Mollman Media News Archives for 2020-04

2020, April 20th-25th

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.

              

Coronavirus Update

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 www.wmr_publiccomment@fws.gov

 

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.

 

Obituary

Michael Carlton

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.

 

Coronavirus Update              

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.

 

Obituaries

Maleta Paramore

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.

Mildred Johnson

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.

 

Obituary

Gracie Donoho

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.

 

Obituary

Jim Hiles

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.

 

Obituary

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.

 

 

2020, April 13th-18th

Saturday, April 18th

 

Caddo County Nursing Home Reels from Coronavirus              

Some state nursing homes have been hit hard by coronavirus infections. In Caddo County, the Binger nursing home had 20 cases confirmed early in the week and now 21 additional cases have been reported including 26 residents and 15 staff members. Two of the residents have died. In a social media video, administrator Stephanie Warren tells family and friends of residents that they are taking their loved ones' health and safety seriously. To help battle the illness, our partners at KWTV News 9 report that Pastor Mark Price is organizing help. He said they need RVs and 5th wheels to house the infected workers, and that the Baptist General Disaster relief group sent over a shower station and a camper with a washer and dryer. He said the National Guard has also stepped in to help. Others have brought food and other supplies. Price says one of the big needs is laundry supplies. Price said the battle is big and that they need reinforcements.

              

State COVID-19 Cases Now at 2,465              

The state health department is now including coronavirus cases in many communities, in addition to the county numbers it has been posting. As of Friday there are now 2,465 confirmed cases statewide and 136 deaths. Chickasha is listed as having six confirmed cases and one death. Grady County now has 19 coronavirus cases and Caddo County is up to 51.

 

State Marks Murrah Building Bombing Anniversary

Oklahomans will pause this weekend to remember those who died, those who were injured, and those who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Tomorrow, April 19th, is the 25th anniversary of the tragedy in which 168 people were killed. The Oklahoma City National Memorial was authorized in 1997 and formally dedicated on April 19th, 2000 on the five-year anniversary of the bombing. The museum was dedicated the following year. Among the features of the memorial, 168 empty chairs representing all those who died in the blast. Also part of the memorial are The Gates of Time, which include 9:01 which was the time prior to the bombing; 9:02 which is the the time the blast occurred; and 9:03 which represents the first moments of recovery. There is also the Survivor's Wall, the only remaining original portions of the building and the Survivor Tree which was badly damaged in the blast but has flourished in the years since.

 

Longtime Service Station Owner, Eddie Griffith Dies

The founder of a second-generation Chickasha service station and mechanic shop has died. Dean Griffith, who opened Griffith's Service Station more than 40 years ago passed away Thursday at his home in Purcell. He was 79. Griffith was born in Calumet and grew up working on the farm and in service stations. He joined the Army when he was 18. He bought the Chickasha service station in 1976. He retired in 2005 and sold the business to his son and grandson who still own and operate the shop. Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, Linda and two children. A private graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 21st at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral home.

 

Lawton Newspaper to Convert to 5-day Publishing

The Lawton Constitution will be converting to a five-day publishing cycle. Starting April 25th, the newspaper will be dropping its Saturday and Monday publications. Publisher David Stringer said the paper will have a weekend edition that will be published on Sunday, and there will be daily editions Tuesday through Friday. Stringer said the changes came about due to the overwhelming impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stringer said breaking and other news will be first be published on the Constitution's website.

 

Sheriff's Office 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.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir and Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett are this week's guest on Real Estate Today. Our guest on the KOOL Konversation is Matt Surber with Tuttle Public Schools. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Richard Reed

Obituaries today include 99-year old Richard Reed, formerly of Ninnekah. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War Two. A private burial will be held at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawton-Ft. Sill Veterans Center.

 

 

Friday, April 17th

 

Gov. Relaxes Part of His Coronavirus Executive Order             

State officials continue to closely monitor the coronavirus health crisis. New numbers out from the state health department yesterday put the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections at 2,357 – which is an increase of 96 from the day before. There were eight new deaths, with that number now up to 131. The report also indicated that more than 500 Oklahomans have spent at least some time in the hospital for treatment, though yesterday's count was at 236. The report showed another steep climb of the coronavirus cases in Caddo County, where it climbed from 10 cases on Tuesday, to 35 on Wednesday, and 48 on Thursday. Many of those illnesses were from a Binger nursing home, where 12 residents and eight employees were diagnosed. In Grady County, the total number of confirmed cases is now 16. Governor Kevin Stitt has extended his Safer-at-Home order through May 6th, asking those 65 and older and anyone with vulnerable immune systems to stay at home as much as possible. He did relax his call to suspend all elective surgeries. Starting Friday, April 24th, hospitals will be allowed to perform procedures for those with non-life threatening conditions.

 

Foundation Urges Contributions to Agencies

Helping Families Through the COVID-19 Crisis              

A number of charitable organizations are stepping up their efforts to help needy families during the coronavirus health emergency. The Chickasha Community Foundation is encouaraging cash contributions to reputable charities but says four specific groups are well-known for what they do. The Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo counties provides food boxes to families all year long. Chickasha Mobile Meals delivers food to shut-ins, and with the Safer-at-Home order in effect, the agency is getting more calls for help. The Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry has been helping needy families for more than 35 years. And one of newest programs is the Chickasha Soup Kitchen which provides hot meals three days per week at 520 Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Phone Call Leads Authorities to Stolen Goods              

An alert Grady County resident may be credited for helping to solve one crime and possibly stopping another. A Grady County sheriff's deputy was called to check out a suspicious vehicle near an oilfield site east of Tuttle Sunday afternoon. The deputy found an individual with thousands of dollars in items the deputy alleges were stolen including a several oilfield batteries, some window air conditioners, and power tools. The deputy wrote in his probable cause affidavit that the suspect admitted knowing the items were stolen, but that he bought them from someone else with the intent of pawning them in Oklahoma City. But pawn shops were closed Sunday, so the suspect drove back to the Tuttle area. A witness said the suspect was scoping out a home to break into prior to the deputy’s arrival. The deputy arrested 33-year old Dwayne Scott Files of Chickasha on a complaint of possession of stolen property. He's been charged with a felony and he remains in the Grady County jail on an $8,000 bond.             

 

Chix School District Names Teacher of the Year

The robotics instructor for Chickasha Public Schools has been named the District Teacher of the Year. Brandon Willis was selected for the honor. He was among five teachers up for the award - one from each school. Willis splits his time between the high school, Lincoln School and Grand Elementary. Grand Principal Dereth Harrison said it’s obvious that Willis enjoys what he does.

 

              

 

Willis has led the high school robotics team to three straight appearances in the FIRST world championships. The team was set to go to the world championship this year before activities were canceled because of the coronavirus. The Lincoln School FIRST Lego League teams have advanced to the state championships in seven of his eight years with the district, and he's created a successful STEM program at Grand Elementary. Willis is now eligible to be a candidate for the state teacher of the year award. To congratulate Willis, a car parade will be held at Grand Avenue next Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The community is invited to take part by entering the school site starting at 14th and Montana, and driving through the school oval.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $19.87 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $27.82.

Natural gas is $1.68 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,698 and silver is $15.39.

 

Obituary

Bettie Base

A private graveside for Bettie Base, 80, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 20th at the Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation.

 

 

Thursday, April 16th

 

Grady, Caddo Counties Have First COVID-19 Deaths

Grady and Caddo counties have recorded their first deaths related to the COVID-19 virus. The state health department added the fatalities to their coronavirus update yesterday. The total number of deaths statewide is now up to 123. The individual that died in Grady County was a man 65 or older. The death in Caddo County was a woman 65 or older. A spokesman for the state health department told KOOL/RANCH News they could not specify where the deaths occurred. Grady Memorial Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman wouldn't say if a hospital patient was one of the victims. Statewide coronavirus cases are now at 2,263 and the number of people hospitalized now stands at 510. Grady County now has 14 confirmed cases; McClain County has 19; Stephens County has 15; and Garvin County has 10.

              

Binger Nursing Home Has Coronavirus Outbreak

In Caddo County, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases more than tripled -- climbing from 10 on Tuesday up to 35 Wednesday. Many of the new cases are apparently due to an outbreak at the Binger Nursing Home. An administrator posted on social media that the state department of health told them 12 residents and 8 employees tested positive and that two of the nursing home residents have died.

 

City of Anadarko to Require Facemasks              

The City of Anadarko will begin requiring individuals to wear facemasks while in public. Mayor Kyle Eastwood issued a proclamation Tuesday instructing the city manager to enact a mandatory requirement that anyone living, visiting, or even traveling through town must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while in the public domain. It also requires any essential business open to the public to have their employees wear masks. Eastwood said the public domain does not include private property, homes, or yards that are closed to the public. Masks will also not be required for individuals inside a vehicle. The order takes affect at 5:00 p.m. today (Thursday, April 16th) and will remain in place through midnight on April 30th.

 

Chix City Councilman Tom Rose Steps Down

Chickasha City Councilman Tom Rose has resigned. Rose served in Ward One for about the last two years. He was appointed to the post in 2018 then ran unopposed in 2019. Rose was part of a three-candidate race for mayor in 2017 losing to current mayor Chris Mosley. Rose's resignation was effective April 6th. In his resignation letter, Rose said due to unforeseen circumstances it became necessary for him to step down. He said he has been privileged to serve and wishes the best for the council. Rose's resignation is to be formally accepted during the city council's April 20th meeting. The agenda for the meeting indicates that Mayor Mosley will recommend Brian Gerdes to fill the remaining 12 months of the office.

 

Pedestrian Survives After Being Hit by Semi

There was a bizarre accident on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike last night, where a semi hit a pedestrian. 25-year old Austin Dennis of Rush Springs was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with leg injuries where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday near Mile Marker 79. The highway patrol reports that Dennis was walking in the middle of the outside lane for an unknown reason. The semi driver tried to swerve to avoid hitting Dennis, but clipped him with the front of the tractor-trailer. The driver of the big rig was 42-year old Jorge Martinez of California who was not injured.

 

Chix PD Gives Thanks for Help with Protective Gear

Many groups and individuals are pitching in to help first responders in their efforts to stay safe on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Chickasha Police Department wants to thank the Junior Social Workers who provided a grant that will help buy personal protective equipment. Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music also said a local resident has been donating her time and talent to make masks for both adults and children. Ileta Duffle has donated more than two dozen home-made masks to the department.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $19.87.

London-based Brent crude is $27.69.

Natural gas is $1.60 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,753 and silver is $15.92.

 

 

Wednesday, April 15th

 

Chix Building Report Good Prior to COVID-19

New construction in Chickasha for the month of March topped $1 million with most building permits being approved before the coronavirus pandemic reached the area. The city's Community Development Department signed off on 14 permits totaling just over $1.2 million. Residential construction led the way with eight permits for single family homes. All are valued between $100,000 and $165,000. The homes are being built in the new Shadow Valley development around 23rd and Country Club Road and on Valley View Circle. Only two commercial building permits were approved for some small remodeling projects. One was for $25,000 at 210 Chickasha Avenue and the other for $5,000 at 305 West Chickasha Avenue. It was the third straight month for new construction to hit the $1 million mark. New construction for the first quarter of 2020 hit the $6 million mark.

 

Donor Gives Grady County Gallons of Hand Sanitizer              

Among the items in short supply on store shelves besides toilet paper and disinfectant wipes is hand sanitizer. But Grady County commissioners and volunteer firefighters were the beneficiaries of some industrial-sized containers of the alcohol-based liquid. The county received seven, five-gallon containers – a total of 35 gallons - from a company that wanted to remain anonymous. County Commissioner Ralph Beard said the sanitizer will be shared throughout the county, as will personal protective equipment recently received from the state office of emergency management.

 

              

 

Ten gallons of the sanitizer were donated to the Grady County Fire Department. County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson purchased some small spray bottles to put the sanitizer in. That's not the only contribution that some county first responders have received. Beard also said the Enel wind farms in the Rush Springs area donated $10,000 to purchase personal protective equipment for the Rush Springs fire, police, and emergency medical services.

 

Coronavirus Update; Predictions Differ on Peak Date              

The new number for coronavirus cases in the state (as of Tuesday, April 14th) grows to 2,184 and now 108 deaths are attributed to the infection. The state health department reports 488 people have been hospitalized. The number of confirmed Grady County coronavirus illnesses is now at 12; with Caddo County and Garvin County both at 10; McClain County is 18; and Stephens County is at 15. Last week, state officials projected that the number of new daily COVID-19 cases would peak April 21st. Federal officials are pointing to a model that indicates the peak won't occur until April 30th.

 

State Medical Reserve Corps Seeking Volunteers

As state officials are anticipating a continuing increase in the coronavirus, the call is out for volunteers to be part of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. Lezlie Carter is the state coordinator for the corps. The group is seeking individuals with or without medical training. Carter said individuals will have to undergo some training before going into the field.

 

              

 

Individuals will also have to pass a background check. For more information visit the website: www.okmrc.org

 

Would-be Rider Hurt While Trying to Get in Pickup

A Tuttle woman is hospitalized but OK after accidentally being hit while trying to get into a pickup. 28-year old Emily Relkin was taken by a private vehicle to the hospital with a leg injury. She was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home south of Tuttle. The highway patrol reports that Relkin was walking up to the passenger door of an idling pickup. The driver identified as 28-year old Jordan Relkin pulled forward, striking the woman with the rear tire.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.11 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $29.60.

Natural gas is $1.65 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,744 and silver is $15.89.

 

Obituaries

Vivian Howard

Obituaries today include Vivian Howard, 97, of Chickasha. A private graveside service will be held at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

David Langle

A private memorial service will be held for David Langle, 66, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Joe Lightfield

A private graveside service was held for Joe Lightfield, 88, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home. 

 

 

Tuesday, April 14th

 

Grady Memorial Hospital Gets Approval to Apply

for Medicare Payment Advances, Payroll Protection Loan

Oklahoma's rural hospitals are feeling the financial pinch of the coronavirus health emergency. With Gov. Kevin Stitt's executive order asking individuals to postpone elective surgeries - hospitals are losing income from those procedures. Elective surgeries typically provide hospitals with their largest revenue streams. Because of that, Medicare is offering advance payments to hospitals. Grady County Commissioners on Monday approved a plan which would let Grady Memorial Hospital receive up to $6.8 million in advance Medicare payments. The hospital board of trustees recommended that commissioners approve the proposal. Grady Memorial Chief Financial Officer Jackie McAdoo told commissioners that many hospitals are participating. She said Medicare is offering to provide anywhere from three to six months’ worth of advance payments. Commissioners were concerned that since Grady Memorial is a county-owned facility, that should the hospital fail to pay back the funds that county taxpayers would have to do so. McAdoo says Medicare doesn't consider the advanced payments as a loan and that hospitals wouldn't have to begin re-paying the funds for 120 days.

Payroll Protection Plan Loan

Commissioners also approved a plan to allow Grady Memorial to apply for a loan through the federal government's Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Plan. The hospital qualifies because it employs less than 500 people.  McAdoo says right now the hospital and it’s medical clinic have just over 300 full-time equivalent employees with a payroll of about $1 million every two weeks. The hospital board recommended that commissioners also approve that plan which would allow administrators to apply for about a $3.8 million loan. The hospital would not have to pay back the Paycheck Protection Plan loan as long as it continues to employ 75 percent of its workforce.

 

Rise in New COVID-19 Virus Cases Slows Briefly           

The state health department reports that nearly 100 more positive coronavirus tests were confirmed from Sunday to Monday taking the statewide total to 2,069. There were also three more deaths which increases that number to 99. Grady County and Garvin County COVID-19 cases remain at 11; Caddo County is at 9; there are 15 in Stephens County and 19 in McClain County.

 

Audit Critical of Chix Schools Special Education Program

Chickasha school officials are combing through a State Department of Education audit which found a number of compliance issues with the district's special education program. During last night's virtual school board meeting, Superintendent Rick Croslin and Special Education director Pam Ladyman reviewed the results of an on-site compliance audit that was done last September. The district received the information from the audit this past February. Among the findings were missing components some Individual Education Plans and that some teachers lacked proper certification. The superintendent says he's never seen an audit take as long as this one did and that it’s the most unusual audit he has seen. Croslin and Ladyman said they are addressing the state department's concerns. Croslin also said he is working to schedule a follow-up meeting with state officials saying he want to address the district’s concerns with the audit.

 

Chickasha Schools Calendar Approved for Next Year              

The school board gave its approval to the school calendar for next year. The calendar will include 166 instructional days, two parent-teacher conference days, and seven professional development days for a total of 175 days. The school year is set to begin August 20th with the final day of school on May 20th of 2021. After a closed-door meeting that lasted about an hour and 20 minutes, the school board approved the hiring of administrators and teachers for next year. The panel also approved the hiring of Seth Meier as the district’s new executive director of personnel and curriculum. Meier currently works for Moore Public Schools.

 

Longtime Chix Businessman Mark Martin Dies

Longtime Chickasha insurance professional Mark Martin has died. Martin was 69 when he passed away Easter Sunday. Martin was a third-generation insurance agent, working with the family's Pool-Martin Insurance Agency which served the area for 100 years. He was a life-long Chickasha resident, attending St. Josephs' Academy until it closed and then graduating from Chickasha High School. He attended USAO and then joined the family business in 1972 then assuming operation of the company in 1991. A memorial service will be held at a later date. A graveside service will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral home.

 

Blood Drives Continue to Bring in Donations: Thank You!

Now an update to the blood drives that KOOL 105 and 106.1 The Ranch are holding in conjunction with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. Yesterday (Monday, April 13th) the OBI collected 26 units of blood which the OBI says will benefit up to 78 people. Thanks to donors who have participated in the blood drives the last couple of weeks, a total of 56 units of blood have been collected. We are hosting another blood drive with the OBI next week. The bloodmobile will again be at the YMCA parking lot at 7th and Chickasha Avenue on Tuesday, April 21st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Potential donors can make an appointment by going to the website www.obi.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.41 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $31.74.

Natural gas is $1.72 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,765 and silver is $16.16.

 

Monday, April 13th

 

Grady County Commissioners Move Meeting Location

Grady County Commissioners have been meeting via telephone conference over the last few weeks because of the COVID-19 health emergency. Today they'll all be in one location, one where social-distancing protocol can be practiced. Starting this morning commissioners will be meeting at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building for the foreseeable future. The public can attend these meetings, which are held at 9:00 a.m. every Monday. Today, commissioners will get an update on the coronavirus impact on Grady County. Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson will re-cap action from the past week, which is expected to include the health department's drive-through testing that took place, and that the county now has 11 confirmed coronavirus cases. Over the weekend, the state total of COVID-19 grew to nearly 2,000 confirmed cases.  Commissioners are also to act on two requests from Grady Memorial Hospital. One, to get an accelerated or advance payment from Medicare ranging from $3.5 million to $7 million; and two, consider allowing the hospital to apply for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Plan loan up to $4.5 million.

 

Chix Schools Working on Plan to Return Personal Items

School students across the state have not been able to get back in their schools to collect personal belongings. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said they are working on a way to get those items to the kids.

 

              

 

Croslin said once they come up with the plan they'll get the word out to let them know when and where to pick up those items.

 

Chix School Board to Hold Virtual Meeting

The Chickasha Board of Education is replacing its regular monthly meetings with special meetings during the coronavirus emergency. These will be virtual meetings, where school board members will be in separate locations but hooked up through a video connection. The first of those meetings is tonight. Among the items up for consideration include the hiring of school administrators and teachers for next school year, and the hiring of a new assistant superintendent over personnel and curriculum. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. tonight and the public can view the meeting by going to the school district's home page: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us

 

Chamber, CVTC Team Up for Virtual Town Hall

Small businesses are reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Valley Technology Center are combining efforts to hold a virtual town hall meeting to offer help. The meeting is for small business owners and operators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of industry to allow them to connect and discuss ways to share ideas and find ways to triage, plan, and stabilize. There will also be discussion about the small business loans available through the federal government's coronavirus relief plan. The meeting will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, April 14th) and it will be held via Zoom. Contact the chamber of commerce by calling 405-224-0787 for more information.

 

Tuttle Children Safe After Being Reported Missing

A couple of Tuttle children reported missing over the weekend are OK and back with their rightful guardian. Saturday morning, Tuttle police issued a statement asking for information about 9-year old Ava Deaton and 3-year old Addie Alexander. The children were believed to have been abducted by their mother who is a non-custodial parent. KFOR-TV reported that police later said the children were back with their grandmother, who is the custodial guardian.

 

Blood Donors Sought

KOOL 105/106.1 The Ranch and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are teaming up for another blood drive today. Blood donations are still needed for emergency surgeries at hospitals throughout the state. The donation process is safe. Prospective donors will be screened prior to their donations. As a matter of fact, potential donors will have their temperatures taken before stepping inside the bloodmobile. The blood drive will be from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon in the YMCA parking lot across the street from the radio stations at 7th and Chickasha Avenue. Last week’s blood drive brought in 30 units of blood.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.76 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $31.48.

Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,738 and silver is $15.75.

 

2020, April 6th-11th

Saturday, April 11th

 

City of Chickasha Issues Facemask Mandate

The Chickasha City Council approves what is called a mandate for people to wear masks in public because of the coronavirus. In a virtual emergency city council meeting Friday, the council approved a resolution declaring a catastrophic health emergency at the recommendation of city manager John Noblitt. It gives the city manager the authority to detect, prevent, manage, and contain health threats. Officials are asking individuals to wear a cloth face covering when they are in public for essential activities and going into businesses. The mandate will be in effect through June 30th or until the governor lifts his executive order on the statewide health emergency. While Noblitt calls the mask issue a mandate, he told the council that no fines will be issued if people do not wear a face covering.

 

              

 

He said if it’s determined individuals are not following the recommendation then an ordinance could be considered to issue fines. Noblitt also has the authority to implement a curfew but he said that is not the thing to do right now.

 

              

 

The emergency virtual meeting lasted about 10 minutes. The meeting can be viewed at www.chickasha.org/youtube

 

State Officials Project Peak of COVID-19 Illnesses              

State health officials say the coronavirus will be getting worse in Oklahoma before it gets better. The latest model shows the number of coronavirus cases are expected to climb every day through April 21st. Officials are predicting that on May 1st the state could have more than 9,300 confirmed cases and nearly 470 deaths. Gov. Kevin Stitt said that even in a worst-case scenario the state should be equipped with plenty of hospital beds and ventilators. Oklahoma has more than 4,600 total beds and officials anticipate a need for 1,100. The state has nearly 1,800 ventilators while the anticipated need is less than 200. In the latest numbers released yesterday, the state has nearly 1,800 confirmed COVID-19 illnesses and 88 people have died from the infection. Grady and Garvin counties each have 11 confirmations, Caddo County has 8, Stephens County has 13, and McClain County with 18.

 

Four Arrested in Connection with Store Burglaries

Chickasha police arrest an 18-year-old suspect and three teenaged juveniles accused of breaking in to a couple of downtown businesses. 18-year old Dallas Lewis Chasenah was taken into custody after officers responded to an alarm call from Williams Foods at 5th and Kansas Avenue just before 1:00 a.m. Friday, and a burglary just a few minutes later at The Good Stem at 4th and Colorado Avenue just a block away. The underaged teens are between 13 and 17 years old. Prosecutors have charged Chasenah with two felony counts of second degree burglary and a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of minors. He remains in jail pending a $20,000 bond.

 

Three Grady County Elected Officials Draw Opponents              

Three Grady County elected officials drew challengers in the three-day filing period for public office that ended yesterday. County Commissioner Kirk Painter will face Ron Reynolds in the June 30th Republican primary. Court Clerk Lisa Hannah will face Damon Logue in the Republican primary. County Clerk Jill Locke drew two challengers. She'll face Kari Porter in the Republican primary in June. Also filing was Democrat Frieda Willis. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir filed unopposed for his third term has sheriff.

 

Caddo County Elected Officials All Run Unopposed

In Caddo County, all the current office holders filed unopposed. Sheriff Spencer Davis, County Commissioner Randy McLemore, Assessor LaDonna Phillips, Court Clerk Rhonda Johnson and County Clerk Patti Barger will remain in office without an election.

 

State Capital Filings

For offices at the state capital: For the state house of representatives, Republicans Randy Talley and Dick Lowe, and Democrat Craig Parham have filed for House District 56. Incumbent Brad Boles of Marlow draws a Republican challenger in Gregory Dunson of Tuttle for House District 51. No Democrats filed for that post. In House District 65, incumbent Republican Toni Hasenbeck of Elgin has drawn a Democratic challenger in Jennifer Kerstetter of Marlow. State Senator Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle ran unopposed and will serve a second term in Senate District 23. State Senator Paul Scott of Duncan has two challengers in the Republican primary for Senate District 43 in Jessica Garvin of Duncan and Kaity Keith of Purcell. Democrat Terri  Reimer of Marlow also filed.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Lezlie Carter with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps is on our KOOL Konversation. We have a link to the program under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, April 10th

 

BREAKING 

The City of Chickasha is issuing a mandate that individuals wear cloth face coverings while in public due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thiis is a resolution and not an ordiance that will include any fines. The city WILL NOT implement a curfew at this time. Listen for updates on KOOL News at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. today.

 

Chix City Council Sets Emergency Meeting

to Consider Issuing Catastrophic Health Emergency

The Chickasha City Council will hold an emergency meeting this morning to consider declaring a catastrophic health emergency. If approved, it would allow the city manager to make all operational decisions or changes in service deemed necessary to the interest of the health and safety of city employees and the general public. It would also allow the city manager to mandate the use of face masks, and establish a curfew which would impact everyone except those working in an essential business. The virtual meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. this morning (Friday, April 10th). The public can watch the meeting by going to the city's website, chickasha.org/youtube (Get an update on KOOL News at noon at 5:00 p.m. today)

 

Sick or Injured People Without COVID-19 Virus

Urged to Call Their Doctor to Prevent Worsening Condition

Medical officials say with all the concern about the coronavirus, people who need treatment for other serious illnesses or injuries are not going to the doctor - a decision that has been fatal for some. Dr. Bruce Storms is the chief of staff at Grady Memorial Hospital.

 

              

 

Storms said individuals with health concerns should call their doctor. Many clinics have established tele-medicine procedures. The doctor can advise the patient if they should schedule a personal visit or go to the emergency room if the illness or injury is serious. Individuals who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms should also call their doctor or the health department. Callers will be screened to determine if they should get the COVID-19 virus test.

 

Final Day of Filing for County, State Fed Offices Underway

Today is the last day for individuals to file for county, state, or federal offices. At the county level, there were no new candidates to file in either Grady or Caddo County. In Grady County, the filings so far include two for the county clerk post - incumbent Jill Locke and challenger Kari Porter. Sheriff Jim Weir, County Commissioner Kirk Painter, and court Clerk Lisa Hannah have all filed unopposed. In Caddo County, five current office holders have filed unopposed, including Sheriff Spencer Davis, County Commissioner Randy McLemore, Assessor LaDonna Phillips, County Clerk Rhonda Johnson, and Court Clerk Patti Barger. For the state legislature, Sen. Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle is the lone candidate to file for the Senate District 23 seat. Four candidates have filed for Senate District 43. There are three GOP candidates, including incumbent Paul Scott of Duncan, as well as Jessica Garvin of Duncan and Kaity Keith of Purcell. The lone Democrat to file is Terri Reimer of Marlow. For state house of representatives, there were no new filings for District 56. Candidates to this point are Democrat Craig Parham of Amber, and Republicans Randy Talley of Chickasha and Dick Lowe of Amber. For House District 51, there are two Republicans, including incumbent Brad Boles of Marlow and challenger Gregory Dunson of Tuttle. The filing period ends at 5:00 p.m. today (Friday, April 10th).

 

Chix School Board to Host First Virtual Meeting

The Chickasha Board of Education will have its first-ever virtual meeting next week. In place of its regular meeting Monday, it's a special meeting as board members will be in different locations. Superintendent Rick Croslin said the public will be able to watch the meeting.

 

              

There is a public comment section, however any questions or issues should be e-mailed to Croslin or school board president Zach McGill by 5 p.m. Monday. The agenda includes a proposal to hire a new assistant superintendent who will be over curriculum and personnel. Monday’s meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and can be viewed on this link: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us

 

PSO Customers Can Expect Lower Bills

PSO customers may soon be paying less for their electricity bills. The utility has submitted a request with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission that would do just that. It stems from PSO's lower costs for fuel it uses to generate electricity as well as the power it purchases. If approved, residential customers using 1,000 KW of electricity each month will see their bills reduced by about $9. The price cut would go into effect in the May billing cycle and would be in effect for the rest of the year, if the corporation commission  approves the request without any changes.

 

Grady County OSU Extension Continues Tele-Commuting

The Grady County OSU Extension office staff have been tele-commuting. While they won't be in the office, they'll be available via e-mail or phone. Extension Director Liz Taylor says they still have the self-serve soil, water, and forage test drop-off table outside the door. After leaving the sample, call the extension office and they will pick it up and send to OSU for testing. Any 4H, OHCE, agriculture and FCS questions can be answered via e-mail or phone.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $22.76 per barrel.

London-based Brent is $31.48.

Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,752 and silver is $16.05.

 

Obituaries

Tommie Dinwiddie

A private burial was held for Tommie Dinwiddie, 87, of Chickasha.  Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Lola Guthery

Private graveside service for Lola Guthery, 102, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 15th at the Evergreen Cemetery in Minco. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

 

Thursday, April 9th

 

Chix City Hall, Buildings to Remain Temporarily Closed

Chickasha City Manager John Noblitt is continuing the city's temporary closure of city hall and other city-owned properties due to the coronavirus pandemic. The revised plan calls for most buildings to be closed through April 24th. Some areas will remain closed through April 30th, including Lake Chickasha, as well as city playgrounds, basketball courts, and bathrooms. The green spaces of the parks can be used for walking and jogging, but users are asked to practice social distancing. Officials also announced that next week's Planning Commission meeting has been canceled. Items that were to be considered will be moved to the May meeting. Noblitt is hoping to re-open buildings to the general public in a limited capacity on Monday, April 27th.

 

State Coronavirus Tests Sites Continue

A drive-through coronavirus testing site in Anadarko performed 22 tests yesterday. State health department officials have established a number of these drive-through testing areas this week. As of right now, there won't be any more drive-through sites in the Chickasha or Anadarko areas. Officials say anyone who believes they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their local health department office, where the caller will be screened. If needed, an appointment will be made for the caller to get a curbside nasal swab test. By the way, the state health department has created an on-line 'symptom checker'. It can be accessed from your computer, phone, or tablet. It asks for any major symptoms the user may be having. If officials believe a test is necessary, the user will be directed to the nearest test site. The website is www.coronavirus.health.ok.gov Look for the link ‘Covid-19 Public Symptom Checker' on the home page.

 

 State Medical Reserve Corps Seeks Volunteers             

As Oklahoma continues battling the coronavirus the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps is recruiting volunteers to serve in both medical and non-medical areas. Licensed medical professionals may be needed to help with triage to supplement hospital personnel, monitoring critical patients, transporting patients, and providing critical care in the field. Volunteers who do not have medical training are needed for warehouse support, record keeping, and administrative duties. The Medical Reserve Corps is coordinated through the state health department. For infomation visit www.okmrc.org  

              

County Incumbents Seek Re-election in Day 1 of Filing

A number of individuals filed for county, state, and federal offices in the first day of filing for those posts Wednesday (April 8th). In Grady County, four county officials filed for re-election. They include Sheriff Jim Weir, County Commissioner Kirk Painter, County Clerk Jill Locke, and Court Clerk Lisa Hannah. Also filing was Kari Porter who is challenging Locke for the county clerk post. In Caddo County, Sheriff Spencer Davis, who was appointed to the post earlier this year, has filed. County Commissioner Randy McLemore, County Clerk Rhonda Johnson, and Court Clerk Patti Barger have all filed for re-election. Assessor LaDonna Phillips has filed for an unexpired term.

 

State House, Senate Filings              

For state offices, three candidates have filed for House District 56, the seat currently held by David Perryman of Chickasha (who is not running for re-election). They are Democrat Craig Parham of Amber; and Republicans Randy Talley of Chickasha and Dick Lowe of Amber. In House District 51, Republican Brad Boles of Marlow has a challenger in his bid for re-election. Tuttle Republican Gregory Dunson also filed for the post. In House District 65, Republican Toni Hasenbeck of Elgin has drawn an opponent. Democrat Jennifer Kerstetter of Marlow also filed. In the senate, Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle has filed for re-election in District 23. GOP Senator Paul Scott of Duncan has two challengers for District 43 (which includes part of southern Grady County). Jessica Garvin of Duncan and Kaity Keith of Purcell, both of whom are also Republicans have filed for that seat.

              

Library Offers Virtual, On-Line Learning

While the Chickasha Library is closed, officials are offering some of its programs virtually, through its Facebook page. Senior programs through the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative are available on-line. Also, the library has been offering a remote pick-up of books at the book drop site each Tuesday. Officials say they've added a couple of these pick-ups today. Patrons can stop by at 10 o'clock this morning or 2 o'clock this afternoon. Patrons will have to have a library card. For those who may not have Internet access at their homes, the library has Wi-Fi available in the parking areas around the building. Librarian Lillie Huckaby also says that Hillary Communications has installed a Wi-Fi device that will reach an area within two blocks of the library. The Wi-Fi would benefit school children who are taking part in distance learning while schools are closed.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $25.09 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $32.84.

Natural gas is $1.78 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,705 and silver is $15.48.

 

Obituaries

Gail Bryan

No services are scheduled for Gail Bryan, 67,  of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Wayne Morris

A private memorial service will be held for Wayne Morris, 67, of Verden. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

Wednesday, April 8th

 

75 Tested at Grady County Coronavirus Drive-Through

State health department officials used every one of the coronavirus test kits available at a drive-through test site at the Grady County Fairgrounds on Tuesday. Public Information Officer Sara King said they had 75 kits and used all of them in a matter of three hours. All the test kits were sent to a lab at Oklahoma State University and results should be available tomorrow afternoon. King said the Grady County Health Department should be receiving some additional kits later on and that residents would be able to get tested in their cars at the health department.

 

              

 

You can call the health department at 405-224-2022 to be screened over the phone and to schedule a curb-side appointment. Today, there are drive-through sites in both Caddo and Garvin Counties. The Caddo County drive through will be in Anadarko at the Caddo County Fairgrounds. The Garvin County site is in Pauls Valley at the Garvin County Fairgrounds, with test times from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at each location. The tests are for individuals who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The state health department said there are now 1,472 positive coronavirus cases in the state with 67 deaths. Grady County now has nine positive cases, Caddo County has six, Garvin County has 12, and Stephens County has 11.

 

Filing Period Opens for County, State, Federal Offices

The filing period is underway for candidates wanting to run for county, state or federal offices. County election board offices will be operating at their normal business hours over the course of the three-day filing period, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday, April 10th. Many county offices will be offering drive-up service for candidates who are filing for county offices. Candidates should contact their county election board to get more information. Candidates for state and federal offices are encouraged to file declarations of candidacy by using the regular mail or a private delivery service. Since the state capital is closed to the general public, in-person candidate filing will take place in the south parking lot of the capital. The filing period closes at 5 p.m. Friday, April 10th.

 

House Fire Probe Continues

Fire officials continue their investigation into a fire that caused a lot of damage to a Chickasha home. Officials were alerted to the fire from a 9-1-1 call about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at 8th and Iowa Avenue. Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said he was able to determine where the fire started.

 

              

 

Zalewski had not determined how the fire started. He said the home had been occupied but no one was home at the time when the fire started. A damage estimate was not immediately available, but Zalewski said the insurance company would more than likely consider it a total loss.

 

City of Chix OKs Hotel Tax Rebate Program

The City of Chickasha has announced a program to help hotels and motels that have been impacted by the economic slowdown. The Chickasha Industrial Authority has approved a 50 percent hotel tax rebate for those businesses that collect the tax. City Manager John Noblitt said they recognize that hotel bookings are lower due to the COVID-19 virus concerns and the downturn in the energy industry. He said they want to encourage the hotels to stay open now and help keep them open in the future. By providing the rebate, the city hopes to alleviate some costs for both hotels and their patrons. The rebate program is retro-active back to April 1st and will be available through June 30th.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $23.63 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $31.87.

Natural gas is $1.85 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,685 and silver is $15.32.

 

Obituaries

Larry Cain, Jr.

A memorial service is pending for Larry Cain, Jr., 54, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

David “Bunt” Allen

Private burial for David "Bunt" Allen, 90, formerly of Chickasha will be at the Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Simeon's Senior Community Center in Tulsa.

 

Tuesday, April 7th

 

Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Sites Scheduled

Drive-through COVID-19 testing sites will be held in several communities this week as officials work to determine additional cases of the coronavirus. Today, The Grady County Health Department will hold the testing at the Grady County Fairgrounds in Chickasha and the Stephens County Health Department will hold a testing site at the Stephens County Fairgrounds in Duncan. There are a limited number of tests. The tests are free, although Sarah King with the Grady County Health Department said individuals will be screened to see if they are eligible for the nasal swab test.

 

              

 

Those symptoms are a fever of at least 100.4, breathing problems, and a cough. The times for the drive-through testing are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at both the Chickasha and Duncan locations. A similar drive-through test site will be held tomorrow (Wednesday, April 8th) by the Caddo County Health Department at the Caddo County Fairgrounds in Anadarko from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

State Lawmakers OK Governor's Health Emergency

State lawmakers yesterday gave near unanimous support to Gov. Kevin Stitt's health emergency he declared last week. Grady County lawmakers including State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) and State Representatives David Perryman (D-Chickasha) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) all backed the plan giving the  governor broad powers to act on the coronavirus health emergency. Lawmakers also approved using more than $400 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to shore up the state's anticipated revenue failure over the next few months. Perryman saying-

 

              

 

Perryman, a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the house, said his group continues to call on the governor to issue a shelter-in-place order which is more restrictive than the Safer-at-Home order the governor has implemented.

 

Grady Memorial Prepares for Influx of COVID-19 Patients              

Grady Memorial Hospital administrator Kean Spellman told Grady County Commissioners Monday that health officials believe Oklahoma's dramatic increase in new coronavirus cases is not expected to peak until April 23rd. At the moment, Spellman said the hospital has more than enough staff, equipment, and bed space but anticipates a surge in patients in the coming days. He said the hospital can use its new sterilizing machine to extend the life of their N95 masks, but could use donations of more of the specialized masks which doctors and nurses need when treating coronavirus patients. He also said the hospital has had to cancel an upcoming blood drive to conserve resources but encouraged eligible donors to support other area blood drives. By the way, about 30 donors took part in our KOOL/RANCH blood drive with the Oklahoma Blood Institute yesterday. We'll host another drive next Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the YMCA parking lot. Donors can schedule an appointment on the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s website: www.obi.org

 

Early Morning House Fire Under Investigation

An early-morning fire breaks out at a Chickasha home. The fire erupted about 4:30 this morning at 8th and Idaho Avenue. There's no immediate word if anyone was home or injured in the fire, nor what may have sparked the blaze.

 

Costs Building for Emergency Management; Fire Dept's              

Grady County Emergency Management officials have already purchased more than $5,000 in equipment and items related to the state’s health emergency. Director Dale Thompson told county commissioners that he purchased more than a dozen suits, as well as numerous gloves and masks, which are expenses that are eligible for reimbursement by FEMA. Thompson said he ordered hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray but the vendor said it would be two weeks before it would be delivered.  Also, Kim Duke with the Grady County Fire Department said she also ordered about $400 in equipment and supplies including hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray for the volunteer fire departments.

 

USAO Cancels Summer Activities;

Will Continue On-Line Classes

USAO has taken further action to minimize the spread of the coronavirus on campus. The university has canceled all campus gatherings and events through August 5th. The university will offer all of its independent study and regular summer term courses on-line. USAO president John Feaver said they hope to return to normal operations in the fall semester. In a prepared statement, Feaver said the faculty is engaged in an extraordinary endeavor as they continue their efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. He said they are maintaining relationships with students, and ensuring the students have the opportunity to progress toward completing their degrees without significant delay.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $26.08 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $33.05.

Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,702 and silver is $15.64.

 

Obituary

Wilford Lyons

A private graveside service was held for Wilford Lyons, 87, of Chickasha at the Alex Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

Monday, April 6th

 

Distance-Learning Programs Begin

Distance-learning programs for Oklahoma public school students are getting underway. The state department of education shut down public schools for the last nine weeks of the year due to coronavirus concerns. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said the state panel approved the plan he submitted late last Friday. Croslin said school officials have worked to reach out to the families of each student and will begin getting Chromebook tablets to every student. Any student or family who did not get contacted should call their school. Parents were given appointments to stop by their children's schools starting tomorrow to get the tablets and education packets. Croslin said details should also be posted on each school's website. He also said schools will only be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. at 2:30 p.m. Students can reach out to teachers via e-mail or by calling the school and leaving a message. The superintendent said the goal is to help students improve their grades over the next few weeks and that teachers would work to make sure that even students failing a class would get a passing grade.

 

Chickasha City Council Meeting Canceled;

City Hall and City-Owned Buildings Still Closed              

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Chickasha City Council for tonight has been called off over the COVID-19 virus concerns. The council has not held a regular meeting in over a month. The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for April 20th. City officials announced last Friday that city hall and all city-owned buildings would remain closed to the public through this Friday, April 10th.

 

County Commissioners Hold Final Tele-Conference              

Grady County Commissioners will hold its weekly meeting this morning via tele-conference. Commission Chairman Ralph Beard and two courthouse employees will be in the commissioner’s office at the courthouse while commissioners Kirk Painter and Mike Walker will be in attendance remotely. The meeting will include a county coronavirus update from Grady County Emergency Management director Dale Thompson. This will be the final commissioners’ meeting held via tele-conference. Starting next Monday, April 13th, the panel will return to an open-meeting format. The change was necessitated after a ruling by the state attorney general's office. After today, meetings will be held at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building.

 

State Coronavirus Updates

The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma surpassed 1,200 over the weekend. In its mid-day report yesterday, the State Health Department reported 1,252 cases of COVID-19. The death toll is now at 46 with 330 people hospitalized. The Grady County count is now at seven confirmations; McClain County is at 12; Garvin and Stephens County are both at nine; and Caddo County now has four confirmed cases. State lawmakers will meet in a special session this morning to consider Gov. Kevin Stitt's statewide health emergency he issued last Thursday. The house and senate must approve the governor's declaration. The governor is also to meet virtually with the state equalization board to consider dipping into the state's rainy day fund. Projections are the state will have a revenue failure of more than $400 million over the next three months. The state has about $1 billion in savings set aside. Also, FEMA has approved the state's request to declare all 77 counties as a major disaster area as a result of the growing health emergency.  That declaration allows FEMA's Public Assistance program to provide federal funding for emergency protective measures as well as direct federal help for state and local governments. Gov. Stitt said the state department of emergency management is working with local emergency management officials and FEMA to help local jurisdictions document their costs that will be eligible for reimbursement.

 

Caddo County Driver Injured in Crash

An SUV crash sends a Caddo County man to the hospital. 74-year old Joe Bybee of Apache was taken to a Lawton hospital with head, trunk, arm, and leg injuries. He was admitted in good condition. The accident happened just after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Highway 62 about a mile south of Apache. The trooper investigating the crash said Bybee was driving too fast to take a curve.

 

Apache Rattlesnake Festival Canceled

The Apache Rattlesnake Festival has been added to the long list of events canceled because of coronavirus concerns. It's the first time in the nearly 40-year history of the festival for the event to be canceled. The festival was set for next week, April 16th-19th. Officials with the Slick Hills Foundation which hosts the event said they waited as long as they possibly could before making their decision. About 200 vendors had pre-registered. Proceeds from the festival help local schools and families suffering from devastating circumstances. The group will still be able to help some programs in the coming months but perhaps not to the extent they have in the past.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $28.34 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $34.11.

Natural gas is $1.62 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,665 and silver is $14.79.

 

 

2020, March 30th-April 4th

Saturday, April 4th

 

Chix City Hall, Other City-Owned Buildings to Stay Closed

Chickasha city hall and other city-owned buildings will remain closed to the public due to the rapid rise of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma. City Manager John Noblitt said the state of emergency issued on March 13th was set to end yesterday. Now, city-owned buildings are to remain closed to the public through next Friday, April 10th when officials will review the situation again. City officials have also closed all city playgrounds and basketball courts in an attempt to prevent groups of 10 or more people from gathering. City parks are open for walkers and joggers but officials urge users to follow social distancing guidelines. The library and the animal shelter are also closed to the public, and there is no camping, boating, or fishing allowed at Lake Chickasha. Also, the regularly scheduled city council meeting for Monday, April 6th has canceled. In the most recent coronavirus update from the state health department (Friday, April 3rd as of this writing), Grady County had five confirmed reports of the COVID-19 virus. There were 988 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide.

 

Governor Says State Revenue Failure Expected

Gov. Kevin Stitt says a state revenue failure of more than $415 million is expected in the final three months of fiscal year 2020 which ends June 30th. The shortfall stems from the devastation resulting from a massive decline in the energy industry and the coronavirus pandemic. Stitt will meet with the state Equalization Board next week to start the process of dipping into the state's rainy day fund. The fund currently has more than $800 million although the state has more than $1 billion in savings. State lawmakers will be able to use about $500 million.

 

State Rig Count Continues Decline

The energy industry is reeling from the effects of tumbling oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. The latest report indicates that the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in Oklahoma continues to plummet. The state lost 10 more rigs in the last week and is down to just 29 active rigs. There were 107 rigs at the same time last year. In what drilling activity remains, Continental Resources did report the completion of a Grady County well bringing in just under 160 barrels of oil per day. Roan Resources filed a completion report on a 2018 well east of Tuttle. The Don's Ranch well had production of 1,000 barrels of oil and more than 2,000 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day. No reason was given on why the report was only recently filed.

 

 NextEra Energy Foundation Helps Regional Food Bank             

Many companies and/or their charitable foundations are making contributions to non-profit groups whose missions are to help families dealing with lost jobs and other issues related to the current economic and health problems. Energy Resources, through its NextEra Energy Foundation, has provided $10,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. During the current crisis the Regional Food Bank continues to distribute emergency food boxes to communities in Grady and Caddo counties and more than 300 communities in western Oklahoma. Regional Food Bank officials say high consumer demand for food has reduced the amount of donated retail products it is receiving and that officials are now having to buy food.

 

 Two Arrested in Separate Domestic Violence Cases             

Chickasha police make arrests in separate domestic violence investigations. The first stemmed from a call Tuesday March 31st, when police were dispatched to the area of 14th and Minnesota. A victim alleged she was beaten and choked to the point where she couldn't breathe. Officers arrested 21-year old Jacob Deshawn McHugh at a home in the 1100 block of West Idaho. Prosecutors have charged McHugh with a felony count of domestic abuse by strangulation and he remains in jail on a $7,000 bond. Wednesday, April 1st, police were summoned to a home in the 1400 block of N. 16th to look into a domestic violence report. The victim alleged she was injured during a fight with the suspect and that she couldn't take it anymore. Police arrested 45-year old Daniel Greg Burris. Prosecutors have filed a misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse against Burris and he remains in jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Julia Cochran and Jenna Cansler with Red Rock Behavioral Health Services are our guests on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, Tim Hushbeck with Public Service Company of Oklahoma is this week's guest. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

 

Friday, April 3rd

 

Governor Declares Health Emergency

Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued a statewide health emergency as officials work to prevent the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. It gives the governor the power to waive statuatory and regulatory requirements and gives him the ability to coordinate a statewide response among city and county health departments to deal with the state’s escalating coronavirus cases. It's the first time that the state’s Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act has been implemented since it was adopted after 9/11. The declaration allows former health care workers who have retired or have let their licenses expire to return to the workforce. It also helps to protect first responders by helping them manage their personal protective equipment. First responders will also be able to know if a home they are going to has a resident who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Stitt has called a special session of the state legislature which must approve the declaration. The special session will be held on Monday, April 6th.

 

Coronavirus Cases Still on the Rise              

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma is now at 879. As of midday Thursday, April 2nd the state health department reports 34 people have died from the illness and more than 250 have been hospitalized. Grady County has three confirmed cases while Caddo County has one. Comanche County's number has grown to 27 and McClain County is up to 11. Garvin County has eight confirmed cases and Stephens County has seven. Stephens County also has had one death from COVID-19 – a man over the age of 65.

 

Attorney General Tells County Commissioners

Tele-Conference Meetings No Longer Allowed

Grady County Commissioners have been told to no longer hold their weekly meetings by way of a tele-conference. Commission Chairman Ralph Beard said the Oklahoma Attorney General's office issued a ruling that the panel had to have open meetings even though the public was able to access the weekly meetings via tele-conference. Beard said commissioners will have one final meeting via tele-conference on Monday, April 6th at 9:00 a.m. He said the attorney general's ruling did not come in time to provide a 10-day notice of the meeting change. Beginning with the Monday, April 13th meeting, commissioners will meet in the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building. Beard said the building provides a lot more open space than the commissioner's office which will allow for proper social-distancing. Beard said the public can attend the meetings at the new location. He also said tele-conferencing will be discontinued after the Monday, April 6th meeting.

 

City of Chix Suspends Bulk Pick-up and Brush Service

The City of Chickasha is taking action to help protect sanitation workers during the health crisis. As of Monday, April 6th, residential bulk and brush pick up is being suspended through April 30th. The city's private contractor for trash pick-up, Waste Connections, will continue regular trash pick up services as scheduled. However, only the contents of the trash carts will be picked up. Any items placed outside the carts will not be picked up. Residents can place yard waste in their carts if there is room. Officials said that residents with bulky items will be able to take those items to the Southern Plains Landfill and dispose of them at no charge, as long as they show a current utility bill. The landfill is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

New Investor Partners with Chickasha Company

Chickasha-based Physician House Calls (PHC) has received an investment from a private equity firm out of Nashville. Council Capital is partnering with PHC, which is a company that provides home-based primary care. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed. In a press release announcing the partnership, Council Capital general partner Eric Keen said the services provided by PHC is an investment theme they have been investigating for more than a year. He said PHC offers an innovative and effective service that improves the patient's quality of care and reduces costs to the healthcare system. PHC co-founder Hank Ross said the partnership is a strategic fit and that he looks forward to leveraging the investor's health care expertise in PHC’s future growth.

              

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $25.32 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $29.94.

Natural gas is $1.55 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,630 and silver is $14.61.

 

 

Thursday, April 2nd

 

Governor Closes Non-Essential Businesses Statewide

All non-essential businesses throughout Oklahoma are ordered closed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as officials to try to help stem the tide of the coronavirus health emergency. During a Wednesday press conference the governor expanded his recent executive order. Previously, the non-essential business closure pertained only to those counties where the coronavirus had been confirmed. That order is now effective in all 77 counties and it has been extended through April 30th. The governor also again asked Oklahomans to postpone elective surgeries in order to allow doctors and health care workers to focus on the health crisis. Stitt also extended his Safer-at-Home order, asking those 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems to stay home through the end of the month unless they have to get food or prescriptions.

 

Officials Seek Sites for Temporary Hospitals

Stitt also said hospitals are expecting a surge in patients that will need to be treated for the coronoavirus infection. He is also looking for locations to build temporary hospitals.

 

              

 

The governor also urged families to not take children grocery shopping. He said the store is not a place for family outings and recommended that only one person from each family go into a store. The governor stopped short of issuing a statewide shelter-in-place plan, but said mayors and county commissioners may issue those restrictions if they feel they are necessary.

 

State Coronavirus Cases Still Climbing

The state health department now indicates 719 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, April 1st. Checking the counties in the Chickasha and Anadarko area: Oklahoma County now has nearly 200 cases confirmed; Cleveland County, 87; Canadian County, 24; Comanche County, 21; McClain County, nine; Garvin County, seven; Stephens County, six; Grady County, three; and Caddo County still with only one. Officials anticipate the steep rise of the COVID-19 virus cases in Oklahoma to peak around April 22nd.

 

SNAP Recipients to Receive Emergency Allotment

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will be issuing emergency allotments to SNAP recipients – families which are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The action is to address temporary food needs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The allotment allows up to the maximum monthly amount based on the number of individuals in a recipient's household. March SNAP supplements will be staggered between April 1st and April 10th and April supplements will be staggered between April 10th and April 30th.

 

Tom Cole to Host Another Town Hall Tele-Conference

4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole has scheduled another town hall tele-conference this week. Cole will discuss the coronavirus relief package which was approved in Washington, D.C. last week and other recent developments. The telephone town hall meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, April 2nd). To participate, call 1-888-652-5404.

 

USAO Hosts Virtual Chalk-Art Festival

Today was supposed to be a big day on the USAO campus. Hundreds of high school students from across the state were to take part in the annual Spring Triad which normally includes an academic competition, a sidewalk chalk art festival, and the Droverstock outdoor concert. With the campus closed due to coronavirus concerns, officials reached out on Twitter yesterday to encourage students take part in a virtual chalk art festival. Calling it the Stay at Home Chalk Art Festival they say to draw on your sidewalk or driveway, take a photo, and e-mail it to the university to be posted on its on-line album. Photos can be sent to jknapp@usao.edu

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.31 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $22.76.

Natural gas is $1.58 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,602 and silver is $14.30.

 

Obituary

Thomas South

A memorial service for Thomas South, 29, of Chickasha will be held at a date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

Wednesday, April 1st

 

Grady County COVID-19 Number Revised Downward

Grady County's number of confirmed COVID-19 virus infections has been revised downward. The state health department changed the number from three to two yesterday. An official said one of the cases may have been a duplicate or it was placed in the wrong county. Statewide, the confirmed coronavirus number is now at 565 with the number of deaths up to 23. There have been 177 people hospitalized with the illness.

 

Commerce Dep't. Sets Weekly Tele-Conferences

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce today is launching a weekly series of teleconferences to discuss the coronavirus situation in several business sectors. State Commerce and Workforce Secretary Sean Kouplen and others will answer questions from those who participate. They'll address retail, energy, agriculture and food processing, manufacturing, energy, non-profits and others. The teleconferences are being held every Wednesday. A different teleconference is held each hour, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participation is limited to the first 1,000 people who join. To see the schedule and conference links, go to the website www.okcommerce.gov

 

Child Advocacy Group Begins Tele-Conferences

A new series of teleconferences to discuss issues important to children and their families also kicks off today. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy calls the sessions telephone town hall meetings where health care professionals and government leaders will be featured. Dorman talks about some of the topics that will be reviewed.

 

              

 

Those calling into the teleconference will be able ask the panelists questions. The teleconference will get underway at 11:45 a.m. (Wednesday). There is no charge but participants will have to register. Go to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's website, www.oica.org and sign up in the pop-up box. They'll be using the Zoom Internet platform.

 

Man Alledgedly Uses Shovel Handle to Beat his Brother              

A fight between brothers that included a shovel handle being used as a weapon lands one of the men in jail. Chickasha police were called to a home near 9th and Oregon last Saturday morning. A probable cause affidavit indicates one of the men was homeless, but his brother allowed him to live in a shed at the residence. The fight began over allegations that the suspect had been defecating in the yard, then escalated to the point where the suspect allegedly grabbed the shovel handle and hit his brother in the head, neck and back. Authorities arrested 49-year old Johnathan Clifford Mulligan. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors also want to revoke a suspended sentence Mulligan received for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge back in December. Mulligan remains in jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

 

Grant to Create Native American Institute at OU

A multi-million dollar grant to the University of Oklahoma will create a new program to study Native American nations. It will be called the Native Peoples Institute. University officials say the nearly $5 million grant will make OU the premier center for Native American research and teaching. The grant was provided by The Horizon Foundation which is a grant-making non-profit group from the Dallas area. It includes three $1.5 million endowed chairs to attract nationally recognized scholars in Native American studies. Areas of study will include spirituality and the environment, history and culture, and language preservation and revitalization.

              

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.48 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $22.74.

Natural gas is $1.64 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,607 and silver is $14.17.

 

Obituary

Shirley Daugherty

A private graveside service is scheduled for Shirley Daugherty, 74, of Tuttle. The service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 3rd at the Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

 

Tuesday, March 31st

 

Official Guestimates When State COVID-19 Cases Peak

The number of Oklahomans infected by the COVID-19 virus will likely top 500 today. The state health department reported Monday that the number was up to 481, with 17 deaths blamed on the illness and 153 hospitalized. When the threat might peak in Oklahoma is anybody's guess, but Grady Memorial hospital administrator Kean Spellman told county commissioners yesterday that there are projections that it could be a couple more weeks, perhaps mid-April. Yesterday's health department report indicated three confirmed COVID-19 virus cases in Grady County. Spellman said there are likely more who are self-quarantined at home, and those who are ill but not having severe symptoms. Spellman said that if needed the hospital could create an emergency room overflow driveway, which could circle through the hospital parking lot. The hospital and its adjoining Five Oaks Medical Group are screening everyone who visit the medical facilities for potential coronavirus symptoms.

 

Two Hospitalized After SUV Accident

An SUV crashes on a wet highway near Anadarko sending two people to the hospital. The accident happened just after 10:30 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 62, about three miles west of Anadarko. 42-year old Tymaemah Tofpi and a passenger, 35-year old Sky Bullock both of Anadarko, were taken to a Lawton hospital. Tofpi was last in fair condition and Bullock was in good condition. A third person in the SUV refused treatment. The trooper investigating the accident said Tofpi was driving when she lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and hit a sign and a couple of trees. She was pinned in the vehicle for about 20 minutes.

 

April 7th City Council, School Elections Postponed

City council and school elections which were scheduled across the state next week have been postponed because of the health risks involving the COVID-19 virus. Most of those elections have been re-scheduled for June 30th including the Chickasha City Council election and the Anadarko municipal election. One area school district has postponed a bond election indefinitely. That’s in Bridge Creek where school officials will decide later when to re-schedule that election.

 

Filing Period for County, State Offices Set              

(EDITOR'S NOTE - An earlier version of this story had the wrong dates for the filing period. We apologize for the mistake)

How will the coronavirus affect the filing period for candidates who want to run for state or county offices? The filing period is officially next week, April 8th through the 10th. While election board offices are closed to the public, candidates can find applications for county and state offices on the state election board website. Grady County Election Board Secretary Katrina Hughes says that candidates can fill out those forms ahead of time and deliver or mail them to the election board in a sealed envelope. For county offices, the applications must also include a $300 filing fee. Hughes says it’s not clear from the state election board if the county offices will extend their hours during the filing period. Currently some election boards are closing at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. County offices up for election this year include the sheriff, district two county commissioner, court clerk, and county clerk.

 

'Bingo' Campaign Begins to Support Restaurants

In an effort to help local restaurants experiencing hardships because of the coronavirus, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council have combined to create a plan that will help consumers help those eateries. Plus, the consumers will be eligible to win gift certificates to use later at those establishments. It's called To Go Bingo. 39 area restaurants are listed on a “card”, and customers must purchase a minimum of $20 to mark a restaurant's spot. A card must have at least eight squares marked off and the receipts from the restaurant where the purchase was made. Photos of the card and the receipts can be e-mailed to: office@chickashachamber.com or through regular mail to: Chickasha EDC, 221 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018. Names will go into a daily drawing where $100 gift certificates will be given away every weekday through the month of April. Officials expect to give away more than $10,000 in gift certificates.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.09 a barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $22.76.

Natural gas is $1.69 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,611 and silver is $14.09.

 

Obituaries

Anna Powell

A private graveside service for Anna Powell, 93, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 1st at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Pauline “Polly” Wilson

A private graveside service for old Polly Wilson, 86, of Duncan will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday. April 2nd at the Oddfellows Memory Gardens Cemetery in Norman. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Monday, March 30th

 

Governor Adds More Restrictions Due to COVID-19 Virus

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has made more changes to his executive order designed to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Oklahoma. On Sunday, Stitt required travelers from six states to self-quarantine for two weeks. Individuals from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, Washington, and California will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Another change requires delivery personnel to submit to screenings upon request at medical facilities, long-term care facilities, and day care centers. Those tests would likely include a temperature check and a short questionnaire about possible exposure to the coronavirus.

              

State Democrats Call for More Coronavirus Restrictions              

Over the weekend, Democrats in the State House of Representatives called on the governor to take stronger action against the infection. A letter from house minority leader Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City said the Democrats agree with medical experts who are calling for an executive order to implement a statewide shelter-in-place policy.  Floyd said limiting the Safer at Home initiative to only those counties where the coronavirus has been confirmed will not effectively contain the community transmission of the illness. As of Sunday, the state has 429 confirmed coronavirus cases which included 16 deaths. Grady, Stephens, and McClain Counties each have two, Garvin County has four, Canadian County has 12, and Comanche County has 11.  Caddo County still has just one confirmed case.

 

Goodwill Closes Local, National Stores

There's another store closure in Chickasha because of the growing number of COVID-19 illnesses. Goodwill has closed its doors not only locally, but nationwide. Chickasha store officials posted a sign on its door Sunday that the store is temporarily closed. Goodwill Industries of Southern Oklahoma and North Texas released a statement saying they also will not be providing home pick-up service of donated items. Goodwill has also closed their adult day care services, workforce development services, the career development center, and voluntary income tax assistance service. Operations are expected to resume on April 12th. Officials say they are still accepting donations at their blue bins, but ask  that no large items like furniture be dropped off during the temporary closure.

 

Loans Available to Help Small Businesses Stay Open

Small businesses across the country are hurting due to the coronavirus pandemic. The passage of the coronavirus act last week includes a new loan program to help businesses keep their doors open and their employees on the job. Sean Kouplen is the Secretary of Commerce for the State of Oklahoma. He says business owners should contact their local banks to get information.

 

Business owners will not have to re-pay the loans as long as they follow some guidelines, which include maintaining their current level of employees through the economic slowdown.

 

OSU Extension Offices Closed, but Services Available

Like many public buildings OSU Extension Offices are not accessible to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Dave Deken with the OETA Sunup program says offices are still able to offer assistance.

 

He said the offices can still send soil samples from agriculture producers and those wanting to plant spring gardens to Oklahoma State University for testing.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $21.51 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $24.93.

Natural gas is $1.63 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,622 and silver is $14.19.

 

 

 

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