Today Let’s meet Canadian Valley Technology Center “Spotlight person of the week Is Tuttle Junior, Rylan Thomsen, who’s studying “Auto Service Technology, at CV Tech. Tune in Friday the 24th, to KOOL 105,5 FM, (the 7AM and 8AM News) to hear the story.
Monday, June 24th
U.S. Highway 81 Chickasha Bypass Update
The building of a U.S. Highway 81 bypass of Chickasha is closer now that it ever has been. Initial construction which would include clearing land and drainage work could start in two or three years. Jay Earp with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) says the agency is close to having all the right-of-way obtained for the bypass. Earp tells KOOL/RANCH News-
Earp says utility re-location will be starting soon and that ODOT has applied for a federal grant to help pay for the $250 million project. A previous grant request was denied. Earp says the project will include an additional set of bridges over the Washita River north of Chickasha.
Power Outages Linger After Sunday Storms
There are still a few scattered power outages as a result of strong thunderstorms that moved through the region on Sunday. The town of Lindsay was without electricity for about 12 hours after lightning hit a substation. Electricity was finally restored about 4:00 a.m. this morning. AT & T phone service was also out in Lindsay during much of that time. KWTV News 9 reports that 9-1-1 calls had to be re-routed to the Garvin County Sheriff's Office, which would then radio the information to Lindsay police. Oklahoma Electric Co-op reported about a dozen outages early this morning with most in the Garvin County area. There was one in Grady County and a couple in Stephens County.
State Jobless Rate Remains Low
Unemployment across the state remains at a very low level of 3.2 percent for the month of May. That's below the national jobless rate of 3.6 percent. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports that more than 1.7 million people were working last month, while 59,000 individuals were listed as unemployed. Sectors that experienced the largest growth in the number of jobs included trade, transportation and utilities with 500 more jobs; and government, which includes local, state, and federal agencies, also with a gain of 500 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest loss in jobs, down 1,800 positions from the previous month. County-by-county unemployment numbers will be released later.
Oklahoma's High-Tech Salaries Lag Behind Texas
Oklahoma's high-tech jobs are paying less than those south of the Red River. A new survey shows that while the Sooner State's high-tech salaries are increasing, they still trail those in the Dallas area by about $25,000 a year. The website www.business.org found that the average salary for a tech worker in Oklahoma City was just under $75,000 and similar jobs in Tulsa were about $74,000 for 2018. In Dallas, the average tech salary was more than $98,000 a year. The website found that annual tech salaries in Colorado Springs were about $90,000 and in Albuquerque about $85,000.
Low-Income Households May Apply Soon
for Help in Paying Summer Cooling Bills
Low-income families will soon be able to apply for help in paying summer cooling bills. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) will begin accepting on-line applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on July 9th. Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal government. DHS says eligible households which already receive assistance and are pre-authorized to receive LIHEAP don't have to apply. Households which receive DHS help but are not pre-authorized for LIHEAP have been notified by mail, and should apply on-line. The website is www.OKDHSlive.org
Applicants will need their most recent cooling bill information; identification, Social Security Number, and income verification. Only one payment per household is allowed each year for summer cooling assistance. A family of four is eligible for about $2,700.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.43 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $65.20.
Natural gas is $2.18 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,411 and silver is $15.47.
Saturday, June 22nd
City, Business Owners Meet Over Alley Concerns
Some Chickasha business owners took their complaints of the terrible condition of the alley they share to the Chickasha City Council this week. The business owners had been told that they would have to make the repairs. The business owners say the city is responsible to do so. The complaints led to a meeting between the business owners and a city official yesterday. Public Works Director David Buchanan discussed both short-term and long-term solutions. The alley is south of Dakota Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets, and is shared by Bombay Liquor, Chinese Express, Nana Sue's Laundromat and other businesses. Buchanan said initially the city could make some temporary repairs, like bringing in some pea gravel to fill in the numerous potholes, some of which were said to be 18-inches deep. Buchanan said a long-term solution would be costly, including hiring a contractor to put in a concrete base. Buchanan said the city might ask the businesses to share the cost of that project.
Group to Protest Plan to House
Migrant Children at Ft. Sill
A protest is scheduled in Lawton today, as the U.S. government prepares to use Ft. Sill to house hundreds of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border. A group known as Tsuru for Solidarity - a Japanese American organization - compares the proposal to the concentration camps documented during World War Two. Many Japanese Americans were held at Ft. Sill during the war. They say the protest is to honor their ancestors who were held in those camps. Protesters from all over the country are expected. Because the protest was planned so quickly, the city of Lawton had to grant special permission, since the group didn't have time to file a permit. Earlier this month, federal officials announced that about 1,400 migrant children from the border would be temporarily housed at Ft. Sill for up to three months.
Outdoor Concert Planned Downtown Chix Tonight
There will be live music in downtown Chickasha tonight with what's called the 3C Concert Series. Levi Parham takes the stage for a free concert for the latest of these small town Saturday night performances. Parham is a native Oklahoman who is recognized for his song-writing skills. After his performance in Chickasha, he'll be performing in Guthrie, Tulsa, and on the Memphis-based TV network DittyTV, which is dedicated to Americana and Roots music. The event sponsored by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, the City of Chickasha, The Chickasha Main Street Association, and the First National Bank. Tonight's activities start at 6:00 p.m. with kid games and activities and there are food trucks on site. The concert starts at 7:00 p.m.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Donna Stamper with Grady County Court Appointed Special Advocates is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, the guest is Jay Earp with the State Department of Transportation. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Updated Warrant List Released
The Grady County Sheriff's Office has updated its list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here's public information officer Lisa Hatchett.
If you have information about any of these individuals you're asked to contact the sheriff's office by calling 405-222-5085.
Friday, June 21st
Tuition Increase Approved for USAO Students
Some USAO students will be paying more for tuition this fall. The USAO Board of Regents approved increases of 4.7 percent for in-state students and 4.8 percent for non-resident students enrolled in 15 credit hours. A press release from the university said even with the increases, USAO student costs are still 20 percent below the national peer group average. The regents also approved the 2019-20 fiscal year budget which includes a pay increase for faculty for the first time in four years. Thanks to additional state funding, faculty will get a 3.5 percent salary hike.
Fireworks Illegal in the City of Chickasha
The 4th of July holiday is about two weeks away, and City of Chickasha officials are reminding residents that it is against the law to set off fireworks in the city limits. Officials say the sale, use, or exploding of fireworks is illegal and that the police and fire departments will combine efforts to address the unauthorized use of fireworks. Depending on the violation, you could be fined between $100 and $200 for setting off fireworks. And, any fireworks could be confiscated.
State Panel Approves New Rules for Railroads
The state Corporation Commission has approved some new rules designed to penalize railroads for blocking railroad crossings. The panel approved a fine of $1,000 for every time a train blocks a crossing for more than 10 minutes without good reason. The fine was part of a bill signed into law by the governor last month. Railroad companies can be ticketed by local law enforcement agencies. Railroads can protest tickets in a hearing at the corporation commission. 75 percent of the fine would go to the law enforcement group that writes the ticket.
Man Jailed for Alleged Protective Order Violations
A Grady County man accused of violating a protective order is jailed on a $250,000 bond. 40-year old Shawn Keith Mayo of Rush Springs was arrested by authorities this week. A warrant had been issued for Mayo's arrest, after officials say he violated the protective order twice within the last few weeks. Mayo is facing two felony charges of violating the protective order. The victim was approved for a five-year protective order back in March, and later Mayo was arrested for domestic abuse. At that time, prosecutors filed a felony charge of domestic abuse and a misdemeanor charge for threatening to perform acts of violence against Mayo. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled in August.
Chickasha Rodeo Opens Tonight
The first go-round of the annual Chickasha rodeo is set for tonight. This is the 80th year for the event put on by the Chickasha Rodeo Foundation. It is an open rodeo, so local cowboys and cowgirls will be competing in timed events like barrel racing, calf-roping, and steer wrestling. Others hope to score big in rough stock events like bull riding and bronc busting. The rodeo runs tonight and tomorrow night at the Grady County Fairgrounds, with the grand entry opening the event at 8:00 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. The rodeo parade will be downtown Chickasha at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
Chickasha Hosts Militaria Show and Sale
Also at the fairgrounds this weekend, an exhibit and sale of military artifacts and collectibles from around the world. It's called the Heartland Militaria Show, with more than 300 tables of items from about 100 vendors from as far away at Florida and California. Items from Vietnam, Korea, both World Wars and even the Civil War will be on display and for sale. Some military vehicles will also be on display. General admission is $10 for adults with kids 11-and-under free. Military veterans get in for $9. The militaria show is Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Arts Council to Host Show and Silent Auction
The Chickasha Area Arts Council will hold an art exhibit and fundraising silent auction Sunday afternoon. The proceeds will help with the group's annual Rock Island Arts Festival this fall. The art work for the silent auction is being donated by arts council members and others throughout the community. There are drawings, paintings, pottery, sculpture, quilts and wall hangings available. The event will be from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, June 23rd at the home of the Arts Council at 1301 S. 7th.
Anadarko's Juneteenth Celebration is Saturday
The Anadarko community will hold its Juneteenth celebration tomorrow. Activities will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Rotary Park with live entertainment, games and activities for the kids like the water and skateboard parks. There's volleyball, dominoes, and horseshoes, and the winners of essay and art contests will be announced. It's all free and open to the public.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $56.25 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.45.
Natural gas is $2.18 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,391 and silver is $15.26.
Thursday, June 20th
Teen Arrested Following Grady County Manhunt
A truck stolen from the Bridge Creek school district leads to a manhunt not far from the school yesterday. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir says he and several deputies, officers from the Tuttle and Blanchard police departments, and state troopers were all part of the manhunt that started about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. Weir said a maintenance worker from the school spotted an individual driving the truck, started following it and called authorities. A deputy arrived and a short pursuit began. The truck crashed at the intersection of a couple of county roads and the driver fled on foot. Officers set up a perimeter and were able to close in on the suspect, who walked out of a creek bed and surrendered without incident. The suspect is a 17-year old Tuttle teenager whose name was not released. Weir says authorities have had contact with the teen before.
Grady County Distributes Tax Revenue
Sales tax revenues at the Grady County level continue to fund several programs approved by county voters. In the month of May, the county received about $895,000 in sales tax revenue. The Grady County Fairgrounds received more than $280,000 of that total and Grady Memorial Hospital collected nearly $250,000. Each of seven senior nutrition centers picked up $20,000 and each of the 20 fire districts received about $7,000. Tuttle Emergency Medical Services received almost $26,000 and Rush Springs EMS took in almost $6,500.
School Board Seeks Candidates to Fill Open Seat
The Chickasha school board is looking for candidates to fill a vacant post on that panel. With last month's resignation of Doug Brown, the panel is looking to appoint an individual to serve in Office No. 5, which includes the area north of Choctaw Avenue, and much of district east of 9th Street between Choctaw Avenue and Arkansas Avenue. Interested individuals should contact the school administration office, or one of the current school board members who are Zack McGill, Robyn Morse, Laurie Allen, or Cara Gerdes. The office could be filled at the next regularly scheduled board of education meeting on July 8th. The candidate will serve through the spring of next year.
Marathon Reports Two Huge Producing STACK Wells
Two oil wells in the STACK play are both producing more than 2,000-plus barrels of oil per day. Marathon Petroleum Company reports one of the wells had an initial production of more than 2,500 barrels of oil and 2,500 metric cubic feet of natural gas per day. The other was producing 2,100 barrels of oil and 2,400 metric cubic feet of natural gas each day. The wells are one the same pad in Blaine County, north of Watonga. Each were drilled to a depth of about 20,000 feet. Spud dates for the wells were last September, with drilling finished in November and December, and completions taking place this past February.
Train-Related Law to be Discussed by State Panel
Move that train, or pay up. Rules on how to enforce a new state law which would fine railroads for blocking street intersections will be considered by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission today. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed HB 2472 last month, which would fine railroads up to $1,000 if they blocked railroad crossings for more than 10 minutes without a good reason. The corporation commission wants the ability to conduct a compliance audit should a train violate the law. The audit would look into how often crossings are blocked, the pattern, and whether the blocked crossing was justified. The law will go into effect in November.
Okie Native to Take Stage at 3C Concert Series
Another outdoor concert is scheduled for downtown Chickasha Saturday night. The 3C Concert Series features Levi Parham, a native Oklahoman with influences from genres that range from rock and roll and country, to folk, soul, and the blues. It's a family-friendly event that is free and open to the public. Officials are closing the streets at 3rd and Chickasha for the concert. Starting at 6:00 p.m. and there will be games and activities for the kids like face painting, a moon bounce and games. The concert starts at 7:00 p.m. and a food truck and beer vendor will be on hand. A monthly concert is scheduled for the series which is sponsored by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, the Chickasha Main Street Association, the City of Chickasha, and the First National Bank. Upcoming concerts will feature Beau Jennings and The Tigers on July 13th, Travis Linville on August 17th, and Weston Horn and The Hush on September 21st.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.76 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.82.
Natural gas is $2.27 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,386 and silver is $15.39.
Wednesday, June 19th
Storms Down Trees, Power Lines
High winds from early morning thunderstorms toppled trees and caused some power outages in the area. Reports of winds topping 75 miles per hour moved through the Grady County region after midnight. News reports that winds blew over three semis in Garvin County on I-35 near Pauls Valley. In the southern part of Grady County, several large trees blocked county roads and damaged power lines west of Rush Springs. District Three County Commissioner Ralph Beard said his crews are already out removing the trees that blocked roadways. He also warned early-morning motorists to watch for trees blocking county roads. Beard said one tree damage power lines belonging to Cotton Electric Co-op, and crews were out early making repairs. PSO reported scattered power outages in Verden, Cyril, Rush Springs, and Alex. Rainfall from the storms ranged from about a half-inch in Chickasha and Acme (west of Rush Springs) to 7/10s of an inch at Minco and over inch of rain in Apache.
One Hurt in Pipeline Blast
An explosion of a natural gas pipeline near Ninnekah sent one person to the hospital yesterday. The blast happened as crews were trying to install a new pipeline. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said a worker on a ditching machine was installing a new pipeline when it struck a pipeline that was already buried there, ripped it open and created a flash fire.
The explosion occurred just off Highway 19 and Dell Street, which is between Ninnekah and Alex. The fire was in a rural area and no homes were threatened nor evacuated. The fire was allowed to burn itself out. We have some video of the fire on our Facebook page.
Neighbors Help Domestic Violence Victim
Neighbors come to the aid of a domestic violence victim, who was allegedly beaten and choked by a man. A suspect is in custody. Chickasha police received a 9-1-1 call Sunday afternoon and were dispatched to a home near 16th and Grand. The victim told police she and the suspect got into an argument, and that he hit her and choked her to the point that she couldn't breathe. The victim was able to run out of the home where her neighbors intervened. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. Authorities arrested 25-year old Keith Wayne Dalton of Chickasha. Prosecutors have charged him with felony domestic assault and battery by strangulation. He remains in jail in lieu of a $15,000 bond. Dalton is also facing felony and misdemeanor burglary charges stemming from previous arrests by Chickasha police this past January.
Anadarko to Add Service Fee, Increase Utility Prices
Anadarko residents will be paying about $350 more a year for utility services. The city council last week approved a new monthly service fee and increases in electric, water, sewer, and trash roll-off services. The increases will take effect July 1st. City Manager Kenneth Corn says the increases were necessary to overcome an $800,000 deficit in the general budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Corn hopes to avoid laying off more than a dozen city employees, including some police officers and firemen with the increases. All Anadarko residents and business will pay a new $20 service fee per month. And costs for each of the city’s four utilities will go up $2 per month. Anadarko provides electricity to its residents and businesses. Corn said despite complaints that electric costs are already high, he said the costs compare favorably to rates charged by PSO and some nearby electric co-ops. The Anadarko City Council will meet tonight to possibly finalize the 2019-20 fiscal year budget.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $53.90 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.14.
Natural gas is $2.32 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,346 and silver is $14.94.
Tuesday, June 18th
Properties Proposed for De-Annexation
Remain in the Chickasha City Limits
Lengthy battles by a couple of property owners against the City of Chickasha will continue. In Monday’s night’s city council meeting, a proposal to de-annex about 57 acres of property owned by Jerry and Elaine Knox failed 4-2 (Five votes are needed for the council to approve any issue). Voting for the de-annexation were Tom Rose, Jim Hopkins, Kim Loggins, and David Sikes. Joe Molder voted no and Mayor Chris Mosley recused himself from voting. Absent from the meeting were Oscar Nelson, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, and Zack Grayson. A proposal to de-annex Curtis Hart's Muscle Car Ranch from the city limits was postponed. Councilman Loggins wanted the missing council members to be present when the matter was discussed. It may be placed on the agenda for the July 1st council meeting.
Business Owners Want City to Repair Alley
A couple of Chickasha business owners complained to the council about the condition of the alley that runs by their front door. Tammy and Steve Durham of Bombay Liquor say the alley has potholes that are 18 inches deep. Tammy Durham told the council that up until a couple of years ago, the city maintained the alley - but says officials have told them they would have to pay for maintenance. Durham told the council-
Durham says the alley is in such bad shape that delivery trucks cannot use it, and that trucks have to stop on 4th Street to make deliveries, and that isn't safe.
Loggins Re-elected Vice-Mayor;
Sewer Truck Repairs OK'd
The council re-elected Kimmie Loggins to serve as vice-mayor for another year. She has served in that role the last two years. The panel also approved nearly $8,000 in repairs to the city's sewer-cleaning truck.
Double-Amputee Veteran to Get Free Home
A military veteran who lost both of his legs while serving in Iraq is getting a new home at no cost to him. Army Specialist Adam Putt of Newcastle was severely injured in August of 2007 when his unit encountered an IED, or improvised explosive device. A non-profit group called Homes for Our Troops is building the home for Putt. KOCO-TV reports the home includes 40 special adaptations like wide doors for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and a kitchen with pull-down shelving and lowered countertops. Putt said he'll be able to regain his freedom and independence and enjoy activities with his children. Homes for Our Troops has more than 80 similar projects under construction across the country. For information, visit the website www.hfotusa.org
Tips for Storing Wheat
The Oklahoma wheat harvest is underway and producers need to keep a close eye on their crop in storage. Shiann Burns with Grady County OSU Extension discusses aeration of the grain.
Burns said that while aeration is typically not used to dry grain, it should be used to provide continuous movement of dry air, until the grain moisture is lowered to safe storage levels.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $51.93 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.94.
Natural gas is $2.38 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,349 and silver is $14.88.
Monday, June 17th
Chickasha City Limits May Shrink a Little
A couple of properties may be de-annexed from the Chickasha city limits when the city council meets tonight. The council is to consider removing the Muscle Car Ranch, which is south of 16th and Country Club Road. The panel is also to discuss releasing about 55 acres just east of U.S. Highway 62 and the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.
Police, Fire Union Contract Talks Continue
Also on tap for the meeting, the panel is to have a closed-door session to hear about the progress of collective bargaining negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129 and the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041 for the 2019-20 fiscal year. The council may also select a vice mayor to serve over the next several months. Kimmie Loggins has served as vice mayor over the last couple of years.
Federal Grant to Upgrade Some City Sidewalks
Look for some sidewalk improvements in the future in some Chickasha neighborhoods. The city has received a federal grant to make upgrades along 1st Street. The city has been earmarked about $144,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program. The city council is expected to approve a contract with an engineering firm to design the project. Engineering fees may be paid for by the grant. The city is expected to award the project to Chisholm Trail Consulting at a cost of about $46,000. The city council meets tonight at 6:30 at city hall.
'Living Wage' Supported by State Lawmaker
There's a lot of debate about increasing the minimum wage in Oklahoma and across the country. State Representative David Perryman of Chickasha says there are many families who are trying to make an honest living, but some companies that pay low wages also don't offer health insurance to their workers.
Perryman said the number one cause of personal bankruptcy is medical bills, and that a person must have a living wage to be able to take care of their families.
Highway 37 Improvements Begin East of Tuttle
Some upgrades on State Highway 37 between Tuttle and Newcastle will affect traffic over the summer. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be making improvements on the highway from the Grady County line east to I-44. Parts of the highway will be closed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day through August. There will be intermittent closures of the I-44 on and off-ramps at State Highway 37 later in the summer. The contractor for the $1.2 million project is Haskell Lemon Construction out of Oklahoma City.
Chickasha Rodeo Set June 21-22
The 80th annual Chickasha rodeo is set for this coming weekend. The Chickasha Rodeo Foundation hosts the two-day event Friday and Saturday at the Grady County Fairgrounds outdoor arena. Rafter D Rodeo of Sterling is the stock contractor. It is an open rodeo, so local cowboys and cowgirls can sign up tomorrow and Wednesday between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. by calling 580-512-4682. There's $2,000 added money for the cowboys this weekend. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Parking is free. Grand entry is 8:00 p.m. both nights and the rodeo parade is downtown Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $52.51 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.01.
Natural gas is $2.38 per million BTUs
Gold is $1,337 and silver is $14.78.