Saturday, April 24th
Two Die as a Result of Separate Accidents with Semis
It's been a deadly 48 hours on southwest Oklahoma roads. Two people have died and one is hospitalized after three separate traffic accidents involving semis. Friday morning, an Anadarko man died after slamming into the back of a big rig near Verden. 37-year old Thomas Machahty-Ware was pronounced dead at the scene, about a mile east of Verden on U.S. 62. The driver of the semi, Galen Oliphant of Ft. Cobb, was not hurt. The highway patrol reports that both vehicles were eastbound on the highway. Machahty-Ware's vehicle was approaching the semi from behind at a high rate of speed when he suddenly switched lanes and crashed into the back of the truck. The trooper said the cause of the collision is still under investigation.
In Marlow, a man died in a head-on collision with a semi Thursday afternoon. KSWO-TV reports Elton Colbert, whose hometown was not listed, lost his life in the accident that happened near the high school baseball field on U.S. Highway 81. Two others were injured but niether their names nor the seriousness of their injuries were reported. After hitting the car the semi ran off the road and also hit a car in a restaurant parking lot.
Medicine Park area
The third accident happened north of Medicine Park on U.S. Highway 62 Friday afternoon. A truck driver was hospitalized after swerving to miss a vehicle that pulled out in front of him. 27-year old Joshua Lee Wood of Sterling was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where was admitted in good condition with head injuries. After missing the vehicle, Wood over-corrected, ran off the road and overturned. The driver of the other vehicle, 73-year old Elton Ware of Elmer, was not hurt.
10-Digit Calling in 405 Area Code Begins
If you have trouble making phone calls today, it's because the mandatory 10-digit dialing of local calls is now in effect for the 405 area code. The move is necessary to enable the addition of another area code for Oklahoma. A new area code is needed to ensure there will be enough telephone numbers for the central part of the state. Current users with the 405 area code will keep their same number and area code. Individuals and businesses need to check all devices that use phone numbers, such as security systems and fax machines make sure they are set up for 10-digit calling. The new 572 area code will be added to the region on May 24th.
Sheriff's Office Updates Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has updated its list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's Public information Officer Lisa Hatchett-
If you have information regarding any of these individuals you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Pam Ladyman with the Chickasha Optimist Club is on our KOOL Konversation discussing the group’s upcoming Project Graduation program for soon-to-be Chickasha High school graduates. Kyle Marks, the City of Chickasha's Parks and Recreation director is this week's guest on Real Estate Today talking a lot about Lake Chickasha. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Frankie Baxter, 86, of Cement will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 29 at Laverty Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Friday, April 23rd
Fatal Crash Near Verden Under Investigation
The highway patrol is investigating a deadly crash near Verden. The accident happened about 6:30 this morning on U.S. Highway 62 one mile east of Verden. No details of the crash were available at the time of this posting. Get updates on KOOL News at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Sales Tax Revenue 'Uptick' Ends
Sales tax revenues across Grady were down slightly in March. The decline followed three straight months of increases. The county collected just over $436,000 in sales taxes last month which were paid on consumer spending in January. That was down about 7 percent from February and off more than 28 percent from the same time a year ago. How is the sales tax revenue spent? It is divided among several voter-approved projects. The Grady County Fairgrounds received just over $152,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received about $135,000; the 20 county fire districts shared $76,000 with each one collecting about $3,800; each of the seven senior nutrition centers also shared $76,000 with each one benefitting from just under $11,000; Tuttle EMS received about $14,000; and Rush Springs EMS picked up about $3,500. The City of Chickasha collected $907,000 in sales tax revenues in March. That's down more than 17 percent from February and off about 1.8 percent from March of 2020. In use tax revenues, Grady County received $71,000 and Chickasha received $77,000. Use taxes are those paid on Internet purchases.
State House Re-Districting Plan Revealed
The boundaries of three districts in the state house of representatives in the region would see some changes if a proposal by the house gets final approval. In Grady County, Chickasha would remain split between two districts - those being in District 56 which is represented by Amber's Dick Lowe, and House District 51 which is represented by Marlow's Brad Boles. The plan would move District 56 north to include part of Tuttle on the east, as well as Amber and Minco, most of northern Caddo County, and the southwest corner of Canadian County. District 51 would move out of McClain County, and include the south part of Tuttle and much of Grady County southeast of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, and about the northern 1/3rd of Stephens County. House District 65, represented by Toni Hassenbeck of Elgin, will expand to about the southern half of Caddo County to Include Anadarko, Ft. Cobb and Carnegie, and the northeastern corner of Comanche County. The proposed changes are contained in HB 1198 which will be reviewed by both the state house and senate. Officials say there is still time for public input on the plan. The map can been seen on the state house of representatives website: www.okhouse.gov
Clean Up Chickasha Campaign to Begin
Chickasha residents are being asked to be part of a city-wide clean-up campaign. It's the start of a long-term effort in which city leaders hope to Keep Chickasha Beautiful. The City of Chickasha, the Economic Development Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the city's private trash pickup contractor, Waste Connections are leading the way. The campaign will officially begin next week. Economic Development Director Jim Cowan says they want potential new businesses and visitors to have a good impression when they come to town. With the help of a grant from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, roll-off dumpsters will be placed at several locations to help residents get rid of trash and unwanted items. However, there are some items which cannot be accepted, and a list will be published on the Keep Chickasha Beautiful Facebook page, as well as on the EDC and Chamber Facebook pages. The dumpsters will be placed at Washita Valley Park, Centennial Park, Borden Park, 6th and Frisco, and at USAO at 18th and Grand Avenue. The dumpsters will be placed at those locations next Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2nd.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.43 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $65.40.
Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,785 and silver is $26.20.
Funeral service for Lea “Evelyn” Caples of Ninnekah was held at 10:30 a.m. this morning at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Thursday, April 22nd
Mom, Son Accused of Robbing Woman's Boyfriend
A Cyril woman and her 19-year old son are facing felony robbery charges. The two are accused of robbing the woman's boyfriend after he denied the woman a request for sex. The Lawton Constitution reports that 37-year old Olivia Sonnier and 19-year old Caleb Sonnier have both been charged with conjoint robbery. The paper cites a probable cause affidavit which indicates the woman and her boyfriend were at a Cyril motel when they got into an argument. The mother called her son who brought a friend and allegedly assaulted the victim then stole his cel phone, keys, and car. The victim claimed that his girlfriend was running from charges in multiple states but that has not been confirmed. In the meantime, the mother and son were arrested and are being held in the Caddo County Jail on $50,000 bond each. If convicted they could be sentenced from 5 to 50 years in prison. The other man alleged to have been involved in the attack has not been charged.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Anadarko, Chickasha
There are a number of walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Chickasha and Anadarko areas today and tomorrow. In Anadarko today, the Caddo County Health Department will have the vaccines at Riverside Indian School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is for anyone 16-and-older and youth under 18 will have to have a parent or guardian with them. They will have the first and second doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available. Tomorrow, the Caddo County Health Department will also have the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at the old National Guard Armory from 9 a.m. until noon. Walk-ins are welcome, or individuals can schedule appointments on-line at www.vaccinate.ok.gov
Also tomorrow in Chickasha, Grady Memorial Hospital will have a walk-in clinic for the Moderna vaccine from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the hospital's main entrance.
Chix Chamber Begins 'Restaurant Rush'
A new promotion to support Chickasha area restaurants is underway. It's called Restaurant Rush and encourages patrons to visit restaurants which are members of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. Restaurant Rush will feature a different restaurant every day with a special deal for that day only. Anyone can get the deal of the day, however patrons must say they are there for the Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Rush. Find out which restaurant is featured on the Chamber’s Facebook page or Instagram, or information is also posted on the Chamber's website. Restaurants that are chamber members that are not yet signed up can contact the chamber to participate. The promotion will run through the month of June.
Chix School Administrator Honored
A Chickasha Public School administrator is recognized for his work. Dan Turner has been named the Assistant Superintendent/Central Office Administrator of the Year for District 14 which includes a number of school districts throughout central and southern Oklahoma.
Freshman Preview set for Chix High School
Chickasha High School will be hosting a freshmen preview for next year's freshman class tonight. Parents and students will get tours of the high school, meet teachers and get an idea of the extra-curricular programs available. There are information programs for parents every 30 minutes, and there are free snow cones and hot dogs for students who have vouchers. The program will get started in the high school activity center about 4:30 p.m. and will run until 6 o'clock tonight.
USAO Habitat Received Grant
USAO has received another generous grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation for the university's 140-acre habitat facility. The most recent gift of $50,000 will help purchase equipment needed for research as well as connecting the habitat to the main campus IT infrastructure. Associate professor Rachel Jones who oversees the habitat says the grant is a game-changer. They will be able to expand what they are currently doing and help in its future outreach to programs for high school students and local groups interested in the environment. The habitat, called the Jean McLaughlin Outdoor Education and Research Center, is just west of Chickasha. The Kirkpatrick Foundation has now contributed a total of $75,000 towards the development of the habitat.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $65.32.
Natural gas is $2.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,789 and silver is $26.51.
A graveside service for Floyd Reedy, 84, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 24th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 21st
Hospital to Hold Walk-in COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
Grady Memorial Hospital will offer a walk-in clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations later this week. The hospital will have the first doses of the Moderna vaccine available to anyone 18-years old and older. No appointment will be necessary, but you can make an appointment by calling 405-224-2100, ext. 9. The walk-in clinic will be in the main entrance of the hospital this Friday, April 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fundraiser Set to Purchase Hospital MRI
Grady Memorial and its Foundation have announced an aggressive fundraising campaign to purchase a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI unit. The cost of the new machine is about $1.5 million and officials want to raise $500,000 a year over the next three years. A hospital press release indicates the new MRI will include a breast coil which will provide a new way to treat breast cancer and perform surgical breast biopsies. The hospital also wants to establish an endowment fund to help in recruiting the future OB-GYN physician. The foundation's annual membership drive will run the entire month of May. The foundation will also be having a Cinco de Mayo on-line auction with numerous items up for bid including vacation destinations, electronics, and sports memorabilia. The items can be viewed on-line. Individuals can set up a bidding account right now by going to: YourCharityAuction.com/gradymemorial
State Re-districting Plan Goes Up for Review
At the state capital, house and senate leaders will have a joint press conference this afternoon to show a proposed re-districting plan. Sen. Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle, who chairs the senate select committee on re-districting, will be joined by his counterpart in the house, Rep. Ryan Martinez of Edmond. State legislative and congressional district boundaries are reviewed every 10 years following the national census. The press conference will be live-streamed on the state house of representatives Facebook page starting at 1 o'clock this afternoon. Previous meetings can be viewed on the websites www.okhouse.gov and www.oksenate.gov
Another Call for Blood Donations
The Oklahoma Blood institute is again issuing a call for blood donations. OBI president Dr. John Armitage says there is a nationwide shortage of blood and donations have fallen to their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. Armitage said local blood supplies are being pushed to their limits by increased blood usage from hospitals. After battling COVID-19 for more than a year, he said they could never have expected the last few months would bring the organization's most critical need for blood. He said America is coming back to life but there is not a stable blood supply locally or nationally. For information about blood drives throughout the region go to the website: www.obi.org
CMS Willowbrook has 'Project Manager of the Year'
An employee for a Chickasha-based construction management firm is recognized at the state level for her efforts. Brenna Wells with CMS Willowbrook was named Project Manager of the Year by the Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma. The award is presented to an individual who has shown skill and creativity in bringing a complex project to completion. Wells was recognized for her work at Bixby Public Schools for 155,000 sq. ft. of new construction which included more than 50 classrooms, two gymnasiums, a library, two elevators, 10 offices, a kitchen, and a cafeteria. The Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma is a non-profit organization for construction professionals. Member contractors perform 80 percent of all commercial and industrial construction projects in the state.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.44 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $66.57.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,779 and silver is $25.91.
Tuesday, April 20th
Earthquake Shakes Dibble Area
A lot of Oklahomans in the Dibble area reported feeling an earthquake yesterday. The U.S. Geological Survey confirms the quake hit about 5:11 p.m. Monday. One service measured the earthquake at 3.5 on the Richter scale at a depth of about one mile. The epicenter of the quake was about 5 1/2 miles southwest of Dibble. The Geological Survey says generally no significant damage follows a tremor of that low magnitude. Other areas where the earthquake may have been felt include Chickasha, Alex, Blanchard, Norman and Moore.
Chix City Council Members Sworn In
Four members of the Chickasha City Council were sworn in during last night's council meeting. Brian Gerdes, Oscar Nelson, Georgianne Hebblethwaite, and Kelly Boyd all took their oaths.
Mayor Chris Mosley recognized outgoing council representatives Kimmie Loggins and Jim Hopkins.
Grayson Elected Vice Mayor;
Firm Hired to find CM Candidates
The council elected Zach Grayson as vice-mayor. Loggins had served that post for the last three years. As expected, the group hired a search firm to find candidates for the vacant city manager post. The cost of the service from Strategic Government Resources of Texas is about $25,000. The panel also heard from representatives of Waste Connections which is the city's private contractor for trash pick-up services. Officials want to change the bulk pick-up days from the first and third Fridays of the month to sometime in the middle of the week. Details will be forthcoming and officials are estimating the change may occur the first of June or July.
Water, Sewer Line Installation Project Delayed
Councilors delayed action on a bid to install water and sewer lines at the development near Grand Avenue South and Ada Sipuel Avenue. The bid from W.E.B. Construction was misplaced on the city council agenda and officials say it should have been on the Chickasha Municipal Authority agenda. A special meeting has been scheduled for Thursday evening to deal with that issue. The council also voted to waive garage sale permit fees during the weekend of May 6th, 7th, and 8th in conjunction with the Chickasha Antique Auto Clubs’ spring swap meet.
Closed Street May Re-open Soon
We have an update on anticipated repairs for a Chickasha street closed over the weekend due to a sinkhole. It’s 29th Street between U.S. Highway 62 and Frisco Avenue. Mayor Chris Mosley said officials are confident that city crews may be able to make repairs by the end of the week. Mosley said the ground underneath the street washed out but that the structure is stable. The plan is to replace the asphalt over that section of the street with concrete. Mosley said the estimated cost is expected to be about $10,000.
FNB Donates to Community Theatre
The Chickasha Community Theatre will be renovating the historic neon sign that graces the front of the building. The theatre, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was awarded a $5,000 grant from the First National Bank and Trust. Funds will be used to make needed electrical repairs to the sign and the building. Bank officials say the contribution is part of its commitment to community re-investment.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.38 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $67.05.
Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,767 and silver is $25.88.
Monday, April 19th
Chix City Council to Get Two New Members
Two new individuals will join the Chickasha City council tonight. Georgianne Hebblethwaite and Kelly Boyd will be among those who will be sworn in to serve two-year terms on the panel. Hebblethwaite ran unopposed for the Ward 2 post and will take the seat held by Kimmie Loggins. Boyd ran unopposed for the Ward 4 seat held by Jim Hopkins. Also to be taking their oaths of office will be Ward 1's Brian Gerdes and Ward 3's Oscar Nelson. The panel will also select a new vice mayor. Loggins has served in the post for the last few years.
Items Posted on the City Council Agenda
The council is expected to hire a firm to recruit candidates to interview for the vacant city manager post and approve a final payment of $71,000 to Greenbelt Turf Management for the emergency storm debris removal project. The group will also consider approving city-wide yard sales for the weekend of May 6th through 8th which is the same weekend the Chickasha Antique Auto Club will hold its annual spring Swap Meet. Typically, the city council waives garage sale permit fees for that weekend. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Portion of 29th Street Closed Due to 'Sinkhole'
A sinkhole has forced the City of Chickasha to close a portion of 29th Street indefinitely. The sinkhole was discovered early Saturday morning on the small bridge between U.S. Highway 62 and Frisco Avenue. Public Works Director David Buchanan says out of an abundance of caution they decided to close that section of the street. Buchanan said he'll be reaching out to a professional engineer to investigate the situation. The city temporarily filled the sinkhole however the street is impassable and barricaded in an attempt prevent traffic from driving over the bridge.
Turnpike Crash Sends Three to Hospital
A crash on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike sends three people to the hospital with two of them admitted with head and trunk injuries. The accident happened just after 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon near Mile Marker 73 southwest of Chickasha. The highway patrol reported that a pick-up rear-ended a car that was traveling at a reduced speed because of mechanical issues. Three people in the car were taken to an Oklahoma City hospital including the driver, 29-year old Britanika Thompson and an unidentified 16-year old boy, both of Lawton. The teen was last in fair condition and Thompson was reported in good condition. Another passenger in the car, 56-year old John Norwood of Lincoln, Nebraska, was initially air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital but was treated and released. The driver of the pickup, 35-year old James Thomas of Carl Junction, Missouri was not injured.
2nd Round of Moderna Vaccines Available to Some
A second round of coronavirus vaccines will be available today for those who received their initial Moderna shots last month. Southern Oaks Church of Christ and Anadarko Indian Health Services will offer those second shots today. Individuals who received their first doses at the church on March 22nd are asked to return today at the same time they received their vaccines last month. Individuals should also have their vaccination card with them.
Chickasha School Calendar Extended;
Freshman Class of 2025 Preview Scheduled
Students attending Chickasha Public Schools will have a couple more days of classes this year. School officials say Friday, May 21st and Monday, May 24th have been added due to the ice storm from last October and the polar vortex that affected school time in February. Graduation for the class of 2021 will still be held on Friday, May 21st. Also, next year's freshman class at Chickasha High School can take a tour of the school and meet teachers in a special event this week. Students can visit with sports teams and other extra-curricular programs and parents can attend informational meetings every 30 minutes. There will be free hamburgers, hot dogs, and snow cones for those with vouchers. The preview for the Class of 2025 will be held Thursday, April 22nd from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Students and parents will first meet at the activity center.
Masonic Lodge Honors Three for Lengthy Service
Three men with a combined 170 years of service to the Masonic Lodge were recognized for their contributions this weekend. Carey "Cabo" Wilkerson of Chickasha and the late Delbert Jump of Cyril were both honored for 60-years of service to the organization while David Richardson of Pocasset was recognized for 50-years of service. The men were recognized by Grand Master Robert Davis and Grand Marshall Ron Minshall in a ceremony at the Chickasha Masonic Lodge yesterday.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.13 per barrel.
London-based Brent is $66.77.
Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,789 and silver is $26.25.