2018, January 22nd - 27th
Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is Middle school Student Kylin Chaffin
Saturday, January 27th
Hearing Set for Another Suspended Chix Schools Employee
The Chickasha school board will have another special meeting on Monday. This time, to discuss a recommendation that the school district's Director of Special Services be fired. Pam Huggins was among several employees suspended last month. It's believed Huggins is accused of failure to report child abuse of a special needs student. The hearing is scheduled to be held during an open session of the school board. It may include statements from former interim superintendent Cindy Schmidt, as well as from Huggins or her attorney. Cross-examination and questions from school board members, and rebuttal may also take place. The panel could opt to go into a closed-door meeting, as they did this past week with the district’s former transportation director, Pete Bush. It was also recommended that Bush be fired, but after negotiating with school attorneys he opted to resign. The meeting is Monday night at 6 o'clock at the middle school auditorium. KOOL 105 will live stream the school board meeting on the website: https://kool1055fm.com/sports/chickasha-sports
Man Dies in Chain-Reaction Crash
A Lindsay man dies when his CanAm Spider was part of a chain-reaction traffic accident. 61-year old Tonnie Dutton died in the crash that happened about 7:30 Friday morning. The crash occurred three miles south of Lindsay on Highway 76. The Highway Patrol reports that Dutton's CanAm was the third of four vehicles traveling southbound on the highway. Dutton's vehicle was rear-ended by a pick-up, causing a collision with two other vehicles. Dutton, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected from the motorcycle and died at the scene. None of the drivers of the other vehicles were hurt.
Caddo County Authorities Probe Elk Hunt Scam
A different kind of scam is being investigated in Caddo County, where victims say they were tricked into paying for a big-game hunting trip that never happened. Investigators say at least 20 people paid to go on a guided elk hunt. When they arrived at a pre-designated site, a guide never showed up. Some of the victims said they paid $1,000 or more to go on the expedition. Officials with the state wildlife department say elk hunting is legal under the right circumstances. However, Oklahoma does not require hunting guides to have licenses, which makes it difficult to track down the suspect or suspects. Investigators say they do have a person of interest they are looking for. Any others who may have been victimized, or may have information that can help find the scam artist is asked to call the Caddo County Sheriff's Office.
Man Accused of Forging $32,000 Check
A man is arrested after authorities say he forged a check for several thousand dollars. 51-year old Glen Carole White was arrested by Grady County sheriff's deputies Friday. A probable cause affidavit from Tuttle police indicates officers were summoned to one of the town's banks last May. The affidavit indicates White presented two forms of identification with the check. The clerk verified everything was fine and gave White $32,000 in cash. The check was from an El Reno truck and tractor firm, where owners said they did not write the check. White, who lists a Tecumseh address, will spend the weekend in jail. He may have initial appearance on the charge in Grady County District Court on Monday.
Horse Remains Found; Animal Cruelty Investigation Begins
A disturbing discovery in Bray, as the remains of two horses were found. Stephens County authorities are investigating and may consider pursuing animal cruelty charges against the owner. A witnesss tells KSWO-TV that one of the horses had a rope tied around its neck, and appeared it was alive when it had been dragged into the woods from a nearby ranch. Remains of another horse were so old, they were just a pile of bones. The witness claims it looked like that animal's head had been bashed in with a sledge hammer. The man, who did not want to be identified, said the carcasses should have been buried.
Talk Show Topic
Here's part of what we're talking about this weekend. The Chickasha Library's annual chocolate celebration is coming up, and we have library director Lillie Huckaby and Friends of the Library member Angie Lewis on our KOOL Konversation to talk about the event and other happenings at the library. Find a link to the interview under the Community tab on this website.
Friday, January 26th
Baby Overdoses at Day Care
Reports that a baby received an overdose of heart medication at a day care. While the baby is fine, the child’s mother still has concerns about what happened. Cassandra Roberts of Chickasha tells KSWO-TV that her one-year old boy was born with half a heart and needs medication three times a day. Roberts said a substitute teacher mistakenly gave the baby three days’ worth of the medicine in one day. The teacher was fired and the daycare self-reported the incident to DHS. It's reported the day care said that the teacher was out of line, and that only certain workers are supposed to give medicine to the children. Roberts said it's been a nightmare. She said the day care needs to be more cautious and read up on the children they have, or another parent will experience the same thing. Neither the name of the day care, its location, nor the teacher were identified.
Arrests Made After Loaded Gun Found at Anadarko School
Two Anadarko middle school students are arrested after a loaded gun was found in a school bathroom. Police arrested a 12-year old and a 14-year old after the weapon was found Wednesday. Our partners at KWTV News 9 report that the school was placed on lockdown, and Anadarko police brought in a couple of K-9 officers to sweep the school. The gun reportedly belonged to the 14-year old, and the 12-year old is alleged to have had some meth and drug items. Anadarko police chief Tracy Roles said it happened the day after a school shooting in Kentucky that left people dead and injured. He said his department would not deal with the situation lightly.
Child Sex Abuse Occurred for Years, Police Say
Now a KOOL/RANCH News follow-up to a story we aired yesterday about a man arrested on a child sexual abuse charge. The man is accused of molesting a nine-year old boy. A probable cause affidavit from Tuttle police alleges that 40-year old Jimmy Ray VanBuskirk sexually assaulted the boy several times over the last four years, starting when the boy was only five years old. The affidavit indicates the abuse was first reported last November. An arrest warrant was eventually issued this past Monday. VanBuskirk turned himself in, walking into the Grady County jail Wednesday night. VanBuskirk remains in jail. His initial appearance on the charge has been delayed until his attorney can attend.
Academic Person of the Week
Time to hear about a Chickasha public school student who is excelling. Our Dennis Linam has his weekly feature.
Thanks, Dennis! There's a photo of Kylin above.
Uncomfortable Speaking in Public? Try Toastmasters
If you have a fear of public speaking, or would like to improve your communication skills in general, there's a group that can help. Toastmasters is a international group that provides techniques to help individuals get their point across in whatever day-to-day situation they may face, or in special presentations. There is a Chickasha branch of Toastmasters, and the group meets Saturday mornings at the Chickasha Area YMCA. The group invites the public to an open house at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at the YMCA.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is down slightly to $65.51 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.41.
Natural gas is down to $3.44 per million BTUs.
Gold down to $1,358 and silver is $17.46.
Thursday, January 25th
Child Sexual Abuse Suspect in Custody
A Grady County man alleged to have molested a child is behind bars. Records on the Grady County Jail log show 40-year old Jimmy Ray Vanbuskirk surrendered to authorities by walking into the jail about 9 o'clock last night. Tuttle police and the district attorney’s office requested a warrant for his arrest earlier this week. No details are available, but the website On Demand Court Records show the Tuttle man is charged with one count of child sexual abuse. The child reported to be under 12 years old. An emergency protective order was issued against Vanbuskirk last month.
Man Accused of Using Log to Choke Girlfriend
A Blanchard man is accused of choking his girlfriend with a log from a fireplace. A warrant was issued last October for 55-year old Robert Earl Morrow. He was picked up by Grady County Sheriff's deputies Monday night, but it wasn't clear how authorities tracked him down. Documents on file at the Grady County Courthouse indicate Morrow and his girlfriend were arguing at ahome in Bridge Creek. It's alleged that Morrow pinned the woman on the floor by holding the log against her neck, and that he also slammed her face in the floor. Morrow's is out of jail after posting $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled March 7th.
Chix Resident Avoids Injury in Crash; One Critically Hurt
A Chickasha man avoids serious injury in a crash in western Oklahoma that critically injured one person. 59-year old Billy Trent was taken to a Weatherford hospital, where he was treated and released. The accident happened five miles south of Thomas about 4:30 p.m. yesterday. The driver of the pick-up, 46-year old Bryan Clymer of Harrah, was last in critical condition in an Oklahoma City hospital. The Highway patrol reports that Clymer and Trent were northbound on Highway 54. A southbound truck turned in front of them and hit the Clymer pick-up, sending it off the highway, where it rolled and landed on its top. The driver of the other vehicle 26-year old Randall White, Jr. of Del City, was not hurt.
Chix School Bus Rear-Ended; No Injuries
A Chickasha school bus with several students on board was involved in a minor traffic accident yesterday morning. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The accident happened at the railroad crossing at 17th and Iowa just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Chickasha police say the bus had stopped at the crossing, when it was rear-ended by a car driven by an in-attentive teenage driver. Police tell us there were about 10 high school-age students on the bus. The bus received only minor damage, and bus driver Alton Rawlins was able to finish the route. The vehicle driven by the unidentified 17-year old had to be towed. Police did not say why the teen wasn't paying attention.
New Domed School, Fieldhouse in Alex Nears Completion
Construction crews are putting some of the final touches on a brand new school and fieldhouse at Alex Public Schools. Voters in the district approved an $18.7 million bond issue for the construction a few years ago. Superintendent Jason James reviews what the new building includes.
James said the domed structure is rated by FEMA to withstand an F-5 tornado. The bond issue also allowed the district to build a new football stadium with field turf, and a college-level track. Those facilities have been in use the last couple of years. The first-ever high school basketball games in the new fieldhouse will be played tomorrow night, when Alex will entertain Walters.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX soars past $65 to $65.61 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude tops $70 to $70.53.
Natural gas climbs to $3.51 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,364 and silver is $17.56.
Wednesday, January 24th
Pete Bush Resigns School Post
Pete Bush has resigned his post as transportation and maintenance director for Chickasha Public Schools. His attorney announced the decision to the crowd attending a special meeting of the Chickasha school board last night. Bush's attorney, Woody Glass, told KOOL/RANCH News.
The school board unanimously accepted Bush's resignation, which is effective immediately.The announcement was made following a two-hour closed door session with Bush, the school board, and their respective attorneys. In a statement to the crowd, Bush's attorney, Woody Glass said that neither Bush nor the school board wanted to be a sword that causes a division with the district or the community. There was no public hearing held during the meeting, so no details of the embezzlement allegations against Bush were revealed.
Many Saddened with Bush's Decision
Many of those attending the meeting were disappointed to hear of Bush's resignation. Alot of them were current and former students involved in the school's archery program that Bush started from scratch several years ago. The archery program has continued without his supervision, as other coaches have stepped in to fill the void. No financial terms of Bush's resignation were made available. Bush was among several school employees suspended last month, over allegations of embezzlment and failure to report child abuse. One of them, Pam Huggins, has a due-process hearing next Monday with the board. Another, Yohance Brown, was re-instated. Supporters of the suspended employees say they were targeted by administrators for citing irrregularities with the controversial personalized learning curriculum.
Another New School Board Member Sworn In
The Chickasha school board is back to a full five members. The panel appointed Shawna Covington to fill the vacancy left when board president Chris Ludwell resigned last week. Covington's appointment is good for a year. She'll have to run for the seat in next year's school election.
School Petition Effort Continues
In the meantime, a group petitioning for a state audit of school finances continues gathering signatures to bring in the state auditor to look at financial records. Laurie Allen is one of the coordinators. She says they need about 800 verified signatures on the petition in order to bring in state officials. The group is looking to get about 1,100 total signatures, before taking them to the state capital. Some signatures may be nullified if their signatures are determined to be invalid. The group has until Feb. 5th to submit their petition.
Sheriff Names New Lead Investigator
A new primary crime investigator is in place with the Grady County sheriff's office. Corporal Justin Johnston has been elevated to the post. He takes over for Phil Blevins, who was recently promoted to under-sheriff. Johnston has about 15 years’ experience in law enforcement, beginning as a detention officer at the Canadian County jail and as a reserve officer with the Minco police department. Johnston has been with the Grady County sheriff's office for five years, starting as a reserve, and working his way in to a full-time role in 2014.
Oklahoma's Wheat Crop Suffers
The extremely dry weather has not been good for Oklahoma's wheat crop. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says producers should take a look its condition, and consider filing a notice of loss.
Jackson said the fall-winter wheat pasture season ends March 15th, so the final date to file a notice of loss would be March 30th. He said a notice of loss can be filed at any time before that March 30th deadline.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $64.47 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude with a gain to $69.96.
Natural gas also up to $3.44 per million BTUs.
Gold rises to $1,354 and silver is $17.24.
Tuesday, January 23rd
Suspended School Administrator's Hearing Tonight
Suspended Chickasha schools Transportation and Maintenance Director Pete Bush's job is on the line tonight. Bush will have his due process hearing tonight, in yet another special meeting of the Chickasha board of education. Administrators are recommending Bush be fired, however, it's up to the school board make the final decision. The meeting will be held at the middle school auditorium, to hold what is expected to be another large crowd which has been attending school board meetings since a number of school employees were suspended. To date, there's been no official word on why Bush was suspended. School attorneys only said there were allegations of embezzlement and failure to report child abuse, but did not indicate which allegations were against which employees. It could be a long evening. Bush's due-process hearing will be held in open session. The hearing will be similar to a court hearing. Opening statements will be presented by a school administrator, and Bush or his attorney. That will be followed by witness statements, cross-examination, and rebuttal. School board members will be able to ask questions. After the hearing, the board of education will go behind closed doors for further discussion, after which they'll return to open session to vote.
School Board May Name New Officer
The school board may also appoint a new member, to replace Chris Ludwell, who resigned last week. Ludwell resigned saying he was being blackmailed and bullied. If there is an appointment to the board, it will come before Bush's hearing. The meeting gets underway at 6 o'clock tonight at the middle school auditorium.
Area Dodges Wildifres Despite High Winds
Firefighters were on alert yesterday with the 50-mile per hour winds, but thankfully, no major fires broke out. In the Chickasha and Anadarko area, fire crews were dispatched to a grass fire east of Verden Monday morning, but quickly got it under control. Burn bans are starting to be enacted across the state. However, Grady County Commissioners did not implement a ban yesterday. A ban was put in place in Garvin County, which does include the Lindsay area. 14 counties now have burn bans, including Jefferson and Cotton counties in south-central Oklahoma around Waurika and in Jackson and Tillman counties around Altus.
Museum to Host Annual Fundraiser
History buffs should enjoy an upcoming program which delves into the storied past of local churches. The 9th annual story-telling and soul food evening will discuss the role of African-American churches. The event is a fund-raiser for the Loretta Jackson African American Historical Society. The event will take a look at the history of Chickasha and Verden African-American churches, dating back to the late 19th century. Entertainment includes the Langston University Choir, featuring soloist Sheryl Johnson Robinson of Chickasha. The program will be held Saturday, Feb. 10th at the USAO Ballroom. Tickets are $20 and you can contact Loretta Jackson for more information by calling 224-5297.
Check and Balance Program Scheduled
Many times young families have financial issues. To help them, or anyone needing guidance with money management, an upcoming program may be beneficial. A Check and Balance seminar will be offered next month. It's a joint-effort of Grady County OSU Extension and the District Attorney's office, held in part to reduce bogus check problems. Susan Routh with the extension service.
The program will be held the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 9th at the Grady County extension office at 9th and Choctaw. There is a $30 fee for materials. Register at the extension office.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX up to $63.49 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.03.
Natural gas was up to $3.22 per million BTUs.
Gold is up to $1,336 and silver down to $16.98.
Monday, January 22nd
Pioneer School Schedules Bond Election
Voters in the Pioneer School district will decide a special bond issue in a few weeks. The district is asking for a five-year, $310,000 bond measure. The ballot calls for the money to be used for construction, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings. It also would allow the buying of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The issue will be decided on Feb. 13th
School Board Elections Upcoming as Well
Some school districts in the region will have school board elections on that date. Districts in Grady County that will have elections include Chickasha, Rush Springs and Bridge Creek. Districts in Caddo County are Anadarko, Carnegie, Apache, and Hinton. Also in Caddo County, a municipal issue on the ballot in Hydro, to decide if the mayor should appoint the town clerk. Sample ballots of all the elections are available at county election board offices. If you would like to apply for an absentee ballot, those applications need to be filled out and returned to your local county election board by Feb. 7th. Those forms are available from the state election board website, at www.elections.ok.gov
Flu Still a Problem
Flu deaths in Oklahoma are climbing. Almost 300 new flu cases listed in the most recent weekly report, with three additional deaths. Total flu cases since Sept. 1st have reached 1,150 and a total of 45 deaths attributed to the illness. A couple of Stephens County school districts have closed or are closing because of the flu. Bray-Doyle schools are closed both today and tomorrow. Last Friday, Empire schools shut down. While schools there were closed, workers from the town of Empire helped to clean and disinfect classrooms, hallways, the gymnasium, and even school buses. Grady County flu cases requiring a stay in the hospital rose to a total of 30. In Stephens County, the number climbed to 20; it's 18 in McClain County and 13 in Garvin County. Comanche County is up to 29 cases and in Caddo County, just eight.
YMCA Fund-Raising Campaign Underway
The Chickasha Area YMCA's annual fundraiser is underway. Officials hope to raise more than $80,000 over the next few weeks to help families take advantage of their programs. YMCA director Lewis Knicely says the campaign:
Knicely said last year's contributions were $76,000 and the YMCA paid more than $100,000 in scholarships.
Grady County Fair Board Incumbents to Continue Serving
There won't be any changes on the Grady County Fairgrounds board of trustees this year. Three incumbents whose terms were expiring all ran un-opposed for re-election. Eddie Rathbun of Rush Springs in District 3; Steve Standridge of the Chickasha area in District 2; and Beth Norvell of the Tuttle area in District 1 all will serve three more years on the panel, which oversees operations at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $63.37 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $68.61.
Natural gas is $3.18 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,333 and silver is $17.06.
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