Mollman Media News Archives for 2020-08

2020, Aug. 24th-29th

Saturday, August 29th

 

Teen Dies After Taking Social Media 'Benadryl Challenge'

A Blanchard family is mourning the death of a daughter and sister who died by taking part in a very dangerous social media challenge. Chloe Phillips was just 15 when she passed away after taking the over-the-counter allergy medicine Benadryl.  Her parents are sharing their tragic story in hopes of warning other families about what happened. KFOR-TV reports the social media site Tik Tok had posted what’s called The Benadryl Challenge. The challenge is to take a dozen or more of the pills in order to hallucinate. Officials with the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information say large doses can cause seizures and heart problems. Chloe had just begun her sophomore at Blanchard High School where she ran track and worked on the school yearbook. Friends say she was a happy and faith-driven teen, and not one to experiment with drugs. Some information about efforts to support the family was posted on the KFOR website but it has since been removed. Her parents asked that memorial contributions be made to the non-profit group, Heartline: https://heartlineoklahoma.org/get-involved/donate

 

County Officials Look for Courthouse Sewer Smell Source              

Grady County officials will bring in work crews next week in hopes of finding the source of the smell of sewer gas at the county courthouse. The courthouse was closed one day this week because the smell was so bad it made people sick. Commissioner Ralph Beard said officials have had to close the building several times this summer because of the problem.

 

                             

 

Beard said they will have an engineer and a plumber inspect the courthouse next week to seek if they can find anything. Beard suspects it may be a sewage pipe from the old county jail that used to be on the top floor of the courthouse.

 

Enid Animal Cruelty Suspect Arrested in Chickasha              

A man wanted for felony animal cruelty charges out of Garfield County was arrested in Chickasha yesterday. 28-year old Christopher Bradford was taken into custody by Chickasha police Friday morning. A Garfield County judge in Enid issued the arrest warrant earlier this week. On-line court records indicate the offense occurred last month, but no details of the allegations were immediately available. Court records also indicate a protective order was filed against Bradford in June which was dismissed. In 2012 and he pleaded guilty to felony DUI and threatening to perform acts of violence for which he received a five-year suspended sentence.

 

Grady County Fair Wraps up Today

Today is the third and final day of Grady County Fair but it’s by far the busiest day with the 4H and FFA tractor driving contest, the FFA Ag Olympics, the beef and dairy show, and the kiddie tractor pull. Earlier in the week, A.J. Jenkins of Minco was named the fair princess. Frist runner-up was Hannah Kennedy of Chickasha; second runner-up was Alyssa French of Tuttle; and Miss Photogenic was Camryn Schroeder of Amber-Pocasset. In the cake show, Roberta Hinkle had the grand champion entry in the adult division with a German Chocolate and picked up a $200 check. Shirley Burns had the reserve grand with an Italian Cream. In the junior division, Ladd Turner had the grand champion entry with a dark butter and won $100. Olivia Bross of Minco had the reserve grand with a light butter entry. The cake auction brought in a little more than $4,000 this year. Performing at the fair tonight are Billy Davis and The Band of Brothers.

 

High School Football Scores

Chickasha 47, Altus 14

Tuttle 28, Sulphur 7

Destiny Christian 46, Alex 28

Wilson 56, Cyril 32

Apache 20, Wayne 13

Maysville 38, Bray-Doyle 0

Central High 48, Paoli 12

 

Friday, August 28th

 

Some CARES Act Funds Released to Kiowa Tribal Members           

Members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will finally be able to receive COVID-19 funds issued to the tribe from the federal government. After the certification of last week's election where members voted to approve the tribe's legislative budget, the court of Indian Offenses for the Southern Plain Region issued an order dissolving - in part - a preliminary injunction that had halted the relief efforts since CARES Act funds had been frozen.  The Lawton Constitution reports that Tribal Chairman Matt Komalty called it an important milestone, saying they can now get money into the hands of tribal members. The more than $63 million budget includes a projected $39 million in revenue from tribal gaming and business ventures, combined with more than $24 million in COVID-19 relief funds. The Constitution reported that a COVID-19 Response Center that opened in Anadarko in July closed just a few days later after an injunction was issued. That center re-opened this week. While the CARES Act fund distribution is considered a good thing across the board, the tribe's executive and legislative branches remain locked in opposition to one of the forms of distribution approved in last weekend's election.

 

Chix Firm Awarded for National Guard Readiness Project

A Chickasha company has been recognized for its design and construction of a new readiness center for the Oklahoma National Guard. CMS-Willowbrook was presented with a National Design-Build Award of Merit for the project in Ardmore. The recognition came from the Design-Build Institute of America. The project was selected from entries nationwide in the category of Best Federal, State, County, and Municipal Project. The Readiness Center is a more than 82,000 sq. ft. facility built last year. CMS-Willowbrook partnered with an architectural firm and a supporting cast of more than 40 engineering firms, consultants, trade contractors, and suppliers. The facility includes state-of-the-art technology infrastructure; training facilities and classrooms; secure battalion storage; and administrative and personnel accommodations. The center will now compete for a national award of excellence and project of the year which will be announced in late October.

 

Grady County Fair Resumes

It's Day Two of the Grady County Fair with the doors opening at 10 o'clock this morning for the commercial booths and the still exhibits. The swine show will get underway at 5 o'clock this afternoon and the live music tonight is from the Sam Cox Band. The big day is tomorrow with the 4H and FFA tractor driving contest; the FFA Ag Olympics competition; and the beef and dairy show (which begins at 5 p.m.). Also the Express Clydesdale's will be at the fair from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Performing tomorrow night will be Billy Davis and the Band of Brothers.

 

Caddo County Fair is Next Week

Preparations will begin this weekend for the Caddo County Fair in Anadarko next week. The Hollarn Show Barn at the Caddo County Fairgrounds will open at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon and all the entry cards for the cattle, sheep, swine, and goats need to be in by 5:00 p.m. The swine and poultry shows will be Monday with the cattle, sheep, and goat shows all on Tuesday. The horse show will be Thursday evening. The premium auction for the stock show will be on Thursday, Sept. 10th.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Brian and Tracy Brinlee, the new commanders with the Salvation Army that serves Grady and Caddo Counties, will be on our KOOL Konversation program. And District Three Grady County Commissioner Ralph Beard will be on Real Estate Today. Look for links to both programs on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.04 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.09.

Natural gas is $2.58 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,958 and silver is $27.78.

 

Obituary

Keith Morris

A graveside service for Keith Morris, 65, of Ninnekah will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 5th at the Ninnekah Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Thursday, August 27th

 

More Chickasha School Students Test Positive for COVID-19

Two more students in the Chickasha Public School system have tested positive for the coronavirus. One student is at the high school and the other at the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. That's three students in the district confirmed to have the illness in the first week that students returned to the classroom for the school year. Superintendent Rick Croslin said classmates of the students were sent home as a precaution. A post on the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center’s Facebook page indicated the school was notified by the Grady County Health Department about the child who tested positive. The health department said several of the student’s classmates should be quarantined for 14 days out of caution. Officials reached out to the parents of the children to be quarantined. School officials said if a parent wasn't notified  then their child did not have contact with the youngster who tested positive. Earlier this week, a student at Grand Avenue School tested positive for COVID-19.

 

Sewer Gas Problems Continue at County Courthouse             

The Grady County Courthouse was expected to open for business today. The courthouse was closed down yesterday shortly after employees arrived for work. County Commissioner Ralph Beard said they have been battling an overwhelming odor of sewer gas for several months. They have been trying to determine where the odor is coming from but so far have been unsuccessful.

 

Memorial to be Held for Bicylcist Who Died

It was one year ago today that a Chickasha man riding his bicycle was struck and killed by a motorist. Scott Womack, 47, died of his injuries in the accident which occurred near his home. Family, friends, and co-workers of Womack will gather for a memorial service and balloon release today to honor him. Womack was a surgical technician and had just been promoted to the director of the operating room at Grady Memorial Hospital when he died. The memorial will be held at 6:30 tonight in the parking lot between the Five Oaks Medical Group and the high school baseball and football fields.

 

Ex-Con Arrested Twice for Having Weapon              

A Chickasha man has been arrested twice in the last four months for having a firearm after a previous felony conviction. 37-year old Devin Scott Newsom was most recently arrested this past weekend. Chickasha police were called to Wal-mart Sunday afternoon to investigate a report of a man with a gun in the parking lot. Newsom was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with a felony for having a weapon. Newsom was already facing a similar charge after being arrested with gun back in April. He was out of jail after posting bond and was awaiting a preliminary hearing conference on that charge. Newsom had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2014. He remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

 

Grady County Fair Begins              

The 105th Grady County Fair kicks off today. There won't be quite as many events this year because of the coronavirus. There won’t be a carnival and there are fewer commercial booths which are separated for social distancing. The fairgrounds will have plenty of hand sanitizer available. The exhibits open to the public at 9:00 a.m. all three days of the fair. The official fair opening will take place 7 o'clock tonight. Shortly afterward, the winner of the fair princess contest will be announced, and the annual cake auction will get underway. The sheep and goat shows will be held simultaneously this afternoon. Live music will also get underway at 7 o'clock tonight with Tim Brauer and First Look.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.39 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.64.

Natural gas is $2.46 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,946 and silver is $27.46.

 

Obituaries

Gayle Howard

A graveside service for Laura “Gayle” Howard, 68, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 28th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Liz Craig

A private funeral mass will be held for Liz Craig, 79, of Ninnekah at Holy Name Catholic Church on Monday, August 31st with burial to follow at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

Lois M. Farmer

A memorial service for Lois M. Farmer, 89, of Minco will be held at 10:00 am. Saturday, September 26th at Union City Baptist Church.

 

Wednesday, August 26th

 

Chickasha Fire Chief Fired

Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski is reportedly out of a job. Zalewski's wife Kim posted the news on Facebook last night, saying Brian received word late Tuesday afternoon of his termination. Zalewski had served as fire chief for about the last five years and worked for the department for nearly 23 years. A pre-termination hearing at city hall last week lasted about 4 1/2 hours. Kim Zalewski says she is angry and hurt but wanted to thank everyone who stood with the family. No statement was immediately available from city hall.

 

Four Youths Hospitalized After Pickup Rollover

Two air ambulances were summoned to a crash west of Minco Tuesday afternoon where four children were injured. The youth, all 12 to 17 years old, were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. A 12-year old girl suffered the most serious injuries as she was admitted in poor condition. The others were admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 5:00 p.m. Tuesday on a dirt road a mile north of Cogar in Caddo County.  The trooper responding to the crash reported that the 16-year old driver veered off the road and the pickup rolled an undetermined number of times, hit a utility pole, and landed upside down.

 

State Senator Loses Re-Election Bid in Run-off

Oklahoma State Senator Paul Scott of Duncan was defeated in his re-election bid in yesterday's Republican run-off.  Scott lost a close race to challenger Jessica Garvin by less than 240 votes. More than 7,500 people cast ballots in Senate District 43 yesterday. Scott was seeking a second term at the state capital after first being elected in 2016. Garvin now goes on to face Democrat Terri Reimer of Marlow in the November general election.

 

Voters OK School Bond Issues for Duncan Schools              

Also in Tuesday’s election, Duncan voters gave their overwhelming approval to two school bond issues totaling $28 million for Duncan Public Schools. The first was a 10-year, $25 million bond issue for upgrades to the high school football stadium; the construction of a safe room and storm shelter at the high school; plus heat and air, plumbing, and electrical upgrades throughout the district. A second bond issue for $2 million was for school buses and other student transportation needs. Both issues need a super-majority of 60 percent approval for passage although each received more than 71 percent approval. Nearly 3,500 voters cast ballots on the issues.

 

Fire Damages Garage              

A fire caused thousands of dollars in damage to a garage at a Chickasha home. Fire crews were summoned to a home at 15th and Minnesota Avenue about 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Asst. Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said thick smoke and flames were coming out from just under the roof of the one-story, wood frame garage which is about 800 sq. ft in size. The resident was home when the fire broke out but the garage was unoccupied. No one was hurt. Firefighters were quick to dowse the flames and prevent them from spreading to the main home and also kept them from damaging nearby homes. Fire crews spent about an hour at the location. Samaniego estimated the damage between $10,000 and $12,000. He estimated an electrical problem may have started the fire.

 

Some Chickasha Streets Get Upgrade              

A number of Chickasha city streets are getting a makeover. Earlier this year, the city council approved spending nearly $280,000 on street repairs. The contractor, Silver Star Construction out of Moore, has completed about 50 percent of its work. Work that has been completed includes some streets around the high school and Genevieve Street near the city's Public Works headquarters. Public Works Director David Buchanan says crews will also make improvements to 16th Street from Country Club Road north to Carolina Avenue and Country Club Road from the east service road at 4th Street then east to Glenwood Street. Buchanan said the contractor has another 45 days to wrap up its work which would be about the first or second week of October.

 

Chix School Students Prepare for Virtual Learning

Students in the Chickasha school system participating in the virtual or blended learning programs will begin their classes this week. At the high school, parents who need to get a hot-spot for Internet access will need to pick up the device soon. A post on the high school Facebook page indicates than an application for a wireless device needs to be filled out at the high school before receiving the device and then take part in an orientation session either Thursday or Friday.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $43.35 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.86.

Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,925 and silver is $26.60.

 

Tuesday, August 25th

 

Chix School Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

In just the eighth day after Chickasha schools opened classrooms the district is dealing with its first report of coronavirus. A student at Grand Elementary School has tested positive for the illness. The news was reported on the school's Facebook page after the end of the school day yesterday. The post indicated that the school was notified by the Grady County Health Department. The agency was requesting information to help with contact tracing to determine who the student might have been around. The health department asked that the students’ entire class quarantine for 14 days out of an abundance of caution. The post indicates that if a classmate had contact with the student, his or her parents will be notified by the health department. If a child did not have contact with the student parents did not get a phone call. Principal Dereth Harrison said she knows the news is unsettling for some but by working together, communicating, and staying positive for the children, they will get through the situation.

 

State's Primary Run-off Election Underway;

Duncan School Voters to Decide Bond Issues

Oklahoma's primary run-off election is underway although not everyone will be headed to the polls. There is a Republican run-off for State Senate District 43 where incumbent Paul Scott of Duncan is facing Jessica Garvin. Only four Grady County precincts are open including No. 23 which is Craig's Computers in Ninnekah; No. 14 which is in Bradley; No. 36 which is the Rush Springs Library; and No. 26 which is Vimy Ridge Baptist Church east of Rush Springs. The winner will face Democrat Terry Reimer of Marlow in the general election in November. In Duncan, voters have two propositions on the ballot for the school district. One is a $25 million proposal which includes improvements to Halliburton Stadium; roof repairs, upgrades for heat and air, plumbing and lighting district-wide; a storm shelter and safe rooms at the high school; building security enhancements; and classroom technology. A separate $2 million transportation bond issue would allow the district to purchase school buses, minivans and/or suburbans.  There are no run-off elections or bond elections in Caddo County. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m. tonight.

 

Teacher, Elderly Advocate Liz Craig Dies

Longtime Ninnekah school teacher and senior citizen advocate Liz Craig has died. Family members posted news of her death on Facebook. Craig was 79-years of age when she passed away early Monday morning. She taught at Ninnekah schools for many years, and after her retirement from the classroom supported the Ninnekah Senior Nutrition Center. A funeral service will be announced at a later date.

 

Clydesdales to Clop at Grady County Fairgrounds

(EDITOR'S NOTE - A previous version of this story contained the wrong date that the Clydesdales would be at the fair. We apologize for the error)

Grady County fair-goers will have a rare opportunity to see the majestic Express Clydesdale horses. The team owned by Express Employment Professionals President and Vice Chairman Bob Funk will be at the Grady County Fairgrounds this Saturday, August 29th from 1 to 5 p.m. Funk brought a team of Clydesdales to Oklahoma in 1998 after visiting a ranch in Canada. The horses are the tallest in the world standing 17-19 hands or about six-feet tall at the shoulder and they weigh as much as a ton. Their hooves are about the size of dinner plates and their horseshoes weigh about three pounds each. Each horse may consume about 15 pounds of grain and as much as 30 pounds of hay per day, and drink up to 25 gallons of water per day. The Clydesdales are housed at Funk's ranch in Yukon.

 

Hospital Foundation Schedules Benefit Golf Tournament

The Grady Memorial Hospital Foundation is preparing for its annual golf tournament. The event is slated for Friday, Oct. 2nd at Chickasha's Bushwood Golf and Country Club with flights at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and there's an additional night scramble set for 7:30 that evening. Entry is $100 per person or $400 for a four-person team. Corporate sponsors are also welcome. For information, contact Cody Alldredge at the hospital by calling 405-779-2266 or e-mail: calldredge@gradymem.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is 42.57 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.78.

Natural gas is $2.50 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,931 and silver is $26.73.

 

 

Monday, August 24th

 

Teen Hospitalized Following Police Pursuit

A teenager was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after crashing his car while being chased by police. The unidentified 17-year old male's condition was unknown. The accident happened just before 1:00 a.m. Sunday near Bray in Stephens County. The highway patrol reports that Duncan police were in a DUI pursuit of the vehicle at a high rate of speed in a construction zone on State Highway 29 just west of Bray. The teen lost control, veered off the highway, and the car rolled several times, throwing the teen driver out of the car. A passenger in the vehicle, 19-year old Jonathan Velez of Duncan, was taken to a Duncan hospital where he was treated and released.

 

CV Tech Resumes Classes, Training
The Canadian Valley Technology Center campuses have re-opened for the new school year. Just like public schools, career techs across the state were impacted by the coronavirus this past spring. Superintendent Gayla Lutts said administrators spent a lot of time this summer putting together a plan for a return to classes, especially since students need practical training in their respective fields.

 

 

CV Tech is celebrating its 50th year during this year. Lutts said there won't be a formal celebration, but that there will be lots of photographs and stories on regular media and social media throughout the year. You can follow the tech center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on its website.


Coronavirus Update

Oklahoma's total coronavirus cases have topped 53,000. There were about 800 additional positive tests in the latest update from the state health department. There was just one new death, taking the death toll now to 726. The number of active cases statewide has increased to more than 8,000. The number of people hospitalized with the illness is 578. Chickasha has had 242 positive tests with 15 active cases; Blanchard has had 157 positive tests with 19 active cases; Tuttle has had 127 positive tests with 22 active cases; Anadarko has had 212 positive tests with 53 active cases. Grady County has had 494 positive tests with 47 active cases and Caddo County has had 506 positive tests with 75 active cases.


Grady County Fair is This Weekend

The 105th Grady County Fair is on tap for this week. The event runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The fair will have fewer attractions because of the coronavirus. There won't be a carnival and many of the commercial vendors opted to not have a booth. The county's OHCE group will not be providing home-cooked meals or Indian tacos but food trucks will be on hand. The stock shows will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and there will be live entertainment outdoors under the big top. Thursday night’s act is Tim Brauer and First Look; Friday night it’s the Sam Cox Band; and Saturday night it’s Billy Davis and the Band of Brothers. Normally, the princess contest would have been held tonight, however all the contestants submitted their talent and other criteria electronically for a virtual contest. There are six contestants, including Pairess Claphan and Hanna Kennedy of Chickasha; Kylie Morgan and Cameron Schroeder of Ampo; A.J. Jenkins of Minco; and Alyssa French of Tuttle. The winner of the princess contest will be announced Thursday night.


Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $44.35.
Natural gas is $2.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,954 and silver is $27.00.

 

Obituaries
Phillip Sneed
A memorial service for Phillip Sneed of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 26th at Bible Baptist Church. Phillip owned and operated Jeannie’s Café with his wife Jeannie. He was also a former Chickasha police officer.
Reba Spearman
A graveside service for Reba Spearman, 90, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 26th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

2020, Aug. 17th-22nd

Saturday, August 22nd

 

National Guard Troops Home from Deployment

A police escort preceded an entourage of three buses bringing a number of Oklahoma National Guard troops home this week. Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Division were reunited with their families in Mustang. The troops had been in Kuwait for about the last six months. The homecoming was much earlier than expected as troops weren't scheduled to return until around Thanksgiving, but their mission was reduced by three months.

 

Fury Erupts as Historic Fort Buildings Demolished              

There are some angry people in El Reno who are furious that a number of buildings at historic Fort Reno are being demolished. Officials with the Historic Fort Reno Museum say about a dozen buildings are being torn down by the federal government. Marie Hearst is the president of the museum board and says they're destroying history that they can't get back. The post was built in 1875 and it is now owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Among the 14 buildings scheduled for demolition, eight have historic designations, with two of them built in 1890. In papers filed with the state preservation office, USDA said the agency doesn't have the money to complete the needed repairs and renovations. An official with the state preservation office said when an agency doesn't have the funds for repairs it’s called deferred maintenance, which is really " no maintenance" - and when that happens long enough - buildings start to fail. Hearst said the USDA gets maintenance money from the feds and feels there's been a lot of neglect.

 

Suspected Trailer Thief Charged with Felony

An Anadarko man wanted for the alleged theft of a trailer was arrested this week. 38-year old Brandon Ellis Turner was booked in to the Grady County Jail Thursday afternoon. An arrest warrant had been issued for Turner after a flatbed trailer was stolen from a rural Chickasha home. A probable cause affidavit indicates that a sheriff's deputy was called out to a ranch west of Chickasha Aug. 7th. The victim said a 12-foot flatbed trailer had been taken from the property on Sunday, Aug. 2nd. Surveillance cameras showed the trailer being pulled out of the property by a pickup. The deputy was later contacted by the Anadarko Police Department where an officer was able to connect the pickup with Turner. Turner has been charged with felony grand larceny and is out of jail after posting a $5,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference was scheduled for Sept. 15th.

 

Police Capture 'Elusive' Driver              

A Cement woman is in custody after a warrant was issued for her arrest for attempting to eluding police. And it’s not the first time she's tried to flee from law enforcement. 31-year old Billie Jean Butler was also booked into the Grady County jail Thursday. The warrant was issued this past June after Chickasha police attempted to pull her over for having previous outstanding warrants. A probable cause affidavit indicates that Butler led police on a short pursuit in the north part of Chickasha. She stopped near the end of a dead-end road, then abandoned the car and ran into a wooded area where she managed to get away. Butler previously pleaded guilty to a 2018 charge of felony eluding and possession of a stolen vehicle. Authorities also discovered she had a warrant out of Stephens County for having a firearm after conviction. Butler remains in jail pending a $25,000 bond with her next court appearance set Sept. 3rd.

 

Quakes Shake Caddo County

A couple of earthquakes were recorded in southern Caddo County this week. The US Geological Survey recorded the first tremor Wednesday evening which occurred just north of the Caddo-Comanche county line. It registered 2.5 on the Richter Scale. The second temblor struck about 10:39 p.m. Thursday, with the epicenter a mile north of Apache. That quake initially registered as 3.3 on the Richter Scale but was later revised down to 2.5. Several residents reported light shaking and others said it knocked a few things off their walls. The quakes occurred about three miles below the surface of the earth.

 

Blanchard Bluegrass Festival Ends Today

They played through the rain at opening night of the 10th annual Blanchard Bluegrass Music Festival last night. The unexpected precipitation didn't dampen the spirits of bluegrass music lovers' enthusiasm for the event. The festival continues this afternoon and runs through evening. Among the groups performing is The Russell Clan out of Guthrie, a group featuring seven brothers and sisters ranging in age from 11 to 23. Other groups include Pearl Grace and Company; H and W Bluegrass Express; Honey Creek Pass; Genetic Connection; Graystone Bluegrass Revival; and The Horn Family. Admission to the festival is free.

              

Obituaries

Gina Koonce Turner

Funeral service for Gina Koonce Turner, 59, of Tuttle will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August. 24th at the Newcastle First Baptist Church.

Walter Shaw

A memorial service for Walter Shaw, 93, of Alex will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 24th at the Alex Southern Baptist Chapel. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War II.

 

 

Friday, August 21st

 

Accused Child Rapist Has Court Appearance Delayed

A Chickasha man accused of sexually assaulting two girls more than a decade ago has had his preliminary hearing conferenced postponed. 54-year old Guy Lengyelleahu was originally scheduled to be in Grady County District Court last week, but the conference has been re-scheduled for December 3rd. You may remember that Lengyelleahu managed to elude authorities for more than 10 years after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest in 2009. He was arrested by U.S. marshals in New Mexico last month. Lengyelleahu is accused of raping and molesting children who were 12 and 13-years old at the time. It's alleged that he raped one of the girls at knifepoint. Lengyelleahu is charged with one count of rape and four counts of lewd molestation. if convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Lengyelleahu remains in the Grady County Jail on a $1 million bond.

 

Chix Fire Chief Awaits Word on Employment Status              

There's no word on the employment status of Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski. A hearing officer was to present findings of a pre-termination hearing to City Manager John Noblitt yesterday. KOOL/RANCH News talked to Zalewski yesterday afternoon and said he has not received any notification of his termination. The city manager has not indicated when he might make a decision.

 

Firefighters' Union Vice President

Sends Letter to City Manager, City Council              

In the meantime, a letter from the vice president of District 11 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has been sent to the city manager and members of the city council, saying recent developments in the fire department “raises troubling questions about the city's commitment to workplace and human resources fairness and threats to fire safety standards”. The Chickasha Firefighters Association is represented by the IAFF. The letter from Sandy McGhee says "the actions of the city manager in the past few months - including the questionable on-going investigation of the fire chief – continue a pattern of adversarial posturing against the fire chief and the city's fire fighters”. The letter states that “a growing number of Chickasha citizens wonder whether the city manager authorized a tax-payer funded law firm investigation of the fire chief without disclosing the expenditure and his motive to the city council”. Regarding Noblitt's dispute with the fire chief, McGhee writes that he “encourages the release of audio recordings of recent meetings” between Noblitt and Zalewski, and that “citizens deserve to know  whether the city manager's public positions about possible fire department service cuts - including a unilateral privatization of the Emergency Medical Services - contradict his private positions” on the issues. The letter is posted on the Chickasha Fire Fighters Facebook page.

 

State's Primary Run-off Election is Next Week;

Early Voting Available Today, Tomorrow

Early voting is underway ahead of next Tuesday's primary run-off elections in Oklahoma but not everyone is going to the polls. In Grady County, voters in only four precincts will be casting ballots in a Republican run-off for State Senate District 43. Incumbent Paul Scott of Duncan is being challenged by Jessica Garvin, also of Duncan. The only Grady County precincts that will be open are No. 23 which is Craig's Computers in Ninnekah; No. 14 in Bradley; and two in Rush Springs, including No. 26 at Vimy Ridge Baptist Church and No. 36 at the Rush Springs Library. Voters in all of McClain County and a handful of precincts in Stephens County may also cast ballots in that Republican state senate run-off.  The winner will go on to face Democrat Terry Reimer of Marlow in the general election in November. In-person, absentee voting can be done at the election board offices in Grady, McClain, and Stephens County from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) or 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Regular precincts will be open next Tuesday. By the way, there are no run-off elections in Caddo County.

 

Wildlife Refuge Cancels Fall Bus Tours, Hikes

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has canceled its popular fall tours. For years, the refuge has hosted fall foliage and Rocky Mountain Elk bus tours and guided hikes. The refuge cites the move as keeping with guidance from the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and acting out of an abundance of caution because of COVID-19. A statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates the agency is committed to doing its part to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure the health and safety of employees, volunteers, and visitors. While the tours have been canceled, the refuge remains open from sunrise to sunset every day for recreation and wildlife viewing.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Ahsha Morin and Ashley Chapman with The Red Cord are our guests on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today, guests are Superintendent Gayla Lutts, Chickasha Campus Director Ronnie Bogle, and Marketing Director Jessica Limestall with Canadian Valley Technology Center. Find links to the programs under the Community Tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.58 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.90.

Natural gas is $2.35 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,942 and silver is $27.26.

 

Obituary

Donnell Padgett

Funeral for Donnell Padgett, 63, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 27th at Ferguson Funeral Home.. She was the owner/operator of Taco Mayo in Chickasha for about the last six years.

 

 

Thursday, August 20th

 

Chickasha, Anadarko Schools Re-open for Classes

School bells in Chickasha and Anadarko Public Schools will be ringing for the first time in five months this morning, as classroom learning will be held for the first time since the coronavirus was first reported in Oklahoma back in March. Parents had an option of having their children return to classrooms or continue a distance-learning program, similar to the at-home system implemented after Spring Break last year. Chickasha School Superintendent Rick Croslin said the distance learning system will have some different curriculum but in many ways it will remain the same.

 

              

 

Croslin said about 500 students are taking part in at-home classes, which won’t start until next week. Some students are taking a combination of at-home and in-school courses. The school district will be delivering breakfast and lunch to the virtual students on regular school days. At Anadarko, Superintendent Jerry McCormick said the district originally was to start last week, but delayed classes for seven days because of the coronavirus. Caddo County is considered an "orange" county or one where there is a moderate risk for COVID-19. Anadarko has had 199 positive tests for the coronavirus. The state health department reported there were 48 active cases as of yesterday.

 

Former Deputy Al Hooper Dies

Longtime Grady County Deputy Sheriff Al Hooper has died. Hooper, who worked the first drug and tracking dogs for the sheriff's office a number of years ago passed away Sunday at 89 years of age.  Prior to his  15 years with the sheriff's office Hooper spent nearly 20 years in the Marine Corps. He served in Korea and Vietnam and received a number of commendations, including a Presidential Unit Citation. A graveside service for Al Hooper will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 24th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Octogenarian Arrested for DWI

It's not uncommon for police officers to make traffic stops and find that a driver has been drinking while behind the wheel. This past Sunday morning, Tuttle police arrested an 80-year old man for drinking and driving. A probable cause affidavit filed by the officer indicated that the driver and a passenger from Oklahoma City got lost while heading to the Newcastle Casino. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol  on the driver and asked if he had been drinking and the driver said a beer or two.  The driver failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Grady County Jail. James Frazier spent a day in jail and on Monday was formally charged with a misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated. It carries maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.93 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.37.

Natural gas IS $2.42 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,932 and silver is $27.11.

 

Wednesday, August 19th

 

Grady County Man Accused of Kidnapping

A Ninnekah man is jailed on a half-million dollar bond accused of kidnapping. 48-year old Dusty Earl Knight was taken into custody after a woman alleged that Knight had taken her hostage following a night of drug use. A probable cause affidavit indicates that the victim was accused of taking a couple of bags of methamphetamine, and was ordered to strip to show that she did not have the drugs. After being allowed to put her clothes back on, it’s alleged that Knight tied the victim's hands behind her back with a phone charging cord, then put her in the back of a car and drove around for several hours. It's also alleged that Knight put duct tape over her mouth, threatened to cut off her fingers, kill her, and put her body in a barrel of muriatic acid so her body would never be found. The victim said that at some point she passed out, and when she woke up she was at a home in Verden. Knight was arrested at his home Saturday afternoon. Knight is to announce his attorney next week with a preliminary hearing conference scheduled for Sept. 15th. Knight has a lengthy criminal history.

 

Three People Injured in Verden Crash

Three people were hospitalized and one of them was last in critical condition after a pickup crashed near Verden last night. 23-year old Dalton Alcorn of Alex and 22-year old Traylen Anderson of Bradley were both air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. Alcorn was admitted in critical condition and Anderson was admitted in serious condition. 22-year old Deven Remy of McLoud was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened on a gravel county road four miles east of Verden just after 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. The highway patrol said the pickup was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit a dip in the road, then careened off the road and rolled several times, throwing all three men out of the pickup. The trooper on the scene reported an odor of alcohol on the driver.

 

Chix Students About to Return to School

Chickasha school students will be heading back to the classroom tomorrow. School Superintendent Rick Croslin says a lot of work has gone in to getting the classrooms and all school sites prepared, and getting the distance-learning system established for students opting for that education route. Croslin has this message for parents and students.

 

              

 

Croslin told the teachers that everyone needs to practice grace and mercy as students return, welcome students back with a smile, and that they will make adjustments as necessary. Croslin said the coronavirus pandemic is not going to define the school district.

 

Coronavirus Update

There were another 600-plus new positive coronavirus tests in Oklahoma in the Tuesday update from the state health department. The total number of cases is now more than 49,000. There are 7,500 active cases and just over 500 people are hospitalized. In Grady County, which is in the Yellow or Low-Risk category, the number of positive cases stands at 472. Of those, 235 are in Chickasha and 118 are in Tuttle. There are 52 active cases in Grady County, with 19 in Chickasha and 23 in Tuttle. Caddo County is the Orange or Moderate Risk category, with 470 positive tests. Anadarko has had 188 people test positive and Hinton has had 116. Caddo County currently has 76 active cases, with 43 in Anadarko and 9 in Hinton. Blanchard, which is split between Grady and McClain County, has had 147 people test positive for the illness and 15 are active. In Garvin County, Lindsay has had 62 positive tests with 10 active cases.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.89 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.46.

Natural gas is $2.41 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,996 and silver is $27.78.

 

Obituary

Verla Tassin

Funeral service for Verla Tassin, 85, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

 

Tuesday, August 18th

 

Chix Fire Chief Awaits Termination Hearing Ruling             

Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski met behind closed doors for 4 1/2 hours Monday, defending his actions in a termination hearing with city officials. Zalewski tells KOOL/RANCH News that no action was taken after the extended meeting which was held behind closed doors as it is a personnel matter. Zalewski said a ruling is expected by Thursday afternoon. A number of Zalewski’s supporters were on hand including many Chickasha firefighters, although they held their vigil in the parking lot outside of city hall. While the first floor lobby was open to the public, no one was allowed to go upstairs to the lobby of the second floor office of City Manager John Noblitt. Three Chickasha police officers, including Police Chief Dee Rowell, turned away anyone wanting to go upstairs. That included a media request from KOOL/RANCH News. Rowell said only witnesses testifying in the hearing were allowed upstairs. Members of Zalewski's family were on hand but were seated on a bench on the first-floor lobby throughout the hearing.

 

Fire Chief Draws Support from Local FOP              

We reported earlier that Zalewski had the support of the Chickasha Firefighters Association. He also apparently has the support of the city's police union. The Chickasha Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 posted a statement on its Facebook page yesterday that the group stands with Zalewski, his leadership abilities, and his dedication to citizens. The statement said the union understands there was frustration as officers were not allowing anyone access to the second floor of city hall, but that they were only doing what they were told to do as part of their duty assignment for the day.

 

Man on Probation Back in Custody After Felony Arrest              

A Chickasha man serving a suspended sentence for felony eluding and weapons possession is back behind bars. 21-year old Jarrett Michael Price was arrested by Chickasha police over the weekend. Officers were summoned to a fight at an undisclosed location Saturday night where Price was taken into custody. Price is now being charged with felony counts of aggravated assault and battery and assault with a dangerous weapon, as well as a misdemeanor count of domestic abuse. Previously, Price was arrested in April of 2017 and charged with felony eluding. In December of 2017, he was arrested and charged with a felony weapons charge after a delinquent adjudication. He pled guilty to both charges last year and received a 10-year suspended sentence. Prosecutors now want to revoke the suspended sentence following Price's most recent run-in with the law.

 

Sale of City of Chix' Grand Lake Property Delayed

No Sale. At least not yet. The Chickasha City Council was to discuss selling a parcel of land the city owns at Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma during its meeting last night. Mayor Chris Mosley pulled the item from the agenda and said it would be considered at a later date. The plan was to sell a lot in the Apache Cove area of the lake for $40,000. The city acquired the land after its previous owner defaulted on an economic development loan he was awarded to move his firm to Chickasha, a move that never took place. The Grand Lake property was used as collateral for the loan which is how the city took ownership. The city has hired a Realtor to help sell the lots.

 

Chix Mayor to Endorse Transit System Grant Request

The city council met briefly in open session Monday night and gave the mayor the approval to endorse a grant application for Washita Valley Community Action Council to upgrade its transit program. The council also met behind closed doors for nearly an hour and a half on what was considered a sensitive topic. A vague description of the issue indicated it was to hold confidential communication with the city attorney concerning a pending investigation, claim or action. No action was taken after the executive session.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.89 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.37.

Natural gas is $2.34 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,015 and silver is $28.63.

 

Obituaries

Billy Tallent

A memorial service for Billy Tallent, 73, of the Laverty area will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 21st at New Life Christian Church of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Gary Surber

A memorial service for Gary Surber, 70, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 22nd at Bible Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

 

Monday, August 17th

 

Chix Fire Chief Termination Hearing Underway

(Updated) - Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski will learn his fate this morning. He's to meet with the city manager in what is believed to be a termination hearing. The meeting between Zalewski and City Manager John Noblitt was set for 9:30 a.m. at city hall. About 25 firefighters supporting Zalewski gathered outside city hall prior to the start of the meeting. While the lobby of city hall was open, no one was allowed upstairs where the closed-door hearing was being held. Three Chickasha police officers, including Police Chief Dee Rowell, were keeping anyone from getting to Noblitt’s second floor office, accept for witnesses who were participating in the hearing. Zalewski, a 24-year veteran of the fire department, has spent the last five years as chief, and also served over the city's emergency management services. The Chickasha Fire Fighters Association, the union which represents many of the firefighters, issued a statement supporting Zalewski. Neither the city manager nor the fire chief would comment on what factors are involved in Zalewski's possible dismissal.

 

Chickasha's Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher Named

One of State's Most Influential Women in 20th Century              

The USA Today Network has revealed a list of the top 10 most influential women in each state for the 20th century. Chickasha's Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher is on the Oklahoma list. The list was compiled as part of America's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendement granted women in every state the right to vote. Sipuel-Fisher was denied admission to the University of Oklahoma's Law School because she was Black. Her case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in her favor in 1948. Other Oklahoma women on the top 10 list include teacher and activist Clara Luper; former Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller; astronaut Shannon Lucid; pioneering journalist Edith Gaylord; Native American Ballerinas “The 5 Moons”; the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo; Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller; young adult novelist Susan Hinton; and country music superstar Reba McEntire.

 

Newcastle Motorcyclist Dies After Crash

A Newcastle man who was hospitalized following a motorcycle accident last week has died. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that 42-year old Edwin Dodd passed away from his injuries Saturday afternoon. The accident happened last Tuesday in southern Oklahoma, not far from Marietta near the small town of Lebanon. A state trooper's report indicated that law enforcement were pursuing Dodd for an undisclosed reason just before the accident occurred.

 

Grand Lake Property Owned by City of Chickasha to be Sold

The sale of some property at Grand Lake owned by the City of Chickasha is expected to be approved by the Chickasha City Council tonight. The property is one of several parcels of land the city obtained as repayment of a loan given to the owner of a Tulsa firm who went back on his promise to re-locate his company to the area. The city had awarded a $250,000 economic development loan to Tom Word of Word Industries. Word had used the Grand Lake property as collateral for the loan. The one parcel to be sold tonight is Lot Four of Apache Cove for $40,000. The council is also expected to allow Mayor Chris Mosley to sign an endorsement supporting the Washita Valley Community Action Council’s application for a transit system grant. The council will again meet virtually and the meeting can be seen on a YouTube link which can be accessed from the city's website, www.chickasha.org

The meeting will get underway at 6:30 p.m.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.01 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.80.

Natural gas is $2.35 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,962 and silver is $27.19.

 

Obituaries

Kenneth “Bud” Bozarth

Funeral for Kenneth “Bud” Bozarth, 85, of Tuttle will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 18th at the Heritage Family Baptist Center in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle. Bozarth was a U.S. Army veteran.

Clarita Scott-Spears

Graveside service for Clarita Scott-Spears, 79, formerly of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 21st at Memory Lane Cemetery in Anadarko. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

Judy Ann Ingram

Graveside service for Judy Ann Ingram of Hollis will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 22nd at Fairmont Cemetery in Hollis. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

2020, Aug. 10th-15th

Saturday, August 15th

 

Drug Trafficking Ring Taken Down

A large drug trafficking operation in the Grady and Caddo County area was shaken up early Friday morning. Dozens of officers from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and numerous law enforcement agencies hit several Caddo County locations with more than 30 arrest warrants and seven search warrants. 28 people were in custody by noon. Taking part in the sting were the District 6 Drug Task Force, Anadarko Police, the Caddo County Sheriff's Office, and the Office of Inspector General with the Department of Corrections. Mark Woodward with the Bureau of Narcotics said the operation concluded a year-and-a-half investigation of the operation that was bringing large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine into the Chickasha and Anadarko areas. He said it wouldn't be uncommon for more than a kilogram of meth and a half-pound of cocaine to come into Caddo County every week. Woodward said the operation was being run by two inmates from the state prison in McAlester, Clifton Wilson and David Duncan. OBN Director Donnie Anderson said the inmates would organize drug shipments using contraband cellphones to communicate with people outside the prison. All the individuals arrested were taken to the Caddo County Jail where they are facing a number of state and federal charges.

 

Tech Grants Available for Low-Income State Families

Low-income Oklahoma families can now apply for a grant to help pay for technology and materials that their children need for distance-learning systems put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Kevin Stitt this week announced the plan that will help 5,000 under-served families. The money is coming from an $8 million Emergency Education Relief Fund. Called the Bridge the Gap Digital Wallet initiative, each family can receive $1,500 to help pay for the materials they need. The program is being run by a new group called Every Kid Counts in Oklahoma. Families of four with an annual income of less than $26,200 a year will be given first priority. Families must apply for the grant on-line, and its first-come, first served. The applications are on the website: www.everykidcountsok.org/digital-wallet

 

Grady County Sheriff Issues Most Wanted List

The Grady County Sheriff's Office has an updated list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett-


              

If you have information regarding any of these individuals you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.

 

Obituaries

Anita Rumley

Funeral for Anita Rumley, 61, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 17th at Ferguson Funeral Home.  She had been the head cook at Shannon Springs Nursing Home.

Nellie Campbell

A graveside service for 88-year old “Miss Nellie” Campbell of Tuttle will be will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 18th at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. She was a nurse at Grady Memorial Hospital for many years. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

 

Friday, August 14th

 

Chickasha Fire Chief May be Terminated              

Sources tell KOOL/RANCH News that Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski may be fired next week. Zalewski has a meeting with city Manager John Noblitt on Monday morning.  It's not clear why Zalewski may be losing his job. Noblitt told KOOL/RANCH News that he cannot comment because it is a personnel matter. Zalewski also did not want to make a statement at this time. Zalewski has been with the fire department for 23 years. He was named interim fire chief in 2014 and was elevated to chief in 2015. A representative of the Chickasha Firefighters Association says everything that Zalewski has done has been to protect the firefighters. Josh Gregston, President of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041, says the union is 100 percent behind the chief and knows he has done nothing wrong. A text message distributed about Monday's meeting is asking supporters of Zalewski to show up at City Hall prior to Monday's 9:30 a.m. meeting.

 

Chickasha Child Hospitalized After Crash

A 4-year old Chickasha boy is hospitalized after he and his father were involved in a traffic accident in southern Oklahoma last night. The unidentified boy was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with a head injury and was admitted in stable condition. The child's father, 27-year old Allan Torralba, was not injured. The two were passengers in a pickup driven by 60-year old Earl McCourt, Jr. of Ardmore. McCourt was also air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was also admitted in stable condition. The accident happened north of Lone Grove just after 9 p.m. Thursday, August 13th. The highway patrol reports that the pickup ran off the road for nearly the length of a football field and hit a tree.

 

Pursuit Suspect Charged with Endangering Others              

A Blanchard man is facing a felony charge after leading a number of law enforcement officers on an early-morning pursuit. 22-year old Thomas Kuehn was arrested and has been formally charged with endangering others while attempting to elude. The chase began about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when Ninnekah police witnessed a truck speeding near the intersection of U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 19. A probable cause affidavit indicates the driver sped up and headed south on Highway 81. Sheriff's deputies and state troopers were called in to assist. The chase went west on Highway 277 and in to Caddo County, where officials there were notified of the pursuit. The truck then turned south on State Highway 8 and went into Cyril, where the driver bailed out of the pickup and ran. Officials eventually caught up with the driver who put up a bit of struggle then was subdued after being tased. When asked why he failed to stop in the first place Kuehn said he had warrants out of McClain County. Kuehn remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.

 

Church to Hold Back-to-School Outreach              

A Chickasha church will be holding its 8th annual back-to-school outreach program with some changes. Shepherd Street Christian Church will have a drive-up event this year as the church will provide school-aged children with backpacks of personal hygiene items. There won't be a carnival, clothing give-away or haircuts this year because of coronavirus concerns. The drive-up is open to students throughout the region, while supplies last. Children must be present. There is a limit of four backpacks per household.  Pastor Milton Bowens said the backpacks were donated by the Chickasha Clinic Pharmacy. The outreach will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 15th) morning at the church which is located at 802 S. Shepherd St.

 

Monster Trucks Invade Grady County Fairgrounds              

Also this weekend, a monster truck show at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Several big-wheeled monstrosities will thrill young and old alike. Performances are tonight at 8 p.m.; and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15th. Tickets will be available at the gate.

 

City of Chix, YMCA to Hold 'Back-to-School Bash'

The City of Chickasha and the YMCA will have a back-to-school bash at Shannon Springs Park tomorrow. It's mainly for Chickasha youth. There's a volleyball tournament, a kids fishing derby, and radio-controlled boat races. The swimming pool will be open for its last day of summer. There's free admission if you bring some school supplies which will be given to the Chickasha Public School Foundation. Otherwise, admission is $5. Food trucks will be on hand. The bash runs from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but the pool will be open until 6 p.m.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Jenna Cansler and Julia Cochran with Red Rock Behavioral Health Services will be on our KOOL Konversation. State Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn will be featured on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.24 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.96.

Natural gas is $2.18 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,955 and silver is $26.69.

 

Obituary

Jannis McVey

A graveside service for Jannis McVey, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 15th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

 

Thursday, August 13th

 

Consumer Spending Numbers Out

for Grady County, City of Chickasha

Consumer spending in the region reflects the downturn in the energy sector over the last year. The June estimate for Grady County of $55 million is less than half that from the same period a year ago. However, the estimate is up about 14 percent from May. For the City of Chickasha, the fall has not been nearly so steep. Estimated consumer spending for June was nearly $26 million which is down just 3.6 percent from 2019. It's down only about 3 percent from May. We estimate consumer spending when we see the sales tax revenues at both the county and city levels. Grady County sales tax revenue from the June retail business was $414,000 - compared to $1.1 million from the same period in 2019. It is up about $50,000 from the previous month. Chickasha's sales tax collections have consistently stayed around the $1 million each month, even with the energy industry slump and the coronavirus pandemic. The most recent sales tax numbers show Chickasha collecting $970,000. That's down slightly from $1.1 million from the same period last year and down from $1 million from the previous month.

 

Chickasha Schools Open Next Week

Chickasha school officials want to remind parents and students that classes will be starting next Thursday, Aug. 20th. Superintendent Rick Croslin says there has been at least one Oklahoma City television station reporting the wrong date. The August 20th date is for students who will return to the classrooms. Any student who opted for distance-learning, or the blended combination of distance-learning and classroom study will begin the following Thursday, Aug. 27th. Anyone with questions should contact their students' school. Also, Chickasha schools continue enrolling students for the upcoming school year. In-person enrollment has moved from the administration building to each individual school. Parents can also enroll students by filling out documents on the school district's website.

 

Chix School Board to Hold Special Meeting

The Chickasha school board will have a special meeting today to discuss a contract renewal with a company for school pictures for the upcoming year. There's also a closed door meeting scheduled to discuss personnel issues. The meeting will be held virtually at noon and it can be viewed on a link on the school district's website.

 

Man Angry That Rancher Fatally Shot Dog

An Anadarko man is furious after his dog was shot and killed by a rancher. Chase Butler says he was hunting wild hogs at night last week with his dog Smoke. Butler tells KFOR-TV that he uses a device that connects to the dog's collar which tracks the dog's location. Last week, Butler and Smoke were helping a wheat farmer hunt the wild hogs which are notorious for damaging crops. Butler said Smoke became distracted when he saw some headlights and that the dog ran in the direction of the lights. A nearby rancher was out checking on his cattle and Smoke jumped on the rancher’s truck. The rancher grabbed his rifle and fatally shot the dog. Butler confronted the rancher who told him Smoke was not being a threat to him or his livestock, but that he shoots dogs because people are always dumping them in the area. The televised report indicated the Caddo County sheriff's office was called out to investigate, but made no arrests stating that there was no law that warranted an arrest. The incident has been passed on to the district attorney’s office which has not yet filed any charges against the rancher.

 

An Invite to Welcome Students Back to Chix Schools

Chickasha business leaders are combining efforts with another group to welcome back students to Chickasha schools next week. The Chamber of Commerce and  a group called Beautiful Day are asking their members to line the sidewalks of the high school, middle school, and Lincoln school when classes resume next Thursday. They asked that individuals wear school colors of purple and gold, and bring signs to show support for the students. Officials ask that participants wear masks and respect social distancing measures. Contact Cassandra Ersland at the Chamber for more information. Students have not been to school since the coronavirus struck in Oklahoma back in March. Students across the state attended distance-learning classes from their homes the last nine weeks of last school year.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.67 per barrel.

London-based Brent is $45.43.

Natural gas is $2.15 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,941 and silver is $26.10.

 

Obituary

Tam Hart

Funeral service for Tam Hart, 58, of Chickasha was held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, August 13th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

 

Wednesday, August 12th

 

Former Chix Police Officer Attends

Governor's Signing of Bill Named for Him

It was nearly three years ago that three law enforcement officials were injured in a shootout at a Chickasha home. Former Chickasha police Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield was the most seriously hurt in September of 2017 when he suffered a permanent injury to his right arm. Recently, Schoolfield and his family were on hand for Gov. Kevin Stitt's ceremonial signing of The Sgt. Schoolfield Line of Duty Act (HB 3330). The measure guarantees that qualifying officers would receive 100 percent of their pension benefits instead of a modified percentage should they become disabled as a result of a violent act while on duty. State Rep. David Perryman of Chickasha, who was a co-author of HB 3330, was also part of the ceremony for the signing of the bill into law. State lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the bill with bipartisan support this past spring.

 

Biker Critically Injured After High-Speed Chase

A Newcastle man is hospitalized in critical condition after crashing his motorcycle during a high-speed pursuit by law enforcement. 42-year old Edwin Dodd was air-lifted to a Plano, Texas hospital following the Tuesday afternoon accident which happened east of Marietta near the small town of Lebanon, Okla. The highway patrol did not indicate why Marshall County authorities were pursuing Dodd. The trooper investigating the accident said the Dodd was unable to go around a curve, then ran off the road and hit a tree. Dodd was wearing a helmet.

 

Gunman Who Stole Car Faces More Charges              

A man arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle is facing even more charges. We first told you about 36-year old James Dale Southern, Jr. of Oklahoma City yesterday. KOOL-RANCH News obtained some details about Southern’s arrest from documents filed in Grady County District Court. Grady County sheriff's deputies and Chickasha police responded to a report of a man waving a gun in the 3600 block of S. 4th about 8:00 a.m. Sunday. Authorities were able to detain the man without incident. The gunman told authorities he had stolen a car from Oklahoma City and drove to Chickasha, and that he parked the car about a mile away at a convenience store at 4th and Almar Drive (Authorities discovered the car had been stolen out of Oklahoma City on Saturday). The gunman was carrying some Wal-Mart bags. As officials performed an inventory of the bags' contents they found paperwork from a car belonging to local resident. The owner was contacted and she said the car was parked at the bowling alley. Authorities checked the vehicle and found that it had been burglarized and vandalized. The car owner said the bags in possession of the gunman were hers. Southern was initially charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and burglary, and is now facing additional charges of attempted larceny of a vehicle, pointing a firearm, and having a firearm after adjudication.

 

Distance-Learning and Classroom Students

To be Treated 'Equitably': Chix School Officials             

Chickasha Public Schools have released a lot of information regarding the upcoming school year. Superintendent Rick Croslin says the district is taking steps to be sure that equitable services will be provided to students taking virtual classes, as well as those who will be in the classroom.  If a distance-learning student does not have access to a tablet the district will provide a Chromebook to them (one for each student in a household). Homes with little or no Internet service will be provided a 'hot-spot'. The district has approved a two-year agreement with T-Mobile for the hot spots and Internet connectivity. The monthly connection fee will be paid by the district through federal CARES Act funds. Distance-learning students will also be provided breakfast and lunch each school day. There will be designated delivery sites which will be announced later. Students studying at home will be expected to log-in every day to work on assignments and tasks. All assignments must be completed by the due date and will be graded and recorded each week. Teachers will meet with the students once or twice a week. Information about the school district's distance learning plan, attendance policy, and safety protocols are available on the district's website and copies are available from the school administration office.

 

Businesswoman, Rancher Shirley Wilson Passes Away

Longtime Chickasha businesswoman and rancher Shirley Wilson has died. Wilson was 98 when she passed away on Sunday. Shirley and her husband Clay founded the 19th Seed Company - a company specializing in erosion control - which evolved into one of the largest  highway and heavy road construction companies in the southwest. The company was responsible for projects like The Dallas Interchange and the Keystone Expressway. Shirley and Clay also created the 21 Ranch east of Chickasha, where they imported Charolais cattle from France. At one time the ranch earned the Challenge Trophy which is awarded to the top herd in the United States. A graveside service for Shirley Wilson will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Fairlawn Cemetery. Those attending are asked to wear masks. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Epworth Methodist Church or Friends Fur Change.

              

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.61 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.50.

Natural gas is $2.17 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,942 and silver is $25.91.

 

Obituary

James Bonds, Jr.

A private funeral mass will be held for James Bonds, Jr., 61, of Chickasha. Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, August 12th in the Purcell Cemetery. Bonds was a U.S. Air Force Veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. 

 

 

Tuesday, August 11th

 

Chix Schools Ready For Challenges

When Classes Resume Next Week

Like most school administrators, Chickasha school Superintendent Rick Croslin says things are going to be different for the upcoming school year. In remarks to the board of education last night, Croslin said-

 

              

 

Croslin said that despite all the precautions that are being put in place, there will more than likely be some coronavirus problems to deal with and that the district is ready to take action when that happens. Chickasha schools will be back in session next Thursday, Aug. 20th for students who have opted to return to the classroom. Those who have opted for any distance-learning classes will start on Aug. 27th. Croslin added that 15 new teachers were hired and they will undergo orientation later this week. All teachers report for in-service training on Monday, Aug. 17th

 

Driver Hospitalized After Crash on Gravel Road              

A driver is hospitalized after crashing his pickup near Norge yesterday. 22-year old Dylan Green of Ninnekah was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in stable condition. The accident happened just after 8 a.m. Monday on a gravel road just north of CR 2810 and CS 1400. The trooper dispatched to the crash reported that Green may have been driving too fast when he failed to complete a curve, veered off the road, hit a fence and rolled several times. Green was not wearing his seat belt and he was thrown out of the truck.

 

Suspect Faces Stolen Vehicle, Burglary Charges              

Chickasha police arrest a man on complaints of having a stolen vehicle and burglary. Details aren't available, but we can tell you that 36-year old James Dale Southern, Jr. of Oklahoma City was booked into the Grady County Jail Sunday morning. Prosecutors have charged him with burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, and attempted larceny of a vehicle. Following his initial appearance on the charges in district court yesterday, a judge set Southern's bond at $20,000. He is to announce his attorney Aug. 28th with a preliminary hearing conference set for Sept. 15th.

 

Live Music Will be Part of Grady County Fair

The Grady County Fair is just a couple of weeks away. While the fair won't have as many attractions because of COVID-19 concerns, fair-goers will still be treated to some live music. Jamie Jones is the coordinator for the fair.

 

              

 

The carnival was not able to be part of the fair this year and Jones says there will be fewer vendors in order to respect social-distancing standards. The still exhibits will also be further apart. The 105th Grady County Fair is set for Aug. 27th, 28th, and 29th.

 

Ground-breaking Set for Chix Mini-Golf Course              

Miniature golf is coming to Chickasha. It's been a dream of Jerry and Sheila Layman and their son Steven for several years and they’ve finally been able to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Groundbreaking will held Thursday. It will tentatively be called the Jungle Ice Fun Zone featuring an 18-hole mini-golf course, game room and concessions.  The Laymans are working a Wisconsin company called Miniature Golf Construction, which has built courses in Kansas, Arkansas, and North Carolina. The company also built the mini-golf course in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown area called Bricktopolis. The Layman’s know the importance of having alternative entertainment options for area families. They previously managed and operated OK Skateland and they also own the Jungle Ice Snow Cone stands. The Laymans are also working with Jim Cowan with Chickasha's Economic Development Council. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held Thursday morning with construction expected to take four to six months.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.94 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is under $45.

Natural gas is $2.15 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,996 and silver is $28.18.

 

Monday, August 10th

 

Chix School Board Meets as Classes Begin Soon              

Chickasha school classes open next week, and parents are still urged to contact school officials in order to choose to have their students in the classroom full time, attend virtual classes at home or a combination of the two methods. Tonight, the school board takes a look at a few things before classes begin Thursday, Aug. 20th. Among the items of discussion include the sale of the land and building where the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center is located. The group will also consider a contract with new personnel director Seth Meier, and a memorandum of understanding with the Chickasha Association of Support Employees. The board of education meets virtually again tonight beginning at 6 p.m. and the meeting can be viewed on the school district's website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us

 

Substitute Teacher Workshop Set

Chickasha schools will have a substitute teacher workshop this week. Substitutes are needed at every grade level. Individuals must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. The session will be this Wednesday, Aug. 12th at the Chickasha High School Activity Center starting at 8:30 a.m.

 

Anadarko School Board Meets, Classes Start Thursday              

The Anadarko school board also meets tonight. The group will discuss the Oklahoma Public School Safety protocol established by the State Department of Education to determine the safest operation for classes which will begin this Thursday, Aug. 13th. The group will also look at a revised calendar for the year, review entry-year teacher-mentor assignments, and consider fundraisers for several programs. The Anadarko School Board will hold a regular meeting in the school administration office at 6 o'clock tonight.

 

Coronavirus Update

Just under 500 new positive coronavirus cases were reported by the state department of health yesterday. That puts the total number of positive tests to 43,500 since the virus was first found in Oklahoma five months ago. There were no new deaths, with that number staying at 603. There are about 6,900 current cases of the illness with around 600 people being treated in hospitals. Checking city numbers, Chickasha has had 224 people test positive, there have been four deaths, and there are 18 current cases. Anadarko has had 155 people test positive, there have been three deaths, and there are 32 current cases. Blanchard has had 136 cases, there has been one 1 death, and there are 13 current cases. Newcastle has had 109 positive tests, there has been one death, and there are 12 current cases. Tuttle has had 103 positive tests, with two deaths, and there are 14 active cases. Grady County has had a total of 441 positive tests with 7 deaths and there are 46 active cases. Caddo County has had a total of 417 positive cases with 16 deaths and 75 cases are active. Stephens County has had 200 people test positive and there have been three deaths and 37 cases are current.

 

DHS Recruits Foster Families

There is a big need for foster families in Oklahoma to care for children who are in DHS custody. There are nearly 7,800 children in state custody right now. DHS Child Welfare Specialist Theresa Plata talks about the need in this region.

 

              

 

Foster parent requirements include that individuals must be 21 years old, pass a background check, and complete 27 hours of training. You can be a single parent or a same-sex household. For information about becoming a foster parent, reach out to your local DHS office.

 

Energy Firm Reports 2nd Quarter Profit

Cheniere Energy, the company which built a natural gas pipeline through Oklahoma’s SCOOP and STACK plays, was in rare company in the second quarter. The Houston-based liquid natural gas company reported a profit of $197 million which result in quarterly earnings of 78 cents a share. Over the last four quarters, Cheniere has surpassed some consensus estimates three times. The company reported net income of $572 million for the first six months of 2020.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.22 per barrel.

London-based Brent Crude is $44.40.

Natural gas is $2.24 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,037 and silver is $28.26.

 

 

2020, Aug. 3rd-8th

Saturday, Aug. 8th

 

Driver Hospitalized After Rollover Crash              

A woman suffers head and arm injuries when her car runs off the road and overturns. The accident happened just after 10:30 p.m. Friday on U.S. Highway 277 about three miles west of Ninnekah.  Brianna Davis, 24, of Lawton was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was admitted in good condition. The state trooper dispatched to the accident reported that Davis may have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Davis was eastbound on the highway when she veered off the road and the car overturned and landed upside down. Davis’ arm was pinned underneath the vehicle for a short time. Davis was wearing her seatbelt.

              

Gov. Stitt Signs Bills Authored by Area Lawmakers              

A couple of state lawmakers from the area saw some of their bills passed into law and signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt during the legislative session this past spring. The bills were co-authored by State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) and State Representative Brad Boles (R-Marlow). Boles was on hand for a ceremonial signing of the bills by the governor this week. House Bill 3270 is the Keep Your License Plate law, which extends the time to get a new license plate from five to 15 days. Boles said constituents and tag agents said the five-day time period wasn't always long enough to get a new tag. The bill also gives the vehicle owner the ability to take out the home address information on their registration that is required to be in the vehicle. House Bill 3721 allows county governments the option to use on-line bidding for projects. Boles said implementing the process does not cost a county anything, and is a proven way to attract more bidders, which should result in increased competition and lower costs. The bills go into effect Nov. 1st.

 

Locals Compete at Lawton Rangers Rodeo

There's always a big Oklahoma presence at the Lawton Rangers Rodeo. The annual event draws a lot of the nation's top cowboys and cowgirls, and many are from central and southwest Oklahoma. Among the competitors this week is Dona Kay Rule of Minco, who is proving that age is only a number when it comes to going up against the best of the best. Rule, who is 61 years old, is a barrel racer looking to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for the second straight year. She's currently in the top 10 in the world standings, and tells KSWO-TV that she's not letting anything, including her age, hold her back. Rule turned in a time of 17.20 in Lawton this week. She's also competing in rodeos in Missouri and Montana. Other regional cowboys competing in Lawton this week are Blanchard steer wrestler Blake Mindemann and Sterling bull rider Chauk Deeks, who won the event at Lawton last year.

 

State's Sales Tax Holiday Underway

Oklahoma's sales tax holiday weekend is underway. Back-to-school shoppers won't be charged any sales tax on eligible clothing. Most items costing less than $100 can be purchased without sales tax. Some clothing that's not eligible includes special clothing and footwear primarily designed for an athletic activity not normally worn when not participating in that activity. Accessories like handbags, jewelry, wallets, and watches also don't qualify. Items over $100 that are marked down below that price are eligible, and customers can use store coupons or discounts to get the items below the $100 level. The sales tax holiday weekend was approved by state lawmakers back in 2007. It helps consumers save money on their children’s clothing needs for school, and helps boost business for state merchants, aiding in the overall state economy. The sales tax holiday weekend ends at midnight tomorrow night.

 

 

 

Friday, August 7th

 

Missing Man's Body, Motorcycle Found

There is a sad ending regarding a man who had been missing for more than two weeks. Authorities found the body of Todd Laird and his motorcycle east of Chickasha yesterday. Laird was last seen the night of July 21st at the Ten Pin Alley Bar inside the Chickasha Bowling Center. The highway patrol was called out to an area on U.S. Highway 62 just east of Jay's Arena Road about 11:00 a.m. Thursday. The report said that it appeared that Laird was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on the highway when, for an unknown reason, the motorcycle departed the roadway. OHP believes it may have happened July 22nd, the day that Laird was reported missing. Chickasha Police had placed Laird’s name in the national missing person's data base. Authorities had pinged his phone to an undisclosed field.

 

Cattle Die After Being Hit by Truck; Truck Driver Not Hurt              

Several head of cattle died after being hit by a pickup early this morning. The accident happened about 4:45 a.m. near State Highway 19 and CS 2900 which is about three miles west of Alex. Unconfirmed reports indicate that about a half-dozen head of cattle were killed. The driver of the truck was not injured.

              

Grocery Store Closes After Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19

A Chickasha grocery store closed for a few hours Thursday after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Homeland closed its doors to customers after store officials were notified of the positive test. A letter posted on the store window indicated the employee last worked at the store on Wednesday and is self-isolating. Other workers who had direct contact with the employee were being notified by the health department. The letter indicated that the store took immediate additional steps on top of its already rigorous cleaning protocols to wipe down, sanitize, and disinfect the store. The letter stated that officials didn't believe there is further undue risk to customers or employees. The letter urged that if customers or anyone customers might have had contact with feel coronavirus symptoms of a fever, coughing, or difficulty in breathing to contact a health care provider. The store has re-opened for business this morning.

 

Man Arrested After Threatening Police with Knife

A Chickasha man is in custody after allegedly threatening several police officers with a knife. No details of the confrontation are available but the suspect was arrested and no officers were injured. Prosecutors have charged 44-year old Michael Owen Gilleland with a felony count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Following his arraignment, a judge set Gilleland's bond at $50,000. Prosecutors also filed a motion to revoke Gilleland's probation on a 2006 conviction of rape. Gilleland also pleaded guilty to 2012 charges of felony eluding and misdemeanor DUI.

 

Grant to Help USAO Upgrade Cyber Infrastructure                                  

USAO and a number of other Oklahoma colleges and universities will be improving their cyber infrastructure thanks to a recent grant. The National Science Foundation presented funds to the State Regents for Higher Education and OneNet. The grant will help the schools connect to the OneOklahoma Friction Free Network. USAO’s grant was for more than $230,000. USAO president John Feaver said the upgade  will help students pursue their research projects with less difficulty.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Theresa Plata and Taylar Smith with the Department of Human Services Foster Family program will be on the KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate today our guest is Chickasha Schools Athletic Director and head football coach Jerry Don Bray. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.95 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.09.

Natural gas is $2.16 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,069 and silver is $28.30.

 

Obituary

Gail Yvonne Bowens

A graveside service for Gail Yvonne Bowens, 57, formerly of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

 

Thursday, August 6th

 

Driver Dies in Caddo County Crash

A deadly crash near Ft. Cobb Lake claims the life of Texas woman. 36-year old Ruby Nobles of Round Rock, Texas died in the accident that happened east of the town of Albert which is a few miles south of Binger. The accident happened just before 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. The highway patrol reports that Nobles may have been driving too fast on a gravel county road when her car ran off the road, hit a large fence post, then rolled and landed upside down.

 

Chickasha New Construction Surges

New construction in Chickasha rebounds in a big way. More than $2.4 million in new building projects were approved by the city's Community Development Department in July. That's up from just $700,000 from the previous month. In all, 27 building permits were approved last month. Most of the new construction is for new single-family homes. Home Creations was awarded 10 permits to build homes in the Sleepy Hollow expansion. Rausch Coleman Homes was awarded seven permits for homes in the Shadow Valley development. Each home is valued around $100,000. Two permits for industrial projects were issued to LSPI at U.S. Highway 81 and U.S. 62. Combined, the two permits total more than a half-million dollars. New construction in Chickasha has topped $1 million in six of seven months this year. July's $2.4 million total is the second-best month for 2020, behind only January which saw $2.5 million in new construction. Since the first of the year, the city has approved more than $11.8 million in new construction projects.

 

Two Charged for Alleged Possession of Stolen Vehicle              

Two people are facing felony charges of possession of a stolen vehicle after their arrests earlier this week. Chickasha police arrested 31-year old Rusty Faires (hometown unknown) and 28-year Melinda Dearman of Perkins, Okla. on Monday. No details of the arrests are available. What we've been able to determine from the Chickasha police blotter is that officers were called to the 2700 block of S. 4th Street about 11:00 a.m. Monday to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle. That's where Faires and Dearman were taken into custody. After prosecutors filed formal charges against the pair, Faires' bond was set at $25,000 and Dearman's bond was set at $10,000. Both remain in the Grady County Jail.

 

Coronavirus Update

The coronavirus has claimed another life in Grady County and two more lives in Caddo County. In Wednesday’s report from the State Health Department, there were 17 new fatal cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, increasing the total number of deaths to 583. The death in Grady County was a woman in the 65 years and older category. The deaths in Caddo County were a man and a woman who were also 65 and older. There have been seven fatalities in Grady County, with 4 in Chickasha; 2 in Tuttle; and one location not yet known. Caddo County has 16 deaths with 9 in Binger; 3 in Anadarko; two in Lookeba; one in Carnegie,;and one in Cyril. There were another 1,100 new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma Wednesday increasing the total number of positive COVID-19 tests since March to more than 40,000. There are almost 6,600 individuals battling the illness with 645 of them currently in the hospital.

 

Ranel Lasley Retires from Caddo County OSU Extension              

Friends, co-workers, and colleagues are saying so long to Caddo County 4H leader Ranel Lasley. She is retiring after a 25-year career with OSU Extension. The Caddo County native began her career with OSU Extension in 1996. In addition to 4H leadership and its programs she helped with farm safety, Annie's Project, the Caddo County Women in Agriculture conference, the advisor for the county OHCE groups, and worked with the county fair board and county commissioners on improvements at the Baldwin Building at the county fairgrounds. She received a couple of distinguished service awards for her work. Ranel says she's looking forward to an active retirement, helping with the family farm in Eakly, enjoying family time, and serving her church. Per Ranel's request and coronavirus restrictions there will not be a retirement party.

              

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $42.19 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $45.17.

Natural gas is $2.19 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,061 and silver is $27.86.

 

Obituary

Donald Horton

A family graveside service for Donald Horton, 91, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8th at Fairlawn Cemetery. A church service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8th at Epworth United Methodist Church. The service will also be live-streamed on the church’s YouTube channel. Horton was a pastor for many years and also served as a medic for the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Memorial contributions may be made to the church's endowment fund or to the Oklahoma United Methodist Volunteers in Missions. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, Aug. 5th

 

Verden School Students Return to the Classroom

Today is the first day of class for students who attend Verden Public Schools. It's the first time in nearly five months for the students to be in an actual classroom, after spring classes went virtual right after spring break in March because of coronavirus. Superintendent Mickey Edwards says the district has put in a lot of time and effort to get ready for today.

 

              

 

Edwards expects about 300 students to be in school today, and about 25 percent have opted to take classes virtually. He said the district was able to obtain some grants from the state department of education to purchase equipment to provide hot spots where broadband service is not as strong.

 

Tree Work Continues at Shannon Springs Park              

Crews for the City of Chickasha are spending the week cutting down dead and dying trees in Shannon Springs Park. The entire 8-man crew of the Parks and Recreation Department are working to help make the park safer. Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Marks said a U.S. Department of Forestry assessment done a few years ago indicated that of the nearly 200 trees in the park, more than 50 were considered to be high-risk. Marks said they won't be removing all of the targeted trees.

 

              

 

Marks said there are maple, Chinese oak, sycamore, Bradford pear, and cottonwood trees in the park to name a few. The park is closed during the day for crews to safely do their work. The park is set to re-open on Saturday. Marks says he plans on planting new trees next spring to replace the ones being removed.

 

Virtual 'Stamp Out Hunger' Food Drive Successful              

Oklahomans opened their wallets for the virtual Stamp Out Hunger food drive last week. Officials with the Regional Food Bank say they surpassed their goal of $28,000 by collecting more than $100,000. The virtual drive was held in place of the National Association of Letter Carriers event which was canceled in May because of the COVID-19 health crisis. The Regional Food Bank and the letter carriers group have worked together for the last 28 years to help re-stock food pantries in Grady and Caddo counties and many areas of central and Western Oklahoma. The food bank says the donated funds will help provide more than 415,000 meals to hungry Oklahomans.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.70 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $44.43.

Natural gas is $2.19 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,055 and silver is $26.95.

 

Obituaries

Jetta Lee

Funeral for Jetta Lee, 64, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 7th at Full Gospel Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Clarice Eubank

Funeral for Clarice Eubank, 86, of Pocasset will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 7th at First Baptist Church of Pocasset. Arrangements are also with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

Tuesday, Aug. 4th

 

Contractor For Chickasha Sidewalk Project

Blamed for Shoddy Work Done for Homeowners

Some Chickasha homeowners are angry over some shoddy work they say was performed by the contractor putting in a sidewalk on First Street from the downtown area to Wal-Mart. City Councilman R.P. Ashanti-Alexander first brought up the problem at a city council meeting a couple of weeks ago. He said employees of the contractor reached out to homeowners and told them that – for a fee – they would do some improvements for them. The work for the homeowners was not part the company’s contract with the city. Ashanti-Alexander said that some of that work was substandard and wants the city to help the homeowners with their dilemma. During last night's city council meeting, City Manager John Noblitt said it’s not the city's responsibility to force the contractor to correct that work. That led to this exchange between Ashanti-Alexander and the city manager.

 

              

 

Ashanti-Alexander suggested the city not use the contractor for any future projects.

 

City of Chickasha has New Assistant City Manager

The City of Chickasha has a new assistant city manager. Leesa Furr was recently promoted to the post. Furr has spent the last couple of years as the city's administrative services director. In that role, she has focused on providing customer service in utility billing and helped to switch the city's insurance plan from self-insured to fully-insured. The insurance switch secured a more than 35 percent decrease on annual premiums as well as a monthly savings for employees. In the past year, Furr also has taken on management of human resources in addition to serving as city treasurer. In her new role as assistant city manager, Furr will continue to have oversight of finance, utility billing, and human resources. She will also oversee the parks and recreation and community development departments, and manage special projects.

              

Coronavirus Update

The number of new positive coronavirus tests was down significantly Monday. About 350 new cases were reported by the state health department, putting the total number of COVID-19 tests to more than 38,500. There was one new death, increasing the number of fatal cases to 551. The number of active cases of the illness is nearly 6,900 statewide. Of that number, 628 people are hospitalized. Chickasha has had 215 people test positive with 14 of them current; Anadarko is at 144 cases with 76 of them active; Blanchard is at 125 with 13 active cases; Newcastle has had 98 total positive tests with 17 active; Tuttle has had 95 confirmed tests with 15 active; Lindsay has had 54 total cases with eight of them active. Grady County has had 412 people test positive with 40 current cases. There have been six deaths in Grady County with four in Chickasha and two in Tuttle. Caddo County has had 373 people test positive. There have been 14 deaths in Caddo County with nine in Binger and two in Anadarko.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.01 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.26.

Natural gas is $2.10 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,993 and silver is $24.45.

 

Obituaries

Johnny Hinson

A graveside service for Johnny Hinson, 65, Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Darrell Hickman

Funeral for Darrell Hickman, 42, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6th at the Southern Oaks Church of Christ Pavilion. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

Monday, Aug. 3rd

 

Sidewalk, TIF Agreement on Chix City Council Agenda

An update on a sidewalk project and a proposal to extend the maturity date for an economic development agreement are among the few items on the agenda for the Chickasha City Council tonight. Work crews continue the construction of a sidewalk along First Street which will connect downtown Chickasha to Wal-Mart. It's being paid for with the help of a matching federal community development block grant. The council will also consider extending an economic development re-assignment agreement with a firm for development along East Grand Avenue. The 2018 agreement with Chisholm Trail Development re-assigned sales tax revenue which will be generated from the Tax Increment Finance district to that company. City Manager John Noblitt said the change calls to extend the maturity date of the loan for 12 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city council is meeting virtually again this evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting can be viewed on the city's website: www.chickasha.org

 

Shannon Springs Park Closed 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All Week

Shannon Springs Park will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day this week. Crews will be removing some dead and dying trees and performing other maintenance work. The swimming pool will be open for its regular hours. City officials say a U.S. Forestry assessment from 2014 indicated that more than 50 trees were considered high-risk, including many that are unstable and could cause injuries or property damage if they fall. The park will re-open for its regular hours on Saturday.

 

Chix School Offices Return to Normal Hours               

Chickasha school offices are re-opening for regular hours today as the district prepares for the opening day of school which is a little over two weeks away (Thursday, Aug. 20th). School offices had been open four days a week for much of the summer. Starting today, the offices are open Monday through Friday. School officials continue urging parents to enroll students in one of the three learning systems the district will offer this year - all in the classroom, virtual learning, or a combination of the two. Enrollment is requested even if students pre-enrolled in the spring. Parents can stop by the administration building or fill out the enrollment forms available on the school district's website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us

 

Chix Author's Literary Landmark Unveiled              

A Chickasha author is now in some exclusive company. The late Bill Wallace joins the likes of Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie who all have a literary landmark in their honor. The landmark was unveiled in a special ceremony at Centennial Park this past Saturday morning. Eugene Earsom of the Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma served as the emcee for the event. He said the Wallace landmark is the 14th of its kind in the Sooner State.  Bill's wife, Carol said it is a great honor for Bill and the entire Wallace family. Carol says Bill’s writing career started after reading some of his manuscripts to his students.

 

              

 

Bill Wallace received numerous awards for the 38 children's books he wrote throughout his career including a lifetime achievement award.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $40.27 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.30.

Natural gas is $1.80 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1, 967 and silver is $24.39.

 

 

KOOL News, Monday, August 3, 2020

Saturday, Aug.1st

 

Friends to Search for Missing Man

It's been nearly two weeks since anyone has heard from Todd Laird. The Chickasha man was last seen the night of June 21st, leaving a Chickasha night club on his motorcycle. Social media posts indicate that some friends will spend part of their weekend trying to find him. Chickasha police reported pinging Laird's cel phone at an undisclosed field. The cel phone was not found. A family friend established a Go Fund Me page to raise money to help with the search and offer a reward for information about him. Laird's name is on the national missing persons data base. Anyone with information about Todd Leonard Laird can provide anonymous tips to Grady County Crimestoppers at 405-224-TIPS or through its Facebook page. Tips may also be called to Chickasha police  by calling 405-222-6050 or 9-1-1.

 

J and W Grill Owner, Daren Cook Dies

Longtime Chickasha restaurant owner/operator Daren Cook has died. Cook, who ran J and W Grill for nearly 40 years, died Thursday at the age of 62. Cook was a lifelong Chickasha resident, and started working at the restaurant as a dishwasher when he was 12. He became a partial owner of the restaurant when he was 19 then purchased the business when he was 23. Survivors include his wife Nicole and their children, and his parents, James and Juanita Cook. Funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3rd at Bible Baptist Church with burial at Fairlawn Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday, Aug. 2nd from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at McRay Funeral Home. The family asks that masks be worn at both the funeral and visitation.

 

Coronavirus Update

Oklahoma has had another rough week with the coronavirus. Another 4,000 positive tests were recorded by the state health department since last Monday, taking the total number of cases to more than 36,000. The number of current illnesses as of Friday was nearly 6,800 with 621 of those individuals in the hospital. There have been 45 more deaths this week taking that number up to 541. Chickasha has had 212 positive tests for the illness and only 16 of those are active. Throughout Grady County, nearly 400 people have tested positive and 51 of them are current illnesses. In other surrounding communities, Blanchard has had 118 people test positive with 11 now active; Tuttle has had 89 positive tests and 15 are current; Newcastle has had 93 people test positive with 17 active cases; Anadarko has now had 133 people test positive and 69 of them are current. Caddo County has had a total of 348 positive tests with 96 current cases.

 

Schools to Get PPE

Oklahoma schools will be getting some added personal protective equipment (PPE) for the upcoming school year. Gov. Kevin Stitt is distributing $10 million in federal CARES Act funds to help schools open safely for in-person learning. The funds will provide more than 1.5 million masks which would be two for every teacher and student; 42,000 face shields, more than 1 million pairs of disposable gloves, and more than 1 million disposable gowns. The PPE will be distributed from the State Department of Emergency Management warehouses. In a new executive order, the governor directed the state health department to work with the state department of education to develop a plan for teachers to be tested once a month for the coronavirus. The governor also announced that more than $9.5 million in CARES Act funds will be awarded to more than 2,000 day care centers to the support the industry's essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

              

Obituary

Lou McNeff

Obituaries today include 80-year old Lou McNeff of Chickasha. A graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 3rd at the Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

 

Friday, July 31st

 

One Dead, One Critically-Hurt in Turnpike Accident

A Chickasha man has died and another is fighting for his life following a crash on the H.E. Bailey turnpike last night.  42-year old Darrell Hickman was pronounced dead at the scene while 39-year old Dustin Joyner was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted with critical injuries. The accident happened about 8:45 p.m. Thursday near mile marker 102 on the Turnpike which is just west of Newcastle. The highway patrol reports that Joyner and Hickman were in a pickup eastbound on the highway. Their truck was rear-ended by a car occupied by a couple of teenaged boys from Comanche. The pickup rolled several times, and both Joyner and Hickman were thrown out of the truck. The teenagers - whose names were not released - were uninjured. Eastbound lanes of the turnpike were closed for more than 2 1/2 hours after the accident. State troopers say the crash is still under investigation.

 

GoFundMe Page Established to Help Find Missing Person

A Go Fund Me page has been established to help find a missing Chickasha man. Todd Laird was last seen the night of Tuesday, July 21st and police are investigating his disappearance. Heaven Bertram is a friend of Kelly Laird, who is Todd's sister.  Kelly lives in Michigan and said her brother has a close bond with his family. Bertram posted on her Facebook page that donations will be used to search for Todd, and for rewards which may be offered for information that helps to bring Todd home. Funds could also be used to help Todd's family make any necessary trips, and to pay expenses related to providing awareness about the case. Donors can also use the following link, #BringToddHome

The Go Fund Me page which was established Thursday had collected $170 as of this morning. Laird was last seen riding his 1973 Harley Davidson Shovelhead motorcycle. Police have only said that they pinged his cel phone to a field. Anyone with information about Todd Laird is asked to contact Chickasha Police by calling 405-222-6050 or 9-1-1.

 

Career Tech Schools Re-open Soon              

Just as public schools in Oklahoma are preparing for the upcoming school year, so are career tech schools. All three campuses of the Canadian Valley Technology Center in Chickasha, El Reno, and Yukon will be opening classrooms with the first day of classes on Thursday, Aug. 13th. Officials said that recommendations from the State Health Department and the State Department of Education encourage in-person education for the start of the school year. However, administrators say conditions may change and that virtual classes could begin if needed. Each location will also mandate that individuals wear masks and practice social distancing whenever possible on campus. In Ft. Cobb, the first day of classes at Caddo Kiowa Technology Center will be on Wednesday, Aug. 12th. CKTC officials say anyone needing to apply or test must schedule an appointment to do so. Students who plan to attend should fill out a COVID-19 Acknowledgement Form which is available on the school's website: www.mycktc.com

 

Ceremony Set for 'Bill Wallace Day'              

A special event is scheduled to honor a very special person tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 1st). The Friends of the Chickasha Library and the City of Chickasha will unveil a literary landmark to honor author Bill Wallace. Mayor Chris Mosley has proclaimed tomorrow as Bill Wallace Day. August first is the late author's birth date. Speakers at the ceremony will include Bill's wife, Carol and their son, Justin. Some of the couple’s grandchildren will share some memories and read from some of his books. Wallace wrote nearly 40 books and won numerous awards throughout his career, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.  The ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1st at Centennial Park. Those attending are asked to wear masks. The ceremony will be live-streamed on Facebook through the Chickasha Parks and Recreation Department page and shared on the Chickasha Library's Facebook page.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Jamie Jones with the Grady County Fairgrounds is on the KOOL Konversation talking about the Grady County Fair. Mike Jump and Debbie Segroves with USW, the City of Chickasha’s water and wastewater treatment contractor, are on Real Estate Today. Look for links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $39.92 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $42.94.

Natural gas is $1.83 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,996 and silver is $24.26.

 

 

Thursday, July 30th

 

USAO to Open Classrooms for Fall Semester

USAO students will be returning to campus in a couple of weeks, and officials say classrooms will be open. However, students will have the opportunity to take advantage of a hybrid program which will also include on-line classes in an attempt to minimize the effects of COVID-19. The campus, which has been closed to the general public all summer, will remain closed through the fall semester. President John Feaver announced that students, instructors, and staff will have to wear masks while inside all buildings and outdoors as well when social-distancing can't be maintained. In was previously announced that USAO would start fall classes on Aug. 17th and that there will be no fall break. Final exams will be held in mid-November with graduation set for before Thanksgiving on Nov. 21st. Officials said they are preparing for multiple scenarios for the fall semester and will be ready to make adjustments should they become necessary.

 

Driver Dies in Caddo County Crash              

A Caddo County man has died in a violent rollover crash. 62-year old Randal See of Hydro died in the accident that happened late Tuesday night. The accident wasn't discovered until just after 7:00 a.m. Wednesday. The accident happened on a county road about one-half mile south of Eakly. The trooper investigating the accident reported that See was driving at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car, then it ran off the road and rolled several times, ejecting See from the vehicle.

 

Chix City Council will Again Meet Virtually              

The Chickasha City Council will again be meeting virtually for its next regularly scheduled meeting. The public can watch the meeting on YouTube or by going to the city's website: www.chickasha dot org

Anyone wanting to address the council during the meeting may do so virtually but will have to log in to the Zoom platform on a personal computer or a mobile app. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 3rd. It's not clear if the meeting will be broadcast on Suddenlink Channel 3.

 

Shannon Springs Park to Close for Tree Removal              

Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park will be temporarily closed for several days next week. The park will be closed from Monday, Aug. 3rd through Friday, Aug. 7th as crews work on some maintenance projects. While the walking trails, picnic tables, and playground will not be accessible, the municipal swimming pool will remain open during its regular hours. The city announced in a press release that work crews will be removing a number of dead and dying trees. Officials cited a 2014 U.S. Department of Forestry assessment that found 55 trees to be in the high-risk category, which includes trees that are unstable and could cause property damage or personal injury if they were to fall. Other trees will be trimmed and crews will also work on walking paths and cleaning other areas of the park. The park is expected to re-open on Saturday, Aug. 8th.

 

More Grady County Fair Cancelations Announced              

More cancelations have been announced for the upcoming Grady County Fair. The Grady County OHCE will not be serving their home made meals or Indian Tacos during the three-day event. Fair coordinator Jamie Jones said there will be a number of food trucks on hand and InterUrban will be operating the concession area in the event center. The carnival previously announced that it was canceling its visit, and the alfalfa show has also been canceled. Among the activities that are still scheduled include the youth horse show (which is Saturday, Aug. 8th at 9 a.m.), stock shows, the still exhibits, the cake auction, and the princess contest (which will be held virtually). Jones also said local bands will perform all three days of the 105th Grady County Fair, which will be held Aug. 27th through 29th.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.27 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.75.

Natural gas is $1.85 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,966 and silver is $23.46.

 

Obituary

Owita Willis

Funeral service for Owita Willis, 90, of Verden will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 1st at the Verden First Baptist Church. The family requests that all those attending wear masks. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, July 29th

 

Family, Friends Worry About Missing Chickasha Man

A Chickasha man has not been seen or heard from in over a week and his disappearance has family and friends concerned. Todd Laird was last seen at The Ten Pin Alley Bar playing darts last Tuesday night. It's a place he visits several nights a week. Bar manager Julie Houser tells our partners at KWTV News 9 that Laird promised he'd be back the next night and when he didn't show up, his friends became worried. Laird was last seen driving away on his 1973 Harley Davidson Shovelhead motorcycle. Laird's sister, Kelly, tells News 9 that Todd has battled an addiction problem his whole life but has a close bond with his family.  She said he needs to be brought home if he can't make it himself. Chickasha police are investigating and reports are that Laird’s cel phone was pinged to a field. Anyone with information about Todd Laird is asked to call the Chickasha Police Department at 405-222-6050 or 9-1-1.

              

Grady County Sales Tax Revenue Dips

Sales tax revenue for Grady County dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years in June. The county received just under $374,000 in sales tax revenue which is the lowest since August of 2016. As we reported earlier this month, the July sales tax revenue was even lower, down to $363,000. Here's a breakdown of where the June sales tax revenue went, all of which were approved by county voters. The Grady County Fairgrounds received just under $125,000; Grady Memorial Hospital picked up $110,000; each of the county's 20 fire districts shared $62,000 with each one receiving about $3,100; each of the seven senior nutrition centers also shared $62,000 with each one collecting nearly $9,000; Tuttle Emergency Medical Services received more than 11,000; and Rush Springs EMS collected nearly $3,000.

 

State Lawmakers Issue Statement

on Alleged Abuse at Veterans Center              

Allegations of patient abuse at the Lawton Veteran's Center have gotten the attention of southwest Oklahoma state lawmakers. Following recent social media posts about alleged mistreatment of patients, lawmakers released a joint statement saying they take all allegations seriously. The statement said the lawmakers appreciated the leadership of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs who are taking action to investigate and remedy the situation. The lawmakers encouraged families to come forward with concerns of mistreatment, and also encouraged families to be a party to, and maintain committees which promote the welfare of veterans. They also encourage any executive order relating to long-term care visitation to consider solutions which would allow families to safely check on the treatment of their loved ones. Lawmakers issuing the statement were State Reps. Toni Hasenbeck of Elgin along with Trey Caldwell, Daniel Pae, and Rande Worthen all of Lawton and State Senators John Montgomery of Lawton and Chris Kidd of Waurika.

 

Warning Issued on Seeds Mailed from China              

A number of Oklahomans have reported receiving unsolicited seeds in the mail from foreign countries. The seeds are in small packages which indicate that jewelry is inside. State Department of Agriculture officials call it agriculture smuggling. While the contents seem harmless there is the potential of that the seeds could be an invasive species, could introduce diseases to local plants, or even be harmful to livestock. Here’s Ron Hays with the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network-

 

              

 

Any seeds that have been planted and/or have sprouted should be dug up, the soil shaken off, sealed in a plastic baggie, and taken to a local OSU Extension Office.

              

Some Interstate Speed Limits to Increase

The speed limit on some rural Oklahoma interstates and turnpikes will soon go up to 80 miles per hour. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority just approved the measure this week even though the initial approval came last year at the state capital. A five-mile stretch of the Norman Spur of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike will see the speed limit go up to 80 miles per hour. That's between Mile Markers 102 and 107 while the main segment of the Bailey will remain at 75 mph. Speed limits will be enforced at the current levels until new signage is installed.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.04 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.22.

Natural gas is $1.80 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,969 and silver is $24.25.

 

Obituary

Danny Glass

A graveside service for Danny Glass, 70, of Chickasha, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

 

Tuesday, July 28th

 

Missing Blanchard Man Located

A Silver Alert which had been issued for a missing Blanchard man has been canceled, after the man was located in Pauls Valley. Terry Wayne Taylor, 64, had walked away from his home last Tuesday and the Grady County Sheriff's Office issued a Silver Alert on Wednesday. Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins said his office was contacted by Pauls Valley police last Saturday morning. Blevins said that Taylor had taken a train ride to Texas. Someone at the Pauls Valley train station who had heard about the Silver Alert notified officials there who then relayed the message to Grady County authorities.

 

Schools Face Student Transporation Issue              

Public school officials face the challenge of getting students to and from school with minimal contact with others to limit any possible exposure to the coronavirus. Dan Turner with Chickasha schools says school buses will be running as scheduled but encourages families to provide transportation if they can.

 

              

 

Turner said the buses will be sanitized after both the morning and afternoon routes and that the windows on buses be put down to help with air circulation. Turner also said the district also has a need for school bus drivers. The district will assist candidates in finding courses in order that drivers can obtain their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) certification.

 

State's COVID-19 Number Doubles in Three Weeks

The number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has doubled over the last three weeks. Records from the state department of health say the number has climbed from 16,000 on July 5th to  32,000 in the latest report issued by the agency. The number of active cases in the state is now close to 7,000 and there are 625 patients currently in the hospital. 496 Oklahomans have died from the illness. The health department now reports more than 25,000 people have recovered. Grady County is now up to 376 positive tests since March with 70 cases currently active. Caddo County has had a total of 289 positive tests and 59 are active right now. Checking city numbers, Chickasha has had 309 positive tests with 41 active cases. Anadarko has had 87 positive tests and also has 41 active cases. Blanchard has had 111 positive tests with 17 active. Tuttle has had 80 positive tests and 13 are currently active. Newcastle has had 83 positive tests and 19 are active.

 

County Fair Alfalfa Hay Show Canceled              

Another segment of the upcoming Grady County Fair has been canceled. The alfalfa hay show has been canceled over concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. A letter Grady County Alfalfa Association President Michael Pettijohn indicated the decision was made after discussing the issue with alfalfa show superintendent Mike Savage. There are plans to have the show next year. Pettijohn also encouraged producers to pay their annual $35 membership fees.

 

Steve Standridge to Serve on Cattlemen's Board

A Grady County rancher will serve a post on the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association (OCA) board. Steve Standridge was named the director for the South Central district and will serve a three-year term. OCA president Mike Weeks said in a press release that the association is membership-owned and driven, and that he appreciates the willingness of his fellow cattlemen to serve as volunteer leaders. The cattlemen's association also honored Elgin State Representative Toni Hasenbeck with a Legislative Appreciation Award. OCA executive vice president Michael Kelsey said she helped lead the legislative charge in the house over the last two legislative sessions. Kelsey credited Hasenbeck with helping to advance two separate bills which addressed the labeling of alternative meat products.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.60 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.41.

Natural gas is $1.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,951 and silver is $23.81.

 

 

Monday, July 27th

 

Two Hospitalized Following Crash-Ending Pursuit 

A pursuit on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike ends when a car being chased by a state trooper hits a toll booth and overturns. Two people were air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital however the trooper was not involved in the crash and was not hurt. The accident happened about 6:00 p.m. Sunday at the toll booth at Mile Marker 66 in Caddo County. The highway patrol said the driver of the car was eastbound and tried to drive around the toll booth when it hit a curb and then a support column. The car rolled 1 1/2 times, ejecting the driver. The driver, 20-year old Breanna Bothe of Norman and an unidentified 17-year old boy from Lawton who was a passenger were admitted to the hospital in serious condition. The highway patrolman involved in the pursuit was identified as Trooper John Hoover. It was not clear what initiated the pursuit. The crash shut down the pay-lane section of the toll both for nearly three hours. All traffic was routed through the Pikepass lane.

 

Chix Schools Urging Enrollment Sign-up              

Chickasha schools are making a big push to have returning and new students attending classes this year to confirm the students' enrollment status. Special Services Director Pam Ladyman said the registration can be done in-person at the school administration building or on-line.

 

              

 

Ladyman said the primary reason for the process is for parents and students to select one of three pathways of learning which are being offered. They include traditional classroom instruction, distance-learning, or a combination of the two. Ladyman said families are asked to sign up for the entire fall semester although they will be able to change pathways after the first week if the one chosen is not working out. The school administration building will be open for enrollment today through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. No appointment is needed.

 

Coronavirus Update              

Another 1,200 new positive cases of the COVID-19 virus in Oklahoma were confirmed by the state health department yesterday. That takes the total number of positive tests to more than 31,000 which is 6,000 more positive tests in the last week alone. The agency also reports 496 deaths from the illness. There are nearly 6,100 active coronavirus cases and more than 600 people are being treated in hospitals. Nearly 25,000 Oklahomans have recovered. Chickasha has 40 active cases with the total count at 208. Anadarko has 34 current cases with its total positive tests at 80. Blanchard has 16 active cases with the total count at 108. Tuttle has just seven active cases with its total positive tests at 76.

 

Landmark to Honor Chickasha Author              

A special ceremony is set this coming weekend to recognize the award-winning work of the late author Bill Wallace. Wallace was an elementary school teacher and principal for Chickasha Public Schools before he and his wife Carol started writing and illustrating nearly 40 books. The City of Chickasha will be installing a Literary Landmark honoring Wallace at Centennial Park this Saturday. Mayor Chris Mosley has issued a proclamation that August 1st will be Bill Wallace Day. Wallace won 22 state awards for his work. Saturday's ceremony will get underway at 10 o'clock.

 

Volunteer Firefighters Undergo Training

A number of volunteer Grady County firefighters spent part of their weekend attending search-and-rescue training. Classes were held Friday night and Sunday afternoon. According to the Grady County Fire Department's Facebook page, it was the first time for some of the firefighters to train with the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or SCBA tanks in full bunker gear. The instructors in the program have more than 100 years of combined fire service experience.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $41.29 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $43.34.

Natural gas is $1.81 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,965 and silver is $24.25.

 

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