Mollman Media News Archives for 2022-06

2022, June 20th-25th

Saturday, June 25th

 

OHP Continues Probe of Deadly Accident

The highway patrol is investigating a deadly rollover crash that killed a young driver. 20-year old Patrick Olinger of Duncan died in the accident that occurred just before 6:30 a.m. Friday north of Marlow. The trooper dispatched to the crash reported that Olinger was driving an SUV that failed to go around a curve, ran off the road, overturned several times, and that Olinger was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing his seatbelt. The trooper reported he was still looking into what may have caused Olinger to run off the road.

 

Ex-Con Arrested for Alleged Domestic Violence

A man with a history of domestic violence is back in jail in connection with another attack. 38-year old Robert Dewayne White was arrested by Chickasha police June 16th after the victim called authorities to a home in the 900 block of South 3rd and told them that White had slammed her head against the wall and threatened to kill her. Court documents indicate that a 12-year old boy witnessed the brutality. Investigators say White had been drinking and they found drugs and drug items in his possession. Prosecutors have charged White with felony assault and battery and two misdemeanors for having drugs. White remains in the Grady County jail on a $75,000 bond. He was convicted of a previous domestic assault charge out of Canadian County in 2014 and was sentenced to three years behind bars.

 

Group Seeks Info On Missing, Murdered Indigenous People

A southwest Oklahoma group is working to raise awareness about the unsolved murders of Native Americans as well as Native Americans who have gone missing. The group is part of a statewide panel called Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP). There are 10 chapters across the state and the southwest chapter has been around since 2015. Cindy Famero is the vice president and she told KSWO-TV this week-

 

              

 

She said the group welcomes information from anyone regardless of their ethnicity. She said MMIP is inclusive and wants everyone to be safe and all children to be free from harm. Famero said they are working to raise funds to obtain a building in southwest Oklahoma to create a regional office. The state group is hosting its 4th annual MMIP powwow in Lawton at the Comanche Nation Powwow Grounds today which runs through the afternoon and evening.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Whitney Palesano and Jim Cowan from the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council are on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today our guests are USAO baseball coach Tyle Hankins and Drover softball coach Jadyn Wallis. Find podcasts to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Geneva May Fredricks

Arrangements for Geneva May Fredricks, 77, of Chickasha are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Friday, June 24th

 

Chix City Council to Begin Formal Search for City Manager

A special Chickasha City Council meeting has been scheduled to formally begin the search for the city's next top administrator. The panel will meet Monday night at city hall and is expected to authorize the search for a new city manager. The move was prompted by the sudden and unexpected resignation of Tyler Brooks earlier this week. No reason was given for Brooks' early departure. He had only been on the job for about six months. While the council searches for candidates Mayor Chris Mosley will fill in as the acting city manager.

Council to Consider Paying IRS Penalty; Buy Mowers

The council is expected to pay a penalty to the IRS related to payroll taxes from 2014. The council will consider whether to pay a more than $5,500 civil penalty. The panel is also expected to approve the purchase of three mowers for the Public Works Department at a cost of just under $11,000. Monday's meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

 

Suspect Accused of Theft From Deputy's New Home Site

A Grady County man is behind bars for allegedly stealing some materials from a site where a law enforcement officer is building a new home. 57-year old Raymond Dale Arterberry of Minco surrendered to authorities this week after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Grady County sheriff's deputies were called to the Bridge Creek area in early May where a Cleveland County deputy was building a new home. He discovered about $2,000 in building materials were missing. Fortunately, he had some video surveillance of the property, and he had placed tracking devices on some of the items to help find them in case they did get stolen. Investigators tracked the stolen goods to Arternberry's home in Minco. Arterberry has been charged with grand larceny and remains in the Grady County Jail on a $5,000 bond. The arrest comes after a previous felony conviction. In 2009 Arterberry was convicted in Greer County for taking contraband into a jail or penal institution.

 

Freshmen Lead Large Summer Enrollment at USAO

Officials at USAO say there has been a big increase in students taking summer classes. Overall enrollment is up by more than 12 percent compared to last year. The increase was bolstered by freshmen enrolled for the summer with the number more than double that of 2021. Vice President for Academic Affairs Donna Miles said that while many students needed to work during the summer a lot of them were still interested in taking classes. The faculty responded by offering more classes on-line. The university is also working on new initiatives and partnerships to allow students to complete additional degrees and certifications with other universities through a digital platform called Coursera.

 

Chickasha Rodeo Opens Tonight

The summer rodeo season is upon us and the annual Chickasha rodeo is this weekend. There are two performances, with action tonight and tomorrow night at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Local cowboys and cowgirls will compete in events that include steer wrestling, team roping, bronc busting, barrel racing, and bull riding. Rafter D Rodeo of Sterling has been the longtime stock contractor for the rodeo. The event begins at 8 o'clock each evening with the Grand Entry. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. Advance tickets can be purchased at Hicks Western Wear. There will be a rodeo parade in downtown Chickasha tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock.

 

Town of Amber to Host Summer Fest

The town of Amber will hold a Summer Fest at the town park tomorrow. There will be family activities and the fire department will oversee water activities for the kids. There will be a cornhole tournament, and concessions will be available with proceeds to bring more events to the park. A couple of food trucks will also be on hand. The Amber Summer Fest will be from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $104.27 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $110.05.

Natural gas is $6.24 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,826 and silver is $20.95.

 

Obituaries

Jesse Higgins

A memorial service for Jesse Higgins, 44, of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 25th at Sevier Funeral Home.

‘Fitz’ Fitzpatrick

Viewing for Oral ‘Fitz” Fitzpatrick, 92, of Rockwall, Texas will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Sevier Funeral Home of Chickasha which will be followed by a graveside service at Fairlawn Cemetery.

Vergie Conner

Funeral service for Vergie Conner, 101, of Tuttle will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 27th at the Tuttle First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

Thursday, June 23rd

 

Contractor Accused of Embezzlement

A contractor who is alleged to have bilked customers out of thousands of dollars is facing several felony charges of embezzlement.  40-year old Norman Thomas Gomes - also known as Buddy Gomes - is facing five felony counts of embezzlement and one felony for a pattern of criminal offenses. The charges were filed in Grady County District Court after an investigation by the state attorney general’s office. Documents filed in district court say Gomes took more than $20,000 from customers and failed to perform the work he was hired to do. Gomes, doing business as BNV Construction, is accused of victimizing customers in Grady, Caddo, Oklahoma, and Beckham counties between January of 2021 and March of 2022. A warrant for Gomes’ arrest was issued on June 9th and he was arrested June 17th. If convicted he faces 1-5 years of jail time and up to $5,000 in fines on each of the embezzlement charges and up to two years behind bars and a $25,000 fine for the pattern of criminal offenses charge. Gomes remains in the Grady County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He's to back in court August 4th to announce his attorney and again August 10th for a preliminary hearing conference.

 

Suspected Gas Thief Caught in the Act

A man suspected of trying to steal gasoline out of the trucks of a local business is caught red handed by the business owner. 45-year old Michael Wayne Bearman was arrested by Chickasha police last week after they responded to a report of a larceny in progress at Gonzalez Pest Control at 806 West Choctaw. Court documents say when police arrived they saw a suspect in a fenced area sitting next to a truck with a gas can and a hose. The suspect tried to runaway but business owner Joseph Gonzalez was able to tackle the man and hold him until the officer caught up to him. Bearman has previous felony convictions which include assault and battery with a weapon; placing body fluids on government employees; and false personation dating back to 2009. He's facing two new felonies of second and third degree burglary in connection with this most recent arrest. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He's being represented by a court-appointed attorney and he is to return to court July 27th for a preliminary hearing conference.

 

In-Person, Absentee Voting Available Ahead of Primary

Oklahoma's primary election is next Tuesday but voters can cast ballots early if they choose. In-person, absentee voting can be done at county election board offices. Republican and Democratic voters will cast ballots in their respective primaries and independent voters are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary. There are a number of state and federal candidates on the ballots including governor, attorney general, state treasurer, and state superintendent of schools as well as U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. There are several county office primary elections. In Grady County there are Republican primaries for the District One and District Three county commissioner posts. In Caddo County, there is a Republican primary for county commissioner in District One and a Democratic primary for county commissioner in District Three. Also in Caddo County there is a Republican primary for State Senate District 26 and for State Representative District 55. In-person, absentee voting can be done from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Veterans Administration Officials in Anadarko Thursday

Military veterans, their spouses, widows, or surviving children can get information about any benefits they may be entitled to without having to drive to Oklahoma City. Representatives with the Department of Veterans Affairs will be in Anadarko tomorrow. Individuals will be able to talk to a VA representative and get answers about claims or benefits. Representatives will also help file claims. Individuals may be able to get same-day decisions after sharing complete information. The event will be held in the Iscani Gymnasium at 1 Coronado Circle behind the Anadarko Walmart from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $106.19 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $111.74.

Natural gas is $6.85 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,827 and silver is $21.18.

 

Obituary

Jim White

A memorial service for Jim White, 75, of Anadarko will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 25th at the First Baptist Church of Anadarko. He was a long-time teacher and coach for Anadarko and Chickasha schools and was the long-time public address announcer for Chickasha High School wrestling. He earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma and was a U.S. Army veteran. In recent years he served as a blue-gold officer with the U.S. Naval Academy. Arrangements are with Ray and Martha's Funeral Home in Anadarko.

 

Wednesday, June 22nd

 

ARPA Funds to Pay to Develop Long-Range Plan for Chix

The Chickasha City Council signs off on the creation of an extensive and expensive plan designed to make city-wide improvements over the next 20 years. A lengthy public hearing held during this week's council meeting outlined a proposed plan of action from Oklahoma City-based C. H. Guernsey and Company. It's a firm the city has used for several projects. During the course of the nearly hour-long hearing, city officials said the last comprehensive long-range plan for the city was done nearly 70 years ago (in 1955) and was last updated in 1973. Officials presented a number of studies done over the last 10 years that have cost the city more than $700,000 - and no action has ever been taken on any of those plans. Guernsey representatives said they will get the entire community involved in the planning process. Once they get started it will take up to 18 months to complete the plan. The city council approved using nearly $150,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for the work. The proposal did not get unanimous approval from the council. It passed by a 7-2 vote with councilmen Brian Gerdes and R.P. Ashanti-Alexander voting against it.

 

Suspect Jailed in Connection with December Robberies

A Chickasha man is in custody, accused of committing a couple of robberies last fall. 22-year old Jake Tyler Holcomb is in jail facing two felony charges of robbery. He is being held in the Grady County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Court documents indicate that Holcomb is accused of robbing a convenience store clerk the night of December 4th. The following night Holcomb is accused of robbing a USAO professor at knifepoint at the university, taking her cell phone and credit cards. Holcomb is scheduled to be back in court July 21st to announce his attorney and again July 27th for a preliminary hearing conference

 

Fairgrounds Hosts National Junior Red Angus Event 

Hundreds of youth from around the country and even some from Canada are in Chickasha this week. The North American Junior Red Angus Event (NAJRAE) is underway at the Grady County Fairgrounds. It's the first time this national show has been in Chickasha. Some 500 youth are exhibiting their animals, competing in quiz bowls, and attempting to win scholarships. The national event is held in different states each year. The youth also perform a community service project in the host city. The project for Chickasha was building some beds for the Life Skills Institute and Resurrection House. Mason Krey who is from the Chickasha area and part of the Red Angus group talks about the project.

 

             

 

The youth built four twin beds and four toddler beds which are on display at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The NAJRAE runs through Saturday. Admission is free for anyone who would like to stop by and see any of the events or get more information about the organization.

 

Wildlife Refuge Limits Hiking Due to Heat

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is limiting hiking activities due to the summer heat. The refuge has enacted an Emergency Closure Order. Early morning hiking is allowed but officials say visitors will have to exit trails and Mt. Scott Roadway by 10 a.m. for the duration of the order. Fishing, wildlife photography, kayaking, picnics, and limited camping are all activities still allowed. Officials say there are 24,000 acres of public use lands which complicates search-and-rescue operations. Officials recommend that individuals hydrate several days prior to visiting the refuge and to wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. They also recommend not placing all your trust in a cell phone because service isn't a guarantee.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $110.65 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $114.65.

Natural gas is $6.80 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,831 and silver is $21.45.

 

Tuesday, June 21st

 

Chix City Manager Resigns After Six Months on the Job

Chickasha City Manager Tyler Brooks suddenly resigned from his post following last night's city council meeting. Brooks, who was hired just six months ago, submitted his resignation following a closed-door meeting with the council. His resignation is effective immediately. No explanation was provided regarding Brooks' decision. Brooks was hired last fall after a lengthy search for a city manager following the resignation of previous city manager, John Noblitt. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley issued a prepared statement saying the council will be moving forward with the plans and progress which have been set in motion.  He said the council trusts the city's leadership team to continue pressing toward meeting the priorities and goals that the council has laid out. Mosley said the council passed a very promising budget and approved the start of an exciting new comprehensive plan last night. Mosley will serve as interim city manager while the council begins the search for its next administrator.

 

Chix City Employees Work on Federal Juneteenth Holiday

Federal and state offices and banks were closed yesterday to commemorate Juneteenth, which officially became a federal holiday last year. However, employees with the City of Chickasha were on  the job yesterday, even though the city council approved the paid holiday last fall. City Councilman Zach Grayson talked about the oversight during last night's city council meeting.

 

              

 

City Councilman Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander was more critical of the oversight-

 

 

Ashanti-Alexander said if city leaders want to project a positive image they should follow examples of cities which see their communities unite racially, economically, and culturally.

 

Driver Hospitalized After Car Hits Tree

A Chickasha woman is hospitalized after her car runs off a Caddo County road and hit a tree. 67-year old Jamie Oberlag was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was admitted in serious condition. The accident happened just before 5:00 p.m. Monday about three miles southeast of Anadarko. The OHP reports that Oberlag was driving at a high rate of speed when her car hit a bump, veered off the road, and hit the tree broadside. She was trapped in the vehicle for about 20 minutes. The trooper alleged there was an odor of alcohol in the vehicle.

 

OSBI Names Victim Who Died in Officer-Involved Shooting

Investigators have identified the man who was fatally shot by a Caddo County deputy sheriff over the weekend. The OSBI reports that 48-year old Roy Sink suffered a fatal gunshot wound when the deputy responded to a 9-1-1 call about a disturbance at an Anadarko home on Sunday. The OSBI said Sink had a machete when the deputy arrived.  Sink was taken to a hospital where he died. The OSBI says the investigation is on-going and that a final report will be submitted to the district attorney's office where DA Jason Hicks will determine if the shooting was justified.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $109.56 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $113.12.

Natural gas is $6.94 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,838 and silver is $21.79.

 

Obituaries

Leta May Wallace

A graveside service for Leta May Wallace, 88, of Chickasha was held yesterday at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.

Barbara Kuntz

A memorial service for Barbara Kuntz, 87, of Austin, Texas and formerly of Chickasha will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

Jean Dickson

Funeral service for Jean Dickson, 68, of Frederick will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 25th at Calvary Community Church in Hollis. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Monday, June 20th

 

State Agency Looks Into Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is looking into a fatal officer-involved shooting that took place in Anadarko yesterday. The OSBI reports that a Caddo County deputy sheriff responded to a 9-1-1 call to the home about 1:00 p.m. A relative of the victim had called authorities to the home to investigate a disturbance. When the deputy arrived the man was standing in the front yard with a machete. At some point the deputy fired his weapon and hit the man. The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Neither the name of the deputy nor the man who was fatally shot have been released.

 

Caddo County Man Dies in Weekend Rollover

A Ft. Cobb man died over the weekeend when his pickup ran off the road and overturned. 26-year old Ryan Sperle died in the crash that happened southeast of Ft. Cobb just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The state trooper dispatched to the accident said Sperle failed to go around a curve, ran off the road and overturned an undetermined number of times. Sperle, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was thrown out the truck.

 

Chix City Council to Hold Second

Hearing on Proposed City Budget 

Another public hearing on the proposed 2023 fiscal year budget for the City of Chickasha is scheduled during tonight's Chickasha City Council meeting. It's the second public hearing to be held in as many meetings to get public input about the spending plan. After the hearing, the council will consider a resolution to approve or reject the spending plan and any amendments which may be suggested.

Hearing Also Scheduled to Consider Firm to Help with Long-Range Plan

The council is also to hold a separate public hearing regarding the development of a long-range plan for the city. A representative from C.H. Guernsey and Company will present a proposal to help city officials put together a 20-year plan for development. The firm has helped communities like Yukon, Moore, Guymon, and Grove develop long-range plans. City officials are recommending the council approve the proposal to allow Guernsey officials to lead the project at a cost of just under $150,000.

Additional Airport Advisory Board Members Recommended

The council is also to consider appointing two new members to the city’s Airport Advisory Board. Greg Jacobi and Ronny Hightower are being recommended for two new positions that have been created for the airport group. During the council’s June 6th meeting, the panel approved increasing the number of members on the airport panel from five to seven. The council is also expected to approve the annual July 4th fireworks display at Shannon Springs Park.

Closed-Door Meetings Set to Discuss 

Union Memorandums; City Manager's Work

The group will also go behind closed doors to discuss Memorandums of Understanding with both the Fraternal Order of Police, Local 129 and the International Association of Firefighters, Local 2041. Also during the closed-door session, the council will conduct a review of the performance of City Manager Tyler Brooks. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Saddle Up for the Chickasha Rodeo

The 83rd annual Chickasha rodeo is coming up this week. It is an open rodeo and cowboys and cowgirls can sign up for their respective events from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Rafter D Rodeo of Sterling is the stock contractor and the number to call is 580-678-3583. Rodeo performances will be Friday and Saturday nights at the Grady County Fairgrounds outdoor rodeo arena with the Grand Entry at 8 p.m. each night. Advance tickets can be purchased at Hicks Western Wear. There will be a rodeo parade Saturday afternoon at 4 o'clock.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $109.56 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $113.12.

Natural gas is $6.94 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,840 and silver is $21.69.

 

Obituaries

Dorothy Unruh

Funeral service for Dorothy Unruh, 92, of Chickasha was held at 10:00 a.m. this morning (Monday, June 20th) at the Plainview Mennonite Church. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.

Tommi Jo King

Funeral service for Tommi Jo King, 52, of Tuttle will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 21st at Life Church in Mustang. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Betty Jo Gibson

Funeral service for Betty Jo Gibson, 81, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 22nd at Ferguson Funeral Home.

Thomas Woods, Jr.

A memorial service for Thomas Woods, Jr., 71, of Chickasha is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

 

2022, June 6th-11th

Saturday, June 11th

 

OSBI Investigates Murder-Suicide 

Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) are looking into fatal shooting that took place at a home east of Tuttle yesterday. Grady County Undersheriff Gary Boggess tells KOOL-RANCH News that the initial investigation by deputies is that it is a murder-suicide. Boggess said an elderly couple lived in the home east of Tuttle near Morgan Road and East Rock Creek Road. The OSBI hasn't released any details about their investigation and no names have been released.

 

Child Drowns at Ft. Cobb Lake

A family outing turns tragic after a five-year old child drowns at Ft. Cobb Lake. Authorities were called out to the Deer Run Splash Pad and playground just after 7 o'clock last night. The highway patrol reports that a five-year old boy wandered away from his family and went to an area bordered by water that surrounded a play area. The child was found in about three feet of water and individuals began CPR. The child was transported by private vehicle to meet an ambulance which took him to the Carnegie hospital where the child was pronounced dead.

 

One in Custody After Raid on Chickasha Homes

A Chickasha man is behind bars after law enforcement officers raid a couple of homes early Friday morning. 58-year old Trent Lyle Johnson was arrested after agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Grady County Sheriff's office special response team activated search warrants simultaneously in the 1000 block of South 1st and the 900 block of South 2nd. Undersheriff Gary Boggess said about 15 law enforcement personnel met about 4:30 Friday morning to discuss what he called the high-risk search warrants. The team, which did use the sheriff's office armor-plated MRAP vehicle, struck the houses about 6:00 a.m. Johnson was arrested on a drug trafficking complaint at the home on South 1st Street. Boggess said the house on South 2nd Street was abandoned and was what he called a ‘stash’ house. Boggess said Johnson has had several prior drug arrests .

 

New Casino Allowed to Open in Spite of Lawsuit

A federal judge will allow a new Caddo County casino to open in spite of a lawsuit that has been filed against the operation. The Warm Springs Casino west of Anadarko was built by the Ft. Sill Apache Tribe. However, the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Comanche Nation have filed a joint lawsuit saying the casino would violate federal laws and harm their own gaming operations by taking business away. The Oklahoman reports that U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin turned down the Kiowa and Comanche tribes' requests to the delay the opening while the lawsuit works its way through the legal process. The casino is built on land originally allotted to a Kiowa citizen. The Ft. Sill- Apache Tribe acquired it in 2001 and built the convenience store then spent $2 million building a 3,000 sq. ft. casino next door. It wasn't clear when the casino might open.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Cathy Nestlen with the Regional Food Bank is on our KOOL Konversation program. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley and City Manager Tyler Brooks are on Real Estate Today. Find podcasts to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Friday, June 10th

 

Reports: Restaurant Fire Caused 'Significant' Damage

That fire at a Tuttle barbecue restaurant Thursday morning caused a lot of damage. Tuttle fire crews were called out to B-Ray's Barbecue just before 7 a.m. Thursday and they called in several other departments for assistance. A post on the Tuttle Fire Department's Facebook page indicates they quickly had the fire under control. A post on B-Ray's Facebook page says the restaurant had significant damage but gave no details. B-Rays thanked the fire department, the Tuttle community, their customers, and Taco Mayo for their help. The business began out of a food truck and the restaurant just opened in August of last year.

 

H.E. Bailey Turnpike's 'Cashless' System to Start Soon

The H.E. Bailey Turnpike is expected to go to a cashless pay system by the end of the month. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority approved new PlatePay rates for the highway from Lawton to Oklahoma City. For motorists who don't have a PikePass here is how the system works - a camera will take a photograph of the vehicle tag and then a bill will be mailed to the owner the vehicle. It will be more expensive than PikePass. Right now, a one-way trip from Lawton to Oklahoma City with a PikePass is $3.50. The same trip is $4.25 for those who pay cash. The cost using the PlatePay System will be $7.45. The action by the turnpike authority moves up the transition to the cashless system by about five weeks.

 

TwisterFest Among Numerous Weekend Events

Here are a few of the activities going on in the area this weekend. Chickasha's Muscle Car Ranch will be hosting its 8th annual TwisterFest. More than 40 bands from the Oklahoma and Texas region will be playing on five stages scattered throughout the nearly 100-acre ranch. Rock, blues, indie rock, country, and hip hop bands are all scheduled. The three-day, family friendly, outdoor concert runs through Sunday. RV and primitive campsites are available near any of the five lakes on the ranch. Day and weekend passes are available. Muscle cars are welcome and drivers of the muscle cars get free admission.

Legends Event Center

The Legends Event Center will host Cody Hibbard with Chickasha native T.J. Wicks tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. That is for individuals 21 and older.

Chickasha Community Theater

The Chickasha Community Theater is presenting another weekend of Disney's The Little Mermaid Junior. Performance times are 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night and the final performance will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

St. Luke's Art Appreciation, Wine -Tasting

St. Luke's Episcopal Church will host an art appreciation, sale, and wine-tasting event. That will be both tonight and tomorrow night from 6:30 to 10 p.m. with wine provided by the Shakespeare Wine Company. It’s free and open to the public. The church is known for its 120-year old auditorium that is still being used today.

Elks Lodge Fishing Derby

The Chickasha Elks Lodge holds its annual fishing derby tomorrow morning at Shannon Springs Park. They will be giving away four lifetime Oklahoma fishing licenses - one for each of four age groups. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. with fishing from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $121.51 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $123.07.

Natural gas is $8.96 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,845 and silver is $21.54.

 

Obituaries

Tiffany Swafford

No public services are scheduled for Tiffany Swafford, 50, of Tuttle. A Gofundme account has been established to help the family. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

Trevor Rivera

Funeral service for 25-year old Trevor Rivera of Norman is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

Thursday, June 9th

 

Fire Crews Battle Flames at Tuttle Restaurant

Firefighters from multiple departments are working to douse flames at a Tuttle restaurant this morning. The Tuttle Fire Department was dispatched to B-Ray's Barbecue at 151 East Main Street just before 7:00 a.m. Tuttle officials called in nearby fire departments for help. Listen to KOOL/RANCH News for upates.

 

Gas Prices Continue Historic Climb

Gas prices have hit an all-time high in Oklahoma as well as across the country. Gasoline prices broke the $5 a gallon mark for the first time in the Sooner State this week. A gas station in southern Oklahoma near Davis posted a price of $5.03 per gallon and a station in southwest Oklahoma had its price at $4.99. The highest price we've seen in Chickasha is nearly $4.90 a gallon. The average price for a gallon of gas in Oklahoma is up to a record $4.54 per gallon in the most recent report from Triple-A. That's 33 cents higher than just a week ago and $2.75 higher than the same time one year ago. The national average is $4.95 per gallon.

 

Trafficking Suspect Also Faces Attempted Escape Charge

A Chickasha man is facing a drug trafficking charge after authorities say they found him with more than 300 tablets laced with fentanyl. The tablets are highly addictive and fatal overdoses have occurred locally and nationally. 33-year old Tyler Celeste Miller was taken into custody following a joint operation involving the Grady County Sheriff's Office and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. The sheriff's office reports that Miller was taken into custody May 26th. Miller admitted swallowing 20 of the pills and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Authorities say Miller tried to escape while at the hospital but was quickly taken back into custody. After treatment, Miller was taken to the Grady County Jail. He is charged with drug trafficking and attempted escape. His bond was set at $300,000.

 

Pursuit Suspect Formally Charged

The suspect accused of leading Caddo County law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit this week has been formally charged in connection with the incident. Prosecutors have charged 37-year old Dustin Lee Beard of Cyril with eluding or attempting to elude, obstructing an officer, and driving with a suspended license. Beard was arrested Tuesday after the chase that had speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. He remains in the Caddo County Jail on a $15,000 bond. That includes bond on a previous felony burglary charge Beard is facing in connection with a break-in that occurred in Cyril in July of last year.

 

Ex-Con Faces New Charge of Domestic Violence

A Marlow man with a history of domestic violence is facing more allegations of assault. 39-year old Eddie Lewayne Hall, Jr. is accused of assaulting his estranged wife in connection with his most recent arrest. The Lawton Constitution reports that Hall has previous felony convictions, including a 2015 conviction out of Stephens County for domestic abuse. Hall is now facing another felony charge of assault.  He is out of jail after posting a $50,000 bond.

 

Chix Officials Schedule Annual Ward 4 Meeting

Residents in Chickasha's Ward 4 can meet with their city council representatives next week. Residents can share their concerns about city issues and talk about what they'd like to see in the city's future. Council representatives Zack Grayson and Kelly Boyd will be on hand for the meeting which will be held Monday, June 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Chickasha Police Department. Questions can be submitted ahead of time by sending an e-mail to info@chickasha.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $122.11 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $123.58.

Natural gas is $8.70 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,851 and silver is $22.01.

 

Obituary

Annie Williams

Funeral service for Annie Williams, 90, will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Wednesday, June 8th

 

Chix Officials Address Lack of Care at Cemeteries

Some city officials received complaints about the appearance of Chickasha's cemeteries over the Memorial Day weekend. City Councilwoman Georgianne Hebbelthwaite brought up the issue during this week's city council meeting.

 

              

 

City Manager Tyler Brooks says he has already had discussions about whether to hire another contractor or hire more city employees to do the work.

 

              

 

Brooks also said he has asked the Parks and Recreation Department to assist the Public Works Department in maintaining the cemeteries.

 

Storms Damage Grady County Jail

The Grady County Jail sustained some minor damage in the strong thunderstorms that moved through the area yesterday morning. Some of the building's exterior was ripped from the structure. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach said a large patch of the 22-year old jail's external insulation and finishing system (EIFS), which is an alternative to stucco, was blown off the outside of the second story of the four-story jail. No inmates had to be moved as the area where the damage occurred is secured. Gerlach had no estimate of damage.

 

Robbery Suspect In Custody Following Pursuit

A Cyril man wanted for robbery out of Texas is in custody after leading police on a high-speed pursuit in Caddo County. 37-year old Dustin Beard was arrested following a joint effort of Apache and Cyril police departments and the Caddo County Sheriff's Office. According to a post on the Apache Police Department's Facebook page, Beard led authorities on a pursuit that topped 100 miles per hour, endangering others throughout the chase. The post indicates that Beard jumped out of the vehicle while it was still in gear which resulted in the vehicle hitting a bridge. Beard then fled on foot down a creek but was eventually taken into custody and then to the Caddo County Jail where he is being held on complaints of felony eluding, obstruction, and driving under suspension.

 

Grady County Sheriff's Staff Honored for 20 Years of Service

Some long-time employees with the Grady County Sheriff's Office are recognized for their service. Lts. Chuck Berryhill and Carrie Boggess, and Deputy Dale Thompson were honored for 20 years of service. Sheriff Jim Weir and Undersheriff Gary Boggess say 20 years in law enforcement is a big milestone. All three individuals have sacrificed thousands of hours to serve and protect Grady County residents and have made the sheriff's office reserve program one of most elite programs of its kind in the state.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $119.41 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $120.57.

Natural gas is $9.29 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,853 and silver is $22.04.

 

Obituary

Dwain Boothe

Obituaries today include Dwain Boothe, 87, of Edmond and formerly of Chickasha. He was a pharmacist, a missionary, and a U.S. Army veteran. Viewing will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. today at Sevier Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 13th at Quail Springs Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hope Pregnancy Center in care of the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children in Oklahoma City.

 

Tuesday, June 7th

 

Morning Thunderstorms Cause Flash Flooding

Strong thunderstorms bring flooding rains and hail to much of Grady, Caddo and surrounding counties as well as parts of the Oklahoma City metro area. A flood warning was in effect until 10:30 this morning for northern Grady, western McClain, and Cleveland counties. Main roads in Chickasha were flooded including 3rd and 4th Streets from Choctaw south to Idaho Avenue and residential areas prone to flooding also had high-water issues. The flood-warned area included the H.E. Bailey Turnpike between Chickasha and Newcastle. Mesonet sites recorded more than one inch of rain in Chickasha and nearly two inches of rain in Minco. In northern Caddo County the town of Hinton recorded the heaviest rainfall total in the region at more than 4 inches of rain.

 

Concerns Arise over Planned Drilling Rigs in Chickasha

An energy company looking to drill oil and gas wells in the Chickasha city limits gets some criticism. Camino Natural Resources has obtained drilling permits from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to drill at least two wells on property near Sooner and Cottonwood Roads. The permits were on the agenda for last night’s Chickasha City Council meeting for consideration. Chickasha businessman and resident Jacobi Jarnagin expressed concern that company officials were pretty aggressive in getting property owners to sign off on the drilling.

 

              

 

Jarnagin said Camino has plans to drill four wells on a single pad at that location. Mayor Chris Mosley said he supported the drilling but that he is concerned about the road damage that will occur.

 

              

 

The company is to pay a $25,000 bond on each of the permits to the city. The council voted 7-1 to approve the permits. Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander cast the only no vote.

 

Proposed Budget for City of Chickasha to be On-line

The council spent about 15 minutes discussing the proposed 2023 fiscal year budget for the city during a public hearing last night. No residents came forward during the hearing. Officials said while only a brief summary of the plan is currently available for public view on the city’s website, the entire proposal – more than 20 pages long - will be posted on the city’s website within a view days to allow for more public scrutiny. The $48 million plan will be placed on the agenda for the council's June 20th meeting to give the budget final approval.

 

Chickasha Seeks New Public Works Director

The City of Chickasha is looking for a new public works director. David Buchanan resigned from the post last month. City Manager Tyler Brooks said Buchanan left for personal reasons. Buchanan spent more than two years in that post. Last night, the city council approved a contract with Oklahoma Municipal Management Services to bring in an interim public works director. His hourly rate will be just over $35 an hour. Brooks says a candidate has been selected and will be on the job this morning. His name has not yet been made public.

 

Chix Fire Department to get Two New Ambulances

The Chickasha Fire Department will have two new ambulances in service later this year. The city council approved the purchase of a new ambulance and cab-and-chassis for the fire department during last night's meeting. The vehicles are being purchased from Emergency Vehicle Sales and Service of Oklahoma. The price tag for the 2022 model ambulance is just under $244,000. The cost of the 2022 Dodge Ram 5500 is about $65,000. The costs of both vehicles will be reimbursed by the county's 522 EMS District. The fire department will build the second ambulance onto the cab-and-chassis that is being purchased. Fire Chief Tony Samaniego said the new ambulance is expected to be delivered in October.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $118.50 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $119.51.

Natural gas is $9.32 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,852 and silver is $22.09.

 

Obituaries

Josephine Guererro

Funeral service for Josephine Guererro, 83, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 10th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

‘Dale’ Riddle

A private family service will be held at a later date for Quenton "Dale" Riddle, 82, of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

Monday, June 6th

 

Public Hearing to be held Tonight

for Proposed City of Chickasha Budget

A proposed budget of nearly $49 million for the City of Chickasha for fiscal year 2023 will be discussed during a public hearing that will be held the Chickasha City Council tonight. After the public hearing, the council will consider a resolution to adopt the budget which would go into effect next month.

Energy Company Seeks Drilling Permits

The council will also consider approving drilling permits for Camino Resources to drill two wells in the southeast part of the city near Sooner and Cottonwood Roads.

Purchase of New Ambulances to be Considered

The council will also consider purchasing a new ambulance and a cab-and-chassis for the fire department. It's proposed that the council purchase a 2022 ambulance at a cost of just under $244,000 and a 2022 Dodge Ram 5500 cab-and-chassis at a cost of no more than $65,000 from Emergency Sales and Service of Oklahoma. The fire department will use the cab-and-chassis to build a second ambulance. The city would be reimbursed for the cost of both vehicles by the 522 EMS district.  Also to be discussed is a proposal to retire K9 officer Jax and sell him to his handler at a cost of $100. The group will also consider a request for the temporary closing of the 100 block of Chickasha Avenue the evening of Saturday, July 2nd for a multi-class reunion celebration. The group will also consider a proposal to allow the Chickasha Area Arts Council to use the Rock Island Railroad depot area from Friday, September 30th through Sunday, October 2nd for its annual Rock Island Arts Festival.

 

Oklahoma to Participate in Kid Governor Program

Oklahoma is the 4th state in the country to participate in what's called the Kid Governor program. It's a civics lesson project for 5th grade students. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy gives a brief description.

 

              

 

Seven finalists will be selected and then ballots will be sent to participating 5th grade classes across the state who will vote and elect a Kid Governor for the following year. For information about the program teachers can visit the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's website: www.oica.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $118.87 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $119.72.

Natural gas is $8.52 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,857 and silver is $22.37.

 

Obituaries

Hazel Taylor

A graveside service for Hazel Taylor, 96, of Chickasha will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 7th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

Beth Kizzia

Funeral service for Beth Kizzia, 61, of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 7th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

2022, June 1st-4th

Saturday, June 4th

 

Man Critically Injured in Turnpike Crash

A driver is fighting for his life after a one-vehicle accident on the H.E Bailey Turnpike. 45-year old Maximiliano Olvera of Oklahoma City suffered numerous injuries in the crash which happened about 2:30 this morning in the eastbound lanes of the turnpike near mile marker 97 - not far from the toll booth. The highway patrol reports that Olvera struck a guard rail cushion and a concrete barrier.  He was trapped in the truck for about 30 minutes before being rescued by the Bridge Creek Fire Department. The trooper called out to the crash said Olvera had fallen asleep at the wheel.

 

Suspect  Allegedly Has 25+ Pounds of Fentanyl

A traffic stop leads to the arrest of a man for allegedly having more than 25 pounds of the deadly pain-killing drug Fentanyl. An agent with the state bureau of narcotics pulled over a pickup on the H.E. Bailey turnpike in Chickasha Thursday afternoon when the driver made an improper lane change. A probably cause affidavit indicates the agent's K9 partner indicated that drugs may be inside the vehicle. The agent found nearly a dozen bundles wrapped in black tape which the agent said field tested as positive for Fentanyl. The driver, 21-year old Carlos Floriano-Torres of El Paso, Texas was arrested on a drug complaint and taken to the Grady County Jail. Prosecutors have formally charged Floriano-Torres with aggravated drug trafficking. He has not yet had his initial appearance on the charge.

 

Longtime Newspaper Publisher Frances Settle Dies

Frances Settle, a longtime co-owner and publisher of a number of Grady County newspapers has died. She was 86 when she passed away at her home in Lyons, Kansas earlier this week. Frances and her husband Marshall published the Chickasha Star, Minco Minstrel, and Tuttle Times from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. The couple also published a number of Kansas newspapers. Frances was born in Walters, Oklahoma in 1935 and graduated from Anadarko High School. She and Marshall were married for more than 50 years until his passing in 2006. Survivors include son John and his wife Paula and their family of Oklahoma City; and son David and his wife Anita and their family of Lyons, Kansas. A memorial service will be held in Chickasha at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Press Association.

 

Talk Show Topics

Here is what we're talking about this weekend. USAO history professor James Finck is this week’s guest on the KOOL Konversation. The guest on Real Estate Today is Joe Dorman, the director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Find podcasts to both programs under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Vera Taylor

A graveside service for Vera Taylor, 101, of Chickasha and formerly of Rush Springs will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 6th at the Rush Springs Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Friday, June 3rd

 

New Court Date Set for Coach Charged with Child Rape

Former high school and junior high school girls basketball coach Ron Akins was back in a Grady County Courtroom yesterday. Akins is facing a number of charges for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting players he was coaching. Back in May, Akins' attorney waived his client's right to a preliminary hearing. Yesterday's court date was to schedule Akins' next court date. Online court records show that the case has been placed on a disposition docket Sept. 13th. Akins is charged with 10 felonies which includes rape, sexual battery, and lewd or indecent acts to children under 16. Several of Akins’ alleged victims have also filed a federal lawsuit against Akins and a number of others for failing to take action when they were notified about the allegations against the former coach.

 

Woman Uses Sister's Name to Avoid Arrest

A woman wanted for driving a stolen vehicle is accused of using her sister's identity in an attempt to avoid arrest. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for 36-year old Amy Lynn Barnes last month. Grady County Sheriff’s deputies had reached out to Barnes' sister about a pending court case against her. The sister said Barnes suspected her sister had given her name because she had done it previously. Authorities were able to locate Barnes and arrested her last week. She's facing felony charges of having a stolen vehicle and false impersonation and a misdemeanor for having marijuana. Barnes remains in the Grady County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

 

Shannon Springs' Park Pool Opening Delayed

Mechanical issues have delayed the opening of the City of Chickasha's public pool at Shannon Springs Park. Officials initially filled the pool on Tuesday in hopes of opening on Wednesday. However, crews found a faulty valve that had to be replaced. They had to drain some of the water out of the pool in order to replace make repairs. It’s not clear when the pool may open.

 

Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Has Special Election Tomorrow

Members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma will go to the polls tomorrow in a special election. The election is to fill a vacant seat on the Kiowa Tribe's legislative body. It's for District 7, where former legislator Jacob Tsotigh resigned to run for the vice chairman post alongside chairman candidate Lawrence Spottedbird. Spottedbird and Tsotigh did win the election and will take office next month. There are five candidates on tomorrow’s ballot - Joshua Tonacut, Shane Tartsah, Warren Queton, Spencer Onco, and Mark Cody.

 

State High School Rodeo Finals in Chickasha

Oklahoma high school rodeo’ers are in Chickasha this weekend. It's the state finals for the cowboys and cowgirls as they look to earn enough points to qualify for the national high school rodeo which will be held in Gillette, Wyoming this summer. More than 125 competitors are at the Grady County Fairgrounds looking to make the top 15 in their respective events. The first go-round was held yesterday and the second go-round is today. The top 15 in each event after today’s competition advance to the short-go tomorrow where the top four in each event will advance to the national high school finals rodeo next month. An awards ceremony will wrap up the event on Sunday.

 

Other Weekend Events

Other goings-on in Chickasha this weekend...The Chickasha Community Theatre is hosting the first of back-to-back weekends of shows. Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr. opened last night. There are shows at 6:30 tonight and tomorrow night and at 2:00 p.m. Sunday. The show will also run next Thursday through Sunday.

Wings and Wheels Air Show is Tomorrow

Also, the City of Chickasha is hosting its Wings and Wheels Air Show at the airport tomorrow. There will be vintage airplanes on display, a number of acrobatic acts, and a veteran's parachute jump. The airport opens at 8 a.m. for the vintage plane display, the car and truck show, and registration for free plane rides for children ages 8-17. The free plane rides run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The air show events start at noon starting with the veteran’s parachute jump bringing in an American flag. There are food trucks on hand and free water will be available. Admission and parking are free.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $116.87 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $117.61.

Natural gas is $8.48 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,869 and silver is $22.43.

 

Thursday, June 2nd

 

OSBI Investigates Officer-Involved Shooting in Chickasha

Officials with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) are looking into an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Chickasha Tuesday night. The OSBI reports that Chickasha police were dispatched to a neighborhood near 18th and Idaho about a shirtless man in the street yelling obscenities. The man did not comply with officers and retreated inside his home. A few minutes later, he came out of the house with a rifle. Again, the man did not comply with police and an officer fired an undetermined number of shots with at least one of them striking the man. The man was identified as 34-year old Justin Keith Henderson who was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. The name of the officer who discharged his weapon was not released.

 

Two Suspects Arrested for Having Stolen Pickup

Two Chickasha men are facing felony charges after they were found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle. One of the men is also accused of having a firearm after a previous conviction. The arrests of 24-year old Justin Chance Knight and 20-year old Steven Ryburn started with a Grady County Sheriff's Office investigation of pickup stolen from Chickasha last week. A probable cause affidavit indicates the owner had posted a photo of the truck on Facebook and offered a reward. The owner told deputies that he was contacted by an unknown person about setting up a meeting. The owner then called authorities to let them know that they were going to get together at Hawkins Church north of Alex. As the owner met with two individuals, deputies converged on the church and arrested the pair.  Authorities found a .22 caliber revolver that was alleged to have been in Knight's possession. Knight has a previous conviction of endangering others while attempting to elude stemming from a 2019 arrest. Knight remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $150,000 bond. Ryburn is out of jail on a $7,500 bond.

 

Lawsuit Delays Opening of New Caddo County Casino

A new casino in Caddo County may be temporarily barred from opening. The Warm Springs Casino at the Apache Y is the subject of a federal lawsuit that has been filed against leaders of the Ft. Sill Apache tribe and the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Oklahoman reports that the Kiowa and Comanche nations have jointly filed the lawsuit. A federal judge heard arguments in the case earlier this week. The Oklahoman reports that the case begins a new chapter in a long dispute over the Ft. Sill-Apache tribe's gaming rights in southwest Oklahoma - on land promised to the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribes in an 1867 treaty. Decades after that treaty, Ft. Sill-Apache descendants were forced to the area as prisoners of war. The new lawsuit contends the Ft. Sill-Apache tribe has no jurisdiction over the land under Warm Springs Casino. But federal regulators have already given verbal approval to the casino. The Oklahoman reports that government funding fueled by gaming operations is at stake on both sides. While the Ft. Sill-Apache tribe wants to grow its economic base, the Kiowa and Comanche tribes both want to maintain their own revenue streams. Both the Kiowa and Comanche tribes have casinos within 30 miles of Warm Springs Casino.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $115.26 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $122.61.

Natural gas is $8.70 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,859 and silver is $22.13.

 

Obituary

Peggy Jo Conner

Funeral service for Peggy Joe Conner, 64, of Tuttle will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 3rd at Snow Hill Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.

 

Wednesday, June 1st

 

Some Damage Reported from Early Morning Storms

Strong thunderstorms rumbled across much of Oklahoma last night and this morning and there is a report of at least one home damaged in the Chickasha area. A roof was blown off the home of Mike Parham in the Norge area. Parham posted a photo of the damage on his Facebook page. He also said a shed had been blown away. Fortunately no one was injured. There were no tornado warnings issued for Grady County in the storms that moved through between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Television meteorologists reported that radar-indicated winds in parts of Grady County reached 80 miles per hour. Chickasha and Apache received the most rain in the region at about 1.5 inches; Rush Springs collected an inch of rain; Minco about seven-tenths; and Ft. Cobb's rain gauge showed about three-quarters-of-an-inch. Rain and thunderstorms are again forecast for much of the region tonight. A flash flood watch is in effect until 1:00 a.m. Thursday.

 

Truck Driver Sentenced in Connection with 2018 Fatal Crash

A semi driver charged with a misdemeanor in connection with a fatal traffic accident that occurred four years ago is sentenced to one year in jail with six months suspended. 30-year old Koby Keaton Griffin of Childress, Texas entered a blind plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide in Grady County District Court. 60-year old Joyce McDaniel was killed in the three-vehicle crash just south of Minco on U.S. Highway 81 in March of 2018. The Highway Patrol reported at the time that McDaniel had stopped on the highway to allow traffic to clear before turning on to a county road. Her car was rear-ended by Griffin’s semi and pushed into oncoming traffic where McDaniel's car was then hit by an oncoming pickup. Griffin told authorities that the brakes on his big rig failed. In addition to his jail sentence Griffin was also ordered to pay $750 in fines, perform 100 hours of community service, and to complete a driver improvement course.

 

Suspect Charged in Theft of Lawn Mowing Equipment

A Chickasha man is facing a charge of grand larceny in connection with the theft of more than $11,000 in lawn maintenance equipment. 32-year old Andrew Marcus Middleton, also known as Andrew Morris, was arrested by Chickasha police over the weekend. A probable cause affidavit indicates that an officer was called out to check out a suspicious vehicle towing a trailer. Just minutes before, the sheriff's office received a call about a trailer with the equipment being pulled by a white SUV. A few minutes later a state trooper stopped the SUV just east of Chickasha near Jay’s Mini Stop. Middleton was the driver and told authorities he had purchased the items although he didn't have any receipts. The owner of the trailer and equipment identified the items as his. Prosecutors have charged Middleton with a felony and he remains in the Grady County Jail on a $7,500 bond. Just last year, Middleton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in connection with a previous theft in Chickasha. He was given a 30-day suspended sentence in connection with that case.

 

State Rig Count Up Slightly

Oklahoma's rig count continues a slow climb, which bucked the national trend for last week. The Sooner State now has 59 active oil and gas rigs, up one from the previous week. Nationwide, the rig count fell by one to a total of 727. That number is about 50 percent higher than a year ago when it was 442 rigs.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $114.67 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $122.84.

Natural gas is $8.15 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,833 and silver is $21.50.

 

USAO Softball Team Finished Third in National Tournament

The USAO softball team came within one win of playing for a national championship at the NAIA Softball World Series in Columbus, Georgia last night. Needing two victories to get to the title game, the No. 5-ranked Drovers defeated No. 11-ranked Southeastern of Florida 2-1 in 10 innings in their first game. The Drovers then played No. 1-ranked Mobile, Alabama in a game that also went 10 innings and was won by Mobile, 4-3. The Drover season ends with a 53-10 record and a third place finish in the national tournament. Mobile will go on to play Oklahoma City University for the NAIA national title this afternoon.

 

Tuesday, May 31st

 

Memorial Day Ceremony Held at Shannon Springs Park

Memorial Day ceremonies nationwide yesterday paid tribute to the men and women in the armed forces who died while serving their country. One of those ceremonies was held at the Grady County Veterans Memorial in Shannon Springs Park. The names of the 162 Grady County military veterans who died while on active duty were read aloud. Chickasha City Manager Tyler Brooks, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said the memories of battles fought by soldiers are never over and talked about the War of 17.

 

 

Brooks said while we take time to honor those who have died, we need to remember the living as well. He said help is available for veterans who may be struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Veterans, or anyone who knows a veteran suffering with PTSD can reach out to veterans groups such as the Grady County Disabled American Veterans, VFW, or American Legion for help.

 

Grady County GOP to Host Education Forum

The three Republican candidates for State Superintendent of Schools will be part of an education forum in Chickasha this week. April Grace, Superintendent at Shawnee Public Schools; John Cox, Superintendent at Peggs Public Schools; and Ryan Walters, state education secretary will speak. Others include Deborah Campbell, a Republican candidate for House District 50 which includes the Duncan area; Jenni White from Reclaim Oklahoma Power Empowerment (ROPE) who will discuss SB 1647 which is the school choice bill; certified teacher and doctoral student Mark Ousley will discuss critical race theory and social and emotional learning in the classroom; and Sandy Harrell, who is a member of the state Republican party’s education committee is also part of the forum. The program will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 4th at the USAO Ballroom. The forum is open to the public and not just members of the Republican Party.

 

State Wheat Harvest Begins

The wheat harvest is underway in Oklahoma. Most of the work is taking place in southern and southwest Oklahoma like Altus, Chattanooga, and Walters - with some test cuttings as far north as Piedmont and Okarche. Farm broadcaster Ron Hays says projections for this year's crop are low.

 

              

 

On the other end of the spectrum though Hays said a test cutting in the tri-city area is showing some promise. One location in Newcastle was in full harvest with about 50 bushels per acre and test weights at 60 pounds per bushel.

 

Food Bank Has Two Grady County Sites for Summer Program

The Regional Food Bank is working to make sure Oklahoma children have something to eat this summer. A couple of sites in Grady County will offer food to youth while school is out. The Chickasha YMCA will be serving lunch Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a snack from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Rush Springs Baptist Church will serve a morning snack between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays). All the meals and snacks are prepared and packaged by volunteers in Hope's Kitchen which is the Regional Food Bank's production kitchen.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $115.07 per barrel.

London-based Brent Crude is $119.43.

Natural gas is $8.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,852 and silver is $21.83.

 

Drovers Continue Play in NAIA Softball World Series

The USAO softball team picks up another win at the NAIA Softball World Series in Columbus, Georgia. After suffering a 3-0 loss to Mobile, Alabama on Saturday, the Drovers bounced back with a 6-0 win over Freed-Hardeman, Tennessee yesterday. USAO is among the final four teams remaining in the tournament. The Drovers will face Southeastern Florida in an elimination game this afternoon. 

 

Obituary

Debra Wallin

A graveside service for Debra Wallin, 64, of Ninnekah will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1st at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

Monday, May 30th

No news due to the Memorial Day Holiday

 

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