Saturday, July 25th
Schlumberger to Layoff Thousands
More layoffs have been announced in the energy sector. Schlumberger reports that it will reduce its workforce by about 21,000 jobs worldwide. That's about 25 percent of its workforce. Company officials say the firm will pay more than $1 billion in severance benefits. The company operates out of Houston but has three facilities in Oklahoma City. It wasn't clear how many Oklahoma job losses there will be. Schlumberger is the world's largest oilfied services company. The website OK Energy Today cites company representatives as saying the cuts put the number of its employees back to where it was at the start of the oil and gas fracking boom.
Fire Crews Squelch Trash Fire at HSI Sensing
Chickasha firefighters were dispatched to HSI Sensing for a fire in the parking lot Friday afternoon. Crews were dispatched about 3:45 p.m. to a large pile of debris behind the main building which was burning. Fire officials said a sanitation truck had just picked up a large bin from the back of the property. The driver is believed to have seen fire or smoke and emptied his truck in a vacant area of the paved parking lot. Fire crews quickly doused the burning debris and there was no damage to any vehicles or buildings.
Silver Alert Continues for Missing Blanchard Man
A Blanchard man who walked away from his home this week is still missing. A Silver Alert was issued for 64-year-old Terry Wayne Taylor on Wednesday. The Grady County Sheriff's Office issued the alert after family members say Taylor was last seen Tuesday afternoon. Taylor takes prescription medication and he suffers from dementia. Family members did tell authorities that he has previously walked away from home without telling anybody only to return a few days later. A photograph of Taylor is posted on the Grady County Sheriff's Office Facebook page. If you have information about Terry Wayne Taylor call 405-224-0984, local law enforcement, or 9-1-1
Parts of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Re-opens
A few of areas of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge have re-opened to the public. The regions had been closed since the coronavirus first took hold in Oklahoma in March. Camp Doris, The Narrows, and the Charon's Garden Wilderness area are once again accessible to visitors. While the public is welcome, refuge officials says public restrooms, shower houses, and refuge buildings and offices will stay closed. KSWO-TV reports that all camping will be by reservation only and that visitors will have to use self-contained RVs, travel trailers, or pop-ups.
Christmas Concert in Shannon Springs Park Tonight
There will be a special Christmas concert in Chickasha tonight-
That is Shane Henry and Maggie McClure, aka The Imaginaries who will perform under the stars as part of Chickasha's Christmas in July. The concert is free and will be held at Shannon Springs Park Amphitheatre while the lights on the 160-foot tall Christmas tree will shine. Organizers ask that those attending arrive by about 8:30 p.m. for the concert which starts at 9:00 p.m. Seating is available in the amphitheatre but families can bring lawn chairs and blankets to allow for social distancing.
Food Bank Holds Virtual 'Stamp Out Hunger' Food Drive
Many food drives to stock pantries have been canceled over the last few months. One of them was the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. This year was to be the 28th year for the food drive. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has come forward with a solution. The group will hold a virtual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Last year, the letter carriers’ efforts in central and western Oklahoma collected almost 600,000 pounds of food and raised more than $175,000 which provided 1.2 million meals to hungry families. In recognition of the 28 years of commitment by the letter carriers and the U.S. Postal Service, the food bank hopes to raise $28,000 by July 31st. Donations can be made on-line at www.feedinghope.org
Friday, July 24th
6th Grady County Resident Dies from Coronavirus
State health officials say another resident in Grady County has died from COVID-19. The state health department reports the 50- to 64-year old man lived in Tuttle and he is the second person in that community to have died from the illness. His death increases the number of fatal coronavirus cases in Grady County to six. The other four deaths have all occurred in Chickasha. Grady County has had a total of 328 positive tests and there are currently 48 active cases. In Chickasha, there have been 185 positive tests with 27 currently battling the illness. Tuttle has had 71 positive tests and 11 are active. Blanchard has had 98 positive tests and 14 are active. The health department reports 477 deaths statewide from the illness. Yesterday, nearly 750 new positive coronavirus tests were confirmed with the total number closing in on 29,000 since mid-March. The number of active cases in Oklahoma is right at 5,000 and the number of those currently hospitalized was lower yesterday, to about 600.
Oklahomans Urged to Wear Masks
To Lessen Spread of COVID-19
Health officials continue urging everyone to wear masks while in public in order to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Brad Warden is the infection control specialist at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Warden says it doesn't matter if you wear a cloth or paper mask, either will minimize the spread of the coronavirus should anyone be infected and not know it.
Search Continues for Missing Blanchard Man
The Grady County Sheriff's office says a Silver Alert is still in effect for Terry Wayne Taylor, a man missing from his home near Blanchard. Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins says there hasn't been any solid information about Taylor, who is 64-years old and is battling dementia. Family members have told officials that it’s not the first time Taylor has left home without telling anybody, only to return a few days later. Taylor does take prescription medicine. Blevins said a man matching Taylor's description was seen at the Domino's convenience store in Blanchard on Wednesday, but it wasn't known if it was him. Anyone with information about Terry Wayne Taylor is asked to call the sheriff's office at 405-224-0984 or 9-1-1.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Pam Ladyman and Dan Turner with Chickasha Public Schools are on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today, this week's guest is Steve Taylor with Centerpoint Energy. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.07 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.31.
Natural gas is $1.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,889 and silver is $22.82.
A graveside service for David Williams, 76, of Tuttle will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 25th in the Fairview Cemetery of Tuttle. He owned and operated Williams Plumbing, Heat, and Air and served in the Oklahoma National Guard. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Funeral service for Michael Hunt, 72, of Alex will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 29th at Ferguson Funeral Home in Chickasha. He served in the U.S. Army Special Forces, then became a helicopter pilot. He retired as a pilot from Beech Aircraft.
Thursday, July 23rd
Silver Alert Issued for Missing Grady County Man
Family members and law enforcement officials continue their search for an ailing Blanchard man who hasn't been seen in nearly two days. The Grady County Sheriff's Office issued a Silver Alert for 64-year old Terry Wayne Taylor. He was last seen about 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. The sheriff's office said Taylor suffers from dementia. He is Caucasian and a photograph shows him with a beard and moustache. He was last seen wearing a light green, button-down shirt, blue jeans, and black, lace-up work boots. He walks hunched over and also shuffles when he walks. Anyone with information about Terry Wayne Taylor is asked to call the sheriff's office at 405-224-0984 or 9-1-1.
OSBI Offers Reward for Information
On 2019 Death of a Caddo County Man
In Caddo County, authorities continue looking for information regarding the death of a Binger man. 57-year old Randy Gathers was found dead in his home in February of 2019. The OSBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information. Gathers was last seen in his orange Dodge pickup headed to Hinton two days earlier on Valentine's Day. He was often seen at the Dollar General and Crainco stores in Binger. Anyone with information is asked to contact the OSBI anonymously by calling 800-522-8017 or e-mailing information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chix Schools Urge Students to Enroll;
Choose Learning 'Pathway'
Chickasha Public Schools continue asking parents of students to reach out regarding enrollment for the upcoming school year. Pam Ladyman is the director of special services and federal programs for the district. She says officials need all families to take part even if students completed a pre-enrollment process this past spring. Ladyman said in addition to confirming enrollment, a learning pathway needs to be selected. The district is offering classroom instruction, distance-learning, or a combination of the two. Parents can visit the administration office at 9th and Choctaw until 5 p.m. today (Thursday) or Monday through Thursday of next week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For other information call 405-222-6500.
Sipuel-Fisher's Work to be Highlighted
in State Historical Society Series
The Civil Rights work of Chickasha's Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher is part of an upcoming series of programs on women's activism in Oklahoma. The programs are being hosted by the Oklahoma Historical Society and Oklahoma Humanities. The series is called "This Land is Herland" which is a celebration of the centennial of the 100th anniversaries of the passage of the women’s suffrage amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution in 1918, and the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920. The series features nine notable women scholars who explore the work of Oklahoma women. The programs will be on Aug. 13th, Sept. 22nd, and Nov. 5th. Sipuel-Fisher's work will be presented during the Sept. 22nd program called The Gendered Politics of Civil Rights. Cheryl Wattley, with the University of North Texas-Dallas College of Law will present the program which she calls "Making History - Being an NAACP Plaintiff." Information about the series can be found on the history center's website: www.okhistory.org/suffrage
Christmas in July Activties Continue
Chickasha's Christmas in July promotion is continuing and there are a couple of special events this week. Tonight's free movie is Home Alone with McAuley Caulkin and Joe Pesci. The Chickasha Community Theatre will show the film at Washita Theatre starting at 7:00 p.m. While the movie is free, proceeds from the sale of concessions will benefit the community theatre. This Saturday night, there will be a Christmas concert in Shannon Springs Park with The Imaginaries, AKA Shane Henry and Maggie McClure. The concert will be held at the amphitheatre starting at 9:30. Concertgoers are asked to arrive about 8:30. Families may also bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to help with social distancing.
Weatherford Space Museum has New Addition
There's a renewed interest in space exploration thanks to the International Space Station and the recent success of the public-private cooperation between NASA and Space-X. In Weatherford, the Stafford Air and Space Museum now has a full-scale replica of the Apollo Lunar Module. It's identical to the spacecraft that carried Apollo 10 commander Tom Stafford (of Weatherford) and fellow crew member Gene Cernan to the surface of the moon more than 50 years ago. The website OK Energy Today reports the spacecraft is over 2 1/2 stories tall. The objective was to construct a replica so detailed that astronauts who originally flew the missions couldn't tell it was a copy.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.90 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.29.
Natural gas is $1.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,881 and silver is $23.18.
Wednesday, July 22nd
New Construction Permits in Chickasha
Drop Below $1 Million Level for June
For the first time in 2020, the monthly value of new construction in Chickasha fell below the $1 million mark in June. The city's Community Development Department approved a total of 15 total building permits with all but one of them in residential construction. The total value of the new construction is just over $700,000. Permits for two new single-family homes make up most of that number. One was awarded to Reese Homes, LLC to build a $400,000 home on Country Club Drive. The second was awarded to Raush Coleman Homes to build a $100,000 home the Shadow Valley Development. The only commercial building permit issued went to Barry Thomas for a $3,500 remodeling project at 1201 Crystal Park. For the first six months of the year new construction in Chickasha has topped $9.4 million.
Grady County Fair is a Go, With Precautions in Place
There will be a Grady County Fair this year. Officials say to expect some changes and that the health and safety of visitors and fair participants are the top priorities. There will be a smaller than usual vendor area and attendance will be limited for entertainment activities. There will be extra spacing in the still exhibit area. There will be added hand-sanitizing stations throughout the fairgrounds. The livestock shows will go on as scheduled and the livestock and still exhibit booklets are available on the Grady County Fairgrounds website. The princess contest is also still planned prior to the event. The fair honorees are the front line workers battling the coronavirus pandemic, including - but not limited to - health care workers, food service employees, farmers, ranchers, and truckers. Officials also announced the carnival will be not be coming this year, canceling its visit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grady County Fair will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 27th-29th.
The number of Oklahomans testing positive for the coronavirus tops 27,000. The state health department added more than 800 new cases to its Tuesday report after a technical data-entry error occurred over the weekend. Also, nine more deaths were attributed to the disease, with that count now at 461. The number of active cases is 5,202 with just over 600 patients currently in the hospital. The number of Oklahomans who have recovered from COVID-19 topped 20,000 in Tuesday’s report. Chickasha has had a total of 171 cases and there are 38 currently active. Blanchard has had 93 total cases and there are 17 active. Tuttle has had 67 total cases and there are 15 active. Anadarko has had 47 total cases and there 10 active cases. Grady County has had 309 total cases and there are 68 active cases.
End of Summer "Day of Play" Scheduled
A number of groups are combining efforts to offer an end-of-summer Day of Play at Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park before children head back to school. The YMCA, the City of Chickasha's Parks and Recreation Department, Chickasha Rotary Club, and the Public School Foundation are organizing the event. There will be volleyball and cornhole tournaments, a fishing derby, and perhaps a radio-controlled boat race on the pond. The municipal swimming pool will be open for the final day and swimming is free as long as individuals donate some school supplies to the Public School Foundation. Also scheduled are a meet-and-greet with Chickasha Fightin’ Chick athletes, a little Mr. and Miss Chickasha contest, and a movie will be shown that night. The Day of Play is set for Saturday, Aug. 15th.
STACK Wells are High Producers
Here is some rare oil production news to report. Several wells in Canadian County wells are jointly producing about 3,600 barrels of oil per day. Ovintiv Mid-Continent out of Houston filed the completion report on wells in the STACK play in the Mississipian Basin southeast of Okarche. Spud dates were in January with completion dates in February. Drilling depths were about 20,000 feet.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.96 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.32.
Natural gas is $1.67 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,856 and silver is $22.35.
Tuesday, July 21st
Consumer Spending Down in Grady County;
Continues to Hold Steady in Chickasha
Consumer spending throughout Grady County is down substantially over year-ago levels. Much of that can be blamed on the downturn in the energy sector as well as the coronavirus pandemic. The most recent numbers show that county-wide consumer spending in May was about $48.4 million. That's down more than 27 percent from the previous month and down more than 63 percent from May of 2019. The estimate is based on the most recent sales tax collections for the county which was $363,000. A year ago the county collected almost $1 million in sales tax revenue. While consumer spending is down significantly throughout the county, the City of Chickasha continues to hold fairly steady. Estimated consumer spending in May was $26.7 million. That's about 5 percent higher than April but off about 10 percent compared to May of 2019. Chickasha received just under $1 million in sales tax revenue in the most recent distribution from the State Tax Commission. Use tax collections for the county this month was $71,000 which is down from $83,000 last month. The City of Chickasha received $72,000 in use tax collections which is down from $120,000 last month. Use taxes are paid on Internet purchases.
Grady EMS Contract with City of Chix Questioned
The Chickasha City Council approves its annual agreement with the Grady County Emergency Medical Services district but not before questions arose regarding what services the county is actually paying for. During Monday night’s city council meeting, Councilman Kim Loggins noted that the contract is only for ambulance services from the city and asked if the county also pays for a fire truck and rescue truck which are also dispatched to many emergency calls in the county. City Manager John Noblitt said there is no payment agreement for those services, but the matter is also a concern of his. He said the additional services are made available through inter-local agreements between the city and county but still believes the city should be compensated for sending the additional units. Loggins asked if the contract approval should be postponed in order to re-negotiate the terms but Noblitt said quick approval was needed so the city could get paid as soon as possible on calls that have been made in recent weeks.
Biker Hospitalized After Hitting Deer
A motorcycle rider is hospitalized after hitting a deer. 27-year old Colter Thornburg of Bradley suffered leg injuries in the crash and was taken to a Norman hospital where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened just after 10:00 p.m. Monday on State Highway 19 about two miles east southeast of Bradley. Thornburg was wearing a helmet.
Workforce Board to Hold Drive-Thru Job Fair
A unique event will be held next month to help people who have lost their jobs, are looking for a new position, or may be looking for work for the first time. A drive-through job fair will be hosted by the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board. The group has offices at Chickasha's Workforce Oklahoma office as well as the Adult Learning Center. Jessica Forbes is the Business Service Coordinator with the Workforce Investment Board. She says at a normal job fair, businesses set up tables and job seekers stop by to discuss the positions that are available. So to respect social distancing efforts because of COVID-19, businesses are asked to contact her office to provide employment information. Materials from all the participating businesses will be placed in a bag and given to those who take part in the drive-through job fair. The event is set for Thursday, Aug. 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in front of the USAO Student Services center near 18th and Alabama Ave.
CHS Athletes to Work Free on 'Give Back' Day
A number of Chickasha High School student-athletes will be learning about giving back to their community. About 50 students and their coaches will mow lawns, trim hedges, or even wash windows for free on Friday. CHS Athletic Director Jerry Don Bray said the athletic programs rely so much on the contributions of residents and businesses that they want to show their appreciation with this free work day. Bray said the football coaches initially came up with the idea but that other sports programs wanted to take part.
The coaches will provide all the equipment. Anyone who would like to take part can contact Coach Bray at the high school activity center calling 405-222-6556. Deadline to call is Thursday afternoon.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.61 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.28.
Natural gas is $1.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,825 and silver is $20.76.
A memorial service for Noland James, 89, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 22nd at Chickasha’s First Christian Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. James was a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Monday, July 20th
Chix City Council Meeting Returns to Virtual Format
The Chickasha City Council will return to a virtual meeting format for its meeting tonight. Individuals can watch the meeting on YouTube by going to the city's website www.chickasha.org/YouTube
Anyone wanting to participate in citizen communications will have to log-in to the Zoom platform and join the meeting via the Zoom Desktop or Mobile App. On the agenda is a proposal to allow the city manager to dispose of surplus equipment from the police department, and to allow the police department to use approved state contract vendors for fleet maintenance and equipping new fleet units through June 30th of next year. The panel will also discuss renewing an agreement between the city and the Grady County Emergency Medical Services district, and discuss renewing the capital outlay for the EMS district. The council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Caddo County Youths Injured in Rollover Accident
Two Gracemont teens are hospitalized after an SUV rollover crash over the weekend. The 14- and 17-year old girls were air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where they were admitted in good condition. A 12-year old boy riding in the SUV was not hurt. The names of the youth were not provided as the highway patrol does not release the names of juveniles involved in traffic accidents. The accident happened about 3:15 p.m. Saturday northwest of Gracemont. The trooper investigating the crash reports that the 14-year old was driving a Chevy Blazer and was traveling at a speed too fast for the road type. The SUV ran off the road, hit a fence, and rolled an undetermined number of times. Both girls were thrown out of the vehicle. They were not wearing their seat belts. The uninjured 12-year old was reported to have been buckled up.
Crash on Turner Turnpike Injures Fletcher Man
A Fletcher man is hospitalized after a crash early this morning in northeast Oklahoma. 32-year old Joshua Herring was taken to a Tulsa hospital where he was admitted in fair condition. The accident happened just after 3:00 a.m. on the Turner Turnpike west of Tulsa. The trooper investigating the crash said Herring's Dodge Durango initially ran off the roadway then he over-corrected, and the SUV hit the center barrier head-on. The trooper said there was an odor of alcohol in the vehicle and that Herring was sleepy.
Chickasha Public School Students
Will Again Get Free School Supplies
Whether students attending Chickasha Public Schools this fall will be in the classroom, learning virtually, or a combination of the two - parents will not have to purchase any school supplies. Once again this year, the Chickasha Public School Foundation will be providing all paper, notebooks, crayons, and other supplies for every student, for free. Jen Jantzen with the Foundation says the work to provide the supplies certainly comes in handy this year.
Jantzen said teachers will make sure the students have everything they need. Jantzen said the effort saves parents at least $100 per student.
Oklahoma saw its total number of coronavirus cases top 25,000 over the weekend. The number of new cases was dramatically lower yesterday with an additional 209 confirmed cases. But for all of the previous week there were nearly 5,000 new cases. The state department of health reports there are more than 5,300 active cases of the illness and that 451 people have died. Grady County topped 300 total cases over the weekend with the count now at 304 with 80 of those currently active. In Chickasha there have been 171 total cases and 46 are active. Caddo County has had 225 cases with 26 active. Anadarko has had a total of 44 cases with 11 of them current. In some other communities, Blanchard has had 89 cases with 20 currently active. Tuttle has had 65 cases and 15 of them are active.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.59 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $43.14.
Natural gas is $1.72 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,812 and silver is $19.85.