Mollman Media News Archives for 2020-03

2020, March 23rd-28th

Saturday, March 28th

 

City of Chix Shuts Down Outside Dining at Restaurants              

Some Chickasha restaurants that began offering sit-down meals outside their doors have been told to stop. The City of Chickasha shut down the practice saying it violates Gov. Kevin Stitt's executive order. The city posted the announcement on its website and Facebook page Friday afternoon. The governor’s executive order said restaurants had to cease serving meals in their dining areas to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but did say they could provide curbside service or deliver meals. A couple of restaurants had set up tables just outside their doors. One comment on the city’s Facebook page was from Mama Carol's which indicated their tables were six feet apart and they were limiting service to a maximum of 10 customers, but that they would comply. The post also state that when (the coronavirus crisis) is over, they hoped Chickasha still has some restaurants. City officials said if restaurants want to contest the decision they need to contact the governor's office.

 

State Coronavirus Cases Climb;

GMH Buys Robot to Disinfect Surfaces              

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma grew to 248 on Friday. Two of those cases are in Grady County though officials at Grady Memorial Hospital report that neither are from the hospital or the Five Oaks Medical Group. The statement indicated that the confirmed cases were Grady County residents who were tested elsewhere. Hospital officials also announced they have purchased an ultra-violet light robot to disinfect surfaces, equipment, and items. The robot cost of $70,000 was not in the hospital budget. Administrator Kean Spellman asks the community to help pay for the robot with tax-deductible donations to the hospital foundation.

 

Cole Reacts to Passage of Coronavirus Relief Plan              

4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole was not able to vote on the historic $2.2 trillion coronavirus act when it passed by voice vote in the House yesterday. Cole was still under self-quarantine at his home in Moore after being in contact with a fellow house member who tested positive for the infection. In a statement, Cole said while many House members were absent from voting, it doesn't make the House any less united in its support of the measure. It passed after House leaders declared there were enough members present for a quorum. In an exclusive interview with KOOL News this week, we asked Cole where the money will come from to fund the program.

 

              

 

Cole did say part of the program is $500 billion in loans that will be paid back. The passage of the CARES Act will increase the national debt to more than $24 trillion.

              

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.

 

Obituary

Elnora Carter

A private memorial service will be held at a later date for Elnora Carter, 84, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Friday, March 27th

 

Local Government Leaders Urge Residents

to Heed Coronavirus Restrictions              

Grady County government leaders issued a joint statement yesterday asking residents to abide by the restrictions in place in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Ralph Beard, the chairman of the Grady County Commissioners, and Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley said while there is not a shelter-in-place order issued for the county or the city, they ask residents to stay home as much as possible. That will minimize potential exposure to the illness, and if you do become infected it would prevent it from being spread to others. They said going to the grocery store, getting prescriptions from pharmacies, getting take-out food from restaurants, and even going on a walk around the neighborhood or parks are fine things to do, but they ask that you maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others. The statement also indicated how proud they are of the first responders working to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of residents.

 

COVID-19 Confirmations Continue Rapid Rise              

The latest report from the state health department shows that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is now 248. More than half of those confirmations are in the Oklahoma City Metro area. Grady County has another confirmed coronavirus case, which increases the county number to two.

 

Chix School Officials Plan 'Distance-Learning' Effort

Chickasha school officials are beginning work on the district's 'distance-learning' plan. In a special meeting of the board of education yesterday, Superintendent Rick Croslin said he's meeting with principals to come up with ideas. He said school officials will be working to reach every student in the district.

 

              

 

Croslin said if some students don't have Chromebooks that an effort would be made to get them one. There are concerns that some students and even some teachers in the district don't have Internet access. He said that in some cases lesson plans could be taken to those homes.

 

CHS Seniors to have 'Different' Graduation Ceremony

School districts are supposed to submit their plans to the state department of education by the end of next week. For Chickasha schools, the plan is to begin the distance-learning program the week of April 6th. Tentatively, teachers will be working with their students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Croslin said even though all extra-curricular activities have been canceled there's one event he says needs to take place.

 

              

 

Croslin said he is working on a plan to get graduating seniors their caps and gowns and may have a drive-through program when that time comes. Croslin did say the prom has been canceled.

 

Final Coronavirus Relief Plan Approval Expected              

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the coronavirus relief plan today. The $2.2 trillion dollar plan calls for American families making less than $75,000 to get $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. It also includes billions of dollars in loans to small businesses to help them keep their doors open and their employees on the job. 4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole said small business owners can reach out to their local financial institutions for information.

 

              

 

Also KOOL 105.5 and Chickasha Economic Development Council Director Jim Cowan will be talking with Oklahoma Commerce Secretary Sean Kouplen about the loans on this weekend’s Real Estate Today program. Here is the link to that interview:

https://kool1055fm.com/podcasts/real-estate-today

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.60 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $26.34.

Natural gas is $1.63 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,641 and silver is $14.66.

 

 

Thursday, March 26th

 

State School Board Cancels Classes,

Adopts 'Distance-Learning' Programs

Classrooms across the state will be void of students for the rest of the school year. The Oklahoma State Board of Education takes action to close classrooms over concerns of the coronavirus. The group approved a plan for distance-learning by State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. Officials say it will not be all on-line instruction. Teachers will be able to reach out to students via phone and other electronic methods. Moneys that school districts could have used for textbooks will now be used for technology to reach students. The panel also canceled all extra-curricular events for the rest of the school year including the Class 2A through 6A state basketball tournaments that had been postponed earlier this month, as well as proms and graduation ceremonies.

 

Schools to Continue Feeding Program              

Many schools will continue the 'grab-and-go' meal program that was originally implemented to run through April 3rd after classes had been canceled because of COVID-19. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said the Chickasha breakfast and lunch program will continue through the rest of the school year.

 

Chix School Board to Discuss Support Employee Pay              

The Chickasha Board of Education has a special meeting today to discuss some coronavirus issues affecting the district. The panel will discuss revising a policy regarding personal leave for support personnel, in order that those workers get paid for the rest of the school year. The school board will also consider a plan to hold teleconferences for future school board meetings. The group will also look at a plan to make a change to the district’s food service management contract, which involves the summer feeding program. That meeting is scheduled for noon today (Thursday, March 26th) at the school administration building.

 

COVID-19 Cases Now in Stephens, Comanche Counties            

Officials in Stephens and Comanche counties are confirming the first coronavirus cases in those areas. Yesterday, the state health department said there was one confirmed case in Stephens County. However, the report did not include two cases confirmed in Comanche county. Officials with Comanche Memorial Hospital wanted to get the word out as quickly as possible about the infections. Including the new cases out of Comanche County, there are now 166 confirmed COVID-19 virus cases in 20 Oklahoma Counties. Caddo County is still without a confirmed coronavirus case.

 

USAO Campus Closes, Graduation Canceled              

USAO has now closed its campus to the public. President John Feaver says the university's highest priority must be to operate in ways that minimize threats to the safety and well-being of the university community. Students will have limited access to computer labs, and offices will continue to operate virtually to accommodate students. Feaver also announced that graduation ceremonies that had been scheduled for April 25th have been canceled. Earlier, the university had asked students living in campus dormitories to go home, and that commuting students were being advised to not visit the campus. Students are asked to communicate with the university electronically. Any students who could not go home were asked to make alternate living arrangements with the dean of students. It’s not clear how many international students are affected. Students living in the Lawson Hall Apartments could stay or go home. Officials did announce that the blood drive scheduled for Friday at the USAO Fieldhouse will go on. Social-distancing procedures will be followed.

              

Businessman, Longtime City Councilman Paul Powell Dies

Longtime Chickasha businessman and city councilman Paul Powell has died. Powell was 72 when he passed away at his home on Monday. He owned and was a broker for a real estate company, and spent 12 years on the city council. Powell was a lifelong Chickasha resident and earned a degree in accounting from Oklahoma State. He worked for a time with Perdue Housing Industries and in recent years purchased Chickasha Realty. Powell was proud of the fact that in all of his years on the city council, he only missed one planning session. No public services are scheduled. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Tom Cole to Host Town Hall Meeting via Phone

4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole will host a town hall meeting via teleconference later today. Cole is to provide updates on the steps being taken to combat the coronavirus and will discuss the $2.2 trillion dollar spending plan to get critical relief to Americans, small businesses, and factories. Cole will be joined by Dr. Jason Sanders, the senior vice president and provost for the OU Health Sciences Center. The teleconference will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. tonight (Thursday, March 26th). To participate, call 1-888-544-2335.

 

Deadline to Pay Second Half of Property Taxes Extended              

As you may know, state and federal officials are allowing individuals to delay filing their incomes taxes because of the coronavirus, Normally the deadline is April 15th, but you now have until July 15th to file taxes. With Governor Stitt's recent action, property owners who need to pay the second half of their property taxes can delay those payments for a couple of weeks. Normally, the second half of the payments were due April 15th, but property owners now have until April 30th to pay without penalty. Grady County Treasurer Robin Burton said this only applies to those property owners who opt to pay half their taxes by the January 15th deadline, followed by the balance in mid-April. Contact your local county treasurer's office if you have questions.

 

Energy and Metals              

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $24.49 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $27.39.

Natural gas is $1.66 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,628 and silver is $14.60.

 

 

Wednesday, March 25th

 

Governor Takes More Action to Limit COVID-19 Spread

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt orders non-essential businesses in counties affected by the COVID-19 virus to close for the next three weeks. At a press conference yesterday, the governor issued an executive order closing those businesses in the 19 counties where there are confirmed coronavirus cases. It includes but is not limited to hair salons, barbershops, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and others that require close contact between clients and customers. The businesses have to close at 11:59 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, March 25th) and will be closed for 21 days, or through April 15th. The governor did not describe many other businesses that might be non-essential. Stitt also said he's taking steps to help the health care workers treating coronavirus patients.

 

              

 

Stitt also is banning gatherings of more than 10 people, and is suspending all visitation at long-term care facilities statewide until further notice. Stitt also issued what he called a 'Safe at Home' initiative, saying seniors and individuals who may be vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19 virus to stay home until April 30th, unless they need to buy food or prescriptions. The 19 counties where the coronavirus has been confirmed and where non-essential businesses will be closing include Grady, Garvin, McClain, Cleveland, Oklahoma, and Canadian counties. As of 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 24th, the state health department confirmed 106 coronavirus cases in Oklahoma. The City of Chickasha issued a statement which mirrored the governor's action.

 

AG Warns of Coronavirus Scam              

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is warning residents of a scam connected to the coronavirus. Hunter says his office has received more than 130 complaints about individuals selling at-home coronavirus test kits. Hunter said there are no credible test kits on the market which individuals can administer in their homes and that no health care provider nor other credentialed individual will call and offer the tests at random. Hunter said the issue will likely become more prevalent in the coming days.

 

Congress Passes Record $2 Trillion Economic Rescue Plan

Congress has finally approved the largest economic rescue plan in history designed to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press reports the vote came early this morning on the $2 trillion plan. The emergency legislation is designed to aid individuals, businesses, and the health care system. The rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits, and provide billions of dollars to help small businesses keep making payroll while most workers are forced to stay at home.

 

Local Trooper Dies After Lengthy Illness

A state trooper has lost his life battling a lengthy illness. Lt. Daniel Moreno passed away at an Oklahoma City hospital yesterday. Moreno worked in the Caddo County area of Troop G after joining the OHP in 2001. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2013. He transferred to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike detachment where he continued to serve as a supervisor. Moreno grew up in Gracemont and attended Cameron University. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Moreno served more than 20 years in both active and reserve duty roles. Prior to his OHP service he worked for Delta Faucet. A memorial service is pending.

 

Braum's Restaurant Founder Passes Away

Bill Braum, the founder of the Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy stores, has died. Braum passed away at his home in Tuttle on Monday at the age of 92. No public services are scheduled. Braum started working with the family's small butter and milk processing plant in Kansas at a young age. The family would add ice cream processing to the operation then developed a chain of retail ice cream stores. The family sold that business, then Braum started the chain in Oklahoma by opening 22 stores in 1968. Today, Braum's has 280 locations and employs more than 4,000 people.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $24.01 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $27.15.

Natural gas is $1.65 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,651 and silver is $14.66.

 

Obituary

Martha Dickey Hunt

A private burial will be held for 79-year old Martha Dickey Hunt of Chickasha. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, March 24th

 

New Chix School Superintendent Arrives;

First Priority is Coronavirus Concerns

The new superintendent for Chickasha Public Schools is now in the office full time. Since he was hired for the post in January, Rick Croslin had been spending a couple of days a week in town getting familiar with the district.  Now, he's tasked with leading the school system through the local problems associated with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. With all Oklahoma schools canceled through April 3rd, Croslin said school employees are in the process of sanitizing all the district's buildings. The district is  using a machine which sprays a chemical he says is proven to take care of the coronavirus.

 

              

 

Croslin said the district has enough of the chemical to spray all classrooms, offices, school buses, and athletic facilities. In other school issues, the superintendent said the school board will be having a special meeting later this week to discuss paying support personnel, and to consider a plan to implement a system to allow the board to broadcast future meetings via teleconference.

 

'Distance Learning' May be Implemented in State Schools              

It's not clear when, or even if Oklahoma schools will return to business as usual. State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister said the state board of education will meet tomorrow to discuss a distance-learning plan which may keep public school students out of the classroom for the rest of the year. Hoffmeister said that ‘distance-learning’ doesn't necessarily mean on-line courses. She said teachers could talk to students on the phone, through video chats, or other technology.

 

Chix Officials Urge Residents

to Heed COVID-19 Precautions

The City of Chickasha issued a statement Monday saying officials want to avoid issuing a stay-at-home order and a mandatory business shutdown. The statement on the city's website asks residents to stay home if they don't have to be out, and implores individuals who suspect they may have coronavirus symptoms to call their health care provider for instructions. The statement urged people who are sick - or have even been around someone who is sick - to stay home. Officials also ask residents to not hoard food, toilet paper, or other items. The city has been under a state of emergency since March 13th.

 

Another Increase in State Coronavirus Cases             

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues climbing in Oklahoma.  The state health department says there are now 81 confirmed cases (as of 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 23rd). Two people have died from the illness and 15 have required hospital stays. More than half of the confirmed cases are in the Oklahoma City area, with 29 confirmed cases in Oklahoma County and 16 in Cleveland County. Grady and McClain counties still have just one case each while there are two confirmed cases in both Garvin and Canadian counties. There are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Caddo, Stephens, or Comanche counties. As health officials work with a limited supply of personal protective equipment, officials with Grady Memorial Hospital say there have been a couple of companies and some individuals which have donated N95 masks. Hospital administrator Kean Spellman said that Willowbrook Development and Harbor Freight are among the companies donating the masks.

 

Suspected Child Molester Arrested for Vandalism              

A man charged with child sexual abuse is back in jail, now accused of vandalism. 37-year old Mathew Chad Smith of Cement was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies in connection with an incident that occurred outside Cement on Feb. 23rd. In April of 2018, Smith was charged with child sexual abuse after DHS officials received a call from the child abuse hotline alleging he molested a then eight-year old girl. Smith was out of jail after posting a $75,000 bond. Prosecutors have now charged him with a misdemeanor for the vandalism arrest, and have revoked his bond on the child sexual abuse charge. Smith is to be back in court in July.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $23.36 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $27.03.

Natural gas is $1.60 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,641 and silver is $14.13.

 

 

Monday, March 23rd

 

 

Governor Stitt Takes More Steps

in Efforts to Limit Spread of COVID-19

Saying he knows Oklahomans are fearful and anxious, Gov. Kevin Stitt announces some new measures in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state. In a Sunday press conference, Stitt said four mobile testing sites will be available this week. They will be in Oklahoma, Tulsa, Kay, and Pittsburgh counties. In addition, more laboratories will be available for testing for the illness. The governor said the state only has nine days of personal protective equipment available for health care workers but that more is on the way.

 

State's Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Still Climbing              

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has increased to 67 as of yesterday (Sunday, March 22nd). The state health department has also confirmed a second death from the virus, which was in Pawnee County. Grady and McClain counties have one confirmed case each. Garvin and Canadian counties have two confirmed cases. Oklahoma County has 26 and Cleveland County has 13. No confirmed COVID-19 cases have been found in Caddo, Stephens, or Comanche counties.

 

Chickasha Officials Look to Help Businessses              

Chickasha city officials are asking business owners to let them know how they are being impacted by the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak. City Manager John Noblitt is asking business owners and managers to fill out a form and e-mail it to the city.

 

              

 

Noblitt said the form is available on the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce website.

 

Apache Man Dies in Double-Fatality Crash

A Caddo County man is one of two people killed in a head-on collision this past weekend. 81-year old Jerry Rath of Apache and an unidentified man both died in the crash which happened on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike about six miles south of Walters. The accident happened about 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22nd. The Highway Patrol reports that Rath was driving the wrong way on the interstate and collided with a van driven by the other victim.

 

Schools Begin Grab-and-Go Food Programs

Area schools will be providing grab-and-go meals for students over the next two weeks. Chickasha, Ninnekah, Rush Springs, Anadarko, and Bridge Creek schools are among school districts distributing bags with breakfast and lunch foods each Monday through Friday until April 3rd. The school districts have pickup times listed on websites and social media pages if they are available.

 

Chix Library to Start Unique Book Checkout Program              

The Chickasha Library is closed but officials have come up with a unique way to get their books to readers. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24th), bags of books will be available to check out at the drive-up book drop at 2:00 p.m. The books will be available until 3:30 p.m. unless they are all taken before that time. The bags are divided into several age groups which include pre-school, children's, teens, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction. There will also be a bag of books on CD. There is a limit of two bags per household. Customers will have to show a library card. For those who don't have a library card, bags of used paperback books will be available. The due date will be whenever the library re-opens, and no fines will accrue. Officials say as of now, the library is closed through the end of the month.

 

Chickasha Movie Theater Closed through COVID-19 Threat

Heritage Park Theatre has closed for the duration of the coronavirus threat. Manager Ron Funderburk says the theatre will re-open.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.43 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $26.98.

Natural gas is $1.60 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,500 and silver is $12.61.

 

Obituaries

Leroy Smith

Funeral service for 77-year old Leroy Smith of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 at Sharon Baptist Church. The funeral service will be for family members only. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Kenneth Bradley

Graveside service for 74-year old Kenneth Bradley of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 at the Ft. Cobb Cemetery. Arrangements are will Sevier Funeral Home.

 

2020, March 19th-21st

Saturday, March 21st

 

Scam Artists Looking to Capitalize on Coronavirus Scare

The Grady County Sheriff's Office and Blanchard Police are warning of scam artists looking to take advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials say individuals have been going door-to-door offering to test for the coronavirus, gaining access to homes and then stealing from residents. Sheriff Jim Weir said the individuals tell the residents that they are from the government, and will provide testing for the coronavirus. Weir said one individual became suspicious of the individuals and sent them on their way. The sheriff said no one from the government will be going from house-to-house offering the testing services. Weir encourages individuals to call their local law enforcement office to report suspicious activity, and provide descriptions of suspects of the vehicles they may be driving.

 

5 New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in Oklahoma              

The latest numbers from the state health department show five new confirmations of the COVID-19 virus. The number grew from 44 on Thursday to 49 on Friday. Grady, Garvin, and McClain counties each have had one confirmed illness while Caddo, Comanche, and Stephens counties have none. There are 33 cases in the Oklahoma City area, with 19 in Oklahoma County, 11 in Cleveland, two in Canadian County, and the one in McClain County.

 

Partnership Expected to Prompt

Faster COVID-19 Test Results              

Gov. Kevin Stitt has announced a new public-private partnership to increase the state's ability to deliver results from COVID-19 tests. The state health department is teaming up with Diagnostic Labs of Oklahoma. It will allow for a faster turn-around to get test results, expected to be within two or three days. More than 300 test specimens were sent to a Dallas facility for testing yesterday. The health department has a limited supply of test kits for those vulnerable to the illness, where results are available within 24 hours. Those susceptible to COVID-19 include the elderly, or anyone undergoing cancer treatment, or serious medical issues. For information, visit the state health department's website, www.coronavirus.health.ok.gov

 

County Commissioners Meetings to be Tele-conferenced              

The governor signed a bill this week allowing public meetings like city councils and county commissioners to be allowed to hold those meetings via teleconference during the coronavirus situation. With the Grady County Courthouse closed to the public, county commissioners will be holding their meetings in this fashion over the next few weeks starting with the Monday, March 23rd meeting which starts at 9:00 a.m. Individuals who want to access the teleconference will have to call ahead of time to get the information needed to access the link. The number to call is 405-224-5211. If technical issues come up during the teleconference, officials will try to resolve them within 30 minutes of when they were discovered. After 30 minutes, the meeting will be stopped and re-convened at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

 

Chix City Court Dates Postponed

More postponements have been announced by the City of Chickasha. Police Chief Dee Rowell says all municipal court dates for April have been delayed. The adult court date has been changed to May 5th and juvenile court has been changed to May 12th. Contact the city court clerk for more information. The number is 405-222-6020. The city has also canceled its Monday, April 6th city council meeting. And the city council election previously scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th has been moved to June 30th.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley and City Manager John

Noblitt will address the city's state of emergency issued in light of the coronavirus problems on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. And, on the KOOL Konversation, Lewis Knicely with the YMCA and Jenn Mikesell will discuss plans for Chickasha's Open Streets program. We have links to those programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, March 20th

 

Coronavirus Confirmed in Grady, McClain Counties

The state health department reports Grady and McClain counties have their first confirmed cases of the coronavirus. In the agency's update on Thursday, there were single cases of the illness in both counties. The health department initially reported a confirmed case in Stephens County, but later revised that back to zero and added one more case to Cleveland County. As of Thursday, there were 44 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and the health department also confirmed the first COVID-19-related death in Oklahoma - a Tulsa man in his 50s. Of the 44 confirmed cases, 30 are in the Oklahoma City region including 18 in Oklahoma County, nine in Cleveland County, two in Canadian County, and one in the McClain County.

 

Caddo County Courthouse Now Closed to Public              

Officials in Caddo County took action yesterday to close the county courthouse to the general public through April 16th. The courthouse is open for business with officials saying individuals can contact any office by telephone or via e-mail. The Grady County Courthouse had already closed its doors to the public.

 

Chix Animal Shelter, Lake Chickasha Closed to Public             

The City of Chickasha is taking more action to minimize the spread of the illness. In addition to closing city hall to visitors, officials have closed Lake Chickasha to the public. There will be no boating, fishing, camping, or gatherings at the lake through April 1st. The city has also closed the animal shelter to the public. There will be no animal adoptions, no spay or neuter clinics, and will not accept surrendered animals. The police department will respond to cases of vicious animals or other life-threatening situations involving animals. Mayor Chris Mosley said at this time, officials will not close bars or restaurants, as health officials say crowds of 10 or more people should be avoided. Mosley said many eateries are voluntarily shutting down seating areas and providing curb-side or delivery service.

 

FEMA Funding Available in Oklahoma              

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Thursday that Oklahoma is eligible to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to help with efforts to contain the virus. All 77 counties and Native American tribes will be able to apply. The FEMA funding is a 75-25 match. In addition, the governor has approved an order to allow individuals and non-corporate groups to defer income tax payments for 90 days without penalty or interest, though the filing deadline will remain April 15th. The governor also suspended the one-week waiting period for individuals to receive unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs.

 

Grady Memorial, 5 Oaks Begin Telemedicine Program

Officials at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Five Oaks Medical Group are turning to technology to help patients who have routine check-ups with their doctors. Hospital administrator Kean Spellman said the clinics are set up for tele-medicine appointments. Patients can stay at home while talking to their doctor via cel phone, tablet, laptop, or personal computer. Individuals are asked to call ahead and the doctor will call them back. Spellman did say some patients who aren't familiar with the process may need help from family members. Spellman said he is meeting with physicians on a daily basis to discuss the coronavirus situation. He said individuals who visit the clinic or the hospital who have respiratory issues will be sent to a separate area and monitored.

 

Amber Native Honored by OSU              

An OSU student from Grady County receives a prestigious honor. Keely Ratcliff has been named an outstanding senior at Oklahoma State. The award is presented by the OSU Alumni Association and recognizes seniors who demonstrate excellence in academics, campus, and community involvement; receives academic, athletic, or extra-curricular honors and awards; scholarships, and work-ethic. Ratlciff is one of 16 students who received the honor. She is a nutritional science major from Amber and hopes to become a physician's assistant and work in a rural area. Ratliff is the fourth generation of her family to attend OSU.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $25.22 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $28.47.

Natural gas is $1.65 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,508 and silver is $12.89.

 

 

Thursday, March 19th

 

 

Breaking-

(EDITOR'S NOTE - A previous version of this breaking news story indicated that Stephens County also had a confirmed case of coronavirus. The state health department later moved that confirmed case to Cleveland County. As of Friday morning, March 20th, Stephens County has no confirmed coronavirus cases.)

Grady and McClain counties have their first confirmed coronavirus cases. The state health department reports each county with one case each. The number of confirmed cases in Oklahoma rises from 29 to 44.

 

Grady County Courthouse; Chickasha City Hall 

Closed to the Public Due to Coronavirus Threat

The Grady County Courthouse has been closed to the general public as officials look to do their part to minimize the threat of the COVID-19 virus. In an emergency meeting yesterday, county commissioners made the decision to close the building to the public. All the county offices will be staffed, however. Anyone needing information from any county office can contact them by phone or e-mail. All the telephone numbers to the county clerk, court clerk, treasurer, assessor, emergency management, all three county barns, and the safety program have been posted on the Grady County Emergency Management Agency’s Facebook page. The Grady County OSU Extension Office also will be closed to the public until further notice. Chickasha City Hall is also closed to the public, but offices are open for utility payments. See the city's website www.chickasha.org for information regarding the limitation of other city services.

 

Assessor Mails Change of Property Valuation Notices

Grady County Assessor Bari Firestone said despite the courthouse being closed, the office is required to send out notices regarding changes in property valuations. Anyone who disagrees with the new valuation will still have 30 days to contact the office and file a protest if necessary. Firestone said individuals who get the notices will have an extended time to file for homestead or double-homestead exemption and seniors will have more time to apply for valuation limitation freezes.

 

 State Panel Encourages Delay of April 7th Elections             

The state election board has declared an emergency which will impact the upcoming April 7th elections. Officials are encouraging municipalities, school districts, and counties to move the elections to another date. Authorities said regular and statutory elections could be re-scheduled June 30th, which is the date of the state primary election. There is a Chickasha City Council election, an Anadarko municipal election, and some school board elections in the region set for April 7th.

 

USAO Cancels all Spring Events, including Droverstock

USAO has now canceled all activities on campus through May 9th. That includes the Spring Triad, where hundreds of youth across the state visit the campus for an academic competition, the sidewalk chalk art event, and the Droverstock music series. As of today, USAO business offices are closed for the rest of the week but will re-open next Monday. USAO classes are canceled through March 27th.

 

State Has First Coronavirus-Related Death

Media outlets are reporting that Oklahoma has its first coronavirus-related death. They cite the Tulsa County Health Department as saying a man in his 50s tested positive for the illness on Tuesday and passed away yesterday. The latest numbers from the Oklahoma State Health Department show 29 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The illness has been confirmed in eight counties but none confirmed in Grady, Caddo, McClain, Garvin, Stephens, or Comanche counties. 378 tests have come back negative and 110 individuals are awaiting results. There are 20 confirmed cases in the Oklahoma City metro area with 14 in Oklahoma County, four in Cleveland County, and two in Canadian County.

 

Number of State's COVID-19 Test Kits Running Low

The state health department says Oklahoma is running low on coronavirus test kits, and will now only test those most vulnerable to the illness. At a press conference with Gov. Kevin Stitt yesterday, officials said they only have about 100 of the test kits available. Authorities have ordered 500 test kits - the maximum number any state can order - but officials said they did not know when they might be delivered, or even if they would get all the kits ordered.

 

More Oklahoma 'Firsts' for the Virus

The first nursing home patient in the state has been diagnosed with the virus. The individual was in a Ponca City nursing home, then taken to the hospital following the positive test. The resident was expected to be released from the hospital and into the care of relatives. Officials also said the first child has been found to have the virus as well.

 

Numbers High for State's Call Center, Website on Virus 

The health department's coronavirus call center has been receiving about 1,000 calls per day and the website dedicated to providing information has had more than 155,000 views.

 

 

 

2020, March 9th-14th

Saturday, March 14th

 

State Has Another Presumptive Positive Coronavirus Case

The state health department reports that an Oklahoma County woman is the 4th presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Oklahoma. Officials say a woman in her 60s had recently traveled to Florida. She is being quarantined in her home. Officials say the case is unrelated to the previous COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma. Two of those were in Tulsa County and one in Jackson County.

 

COVID-19 Test Kits Limited in Oklahoma

State officials say that materials to complete a COVID-19 test have been limited in Oklahoma. The state health department did receive an additional 500 test kits and additional kits have been ordered, but the number they receive will depend on national supply. Officials are prioritizing the tests for those individuals who meet guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, which include those who may have symptoms and exposure to a positive case, or travel to areas of geographical spread, which includes travel within the United States.

 

USAO to Adjust Class Schedules

Like most colleges and universities across the state, USAO is developing a system to have students continue their studies outside the classroom after spring break because of the coronavirus. The university said it will transition to alternative instructional delivery methods, once classes resume March 23rd. President John Feaver said in a prepared statement that university officials are monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and its potential impact to the campus. He said the health and safety of students, faculty and staff are the university's first priority. While classes will not meet in person, the university itself will remain open. Offices will be open during regular business hours next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday then will close Thursday and Friday. The offices will reopen on March 23rd.

              

Stand-off Ends with Arrest

A standoff between law enforcement and a man with outstanding warrants ends when authorities use gas and an explosive distraction to get to the suspect. Chickasha police were called to a home in the 1700 block of South 7th late Thursday night. The caller told police a man at the home had outstanding warrants, and the caller did not want him there. When police arrived, the suspect ran into the house and barricaded himself inside. The special response teams from both the police department and the Grady County Sheriff's Office were dispatched. The standoff lasted more than five hours before authorities used OC gas and the explosive distraction to gain access to the home and take the suspect into custody. Arrested was 27-year old James Burgess of Chickasha who had warrants out of Grady and Oklahoma counties and out of Texas.  Burgess was initially taken to the Grady County Jail but has since been transferred to the Oklahoma County Jail to face the Oklahoma County charges.

 

Union City Homicide Victim Identified              

The OSBI has released the name of the woman whose body was found in Union City this past week. The agency identified the victim as 30-year old Jennifer Jesse. Authorities have not yet said how she might have died but the agency is investigating her death as a homicide. Jesse's body was found on the side of the road in Union City Wednesday morning. The OSBI asks that anyone who has information to let them know. Send an e-mail to: tips@osbi.ok.gov

 

Police Arrest Domestic Violence Suspect

A Chickasha man faces a felony assault charge for allegedly attacking a relative. Police were dispatched to a home on North 11th Thursday night to investigate a reported assault. They arrested 36-year old Edwin Demarco Johnson. On Friday, prosecutors charged Johnson with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He remains in jail on a $45,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for April 14th.

 

Sheriff's Office Wanted 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.

 

 

Friday, March 13th

 

 

Grady Memorial Prepared for Coronavirus

Grady Memorial Hospital has a plan in place should the coronavirus be detected in the area. Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman says there are no cases in the county. The state health department reports only three confirmed cases in the Sooner State and one of those individuals has fully recovered. Spellman said the hospital knows the coronavirus is a real threat and they have been talking about it for about a month. Spellman said the hospital has always had a plan in place to deal with infectious diseases and are trying to follow recommendations from the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control.

 

              

 

Spellman and the hospital’s infection preventionist Brad Warden say there is no community threat of the coronavirus. Should the hospital have to implement its emergency plan, they would ask anyone who suspects they have coronavirus symptoms to call their doctor or a special yet-to-be-determined phone number to minimize contact with other individuals. Spellman said the hospital can test anyone for coronavirus but that the test costs $199.

              

Man Pleads Guilty to Drug, Weapons Charges

A man suspected of distributing drugs and having weapons pleads guilty to those charges. 27-year old Garrett Matthew Browning of Duncan entered the plea in Grady County District Court this week. He received a five-year prison sentence for pleading guilty to a felony drug charge. Browning was arrested in connection with an incident in Rush Springs about a year ago. Police found him with drugs and paraphernalia after responding to a suspicious person report at a convenience store. Browning also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug and weapons charges.

 

Bomb Threat Suspect in Custody              

A man accused of making a bomb threat towards a local restaurant is behind bars. The arrest was made after he led police on a short pursuit, then managed to elude authorities for a couple of hours in a wooded area west of Ninnekah. Court documents indicate a 9-1-1 call was made to the Grady County Sheriff's Office just after 4:00 p.m. Monday regarding a bomb threat at the McDonald's on the turnpike. A probable cause affidavit indicates authorities traced the call to an area outside of Ninnekah, where authorities found a stranded vehicle. Investigators say that vehicle fled from Ninnekah police when an officer tried to make a traffic stop on that vehicle earlier in the day.  Authorities searched the wooded area for a couple of hours, then got a tip from a motorist who saw the suspect and told them where he was. In custody is 26-year old Caleb Harris of Temple. He's been formally charged with a felony for making a false bomb threat and a misdemeanor for eluding. His bond is set at $50,000.

 

Burglary Suspects Face Felony Charges              

Chickasha police arrest two men in connection with a recent residential burglary. The arrests stem from a break-in at a home at 10th and Kansas that occurred Feb. 22nd. Police arrested one suspect at the home while the other managed to get away. 44-year old Allen Haile of Newcastle was the first to be arrested. He's been charged with a felony count of burglary and a misdemeanor for obstructing an officer and is out of jail on bond. The second suspect, 52-year old Jessie David Avery of Chickasha, was arrested last Friday. He's also facing a felony burglary charge. He remains in jail on an $8,000 bond.

 

Chickasha Community Foundation Issues Grants

Several local groups will benefit from grants issued from a local foundation. The Chickasha Community Foundation (CCF) recently issued four grants totaling more than $120,000. The Grady County Historical Society received a grant for $30,000 for building repairs; the Chickasha Area YMCA received a $32,000 for upgrades; the USAO Foundation was awarded a $40,000 grant to help build the new baseball and softball practice facilities; and the Chickasha Festival of Light received $20,000 to help cover the cost of the ice skating rink at Shannon Springs Park this past season. The CCF  was established in 2011 by the Doris Wilkes Trust, which provided a $2.4 million endowment to be used for charitable, historical, and educational needs. The endowment has provided more than $1 million in grants to groups since its inception.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman and hospital infection preventionist Brad Warden are guests on the KOOL Konversation discussing the hospital's readiness for the coronavirus. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley our guest is Jim Cowan, the new director for Chickasha's Economic Development Council. We have links to those programs under the Community Tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $31.50 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $33.22.

Natural gas is $1.84 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,585 and silver is $15.74.

 

 

Thursday, March 12th

 

Baby Born at a County Home Tests Positive for Meth

A baby born at a rural Grady County home tested positive for illegal drugs and two men are in custody for allegedly manufacturing drugs at that home. It's reported that DHS received an anonymous call about a possible near-death home birth of a child on Saturday, March 7th. The newborn was initially taken to a Duncan hospital where the infant tested positive for meth. The baby was then air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. The current condition of the infant is not known. The information is contained in probable cause affidavits filed in the arrests of two men. DHS contacted the Grady County Sheriff's Office to investigate and officials obtained a search warrant for the home where there baby was born. Authorities found items they believed were used for making meth including a plastic tub, chemicals, and plastic tubes. Investigators called in a meth lab cleanup crew from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Two men in the home at the time of the search were arrested. Prosecutors have charged 49-year old Marty Tate of Rush Springs and 54-year old John Michael Anderson of Mustang with felony counts of manufacturing drugs. Both men remain in the Grady County jail with bond set at $75,000 for each. Tate also had an active warrant out of Cotton County as being a fugitive from justice.

 

OSBI Investigates Union City Homicide

A homicide investigation is underway in Union City where a woman's body was found. Union City police received a 9-1-1 call just before 9 a.m. Wednesday when someone saw the woman's body on the side of a road. Union City authorities called in the OSBI to lead the investigation. There's no word yet on the name of the victim and authorities have not indicated how she may have died. Officials say they'll wait until they get the official word from the state medical examiner's office.

 

Nursing Home Cancels Visits Due to Coronavirus

A Chickasha nursing home has canceled visits to their residents because of the coronavirus threat. Shannon Springs Nursing Home is asking family members of their residents, nursing home volunteers, and contractors to not visit the facility for the time being. The Chickasha Express-Star cites a statement issued by nursing home officials that said there are no suspected cases of, or exposures to the coronavirus at the facility. Administrator Tina Stults said they are taking steps to be pro-active against the spread of the illness. The statement indicated officials have reviewed their infection prevention and control policies and its disaster plan, and that the move is key to preventing coronavirus and other common viruses. Officials said they will re-evaluate the situation every two weeks.

 

 Near Head-on Crash Injures One             

A near head-on collision near Blanchard sends one person to the hospital. The accident happened about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday U.S. Highway 62 and CS 2950 which is about five miles southwest of Blanchard. Officials with the Grady County Fire Department said an eastbound vehicle crossed the centerline and sideswiped an oncoming SUV, sending the SUV into the ditch. One person was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital with what was believed to be non-life threatening injuries. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers said the driver that crossed the center line may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.

 

Life-Size Puppet Show to hit USAO Stage              

A night of family entertainment hits the stage at USAO tonight. It's a unique performance by a group called DLUX Puppets, which uses life-size puppets in their shows. Tonight, they'll feature their adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. DLUX Puppets is a nationally-recognized performance company based in Las Vegas. The show is the last in this year's series of the university’s Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series. The program will be held at the Davis Hall Little Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and seniors 60 and over.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $32.98 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $35.79.

Natural gas is $1.88 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,636 and silver is $16.68.

 

Obituaries

Sam Zeiset

A funeral service for 73-year old Sam Zeiset of Verden was held today. Arrangements were under the direction of Ferguson Funeral Home.

Kylie Hughes

Funeral for 21-year old Kylie Hughes of Alex will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 18th at Sevier Funeral Home of Chickasha.

 

 

Wednesday, March 11th

 

Oklahomans Stuck on Cruise Ship

Hope to Return to Sooner State Soon

26 Oklahomans on a cruise ship where the coronavirus sickened passengers and crew members may soon be allowed to return to their homes. The state health department reports that as long as those individuals show no symptoms of the illness when they get off the ship, they will be allowed to return to the Sooner State where they will be quarantined in their homes. Should they show symptoms when they disembark they will be isolated and monitored in California. The Grand Princess cruise ship left San Francisco on Feb. 21st bound for Hawaii and returned to the California coast last week. The ship is currently docked off the coast of Oakland, Calif. Oklahoma State and county health officials will be in contact with the travelers once they return to the state to monitor them for potential symptoms. In the meantime, a second Tulsa resident has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Health department officials say it’s considered ‘presumptive’ until testing is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. So far, 17 Oklahomans have been tested for the coronavirus with 15 of them being negative.

 

Chickasha Man Named to National Board

A Chickasha man has been elected to serve on a national panel. Chris Ferguson was elected as the District 7 director of the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. He was elected to the post during the group’s annual meeting in Florida recently. Ferguson is currently the director of the Oklahoma Funeral Board, a post he has held for the last seven years. A press release states he has helped to pass a number of bills regarding funeral consumer legislation, and has been involved in a number of health department committees and legislative studies involving the Oklahoma funeral service sector. Ferguson will represent Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana on the national board. The board is headquartered in Fayetteville, Ark. Founded in 1904, the conference is composed of funeral service licensing and regulatory agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

Big Birthday Set for Chickasha Library              

The Chickasha Public Library is reaching a big milestone this year. The Library is turning 115 years old and a week-long celebration will be held March 23rd-28th. On that Monday at 6:00 p.m., Pat Cunningham with the Grady County Historical Society Museum will talk about the founding of the library. On Thursday, March 26th at 6:00 p.m., staff members will talk about the library’s history. A big birthday party is set for 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28th, where Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley and Melody Kellogg, the director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries will have presentations. Artifacts from the library's past will be on display all week.

 

Voter Registration Deadline Nears

for Chickasha City Council Election

Chickasha residents who want to vote in the April 7th city council election are urged to make sure their voter registration information is up-to-date. Anyone not currently registered to vote who may want to cast ballots that day will need to get registered. The deadline for either is this Friday, March 13th. Applications are available at the Grady County Election Board. You can also download them from the state election board website: www.elections.ok. gov There is only one Chickasha city council race on the April 7th ballot. It's in Ward One, where City Councilman David Sikes is being challenged by Dewey Mosshart.

 

Leadership Chickasha Reunion Scheduled

Individuals who are alumni of the Leadership Chickasha program are invited to a reunion to meet with fellow alums. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce started the program in the 1980s to help current and new residents, business owners, and government and education leaders to learn more about their community and hone their leadership skills. The alums will be joined by the newest grads of the Leadership Chickasha program, which will wrap up their series of lessons tomorrow afternoon. This is the first official reunion of Leadership Chickasha graduates. There will be a happy hour to reminisce from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12th at The Canadian River Brewing Company. There's no charge to attend.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $34.36.

London-based Brent crude is $37.22.

Natural gas is $1.92 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,663 and silver is $17.04.

 

Obituary

Serge West

A memorial service for 47-year old Serge West of Blanchard will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14th Special Young Adults in Chickasha. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, March 10th

 

 

City of Chix Releases Statement Regarding Injured Officer

The City of Chickasha has issued a statement following media reports about the termination of a police officer injured in a shootout. Former Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield's last day on the job was Feb. 28th. Schoolfield told an Oklahoma City television station that he was offered a position with the police department at a pay rate below what he was making when he suffered serious injuries in September of 2017. In the statement, the city says considerable misleading, and at times false information was distributed about the city's position concerning Schoolfield's continued employment. While the city doesn't normally comment on personnel issues, the statement indicates that Schoolfield was offered a full-time civilian position with the police department. The position included benefits and participation in the state retirement fund, and the pay rate was close to the base rate of pay Schoolfield was receiving as an active duty sergeant. The statement says the city regrets that a mutually acceptable understanding could not be reached and that the city appreciates Schoolfield's years of honorable and dedicated service. City officials hope Schoolfield can return to active employment with the city at another position in the future.

 

Questions Raised About Chix Sidewalk Project

Some concerns raised about the construction of a sidewalk in Chickasha that will connect the downtown area to Wal-Mart on First Street. About 30 residents attended a program at Lincoln School last night regarding the work that will be done. One resident said the sidewalk will be right outside her front door. Another said it would allow pedestrians to look inside her home. Others asked why they weren't asked for input about the construction when those plans were being discussed. Scott Vaughn, the engineer for the project, said the construction is expected to start next week. It will cover about 6,200 feet which is a little more than a mile. Vaughn said the contractor will have to remove some obstacles in the path of the sidewalk.

 

              

 

Vaughn said the contractor, Luckinbill Construction, is expected to complete about two blocks per week and hopes to be done in about six weeks, or about the end of April.

              

Oil Well Completion Work Halted After Alex Tremor

Last week's earthquake near Alex forced an oil company to stop the completion work on one of its wells in that region. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that Continental Resources called the Corporation Commission to discuss the matter. Continental decided to halt the completion of the Galvin-3-22-15xhw well. Company officials also decided to not even begin completion on another nearby well.  The earthquake last Thursday registered 3.4 on the Richter Scale.

 

Oil Prices Plummet by the Largest Margin in Years

The price for crude oil had its biggest one day drop in nearly 20 years yesterday. The price fell almost 25 percent to $31.13 per barrel. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission talks about the factors responsible for the price drop.

 

              

 

Skinner said the move is viewed as an effort to destroy many U.S. shale producers and take the U.S. out of the running on the global oil market. With crude oil on the NYMEX dropping more than $10 a barrel yesterday, London-based Brent crude fell more than $11 a barrel to $34.36. Natural gas was higher yesterday to $1.78 per million BTUs. Precious metals rose Monday, with gold climbing to $1,857 and silver to $17.07.

 

Monday, March 9th

 

Weather Service Predicts Active Severe Weather Season

The severe weather season is just getting underway in Oklahoma. The National Weather Service based in Norman predicts we could see more than our fair share of thunderstorms and tornadoes. So says Grady County Emergency Management Director, Dale Thompson.

 

              

 

The recent tornado in Tennessee which claimed the lives of about two dozen people serves as a serious reminder to be prepared for severe weather at any time. The safest place to be is in a storm shelter but if you don't have one, get to the lowest level of your home, in the center part, and the smallest room. Go to the Federal Emergency Management website at www.fema.gov to get information about protecting your family during times of severe weather.

 

Audit of Chix Schools to be Heard by School Board

The annual school audit and the calendar for next school year are to be discussed during tonight's Chickasha Board of Education meeting. Steve Blasingame of Angel, Johnston, and Blasingame CPA is to review the audit from the 2018-19 school year. The panel is to consider the job description for the assistant superintendent who serves as the director of curriculum and personnel. The panel will recognize a number of student groups for their recent accomplishments, including the high school cheerleaders who won a national competition, and the archery team for its performance at the state tournament. The panel will also honor Elaine Murray for her 40 years of continuous employment with the district. The group will also thank Steve LaForge for his recent contribution of $18,000 to extra-curricular activities. The school board meets at 6:00 p.m. tonight at the school administration building.

 

Two  Community Meetings in Chix Tonight

We want to remind you about a couple of community meetings for Chickasha residents tonight. The construction of a sidewalk on 1st Street which will connect the Rock Island Depot with Wal-mart will be discussed in detail. That will be at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln School. And, residents in Ward 2 can meet with their city council representatives and city officials in a 6:30 p.m. meeting at city hall.

 

Arts Council Already Preparing for Rock Island Event

While the first day of spring officially arrives next week, the Chickasha Area Arts Council is already preparing for a big event this fall. The 12th annual Rock Island Arts Festival will be held the first weekend in October. The arts council is already receiving a number of applications from vendors, musicians, and performers. Booth space fees are $100 and there is a $25 early bird discount for those who apply and pay in advance by May 31st. The arts council is a non-profit organization. Also scheduled to return as part of the event are the third annual Oklahoma Food Truck Competition and the Rock Island Ride charity bicycle event. Details on those events will be released later. Applications are on the festival's website: www. rockislandartsfestival.org

              

Eastern Red Cedar Program Set              

A workshop to help landowners control eastern red cedars will be held in Purcell this week. Information will include prescribed burning, mechanical control, chemical control, and potential funding sources for control. It will also provide information on alternative uses for cedars. The program will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 11th at 22199 State Highway 74. That’s about a mile-and-a-half west of west of Green Avenue on Highway 74. For details contact the McClain County OSU Extension office by calling 405-574-2174.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.28 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.27.

Natural gas is $1.71 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,670 and silver is $16.88.

 

 

2020, March 2nd-7th

Saturday, March 7th

 

Oklahoma Has First Confirmed Coronavirus Case

A Tulsa man is Oklahoma's first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus. Gov. Kevin Stitt made the announcement yesterday. The man in his mid-50s had recently visited Italy. He returned to Oklahoma through the Tulsa airport on February 23rd and he began showing signs of the illness on February 29th. He is being quarantined and state health officials say they are closely monitoring other suspected cases. Four more Oklahomans are currently being tested. Officials continue to say that the risk to the general public is low. The governor said there is no evidence of community spread of the illness. Officials say the flu is still having a much bigger impact in Oklahoma, with more than 50 deaths out of nearly 3,000 flu cases this year. The governor also said that the state health department now has the capability to conduct coronavirus tests, instead of sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

 

Card Skimmers Found on Ninnekah Store's Fuel Pumps              

Authorities in Ninnekah say credit card skimmers were recently found on gas pumps at a convenience store in that community. Police say they have received several complaints of fraudulent credit card transactions from the Valero Station at U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 277. Ninnekah police urge anyone who may have used their debit or credit cards at the gas pumps to review their recent transactions, and to contact their financial institutions immediately if a compromise is suspected.

 

Arrest Made in Connection with 2016 Rape investigation 

A rape suspect who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman four years ago has been arrested. 24-year old Michael Clay Powell of Oklahoma City was booked into the Grady County Jail this week. He's accused of raping a woman at a Tuttle park during the summer of 2016. It took two years before an arrest warrant was issued for Powell. He did tell police he met a woman on-line, and they agreed to meet in Tuttle. A probable cause affidavit indicates that Powell said he did not rape the woman. But authorities obtained Powell's DNA which was matched to DNA found on the victim. Powell was booked into the Grady County Jail on Wednesday. He remains in jail on a $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is set for April 14th.

 

It's the Weekend to 'Spring Forward'

Like most of the country, Oklahoma will be switching to Daylight Savings time tonight (Saturday night/Sunday morning). We'll all lose an hour of sleep as we set our analog clocks ahead one hour. Your cell phones, computers, tablets, and most electronic items will automatically reset. It's also a good time to change out batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 8th.

 

Obituary

Lula Belle Horn

Funeral for 80-year old Lula Belle Horn of Verden will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 10th at the First Baptist Church of Verden. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cottonwood Center at Verden.

 

 

Friday, March 6th

 

State Officials Discuss Coronavirus Scare

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt tried to put state residents' minds at ease regarding the coronavirus health alert sweeping the globe. Stitt and members of the state health department held a press conference yesterday to discuss the steps they'll take should problems arise in the Sooner State. Currently, there have been no confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma. Five people have been tested and were cleared and two cases are pending. Stitt said the infection risk in Oklahoma remains low, and that officials are prepared and remain vigilant in minimizing risks. He said they are taking the global epidemic seriously and are positioned to monitor the situation, deploy assets if needed, and protect the public health of Oklahomans. The state health department announced the agency created a new call center dedicated to answering questions which will be activated soon. In the meantime, information is available on-line at: www.coronavirus.health.ok.gov

 

Earthquake Shakes Alex Area

An earthquake rattled parts of eastern Grady County last night. Preliminary reports indicated a 4.0 tremor on the Richter Scale northeast of Alex about 7:42 p.m. Thursday. Updated records on the Oklahoma Geological Survey website this morning shows it was a 3.4 earthquake. There were no immediate reports of damage.

 

Anadarko Officials Work to Address Power Grid Issues

In Anadarko, city officials are facing a serious issue with its electrical system. City Manager Kenneth Corn says the city is one severe weather event away from its electric grid failing. Corn says about one of every eight of the city's 1,600 power poles – about 260 - need to be replaced immediately. Corn tells our partners at KWTV News 9 that some of them are 50 years old and are rotting. Corn said if the main line goes down, power goes out for everybody. Corn estimates repairs at about $1.2 million and it could be much more if the system is damaged by severe weather and emergency repairs are needed. The Anadarko City Council will consider a revenue bond proposal at its meeting Monday night, which would allow for a portion of meter fees already being collected to help pay for repairs.

 

Thousands Paid in Grady County Stock Show Sale

It was a big pay out for the youth who showed the top animals at the Grady County spring stock show. Last night's premium auction at the Grady County Fairgrounds brought in nearly $115,000. Plus, $110,000 in add-ons were paid by supporting businesses, family, and friends - which brings to the total amount of money paid out to $225,000. That’s slightly more than the $216,000 paid last year. Blake Janssen of Ampo hit it big with his grand champion steer, which brought the highest bid of the night at $3,500. Cammie Stehr of Ninnekah with the grand champion goat; Madilyn Norvell of Ampo with the grand champion swine; and Taylor McGill of Tuttle with the grand lamb received bids of $3,200 for each of their animals. There were a total of 122 animals in the sale, and the lowest price paid for any animal was $500.

 

Two Chickasha Community Meetings set Monday

There are a couple of community meetings for Chickasha residents early next week. One is about the 1st Street sidewalk construction project that will run from the Rock Island Depot to Wal-Mart. City officials and the project engineer will be on hand to discuss the work, the estimated time-line for construction, and crews that will be working in the area. That meeting is Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln School. The second meeting is for residents in Ward 2 to meet with their city council representatives and city officials. That meeting will also be at 6:30 p.m. and it will be held in the city council chambers at city hall.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Clifford McGhghy with the Oklahoma State Beekeepers Association is our guest on the KOOL Konversation. He’s discussing the group’s upcoming spring conference in Duncan. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson will talk about the upcoming severe weather season. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $45.90.

London-based Brent crude is $49.99.

Natural gas is $1.77 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,687 and silver is $17.46.

 

Obituaries

Evelyn Tankersly

Funeral service for 80-year old Evelyn Tankersly of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 9th at Sharon Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Sammy "Pepsi" Hawthorne

Funeral for 75-year old Sammy "Pepsi" Hawthorne will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 9th at Bible Baptist Church. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

Thursday, March 5th

 

Bill Calls for Protection of Rights

of Assisted Living Center Residents

A bill which calls for protecting the use of video monitoring equipment by residents in the state's assisted living centers is moving through the state legislature.  It would ensure that assisted living center residents have the same rights as nursing home residents. The bill is SB 1739 and it’s called the Barbara Hoover Act. It received unanimous approval in the state senate this week and has been forwarded to the state house of representatives for consideration. In a statement from the bill's author, he said there was a family in his district who had a relative in an assisted living center who was threatened with eviction if video equipment in her room wasn’t removed. The senator said the bill would bring a current state law up to date to make sure all long-term care facilities are covered and prohibits eviction or retaliation against residents who use video equipment for safety and security. The bill has the support of the Oklahoma Silver-Haired Legislature, the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging, and AARP.

              

USAO 'Giving Day' Successful

A one-day fundraiser was again successful for USAO this year. The 4th annual Giving Day brought in more than $100,000 in a 24-hour period. The event is a challenge for USAO faculty, staff, students, and alumni to reach out to their friends and associates to encourage contributions to USAO. More than 300 donors came forward and the largest single donation was $20,000. Donors could earmark their contributions to be used for specific scholarships, academic or athletic programs, or for general use.

 

Grant to Help Marlow Improve Cemetery Roads

A grant for the City of Marlow will help repair roads in that community's cemetery. It's a $45,000 grant from what's known as the Rural Economic Action Plan, or REAP program. The state's smaller communities can apply for REAP grants on a periodic basis.  KSWO-TV reports it has taken Marlow officials three years to get the grant. The funds should help repair a little over two miles of the cemetery roads. City Manager Jason McPherson says it will be a chip-and-seal project to not only repair current roads, but also build roads where there currently are none. The city is expected to accept bids for the project next week, with construction possibly later this year.

 

More Results from the Grady County Spring Stock Show

Here's a list of more of the top exhibitors from the Grady County Junior Livestock Show this week. The grand champion steer was shown by Blake Jannsen of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Allyson Arthur of Chickasha. The grand champion heifer was shown by  McKenna Layton of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Kamden Filippo of Rush Springs. For the sheep, Taylor McGill of Tuttle had both the grand and reserve-grand champion market lambs. For the goats, Cammie Stehr of Ninnekah had the grand champion and Hadley Cooper of Ampo had the reserve-grand. Tonight, the premium sale caps off the week of stock show activities at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The top 125 animals will be sold although the youth will get to keep their animals and the money. A buyers’ dinner gets underway at 5:30, an awards presentation will be at 6:45 and the sale starts at 7 o'clock.

 

4Her and Her Horse Complete Equine Makeover Program

There’s a relatively new program designed to help 4H youth work with horses. Sage Payne with the Grady County Faithwalkers 4H program recently took part in the program developed by Nexus Equine, called the Oklahoma 4H Equine Makeover.

 

              

 

Sage and Ethel finished as the reserve champion team of that competition. Now, Ethel is a permanent part of the Payne family. The next Equine Makeover program begins soon and applications are due by tomorrow. Contact your local 4H leader or any OSU Extension office for information.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.78 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $51.13.

Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,647 and silver is $17.23.

 

 

Wednesday, March 4th

 

Feb. New Construction in Chix Tops $2.3 Million

Three large commercial projects and a number of new homes bolster new building permits issued by the City of Chickasha in February. The Community Development Department issued 18 permits totaling more than $2.3 million in new construction. Leading the way is an $833,000 permit for a new liquor store to be built in the 1500 block of Stewart Drive. That's between Subway and Jungle Ice and north of Brandt's Ace Hardware. USAO was awarded a $400,000 permit for some renovations at Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. A $200,000 permit was issued for the on-going renovations of Family Life Church at 9th and Grand. A $35,000 permit was issued to Bordwine Development for more upgrades at LSPI. In residential construction, Reese Homes was issued a permit for a $433,000 home in the 3300 block of Pondridge Drive; and Raush Coleman Homes was awarded permits to build three single family homes in the Shadow Valley Development, each valued at about $100,000 each. Through the first two months of the year, more than $4.8 million in new construction has been approved. That compares to less than $800,000 for the first two months of 2019.

 

Ida's Law Proposal Advances at State Capital

A measure designed to bring more attention to cases of murdered or missing Native Americans gets overwhelming approval from the State House of Representatives. HB 3345, also known as Ida's Law, passed with a 92-4 vote yesterday. It now moves over to the State Senate for consideration. The bill calls for the OSBI to create an Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons to work with state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Supporters of Ida's Law say there are two other bills regarding murdered or missing Native Americans being considered at the state capital.

 

Trump, Biden Win Oklahoma in Super Tuesday Vote

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were the big winners in Oklahoma’s presidential preferential primaries yesterday. Trump collected nearly 93 percent of the Republican vote and Biden scored 39 percent of the Democratic vote. Biden out-distanced Bernie Sanders, who received 25 percent of the vote, while Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren each picked up about 13 percent of the Oklahoma Democratic vote.

 

Grady, Caddo County Super Tuesday Voting

In Grady County, President Trump received 96 percent of the GOP vote, getting nearly 5,000 of the 5,200 votes cast. Grady County Democrats gave Joe Biden most of their support. Biden received 38 percent of the tallies, or 1,229 of the 3,200 votes cast. Sanders was next with about 20 percent of the vote or 625 votes; Bloomberg and Warren were both about 13 percent with Bloomberg garnering 474 votes, and Warren picking up 423 votes. In Caddo County, Republican voters gave Trump 96 percent of the vote, giving him 1,480 of the 1,562 votes cast. Democrats gave Joe Biden 36 percent of the vote, or 777 of the nearly 2,000 votes cast. Bernie Sanders was a distant second with 20 percent, or 434 votes; Michael Bloomberg was next with 17 percent, or 367 votes; and Elizabeth Warren received 10 percent or 202 votes.

 

Farm Program Signup Ends Soon

Less than two weeks remain for the nation's farmers and ranchers to sign up for either the ARC or PLC programs through USDA. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says Monday, March 16th is the deadline to enroll, and-

 

              

 

Jackson said that starting in 2021 producers will sign up for a single crop year each year through 2024.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.18 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $51.86.

Natural gas is $1.80 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,644 and silver is $17.23.

 

Obituary

Geneva Smith

Funeral service for 84-year old Geneva Smith of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5th at the Plainview Mennonite Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, March 3rd

 

Chix City Council Votes to De-Annex Muscle Car Ranch

After a six-year legal battle, a dispute between the Muscle Car Ranch and the City of Chickasha appears to be over. In a split vote during last night’s city council meeting, the council voted 5-4 to de-annex the property from the city limits. Muscle Car Ranch owner Curtis Hart had told city officials that he would drop his lawsuit if the city would de-annex his 80-acre ranch. Hart says he's ready to move on and hopes to have a better relationship with the city.

 

              

 

Last summer, the council voted 6-3 against de-annexation. Two councilmen who voted against de-annexation at that time switched their votes last night, including Mayor Chris Mosley who cast the tie-breaking vote. Councilman Joe Molder was the other to change his vote. A public hearing on the issue during last night's meeting only lasted 11 minutes. Four people spoke in favor of de-annexation and no one spoke against the proposal. Besides the mayor and councilman Molder, other yes votes came from Jim Hopkins, Oscar Nelson, and Zack Grayson. Voting no, as they did last summer, were Kimmie Loggins, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Tom Rose, and David Sikes. The council also passed an emergency clause regarding the de-annexation.

              

Deputies Run Down Wanted Man in Odd Incident

A bizarre incident at the Grady County courthouse yesterday, as a man with a warrant out for his arrest was apparently going to turn himself in, but then changed his mind. Grady County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett says the man and a bail bondsman had gone to the court clerk's office on the second floor of the courthouse about 10:30 a.m. Monday. The man suddenly ran down the stairs to the ground floor and then out of the security vestibule. Someone hit the panic button in the court clerk's office to alert officials  of a problem, and several deputies were quickly in foot pursuit of the man. It was a short chase, as officials managed to take him into custody across the street at Chickasha City Hall. 24-year old Zackary Charles Williams of Norman was wanted for bond revocation in connection with a January arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a firearm after former conviction. He was out of jail after officials reduced his bond from $50,000 to $7,500. It's not clear if he'll be facing any new charges as a result of yesterday's incident.

 

County Board Supports Sheriff's Sanctuary County Stand

Grady County Commissioners have approved a resolution supporting Sheriff Jim Weir in his stand on having Grady County be a second amendment sanctuary county. Weir announced last week that he would join other county sheriff's in their efforts to protect residents’ constitutional right to bear arms. Weir said the commissioners vote was unanimous. The action comes after the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association announced they would not support any gun-control legislation proposed that would go against the second amendment. Grady, Caddo, and Stephens counties are among 21 Oklahoma counties which have announced they will be a second amendment sanctuary county.

 

Sooner State Voters Casting Ballots on Super Tuesday              

Oklahomans are going to the polls today as part of Super Tuesday, where Republicans and Democrats vote in their respective presidential preferential primaries. In Oklahoma, there are 14 candidates on the Democratic ballot, but all but five have withdrawn. There are six candidates on the Republican ballot. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m.

 

Ampo Exhibitors Dominate First Day of County Stock Show

Here are the results of Monday’s swine show at the 84th annual Grady County Junior Livestock Show. Hadley Cooper of Ampo had the grand champion breeding gilt, while Sage Heldermon of Alex had the reserve-grand champion. Madilyn Norvell of Ampo had the grand champion market barrow, while Pace Mittlestaadt also of Ampo had the reserve-grand champion. The sheep and goat shows are being held today. All the activities for the spring stock show are being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $46.75 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $50.48.

Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,602 and silver is $16.84

 

Obituary

Juanita Bateman

Funeral service for 94-year old Juanita Bateman of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 6th at Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

 

 

Monday, March 2nd

 

Chix City Council Schedules Public Hearing

to Consider De-annexing Muscle Car Ranch

For the second time in the last year, a proposal to de-annex the Muscle Car Ranch from the Chickasha City limits is to be discussed by the city council. A public hearing on the issue will be held during tonight's council meeting. The item on the agenda calls for a hearing regarding the petition by Muscle Car Ranch owner Curtis Hart to detach the ranch from the city limits. Hart has been trying for years to be removed from the city limits. He has a current lawsuit pending in his on-going attempt to be de-annexed. The proposal to de-annex is being recommended by the city manager. Last summer, the council voted against de-annexation.

 

Street Improvement Proposal on Council Agenda              

Street improvements are also to be considered by the council tonight. The group will consider spending upwards of $300,000 on the work this summer. The streets being proposed for improvements include: Genevieve Street from U.S. 62 to Frisco; John Cowan Drive, which runs in front of Chickasha High School; Chickasha Avenue from 18th Street west to the high school; Country Club Road from U.S. Highway 81 east to Glenwood; and 16th Street from Country Club Road north to Carolina. The council is also to consider designs on the overpasses that will be part of the U.S. Highway 81 bypass when it is built. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall. Prior to the formal council meeting, an informal work session will be held which begins at 5:30.

 

Caddo County Shooting Probe Underway

Caddo county investigators are looking into a shooting which left one person critically injured. Authorities were summoned to a home in Apache just before noon Saturday. The victim was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. KSWO-TV reports that the Comanche Nation Police Department is the lead agency investigating the shooting. The victim's name has not been released and authorities are interviewing witnesses.

 

Property Owners Face March 15th Deadline

to Report Improvements, File for Homestead Exemption

Grady County Assessor Bari Firestone is reminding property owners of an upcoming deadline to apply for exemptions, and to render all personal property without penalty. In a press release, Firestone says anyone who has purchased a new home, opened a business, acquired or sold equipment for a business, acquired farm equipment, or bought or sold a manufactured home - needs to submit that information to the assessor's office by March 15th. Individuals who have received assessment papers in the mail need to sign and return them also by March 15th. Anyone making home improvements such as additional square footage to a home, a storage building, barn, shed, or a deck or porch needs to submit that information. Applications for Homestead Exemption are also due by March 15th. Any military veterans who are 100 percent disabled can qualify their homesteaded property to be totally exempt from taxation. Contact the assessor's office in the Grady County Courthouse if you have any questions.

 

Grady County Junior Livestock Show is This Week

It's a big week for the FFA and 4H youth of Grady County as many will take part in the Grady County junior livestock show. The highlight of the week is the premium auction Thursday night, which pays out more than $125,000 the youth showing their cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. The top 125 animals will be auctioned though the youth will get to keep their animals so they can continue to showing them, including at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. The Grady County Junior Livestock Show takes place at the Grady County Fairgrounds.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $44.76 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $50.52.

Natural gas is $1.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,610 and silver is $16.88.

 

 

2020, Feb. 24th-29th

Saturday, February 29th

 

Protestor Supports Injured Chickasha Police Officer

A former Chickasha police officer carried out a one-man protest in front of Chickasha City Hall yesterday, in support of his friend and former colleague. Shayne Melton strolled in front of city hall for several hours Friday in support of Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield, a Chickasha police officer seriously wounded during a shootout in 2017. Melton's protest comes after Chickasha officials have apparently decided to terminate Schoolfield's employment. The Chickasha Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 made the announcement on its Facebook page. The FOP says it’s outraged. The group says that City Manager John Noblitt made numerous promises to Schoolfield saying he would always be employed and have a place with the police department. The post states that the city has made half-hearted attempts with employment offers which lacked details and required further discussion. Melton said he feels there were alternatives to Schoolfield losing his job. He didn't know if his action would change things, but he wanted to show his support.

 

City of Chickasha Warns of Utility Bill Phone Scam

Chickasha residents are being warned of a possible telephone scam regarding utility payments. City officials say some individuals have received a phone call saying they need to make a payment over the phone, or their utilities would be disconnected within 20 minutes. A statement from the city said the city does not call residents to ask for payment or alert them about disconnections, nor does the city accept utility bill payments over the phone. The normal procedure for those who are past due on their bill and are at-risk for having their utilities cut-off is for customers to be notified by mail. Also, the city said any phone calls from them should have a 405 area code and not an 800 number. Officials say if you get such a call to just hang up and to not make a payment or provide any information. If residents have questions about their utility bill or a disconnect notice you have received in the mail to call city hall at 405-222-6015. Officials say they have also reached out to citizens on the city's Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram, and on the city's website, www.chickasha.org

 

Nearly 200 Take Advantage of Dentistry From the Heart

Employees of a Chickasha dental clinic and dozens of volunteers wrapped up another incredible day providing free dental services on Friday. The 13th annual Dentistry from the Heart campaign at Dr. John Phillips' 29th Street Dental Care treated 175 patients and provided an estimated $150,000 in free dental services. Patients could get their teeth cleaned, have a cavity filled, or get a tooth pulled for free. Many patients camped out in temperatures that fell below freezing Thursday night and early Friday morning. Phillips provides this free service at his 29th Street Dental Care clinic every February. Later this year, he will participate in other free dental clinics that are held throughout the state.

 

Urban Beekeeper Plan Being Considered at State Capital

A bill that would encourage urban gardeners to raise honeybees is under consideration at the state capital. Senate Bill 1388 would give tax-exempt status to any bee product sold. Officials said there are families who are trying to grow their own produce but aren't successful because of the important work that bees provide in pollination. Not only would raising honeybees increase the success of urban gardens, it would also provide opportunities for individuals to make their own honey, candy, soaps, and lotions and then sell those projects tax-free at their local farmers market. A producer who already sells agriculture items directly from their farm is already exempt from sales tax. This proposal would simply add bee products to that list. The measure is being considered in the senate appropriations committee.

 

Sheriff's Office Updates 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.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Sheri Tryce with the state health department's Child Abuse Prevention Action committee is on the KOOL Konversation. Boyd Lee with CK Energy is this week’s guest on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. Find links to both programs under the Community Tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, February 28th

 

Caddo County Now a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County

Caddo County can now be added to the list of Oklahoma areas considered to be second amendment sanctuary counties. The Oklahoma Sheriff's Association recently announced that it would not enforce any presidential executive order or unconstitutional law that jeopardizes the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives Americans the right to bear arms. 21 of Oklahoma's 77 counties are now second amendment sanctuary counties. Grady and Stephens counties are among them.

 

Pursuit through Chix Neighborhoods Leads to Arrest

A Chickasha woman is facing a number of charges after leading police on a pursuit through several neighborhoods. This all happened a little after 10 o'clock Wednesday night, when police were searching for suspects in unrelated crimes. A probable cause affidavit indicates a man was talking to the driver of a car and when the officer pulled up, the man quickly walked away and the driver of the car sped away. The chase topped 60 miles per hour through several residential areas and the car ran a number of stop signs. The pursuit ended when the car crashed around 12th and Utah. Police arrested 29-year old Haley Lynne Barry, and among the charges she is facing is endangering others while attempting to elude and drug possession. Prosecutors say Barry was on probation after being convicted of assault and battery on a police officer that occurred in the summer of 2018.

 

Man with Autism Arrested for Making Threats

Police arrest a special-needs man for threatening to kill a man with a kitchen knife. A probable cause affidavit shows Chickasha police were called to a home in the southeast part of the city in the area of Alli Circle. The officer said he knew the suspect was autistic, but that he had previously talked to him several times, and that he was able to talk effectively with him. A witness told police that the suspect and the other man had been arguing, when the suspect grabbed the knife and chased the other man out of the house and down the street. When police arrived, they found the two men in a confrontation several blocks away. The suspect is alleged to have raised the knife above his head and said he was going to kill the man. The suspect then threw the knife down and said he would kill the man with his hands. Police were able to intervene and take the suspect into custody. Authorities arrested 24-year old Jeremiah Thomas Williamson. He's facing a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

 

Dentistry from the Heart is Underway

A number of people spent the night at a local dental clinic, wanting to be among the first in line to get free dental work done. Chickasha’s 29th Street Dental Care is holding its annual Dentistry From the Heart event. Dr. John Phillips says they see some of the same patients every year.

 

              

 

Phillips expects to treat about 250 people today.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $47.09 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $52.18.

Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,630 and silver is $17.15.

 

Obituaries

Gerald “Bubba” Terry

Funeral service for 63-year old Gerald "Bubba" Terry of Verden will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29th Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Tresa Nan Osborn

Funeral service for 77-year old Tresa Nan Osborn of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3rd at Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Olahoma 4H Foundation Brady Benson Memorial Scholarship Fund in Stillwater.

 

 

Thursday, February 27th

 

County Commissioners Settle Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed against Grady County commissioners was recently settled out of court. Commissioners agreed to pay Kim Thomas, the commissioners’ administrative assistant, more than $20,000. No details are available about why the complaint was filed. KOOL/RANCH News requested any public information which might be available through the Open Records Act, but all the action taken by commissioners was done behind closed doors where any discussion of lawsuits is not public knowledge. We can tell you that Thomas filed the complaint in December of 2018 through the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit was discussed in executive sessions by the commissioners in February, April, and December of 2019 and again last month. Commissioners authorized a payment of $22,200 to settle the lawsuit on Feb. 3rd. We also contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington D.C. where an official said they are prohibited by law from confirming or denying the existence of the charge.

 

Child Hospitalized Following Turnpike Accident

A 5-year old girl was air-lifted to a hospital in serious condition after being injured in a single-vehicle accident near Cyril. The unidentified girl suffered head and internal injuries in the crash that happened just before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday near Mile Marker 64 in the westbound lanes of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. The girl was a passenger in a car driven by 37-year old Curtis Horne of Lawton. Horne and another adult in the vehicle, 35-year old Jacques Williams, were both taken to a Lawton hospital where they refused treatment. The state trooper dispatched to the crash is still looking in to what caused the accident.

 

USAO to Mark Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote

It took years for the women's suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to convince the nation's male leaders that women deserved the right to vote. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which finally allowed women to vote. USAO is hosting a special program on the issue tomorrow night, called Votes for Women in the 21st Century. The keynote speaker is Mara Liasson, a correspondent for NPR radio who has covered numerous presidential elections over the years. USAO's Misti McClellan on what Liasson will discuss.

 

              

 

In addition to Liasson's presentation, there will be a panel discussion which includes a number of women in elected positions. Among them are Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn, a former Grady County State Representative, and State Reps. Emily Virgin and Cyndi Munson. The panel discussion will be at 5:30 p.m. with Liasson's keynote address at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night at the USAO Ballroom.

 

Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women's Bill Advances

State lawmakers are working on legislation that would make it easier for law enforcement to investigate murdered or missing Native Americans. HB 3345, also known as Ida's Law, has been passed out of a house committee, and will now be heard by the full House of Representatives. The bill calls for a special liaison within the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to help with jurisdictional issues that arise between state and federal agencies when crimes occur on tribal lands. Carmen Thomas, a spokeswoman with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Central Oklahoma, says the issue is an epidemic in Oklahoma. Ida's Law is named for 29-year old Ida Beard, a Cheyenne-Arapaho tribal member who disappeared five years ago.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $48.37 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $53.43.

Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,648 and silver is $18.05.

 

Obituaries

Pat Fourniea

A graveside service for Cynthia “Pat” Fourniea, 72, of Ninnekah will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 28th at Laverty Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

Wednesday, February 26th

 

Fire Destroys Grady County Home

A Grady County family is picking up what's left after a fire destroys their home. Amber and Pocasset fire departments along with the Grady County Fire Department command units were dispatched to 616 CR 1290 just after 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. That's about a mile southwest of U.S. Highway 81 and the Amber cut-off. The mobile home was fully engulfed when crews arrived. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said it was the home of Andy and Jill Pearson. Jill was home when the fire started and she managed to get out safely. There were no injuries. Fire crews were on the scene for about two hours. The preliminary investigation indicates that a heat lamp on the porch set a wooden box on fire. The estimated loss of the home and its contents is more than $250,000.

 

Minco Police Arrest Drug Trafficking Suspect

Minco police arrest a woman on complaints of drug trafficking.  24-year old Brittney Nycole Baker of Edmond was arrested Monday night. Details of the arrest weren't available this morning, but on-line court records indicate that prosecutors have filed a felony charge of drug trafficking against Baker. She's also facing misdemeanor drug charges and a charge of driving without a license. Baker remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

 

Equipment Stolen from Fletcher Softball Team

Thieves have taken a lot of equipment belonging to the Fletcher High School softball team. In addition to stealing softball gear, the culprits took an ATV and some medical equipment from a shed between the softball and baseball fields. The theft occurred as the team prepares for the slow-pitch softball season. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the Fletcher Police Department.

 

Free Dental Services Available Friday

A Chickasha dentist and his staff are preparing for their busiest day of the year. Dr. John Phillips and his crew at the 29th Street Dental Clinic will provide free dental services this Friday. Phillips calls it Dentistry from the Heart. Philips recruits a lot of help for the event.

 

              

 

This is the 13th year for the free dental services to be provided at Phillips' clinic at 29th and Grand. He expects to treat at least 250 patients. The event is first-come, first-served and many will camp out over night to be the first in line. Patients can get their teeth cleaned, have a cavity filled, or get a tooth pulled. The event will run from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 28th.

 

Items That Shouldn't Be Flushed Down the Drain              

Officials at Chickasha's wastewater treatment plant are urging residents and businesses to NOT flush items down the drain that can clog the city sewer lines. Officials want you to think of the acronym FOG which is short for Fats, Oil, and Grease. That includes items like meat fats and juices, vegetable and canola oils, grease, lard, shortening, and butter. Representatives say those items can lead to costly sewer back-ups and overflows and can also cause damage to homes and businesses. Other negative effects include increased sewer rates and environmental hazards. Officials also ask that items like so-called flushable wipes should not be flushed down the drain. While the package may indicate those items are bio-degradable, they don't break down before they get to the wastewater treatment plant.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $49.90 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $54.95.

Natural gas is $1.84 per million BTUs

Gold is $1,651 and silver is $18.13.

 

Obituary

Jewell Givens

Funeral service for Jewell Givens, 98, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29th at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

Tuesday, February 25th

 

Sheriff Declares Grady County

A 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County

Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir is joining the growing list of county sheriff's in Oklahoma in assuring residents that the sheriff’s office will protect their constitutional right to bear arms. Weir says Grady County will be a second amendment sanctuary county and will not enforce any presidential executive order or unconstitutional law that may jeopardize those rights. Weir is a board member for the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association. He says the group believes that since Oklahoma is primarily a rural state that many citizens rely on guns to protect their property and families. The association says response time by a deputy sheriff can be lengthy due to the lack of manpower and the distance a deputy may have to travel to respond to a call. Grady County Commissioners have not yet officially adopted the sheriff's position. Recently the Stephens and Cotton County boards of commissioners have adopted similar policies of being second amendment sanctuary counties.

 

County Commissioners to Honor Work of Ada Sipuel-Fisher

Grady County Commissioners have approved a proposal to honor Chickasha civil rights pioneer Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher. In Monday’s weekly meeting the panel voted to re-name the Grady County Jail as the Ada Sipuel Justice Center. Commissioners gave their approval to place a monument in front of the jail to recognize Sipuel-Fisher's work. Sipuel-Fisher became the first black student at the OU Law School in the 1940s after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor. Her lawsuit was aided by a young NAACP lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, long before he became a member of the nation's high court. Grady County Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said the monument and signage will recognize Sipuel-Fisher's work to combat segregation.

 

More on National FFA Week

We continue our recognition of National FFA Week today. Ninnekah FFA Vice President Bruce Trammell  says they'll be busy the next few weeks with the Grady County stock show and the Oklahoma Youth Expo, in addition to a number of other activities through the end of the school year.

 

              

 

Today the National FFA Foundation celebrates Give FFA Day which is a 24-hour campaign encouraging the public to support the needs of FFA students.

 

Caddo County Spring Stock Show Results

While Grady County youth get ready for their county spring stock show (which is next week), the Caddo County spring stock show wrapped up in Anadarko yesterday. Tucker Freie of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the grand champion market steer, while Stetson Hall of Anadarko had the reserve. Hall had the grand champion prospect steer, while Emma Farmer of FCB had the reserve. Jordyn Jackson of Anadarko had the grand champion heifer, while Harper Hilmes of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the reserve. In the swine show, Miller Justice of Hinton had the grand gilt, and Sam Dawson also of Hinton had the reserve. For the barrows, Alex Hill of Anadarko had the grand, and Kodee Harbecek of Apache had the reserve. In the sheep show, Meredith Pye of Carnegie had the grand ewe, and Barrett Sitton of Binger-Oney had the reserve. Avary Bellamy of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had both the grand and reserve grand wethers. In the goat show, Makyah Clift of Ft. Cobb-Broxton had the grand doe and Lucas Greer of Carnegie had the reserve. There were no wether goats shown.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $51.43 per barrel.

London-based Brent is $56.30.

Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs

Gold is $1,643 and silver is $18.40.

 

Monday, February 24th 

 

One Injured in Home Explosion

A home near Lake Burtchi is leveled by an explosion and one person managed to escape the blast with just minor injuries. The explosion occurred just after 5:00 p.m. Sunday. The home was located a couple of miles north of the lake. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department posted video of the destruction on the agency's Facebook page. Myers said the home owner, Russell Martin Cole, was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Myers said the preliminary investigation indicates there was a propane leak in the basement which may have been ignited by a water heater. Myers estimated total damage of the home and its contents to be upwards of $200,000.

 

Vandals Strike Library, Nearby Business

Vandals hit the Chickasha library and a nearby business over the weekend, with graffiti that included expletives apparently targeting the police department. Someone spray painted the library and a box truck belonging to Standley Systems next door. Some photos of the damage were posted on Facebook. The vandals spray-painted "F----CPD" on the west side of the library and on the truck. Th words “Crow” and ‘We Own This” were also spray-painted on the library, along with a triangle with an eye on the top. Crews managed to clean up the damage at the library over the weekend.

 

Variance Requested with New Home Construction

The company building new homes in Chickasha’s Shadow Valley Development is requesting a variance in the city code regarding the size of the homes and duplexes they are building. The City of Chickasha's Board of Adjustment will hold a couple of public hearings tomorrow for the applicant, Crafton Tull. One of the hearings is to increase the lot coverage of single-family homes in Phase One from 35 percent to 45 percent. The second public hearing is to also increase lot coverage of single-family homes in Phase Two from 35 percent to 45 percent, and to increase lot coverage for duplexes from 35 percent to 50 percent. The Board of Adjustment meets at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 25th at city hall.

 

Denver Talley tops Chix Chamber of Commerce Honorees

Several awards were handed out during the 97th annual Chickasha Chamber of Commerce banquet last Friday night. The most prestigious award went to Denver Talley, who was named the newest member of the Chickasha Hall of Fame. Other award recipients: Steve LaForge was named Citizen of the Year; Jen Jantzen was named Woman of the Year; Jason Pruner was named Volunteer of the Year; Chamber President Cassandra Ersland was named the Young Professional of the Year, and Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt was named Public Servant of the Year. Two businesses were recognized: Ross Seed Company was named Small Business of the Year and Arvest Bank was named Large Business of the Year. An Event of the Year was also selected, which was the Oklahoma Food Truck Competition.

 

Kiowa Tribe Signs Agreement with Bacone College

The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma has signed an agreement to charter Bacone University. The agreement was signed at the tribe’s headquarters in Carnegie last week. Bacone President Dr. Ferlin Clark said the college is honored to have the Kiowa Tribe join the consortium of other tribes looking to transform Bacone into a tribal college. Bacone is Oklahoma's oldest college, founded in 1880 in Muskogee as an Indian university.

 

National FFA Week is Underway

FFA programs across the country are marking an important occasion. Malachi Phipps is the president of the Rush Springs FFA chapter.

 

              

 

It's estimated that there are more than 700,000 FFA members nationwide. National FFA Week is February 22nd through 29th. It began in 1948 and always includes the birthday George Washington, in recognition of his legacy as an agriculturist and a farmer.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.38 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $58.50.

Natural gas is $1.90 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,688 and silver is $18.89.

 

 

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