Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the week is
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Saturday, March 31st
School Out Monday for Teacher Rally
Many public schools in Oklahoma, including Chickasha, will be closed on Monday - if not additional days next week - as state teachers try to put pressure on state lawmakers to improve funding for their classrooms. While state legislators and the governor pushed through a big pay raise for teachers this week, the teachers' efforts now turn to get additional funding for supplies and equipment. The Oklahoma Education Association points to several years of funding cuts to public education saying its had a negative impact on their students. Chickasha schools will be closed on Monday and possibly even longer, depending on what happens as thousands of teachers rally at the state capital. Interim-Superintendent Jack Herron said schools could be closed all week to allow teachers to try and convince legislators to put more funds into their classrooms.
Man Arrested, Charged with Molesting Teen
A Chickasha man is arrested for allegedy having sex with a 13-year old girl. 39-year old Adarian Akil Mims is charged with a felony count of lewd or indecent acts to a child and a misdemeanor count of drug possession. A probable cause affidavit from Chickasha Police indicates the teen's mother caught the man molesting the girl and called police. Mims remains in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Sheriff's Office Posts Most-Wanted List
Each week, the Grady County Sheriff's Office issues a 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.
CHS Robotics Team Competes
The Chickasha High School robotics team recovered from a slow start Friday to be among the top 15 teams after the first day of competition at a regional competition in Oklahoma City. The Cockadoodle Dominators won a couple of afternoon matches Friday to move up to No. 11 in the FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition at the Cox Convention Center. They have two more events in the qualifying round today, as the team looks to advance to the world competition this summer. In the Hub City regional at Lubbock, Texas earlier this month, Chickasha finished third in the rankings. So far, the team has a record of 14-9 with their robot, the Cluck-a-vator. This is the 7th year for Chickasha to participate in the international FIRST Robotics program.
Grand Assembly Hosts Huge Egg Hunt
There will be a mad scramble at Shannon Springs Park today, as hundreds of kids will be in search of literally thousands of candy-filled Easter eggs. Grand Assembly of God has put together its annual Easter outreach program for the last few years. This year, organizers increased the number of eggs to 18,000! In case you’re wondering, that's 1,500 dozen! Tickets for some nice prices are included in a few of the candy-filled eggs, including a couple of Kindle Fire tablets. Besides the search for the eggs, there are inflatable games, pictures with the Easter bunny, and free hot dogs, snow cones, and popcorn.
Talk Show Topics
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. The Chickasha city council election is on Tuesday. We have interviews with several of the candidates with our KOOL Konversation program. Find them elsewhere on this website. Look for the KOOL Konversation link under the Community Tab.
Friday, March 30th
State Teachers Still Expected to Walk Out of Classes
Even though Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill to give Oklahoma teachers their largest pay raise ever, many teachers still plan on walking out of class next week to show continued support for public education overall. Fallin signed a $474 million tax hike plan yesterday, calling it an historic day. She said the plan will move teacher salaries from the lowest to the second-highest in the region. The pay hikes go into effect later this year. A statement from the Oklahoma Education Association still calls on its members to walk out of class on Monday, in order to attend a rally at the state capital. An OEA press release indicates the teachers union had hoped to avoid a walk-out, but say what looked to be a positive step forward, now a historic down payment on Oklahoma children's futures hangs in the balance, as the legislature dismantles some of the funding needed to solve the crisis they created in the first place. Lawmakers removed a $5 per room hotel-motel tax that was part of the original proposal approved by legislators.
No Word Yet if Chickasha Schools Will be Out
There has still not been any official word that Chickasha schools will be closed, although interim superintendent Jack Herron said the district would support teachers. He indicated classes could be shut down all next week. First Baptist Church, Bible Baptist Church, and the Chickasha Library have all put plans in place to have programs and meals for students, if needed.
Robotics Programs Compete
For more than two months, groups of high school students across the state have been building and programming robots in preparation for competitions this spring. They are taking part in the internationally-known FIRST robotics competition. FIRST is an acronym meaning For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The Chickasha High School team Cockadoodle Dominators is among dozens of teams in Oklahoma City taking part in a regional competition this week. Instructor Brandon Willis says the team had a good day in practice rounds yesterday. Qualifying rounds run today and tomorrow. The robotics programs at the high school and Lincoln school picked up grants from Public Service Company of Oklahoma, which provided a total of $1,600 to the programs.
Kindergarten Teacher Recognized
Let's find out who is doing some exceptional work in the Chickasha Public School district. Our Dennis Linam has his weekly feature.
OYE Market Steers Have Event in Chickasha
Some of the top market steers shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo earlier this month will take to the show ring in Chickasha tomorrow, competing for a lot of cash. The first-ever Oklahoma Slick Shear Expo will be a one-day event at the Grady County Fairgrounds. About 90 animals have been pre-entered, with about 120 entries expected. Exhibitors are competing for a $5,000 top prize. Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn and crosses will be shown. The event is paying out a total of $15,000 to the top 15 steers. Steers had to have been nominated for OYE to compete. Weigh-in is this afternoon, with the show getting underway at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning. Tom Farrer of Indiana is the judge.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.94 a barrel.
London-based Brent is $70 to $70.27.
Natural gas is to $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,329 and silver is $16.34.
Thursday, March 29th
Lengthy Teacher Strike May be Averted
A tax increase plan to fund pay hikes for Oklahoma teachers is on its way to the governor. The state senate approved the estimated $450 million proposal last night. The state house of representatives approved the plan earlier in the week. Gov. Mary Fallin says she'll sign the measure, which should prevent a lengthy teacher strike that was scheduled to begin next week. However, leaders with the Oklahoma Education Association say members will still walk out of classes on Monday to rally at the state capital. OEA officials say while the plan will give teachers a more than $6,000 raise, lawmakers also need to increase funding to pay for classroom materials and equipment. There were plans for teachers to strike for at least a week, and many school districts, supporting the teachers, announced that classes would be suspended.
Chix Churches, Library Open for Chickasha Students Monday
In Chickasha, churches and other groups were making plans to try and care for the 1,800 students in Chickasha Public Schools that would be among those out of class because of the teacher walkout. First Baptist Church and Bible Baptist Church are expected to open their doors for students on Monday. Bible Baptist will have programs for pre-K through 6th grade students, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They'll have vacation bible school programs and activities, and will feed students breakfast, lunch, and snacks. No transportation will be provided. Contact Bible Baptist Church through Facebook or call 405-224-1569. First Baptist Church will have similar programs, also for pre-K through 6th grade, from 8:00 a.m. through 12:30 p.m., and will also feed students breakfast and lunch. Call 405-224-5196. Also, the Chickasha Library had announced plans for a spring reading program all week. Librarian Lillie Huckaby says they would have programs for children ages four and above, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and also provide breakfast and lunch. Parents are asked to pre-register children this afternoon from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; or Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Early Voting Underway
for Chick City Council, Friend School Elections
Chickasha residents will be electing a new mayor next week. Chris Mosley and Tom Rose are candidates for the post. One will take the seat from current Mayor Hank Ross, who opted to not run for re-election. Also on the city council ballot next Tuesday is a race in Ward 4, where challenger Zach Grayson is taking on incumbent Howard Carpenter. All registered Chickasha voters can cast ballots for both city council posts. While the election is next Tuesday, April 3rd, in-person, absentee voting may be done today and tomorrow at the Grady County Election Board. Also, patrons in the Friend school district can vote early in the special school bond issue that will be decided.
Spring Enrollment Up for USAO
There is an increase in the number of students attending USAO this spring. Officials say overall enrollment for the trimester is up 4.8 percent. The report shows an increase in the numbers of both in-state and out-of-state students. In a press release, USAO president John Feaver said he was happy to see the increase. He said since it is the mission of the university to provide a high quality and affordable education, the enrollment numbers are a sign that the university is doing something right and students are taking notice. Officials also said on-campus housing was up more than 3.5 percent, to more than 430 students, which is the highest number in 10 years. The increase in on-campus housing was a big factor in the recent renovation of Robertson Hall, which will be open this fall.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $64.38 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.53.
Natural gas is $2.70 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,327 and silver is $16.22.
Wednesday, March 28th
Church to Open Doors for Some Students if Teachers Strike
At least one local church will have a program for Chickasha school children next week, should a statewide teacher strike take place. School officials announced earlier this week that all the schools in the district will be closed April 2nd through 6th, unless state lawmakers come up with a plan to fund teacher pay hikes. The First Baptist Church at 4th and Colorado will host a day camp for younger children and will also serve breakfast and lunch. Pastor Mike Butler said the Bible-school type program will run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be for students in pre-K through sixth grade. However, enrollment will be limited to 300 children. The Chickasha Area YMCA - which has an after-school program - will not be able to take on extra students. Director Lewis Kniceley said they are limited to the number of students they already have by the Department of Human Services. Any other churches or community groups that will be offering programs for kids during the walk out are asked to contact the radio station by calling 405-224-1560 so we can get the word out about options that will be available.
Plane Crash Victims Identified
Officials have identified the two men killed in a plane crash near Hinton earlier this week. 62-year old Walter Mullaney of El Reno was the pilot and the passenger was 27-year old Cesar Gomez of Ft. Lupton, Colorado. The Highway Patrol reports that Mullaney was flying the 1967 Beachcraft Bonanza which was enroute from Odessa, Texas to El Reno. The plane was diverted to the Hinton airport because of bad weather when it crashed west of Hinton late Sunday night. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the crash.
One in Custody Following High-Speed Pursuit
A high-speed pursuit that topped 100 miles per hour and went through three counties results in the arrest of an Oklahoma City man. The pursuit started just after 4:30 a.m. Monday near the junction of State Highways 4 and 37 in Tuttle. A Tuttle police officer attempted a traffic stop on an erratic driver. According to a probable cause affidavit, the pursuit when through parts of Tuttle, Newcastle and into Oklahoma City, when the SUV pulled into Joe's Crab Shack on Southwest 74th. The driver bailed and fled the area of foot, but two passengers were detained. The driver was found a few minutes later. Authorities arrested 23-year old Jose Luis Alegria. He has been formally charged with eluding, drug possession, having a firearm after conviction, and having stolen property. It's alleged the gun was stolen out of Oklahoma City. He remains in the Grady County Jail pending a $100,000 bond.
Arrest Made in Caddo County Hunting Scam
An arrest has made in a recent investigation by Caddo County authorities about a scam involving fake elk hunts. Authorities have arrested 37-year old Dusty Paul Treadaway of the Ft. Cobb area on 15 counts ranging from computer fraud to obtaining money by false pretenses. Treadaway is out of jail after posting bond. The investigation began in January, when victims reported paying $1,000 or more up front to take a guided hunt, which would be canceled at the last minute, and their funds not returned. Court documents indicate Treadaway admitted to the scam. He told them he actually conducted five of the hunts, but booked as many as 20. It's alleged he may have taken up to $30,000.
Friend School District Voters to Decide Bond Issues
Voters in the Friend School district will decide a couple of bond issues in a special school election next week. Combined, the bond issues total $375,000. Superintendent Jason Brittain says the first is a $290,000 measure to make repairs to the foundation of the lower elementary school. Brittain says the building is 38-years old and is sinking, and needs repairs. The bond will also install air conditioning in the gymnasium and convert the old cafeteria into three administrative offices. The funds would also purchase about 30 computers for the upper elementary computer lab and upgrade the sound system in the auditorium and the gym. A second proposal is for $85,000 to purchase a new bus. Brittain said there would be no increase in property taxes if the measures pass. The special election will be next Tuesday, April 3rd.
Students in Dr. Oz Program Hold Health Fair
A program designed to help high school and middle school students make better choices when it comes to the food they eat is part of the Chickasha schools curriculum. It's a national non-profit program called Health Corps founded by daytime television's Dr. Oz. Kassandra Johnston is the instructor of the course which in the first year of a two-year program. She says interest is growing in a high school cooking class.
The high students are hosting a health fair today at the activity center, with about 400 students visiting more than a dozen booths presenting information on the importance of healthy eating and exercise. Among the students presenting are Ms. Warren's Honors Science Class and Frances Reding's Careers Class.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.25 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.11.
Natural gas is $2.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,344 and silver is $16.46
Tuesday, March 27th
Chickasha Schools to Support Statewide Teacher Strike
Chickasha public schools will shut down next week to allow teachers to take part in a statewide teacher strike. The school district's interim superintendent Jack Herron made this statement during a special meeting of the district's school board last night.
School board president Doug Brown also read a proclamation supporting teachers.
Superintendent Herron said that while classes will be cancelled, all sporting events and extra-curricular activities will be held as scheduled. Herron also said the district is working with a number of community groups to help make sure the district's 1,800 students will have day care services and meals available.
Here is what we've been able to find out so far regarding community resources. First Baptist Church at 4th and Colorado will have a Bible-school day camp Monday through Friday next week from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will feed students breakfast and lunch. The program is only for students from pre-K through 6th grade and it's limited to 300 students.
House Approves Teacher Pay Hike Proposal
In the latest news out of the state capital, the State House of Representatives last night did pass a tax bill that would support a salary hike for teachers, but while the Oklahoma Education Association said the work in the house is a step in the right direction the group is still planning on a walkout. The measure now goes to the senate for consideration.
PLC to be Suspended in Chickasha Schools Next Year
The Chickasha school board last night also voted to suspend the controversial personalized learning curriculum for the 2018-19 school year. The move followed a more than two-hour closed door session, which included discussion with board attorney Karen Long regarding a call from the State Department of Education for the OSBI to conduct a criminal investigation into allegations of grade tampering and falsifying attendance records of students in the PLC program. School board member Zack McGill.
Superintendent Herron said the personalized learning curriculum will continue through the end of this school year, and that the priority is to make sure seniors currently enrolled in that system graduate this spring.
Caddo County Elk Hunt Scam Suspect in Custody
A follow-up today regarding a scam in Caddo County, where a man was selling guided elk hunts and then not taking customers on those hunts. 37-year old Dusty Paul Treadaway of the Ft. Cobb area has been arrested on 15 counts ranging from computer fraud to obtaining money by false pretenses in connection with the scam. The Caddo County sheriff's office began an investigation in January, after victims reported paying $1,000 or more up front, and the hunt would be canceled at the last minute and their funds not returned. The Lawton Constitution cites court documents indicating authorities questioned Treadaway about the scam. He told them he actually conducted five hunts, but booked as many as 20. It's alleged he may have taken up to $30,000.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.55.
London-based Brent crude is $70.12
Natural gas is $2.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,354 and silver is $16.69.
Monday, March 26th
Forecasters Expect Active Severe Weather Season
We all welcome the warm spring weather, but along with it comes the threat of violent thunderstorms and even tornadoes. In any given year, about 55 tornadoes hit the Sooner State. Last year, there were 72. Grady County Emergency Management Director Dale Thompson says this year could also be more active than usual.
Thompson said that now is a good time for families to plan what they will do should severe weather strike. He says to listen to frequent weather updates. However, he says many times people mistakenly rely on outdoor warning sirens, which he says is only for people who are actually outdoors.
Thompson suggests families also purchase a NOAA weather radio which broadcasts severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Thompson and his office will have a Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, April 7th from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Chickasha Wal-Mart store, where they will distribute information about severe storms, and will help program NOAA weather radios.
No Decision Yet Regarding Chix School if Teachers Strike
Will Chickasha schools be open if there is a statewide teacher strike? There hasn't been an official decision yet. However, the Chickasha school board will decide on a giving the superintendent the authority to suspend classes if that happens. It's one of several issues to be discussed in a special meeting of the school board tonight. The board will vote on whether to give the superintendent the authority to call off school, if he thinks that student safety would be endangered by the lack of adequate staff to provide supervision to students. The school board is also expected to give the superintendent authority to determine if sporting events and other extra-curricular activities would be held during the walkout. The panel may also approve a resolution which support teachers, and encourages state lawmakers to find a dedicated source of revenue for teacher salaries.
Biker Hurt in Turnpike Crash
There were quite a few motorcycle accidents throughout the state this past weekend. One happened on the H.E. Bailey turnpike near Fletcher just before 7:00 p.m. Saturday night, which sent the rider to a Lawton hospital. 28-year old Walter Bannon of Oklahoma City was westbound on the turnpike when the highway patrol reports he may have been going too fast to exit at mile marker 62. Bannon hit the curb and rolled one time. He was last in fair condition, suffering from arm and leg injuries. Bannon was wearing his helmet.
School Foundation Helps Chickasha School Students
Students and teachers in Chickasha public schools get a big boost each year from the Chickasha Public School Foundation. This school year, the foundation provided about $40,000 in grants to teachers in every school, making sure that the grants reach every student. Jen Jantzen is the director of the Foundation, and says its endowment has grown to a huge level since the Foundation was created 32 years ago.
The foundation will have its annual fundraising gala on May 4th. Tickets are now on sale for $35 each. Get information on the foundation’s Facebook page or its website www.chickasha4kids.org
Feral Hog Workshop Set
Many farmers and ranchers are having to deal with the loss of crops and livestock due to feral hogs. Producers can get an update on the issue at a workshop in Caddo County next week. Joshua Gaskamp with the Noble Research Institute will discuss the problem at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb. The program will be Thursday, April 5th, starting at 9:30 a.m. You can register on-line at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center website, www.mycktc.com.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.88 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $70.45.
Natural gas is $2.59 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,353 and silver is $16.61.