Saturday, Feb. 25th
SH 39 West of Dibble to Close for Construction
A portion of State Highway 39 between Tabler and Dibble will be closed to through traffic starting next week. Work crews have spent the last three months widening about three miles of the roadway from State Highway 76 west to East Winter Creek. Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) say local residents will have access to their homes. Other motorists will have to detour around the project. Passenger car and truck traffic might be able to use county roads to avoid the construction area. Semis and other large truck traffic headed east out of Chickasha will have to take U.S. Highway 62 north and east to Blanchard then go south on SH 76. Westbound traffic from Purcell will have to go north on SH 76 to Blanchard, then hook up with U.S. Highway 62. Officials say to expect the roadway to be closed through the summer. The contractor could qualify for incentive money if the project can be completed within 100 days.
Trooper Finds Cocaine after Traffic Stop
A state trooper finds an estimated 20 kilograms of cocaine after making a traffic stop. It happened in Caddo County this week when a trooper pulled over 58-year old Jeremy Dewayne Mason of South Carolina. The trooper discovered the coke and some $2,000 in cash. Mason is facing felony charges of aggravated trafficking and getting proceeds from drug activity. At his arraignment in Caddo County District Court this week, a judge initially set bond at $250,000 but on-line court records indicates bond was reduced to $125,000. Mason remains in the Caddo County Jail and is to be back in court in April for a preliminary hearing conference.
Man Pleads Guilty to Posting Compromising Photos of Ex
A Cyril man pleads guilty to putting compromising photos of his ex-girlfriend on-line. 28-year old Allen Jay Redden was arrested by Apache police last August. On-line court records indicate Redden waived his right to a preliminary hearing in November and at that time pleaded not guilty. This week he entered a blind plea of guilty to a felony charge of blackmail and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating private sexual images and was fined $500.
State's Monthly Household Utility Rates Lower Than Most
A new report shows that Oklahomans pay some of the lowest utility bills in the country. The state ranked 10th lowest in the survey done by a group called TN Real Estate. The website OK Energy Today cites the report which indicates that the combined monthly bills of natural gas and electricity is just over $160 per month. The lowest is in Wyoming at just over $95 per month. Hawaii is the state with the highest monthly utility bills at nearly $400 per month (about $235 for natural gas and $160 for electricity).
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Horace Alexander is this week's guest on the KOOL Konversation discussing Black History Month. On Real Estate Today this week's guest is 4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, Feb. 24th
Accused Pastor Resigns from Church
A pastor accused of molesting children has resigned. Matthew Reiber stepped down after he was arrested and formally charged with three counts of lewd acts with children. Reiber was serving as a senior pastor at Chickasha's New Life Christian Church. A statement posted on the church's Facebook page says that while Reiber denies the allegations - he has resigned and is no longer affiliated with the church. The post indicated the alleged actions did not occur at the church nor during a church function. It also stated that, if true, the allegations observed are reprehensible and inexcusable but were not consistent with his service. The statement said that Reiber is presumed innocent under the law but the legal system will determine the merits or lack of merits of the allegations. The church asked for prayers on behalf of everyone involved in this horrible situation.
Suspect Arrested after Drugs, Weapons Found in Home
A Chickasha man is in custody after authorities find drugs and weapons in his home. Grady County sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant on a residence in the 1000 block of South 1st Street late Wednesday. A press release from the sheriff's office indicates authorities found nearly 200 grams of marijuana, drug items, and two handguns - one of which may have been stolen out of California. Authorities arrested 53-year old Edward Lee Moore on complaints of possession of a controlled, dangerous substance with intent to distribute; having drugs within 2,000 feet of a school; possession of a firearm after conviction; and having a firearm during the commission of a felony. Prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges against Moore.
Fairgrounds Director Elected to International Post
A staff member at the Grady County Fairgrounds has been selected to serve on an international panel. Jamie Jones who serves as the fairgrounds marketing director was elected to serve a seven-year term on the Young Professionals Steering Committee for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. The panel represents county and state fairs and expositions across the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Jones serves Zone 6 which includes seven states stretching from Oklahoma and Texas to Mississippi and Tennessee. The mission of the group is to provide a community for young professionals to share ideas and guide the fair industry's future through leadership development, mentoring, incentives, and education.
State Rep Re-appointed to National Board
A Grady County state lawmaker will continue serving on a national panel. State Representative Brad Boles (R-Marlow) has been re-appointed to the Energy and Environment Committee of the southern office of the Council of State Governments. It's the largest non-partisan group that serves all three branches of elected and appointed state officials. The group holds regional meetings to exchange ideas for effective legislation and organizes programs to create regional strategies that address shared energy and environmental concerns. Boles said the panel works on policies that set the energy industry up for success which he says is an industry that provides thousands of jobs and contributes more state taxes than any other industry.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.39 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $81.95.
Natural gas is $2.31 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,829 and silver is $21.27.
Darald ‘Bub’ Smith
A graveside service for ‘Bub’ Smith, 84, Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, 25th at Fairlawn Cemetery. He retired from Consolidated Freight after a 30-year career. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A memorial service for Glen Ferguson, 88, of Chickasha will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 4th at College Heights Baptist Church. He was a long time minister and served with a number of missionary trips to Africa. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, Feb. 23rd
'Onward Chickasha' Open House is Tonight
The first of several open house events scheduled for Chickasha residents to provide input on a proposed 30-year master plan for the city will be held tonight. Representatives from the Guernsey Engineering firm will be joining city leaders for the come-and-go event for the Onward Chickasha project. Laura Bergey of Guernsey is the project manager and talks about what to expect-
At the end of 18 months the Guernsey team will present a final plan that will include the recommendations of several projects for the city to consider. The open house will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Chickasha High School commons area. A community survey is still being held to get input which will be available through March 15th on the website Onward Chickasha.org
Congressman Tom Cole Supports U.S. Effort in Ukraine
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole was in Chickasha yesterday and we had an exclusive interview with him. Cole said it is beneficial for the U.S. to support Ukraine as that country continues its battle with Russia.
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Some Anadarko Power Outages to Occur Today
Some Anadarko residents will experience power outages today as crews will be replacing utility poles. According to a post on the city of Anadarko's Facebook page crews will be replacing the poles from the 100 blocks of East Kentucky and Virginia to the 500 blocks of West Kentucky and Virginia. The outages will occur between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Suspect Faces Kidnapping, Assault Charges
A Chickasha man is facing kidnapping and other charges after allegedly holding his girlfriend captive. 26-year old Keyvon Jaquez Richardson was arrested last week following a Chickasha police investigation. A woman had called police earlier this month saying that Richardson held her captive and beat her for several hours in January. The woman said she didn't call police earlier because Richardson threatened to kill her baby. The alleged victim still had lingering injuries from the assault. The district attorney's office has filed felony kidnapping and assault and battery charges against Richardson. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $75,000 bond.
Wildlife Refuge to Conduct Prescribed Burn
A prescribed burn will take place at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge today. Officials say recent weather conditions have presented an opportunity to conduct a burn on the interior pasture near the headquarter’s corrals. Traffic controls will be in place for the duration of the burn and refuge visitors and local residents should expect delays from the refuge headquarters and east along Highway 49 to Burford Lake. Officials say smoke could be visible from several miles away and residual smoke may persist in the area for a few days.
Grady County Cattlewomen Seeking Scholarship Applicants
High school seniors with plans of going to college have been spending a lot of time applying for scholarships. Here's an opportunity for senior girls with an agriculture background. The Grady County Cattlewomen's Association will be awarding a couple of $500 scholarships this spring. Candidates are to be a 4H or FFA member in good standing, attend school in Grady County, and have plans to study ag programs in college. Applications must be submitted by e-mail by April 7, 2023. Contact the Grady County OSU Extension office for more information by calling 405-224-2216.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.95 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $80.60.
Natural gas is $2.17 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,834 and silver is $21.73.
No services are scheduled for Larry Rhodes, 71, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Feb. 22nd
Pastor Arrested, Charged for Alleged Lewd Acts with Children
A pastor for a Chickasha church was arrested over the weekend for alleged lewd acts with children. 37-year old Matthew Reiber, who is listed as a senior pastor at New Life Christian Church, was arrested by Chickasha police Sunday morning. KFOR-TV reports that police were contacted earlier this month about allegations that Reiber allegedly touched a child inappropriately. Prosecutors have charged Reiber with three counts of lewd acts with children and he is out of jail after posting a $100,000 bond. He's to announce his attorney Monday, Feb. 27th and a preliminary hearing conference is set for Wednesday, March 1st.
Mother Accused of Child Neglect, Drug Trafficking
The mother of two small children is in jail facing allegations of child neglect and drug trafficking. 26-year old Jamie Edmonds of Chickasha was arrested last week after police were called to do a welfare check on an 8-year old girl at Grand Elementary School. The child's parents failed to pick her up after school on Valentine's Day. School officials also said they were concerned about the child's three-year old sister. A probable cause affidavit indicates police got some help from the Grady County sheriff's office to find the parents who were living at the Maverick Inn. Authorities allegedly found drugs and paraphernalia in their room that were within reach of the children. Edmonds is facing felony charges of child neglect and drug trafficking. She remains in the Grady County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
Bullock Center to Host Black History Month Program
Chickasha's Bullock Memorial Center will host a Black History Month fundraiser and program this weekend. This will be the first in-person event the center has been able to host in four years. On Saturday, Feb. 25th the center will host a spaghetti fundraiser from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Donations are $10 per person with proceeds benefiting the center’s mission to support arts, education, and tutoring programs for children. From about 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. several guest speakers will discuss barriers that have been overcome and achievements attained by the Black community.
Ag Students Promote National FFA Week
FFA students across the country are celebrating National FFA Week. Some Rush Springs students stopped by the station this week to share information about FFA and Oklahoma agriculture.
They also said that Oklahoma ranks second in the nation in beef production and 10th in pork production, and that there are about 87-thousand farms in the state covering more than 35 million acres which is 78 percent of all of Oklahoma's land.
Bill Designed to Include Career-Tech Bound Students
in 'Oklahoma's Promise' Scholarship Program
Oklahoma students who may want to attend career-tech schools after high school could be eligible for scholarships under the state's Oklahoma's Promise program if a bill at the state capital makes its way through the legislative process. It's SB 27 and it would allow students who want to continue their education at career techs to qualify for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP). The program currently is available for college-bound students. In a prepared statement, one state lawmaker said it would help to boost the state's workforce by providing a new pathway for students to earn critically-needed licenses and certifications through career-tech schools. The bill recently passed out of the senate appropriations committee and can now be heard by the full senate.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.05.
Natural gas is $2.07 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,845 and silver is $21.99.
Tuesday, Feb. 21st
Water Line Project Approved
Last night the Chickasha City Council approved a contract with a firm to build a new main water line which will be associated with the construction of the Highway 81 bypass. The panel voted 8-0 to award the contract to H and H Plumbing which submitted the lowest of three bids for the work. The bid for about 670 linear feet of pipeline was just under $315,000 and it will include a fire hydrant and what's called a blow-off. The line will be about a half-mile north of Iowa Avenue along a county road. With the construction of this line part of an existing water main on Frisco Avenue west of Dan Allen Drive will be abandoned.
Purchase of New Pickups Also OK'd
The council approved the purchase of three new pickups for the Public Works Department. The panel waived the normal bidding process and awarded bids to two dealerships that are on state contract. Two new 2023 Chevy pickups will be purchased from Confidence Chevrolet in Oklahoma City and a new 2022 Dodge pickup will be purchased from Platinum Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep of Terrell, Texas. The total cost of all three trucks is just under $200,000.
Plat OK'd for New Housing Development
Following a brief public hearing, the council unanimously approved the final plat for the Scissortail Crossing subdivision. The panel also approved a waterline easement for that development which will be located southeast of 29th and Grand Avenue with plans to build more than 40 homes.
Grant Re-imbursements Also Approved
(Editor's Note - A version of this story printed and aired Monday, Feb. 20th contained erroneous information regarding what city funds were used for the reimbursement. The erroneous information was removed from Monday's stories with the correct information published here. We apologize for and regret the error).
The council also approved two more grant reimbursements for Chickasha Today LLC totaling more than $165,000 for improvements made in downtown Chickasha. The funds come from what remained of an economic development sales tax fund which has since expired. In all, Chickasha Today LLC officials say they have invested more than $11.5 million in private funds to renovate and revitalize about 100,000 sq. ft. of property in the 100 block of Chickasha Avenue. The firm has received more than $450,000 in grants from the city.
'Killers of the Flower Moon' Author to Speak at USAO
You may be familiar with the true-crime story in Oklahoma that is being made into a Hollywood film by well-known movie producer Martin Scorcese. Killers of the Flower Moon tells the story of what is called one of the most sinister racial injustices in American history involving the murders of Osage tribal members. The movie is based on a book written by noted author David Gann who will be in Chickasha next week. Gann will be joined by author, professor and consultant Hannibal Johnson for USAO's Ray and Mary Giles Symposium on Citizenship and Public Service. The program will be next Friday, March 3rd at USAO's Te Ata Memorial Auditorium beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free but space is limited. Those who would like to attend need to pre-register by going on-line to: www.usao.edu/giles
Southwest District Livestock Show Wrap-up
At the end of the Southwest District Livestock Show last week - in the Swine Show Madilyn Norvell of Ampo had the grand champion barrow; Jancy Rippetoe of Merritt had the reserve; and Ander Thornbrough of Altus had the bronze. Also, two exhibitors were presented with Vernon Crose Memorial Scholarships which were awarded to students who overcame hardships in raising their animals this year. Scholarship winners were Emma Gunn of Rush Springs and Dani Killman of Union City.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.00.
Natural gas is $2.28 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,840 and silver is $21.87.
No services are scheduled at this time for Billye Louise Brown, 89, who passed away in Chickasha Friday, Feb. 17th. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Monday, Feb. 20th
Chix Council to Consider Approving Water Line Project
The City of Chickasha continues work which is associated with the construction of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Highway 81 bypass project. The city council tonight will consider awarding a bid to install 670 linear-feet of a 12-inch diameter water main along a county road about one-half mile north of Iowa Avenue west of 29th Street. The council is expected to award a nearly $316,000 bid to H and H Plumbing which is the lowest of three bids submitted. Engineers estimated the project to cost nearly $450,000. ODOT will reimburse the city 60 percent of the cost or nearly $190,000.
Group Seeks Reimbursement for Downtown Renovation Projects
(Editor's note - a previous version of this story contained erroneous information. This story has been edited to remove the mistake. We apologize for and regret the error)
The panel is also to consider approving two more grant reimbursement requests from Chickasha Today LLC for the renovation work done in the 100 block of Chickasha Avenue. The total of the two requests is more than $165,000 and the Economic Development Council recommended the reimbursement be paid. If approved, the funds would come from the remaining balance of an economic development sales tax fund created by a sales tax which is no longer in effect.
Public Works Department seeks Three New Pickups
The council is also to consider waiving customary bidding requirements to spend nearly $200,000 in order to purchase three new vehicles for the Public Works Department from state contract. The requests are to buy two new 2023 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD pickups from Confidence Chevrolet for a total of just over $130,000 and a 2022 Dodge Ram 3500 from Platinum Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram for just over $65,000.
Public Hearing set for Housing Development
The council will also hold a public hearing to discuss the final plat for Scissortail Crossing for EP Leasing and then after the hearing will consider approving the plat. The panel will also consider approving the sewer and water line easements for Scissortail Crossing. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at City Hall.
New Downtown Signs to be Considered
The city's Historic Preservation Committee meets today to consider several sign permit applications in the downtown area. The sign requests are for Rock Island Candy Company at 111 N. 5th Street; Dab Daddy's Dispensary at 411 W. Chickasha Avenue; and Always Real Estate at 218 West Chickasha Avenue.
Workforce Development Board Open in Chickasha
A new regional office is open in Chickasha to connect businesses seeking workers and individuals looking for work. The South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board just opened an office in the former commercial building downtown at 2nd and Chickasha Avenue. Lafonda Colbert is the one-stop operator for the office.
This is one of several boards across the state including offices in Duncan and Lawton. The group also offers up to $15,000 to pay for training or college for young adults 16-24 years old.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.74 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.00.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,853 and silver is $21.88.
Funeral service for Beverly Buelow, 69, of Cyril will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21st at Ferguson Funeral Home.