Saturday, Dec. 7th
'Explosive' Device Found at Motel
There were some anxious moments at a Chickasha motel Friday when a potentially explosive device was said to be in a vehicle in a motel parking lot. Chickasha police were initially sent to the Holiday Inn Express near 4th and Almar Drive just before 2:00 p.m.. Police Chief Dee Rowell-
The device was found in a pickup and the bomb squad from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was dispatched. Rowell said the team took the device to the OHP location on the H.E. Bailey turnpike where it was destroyed. Rowell said the motel was not evacuated. Police initially detained two men and a woman but made just one arrest. In custody is 41-year old Christopher Michael Lee of Wister, Oklahoma...who is being held in the Grady County Jail on a complaint of possession of explosives and stalking.
Sheriff's Office Issues Wanted List
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has an updated list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's public information officer Lisa Hatchett.
If you have information regarding any of these individuals you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Youth Get to 'Shop with a Cop'
Chickasha police officers and local school teachers spent time Christmas shopping with needy kids Friday. The third annual Shop with a Cop program was able to help more than 40 children and their families. Assistant Police Chief G.G. Music said it was the best year ever for contributions as more than $11,000 was given to the program. School administrators chose the students based on their need. Lt. Scott Weaver said the kids had a lot of choices to make.
The shopping spree took place at Wal-Mart where the Subway store provided lunch and Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand. We have some photos from Shop with a Cop on our Facebook page.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Brande Bradford and Courtney Mayall with the Chickasha Public Library are part of our KOOL Konversation program. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley our guest is Lewis Knisley with the Chickasha Area YMCA. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, Dec. 6th
Overpaid Grady County Elected Officials
Paying Back inflated Salaries
It's been several months since there has been an update regarding the investigation into massive over-payments made to Grady County elected officials. KOOL/RANCH News has learned that a western Oklahoma district attorney has reach settlement agreements in lieu of any criminal actions, to recover the nearly three-quarters of a million dollars overpaid to the elected officials. An investigative audit performed by former Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones reviewed records over a 10-year period and found that several current and former elected officials were overpaid a combined total of almost $750,000. KOOL/RANCH News received a news release from District Attorney Angela Marsee out of Sayre. The release indicates that more than $400,000 has already been re-paid to Grady County taxpayers. She said the remainder is to be re-paid pursuant to payment agreements or agreed judgements. Marsee said the investigative audit indicated the overpayments were the result of annual percentage increases, rather than a misapplication of the statutory formula. Marsee said she was assisted in the case by the District 21 district attorney's office, the state auditor's office, the attorney general's office, and the OSBI.
Chix School Board to Interview Sup't Candidates
A marathon day of work faces the Chickasha school board next week. The panel begins the first round of interviews with candidates for the school district's next superintendent. A closed-door meeting will be held at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City starting at 7:15 a.m. next Tuesday. Officials would not say how many candidates they might be interviewing. After the interviews the number of candidates will be narrowed even further, with perhaps as many as five getting a second interview. The time frame for the second round of talks is not known. Consultants for the school board have indicated that a new superintendent could be named in January or February but that he or she may not actually start until July of next year. After Tuesday’s interviews the school board will return to Chickasha and hold its regular school board meeting for December that night.
Halliburton Announces Layoffs in El Reno, Duncan
It's a tough week for former employees of Halliburton. The energy giant announced the closing of its El Reno facilities, laying off some 800 workers. Officials say that the El Reno operations would be transferred to the Duncan headquarters. Now, the company is saying a number of Duncan jobs will be eliminated as well. A job fair was held for the affected workers with the help of the state Workforce Oklahoma office and the Canadian Valley Technology Center El Reno campus.
State Tax Revenues Fall from Year-ago Levels
Here’s more evidence of the energy industry slow-down - state tax collections have fallen from the levels they were at this time last year. State Treasurer Randy McDaniel says the November collections were down almost $44 million from 2018 which is a drop of a little more than 4 percent. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that gross production taxes were off nearly 31 percent to $82 million from the same time as last year. Other evidence of a slowdown - the Oklahoma Business Index for November fell below growth-neutral for the second straight month. That indicates slow to no economic growth in the next three to six months.
Grady County Fairgounds Wins National Award
The Grady County Fairgrounds and Events Center gets some national recognition. Staff members attended the annual convention of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions in San Antonio this week. Among the awards, the best photo of an equine event. The convention and trade show featured topics such as the changing landscape of commercial exhibits.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.43 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.39.
Natural gas is $2.42 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,479 and silver is $16.99.
Obituaries today include 94-year old Marcine Hall. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11th. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Thursday, Dec. 5th
OSBI Investigates Blanchard Officer-Involved Shooting
Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have been called to probe an officer-involved shooting that happened in Blanchard late last night. Oklahoma City media outlets are reporting that officers were dispatched to a 9-1-1 call regarding a domestic disturbance. The OSBI reports that one person was taken to a hospital for treatment, but it wasn't clear how serious the injuries are. The officer was not hurt.
Sex Offender Jailed for Alleged Abuse
A Chickasha man is in custody accused of assaulting a woman and a baby, and for failing to register as a sex offender. 24-year old Richard Dean Sasser was arrested last Friday after police were called to Grady Memorial Hospital to investigate a domestic disturbance. A probable cause affidavit alleges he slapped a female victim and an 18-month old child. The affidavit also indicates that Sasser is registered as a transient offender out of Duncan, but that had had not yet registered as an offender in Grady County. Prosecutors have charged Sasser with felony counts of child abuse and failure to register as a sex offender, and misdemeanor counts of domestic assault and threatening violence. He remains in jail on a $75,000 bond.
Upgrades at Park Bath House Nearly Complete
More than $100,000 of improvements have been made at the historic bath house at Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park this year. The Chickasha City Council will have a special meeting today to approve a minor change for one of the projects, and then accept the nearly $145,000 in upgrades as complete. The bath house was built back in the 1930s, and was part of a huge swimming pool. Some recent photos of the pool have been posted on Facebook. Posts claim the pool was 100-feet wide and 400-feet long and could hold up to 400 people. There's also a closed-door session during the meeting for the council to consider a memorandum of understanding addressing confidential issues between the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 and the city. The special meeting will get underway at 6:00 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Dozens File for School Board; Elections May be Needed
A number of school board races are expected to take place in February. Numerous candidates filed for local board of education offices in the three-day filing period which ended yesterday. In Chickasha, Christy Clift filed un-opposed for the office that she was appointed to earlier this year. She will serve a five-year term. School board elections are expected to be held for Ninnekah, Alex, Rush Springs, Friend, and Pioneer school districts. At Ninnekah, Dustin Tate and Russell Baker have filed for Office No. 5; at Alex, three candidates have filed for Office No. 5 including Keith Alcorn, Amanda Chambers, and Stormy Ryans Duffle. At Rush Springs, Lance Melton and Chris Long have filed for Office No. 5; at Friend, Neely Alexander and Heather Crowder have filed for office No. 3; and at Pioneer, Michelle McRay and Jeff Martin have filed for Office No. 2. Other school districts where candidates filed un-opposed include at Amber-Pocasset, where Kami Ratcliff filed for Office No. 5 and John Nicholas for Office No. 3; at Minco, where Don McMahon for Office No. 5; at Tuttle, where Karen Osborn for Office No. 5; at Bridge Creek, where Kent Sugg filed for Office No. 5; and at Middleberg, where Glenda Fenimore filed for Office No. 3. There were no candidates filing at Verden. For the Canadian Valley Technology Center, Christy Stanley of Yukon filed un-opposed for a five-year term in Office No. 2. She's the current president of the career-tech board and has served since 2016. There is a two-day withdrawal and protest period before the filings are considered to be final.
Caddo County School Board Filings
In Caddo County, there will be school board elections at Anadarko, Binger-Oney, Carnegie, and Caddo Kiowa Technology Center. At Anadarko, Derrell Sanders and Tara Tartsah-Clark have filed for Office No. 5; at Binger-Oney, Lance Goucher, Jenny Jones, and Kylie Toho all filed for Office No. 5; at Carnegie, Misty Boettger, Ryan Clark, and Christi Harrison filed for Office No. 5; at Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center, Lance Shenold and Patrick Michael Hayes, both of Anadarko have filed for Office No. 5. Filing un-opposed in Caddo County: at Cement, Matt Haney for Office No. 5; at Cyril, Shancy Brown for Office No. 2, Heath Want for Office No. 3, and Candice Mathis for Office No. 5; at Ft. Cobb-Broxton, Brent Bellamy for Office No. 4 and Brent Lankister for Office No. 5; at Apache, James Patterson, Jr. for Office No.5; at Gracemont, Clinton Brower for Office No. 2, Timberly Goucher for Office No. 3, and Preston Mackey for Office No. 5; at Lookeba-Sickles, Traci House for Office No. 2 and Jami Radacy for Office No. 5; at Hinton, Jason Douglas for Office No. 5; and at Hydro-Eakly, Johnny Stotts for Office No. 4 and Brandon Strack for Office No. 5
McClain County School Board Election Filings
In McClain County, there's a race for the Dibble school board as Greg Hamby and Jennifer Mandrell filed for Office No. 5. Filing un-opposed in McClain County; at Blanchard, Tom Maston for Office No. 5; at Newcastle, John Maker for Office No. 5; and for Mid America Technology Center, Donna Stokes of Blanchard for Office No. 1.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $58.43 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.
Natural gas is to $2.40 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,479 and silver is $16.90.
Obituaries today include 90-year old Ann Ferguson of Chickasha. Funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Dec. 4th
School Board Filing Update
At least two Grady County school districts could have school board elections in February. If the current school filings hold up, patrons in Ninnekah and Rush Springs school districts will vote for representatives on their boards of education. Other races could also develop as today is the last day of filing for school board offices statewide. One school board race will be in Ninnekah where Dustin Tate and Russell Baker have filed. The other is in Rush Springs where Chris Long and Lance Melton have tossed their hats into the ring. Other candidates who have filed include John Nicholas for Office No. 3 at Amber-Pocasset; Don McMahon has filed for re-election at Minco; Michelle McRay is running for re-election at Pioneer; and Glenda Fenimore has filed for re-election at Middleberg. In Caddo County, a race has developed at Binger-Oney where three candidates have filed for Office No. 5. They are Jenny Jones, Kylie Toho, and Lance Goucher. In Cyril, Candice Mathis has filed. At Gracemont, Timberly Goucher has filed. In McClain County, Jennifer Mandrell has filed for school board at Dibble and John Maker has filed at Newcastle. There have been no filings for Blanchard. The school board filing period ends at 5:00 p.m. today.
Sexual Assault Suspect Behind Bars
A Chickasha man is jailed on a $50,000 bond for the alleged sexual assault of a woman. 58-year old William Harzett Euwins, Jr. was arrested by Chickasha police Thanksgiving Day after a woman called police to a home on south Shepherd Street. A probable cause affidavit alleges that Euwins later arrested at his home which is at a different address. He's been charged with a felony count of sexual battery.
Man Accused of Choking, Threatening to Kill Woman
Another Chickasha man is behind bars for allegedly choking and threatening to kill a woman while children watched. 30-year old Anthony Darren Black was arrested before dawn on Thanksgiving Day when police responded to a 9-1-1 hang-up call at a residence near 9th and Georgia Avenue. According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim told police the Black had been drinking and got upset with her. The victim alleged that he would get a gun and kill her. Prosecutors have charged Black with a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation and a misdemeanor of threatening violence. He remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.
Rush Springs Man Returns Home to Provide Health Care
A Grady County native is coming home to serve the medical needs of the region. Dr. Thomas Jarvis, who grew up in Rush Springs, will be joining the team at the Five Oaks Medical Group and Grady Memorial Hospital as a family practitioner. Hospital Administrator Kean Spellman says one of the hospital’s goals for physician recruitment is to "bring the best back home." Jarvis has seven years’ experience and will be joining the Five Oaks team on Jan. 15th. A meet-and-greet reception for Dr. Jarvis, his wife Jayme, and another new GMH and Five Oaks family practitioner, Dr. Mary Masterman will be held at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, December 5th in the lobby of Grady Memorial.
Lincoln School Robotics Team Qualifies for State Event
The robotics program at Chickasha's Lincoln School has qualified to compete at the state level. The Purple Peeps, a team of 5th and 6th grade students, will be heading to Tulsa next week to take part in the FIRST Lego League state championship. The theme for the league this year is 'City Shaper', and each team had to develop an innovative solution for a building or public space within their community. Instructor Brandon Willis said the team did well at a competition in Newcastle last month, receiving a perfect score on its Core Values presentation and winning the first-place trophy for robot design.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.10 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is to $60.82.
Natural gas is $2.44 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,481 and silver is $17.21.
Obituaries today include 83-year old Mary Landrum of Ninnekah. Funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, December 5th at Ninnekah First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Funeral for 82-year old Bob Jones of Chickasha will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 9th at Full Gospel Church. Arrangements are also with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Dec. 3rd
City of Chickasha to Receive Grand Lake Property
as Part of Lawsuit Settlement with Tulsa Company
The City of Chickasha will soon own some property at Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma. After a 10-minute closed-door session during last night’s council meeting, the panel unanimously approved the settlement of a lawsuit the city filed against the owner of a Tulsa manufacturing firm. The lawsuit was filed against Tom Word of Word Industries to re-coup a $250,000 economic development loan issued to Word. He had announced plans to move his company to Chickasha and create a number of jobs with the funds to be used to help pay for the re-location (which never occurred). Word used the Grand Lake property as collateral for the loan. City Manager John Noblitt said there are six good-sized lots in the Apache Coves subdivision at Grand Lake. Noblitt said the lots have been appraised at about the amount of the loan. The agreement is for the property’s surface rights only.
Council Urged to Support Muscle Car Ranch De-Annexation
During the open comment section of last night's council meeting, two residents encouraged the panel to de-annex the Muscle Car Ranch from the city limits. Tory Wise and Danny Black both spoke in favor of ranch owner Curtis Hart, who has battled the city for years to be de-annexed. Here is part of Danny Black's comments.
Earlier this summer, the council voted down a recommendation by the city manager to de-annex the ranch. Hart has mounted a social media campaign to urge supporters to reach out to their city council representatives in hopes of swaying their opinions.
Dragged Chain Blamed on Roadside Fires
Firefighters put down a number of grass fires along State Highway 92 near the I-44 overpass in the Friend area yesterday. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said Chickasha firefighters, the Friend Volunteer Fire Department and several citizens joined in beating back the flames which started just after 11:00 a.m. Myers believed the cause of the fire was a vehicle dragging a chain which created sparks that ignited roadside vegetation. Myers said a fire threat remains until the area receives significant moisture. He said that dragging chains, carelessly discarding smoking materials, and burning trash are a few things that can start a fire which can quickly get out of control. He asks residents to be responsible citizens in order to limit fire exposure.
Numerous Candidates File for School Board Posts
Several candidates come forward to file for a number of regional school board seats in the first day of filing Monday. Here are some of the early filings in Grady County - Kami Ratcliff has filed at Amber-Pocasset; Keith Alcorn has filed at Alex; Lance Melton of Marlow has filed at Rush Springs; Karen Osborn has filed at Tuttle; and Neely Alexander has filed at Friend. In Caddo County – Matt Haney has field at Cement; Brent Bellamy and Brent Lankister have filed for the district offices they currently hold at Ft. Cobb-Broxton; Clinton Brower has filed at Gracemont; Lance Shenold of Anadarko has filed for re-election for Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center; Lance Goucher has filed at Binger-Oney; James Patterson, Jr. has filed at Apache; Christi Harrison has filed at Carnegie; and Brandon Strack has filed for a full five-year term and Johnny Stotts has filed to fill an unexpired term at Hydro-Eakly. In McClain County, Donna Stokes of Blanchard has filed for Mid America Technology Center. Potential school board candidates have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to file for school board posts.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.96 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.40.
Natural gas is $2.33 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,475 and silver is $17.10.
Monday, Dec. 2nd
School Board Filing Period Underway
Candidates hoping to serve on their local school boards will be heading to county election board offices over the next few days. The filing period runs today through Wednesday, with filing available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Nearly every school district has at least one seat to be filled. For the Chickasha Board of Education it's office No. 5 held by Dr. Christy Clift who was appointed to the post earlier this year. After the three-day filing period is a two-day withdrawal or protest period. Any elections which may be necessary will be held next February. Today also begins the filing period in Oklahoma for candidates wanted to run for President of the United States which also runs through Wednesday with filing done at the state election board.
Chickasha Officials May Settle Lawsuit Filed
Against Firm that Received 'Relocation' Loan
The City of Chickasha may settle a lawsuit it filed against a Tulsa manufacturer. The lawsuit was filed against Tom Word of Word Industries who received a $250,000 loan from the Economic Development Council. The loan was to help with moving expenses to bring his company and some manufacturing jobs to the area but the move never happened. Word had put some property he owns at Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma up for collateral for the loan. The council will go behind closed doors during it’s regular meeting tonight to discuss a possible settlement, where the properties pledged as collateral would be transferred to the city.
Spring Election Among Other Council Agenda Items
In other city council news, the panel is expected to authorize Mayor Chris Mosley to issue a proclamation to schedule the 2020 city council election. The election will be held in April with the filing period for the mayor's seat and four other city council posts to be held Feb. 3rd through 5th. The council will consider approving a Use-on-Review for a liquor store in the 1500 block of South Stewart, which is a former car wash north of Brandt's Ace Hardware. The council is also expected to cancel the only bid which was submitted for some repairs on Country Club Road, but then re-award the bid to that same contractor. Back in August, the council approved a bid from Bordwine Development which was originally for about $11,500. Background information provided to the city council before tonight's meeting indicate there was a calculation error and the actual cost would be more than twice the original amount at more than $23,000. City administrators are recommending the council cancel the original bid and approve the higher bid. The city council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall. It's the council’s only regularly scheduled meeting for the month of December.
Time Running Out to Enter Lighted Christmas Parade
Chickasha’s annual lighted Christmas parade is set for this Thursday night. The Chamber of Commerce is organizing the parade and participants should contact the chamber as soon as possible should they want to take part. Entry fees are $25. The theme for the parade is Frozen. The parade starting point is 8th and Chickasha Avenue with participants lining up starting at 6:00 p.m. west on Chickasha Avenue toward the high school. The parade will get underway at 7:00 p.m. and will travel east on Chickasha Avenue to the Rock Island Railroad Depot. A snowball fight will follow the parade at the depot.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.17 per barrel.
London-based Brent Crude is $62.43.
Natural gas is $2.28 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,463 and silver is $16.95.
Obituaries today include 62-year old Betty Ann Bynum of Hinton, and formerly of Verden. Funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 3rd at Ferguson Funeral Home in Chickasha.