Saturday, Dec. 17th
Has Oklahoma Had its Last Energy Boom?
There's been slow improvement in Oklahoma’s energy sector over the last year or so but a new report indicates things may never return to the glory days of when hydraulic fracturing created a boom about 10 years ago. The Oklahoman reports that there are fewer jobs in the sector now than when fracking in shale deposits had the industry going like gang-busters starting in 2014. The report cites that low energy prices, energy policy, and lingering effects of COVID-19 are a few of the reasons. One economist says there are fewer people working in the industry today than what had been typical in the past when oil was hovering around the current price of about $80 a barrel. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show about 30,000 Oklahomans currently hold down drilling and extraction jobs. That's less than half the number of workers in 2014 at the height of the western Oklahoma shale boom when oil was $100 a barrel. The Oklahoman also reports that there are fewer oilfield service-related jobs today. Other reasons for the decline include that Oklahoma has diversified its economy so it is not as dependent on the fossil fuel industry. New jobs have been created in other sectors that require the same skill-sets as some of the oilfield jobs that come and go. Some of them are in the aerospace industry. The report also shows that some energy companies are shifting their focus from production and growth to returning profits to investors.
State Lawmakers Just Week's Away from Legislative Session
State lawmakers are already making preparations for the next legislative session which will get underway in February. State Rep. Dick Lowe (R-Amber) talks about a couple of bills he'll be working on –
Rep. Lowe and Rep. Brad Bowles (R-Marlow) are this week's guests on our Real Estate Today program. On our KOOL Konversation this week’s guest is Jermaine ‘Bird’ Burdow, a speaker with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who tells us his faith helped him get through difficult times in his life. Find podcasts to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Funeral service for Seth McCool, 40, of Mt. View and formerly of the Chickasha and Verden area will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19th at the United Methodist Church in Mt. View. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with Ray and Martha's Funeral Home in Mt. View.
Funeral service for Robert Sims, 76, of Ninnekah will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday Dec. 20th at the First Baptist Church of Ninnekah. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Friday, Dec. 16th
Tempers Flare at Corporation Commission Meeting
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday voted to close the utility rate cases regarding storm costs associated with the February 2021 Polar Vortex. The vote came after heated exchanges between commission chair Dana Murphy and member Bob Anthony. From the start of the rate-increase process last year Anthony has fought against the plans for utilities to pass their fuel costs on to consumers. OK Energy Today reports that Anthony accused Murphy of a cover-up in yesterday's meeting. He said the panel failed to hold public hearings on the efforts of PSO, CenterPoint Energy and others to use the Winter Securitization Act approved by state lawmakers and the governor. Murphy said the approvals included reviews and that compliance reports were filed but Anthony disagreed. Anthony said staff members of the Corporation Commission hindered and stonewalled his efforts to learn details of the act. Murphy and member Todd Hiett voted to close the cases while Anthony opted not to vote.
Driver Hospitalized Following Ninnekah Crash
One person was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital following a two-car collision in Ninnekah Wednesday night. The accident happened about 7:30 p.m. near U.S. Highway 81 and South 16th Street. Ninnekah Police officer Ryan Ersland said a Rush Springs woman was attempting to enter the highway from the Dollar General Store parking lot when her car was hit by a northbound vehicle. The unidentified Rush Springs woman was taken by medical helicopter to OU Medical Center where she was last in stable condition. The driver of the other vehicle was an unidentified juvenile who was taken by private vehicle to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. It was not known if the teen was admitted. The northbound lanes of the highway were closed for about 45 minutes after the crash.
New Superintendent Named for Alex Schools
A new superintendent has been named for Alex Public Schools. Just last week we reported on the retirement of current administrator Keith Weldon which will be effective at the end of the school year. A post on the Alex Public Schools website says the new superintendent is Ead Simon who has been in the Roff school system for 21 years. Simon will finish out the school year at Roff and will begin duties at Alex July 1st. Simon and his wife Lana will be in the Alex community in the coming months and the school board encourages patrons to welcome them to the Longhorn family.
It's the Last Weekend for Festival of Light Shuttle Service
This is the last weekend for Festival of Light visitors to take a shuttle from downtown Chickasha to Shannon Springs Park. This may be the biggest weekend of the season for visitors wanting to see the lights so the shuttle service provides a good option to avoid an extended wait time. The shuttles leave from the Leg Lamp and the Rock Island Railroad Depot about every 30 minutes between 6 and 11 tonight and tomorrow. Round-trip tickets are $2 per person. Some downtown restaurants and stores will be open. Officials say that the Red Ryder BB Gun and quilt exhibit will not be open this weekend due to some unforeseen issues.
Chix Chamber Announces Gift Card Winning Numbers
The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce announced the winning ticket numbers for the $10,000 in gift card give-aways yesterday. We've not yet heard of any winners claiming their prizes. The winning number for the $5,000 in gift cards is 43517; the winning number for the $3,000 in gift cards is 44912; and the winning number for the $2,000 in gift cards is 21029. Prizes must be claimed by 3:15 this afternoon or new winning tickets will be drawn. The numbers are available on our Facebook page and on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.11 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $81.21.
Natural gas is $6.97 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,795 and silver is $23.23.
A memorial service for Holly VanOrder, 38, of Chickasha will be held at noon Saturday, Dec. 17th at Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, Dec. 15th
State Panel to Again Consider Utility Rate Hikes
Some Oklahoma utility companies are again asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to let them pass along their high fuel costs to customers. Utility officials say the costs continue to be associated with the sub-freezing temperatures that occurred in February of 2021 during a weather phenomenon we've come to know as the Polar Vortex. Officials with Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), CenterPoint Energy (now Summit Energy), Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E), and Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) were seeking the approval. Several utilities have already received approval to pass some of those costs on to consumers. Monthly utility bills have already increased by around $5 per month with those increases effective for the next 20 years or even longer. The requests were to be heard in today's meeting of the Corporation Commission. Also at the meeting, officials with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) were to ask for a moratorium on rate hikes and customer disconnects.
States Blame Oklahoma for Most Illegal Pot Trafficking
There are claims around the country that Oklahoma is the No. 1 source of illegal marijuana trafficking in some states. That's according to officials with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN). Bureau spokesman Mark Woodward tells KOCO-TV that eastern states from Rhode Island to Florida are pointing to Oklahoma for problems in those areas. Woodward said a lot of the illicit pot in Oklahoma can be traced to criminal groups in China, Russia, and Bulgaria. Woodward said the state has an estimated 2,000 farms that are under investigation for fraudulently obtaining their licenses or moving their product from those farms to the black market. Woodward said the agency has received a commitment from state lawmakers to provide the office additional funds so agents can have a 24-7 focus on the criminal elements within the marijuana industry.
Carnegie Man Arrested After Pursuit
A high-speed pursuit from Verden to Chickasha early Wednesday lands a Caddo County man in jail. Verden Police Chief Jason Cox said it began to unfold about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday when police radar indicated a motorist driving 60 mph through town in a 35 mph zone. Officer Jeryt Henson attempted to make a traffic stop but the driver sped away. Speeds topped 100 miles per hour as the chase went eastbound on U.S. Highway 62 with the motorist running several vehicles off the road. The driver was still traveling at 100 miles per hour when he approached the Chickasha fire station at 16th and Choctaw. The motorist eventually pulled over at 4th and Choctaw where he was arrested without incident. In custody is 54-year old Dee Neal Cook who listed a Carnegie address. Cook claimed that he was trying to get away from someone who wanted to kill him. He also allegedly admitted to being high on meth. Prosecutors have charged Cook with felony charges of endangering others while eluding and reckless driving. Cook is currently on probation after serving time for pleading guilty to felony weapons charges out of Caddo County following a 2018 arrest. He's also facing municipal charges out of Mt. View. Cook remains in the Grady County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Chix Chamber to Hold 'Buy Chickasha' Gift Card Drawings
A few fortunate shoppers will be able to buy some extra Christmas presents this holiday season. The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce will hold its Buy Chickasha campaign gift card drawings this afternoon. $10,000 in gift cards will be given away with the top prize being $5,000 in gift cards to merchants who participated in the Buy Chickasha promotion. Over the last month, shoppers were able to get one ticket to the drawing for every $10 in merchandise they purchased.
Officer, Civilian to be Honored by Chix Police Department
The Chickasha Police Department will be honoring two individuals for their work this year. Sgt. Scott Ely was named the officer of the year and Animal Control Officer Layce Graham was named Civilian of the Year. Both will be recognized at a reception at the police department Wednesday, Dec. 21st.
Animal Shelter Offers Low-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic
Pet owners who are considering spaying and neutering their dogs and cats can get a discount on those services next week. The Chickasha Animal Shelter will provide the low-cost sterilization procedure next Wednesday, Dec. 21st. Pets will need to be dropped off at the shelter between 6 and 7 in the morning and they will be taken to an Oklahoma City veterinarian. The fur babies will be back later that afternoon and can be picked up between 5 and 6. For information, contact the shelter by calling 405-222-6093 and leave a message.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.28 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $82.70.
Natural gas is $6.43 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,789 and silver is $23.37.
Wednesday, Dec. 14th
Fed, State Agents Continue Hand Sanitizer Fires Probe
Investigators with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) were in Chickasha yesterday looking around the office of a company linked to those massive hand sanitizer fires that took place this past summer. Bordwine Development Company was fined a record $6 million by the DEQ for the alleged introduction of hazardous materials into the environment and because he didn't have a permit to store millions of gallons of expired hand sanitizer at the former Chickasha Manufacturing Company and other locations which burned to the ground. KFOR TV reported that Assistant State Fire Marshal James Fullingim said they have no indication that someone intentionally set the fires but that they know someone did something - and that it could have been a careless act. KFOR also reported that Bordwine's attorney filed new documents saying Bordwine followed DEQ rules pointing to agency guidelines that require an item to be solid waste before it becomes hazardous. A statement from the DEQ stated that expired hand sanitizer is hazardous waste as it exhibits the characteristic of ignitability. DEQ believes the exceptions cited by Bordwine's attorney aren't applicable in this situation. An administrative hearing on the matter will be held in March.
Grady County Firefighters Benefit from Grant 'Challenge'
Grady County rural fire departments get an early Christmas present. Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Grady County Farm Bureau, and State Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) combined to give a total of $1,200 to the Grady County Fire Board this week. The funds were presented to the Grady County Fire Department at this week's Grady County Commissioners meeting. Stormy Duffle is the president of the Grady County Fire Board.
Steve Standridge with the Grady County Farm Bureau said the state offiice issued a challenge to Grady County to raise funds and Sen. Paxton also helped out. Standridge said $100 will be going to each of the 12 rural fire departments.
State Airport May be New Home for Special Ops Pilots
An Oklahoma National Guard air base may soon be the nation's hub for special operations pilots. According to the Military Times, Will Rogers World Airport has been tabbed to be a new location for a new armed overwatch fleet. The air force plans to replace more than a dozen MC-12 Liberty Reconnaissance training planes. Officials say Will Rogers would receive 28 new planes and about 80 personnel to support the mission of the 310th Special Operations Squadron. Before the change takes place the airport must pass a review of its ability to meet the fleet's operational needs and how the new planes could affect existing missions and an environmental impact study must also be performed. Both are expected to take place next year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.39 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $80.68.
Natural gas is $6.93 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,819 and silver is $23.88.
James 'Glynn' Richardson
A memorial service for ‘Glynn’ Richardson, 61, of Spring, Texas and formerly of the Chickasha and Amber area will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17th at Newsong Church.
Tuesday, Dec. 13th
Early Morning Storms Included Tornado Warnings
A series of tornado warnings were issued for parts of the region early this morning as thunderstorms moved through central Oklahoma. The first warning was issued just before 5 a.m. as strong thunderstorms moved through the Chickasha area and into Lindsay. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southeastern Grady, northeastern Garvin, and southern McClain counties. Radar indicated a possible tornado near the rural Grady County community of Bailey with the storms tracking toward Erin Springs and Lindsay. Another tornado warning was issued a few minutes later for southern McClain County and parts of Cleveland County. There have been no immediate reports of damage from these storms in this area, however there were reports of damage in the eastern McClain County town of Wayne south of Purcell. It's a very rare occurrence for tornados to form in December but the spring-like weather system moving across the state overnight was favorable for tornado development. Rainfall totals from the storm included 2.2 inches of rain west of Rush Springs at the Acme Mesonet station, nearly an inch of rain in Chickasha and Apache; six-tenths of an inch of rain at Ft. Cobb, and about a half-inch of rain at Minco.
Residential Construction Leads Chix Building Report
Nearly $900,000 in new construction projects in the City of Chickasha were approved by the city's Community Development Department last month. Officials approved 15 permits for residential and commercial construction. Residential construction included a new home on Country Club Drive for Merrick Construction for $400,000; and a new home in the Sleepy Hollow Addition for Raush-Coleman Homes valued at $160,000. Remodeling permits were issued to Grayline Properties for a home in the 2000 block of S. 13th for $80,000; to Killian Renovation for a home in the 1300 Block of W. Missouri for $54,000; to Bordwine Development for a home in the 1900 block of Louisiana for $50,000; to Jarrod Short for a home at 16 Highland Drive for $40,000; to Bingham Rentals for a home at 138 Orchard for $25,000; and one to an unlisted vendor in the 1200 block of S. 14th Street for $20,000. A commercial remodeling permit was issued to an unlisted vendor for upgrades in the 1600 block of S. 4th Street for $18,000.
City of Anadarko Employees Reach Milestones
A number of employees for the City of Anadarko were recognized for their service to the community. According to a recent post on the city's Facebook page - Regina Jones was honored for 25-years; Police Chief Eric Harlan, police officer Todd Palmer, Kay Howard, and Rocky Barlett were honored for 15 years; Assistant Police Chief Dustin Chandler, Megan Shosh, Max Franklin, and Jo Spangelhour were recognized for 10 years; and police officer Jordan Stone was recognized for five years of service.
Utility Provides Thousands of LED Bulbs to Needy Families
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is teaming up with several relief organizations to provide free LED light bulbs to needy families. Nearly 120,000 of the energy-saving bulbs have been provided by PSO's Shine-A-Light program. LED bulbs can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This year 22 food pantries serving 100 communities are taking part including the Salvation Army serving Grady and Caddo counties; the Compassion Center and Assumption Catholic Church in Duncan; and the food bank and Salvation Army in Lawton.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.17 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.99.
Natural gas is $6.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,798 and silver is $23.71.
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Sarah Adkins, 84, of Chickasha. She was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Monday, Dec. 12th
First Responders Intervene in Suicide Threat
There were some tense moments for Chickasha police and first responders after they were dispatched to an individual threatening suicide near the downtown area. Authorities were summoned to the railroad overpass in the 100 block of East Choctaw Ave. just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Traffic was detoured around the area while first responders talked to the individual. In a press release, police said officials talked to the individual for about an hour and were able to prevent anything from happening. The individual was not injured and taken to a medical facility for evaluation.
Driver Hospitalized After Turnpike Crash
A driver is hospitalized after the car he was driving veered off the interstate and hit a tree. The crash happened about 3:00 a.m. Sunday near mile marker 77 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike just west of Chickasha. The trooper dispatched to the accident reported that the vehicle was eastbound on the highway when it careened off the road. 23-year old Alexander Osmond of Surprise, Arizona was taken by ground ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was last in fair condition. Osmond was wearing his seatbelt. The accident remains under investigation.
Chix School Sup't to get Annual Performance Review
Chickasha school superintendent Rick Croslin will undergo his annual performance review in a closed-door session which is part of tonight’s monthly meeting of the Chickasha Board of Education. Croslin has been with the district for about 2 1/2 years, coming on board in March of 2020. The panel will also discuss a cooperative agreement with Pioneer Schools to allow its students to participate in middle school soccer for the spring of 2023. The group will also discuss a memorandum of understanding with the three unions within the district: the Chickasha United Teaching Association, The Chickasha Association of Support Employees, and the Chickasha Organization of Professional Administrators. The panel will recognize the Chicken Express Employees of the Month for both November and December. The November employees were Mike Elliott and Janice Cockrum at Lincoln Elementary and the December employees are Peggy Leonard and Leta Pruitt at the middle school. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school district's administration building.
Anadarko School Board Also Meets
The Anadarko school board will also hold its monthly meeting tonight. The panel will consider the Title Seven Impact Aid Indian Policies and Procedures, and fundraisers for the FFA and honor society. The panel is also expected to approve an overnight trip request for the high school band to perform at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio later this month. The trip is scheduled for Dec. 26th through 30th. No. 12-ranked Washington will face No. 20-ranked Texas in the contest. The Anadarko school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the Anadarko school administration office.
'Live' Chocolate Celebration to Return to Chix Library
Following two years of virtual celebrations the Friends of the Chickasha Library will hold its annual Chocolate Celebration in person next year. Several thousand servings of chocolate will be available at the fundraiser and the library friends are seeking corporate and table sponsors. Each table sponsor should provide 200 individual servings of chocolate. Usually there are 15-20 tables with an estimated 4,000 individual treats available. Sponsors can reach out to the library for information by calling 405-222-6075 or Angie Lewis at 405-779-6969 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the chocolate celebration will be available after the first of the year. Tickets are $6 each and allows individuals to select six chocolate servings. The 11th annual chocolate celebration will be Monday, Feb. 13th at Epworth United Methodist Church.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.02 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.10.
Natural gas is $6.24 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,803 and silver is $23.66.