Saturday, April 25th
Grady County Firm Makes PPE
A Minco company is among many across the state modifying their production capabilities to provide personal protective equipment for health care workers treating coronavirus patients. Bruce Baade with Oklahoma Folding Carton and Printing Company came up with the idea when he was unable to visit his customers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. An article from CNHI indicates Baade managed to figure out a way to make low-cost, disposable face shields. They are made from paper and film from food boxes and will fit anybody. The masks wrap around the face to offer health care workers extra protection. Baade soon had orders for 120,000 of the face shields and he hired 15 new employees and challenged them to manufacture 8,000 to 10,000 masks a day. The masks are sold to hospitals, retirement homes, federal prisons, and even convenience stores at just $1.25 each. Baade said he could make a million of them but he would just have to hire more workers.
More than 100 additional cases of the coronavirus were added to the growing number of Oklahomans suffering from the illness. The latest numbers out Friday from the state health department show there are now 3,121 cases of the coronavirus. The death toll is now at 188. The number of daily hospitalizations was up from 284 on Thursday to 310 on Friday. There were no new additional cases in Grady or Caddo counties. Confirmed Grady County cases remained at 31 which included 13 in Tuttle and 11 in Chickasha. Caddo County stayed at 53 which includes 32 in Binger and six in Anadarko. McClain County has 28 confirmed cases with 16 in Blanchard, 9 in Purcell, and 3 in Newcastle. Garvin County has 13 cases with seven in Pauls Valley and three in Lindsay.
Former Police Officer Accused of Child Abuse
A former police officer was arrested this week on child abuse allegations. 51-year old Douglas Edward Mabry, a former Ninnekah police officer, is alleged to have taken things too far in the way he disciplined a teenager. Police were dispatched to a home in the southeast part of Chickasha late Wednesday night. An arrest affidavit indicates that a witness told investigators that Mabry just went crazy, putting the victim's arm behind her back and taking her to the floor. The victim alleged Mabry hit her in the head and face several times. Mabry told investigators the teen had been disrespectful and was being punished. The teen also alleged there were previous violent encounters, and said there were surveillance cameras in the house. Police obtained a search warrant, and say there is video evidence showing Mabry committing similar violent acts against the teen. On-line records show that Mabry was booked into the Grady County Jail early Thursday morning. Prosecutors have formally charged Mabry with a felony count of child abuse. He is out of jail after posting a $175,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney on May 21st and a preliminary hearing conference has been set for June 9th.
Plan Would Provide Potable Water to Wildlife Refuge
A plan that would restore potable water service to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is under consideration and public comment is being sought for the project. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a plan for the refuge to purchase water from a rural water district in Cache. It includes the installation of a 15-mile supply line to the refuge to provide water to the visitor center, the Holy City of the Wichitas, and Camp Doris. The Lawton Constitution reports the refuge has been under a boil order since 2017 because of the presence of E.coli bacteria in water samples taken from all four wells on the refuge. Public comment on the environmental assessment of the project is open through May 19th. The assessment can be viewed on the refuge's website. Comments can be mailed to the refuge sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Zelda Sullivan with the Oklahoma Blood Institute is our guest on our KOOL Konversation program. David Buchanan, the City of Chickasha's Public Works Director, is on Real Estate Today with John Mosley. There are links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
A private family service will be held for Michael Carlton, 62, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Friday, April 24th
Some Businesses Re-Opening Today
A few of the non-essential businesses forced to closed down last month because of the coronavirus are being allowed to re-open today in some Oklahoma communities. Personal care businesses like barbershops, nail and hair salons, spas, and even pet grooming services can open under the first phase of Governor Kevin Stitt's recovery program. Those businesses can open in Chickasha. However, that's not the case in some Oklahoma City metropolitan communities who are keeping doors closed on those businesses for now. Also today, Chickasha officials re-opened Lake Chickasha to boating, fishing, and camping. Chickasha city hall and the library will be open to the public starting on Monday, though visitors will have to wear a facial covering.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma topped the 3,000 mark yesterday. There were an additional 123 cases which takes the total number to 3,017. There were six more deaths, with now 179 people dying from the illness since mid-March. The number of people currently hospitalized for the coronavirus dropped from 298 on Wednesday to 284 on Thursday. In county-by-county numbers, Grady County is up to 31 which includes 13 in Tuttle and 11 in Chickasha. Caddo County has 53 which includes 32 in Binger, 6 in Anadarko, and four in Ft. Cobb. McClain County has 28 confirmed cases with 16 in Blanchard, 9 in Purcell, and 3 in Newcastle. Garvin County has 13 with 7 in Pauls Valley and 3 in Lindsay.
Two Western Sizzlin' Restaurants Closing
A long-time Chickasha restaurant is closing its doors for good. Western Sizzlin' will not be re-opening with the owner placing much of the blame on the coronavirus. Owner Mackie McNear said he will also be closing the Western Sizzlin’ in Moore. Mackie sent a letter to employees recently saying after much agonizing deep thought and sadness he made the decision to close the restaurants. McNear tells KOOL/RANCH News he thinks it will take some time for buffet-style restaurants to return to the level they were prior to the health crisis. Mackie has owned Western Sizzlin' restaurants for 40 years. He said he is 75 years old and has tried to sell the locations for a couple of years.
Chix Chamber Hosts Virtual Meetings
With Oklahoma State Lawmakers
The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce is hosting another virtual legislative update with a state lawmaker this morning. The chamber will host Chickasha State Representative David Perryman. Perryman will discuss recent events at the state capital and will also take time to answer questions. (The session was scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.). It's the second of three virtual meetings the chamber is hosting with state lawmakers. Last week, State Senator Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle offered insight on capital issues and next Friday, May 1st, State Representative Brad Boles of Marlow is scheduled. The virtual gatherings are being held on the go-to-meeting platform. Contact the chamber by calling 405-224-0787 to get information on how to access the meeting.
Sheriff's Office Issues Wanted List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has issued an updated list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett.
If you have information regarding any of these individuals you’re asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $16.50 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $21.33.
Natural gas is $1.81 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,753 and silver is $15.56.
A graveside service for Maleta Paramore, 95, of Chickasha was held at 1:00 p.m. Friday April 24th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.
Dave Childers, Sr.
A private graveside service for Dave Childers, Sr., 75, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 28th at the Meeker, Okla. Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army Veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A private memorial graveside service will be held at a later date for Mildred Johnson, 88, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, April 23rd
Some Oklahoma Businesses to Re-Open;
City of Chickasha to Relax Some Restrictions
Gov. Kevin Stitt announces a three-phase plan to get Oklahoma businesses moving again even as the state continues to battle the coronavirus. A number of businesses will be allowed to re-open tomorrow (Friday, April 24th). After the governor's announcement Wednesday, Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley said officials are relaxing some city restrictions which have been in effect since issuing a health emergency last month.
Officials said that the Chickasha Sports Complex will remain closed until further notice. Playgrounds and basketball courts will remain closed, although green spaces at city parks are open for walking and running. Officials also encourage individuals to continue wearing face coverings while in public.
Gov. Says Small Steps to be Taken to Restart Economy
This is phase one of the governor's three-phase plan to fully re-open state business over the next few weeks. Stitt said officials will closely monitor the COVID-19 situation before moving on to the next phase.
Stitt said the decision to begin the recovery plan was due in part to the number of daily hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients. He said the number had dropped from 560 on March 30th to 298 yesterday. The governor also said that the state has 15 times that number of beds available. Stitt said his Safer-at-Home order for the elderly and those with health issues will continue and he asked that non-essential travel be kept to a minimum.
Coronavirus Cases Near 2,900
The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is now just under 2,900. With another 87 cases confirmed from Tuesday to Wednesday, the count is now at 2,894. The death toll grew by six yesterday, with a total of 170 people having died from the illness since mid-March. Grady County has two more positive cases with the total number now at 25. Tuttle has 11 cases, Chickasha has 9, and Rush Springs has one. McClain County also has 25 cases. Blanchard has 13, Purcell has 9, and Newcastle has 3. Caddo County has 53 cases. Binger has 31, Anadarko has 6, Ft. Cob has four, Lookeba has 3, and Cyril, Gracemont, and Apache all have two. There are 12 in Garvin County with Pauls Valley at 7 and Lindsay with three. Stephens County has 19 cases with Duncan having 12 and Marlow with one.
Clinic Now Offers In-House COVID-19 Testing
The Southern Plains Medical Group (SPMG) now has in-house coronavirus testing capabilities and is offering the tests to the general public. In a press release, CEO Len Lacefield said all its facilities in Chickasha, Anadarko, and Pauls Valley have the capacity and supplies to perform an unlimited number of tests. He said it will allow patients the opportunity for peace of mind to rule out the possibility of them having the illness. Lacefield said since they are doing the tests in-house, results in most cases can be available in 24 hours or less. Also, with hospitals to be allowed to resume elective surgeries, patients will be required to be tested and have a negative result for the virus within 48 hours of the procedure.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $13.78 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $20.37.
Natural gas is $1.94 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,794 and silver is $15.83.
A private burial for Gracie Donoho, 95, formerly of Chickasha will be held at the Amber Cemetery. There will be a viewing at McRay Funeral Home on Saturday, April 25th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gracie and her late husband Ed owned and operated the Plaza Music Center in Chickasha for many years.
Wednesday, April 22nd
Storms Bring Hail, Prompt Tornado Warnings
Many areas of Grady and Caddo County were pelted by large hail and high winds in strong thunderstorms that moved through western and central Oklahoma last night. The storms prompted a couple of tornado warnings, with Oklahoma City television stations issuing a tornado warning for south of Rush Springs about 11:30 p.m. Just after midnight, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southeastern Grady, eastern Stephens, and southwestern Garvin counties when a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was recorded near Velma. It was not confirmed if tornadoes actually touched down in either area. No property damage has been reported as of this morning according to Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson. Golf ball to baseball-sized hail was reported in areas like Pocasset, Amber, and Minco as storms blasted through region between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. More severe weather is possible today as there is a slight to moderate risk for strong storms in central and southern parts of the state. The weather threat will be around through late afternoon.
State Coronavirus Cases Top 2,800
The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma climbed to 2,807 in Tuesday's report from the Oklahoma Department of Health. That is 167 more infections than on Monday. The death toll grew by 21 with now 164 Oklahomans having died from the illness. Currently 346 people are hospitalized. There were no changes in the number of Grady County confirmed cases which is still at 23. There are 11 in Tuttle and seven in Chickasha. There was also no change in the Caddo County area, where the number remains at 52. Officials have revised the count in Binger down to 31. There are six in Anadarko and four in Ft. Cobb. There are 23 cases in McClain County including 12 in Blanchard and three in Newcastle.
Suspect Accused of Burglary, Assault
A Chickasha man is charged with felony counts of burglary and assault following a weekend break-in. 28-year old Jesse Fulton was taken into custody after police were called to investigate a domestic abuse complaint at a home near 9th and Oklahoma Avenue just before noon Sunday. A probable cause affidavit filed by the officer indicated the homeowner alleged Fulton was not allowed to be in the home but he walked in unannounced. Fulton was asked to leave and the two got into a scuffle. It’s alleged that Fulton flung the homeowner toward a lit wood-burning stove, which had a pot of scalding water on it. The homeowner suffered minor burns and refused treatment. Fulton remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond.
Sheriff's Office to Expand Dispatch Center
The Grady County Sheriff's Office is expanding its dispatch center. Sheriff Jim Weir says they'll soon be adding a third station to allow improved communications with 9-1-1 calls and to enter information into the agency's data base. Weir says they are in the process of getting a radio system installed. He says it's needed as soon as possible since the two current stations get a huge number of calls during severe weather season.
The sheriff's office currently has 10 full and part-time dispatchers.
Teacher of the Year Honored with Parade
A number of students and supporters of the Chickasha School District’s Teacher of the Year took part in a drive-by parade in his honor yesterday. Brandon Willis was congratulated by many of his robotics and STEM students in the parade at Grand Elementary School. About 30 vehicles with students, fellow teachers, and school employees took part, with many waving home-made signs and all the drivers honking their horns. Willis was grateful for the event and was happy to see his students.
Willis is now a candidate to be the state teacher of the year, which will be announced just before the State Fair of Oklahoma in the fall.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $10.01 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $19.33.
Natural gas is $1.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,723 and silver is $15.17.
A private graveside service will be held for Jim Hiles, 74, of Naples. He was a U.S. Army veteran. He and his wife Shelley were co-owners of the Naples Store and he also owned a machine shop.
Tuesday, April 21st
Consumer Spending Drops Prior to COVID-19 Issues
Consumer spending in the region is down even in the months before Oklahoma began feeling the impact of the COVID-19 virus. In Grady County, spending fell 17 percent from January to February of this year. Based on sales tax collections, estimated consumer spending in January was about $81 million and in February it fell to $67 million. Sales tax collections from the January retail business was about $608,000. Sales tax collections from February retail business was down to $502,000. Here's how the March county sales tax revenue was doled out. The Grady County Fairgrounds received $203,000; Grady Memorial Hospital collected $179,000; the 20 county fire departments shared in just over $100,000 and each one picked up $5,000; the seven senior nutrition centers also shared about $100,000 with each one receiving about $14,000; Tuttle EMS picked up $18,000; and Rush Springs EMS received about $4,600. Retail outlets in the city of Chickasha saw about a 3.3 percent drop in business from $24.6 million January to $23.8 million in February. The city received about $924,000 in sales tax revenue from the January consumer spending, and $893,000 from the February consumer spending.
Brian Gerdes Appointed to Chix City Council
There is a new representative on the Chickasha City Council today. Brian Gerdes was sworn in as the new Ward 1 councilman during a virtual meeting city council meeting held via teleconference last night. Gerdes will serve out the remaining 12 months of the office after the resignation of previous councilman Tom Rose. The council also gave city manager John Noblitt a lot more authority when it comes to purchasing some big ticket items. Noblitt now has the authority to purchase up to $50,000 in goods and materials without having to advertise for bids. Previously, anything costing over $3,500 had to go out for bid. Noblitt said the move could save some time on the purchase of items or repairs that are needed immediately. Oftentimes the bid process takes four to six weeks. The council can change the amount back to $3,500 if it feels it will be necessary. The panel also accepted the final audit for the 2019 fiscal year. An overview of the audit was provided by Chris Angel who spent about 30 minutes explaining some concerns he had and the city's work to resolve those issues.
Rise in Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Appears to Slow
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma rose to 2,640 yesterday. That was an increase of 81 from the previous day. The number of deaths reported from the illness is now at 143 which is three more than the previous report. Grady County numbers are now up to 23 with 11 cases in Tuttle; seven in Chickasha; and one in Rush Springs. Caddo County now has a total of 52 confirmed cases with 41 of them at the nursing home in Binger; six in Anadarko; four in Ft. Cobb; and two each in Cyril, Gracemont and Apache. McClain County stands at 22 with 11 in Blanchard and 3 in Newcastle. Stephens County has 15 with 11 in Duncan and one in Marlow. Garvin County was at 11 with two of them in Lindsay.
Virtual Town Hall Set for Businesses Today
Another virtual town hall meeting for Chickasha business operators is scheduled for today. The Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, and Canadian Valley Technology Center are teaming up to offer the program for businesses to discuss issues they are facing regarding the COVID-19 virus. Also, Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman will provide a community health update. The meeting will be held at 4:00 o'clock. Those interesting in watching the meeting via Zoom can call the chamber to get the contact information.
Blood Donations Still Needed
There is still a need for blood donations as the battle against the coronavirus continues. KOOL 105.5 and 106.1 The Ranch are again teaming up with the Oklahoma Blood institute for a blood drive today. The bloodmobile will be across the street from the radio station studios in the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. All blood types are needed. Potential donors will be screened to make sure they are healthy enough and eligible to give.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was minus-$37 per barrel for May.
The June price was at $20.03 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $25.57.
Natural gas was up to $1.92 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,688 and silver is $15.21.
Charles "Mike" Sykes
A private graveside service will be held for Charles “Mike” Sykes, 77, of Chickasha at the El Reno Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, April 20th
One Dead, Three Hospitalized after Weekend Crash
A Saturday night crash near Rush Springs claims the life of a Marlow man and sends three others including two children to hospitals. Killed in the crash was 46-year old Todd Foat of Marlow. Two children riding with him were sent to separate hospitals. A six-year old girl was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with head and internal injuries where she was admitted in serious condition. An 11-year old girl was taken to a Duncan hospital and was last in good condition. The driver of the other vehicle, 36-year-old Mark Cass also of Marlow, was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he admitted in critical condition. The accident happened just before 7:00 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of a couple of county roads southwest of Rush Springs. The highway patrol said the accident happened when an oncoming vehicle driven by Cass ran off the road, over-corrected, then went left-of-center and struck Foat's SUV.
State COVID-19 Cases Climbs to 2,599
The number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma slowed considerably over the weekend. There were only 29 new cases from Saturday to Sunday – up to 2,599 -- and there were four more deaths from Friday, now up to 140. It's reported that a third resident at a Binger nursing home has died from the illness where 20 residents and 21 employees have been tested positive. As of Sunday, more than 300 people were being treated for the infection in hospitals across the state. Grady County had 19 confirmed cases (with one death) and Caddo County was at 51. Gov. Kevin Stitt has activated 175 National Guard troops to help with the battle against the coronavirus. They'll be activated for at least a month to help health care workers on the front lines. The Grady County Health Department continues to provide curbside testing of individuals who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Anyone with a fever, difficulty in breathing, and a cough can call the health department to be screened over the phone. An appointment time will be given, and individuals can call the health department when they arrive. The health department's number is 405-224-2022.
Chix City Council to Meet via Tele-Conference
The Chickasha City Council will meet tonight via teleconference for its first regular meeting since early March. The council will get an update on the city’s March 13th declaration of a public health emergency. The panel is expected to approve the resignation of Ward 1 councilman Tom Rose and consider appointing Brian Gerdes to fill out the remaining 12 months of that office. If Gerdes is appointed, he's expected to be sworn in. The council will also consider accepting as complete some recent repair work on Country Club Road and authorize a final payment of just over $23,000. The council is also expected to award a contract to install runway lights and rehabilitate a sign at the city's airport. It's being recommended that the nearly $360,000 project be awarded to Williams Electric of Clinton. Much of the funding for the project is coming from a grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The city's share of the project is about $70,000. The public can watch tonight’s meeting by going to www.chickasha.org/YouTube
Due to the teleconference, the meeting will not be televised on Suddenlink Channel 3. It starts at 6:30 p.m.
Governor Schedules Election for SQ 802
Oklahomans will be voting on State Question 802 in June. That's the Medicaid expansion proposal brought forth through an initiative petition effort. Last Friday, Gov. Kevin Stitt put the measure on the June 30th primary ballot. The proposal is different than the Sooner 2.0 Medicaid expansion plan submitted by the governor earlier this year.
SPMG Offers Virtual Appointments
Like many medical clinics, Southern Plains Medical Group (SPMG) is now offering appointments via tele-conference. Providers in all of SPMG’s Grady, Caddo, and Garvin county facilities are set up to hold these virtual appointments. Patients can call their clinic and will then be sent a text or e-mail with the appointment time. Customer service reps and nurses will get everything ready and walk patients through to process. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the tele-medicine appointments.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $18.27 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $28.08.
Natural gas is $1.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,692 and silver is $15.47.