Saturday, Feb. 26th
Fatal Crash May Have Been End Result of Murder-Suicide
Law enforcement officials say a deadly traffic accident in Chickasha this week may have been the end result of a murder-suicide. Authorities say a man killed his girlfriend in Oklahoma City then minutes later intentionally crashed his vehicle and died. KOCO-TV reports that on Thursday, Oklahoma City police were called to do a welfare check on a woman in an apartment complex near Britton and MacArthur Road. They found the body of 28-year old Jasmine Smith whose injuries were consistent with homicide. About 15 minutes later Smith’s boyfriend, 29-year old Christopher Smith, died after driving his Jeep off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Chickasha where he hit the end of a guard rail and died. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says witnesses stated that Johnson intentionally ran off the road and crashed.
More on 'Darko City Manager's New USDA Appointment
We have more information today about Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn's new job. Corn has been appointed to serve as the new State Director of Rural Development for the USDA. Corn said with the work he has done in Anadarko over the last seven years he knows first-hand what rural communities are facing as far as their infra-structure needs. He was able to renew partnerships with federal, state, and tribal governments to generate more than $2 million in grants which helped to upgrade Andarko's water and sewer systems. Corn was appointed to the post by President Joe Biden and tells how the appointment came about.
Corn's last day on the job in Anadarko is March 13th and he'll begin his new job in Stillwater March 14th. Corn said he would assist the Anadarko City Council as the group transitions to a new city manager.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe Formally Announces Retirement
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe formally announced his retirement plans yesterday. Reports than Inhofe was leaving his long-time post surfaced on Thursday. Inhofe served nearly 50 years in politics, first running for Congress in 1987 then for the U.S. Senate in 1994. He also served 10 years in the Oklahoma State legislature. 4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole praised Inhofe’s work saying that no one has done more to defend America, build infra-structure, and fiercely defend and advance the interests of Oklahoma. Inhofe's retirement is effective at the end of the year. HIs post will be filled in a special election set for the November mid-terms. Among the possible Republican candidates are current state house speaker Charles McCall, former house speaker T.W. Shannon, and Oklahoma Congressmen Kevin Hern and MarkWayne Mullin. Possible Democratic candidates include former Congresswoman Kendra Horn and former Congressman Dan Boren.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Paul Frable with the Holy City of the Wichitas is our guest on the KOOL Konversation. Erin Glass with the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board is on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, Feb. 25th
Driver Dies in Fatal Turnpike Crash
The highway patrol is investigating a deadly crash that happened on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Chickasha yesterday. 29-year old Christopher Johnson of Oklahoma City died when his Jeep ran off the interstate and crashed into the end of a guardrail. The accident happened just after 3:00 p.m. Thursday near mile marker 80 in the westbound lanes of the highway. The turnpike was wet from the recent winter storm. The trooper dispatched to the accident reported that Johnson was not wearing his seat belt.
Anadarko City Manager Leaving to Take USDA Post
Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn is moving on. Corn has been named the USDA State Director for Rural Development. Corn has spent the last seven years at Anadarko. He previously spent 12 years at the state capital serving in both the house and senate. Prior to that Corn worked in the oil and gas industry. Corn said his time in Anadarko has been special as he learned about the history and the culture of the region. Corn was appointed to the USDA post by President Joe Biden. He's expected to be sworn in March 14th.
Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe to Announce Resignation
There are numerous reports indicating that Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe will be stepping down. An announcement is expected next week that he will wrap up a long political career at the end of the current congressional session which is in December. Inhofe is 87 years old and was first elected to the senate in 1994. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and also served in both houses of the Oklahoma state legislature and served as the mayor of Tulsa. Currently, Inhofe is the ranking Republican on the Senate's armed services committee and previously was the committee chairman. It is expected the seat will be filled in the November mid-term election. Inhofe is endorsing his chief of staff Luke Holland to replace him.
Preparations for Longtime Easter Pageant Underway
The Holy City of the Wichitas is already preparing for its annual Easter Pageant. Practice sessions started last week however officials say there are still a lot of roles to be filled. Paul Frable is the president of the board of directors for the non-profit group.
This will be the 97th year for the pageant which is held at the Holy City near the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. There will be two performances which will be the Saturday before Palm Sunday, April 9th and the Saturday before Easter, April 16th at 8:30 p.m. both evenings. For information visit the Holy City of the Wichitas Facebook page.
Sheriff's Office Updates Wanted 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.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $92.81 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $99.08.
Natural gas is $4.56 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,913 and silver is $24.33.
Ella Mae Brownlee-Cook
Funeral service for Ella Mae Brownlee-Smith, 74, of Lawton will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 28th at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Thursday, Feb. 24th
Winter Weather Update
Oklahoma's winter weather is easing a bit this morning. The forecast is for a minimal amount of freezing drizzle, snow, and sleet through mid-morning and partly sunny skies this afternoon with highs in the upper-20s. However, roads continue to be slick and hazardous. About an inch of sleet was recorded throughout much of the area Wednesday forcing many schools to go to virtual learning or canceling classes all together. Many government offices were closed and will be closed again today. They include the Grady County Courthouse; the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center; Waste Connections will not be picking up trash in Chickasha; and Anadarko City Hall is closed. The Southern Oaks Church of Christ Food Room will be closed tonight and the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Southwest District meeting in Lawton tonight has been postponed.
Very Few Power Outages Reported
There were minimal power outages in the region as a result of yesterday's winter weather. Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and electric co-ops combined to report less than 50 outages in the Grady, McClain, and Caddo county areas. PSO issued a statement saying there were nearly 1,000 line workers, tree crews, and support staff ready to respond which included out-of-state line workers from Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia joining PSO crews mainly in southeast Oklahoma.
Reports Shows Chickasha's Economic 'Health'
A recent report shows the City of Chickasha's sales tax revenues were down from month-to-month totals. The report compiled by the Chickasha Economic Development Council (EDC) indicated that the February sales tax distribution from the Oklahoma Tax Commission shows the number down about 4.9 percent from January to just over $1.1 million. Officials say it important to note that the January number was believed to be the biggest month ever for sales tax revenues. Hotel-motel tax collections were down 16 percent from October to November to just over $50,000. The EDC report also showed the city's unemployment rate dropped from 1.7 percent in November to 1.6 percent in December citing numbers from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The report also indicated that the city’s Community Development Office issued nine building permits in January including six for commercial projects – two for new construction and four for remodeling. There were three residential building permits issued - one for a new home and two for re-modeling projects.
Governor Appoints New USAO Regent
Gov. Kevin Stitt has appointed a new member to the Board of Regents for USAO. J.J. Francais, the mayor of Elgin and an assistant vice president for Hillary Communications was recently named to the panel. The appointment requires confirmation of the state senate. Francais is a graduate of the university and credits a chance meeting with the late Ingrid Shafer at USAO for changing the trajectory of his life and inspiring him to serve as a regent. Francais’ term will begin July 1st and run for seven years through June of 2029.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $92.10 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $96.84.
Natural gas is $4.62 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,973 and silver is $25.54.
Funeral service for Walter Bailey, 89, of Ninnekah. Funeral service will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 26th at McRay Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Feb. 23rd
Round One of Winter Storm Arrives
Moderate to heavy bands of sleet are making their way through central Oklahoma this morning as a winter storm is just getting started. Much of central Oklahoma, including Grady County, is under a winter storm warning for about the next 36 hours. The National Weather Service says parts of the region could see ½-inch to 1 ½-inches of sleet and snow accumulation by noon making travel virtually impossible. Another round of precipitation is expected tomorrow morning. Many schools are closed or are having remote-learning classes today. Closings include the Grady and Caddo County Courthouses. Waste Connections is delaying trash pic-up in Chickasha; and the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center will be closed both today and tomorrow. The winter storm warning is in effect until 6:00 p.m. Thursday. In addition, a wind-chill advisory is effect for central Oklahoma until 10 o'clock this morning. Dangerous wind chills to ten-below zero are likely. Temperatures are not expected to get above freezing until Saturday afternoon.
Marijuana Grow Houses Targeted in Statewide Raid
More than 200 state, federal, and local law enforcement officials raided nine marijuana-growing operations across the state yesterday and had arrest warrants for more than a dozen individuals. Two grow operations were targeted in Grady County. Mark Woodward with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said they were targeting criminal organizations that transport black market marijuana nationwide. Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess said local officials met before dawn Tuesday to discuss the raids which occurred simultaneously about 8 a.m. The sites were Forest Lake Farms near U.S. Highway 81 south of Pocasset and Space Queen Farms just east of Chickasha near Cottonwood Road and Union Hill. Boggess talks about what they found.
Boggess said they did make arrests at each location. Overall, state drug agents said they collected about 100,000 plants and thousands of pounds of bulk, processed marijuana that had a street value of about $500 million.
Rural Broadband Service Bill Filed at State Capital
A bill has been introduced at the state capital designed to enhance the development of broadband service to rural Oklahoma. HB 3363 calls for broadband service to be in place for 95 percent of the state within five years. The bill would create an Oklahoma Broadband Office which would distribute all funding available for broadband expansion. House Speaker Charles McCall said the office would be self-funded and exist only until the job is done and would end in 2028 if it becomes law. The bill is expected to get a hearing in the State House of Representatives this week.
State Treasurer Candidate's Visit Postponed
An announced candidate for state treasurer has postponed a meeting that was to be held in Chickasha today. A meet-and-greet with Clark Jolley was supposed to held at the Chamber of Commerce but it has been delayed because of the weather. No make-up date has been announced.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $92.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $94.84.
Natural gas is $4.49 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,895 and silver is $24.15.
Ella May Brownlee-Cook
A funeral service for Ella May Brownee-Cook, 74, is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Feb. 22nd
Another Winter Storm Headed to Oklahoma
Oklahomans are bracing for the arrival of another winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for much of central Oklahoma for a 36-hour period - from 6 o'clock Wednesday morning through 6 o'clock Thursday evening. The advisory area includes Grady, Caddo, and Canadian counties. Arctic air made its way through much of the Sooner State overnight after a round of rain and thunderstorms moved through the region.
Travel to be Hazardous; Dangerous Wind Chill Values Expected
The weather service is expecting a wintry mix of mostly sleet and snow and perhaps up to an inch of accumulation. A light glaze of ice could also cause dangerous driving conditions and officials say motorists should plan on slippery roads during morning and evening commutes tomorrow. In addition, a wind chill advisory for the region has been issued for Wednesday morning from 1:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for life-threatening wind-chill values as low as five-below zero.
Burn Ban Re-Instated in Grady County
Grady County Commissioners have re-instated a burn ban. The panel lifted the ban a couple of weeks ago but voted to put it back in place today. The burn ban is for two weeks and will be in effect through Tuesday, March 8th. Burn bans are also in effect for Caddo, Comanche, Stephens, Garvin, McClain and Canadian counties.
Four Men Honored for Helping Chix Police Department
Four individuals were recognized for volunteering their time to help the Chickasha Police Department. Wade McKnight, Doug Doan, Alex Warnes, and David Boiles spent a day going to Kansas City, Missouri recently to get five Dodge Durangos the city purchased from the Kansas Highway Patrol. Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music honored the men during last night's city council meeting.
Boiles actually made two trips to Kansas City.
SUV's to get Police Package Upgrade
The council also approved a sole-source bid of up to $50,000 to upgrade the newly acquired SUVs with police packages from Metro Emergency Upfitters. The panel also accepted a grant from the Chickasaw Nation which was awarded to the police department. Mayor Chris Mosley said th3 grant was nearly twice the amount that was originally proposed. Police Chief Dee Rowell said the donation was not connected to installing the police packages in the previously mentioned SUVs.
Airport 'Land Transfer' Approved
The council also approved the transfer of 240 acres next to the Chickasha airport from the Chickasha Industrial Authority to the Chickasha Airport Authority. It was a paper transfer among city boards with no money being exchanged. The transfer was recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials say the move could help to bring some aviation-related businesses to the airport.
Driver Hospitalized in Pick-up Rollover
A driver had to be air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after crashing her pick-up. 35-year old Erin Davis of Marlow was admitted in fair condition. The accident occurred just after 9:00 p.m. Monday on State Highway 29 about six miles east of Bray. The highway patrol reports that it wasn’t clear why Davis ran off the road. The vehicle overturned an unknown number times and came to rest on its wheels. Davis was wearing her seat belt.
Semi Overturns in Caddo County
A semi rollover in Caddo County blocked traffic on a state highway for about an hour yesterday. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that accident occurred at State Highway 152 and CS 2520 - that's about three miles east of Eakly - about 4:45 p.m. Monday. The trooper investigating the crash said there were no injuries. It wasn't clear what caused the big rig to overturn.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.07 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.54.
Natural gas is $4.43 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,897 and silver is $24.30.
Lenford Don ‘Buster’ Austin, Jr.
A graveside service for 68-year old ‘Buster’ Austin of the Bridge Creek area was held earlier today at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Monday, Feb. 21st
Chix Police Department Upgrades Fleet
The Chickasha City Council recently approved the purchase of some newer vehicles for the police department. Tonight, the council is expected to approve a payment of nearly $90,000 to the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) for three used Dodge Durangos bringing the total number of vehicles purchased from the KHP to five. The panel is also expected to approve the receipt of a $50,000 grant from the Chickasaw Nation to the police department. Most of that money is expected to be used to 'up-fit' all five of those vehicles. The council will consider waiving the competitive bidding process for that work to a sole-source vendor, Metro Emergency Upfitters which is on a state contract.
Airport Industrial Park 'Ownership' to Transfer to Another City Board
The council will consider a proposal to accept the transfer of 240 acres adjacent to the Chickasha Airport from the city's Industrial Authority to its Airport Authority. The Industrial Authority recently gave its approval to transfer the property at no cost. The acreage is just west of the airport and was partially developed several years ago for a proposed industrial park. The council is also to authorize the city manager to solicit requests for proposals from qualified consulting firms to develop that park.
Citizen Commendations Are Among Other City Council Considerations
Four Chickasha residents will receive citizen commendation awards from the city council. David Boiles, Alex Warnes, Doug Doan and Wade McKnight will all be recognized. The panel is also expected to approve city-wide yard sales for the weekend of May 12th through the 14th which is during the Chickasha Antique Auto Club's Spring Swap meet. Garage sale permit fees would be waived that weekend if it is approved. The council is also expected to approve holding the annual Relay for Life fundraiser on Saturday, June 4th in the downtown area.
Dr. Ada Sipuel-Fisher's Work Recognized as part of Black History Month
One of the early champions of the civil rights movement in America was Chickasha's own Dr. Ada Sipuel-Fisher. She was the first black student to be accepted in the OU Law School though it took several years for that to happen. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled in her favor. As part of Black History Month Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Lincoln School Principal and city councilman, says Dr. Fisher paved the way for black students to attend OU regardless of their studies.
Coincidentally, Dr. Fisher’s birthday is this month. She was born in Chickasha on February 8th, 1925. She was 71 when she passed away in October of 1995.
State Senator Honored for Support of Ag and History
A state senator who represents Caddo County is being recognized for his support of agriculture and history at the state capital. Senator Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher) was named a legislative champion by the American Farmers and Ranchers. He was also named the state senate champion by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Jech will also be receiving the Guardian of History Award from the Oklahoma Historical Society. Agriculture officials say Jech has helped to make sure a number of agriculture projects were funded. The state history group selected Jech for its honor for his impact on helping the group collect, preserve, and share Oklahoma history.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.07 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $93.54.
Natural gas is $4.43 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,899 and silver is $23.87.