Mollman Media News Archives for 2022-03

2022, March 21st-26th

Saturday, March 26th

 

More Fallout from Volunteer Firefighters Dispute

The resignations of four more Grady County Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were accepted by the Grady County Fire Board during a special meeting last night. The meeting was held after Perry Wenzel was dismissed as Chief of the Grady County Fire Department in a fire board meeting last month, a move which is being protested by a number of Wenzel supporters. Wenzel told KWTV News 9 that the board did not tell him why he was fired. Here's are some of Perry's comments with a TV reporter-

 

             

 

Fire board president Story Duffle issued a prepared statement saying Wenzel did know why he was being fired-

 

              

 

Duffle said many of the firefighters resigned because they missed too many meetings. She said all were contacted and asked if they still wanted to serve and only one of 18 firefighters responded. Residents are concerned about the lack of fire protection due to the resignations but Duffle said neighboring departments will be able to respond. The fire board accepted the resignations of Farwell station chief Jeffrey Blankenship and fellow firefighters Tony Ledrick, Justin Wenzel, and David Lara. The panel also appointed Grady County Assistant Fire Chief Rodney Gregory to serve as interim fire chief until further notice.

 

Chix Water Line Repair About A Month Away

Chickasha officials are hoping the purchase of some large coupling rings can repair a leak in the city's water supply line from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir. The city council approved the purchase of four of the adapter rings at a total cost of about $10,000 during a special meeting this week. Those adaptors have to be custom-made as the fractured water line is slightly larger in diameter than current standard sized lines. The rings are about two feet in diameter and just 8- to 12-inches long. It will take as long as three weeks for the couplers to be made by Central Oklahoma Winnelson of Oklahoma City. Once they are delivered it will take one or two days to make repairs at the site of the leak which is near a holding pond north of Anadarko. The water line will have to be shut down during repairs but city officials the water supply should not be interrupted as there are retention ponds and towers which hold enough water to supply the city for about two weeks.

 

One Hurt After Vehicle Crashes in Ravine

At least one person was injured when a vehicle crashed through a bridge and plummeted into a ravine. The accident happened west of Minco on State Highway 152 about 3 o'clock this morning near the Grady and Caddo county line. The roadway was blocked for about an hour and half as wrecker crews recovered the vehicle. No details about the crash were available and there's no word on how serious the injuries of the person or persons involved were.

 

Child Porn Suspect Jailed

Now a KOOL News follow-up to a story we told you about yesterday regarding a Cyril man wanted for manufacturing child porn. 51-year old Charles Phillip Gelpi was arrested by Chickasha police last night. Gelpi was booked into the Grady County Jail about 7:30. Gelpi was wanted out of Comanche County for secretly recording videos of a teenage girl in May of 2021. Details on how and where authorities found Gelpi weren't available.

 

Alleged Drug Trafficker Arrested After Traffic Stop 

A Caddo County traffic stop leads to the arrest of a man on drug complaints - who was also wanted on numerous felony warrants out of Lawton. 51-year old Jovon Allen Tolliver of Lawton was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a partially covered tag in southern Caddo County this week. The Lawton Constitution cites court documents which say Tolliver was found with more than 65 grams of cocaine. Tolliver is now facing a drug trafficking charge in Caddo County where he remains in jail on a $250,000 bond. He's facing eight drug-related charges out of Comanche County. The driver of the car was given a warning about the tag and was not arrested.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. On the KOOL Konversation are the two candidates running for the Ward One Chickasha City Council seat in the upcoming city council election. On Real Estate Today is Larry Weatherford from the U.S. Small Business Administration office in Oklahoma City. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

Friday, March 25th

 

Amber Road Repair Project Has Been on Hold 6 Years

The waiting continues for Amber Mayor Craig Parham and county commissioners regarding a proposed road-improvement project. Parham asked commissioners this week for an update on plans to repair County Road 1280 which is known as the Amber Road that runs from Amber west to U.S. Highway 81. The road and two bridges along the four-mile stretch are in bad condition. Parham is especially worried because it’s a school bus route and says an accident could happen at any time. The project was first proposed in 2016 when the estimated cost for repairs was about $4 million. Officials now believe the estimated cost would be more than twice that at $9 million. The project is included on road and bridge projects in a nine-county region which are all waiting for state funding. Commissioner Kirk Painter said the project is currently third on that list and they may have to do the work in phases. Painter said all the right-of-way has been acquired to re-locate utilities and is hopeful that some work could begin next year.

 

Cyril Man Sought for Allegedly Making Child Porn

Authorities are seeking a Caddo County man who is alleged to have secretly recorded video of a nude teenager. An arrest warrant was issued this week for 51-year old Phillip Charles Gelpi, Sr. of Cyril who is wanted for manufacturing child pornography. The warrant was issued out of Comanche County as the alleged act took place at a home there. The Lawton Constitution reports that authorities were notified by the 16-year old girl's mother about the allegations in May of last year. The OSBI was called in to help with the investigation. Authorities found three videos of the girl changing clothes in her bedroom and in the bathroom. The maximum sentence for a conviction is 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

 

Festival of Light is Top Event in Chickasaw Country, Again

Chickasha's Festival of Light (FOL) has again been voted as the Best Festival in Chickasaw Country. It's the second straight year FOL has been awarded the honor in a survey put together by The Chickasaw Nation. The Festival received 42 percent of the 25,000 votes cast - more than twice the number of the runner-up event which was the Okie Noodling Festival in Pauls Valley.

 

Rural Broadband Act OK'd in State House

A proposal to get broadband service into much of rural Oklahoma has passed a hurdle at the state capital. House Bill 3363 known as The Rural Broadband Act was passed out of the State House of Representatives this week. If approved the act would create a state office which would distribute all funding available for broadband expansion. The proposal calls for 95 percent of Oklahoma to have broadband (Internet) access within five years. The measure will now be considered in the state senate.

 

Plan Would Freeze Property Taxes for Senior Citizens

Also at the state capital there is an effort to help senior citizens save money on their property taxes. The house of representatives passed a joint resolution that would freeze the assessed value of homes for property owners 65 and older. The plan is now eligible to be heard by the senate. If approved the measure would be put on a statewide ballot.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $112.34 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $119.03.

Natural gas is $5.40 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,962 and silver is $25.90.

 

Thursday, March 24th

 

Leak in Chickasha's Water Supply Line  a Concern at City Hall

A leak in the raw water line that brings water from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir to Chickasha has Chickasha officials concerned. The leak is by the holding pond in Anadarko and officials with the public works department say its flooding farm land leased to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They say the extent of the damage is unknown and they are hesitant to dig it up without the proper parts on-site as it could result in a complete interruption of bringing water to the city. The issue is one of several to be discussed by the city council in a special meeting tonight. Officials are recommending that the council waive bidding requirements in order to purchase about $10,000 in materials that may be needed to make repairs.

FOP Contract, Computer Equipment, Air Show also to be Discussed

The council will also go behind closed doors to get an update on negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 regarding its contract for the current fiscal year. Also to be discussed is waiving the bidding process to purchase computer equipment from Dell Computers using the state contract, and approving an agreement with Curt Richmond Air Shows for just over $4,000 for the air show that will take place at the airport in June. The meeting will get underway at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Commissioners Schedule Emergency Meeting on Burn Ban

Grady County Commissioners will hold an emergency meeting this afternoon to re-affirm the continuation of the county's burn ban. At their regular meeting earlier this week commissioners extended the burn ban through next Monday. At the time, the panel did approve a  provision that allows farmers to hold prescribed burns so they can comply with USDA programs they are participating in. The Grady County Fire Department reported that numerous volunteer departments were in the field for more than 14 hours last Sunday battling wildfires throughout the region. The emergency meeting will be at 2:30 today at the commissioner's office in the county courthouse.

 

FNB Joins Donors Paying to Build New Downtown Chix Park

The effort to create a new park in downtown Chickasha gets a financial boost. The First National Bank and Trust has kicked in $25,000 to go toward the construction of the proposed park south of the Rock Island Railroad Depot downtown. The park will be developed in a partnership between the Chickasha Community Foundation and USAO. It is being launched with a $1.5 million investment for the first phase of construction which is expected to start soon and plans are to have the first phase completed by the time the Festival of Light opens in November. Officials say all the money needed pay for the construction is coming from private donations.

 

Darko Lifts Boil Order; Issues Traffic Advisory

A voluntary boil order issued in Anadarko this week has been lifted. City officials were recommending that residents boil their tap water after repairs were made to a water distribution line last weekend. The announcement was posted on the City of Anadarko's Facebook page. City officials also are letting the public know that traffic on State Highway 9 west of Anadarko will be down to one lane starting Monday March 28th. ODOT crews will be doing some work on the highway from the west edge of Anadarko to the Apache Y and urge motorists to use caution for the duration of the project.

 

Grady County Veterans Council is Being Formed

A number of area groups that support military veterans will be expanding their efforts. Grady County Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the American Legion are forming a Grady County Veterans Council. Tommy Hammons is the adjutant for DAV Chapter 17 and is also active the other veterans groups-

 

              

 

Howell said they are working with the Comanche County Veterans Council and the state council to kick-off the local group which will assist veterans and their dependents. An organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night (Friday, March 25th) at the Canadian Valley Technology Center. They'll have free pizza for all attending.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $114.93.

London-based Brent is $121.60.

Natural gas is $5.23 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,947 and silver is $25.25.

 

Obituaries

Linda Carpenter

Funeral service for Linda Carpenter, 78, of Oklahoma City and formerly of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. March 28th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

Wanda Asper-McMahan

Funeral service Wanda Asper-McMahan, 98, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 28th at McRay Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, March 23rd

 

Ninnekah School Board Begins Superintendent Interviews

A new superintendent could be named at Ninnekah Public Schools within the next few weeks. The school board is beginning interviews with some of the candidates who applied for the post. Interim Superintendent Robyn Morse issued a prepared statement saying that the school board is pleased with the applications that were received and feels confident that they will find a great fit for the district. The board selected a small number of finalists who met the profile that district stakeholders and the school board established in focus groups and an on-line survey. Morse said a new superintendent could be named during the April 14th school board meeting. A new superintendent is being sought after previous superintendent Todd Bunch resigned following the sexual assault scandal that rocked the district.

 

Chix Schools Set Meeting for Johnson O'Malley Program

(EDITOR'S NOTE - This story was revised from the original which aired on the morning news. That version contained some erroneous information that did not pertain to this meeting. We apologize for the error)

The Native American education program at Chickasha Public Schools will hold a public hearing regarding its Title VI Indian Education plan. The Johnson O’Malley (JOM) organization will conduct an on-line session to review and get input on the Title VI plan. The on-line session is being held in order to maximize community input. The meeting will also include discussion on the Title VI grant process and voting for the grant budget approval. Those interested in being part of the on-line meeting should contact the administration office for information on how to access the meeting or see the announcement on the Chickasha school’s Facebook page.

 

Chickasha City Council Election Set

Chickasha voters will elect a new Ward One city councilman in a couple of weeks. Kea Ginn and David Lucas are running for the seat currently held by David Sikes who did not run for re-election. Ginn is a health care professional and is a Chickasha native who holds a master's degree in Business administration. Lucas is a retired plumber who has lived in Chickasha for the last six years. He says he is a Christian conservative Republican who hates government waste. The city council election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th.

 

Benefit Breakfast Scheduled for Fallen Firefighter

Firefighters throughout the region are banding together to support the family of a fallen comrade. A benefit breakfast will be held this Saturday for the family of April Partridge. She died while fighting a  wildfire near Lake Ellsworth on Sunday. Bobby Claborn is the chief at the Apache Volunteer Fire Department. He says he's getting assistance from volunteer departments including Cement, Cyril, and New Hope.

 

              

 

The breakfast will include pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, and orange juice. The breakfast is by donation with all proceeds going to Partridge's family and the Masonic Lodge in Apache will match all contributions. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Apache Warrior Event Center at the high school and Claborn says they hope to serve 400 or more and they will continue serving after 11 o’clock if needed.  

 

Paw Paw's Hamburgers Re-opens

A long-time Chickasha restaurant that has been closed the last couple of years has re-opened. Paw-Paw's Hamburgers served its first customers in two years yesterday. It's a third generation family business that was started in 1968 by Wayne and Juanita Payne. Their son Rex ran the restaurant for about 30 years and then Rex's nephew, Dustin took over. Dustin died unexpectedly in the fall of 2019 and his wife, Alicia took over. She said she had to close the restaurant to raise her children and then the pandemic hit. Paw Paw’s is still in its same location at 1028 South 4th Street.

 

Grady County Cattle Producers to Hold Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Grady County Cattle Producers Association is coming up. The group will get an overview of the previous year and hear the results of the steer carcass contest that started last fall. Jake Grossnicklaus is hoping for a turnout of about 200 people. The meeting will be Friday, April 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Annual membership is $50 per family. Individuals who would like to attend are asked to RSVP by April 7th by contacting the Grady County OSU Extension Office.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $111.76 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $115.48.

Natural gas is $5.19 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,935 and silver is $25.23

 

Obituary

Willie Johnson, Jr.

A memorial service for Willie Johnson, Jr., 75, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 28th at the First Baptist Church at 1st and Dakota Avenue. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, March 22nd

 

Some Fire Crews Angry at Fire Board, County Commssioners

Volunteer firefighters from at least one rural Grady County station are angry over recent actions taken by the county fire board and county commissioners. Reports are that a number of members from the Farwell Fire Department have either been dismissed or left on their own. One of the reasons they aren't happy is the recent dismissal of long-time Grady County Fire Chief Perry Wenzel who was relieved of his duties last month. Then yesterday, county commissioners removed Farwell fire fighter Tom Clements from his post on the fire board. District 2 Commissioner Kirk Painter alleged that Clements violated the state's Open Meetings Act in a recent fire board meeting. Clements was present at yesterday's county commissioner's gathering and said that Painter had no proof of such a violation. Stormy Duffle with the fire board said that the complaints are coming from three or four disgruntled firefighters out of about 130 volunteers throughout the county. Painter called for a state audit of the County Fire Department and all 12 of the county's volunteer departments. Commissioners tabled a decision on calling for the audit saying they were to meet with officials from the state auditor's office in the next couple of weeks on a separate issue.

 

Grady County Burn Ban Extended; Prescribed Burns OK'd

Grady County commissioners approved a one-week extension of the county-wide burn ban. There was a revision approved which will allow farm operators to conduct prescribed burns. Producers who take part in USDA programs are supposed to conduct prescribed burns in order to be eligible for agency programs. However, they must follow certain guidelines from the state forestry division. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said among the guidelines are notifying neighboring property owners, local fire departments, the sheriff's office, and the county barn in their district.

 

Firefighter Killed While Battling Wildfire Identified

Officials have identified the firefighter who died while battling a wildland fire near Lake Ellsworth over the weekend. 55-year old April Partridge was a volunteer for the Edgewater Park Fire Department. Reports indicate that Partridge became separated from her truck while fighting the flames. The Lawton Constitution reports that she is the first female firefighter to die in the line of duty in Comanche County. Her death is being investigated by the State Medical Examiner's Office. Officials say there is no evidence that the fire was set intentionally but the State Fire Marshall's Office is working to determine how it started.

 

Suspect Arrested in Alledged Verden Kidnapping Case

A Verden man is facing kidnapping and weapons charges following his arrest this past weekend. 31-year old Stephen Lee Martin was taken into custody by Verden police after authorities were called to investigate a domestic disturbance at a home. However the officer was notified that no one was at the home when the call came in. The officer had knowledge of the individuals and said he would be on the lookout for them. About 4 a.m. Sunday the officer spotted Martin and the victim driving back into town in a pickup and pulled them over. The victim told police that Martin kidnapped her at gunpoint and threatened to kill her so Martin was taken into custody. Martin has been charged with four felonies along with a misdemeanor for domestic abuse. He remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.

 

Area Youth Show Some Top Animals at OYE

A number of regional youth had some of the top animals shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) last week. Sadie Winn of Newcastle had the grand champion market steer with her crossbred which brought $102,000 in the sale.  Also in the market steer show, Ladd Turner of Amber-Pocasset had the reserve-grand market steer which brought $51,000. Ladd also had the reserve-breed champion Limousin and Madilyn Norvell also of Amber-Pocasset had the breed champion Charolais. In the market lamb show, Kobi Scoggins of Tuttle had the breed champion Shropshire. In the market goat show, Kolton Kohler of Alex had the reserve-breed champion in Division Four. Overall, the OYE Sale of Champions brought in a record $1.5 million.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $112.12 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $115.62.

Natural gas is $4.90 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,932 and silver is $25.26.

 

Monday, March 21st

 

One Firefighter Dead, Two Hurt Battling Fires

Dozens of firefighters were dispatched to battle numerous wildfires which erupted from Sunday's high winds. One fire fighter died and two others were injured battling flames in Comanche County where a mandatory evacuation was ordered. The name of the firefighter who died was not available. Another fire was south of Apache near the Caddo and Comanche county line. Fires also sprang up in the Alex and Lindsay areas and some homes were damaged in Lindsay. Other fires erupted east of Blanchard and east of Tuttle. The Tuttle Fire Department called in help from the Oklahoma City to help put down those flames.

 

Audit May Be Called to Look Into Volunteer Fire Departments

A proposal to audit the Grady County Fire Department and all 12 of the county’s volunteer departments will be considered by Grady County Commissioners in their weekly meeting this morning. The panel will also consider removing Tom Clements from the Grady County Fire Board as the Falwell department’s representative. The panel is also to consider awarding a bid for the removal of asbestos from the Chickasha Senior Nutrition Center.

 

Anadarko Residents Encouraged to Boil Water

Anadarko residents are being urged to boil the water they drink out the tap and use for cooking. A voluntary boil order was issued by the city yesterday. The boil order published on the City of Anadarko’s Facebook page is being recommended after work crews repaired a broken water line at 7th and Kansas over the weekend. It's not clear how long the voluntary boil order will be in effect.

 

Chix Firefighters Get Training at Tinker

Chickasha firefighters spent some time with the Tinker Fire Department last week. Crews trained on a piece of equipment called a 'flashover simulator’. The training is with live fire. A post on the City of Chickasha's Facebook page says the training is vital for city firefighters to become better at what they do. Other members of the fire department will take part in the training over the next few months. The social media post included a thank you message to those who donated to make the training possible.

 

Groups Combine Efforts to Help Fight Poverty

A couple of non-profit organizations and a business group are joining efforts to help residents affected by poverty. The Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo Counties and the Resurrection House are uniting with the Chickasha Economic Development Council (EDC) to form what will be called the Chickasha Community Alliance Committee. The new group was announced in a recent media column form EDC president Jim Cowan. He says the three agencies are inviting all organizations that work with people dealing with poverty to see how they can all assist each other. Lts. Bobby and Crystal McFarland with the Salvation Army and Zack Bowles from the Resurrection House will co-chair the committee. The first meeting of the new committee will be held next Wednesday, March 30th at 2 p.m. at the Economic Development Council office inside the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce. For information contact Cowan by calling 405-224-0787.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $104.72 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $107.93.

Natural gas is $4.86 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,933 and silver is $25.20.

2022, March 7th-12th

Saturday, March 12th

 

Part of Caddo County Cold Case Solved;

Investigators Now Seek Info on Killer

Human remains found in Caddo County more than 25 years ago have finally been identified. Now investigators are now hoping someone has information on who may have killed 20-year old Katrina Bentivegna. Her body was found partially buried near Route 66 and Highway 281 in April of 1995. Officials with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said DNA taken from the remains was matched to her relatives. Authorities initially had trouble identifying the remains as Bentivegna's body was dismembered. She lived in Midwest City at the time but was originally from Colorado. She came to Oklahoma less than two years before her disappearance. It wasn't clear how she was murdered. Officials are asking anyone who may have information to contact the OSBI anonymously. Information can be e-mailed to: tips@osbi.ok.gov

 

Production Reports Out on Regional Oil and Gas Wells

We have production numbers on some oil and gas wells in the region. The website OK Energy Today reports that Gulfport Midcon has two Grady County wells with very good numbers. They are the Hale wells east of Rush Springs in Section One of Township 3 North and Range 6 West. The wells were producing nearly 1,900 barrels of oil and more than 45,000 Mcf of natural gas daily from a depth of nearly 26,000 feet. The wells had spud dates of May of 2020. In Canadian County north of Tuttle along the Canadian River, Citizen Energy filed a report on two McNeff wells on a single pad. They were producing more than 600 barrels of oil and nearly 3,000 Mcf of natural gas per day from a depth of 19,000 feet. They had a spud date of September of last year. In Canadian County, Cimarex Energy filed a report on the Carel well west of Union City. That was bringing in nearly 800 barrels of oil and 5,000 Mcf of natural gas per day from a depth of more than 21,000 feet.

 

Anadarko City Manager Bids Farewell

Anadarko residents bade a fond farewell to their city manager last night. A going-away reception was held for Kenneth Corn who spent the last seven years at the post. Corn is leaving to serve as the state director of rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Corn posted a nearly four-minute farewell address on the City of Anadarko’s Facebook page. Among his comments-

 

              

 

Corn said the city made a lot of upgrades on water and sewer lines and the city's electric grid during his time and that more improvements are on the horizon for the new city manager to follow up on. Corn thanked all the city employees for their dedication and said residents should be proud of what they do for their community.

 

'Spring Forward' With Time Change

The State of Oklahoma and most others across the country return to standard time tonight. Analog clocks and watches should be set forward one hour before you go to bed tonight (Remember the adage – Spring Forward, Fall Back). It means most of us will lose an hour of sleep. For those who work the graveyard shift it's one less hour you have to work. Computers, tablets, cell phones, and many digital appliances automatically change time.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Antwone Robinson and Taylor Smith with the Department of Human Services Foster Care program are on the KOOL Konversation. The guests on Real Estate Today are Joel Kintsel with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Tommy Howell with several local veterans organizations. Find links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Barbara Sanders

A private graveside service will be held at Fairlawn Cemetery for Barbara Sanders, 79, of Duncan and formerly of Chickasha. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Friday, March 11th

 

Man Facing Drug Charges in Grady County

Has Arrest Warrant for Murder out of Stephens County

A Chickasha man facing drug trafficking charges in Grady County is wanted for murder out of Stephens County. 50-year old Mark Lamar James Richardson was arrested by state drug agents and Grady County sheriff's deputies last October. It's alleged he sold opioids laced with fentanyl to 31-year old Joshua Edgar of Duncan who died after taking drugs he purchased from Richardson. Yesterday, Stephens County authorities issued a warrant for Richardson's arrest in connection with Edgar's death. Richardson has been in the Grady County Jail since his arrest last fall and has a preliminary hearing conference next month on the Grady County charges.

 

Unwanted Wild Animals Find Home in Anadarko Park

The City of Anadarko is battling issues with feral hogs and black vultures. Officials are warning residents that wild hogs have invaded Randlett Park for the second time in the last year. The city's Facebook page indicates that officials have contacted the state department of agriculture in hopes of getting the animals removed. Also, officials say recent power outages are the result of a number of black vultures that have decided to make the city park their home. The post said 85 of the vultures have been roosting on power lines causing them to arc and set utility poles on fire. The vultures are protected by federal law and officials have reached out to state and federal agencies to re-locate the birds.

 

Stolen Backhoe Found in Oklahoma City

A happy ending for a Chickasha man whose backhoe was stolen from Fairlawn Cemetery. Jeff Wynn reported his backhoe was taken from the cemetery early Monday morning. He had posted the information on Facebook offering a reward for information. Wynn got a call from the Oklahoma City Police Department about 1:30 a.m. Thursday who told him the backhoe and a flat-bed trailer were found abandoned at Southwest 44th and Walker in Oklahoma City. Wynn said authorities didn’t believe the backhoe was damaged.

 

              

 

Wynne is hoping there is video surveillance from stores in the area the backhoe was found that could show the pickup and/or tag number as well as any individuals who may have been in the truck.

 

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.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $106.02 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $109.33.

Natural gas is $4.63 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,982 and silver is $26.01.

 

Obituaries

Cathey Desire

Funeral service for Cathey Desire, 67, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

Saquan Hensley

Funeral service for Saquan Hensley, 21, of Lawton is also pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Thursday, March 10th

 

Blind Plea Ends Caddo County Murder Trial

A Caddo County man charged with murder has decided to enter a blind plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter. 20-year old John Paul Williams-Ryan entered the plea as his murder trial was underway in Anadarko. Williams-Ryan was arrested in November 2019 in connection with the shooting death of 19-year old Payden McCullar that occurred south of Apache. The Lawton Constitution reports that Williams-Ryan was sentenced to 15 years in prison with all but three years suspended.

 

Father Accused of Threatening Family, State Trooper

A Chickasha man is in jail - accused of threatening the lives of family members and a state trooper. 33-year old Antonio William Ramirez is facing felony charges of planning, attempting, or conspiring to commit violence. The arrest came after it was alleged that Ramirez violated a protective order. Arrest warrants indicate he had been threatening and harassing his family between February 23rd and March 7th. He's also accused of threatening to kill a state trooper who is a neighbor of his estranged family. Grady County deputies arrested Ramirez this past Monday. Ramirez is being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $300,000 bond.

 

Gravedigger Seeks Stolen Backhoe

(UPDATE) – The Oklahoma City Police Department recovered the backhoe early Thursday morning) A man's livelihood is at risk unless he can find his backhoe that was stolen from a Chickasha cemetery. Jeff Wynne bought the backhoe just six months ago which he uses to dig graves for the City of Chickasha. Wynne says if he can't find the backhoe he could lose his job. He tells our partners at KWTV News 9 that someone was able to provide some video surveillance that showed a white or silver four-door pickup that might have been used to take the backhoe from Fairlawn Cemetery which is near the airport. Wynne has worked in the cemetery for 20 years and is offering a reward to get it back.

 

Sales Price for Homes Up in Chix, Grady County

The average sales price for homes in Chickasha and throughout Grady County increased in 2021. Reports made available to KOOL/RANCH News from Century 21/Mosley Real Estate indicate that average sales price for homes in Chickasha climbed more than 29 percent - from $139,000 to $180,000. The price for a home in the city peaked in June at more than $189,000. The average sales price for homes in Grady County were up nearly 17 percent - from $221,000 to $258,000. The average price for a home in Grady County peaked at $268,000 in May of last year.

 

State Rep. to Run for Second Term

State Representative Dick Lowe (R-Amber) has announced his plans to run for re-election. Lowe is wrapping up his first two years at the state capital but has tackled a lot of issues head-on.

 

              

 

Lowe says there is always more work to be done and he's committed to fighting for traditional, rural values and God-given rights.

 

Chickasaw Nation to Distribute Meals to Students Today

Spring break for Oklahoma schools is next week. Students in the Chickasha area will be getting some meals to take home to help them get through the time off. The Chickasaw Nation is providing meals and milk to students up to 18 years old today even if they aren't enrolled in Chickasha schools. The meals will be available for pick-up from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It will be a drive-through service with pick-up taking place at the high school in the bus lane.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $108.70.

London-based Brent crude is $111.14.

Natural gas is $4.53 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,006 and silver is $26.18.

 

Wednesday, March 9th

 

Chix School Busses to be Converted to CNG

Chickasha schools will be converting many of its school buses from gasoline and diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG). The board of education approved the measure this week at the recommendation of Tansportation and Maitenance Director Dan Turner. He said he has contacted officials at other districts including Blanchard, Lindsay, and Noble and all are happy with the switch.

 

              

 

Turner said the cost of CNG is much cheaper as current diesel prices are about $3 a gallon compared CNG at under a dollar a gallon. He said gas mileage is much better as gas and diesel fuel-powered busses get just under four miles per gallon while CNG busses gets about 8 miles per gallon. Turner said the busses will have 'dual fuel' capacity usage, meaning they could still use what the bus was orginally designed for. The district is getting a grant to pay for the conversion. B and H Construction of Goldsby will do the conversion work and install CNG stations at the bus barn. Turner hopes to convert 15 school buses to CNG over the next few months.

 

Fire, Police Department Purchases OK'd

The Chickasha City Council this week approved the purchase of some new equipment for the fire and police departments. The council approved the purchase of 11 Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) for the fire department for just under $15,000. It's on a state contract from Sterling Medical. The panel also approved the purchase of four ballistic shields or body armor costing about $6,500 from Security Pro USA, also from state contract. Also approved was the purchase of sixty batteries for hand-held radios for just over $5,000.

Benefit Walk, Festival of Light Contract Approved

The council also put its stamp of approval on a request to hold a Walk to End Alzheimer's downtown on Sept. 25th and waived all the fees normally associated with such a request. The panel also approved an annual agreement for the Festival of Light to use Shannon Springs Park for this year's event.

 

Chix City Clerk Achieves 'Certified' Status

Chickasha City Clerk Susan McDaniel can now put a few letters after her name. McDaniel recently earned the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk after completing a program with the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. The designation is awarded to those who complete demanding education requirements and have a record of significant contributions to their communities. A statement from the non-profit group says it's necessary for everyone in local government to keep pace with growing demands and changing needs. The institute was founded in 1947 and has grown to 14,000 members worldwide.

 

Widlife Refuge to Hold Prescribed Burn

Residents in southwest and central Oklahoma may see a lot of smoke that will appear to be from the Lawton area today. Officials with the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will have a prescribed burn if weather permits. The burn area will be west of State Highway 49 in the Quanah Unit of the refuge. Traffic along the highway may be delayed and traffic control measures will be in place. Officials say smoke will likely be visible from a long distance and that residual smoke may persist over the next several days. A press release indicates that such burns are implemented under a strict set of guidelines and weather parameters in order to provide for public and firefighter safety and limit potential smoke impacts to residents and visitors.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $123.70 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $127.98.

Natural gas is $4.52 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,017 and silver is $26.59.

 

Obituary

Nobue Ueichi (pronounced ‘Nobles Which’)

A memorial service for ‘Nobles Which’, 81, of Jenks and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 12th at McRay Funeral Home.

 

Tuesday, March 8th

 

RV Storage Ordinance Additions Approved

The Chickasha City Council unanimously approved some changes to the city's recreational vehicle storage ordinance last night. No one addressed the council during a public hearing on the proposed changes which were recommended by the city's Planning Commission last month. It calls for all types of recreational vehicles including coaches, all-terrain vehicles, boats, watercraft and trailers to be parked on a hard surface in the front and side yards of homes. The vehicles cannot extend into the city easement and must be in visible operating condition. The ordinance is expected to go into effect by the first of the month.

Use--on-Review For Winery Passes

A second public hearing was held to consider a use-on-review request to open a winery in the 500 block of Kansas Avenue. Applicant DJ Jenks addressed the council-

 

              

 

The use-on-review was necessary because the location is within 300 feet of a church by 10 feet. Church officials did not oppose the request. The council approved the use-on-review. Jenks hopes to be open in less than 60 days.

Cost-Share with New Tea Shop to Install New Water Lines OK'd

The council also approved a cost-sharing agreement with a company that is bringing a new business to Chickasha. Moonlight Ownership Company will be building a tea shop called HTeaToo at the corner of 4th and Missouri. The city and the company will share the cost of about $60,000 to replace some water lines but they will have to bore under 4th Street from the Sherwin-Williams parking lot across the street. The project has been awarded to Van Dyck Mechanical. City officials said because of the bad water lines the fire hydrant on the corner of 4th and Missouri doesn’t work. Authorities say a new water line would allow that fire hydrant to work and would also help improve water pressure issues in that area. City officials also said  they will be applying for a matching Community Development Block Grant of nearly $200,000 to make upgrades to water lines in order to improve water pressure east of 4th Street and in the downtown area.

Council Holds Lengthy Closed-Door Session on City Manager's Performance

The council went behind closed doors for nearly two hours to hold an executive session to evaluate the performance of City Manager Tyler Brooks. Brooks has been on the job for about six months. After returning from the meeting the council took no action.

 

Chix Mayor Declares 'Joe Molder Day'

A Chickasha school bus driver was recognized for his work in saving students’ lives when the bus he was driving caught fire. Joe Molder was honored with a proclamation from Mayor Chris Mosley at last night's Chickasha school board meeting. Mosley officially declared yesterday as Joe Molder Day. Molder was taking some high school students home last week when the bus caught fire. No one was hurt. The panel also recognized high school freshman Dylan Bratt for his undefeated season and winning a state championship in his weight class. Bratt was 28-0 and is the first freshman at Chickasha High School to win a state championship.

 

Burn Ban Updates

Burn bans have been extended in a couple of area counties. County commissioners in Grady and Stephens counties extended bans through next Monday, March 14th. However, officials in Caddo County allowed its burn ban to expire Monday night. Most counties review burn bans every week to determine if they should be extended or dropped. Despite recent precipitation much of western Oklahoma remains in extreme drought which is a D-3 designation by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

 

Hospital, Five Oaks Accepts Medicare for Chiropractic Care

Grady Memorial Hospital and the Five Oaks Medical Group are now accepting Medicare and Medicaid to help patients needing chiropractic care. Dr. Rory Troub who has been with the hospital and Five Oaks for about six months, says chiropractic is beneficial for a lot of patients.

 

              

 

She said Medicare, commercial insurance, and self-pay patients do not need a referral but Medicaid patients will need a referral from a primary care physician.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $119.42 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $123.21.

Natural gas is $4.83 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,012 and silver is $26.38.

 

Monday, March 7th

 

RV Storage Ordinance Proposal to get Public Hearing

A public hearing to consider some revisions to Chickasha's recreational vehicle storage ordinance will be held during tonight's city council meeting. The changes would be effective for boats and trailers, watercraft and trailers, ATVs, travel trailers, and coaches. In residential areas the proposal calls for RVs to be on a paved surface no smaller than the RV if it will be stored in the front or on the side of the home. All RVs must be maintained in a visibly operable condition. The ordinance also deals with RV parking in commercial and industrial-zoned areas. The city's Planning Commission recommended the changes at its meeting last month. The council will also have a public hearing on a proposal to operate a winery at 6th and Kansas. The group is also to recognize James Weidenmaier who recently retired after a 20-year career with the police department. The group will also have a closed-door session to discuss the performance of city manager Tyler Brooks. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Blanchard Family Escapes Fire Thanks to Neighbors

A Blanchard family is counting its blessings after a fire destroyed their mobile home over the weekend. The Johnson family was home with a couple of grandchildren when neighbors came knocking on the door and told them that a fire was closing in. Amanda Johnson said they had no idea a fire was about to engulf their home. KWTV News 9 reported that neighbor Michele Smith ran through thick smoke to warn the family of the approaching flames. Several other area homes were also consumed by the fire. While the Johnson's escaped injury the family pet suffered severe burns and is being treated at a local veterinary clinic.

 

Anadarko School Board Member Resigns

The Board of Education for Anadarko Public Schools will be seeking a new representative. The school board is expected to accept the resignation of Charlie McLemore - effective immediately - when the panel meets tonight. The panel is also expected to accept the resignation of middle school teacher Mshell Cheek which will be effective at the end of the school year. The panel is also to consider approving a bid package on an artificial turf field and retaining walls for the football field; an overnight trip to Tulsa for the robotics team; fund raisers for the high school band and yearbook program; and for Sunset Elementary.  The Anadarko school board meets at 6 o’clock tonight at the school administration building.

 

State ARPA Portal to Close

State officials will soon be closing the portal which is accepting applications for projects to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Since the portal opened last October more than 800 projects have been submitted for consideration. House Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert (R-Bristow) talks about one project submitted which is designed to help with Oklahoma’s nursing shortage.

 

              

 

That project is requesting $10 million in ARPA funds which would be matched with a private donation of $4.5 million and a sales tax proposal by the City of Weatherford. The dollar value for the projects that have been submitted is more than $12 billion and the state only has $1.8 billion to use. The ARPA portal will be closing at the end of the month.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $115.68 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $118.11.

Natural gas is $5.01 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,005 and silver is $26.23.

 

Obituaries

Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry

Funeral service for Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry, 76, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 8th at the Church of the Living God, P.G.T. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

‘Gene’ Bullard

A memorial service for Robert ‘Gene’ Bullard, 71, of Norman and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 9th at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman. Arrangements are with Havenbrook Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the OU Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City.

2022, Feb. 28th-March 5th

Saturday, March 5th

 

Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Concerns State Official

State Treasurer Randy McDaniel said while Russia's attack on Ukraine is causing death and destruction in Ukraine, it represents an unacceptable threat to the economic stability all across America, including Oklahoma. The invasion has fueled an upsurge in oil prices and the spillover effect of Russian sanctions are expected to impact inflation in the months ahead. McDaniel said that while gross receipts to the treasury department in February were up by almost 12 percent compared to the same time last year, it is the slowest rate of growth in seven months. He said the repercussions from the invasion are just beginning to be felt.

State Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Invasion

In the meantime, the Oklahoma State Senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Russian invasion. Senator Roger Thompson of Okemah said Ukraine is similar to Oklahoma, with people who believe in freedom and people who are born with resilience. The resolution noted Oklahoma's history of Ukranian immigrants searching for land, farming opportunities, and jobs in the coal industry, and that many Oklahomans with Ukraine heritage still have family and friends in that country.

 

Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center Re-opens

After being closed for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, the visitors center at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is re-opening. The refuge will welcome visitors today for the first time since closing in March of 2020. Jim Meyer is the president of the Friends of the Wichitas and says they have been working hard over the last week to get the center ready for visitors. They are taking extra precautions to ensure everyone's safety. That includes adding sneeze guards at the front desk and hand sanitizer stations and masks will be required regardless of vaccination status. The visitor center will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Street Striping Project to be Overnight Monday, Tuesday

Parts of 4th Street and Choctaw Avenue in Chickasha are getting some upgrades from the State Department of Transportation. Officials are conducting lane striping projects and will continue their work early next week. Some work was done last night. The striping project will be along Choctaw Avenue through the downtown area - from 2nd Street west to 12th Street - and the 4th Street striping work will be from Choctaw Avenue south to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Most of the work will be done from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. Motorists should expect delays and be alert to slow-moving equipment in those areas.

 

Luke Holland Seeks Jim Inhofe's U.S. Senate's Seat

A number of individuals have announced their intentions of running for the Oklahoma U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated with the announced retirement of Jim Inhofe. Among them is Luke Holland who served as Inhofe's Chief of Staff for more than 12 years. Holland made a brief stop in Chickasha yesterday and tells KOOL News that he hopes to use what he's learned to try and get Republicans and Democrats to stop being so divisive and work together for the good of the country.

 

              

 

Holland is being endorsed for the post by Inhofe. Two other Republicans who have announced their intentions to run are Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin and State Senator Nathan Dahm. Candidates will file next month with a primary election in June and the general election in November.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. State Rep. Kyle Hilbert, Speaker Pro Tem of the State House of Representatives, is this week's guest on the KOOL Konversation. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson is on Real Estate Today. Find links to both programs on this website under the Community tab.

 

Obituary

Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry

Funeral service for Julia Ann Jones-Sledge-Terry, 76, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 8th at the Church of the Living God, P.G.T. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Friday, March 4th

 

State Lawmakers Consider Tax-Relief Measures

Republicans in the State House of Representatives have advanced several proposals they say will help Oklahoman's deal with inflation. House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) says the GOP has five options they say could provide relief without causing any budget problems. Among them, a one-time income tax rebate of $125 for individuals and $250 per household; a permanent income tax rate reduction of 1/4 of 1 percent; a two-year suspension of the sales tax on groceries; a two-year enhancement of the grocery sales tax-credit for low-income families; and an eight-year phase out of the corporate income tax. The measures were passed out the House rules committee yesterday and will now be heard on the House floor.

 

Anadarko Man Wanted for Suspected Child Abuse

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Anadarko ex-con accused of child abuse. Authorities are looking for 42-year old Brian Leroy Wetselline. Caddo County Judge David Stephens issued the arrest warrant earlier this week. Wetselline is accused of dragging a girl around by her hair. The Lawton Constitution cites a probable cause affidavit filed by Anadarko police that says the incident happened at the home of the child's grandmother in January. The grandmother told investigators it's not the first time Wetselline had attacked the girl. The grandmother alleged the assault occurred when Wetselline was coming down from the effects of being high on drugs. Wetselline has a lengthy criminal record including arrests for drugs, grand larceny, and assault on a peace officer.

 

Premium Auction Brings Big Bucks for Stock Show Exhibitors

It was a big night at the premium auction at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show last night. Nearly a quarter-million dollars was paid to the youth exhibiting animals this week. The combined payout for the auction and the add-ons totaled $249,599. Many of the animals will now be shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, which begins next Monday and runs through March 18th at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.

 

Cyril Teen to Perform on American Idol

A Cyril teenager is showing off her talents on a national TV show. 17-year old Skylie Thompson is competing on American Idol. She’s been singing ever since she could talk and won Cyril's Miss Pirate Pageant contest when she was three-year old. Thompson and her family moved to California in 2018 where she won a talent show on the YouTube channel Brat Productions. Thompson's audition will be aired on American Idol this Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. on ABC.

 

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 on 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 $107.67 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $110.46.

Natural gas is $4.72 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,950 and silver is $25.39.

 

Thursday, March 3rd

 

Another State Board Approves Bonds for State Utilities

to Re-coup Costs from Record Low Temps in Feb. 2021

Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Summit Utilities of Oklahoma (formerly Centerpoint Energy) are closer to getting long-term bonds approved to pay for the extremely high heating costs that occurred during the Polar Vortex of February of 2021. The website NonDoc reports that the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority has given its approval allowing the utilities to obtain bonds and pass their costs on to their customers. PSO is asking for $725 million in bonds which would be paid off over a 20-year period. Summit Utilities is seeking $95 million in bonds which would be paid off over 15 years. Bills for customers of each utility would increase between $4 and $5 per month over that time. There are still two more steps that need to be taken before the bonds get final approval. The requests must be reviewed by the Council on Bond Oversight which is scheduled to meet next week and the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

 

Record Drug Busts Praised by State Lawmakers

A number of state lawmakers have praised the work of state drug agents and other law enforcement groups for their recent success in executing what is considered to be the largest single-day drug bust in state history. State Representatives Dick Lowe (R-Amber) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) are among those who authored House Resolution 1044 which recognizes the effort. On February 22nd drug agents executed 12 search warrants on nine farms and three homes simultaneously, including two farms in Grady County. Authorities seized more than 100,000 plants and more than a ton of processed marijuana along with $500 million in assets from the illegal operations. Lowe said the resolution is a small token of the state legislature's gratitude for the service of the estimated 300 law enforcement personnel that took part in the raids.

 

Storm Spotter Training in Chickasha Next Week

The first week of March is considered 'meteoroligical spring' as temperatures begin warming up. It’s also a time for weather officials to start planning for the severe weather season that will be here before you know it. Severe weather incidents like violent thunderstorms and tornadoes peak during April, May, and June in Oklahoma. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson says the National Weather Service will be offering a storm spotter training course in Chickasha next week.

 

              

 

The program will be led by Rick Smith with the National Weather Service out of Norman. The program is free and will be Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.

 

Beef Results from County Livestock Show

At the beef show at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show, Ladd Turner of Ampo had the grand champion market steer. Ladd also had the champion county bred-and-owned steer. Lane Smith of Ampo had the reserve champion market steer. The grand champion heifer was shown by Braedon Callis of Minco who also had the champion county bred-and-owned heifer. The reserve champion heifer was shown by Hayes Devine of Verden. Senior showman was Sage Schenk of Ampo, intermediate showman was Caden Bracher of Rush Springs, and junior showman was Hayes Devine. Tonight is the highlight of the week-long show as the premium sale will be held. The top 125 animals will be auctioned although the exhibitors will get to keep their animals to exhibit at other spring livestock shows, including the Oklahoma Youth Expo. It's expected that the sale and add-ons will top $125,000 which will be awarded to the exhibitors.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $110.60 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $112.93.

Natural gas is $4.76 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,936 and silver is $25.51.

 

Obituaries

Jacquelyn Harger

Funeral service for Jacquelyn Harger, 57, of Duncan is pending. Memorial contributions may be provided to help with funeral expenses. Information is on Facebook by doing a search for Jacqueline Harger.

Mary Stewart

A private memorial service will be held at a later date for Mary Stewart, 81, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, March 2nd

 

Second Union City Police Officer Dies from COVID-19

The Union City Police Department is mourning the death of a second police officer who died from the coronavirus. Lt. Brandon Owens had been in the Intensive Care Unit in an Oklahoma City hospital for nearly two months. A post on the police department's Facebook page said Owens was the epitome of a servant. He was a U.S. Army veteran and during his time in the military served multiple tours overseas - and he brought that leadership and servitude with him into the law enforcement profession. A funeral service has not yet been announced. Just a few weeks ago, Union City Police Chief Richard Stephens also died as a result of the coronavirus.

 

More Info Shared on Last Week's Murder-Suicide

New information has been released regarding a murder-suicide which ended with a fatal traffic accident in Chickasha last week. Investigators say the body of 28-year old Jasmine Smith was found in an Oklahoma City apartment last Thursday. They say she died after being struck with a dumbbell and may also have been stabbed with a knife. The alleged suspect was 29-year old Christopher Johnson. They were in a relationship and had two children together. Authorities say Johnson dropped the children off at the home of relatives and told them he was going to kill himself. Johnson later died in the traffic accident where witnesses say he intentionally drove off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Chickasha and hit the end of a guardrail.

 

Road Striping Project to Affect Chix Traffic Thursday

Highway striping projects will have traffic narrowed to one-lane in Chickasha tomorrow. Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews will be working on 4th Street between Choctaw Avenue and the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. They will also be re-striping Choctaw Avenue between 2nd Street and 12th Street. The work is expected to take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Highway Near Apache to Close for Railroad Crossing Work

ODOT also says that in Caddo County, a portion of U.S. Highway 281 near Apache will be shut down for three days. Union Pacific Railroad will be doing some railroad crossing work about a mile north of Apache from Thursday, March 3rd through Saturday, March 5th. Traffic will be detoured around the closure on State Highway 19 and State Highway 8 through Cyril and Anadarko.

 

Sheep, Goat Show Results from County Livestock Show

We have the results from the sheep and goat shows from the Grady County Junior Livestock Show. For the sheep, the grand champion ewe was shown by Kobi Scroggins of Tuttle and the reserve was shown by Kayla Venable of Alex. The grand champion market lamb was shown by Brody Scroggins of Tuttle and the reserve was shown by Braelyn Brassfield of Minco. Senior showman was Brody Scroggins, intermediate showman was Kobi Scroggins, and junior showman was Dani Patterson of Verden. There were 66 sheep in the show.

Goat Show

The grand champion doe was shown by Macie McKinney of Minco and the reserve belonged to Destiny Emerson of Tuttle. The grand champion wether was shown by Destyn Emerson of Tuttle and the reserve shown by Jack Ferrell of Ampo. The senior showman was Destyn Emerson, the intermediate showman was Macie McKinney, and the junior showman was Kolton Kohler of Alex. There were 49 goats in the show.. The beef show will be held today.

 

Energy Prices Soar

Tuesday was a big day for energy  prices as oil surged to prices not seen in nearly eight years.

 

              

 

That's Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Natural gas climbed to $4.57 per million BTUs. Prices for metals were up as well. Gold was up to $1,930 and silver moved up to $25.14.

 

Tuesday, March 1st

 

No Injuries in School Bus Fire; Driver Called A Hero

Some tense moments on a Chickasha school bus as the bus caught fire as children were being taken home from school yesterday. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Superintendent Rick Croslin said it happened just outside of the town of Norge on Mockingbird Road about 3:15 p.m. There were six high school students on board. Croslin said bus driver Joe Molder noticed the bus over-heating and pulled the bus over.  He got all the students off the bus and when he opened the hood, saw a fire in the engine compartment. The fire quickly engulfed the entire bus. Molder moved the children further away from the bus and called 9-1-1 and the Chickasha Fire Department was dispatched. A small grass fire was also sparked but caused no property damage.  Croslin said the maintenance records of the bus had been kept up to date. School patrons were notified of the fire via the district's automated calling service. Croslin called Molder, who is the district's instructional technology coordinator, a hero for his quick action. Croslin said that the 17-year old Blue Bird bus was totally destroyed.

 

Retired Police Officer Starts New Career

A recently retired Chickasha police officer didn't stay retired very long. Former police lieutenant James Weidenmaier retired last week after 20 years of service. Yesterday, Weidenmaier was named as a new deputy with the Grady County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Jim Weir said Weidenmaier had an opportunity to work for another agency for more money but he decided to join the sheriff's office to continue serving the local community. Weir said Weidenmaier will be a vital asset to his department.

 

Grady County Junior Livestock Show Underway

FFA and 4H students are hoping their hard work over the last few months pays off at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show this week. Cattle, swine, sheep, and goats will all be led through the show rings at the Grady County Fairgrounds. At the swine show yesterday, the grand champion gilt was shown by Hadley Cooper of Ampo and the reserve grand was shown by Garrison Bass of Minco. The grand champion barrow was shown by Kaylee White of Rush Springs and the reserve was shown by Olivia Bradford of Ampo. Champion senior showman was Cheyenne Emerson of Tuttle; champion intermediate showman was Olivia Bradford; and champion junior showman was Kendall Dunn of Alex. A total of 210 hogs were shown. Today both the sheep and goat shows will be held. After all the animals are shown the top 125 animals will be selected to be in the premium sale Thursday night. The sale and additional payments provided by family, friends, and businesses has resulted in more than $125,000 being paid out to the youth in each of the last two years.

 

Science and Arts Teacher Education Program Grows

While some colleges and universities have suspended their teacher education programs, the University of Science and Arts reports its program has shown increases in enrollment and admission numbers and officials expect that trend to continue. Dr. Sarah Layman is an associate professor of education and the division chair and director of teacher education at the university. She says the small class sizes allows Science and Arts to build faculty and student relationships which prepare teacher candidates for success. Minco School Superintendent Kevin Sims said the Science and Arts program is second to none. He says in this day of teacher shortages that securing a teacher trained in the USAO program is a top priority at Minco schools.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.59 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $97.93.

Natural gas is $4.40 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,926 and silver is $24.68.

 

Obituaries

Wanda Jo Pendleton

Funeral service for Wanda Jo Pendleton, 86, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 2nd at McRay Funeral Home.

Lois Prickett

A memorial service for Lois Prickett, 82, of Anadarko will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Monday, Feb. 28th

 

Caddo County Murder Trial Scheduled

A first-degree murder trial is on the docket for Caddo County District Court in Anadarko this week. The jury selection for 20-year old John Paul Williams-Ryan of Apache is scheduled. He is accused in the shooting death of a man near the Caddo-Comanche County line more than two years ago. Caddo County court documents indicate that Williams-Ryan and 19-year old Payden McCullar were fighting in November of 2019 prior to the fatal shooting. The Lawton Constitution reports that jurors likely won't hear about another charge Williams-Ryan is facing. He is among several inmates accused of trying to break out of the Caddo County jail last month.

 

Workforce Board Helps Businesses

Pay Training Costs for New Employees

Oklahoma businesses looking to hire new employees can get some assistance from the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board. The board gets federal funding to provide help for businesses looking for qualified employees. Erin Glass says the board will pay some of the costs of training new workers.

 

              

 

Glass said the workforce board can also help individuals find better jobs. Information about the workforce board is available through the Workforce Oklahoma office or the Chickasha Adult Learning Center. By the way, the board will be hosting a job fair featuring more than a dozen companies and employment agencies. The job fair will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center on Friday, March 4th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Public Hearing set for Residential Golf Practice Building

A Chickasha resident hopes to build an oversize building at his home that would be used as an indoor golf practice facility. John Holt is seeking a building permit from the City of Chickasha to construct the 3,200 sq. ft. metal building which will be nearly 18 feet tall. Holt is requesting a building permit from the city's Community Development Department to build the estimated $90,000 structure at his home in the 2400 block of South 24th. In his application Holt said it would be for family use. A public hearing regarding the request will be held during the Tuesday, March 8th Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at city hall.

 

Some Disabled Military Vets Needing Long Term Care

Can Live at Oklahoma Veteran's Homes at No Cost

A new program is underway to help disabled American veterans. It's called the 70 percent-plus Outreach Initiative. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) wants to contact veterans who are at least at the 70 percent level with their service-connected disability who need long-term care. Veterans within that category can live at one of the state's seven veteran’s homes at no cost. The state has more than 1,400 beds in seven locations which include Lawton, Norman, Clinton, and Ardmore. To be eligible, veterans must have served at least 90 days and received a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable. ODVA maintains an admissions waiting list for veterans who may want to take advantage of the program at a later date.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $91.59 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $97.93.

Natural gas is $4.47 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $24.43.

 

Obituary

Nathan Pipes

A graveside service for Nathan Pipes, 80, of Oklahoma City will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 1st at the Ninnekah Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Hospice in Oklahoma City or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Fund. 

Weather

Recently Played

Kool Calendar

4:20 Kool Comedy Break!

Pro Auto Care Drive @ 5