car from a Texas dealership, and some off-road vehicles from an Ardmore business. All the vehicles have been returned. The affidavit indicated that Bailey initially said he didn't know his son was being dishonest, but is alleged to have admitted going along with the scam. Bailey is in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.
Salvation Army Needs Help Achieving Red Kettle Goal
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle drive ends today, and the local collections need a big effort from you for the faith-based group to reach its goal. Lt. David Brittle with the Salvation Army which serves Grady and Caddo counties said that as of donations received this past weekend, they were about $6,700 short of their goal of $68,000. All the funds goes toward the church’s operations next year. The group recently helped more than 400 families in the two-county area with its Angel-to-Angel program. Bell ringers will be working in the region until 3:00 p.m. or so this afternoon (Tuesday, Dec. 24th).
USAO Students Address State Academy of Sciences
Some USAO students were able to discuss their research projects at the annual Oklahoma Academy of Sciences earlier this month. For biology major Cody Corser, it was his second time to be chosen for the program. He reviewed his research regarding the short-grass prairie in Grady County. Nick Campisi, a biology and natural science major, gave an overview of 'bat diversity surrounding rural and urban bodies of water’. Erin Dunagan is a deaf education major who reviewed her research of tick-borne diseases in and around the Chickasha area. History major Cassandra Poole presented her demographic investigation using headstone analysis at Chickasha’s Rose Hill Cemetery. The presentations were made at the University of Central Oklahoma as part of the 108th technical meeting of the state academy.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $66.39.
Natural gas is $2.21 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,494 and silver is $17.65.
Monday, Dec. 23rd
Marathon Reports Big Producing SCOOP Wells
While the number of oil and gas rigs in Oklahoma lags behind the numbers from a year ago, some current wells are bringing in a lot of black gold. A couple of sister wells for Marathon Petroleum Company in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP) are producing a combined 3,200 barrels of oil and about 2,800 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. These are the McLoud wells about three miles southeast of Lindsay in Section 6 of Township 3 North, Range 7 West in Garvin County. The wells are in the Springer formation and were drilled to a depth between 18,000 and 23,000 feet. Completion reports published by the website www.okenergytoday.com indicate that Continental Resources was drilling three wells in Garvin County and two others in Grady County. And EOG Resources which has had some activity in the Tri-City area around Blanchard and Newcastle has had completions in both Grady and McClain counties.
Sunday Accidents Shut Down Highway Near Ninnekah
A couple of traffic accidents on U.S. Highway 81 south of Ninnekah last night shut down the highway for more than 2 1/2 hours. The accidents happened just after 6:00 p.m. at Highway 81 and CR 1435 which is about a mile and a half south of State Highway 277. The highway patrol didn't release any information about the crashes, other than to say that both northbound and southbound lanes of traffic on the highway were blocked. The highway was finally cleared by about 8:45 p.m.
Driver Injured When Pick-up Hits Utility Pole
A Cement woman was injured in a weekend crash when her pickup ran off the road and hit a utility pole. 49-year old Christine Osborn-Cogburne was hospitalized after the crash about 7:00 a.m. Saturday just west of Norge on State Highway 92. Osborne-Cogburn was last in fair condition at an Oklahoma City hospital. The highway patrol reported she was driving too fast for the road conditions. The accident left about 400 PSO customers without electricity for a couple of hours.
Holy City Earns Place on Nat'l. Register of Historic Places
The Holy City of the Wichitas is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Skip Hamill is the chairman of the board of trustees for the Holy City, and says it took a lot of effort to finally get that designation.
Hamill says it should increase tourism to the site which has held a live outdoor Easter pageant every year since 1926. It's located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just north of Lawton. It’s open every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
Chickasha Trash Collection Revised Due to Holidays
Trash pick-up services in Chickasha will be affected by the Christmas and New Year holidays coming up over the next couple of weeks. Both days are holidays for employees of Waste Connections which is the city's private contractor for trash pick-up services. For residents whose normal trash pick-up day is Wednesday, it will instead be picked up on Thursday over the next couple of weeks. For those whose usual pick-up day is on Thursday, the pick-up will instead be on Friday. And, households with normal trash pick-up day on Friday, it will be on Saturdays. The trash pick-up schedule will return to normal the week of January 6th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.44 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $66.14.
Natural gas is $2.33 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,486 and silver is $17.39.
Funeral for Aline McMahan, 92, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 23rd at McRay Funeral Home.