Saturday, Sept. 11th
State Politicians Respond to President's Vaccine Mandate
Many of Oklahoma's politicians are sounding off about President Biden's mandate requiring large companies to have their workers get the COVID-19 vaccination. Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a statement saying there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma. State Representatives Dick Lowe (R-Amber) and Brad Boles (R-Marlow) have also issued statements following the president's announcement. Lowe turned to Facebook to say that he does not believe the government has the right to force private business owners to require their employees to get vaccinated. Lowe said that it is up to individuals to decide if they get vaccinated or not. Boles made his announcement through a press release, saying it is not the government's role to mandate to private businesses that their employees must receive the coronavirus vaccine. He also said individuals should have the freedom to make a personal choice. Boles said that's one reason state lawmakers approved HB 1236 this past spring which was signed by the governor. It establishes a process for legal challenges of federal rules, executive orders, or Congressional actions believed to be harmful to the rights of Oklahomans and the state.
Ag Sales Tax Exemption to Get Interim Study
Also from the state capital, a senate panel will take a look at who should qualify for farm sales tax exemptions. Sen. Roland Pederson (R-Burlington) and the Senate Agriculture and Wildlife Committee will hold an interim study on the topic on Monday. In a press release, Pederson said the state tax commission recently changed the process for getting an agriculture sales tax exemption card, and producers are having problems renewing those cards or getting the card for the first time. Pederson said they want to conduct a fair assessment to verify legitimate farmers and ranchers when approving the exemption. He said they don't want to prohibit exemptions for those trying to make a living in ag but they don't want to grant exemptions to those who don't qualify. Monday's meeting gets underway at 10:30 a.m. and will be live-streamed at www.oksenate.gov
Family, Friends Mourn Death of Diner Operator's Father
The Chickasha community is mourning the death of Larry Muncrief. Muncrief is the father of Brandi Terry with J and W Grill. Muncrief passed away as a result of the coronavirus this week. He and the family had recently celebrated Muncrief's 70th birthday. Funeral service is pending with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Chix Businesses, Residents May Have Utility Bill Errors
The City of Chickasha says some residents and businesses may have errors in their monthly utility bill. The city sent out a notice saying that the bills that were sent out Thursday, Sept. 9th may be wrong. Officials say it was caused by a problem in the electronic meter reading process. A press release from the city indicates that clerks were working to correct the affected accounts and they believe that most of the errors occurred with commercial accounts. Anyone who believes their utility bill is not correct can contact city hall during regular business hours by calling 405-222-6015.
Friday, Sept. 10th
Suspects Arrested for Selling Alleged Fentanyl-laced Pills
An investigation by the Grady County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has led to the arrests of two individuals suspected of selling prescription pain pills laced with Fentanyl. 39-year old Antwon Laray Owens and 19-year old Kadee Lynn Hall, both of Chickasha, were booked into the Grady County Jail early Wednesday morning. Both have been formally charged with felonies for drug possession with intent to distribute. Owens has previous drug convictions. An arrest warrant affidavit indicates that DEA agents and sheriff's deputies met with a confidential informant who was given $300 to purchase the meds. The informant was able to purchase ten tablets at home near 10th and Colorado Tuesday afternoon - tablets which tested positive as having fentanyl. Both Owens and Hall remain in jail on $50,000 bond each.
Progress Continues on Chix Sewer, Water Line Project
The installation of water and sewer lines for a new commercial and residential development for the City of Chickasha continues. The city council this week approved a payment of more than $130,000 to WEB Construction for the project which has an estimated overall cost of nearly $500,000. Officials say the water lines are in and crews are currently working on the sewer line installation. This project is near the intersection of Ada Sipuel Avenue and Grand Avenue Extension next to the Grady County Fairgrounds. The site is expected to have a couple of hotels, some permanent residential homes, and a number of spaces for retail development including restaurants.
Several Area Events Set this Weekend
There are a lot of activities in the region this weekend. In Chickasha, the annual Open Streets program will be held tomorrow. Chickasha Avenue will be closed down from the Rock Island Railroad Depot to 3rd Street to let families play in the street. It's part of an international program which encourages families to play together and get a little exercise. You can bring your bicycles, skateboards, and roller skates and nearly 30 groups will have activities for the young and old. Lewis Knisely with the YMCA has a few examples.
All the activities are free and there will be plenty of free bottled water available as the weather is expected to be sunny and hot with into the 90s. Food trucks will also be on hand. Open Streets will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Alex Founders Day
The Town of Alex will have its Founders Day celebration. There's a fishing tournament in the morning, then starting at 10 o’clock there will be a car show, vendors, a parade, and a community dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Alex community park.
Jesse James Festival
In Cement, the annual Jesse James Festival will take place with vendors, a car show, and a street dance. There will be treasure hunters, historians, and trick ropers. There are tales that Jesse James hid some of his bounty in the hills in the Cement area. That all starts at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Katie Davis is a professor of theater at the University of Science and Arts. She's also the coordinator for the university’s Davis Waldorf Performing Arts Series which begins later this month. She's on our KOOL Konversation to review the season and its return to live performances. On Real Estate Today, our guest is Oklahoma Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell. Look for links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.14 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.45.
Natural gas is $5.03 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,797 and silver is $24.18.
Thursday, Sept. 9th
Welder Dies Following Explosion
A welder working on tanker truck in Minco died in an explosion. It happened just before noon Wednesday at Firestone Trucking on Main Street in Minco. The explosion shook many businesses and homes nearby and KWTV New 9 reported that a lot of people said it felt like an earthquake. The name of the welder was not released. Reports indicate the welder was working on the end cap of a tanker truck when the explosion occurred.
Suspect Accused of Child Sex Crimes in Two Counties
A Chickasha man wanted in Caddo County for an alleged child sex crime is in the Grady County jail on similar allegations. 31-year old Bryan Cody Snook was arrested by Chickasha police back in April and is facing felony charges of using his phone to solicit sexual conduct or communication with a minor, and for having juvenile porn on his phone. Last week, Caddo County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Snook for lewd acts with a boy under 16 years old, for an incident that allegedly occurred at Lake Chickasha in March. Snook is being held in the Grady County Jail on a $50,000 bond and has a preliminary hearing conference on the Grady County charges scheduled for September 22nd.
Survey Underway for Chickasha School District Patrons
Patrons of the Chickasha Public School district are being asked to take part in a survey designed to help develop long-range plans for the district. Administrators are working with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma to get input. Superintendent Rick Croslin says it is a program widely known for helping school districts determine their strengths and weaknesses.
The survey is available on-line on the district's website: www.chickasha.k12.ok.us and is under the Community Feedback Survey tab on the home page. A city-wide meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 20th to get more input with the final day to receive comments on Sept. 30th. Croslin said they want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about the school system. Additional meetings will be held over the next several months as the survey moves through four phases of information gathering. A formal plan will be presented to the school board next spring and Croslin said they’ll use the information to develop a proposed bond issue to present to district patrons.
Grant to Help Chix PD Get 'New' Used SUVs
The Chickasha Police Department will be getting some new used vehicles in the next few weeks. The city council this week approved the receipt of a federal community facilities grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to purchase the vehicles from the Kansas Highway Patrol. Police Chief Dee Rowell says the grant is for more than $280,000 and will allow the department to purchase four or five Dodge Durangos. The Kansas Highway Patrol retires its vehicles after 50,000 miles and then sells them. The Grady County Sheriff's Office has been purchasing vehicles from Kansas for several years. This is a 65-35 grant and the city will first have to pay the $280,000 then get about $100,000 reimbursed. City officials say they are working to find the money to purchase the vehicles.
Chix Water Rates May be On the Rise
Chickasha residents might get ready for an increase in their water rates. The city council will hold a special work session next week to discuss water costs, fees, and treatment - as well as public works projects and their associated costs. Mayor Chris Mosley said the city is now paying more for the water the city receives from the Ft. Cobb Reservoir. The Ft. Cobb Master Conservancy District which oversees the reservoir increased the costs recently. The special work session will be Monday, Sept. 13th at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
Caddo County Fair Premium Sale, Horse Show Tonight
Today will be a big payday for a number of Caddo County FFA and 4Hers who exhibited the top animals at last week's Caddo County Fair. 71 youth will lead their animals through the show ring one more time for the premium sale. Businesses, family members, and friends will all bid on the animals with all the money going to the exhibitors, and the youth get to keep their animals to take to future livestock shows. There is a buyer's dinner at 6 o'clock with the sale starting at 7 p.m. Also, the horse show portion of the Caddo County Fair will also be held this evening at the Caddo County Fairgrounds in Anadarko.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.30 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.60.
Natural gas is $4.91 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,797 and silver is $24.16.
Funeral service for Jerrel Toles, 69, of Anadarko will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11th at Grace Church in Anadarko. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Wednesday, Sept. 8th
Chix City Council OKs Settlement
of Firefighters' Union Lawsuit
The Chickasha City Council voted unanimously to settle a lawsuit filed against the city by the local firefighters union. The panel voted 6-0 to approve the out-of-court settlement. The vote came after a 23-minute executive session during last night's council meeting. Mayor Chris Mosley said the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 2041 previously approved the settlement. Mosley said the city agreed to pay more than $141,000. That includes $52,000 in longevity pay, $44,000 in damages, and $38,000 for the union's attorney’s fees. The settlement won't be finalized until it is approved by the federal court where the lawsuit was filed. Officials say that should be a formality as both sides have agreed to the terms discussed. KOOL/ RANCH News needs to make a correction and clarification regarding the story we aired yesterday about the lawsuit. The suit was filed against the city of Chickasha, and we were wrong when we said that then-city manager John Noblitt withheld retirement benefits owed to the fire fighters. We apologize for the error.
Thrift Shop Permit OK'd for Heidi Helping the Homeless
The council also unanimously approved a use-on-review permit for Heidi Harrison for her request to operate a thrift store at 3rd and Minnesota Avenue. The vote came after a short public hearing. Harrison told the council she plans to continue her outreach mission with Heidi Helping the Homeless. She wanted to move out of her residential location in order to serve more people. In addition to operating a thrift store the location will also have showers, laundry, and provide food and beverage services.
Downtown 'Streateries' Get Approval
The council also approved guidelines that will allow downtown restaurants to have outdoor dining areas. The so-called 'streateries' will allow restaurants to create a mini patio in the parking spaces directly in front of their locations. City Planner Rachel Bernish worked with Economic Development Director Jim Cowan on the plan. They used similar guidelines in communities where the outdoor venues are popular including Edmond; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Asheville, N.C. The restaurants will have to follow strict guidelines for construction. Permits will have to be renewed annually and the city will only charge restaurants for the building permit and related costs to the construction.
Matching Grant to Help Anadarko
with Major Sewer Line Improvements
In Anadarko, city officials have received a huge grant which help the community pay for some badly needed sewer system upgrades. The State Department of Commerce approved a grant of just under $300,000 to help replace the main line that feeds the waste water treatment plant and some equipment at the plant. The city will pay an additional $500,000 for the project with the funds coming from a revenue bond passed last year. The news was posted on the city's Facebook page. The post indicates the funds will allow the city to replace the sewer line which extends nearly the length of two football fields which has been collapsing and on the verge of failing. The State Department of Environmental Quality had recently placed Anadarko under a consent order due to the potential environmental issues which would have resulted had the sewer line failed. Mayor Tanner Salyer said the project is not only important for the health and safety of residents but also for any real potential future growth.
Wife of Chickasha Auto Dealer Passes Away
Lorie Holt, the wife of Chickasha auto dealer John Holt, has died. She was 64 when she passed away Tuesday morning. She had worked as a Realtor before joining the dealership where she served as the secretary-treasurer for many years. She served on the board of trustees for the Salvation Army and with Redlands Community College. She and John were married for 46 years. Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 9th a Ferguson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo counties.
Energy and Metals
Crude on the NYMEX is $68.35 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $71.69.
Natural gas is $4.57 per million BTUs.
Gold $1,799 and silver is $24.40.
A graveside service for Thelma ‘Rozella” Hargus of Cement will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 9th at Celestial Gardens Cemetery in Cyril. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral for Paul Nightingale, 91, of Verden will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 10th at the Plainview Mennonite Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Funeral for Martin Resendez, 78, of Chickasha will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 10th at First Baptist Church. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
A graveside service for Johnny Crutcher, 81, of Amber will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 14th at the Amber Cemetery. He was a U.S. Army veteran where he served for 27 years. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, Sept. 7th
Chix Firefighters Lawsuit Against the City
May Get Final Out-of-Court Settlement
(EDITOR'S NOTE) - This version contains clarified and corrected information that was part of original story. We apologize for any errors) A lawsuit filed by the Chickasha Firefighters Association against the City of Chickasha may finally be settled out of court. The city council tonight will go behind closed doors to discuss approving the settlement. Last month, the council approved a payment of more than $140,000 which was presented to the International Association of Firefighters Local 2041 for its consideration. The lawsuit was filed last December after the union claimed that the city withheld longevity benefits. The council will also go behind closed doors to discuss the status of negotiations with the firefighters union for the current fiscal year.
Council to Consider Use-on-Review Permit,
Allow Tuttle Police to use Chix PD Gun Range
During the open portion of tonight's meeting, the council will hold a public hearing to discuss a use-on-review permit for Heidi Harrison of Heidi Helping the Homeless at 3rd and Minnesota Ave. The panel will also discuss a memorandum of understanding that would allow the Tuttle Police Department to use the Chickasha Police Department's gun range. The council is expected to accept an agreement with the Festival of Light for the upcoming season; approve a request from Epworth United Methodist Church to hold a movie in Shannon Springs park on Oct. 8th; and to allow the Optimist Club to hold a 5K run on December 4th. The council is also to honor long-time firefighter Richard Prather on his recent retirement. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Animal Rescue Transport Group Fundraiser Today
A group that helps save the lives of lost and abandoned animals will hold a fundraiser today. The Chickasha Animal Rescue Transport Association (CARTA) will hold a silent auction and a local restaurant will be helping its cause. InterUrban will be donating a dollar from every hamburger sold to the organization. The silent auction starts at 5:30 tonight and will include items from numerous local businesses including Ross True Value; the Jungle Ice Fun Zone; Jake's Rib; The Okie Mountain Trading Company; Brandt's; Chicken Express; Hicks Western Wear, and others. CARTA works with other pet adoption groups to find forever homes for the animals in the city's animal shelter.
WWII Aircraft to Visit Duncan This Week
An historic World War Two aircraft will be visiting Duncan this week. A B-29 bomber will be on display and some visitors will have the opportunity to take a flight on the four-engine aircraft. It's the type of aircraft that flew over Europe during the war and eventually dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan that ended the war. Paul Hlavaty of Marlow, who is with The Commemorative Air Force, says the visit is more than just cool planes. It's about the people who flew in them. He said many were farm boys from Oklahoma who were shipped off to Europe. Hlavaty's father was a POW during the war for more than a year. The B-29 arrives at the Duncan Regional Airport on Thursday and will be on display until Sunday. For information, visit the website: www.airpowerssquadron.org/duncan-ok
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.29 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $72.61.
Natural gas is $4.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,813 and silver is $24.37.
A graveside service for Verna Myers, 91, of Cement will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 8th at Celestial Gardens Cemetery in Cyril. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral for Susan Daugherty, 68, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Septembert 11th at College Heights Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Funeral service for Jerrel Toles, 69, of Anadarko is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.
Monday, Sept. 6th
No news due to the Labor Day holiday.