Saturday, April 22nd
Consumers to Pay Billions for Costs Associated with 2021 Polar Vortex
More than $6.5 billion will be added to utility bills for many Oklahomans for decades. The reason - to allow electric companies to pay for fuel cost adjustments and related expenses that came about as a result of that polar vortex which impacted several states in February of 2021. This week, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-1 to approve the adjustments which will be paid for by customers of Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO); Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG), and Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E). PSO sought more than $700 million; OG&E requested nearly $500 million; and ONG more than $320 million. The website OK Energy Today indicates the remaining $4 billion is for interest. Monthly bills are expected to increase as much as $5 per month for the next 20 to 30 years. Commissioner Bob Anthony voted against the proposal. He's been battling the plans since day one saying there has been over-charging, market manipulation, falsified records, and an overall lack of transparency. In a 180-page opinion against the proposal Anthony said the orders approved were the worst abuse against public utility ratepayers in decades.
Retired Tuttle Assistant Fire Chief Dies
Longtime Tuttle firefighter W.J. Morgan has died. Morgan served as the assistant chief for the department for several years until his retirement. He was 53 when he passed away Thursday. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 29th at Life Church in Mustang. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle.
Awards Issued at 100th Chix Chamber of Commerce Banquet
One hundred years of service to the Chickasha community was celebrated during the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce annual banquet last night. The chamber organized in August of 1923. About 400 people attended the banquet at the Grady County Fairgrounds. A number of individuals and businesses were recognized. Kent Hibbard was posthumously honored with the Legacy Civic Hall of Fame award. He created the Resurrection House to help the homeless and was instrumental in creating Life Skills Institute which continues to help individuals get back on their feet. Longtime business owner and former State Representative Dan Ramsey was inducted into the Civic Hall of Fame; Cimarron Trailers was named Business of the Year; Shakespeare Wine Company was selected as Small Business of the Year; Interim Chickasha Police Chief G.G. Music was named Public Servant of the Year; Johnny Trammell was named Volunteer of the Year; Dr. Christy Clift received Volunteer of the Year honors; Jamie Jones with the Grady County Fairgrounds was named Woman of the Year; Marissa Moore of USAO was named Young Professional of the Year; and The Wrecking Ball Film Festival was named the Event of the Year.
Talk Show Topics
USAO history professor James Finck is this week’s guest on the KOOL Konversation. The guest on Real Estate Today is Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready. Find podcasts of both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, April 21st
Tornado Clean-up Continues
The death toll from Wednesday night's tornadoes In Oklahoma has climbed to three and many communities continue to dig through the rubble of what was left behind. Governor Kevin Stitt issued a state of emergency for five counties, including McClain and Cleveland counties. The Grady County Sheriff's Office sent a team to aid McClain County officials in the town of Cole where two people died and numerous homes were destroyed or damaged. A post on the sheriff's office Facebook page indicated that deputies covered about a 15-square mile area, checking homes and businesses and offering assistance. Grady County Emergency Management officials encourage residents who had property damage from the storms to reach out. Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson said the information is used by state officials to better coordinate response and recovery efforts.
Man Hospitalized Following Turnpike Crash
We have information on that traffic accident that happened early Thursday morning on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. A Cement man was hospitalized after his truck became disabled and he pulled over on the shoulder. As he was checking under the hood an oncoming motorist struck the pickup, which sent the victim flying into a grassy area next to the shoulder. 64-year old Alvin Bottoms was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital with head and trunk injuries and was last in stable condition. The motorist who struck Bottoms’ truck, 29-year old Christopher Devashure of Perkins, was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. The highway patrol said Devashure was trying to place a drink in a cup holder when the accident occurred.
New Grady County Deputy Sworn In
Another long-time Chickasha police officer has joined the Grady County Sheriff's Office. Scott Weaver was sworn in as a deputy this week. Weaver retired from the Chickasha Police Department after more than 20 years of service and has more than 25 years’ experience overall in law enforcement. Weaver will be assigned to the sheriff’s office courthouse division.
Chix Chamber of Commerce to Celebrate Centennial
It's a special day for the Chickasha business community as the Chamber of Commerce will mark its 100th year during the chamber's annual banquet. There will be a video review of the long history of the group including some of the pre-chamber days in the early 1900s. Chamber Director Jim Cowan said staff members have spent a lot of thought and time putting this historic event together.
A number of awards will be presented including the induction of one person into the civic hall of fame. Other awards will be the large and small businesses of the year, the woman of the year, and the handing over of the gavel to the new president of the chamber’s board of directors. The chamber banquet will be held tonight at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Summer Camp Options Include 'Art Scope'
Summer vacation for school students will be here before we know it. Among the summer camps available is Art Scope which is hosted by the Chickasha Area Arts Council. This will be the 25th year for the two-week camp which will be held June 5th through 16th at USAO. It's for children 8 through 12 years old and includes a balanced program of theatre, visual arts, dance, and music taught by a professional staff of artists and instructors. The cost is just under $200 per student and scholarships are available. For information check out the arts council's website at: www.chickasha arts.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $81.10.
Natural gas is $2.25 per million BTUs.
Gold is just under $2,000 and silver is $26.40.
Thursday, April 20th
Tornadoes, Powerful Storms hit State
The massive cleanup from last night’s tornadoes and strong thunderstorms is underway. Two people died when a large tornado hit the town of Cole east of Blanchard. Numerous tornado warnings were issued including some in Grady County. The first was issued at 6:43 p.m. and a second followed about 30 minutes later at 7:15 p.m. Warnings were issued for the Amber and Blanchard area when storms with baseball-sized hail developed near the Chickasha Airport. The threat included areas of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, and the Norman area. A tornado also caused a lot of damage in the Shawnee area. There were reports that several people were trapped inside their storm shelters. The Red Cross set up an office in McClain County at the Goldsby Community Center to help victims. There are a few school closings today due to the violent weather which included Dibble Public Schools.
Early-morning Crash Closes Part of H.E. Bailey Turnpike
First responders were summoned to an early-morning traffic accident on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Emergency crews were dispatched to the area near mile marker 82 just before six o'clock this morning. A witness said a car had flipped upside down in the eastbound lanes of the turnpike. Both eastbound lanes of the turnpike were closed. There was no immediate word regarding injuries.
Marlow Woman Dies Following Accident
A Marlow woman died in a crash in Stephens County. 32-year old Mary Jones perished in the accident that happened just west of Duncan on Plato Road about 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. The Highway Patrol reports that Jones’ vehicle left the road, hit a mailbox, then crossed the road and hit a fence. Jones was pinned in the wreckage for nearly two hours.
State Senate OK's Wind-Turbine-Blade Landfill Measure
A bill designed to put strict requirements on wind-turbine-blade junk yards gets near unanimous support in the state senate. HB 2359 was approved by the senate by a 46-1 vote. The senate added an amendment to the bill which would require operators of disposal sites to file annual reports with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and provide evidence of financial security. The bill will go back to the house where members will consider the amendment. The house bill was authored by State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) and State Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) is a co-author. Wind turbine blades are longer than the wing of a Boeing 747 with an average length of 120 feet and weigh five tons. Officials say it is very difficult to recycle the blades. One study estimates the world's wind industry would produce 43 million tons of blade waste each year by the middle of the century.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.16 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $83.12.
Natural gas is $2.22 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,012 and silver is $25.70.
Donald ‘Duck’ Williams, Sr.
A memorial service for Donald 'Duck' Williams, Sr., 79, of Chickasha will be held by the family at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 22nd at Shannon Springs Park. He grew up in Verden and ran a mechanic shop in Chickasha. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Delbert Blaylock, 67, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday April 24th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He worked in the oilfield and started his own security company. He also served with a non-profit motorcycle group that searches for missing and endangered children.
Wednesday, April 19th
Blanchard Police Officer Recovering from Gunshot Wound
The Blanchard police officer who was shot while investigating a domestic disturbance earlier this month continues recovering from his injury. Officer Mathew Thurston is on medical leave after having surgery on his right arm. Thurston was the officer injured in an incident which ended in the murder-suicide of a Blanchard couple which occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 8th. Blanchard Police Chief Steve Rhodes tells KOOL-RANCH News that Thurston was shot a close range – about five feet from the gunman – and was grazed by a bullet on his leg and near his groin. He said Thurston's surgery included getting some screws in his arm then put in a cast. Thurston, just 27 years old, has only been with the department about three months. He previously worked for the police department at Mid America Christian University for three years. He and his wife have one child with another on the way. Rhodes said the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation continues its probe of the incident.
Onward Chickasha Survey Data Being Analyzed
Coordinators of the Onward Chickasha long-range planning project say they are currently analyzing and reviewing the results of the initial community survey that was completed last month. Landon Jones with the Guernsey and Associates engineering firm said while survey participants recently received a notice that Phase Two of the survey is underway, there is no updated information available just yet. In an e-mail from Jones, he said that the results of the survey will be shared with the community in the near future. In the meantime, Jones encourages residents to continue adding ideas by visiting the website: www.onwardchickasha.org
Individuals can leave a general comment, view an inter-active map, and learn about the reasons for developing the plan.
Kiowa Language Recognized by State Dep't of Education
The Oklahoma Department of Education is recognizing a Kiowa language program. The Kiowa Tribe has been working for several years to develop a program that would allow the teaching of the Kiowa language in schools and to allow students to get credit for taking the class. Lillie Pinnell is the director of the Kiowa Language Department for the tribe. She tells KSWO-TV that the move is a pivotal step to revitalizing the language. So far 25 people have been trained and about half of them have received their teaching credentials. Among them is Ramon Granado who said he was raised in a Kiowa household and had basic understanding of the language but never heard it spoken in school.
Students Place High in Braille Challenge
A couple of visually impaired students in the region turned in good performances at a regional Braille challenge competition. Lillith Pederson of Anadarko won a gold medal in the sophomore category and Chris Sumner of Chickasha won a bronze medal in the freshman transitional category. The competition was held at the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee. The school is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. More than 30 students took part in the annual competition sponsored by the Braille Institute of America. The institute will invite the top 50 finalists from competitions in the U.S. and Canada to take part in the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles this summer.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.86 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.77.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold drops below $2,000 to $1,987 and silver is $24.81.
Tuesday, April 18th
State Insurance Commissioner Visits Chickasha, Anadarko
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready spent time in Chickasha and Anadarko yesterday in town hall-type settings. Mulready met with insurance agents to field questions and provide updates from his office. KOOL-RANCH News met with Mulready and he says his office takes about 15,000 calls every year from consumers who are having issues with a variety of disputed insurance claims.
Mulready said the office has a property casualty division which handle home owners, business, and auto claims as well as a life and health insurance claims division.
Chick Water Customers WON'T see Water-Meter Fee Hike
City of Chickasha officials say there won't be an increase in the city’s monthly water meter fee. The city council last night approved a change to a city ordinance regarding the fee for water users. Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley said a meter fee of about $1 per month was approved last fall and has been included in water bills for the last several months. City Manager Keith Johnson also told the council that the resolution considered last night would not mean another increase in monthly utility bills.
Crash Kills Two Adults; Sends Two Kids to Hospital
State troopers are investigating a traffic accident that killed two people and sent two children to the hospital. One of those who died was identified as 36-year old Christopher Moors of Fletcher. The name of the second person who died has not been released as relatives have not been notified. An 8-year old girl and a six-year old boy were both taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. The boy was admitted in fair condition and the girl was admitted in good condition. No details of the accident have been released. The crash happened just before 8 o'clock last night on State Highway 65 about seven miles south of Sterling in Comanche County.
Middleberg Voting Precinct Changing
Grady County voters who cast ballots at Middleberg School will have a new precinct to visit in future elections. The precinct has been changed to the Middleberg Baptist Church at 2341 Old Highway 62. The change is due to some upcoming construction at the school. The first election to be impacted by the change is June 13th. All registered voters in the precinct will be getting new voter identification cards in the mail.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.83 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $84.76.
Natural gas is $2.28 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,012 and silver is $25.14.
Funeral service for Roberta Greenway, 75, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 20th at McRay Funeral Home. She spent nearly 50 years in education and taught physical education at Chickasha Intermediate School for nearly 30 years. Memorial contributions may be made to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA Voices for Children).
Monday, April 17th
Water Meter Fees to be Discussed by Chix City Council
The Chickasha City Council tonight will consider implementing a monthly fee on water meters for residents and businesses that get water from the city. It's one of several resolutions regarding water usage to be discussed. It's not clear what the monthly fee might be. The resolution indicates the funds would go toward infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
Four Council Reps to take Oaths of Office
Several city council representatives will be sworn into their respective offices tonight. Ward 4 Councilman Kelly Boyd, Ward 3 Councilman Oscar Nelson, Ward 2 councilwoman Georgianne Hebblethwaite, and Ward 1 Councilman Brian Gerdes will each serve two-year terms. Gerdes, Hebblethwaite, and Nelson all ran unopposed for their posts while Kelly Boyd was re-elected earlier this month.
Other Council Topics
The council will also consider a proposal to go out for bids for oil and gas mining leases covering certain Grady County properties. The group is expected to approve a more than $35,000 reimbursement to the Moonlight Tea Company. That's part of a cost-share agreement between the company and the city to run a water line underneath 4th Street at 4th and Missouri for the new H-Tea-Oh store that is being built there. The panel will also consider replacing and upgrading fuel pumps at the airport at a cost not to exceed $50,000. Also, the panel will consider approving contracts with several performers who will be at the city's Wings and Wheels Fly-in on June 3rd. The group is also expected to authorize a town-wide garage sale for May 11th through 13th and waive garage sale permit fees for those days. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Gov. Stitt Shuts Down Homeless Council
Gov. Kevin Stitt is taking some heat after shutting down a state panel created to help the homeless. Over the weekend the governor dissolved the Interagency Council on Homelessness. The group has been around for 25 years but Stitt said that during his four-plus years in office he's never seen a report. Stitt said the focus needs to be shifted to mental health, drug treatment programs, and job creation. Our partners at KWTV News 9 talked with officials from the homeless alliance who say the council was created as a collaboration tool for state agencies and did not receive any state funds. Alliance officials said that homelessness is a complex issue and there is not a one-size-fits-all program. Officials also said that mental health and substance abuse alone aren't the only issues facing the homeless.
Emergency Planning Committee Meets this Week
Grady County's Local Emergency Planning Committee will hold its second-quarter meeting later this week. Undersheriff Kori Brewer is the guest speaker, there will be a review of the county hazard mitigation plan, and discussion of the county's emergency operations plan for 2023-24. The meeting will be Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.
Extension Office Welcomes New Ag Educator
The Grady County OSU Extension Office has a new agriculture educator. Denise Wood recently joined the staff. She'll be the speaker for the Grady County Agriculture producer's meeting tomorrow morning. The program is open to all ag producers throughout the county. It will get underway at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 18th.
OHCE Grant to Fund Youth Summer Kitchen Program
Grady County's Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) group has received a grant to hold a summer food preparation program for youth. The organization received an $800 grant from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Ambassadors. The funds will be used to hold a ‘kitchen basics for youth’ series, which is part of an OHCE state project to reduce childhood hunger. The classes will be held on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Registration begins May 1st.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $82.52 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $86.31.
Natural gas is $2.11 per million BTUs.
Gold is $2,022 and silver is $25.57.
A graveside service for Doris Marshall, 91, of Amber was held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, April 17th at the Amber Cemetery. She was a homemaker and she and her husband owned and operated a dairy farm for many years. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Baptist Home for Children. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Amy Schoolfield, 49, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 18th at New Life Christian Church. She was a registered nurse. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.