Our Chickasha Schools Academic Persons of the year are in a Tie for principals of the year; Dr. Ashanti Alexander and Rhonda Snow. Teacher of the Year, is Michael Voyles.
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Monday, May 14th
One Dead When Motorcycle Hits Semi
Motorycle accidents are on the rise in the region and across the state. This past weekend in Grady County, a motorcyclist dies when he hits a semi head-on. 23-year old Forrest Smith of Lexington died in the accident that happened just after 10:00 a.m. Sunday. The accident happened south of Tuttle on State Highway 4, about 3 1/2 miles south of State Highway 37. The highway patrol reports that Smith was southbound when he crossed over the center line and crashed into the semi. The driver of the semi, 56-year old William Campbell, Jr. of Dallas, was not hurt. The accident closed Highway 4 for nearly four hours.
Man Hospitalized in Caddo County Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle rider is critically injured in a crash in Caddo County. 49-year old James Reynolds of Westcliffe, Colorado suffered numerous injuries in the crash that happened about 8:30 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 40 north of Hinton. The highway patrol reports that Reynolds was eastbound on the interstate and tried to exit. He lost control of the bike and hit a sign. The highway patrol reports that neither Smith nor Reynolds were wearing a helmet.
SUV Rollover Sends Anadarko Man to the Hospital
A traffic accident involving an SUV sends an Anadarko man to the hospital with serious injuries. 26-year old Keanah Cozad was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital after the crash. A passenger in the vehicle, 36-year old Kolette Holder of Gracemont, was not hurt. That accident happened about five miles north of Ft. Cobb on Primitive Road just before 4:00 p.m. Saturday. The highway patrol reports Cozad was driving at a high rate of speed when the vehicle went off the road and rolled one time, throwing Cozad out of the SUV. Holder was able to drive Cozad to Ft. Cobb State Park where first responders were summoned.
New Chickasha Police Officer Finishes CLEET Training
A Chickasha police officer has finished her CLEET training. Charli Nye wrapped up her 16-week academy in Ada, and is now ready to begin field training. CLEET certification includes classroom instruction on subjects from law and ethics to accident investigation, CPR and First Aid, and officer survival. There's also firearms training, defensive driving, and learning how to conduct standard field sobriety tests. Nye has previously worked as an administrative assistant with the police department and at city hall.
Three Groups Share Elks Lodge Grants
Several area non-profit groups are getting a boost courtesy of the Chickasha Elks Lodge. Mobile Meals, Special Olympics, and Santa's Workshop all share in $2,500 in grants provided by the Elks. Sherri Lewis with the Elks Lodge says local funds raised by the group are matched with funds from their national headquarters.
Grants are also used to help the Elks host their annual kids fishing derby which will be coming up on June 9th. Funds also help with the Grady County Veterans Memorial at Shannon Springs Park.
Growth Continues in Energy Sector
The number of active oil and gas rigs across the country is up for six consecutive weeks. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has the Sooner State numbers.
Skinner reporting Baker Hughes registers 1,045 rigs across the country, up 18 percent from the same time last year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down Friday, but up for the week to $70.70 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.12.
Natural gas is $2.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,320 and silver is $16.67.
Saturday, May 12th
Grady Memorial Construction Nearly Complete
There are still some minor details to be worked out before the Grady Memorial Hospital staff can move in to its new surgery and imaging center. Administrator Kean Spellman hosted a number of city and county officials for a walk-through of the new center last night. He's hoping they can start moving in as early as next week.
Spellman said the target date for the first surgery is now May 24th. The imaging center will not be open for another month. It's taken about a year and a half to build the $17 million addition. It came about after state and federal health officials closed the hospital's operating rooms nearly three years ago.
Special Olympics Walk Resumes
It's day number two for Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer's walk to Stillwater. Stewart is a retired state trooper and Beth Anne is a retired teacher. They walk from Chickasha to Stillwater every year to raise money for Special Olympics. Today, they'll leave Minco heading north on U.S. Highway 81 to El Reno, then east on the historic Route 66 to Yukon. They are being escorted by state troopers. Stewart said motorists along the route find the most unique way to help their cause.
In recent years, they've collected about $10,000 a year. Since they started the annual walk in 2000 they have collected more than $125,000. They'll arrive in Stillwater Wednesday, in time for the opening ceremonies for the state Special Olympic Games, where more than 6,000 athletes will compete in events like track and field, bowling, and bocce.
Antique Auto Swap Meet Concludes
Chickasha is the place to be this weekend if you're an antique car buff. The spring swap meet for the Chickasha Antique Auto Club will wrap up its three-day run today. A couple of hundred vendors are selling numerous parts for cars, trucks, and motorcycles, and there's lots of transportation memorabilia for sale, too. There's even an auction of a number classic cars and trucks scheduled today. An arts and crafts show is going on as well. The swap meet is at and near the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Food Drive to Fill Local Pantries
Today's a big day for letter carriers across the country. The stamp out hunger food drive is designed to re-stock food pantries. This is the 26th year for the National Association of Letter Carriers to hold the drive. Steve Riggs is the Oklahoma chairman of the food drive.
You're asked to put a few non-perishable food items in a bag and leave it by your mailbox today, and your letter carrier will pick it up. In Chickasha, contributions will go to the Emergency Food Pantry, the Southern Oaks Church of Christ, and the Resurrection House.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. District Attorney Jason Hicks is on our KOOL Konversation to discuss his opposition to State Question 788, the proposition to legalize medical marijuana. We have links to the program elsewhere on this website. It is under the Community tab.
Friday, May 11th
Neighbor Saves Alex Family from House Fire
A family in Alex is counting its blessings after a fire damages their home. Kyle and Chelsey Thompson and their two small children escaped the fire un-injured, but the home has some major damage. The Grady County Fire Department was summoned to a home in the 200 block of West H in Alex just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday. A neighbor saw the flames and called 9-1-1. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department says firefighters from Alex and Bradley were able to knock down the flames and limit fire damage to the living room where the fire started, but there was also smoke and water damage to other areas of the home. Myers said an electrical problem may have sparked the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the family.
Home-Alone Teen Calls 9-1-1 After Stranger Takes Rifle
A scared teenaged girl calls 9-1-1 when a stranger enters her home. Fortunately, the girl was not hurt, and police have made an arrest. The incident happened in Tuttle last week. The 17-year old girl told police she was home alone, when someone rang the doorbell. She said she hid from the man, who opened the door and said "hello" when nobody answered. The teen said the man took a rifle that was propped against the wall next to the door. The girl gave a good description of the suspect and the pick-up he was driving, and authorities found it at a gas station east of Tuttle a couple of hours later. A probable cause affidavit filed by Tuttle police alleges the suspect initially denied entering the house, but then admitted going in and taking the rifle. He said he tried to pawn the rifle in Mustang, but the clerk there refused to buy it. However, the suspect said he sold it to another customer in the store. Police arrested 22-year old Hunter Cole Bishop of Tuttle, who has been formally charged with felony burglary. He is out of jail after posting $30,000 bond. Bishop is to be back in court May 30th for a preliminary hearing conference.
Chickasha Couple Begin Walk to Stillwater
Stewart and Beth Ann Meyer will have the wind at their backs as they begin their annual walk to Stillwater today. This is the 18th year the couple will walk to OSU, as a benefit for Special Olympics. Over the years, they've raised more than $125,000. There was a good turnout for Craig's Walk hosted by the Meyers’ last night, which is always held before they begin their journey. The first leg of the trip will take them north on U.S. Highway 81 to Minco. They'll walk 20 to 25 miles per day and arrive in Stillwater next Wednesday, in time for the opening ceremonies of the state Special Olympic games.
Tuttle Students Place Second in National Wind Contest
For the second straight year, a team of Tuttle high school students finish runner-up in a national wind turbine competition. The team of Gage Loard, Kellen Riley, Austin Brown and Falcon McDoulett finished second to a Virginia team in the National KidWind competition in Chicago. It was the narrowest of margins as just 1 1/2 points separated the top two schools. There were 17 high school teams competing, but Tuttle was the only Oklahoma high school team. There were 40 middle school teams, including two from the Moore area. Tuttle sponsor Daneice Foster said they'll return home this afternoon.
Sheriff's Office Issues 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.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.36 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.47.
Natural gas is $2.81 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,324 and silver is $16.30.
Thursday, May 10th
Third Tornado Confirmed in Grady County
National Weather Service officials have confirmed a total of three tornadoes in Grady County in the strong thunderstorms that caused some damage last week. The newest confirmation is from the storm that hit about four miles west of Rush Springs last Wednesday night. The weather service had previously confirmed tornadoes north of Chickasha and east of Amber. The tornado west of Rush Springs started 7:55 p.m. and was on the ground for about 11 minutes. The second tornado, north of Chickasha and west of Amber was recorded at 7:58 p.m. and was on the ground for about eight minutes. The third tornado was just east of Amber at 8:05 p.m. All were considered EF-1 tornadoes, with maximum winds of 110 miles per hour. Property damage occurred in each of those tornadoes.
Carnegie Man Dies When Pickup Overturns
A Caddo County man has died when his pick-up runs off the road and overturns. 53-year old Bill Holmes of Carnegie was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The Highway Patrol reports the accident happened about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, south of Weatherford on State Highway 54. The trooper investigating the accident said the pickup ran off the road, hit an embankment and overturned. Holmes was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown out of the truck.
Overnight Crash Closes Highway Through Dibble
A late night crash at Dibble shut down the state highway that runs through that town for quite a while. That accident happened about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday at State Highway 76 and 250th Street. The highway was finally re-opened about two hours later, about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol had no information about the accident.
Heavy Rains Open More Sink Holes
More sink holes are being discovered on Chickasha streets. Maintenance crews on Wednesday spent time filling about a six-foot deep sink hole that opened near Jake's Rib and the John Holt Auto Group dealership. That's just one of three sink holes that have opened in that area, where the storm drain system is eroding. Earlier in the week, crews filled in a sink hole near 2nd and Illinois. Last week's heavy rains are partially to blame for the opening of these new sink holes as is the decaying infrastructure underneath city streets. Luckily, no major streets have been affected.
Walk to Stillwater About to Begin
On most days, it will take an hour and a half or two hours to drive from Chickasha to Stillwater. For a Chickasha couple, it will take them a little longer, as they take the scenic route - one step at a time. This is the 18th year that Stewart and Beth Anne Meyer will walk 125 miles between the two cities. It's a fundraiser for the state Special Olympic games. To date, they have walked more than 2,100 miles and have raised more than $125,000. Stewart says they have been joined by a lot of supporters.
Tonight, Stewart and Beth Ann will kick things off with Craig's Walk, which is another fund raiser established for Special Olympics. That will be held from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Tim Brauer and the First Look Band will perform. Also, a leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run which also supports Special Olympics will start at 5:00 p.m. today at 4th and Country Club, where a group will run four miles to the football field. Beth Ann will be walking with a heavy heart this year. Her mother, Edna Meyer passed away last week. She was 98 years old.
Chickasha School Administrator to Return to Home Town
A Chickasha school administrator is moving on. Mickey Edwards, who has served as the district's curriculum specialist and federal programs coordinator the last three years, is headed back to his hometown of Verden. Edwards’ resignation was accepted by the Chickasha school board this week. His last day on the job is June 30th. He's been with Chickasha schools for 11 years, starting out as a science teacher at middle school and at high school. He also spent some time as assistant baseball coach. He began his administrative career as an assistant principal at Grand Elementary, and spent a short time as Grand principal before moving to the administration office. Edwards will be returning to the classroom at Verden, where he'll teach science again, and also help with the school’s athletic programs.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.72 a barrel
London-based Brent crude is $77.21.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,315 and silver is $16.62.
Wednesday, May 9th
Minco Police Officer OK After Pursuit
Frightening moments for a Minco police officer involved in a weekend chase. Officer Richard Rodgers was involved in a pursuit, when the car he was chasing spun around and sped toward him. Rodgers was able to avoid a collision, and the chase ended moments later in a residential area. Documents filed in Grady County District Court indicate the officer was on patrol early Saturday morning, when he noticed a car with a non-working tag light. Rodgers tried to make a traffic stop, but the vehicle led him on a pursuit through several neighborhoods. The driver nearly hit another vehicle head on, then drove in to the city's water plant. Rodgers says that's when the pursuit vehicle nearly hit him. The pursuit ended at a Minco home a few moments later, where the driver was arrested without incident. During a search of the vehicle, authorities found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The driver told Rodgers she was running because she thought she had a warrant out of Canadian County. Arrested was 29-year old Whitnie Goodman of Minco. She spent the weekend in the Grady County jail, and has been formally charged with felony counts of endangering others while eluding, and drug possession with intent to distribute. She remains in jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.
Volunteer Fire Crews Aid Efforts Near El Reno
A number of Grady County volunteer firefighters were summoned to help battle a wildfire near El Reno. A task force of about a dozen firefighters, two water-hauling freightliners, and a number of brush trucks were dispatched to the Cedar Lake area west of El Reno Tuesday morning. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers said the team returned last night after spending about seven hours in the field. They were among fire departments from Union City, El Reno, Calumet, Geary, Hinton, Cedar Lake, and Canadian County Emergency Management called out. Myers said about 300 acres of mostly timber and grassland in a canyon had burned. Canadian County officials say the fire initially started last Friday and fire crews had it contained, but it re-ignited Monday afternoon. No homes or property were threatened.
Help You Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger
Letter carriers nationwide are preparing for their Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers hold the drive on the second Saturday of each May, to re-stock the food pantries in their local communities. Steve Riggs is the state coordinator for the food drive. They are asking their customers to leave some non-perishable food by their mail boxes. Riggs talks about the foods they need most.
Postal patrons should have already received a post card describing the food drive. Later this week, they will also be delivering a plastic bag in which to place your donated food. Letter carriers work with the Regional Food Bank to distribute food to local food pantries.
USAO to Mark 110th Anniversary
USAO is about to celebrate a milestone. A special ceremony commemorating it's 110th anniversary will be next week. The ceremony will include the dedication of the newly remodeled Giles Room in the Lawson Court Clubhouse. The room named in honor of the late Nita Giles, an attorney who was a big supporter of USAO, as were her parents, the late State Sen. Ray and Mary Giles. The celebration is set for next Wednesday. Officials are also to announce a major gift to the university.
Rural Neighbors OHCE to Honor Military Veterans
Military veterans will be honored with an informal program at the Grady County Disabled American Veterans chapter today. As part of their Oklahoma Home and Community Education week activities, the Rural Neighbors OHCE group will serve ice cream and cookies to veterans who stop by. Also, the Patriot Guard Riders will be on hand to share stories of their service to America. The program will run from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. today the Grady County DAV Chapter 17 headquarters in downtown Chickasha.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down to $69.06 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude slips to $74.85.
Natural gas down slightly to $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,306 and silver is $16.42.
Tuesday, May 8th
Councilman's Business Partnership with Bidder Questioned
A Chickasha city councilman's concern of a bid to run the concessions at the city's sports complex led to some intense discussion during last night's city council meeting. Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander said it may appear the council would be showing favoritism to one of the bidders, because the bidder has a business partnership with City Councilman Zach Grayson. Ashanti-Alexander said in order to be more transparent, the partnership should have been made public, in order to avoid any perception that the council may be dealing with the situation unfairly.
The bid in question was submitted by J.W. Concessions, which is owned by Josh Woods. Woods and Councilman Grayson are business partners with the InterUrban Restaurant. However, Grayson said he does not have any ownership in J.W. Concessions.
There was one other bid submitted for the sports complex concessions, but city officials recommended the bid not be accepted, saying it was incomplete. That bidder, Matt Barnard of OYBA Concessions, said Grayson was present with Woods at a pre-bid meeting, and felt Grayson should have said so during the meeting.
Barnard is familiar with the sports complex, having served as the coordinator for scheduling games for the facility a couple of years ago. After the discussion, the council voted 6-3 to accept the bid from J.W. Concessions. Ashanti-Alexander voted for the plan. Grayson recused himself from voting, while Joe Molder and Mark Keeling both voted no.
Council OK's Lease of Mineral Rights near Airport
The city council approved the only bid that was submitted during an auction for leasing mineral rights on city-owned property. After a 25-minute closed door meeting, the council approved the bid from RK Energy of Oklahoma City. The bid was for $3,000 an acre and 3/16ths royalty for three years. The city will receive $135,000 in advance on the lease. The company had submitted an alternative bid of $2,000 per acre and 1/5th royalty for three years, but the council chose the first option. The council also re-elected Kimmie Loggins as vice-mayor.
Pipeline Through SCOOP, STACK Extended
The SCOOP and STACK plays are getting another big boost. Cardinal Midstream's Iron Horse Pipeline will be expanding. The region extends from central Canadian County to the south and east, and includes all of Grady and parts of McClain, Garvin, and Stephens counties. Cardinal handles the natural gas which is being produced in that region. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that the Dallas-based company is expanding its 100-mile system to 150 miles, after a recent pledge from Camino Natural Resources out of Oklahoma City. Camino officials were in Chickasha last month to announce it has acquired an estimated 100,000 acres of production. That region is being pledged to the Iron Horse system, and increases Cardinal's total acreage to 150,000 acres. Cardinal President and Chief Financial Officer Tim Roberts said dedications from Camino and Travis Peak provide a platform for significant and rapid expansion to its footprint. He says the company is also evaluating ways to add complementary crude and dry gas gathering services. Construction is already underway for the expansion and a processing plant is expected to be on-line later this year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.73 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.17.
Natural gas is $2.74 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,316 and silver is $16.53
Monday, May 7th
Weather Service Confirms Grady County Tornadoes
The National Weather Service reports that eight tornadoes struck the Sooner State in those strong thunderstorms that hit last Wednesday night. Two of them were confirmed in Grady County. Both were considered EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds between 86 and 110 miles per hour. The first tornado hit about 4 1/2 miles north of Chickasha and destroyed a recreational vehicle and stayed on the ground for about five miles. The second tornado touched down briefly just east of Amber, causing damage to several homes. Strong storms west of Rush Springs destroyed an unoccupied mobile home and damaged several other homes, but there's no report on whether that was a tornado or straight-line winds.
Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Train Identified
A follow-up now to a story we aired a couple of weeks ago about a pedestrian struck and killed by a train just west of Chickasha. The state medical examiner has identified the victim as 36-year old Dustin Kauley. No home town for Kauley was available. Authorities say that Kauley died from multiple blunt force trauma and that his death was an accident. The highway patrol reported that Kauley was a pedestrian on or near the tracks in the area of 29th Street and U.S. Highway 62 when he was hit by a train with three engines pulling 55 cars.
Semi Rollover Blocks State Highway for Hours
An overturned semi shut down State Highway 39 between Tabler and Dibble for several hours on Saturday. No one was injured when the big rig crashed. The highway patrol has not released the name of the driver nor any information on what caused the driver to lose control of the semi. The crash happened near the Grady-McClain county line about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Traffic was detoured around the crash site all day. The highway was shut down for 12 hours.
City Council to Auction Leases for Mineral Rights
A closed-door meeting of the Chickasha City Council tonight, to consider bids which may be received for mineral rights on city-owned property. The council will hold a public auction to lease the mineral rights on just over 47 acres of property near the Chickasha Airport when it meets for a regularly scheduled meeting tonight. After the public auction, the panel will go behind closed doors to review the bids, then return to open session to announce their decision. The council is also to select a vice-mayor to serve in place of Mayor Chris Mosley when he is absent. The panel will consider approving a final payment of nearly $9,000 to Bordwine Development for recent improvements made to the amphitheater at Shannon Springs Park. Also to be reviewed, the request for a Special Use permit for Life Church of Chickasha to move to 2403 Ponderosa Drive; waiving fees for Bible Baptist Church to use Shannon Springs Park for a community event on June 3rd; a request from the Elks Lodge to hold its annual kids fishing derby at Shannon Springs on June 9th; and the city's annual fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th. Administrative Assistant Beth Cranton will be recognized as the city's Employee of the Month. The city council meets at 6:30 p.m. this evening at city hall.
City Waives Yard Sale Permit Fees for Swap Meet
The spring swap meet for the Chickasha Antique Club is this weekend. In conjunction with that event, the city will waive the permit fees normally required for garage sales. Residents are normally supposed to purchase a $5 permit whenever they hold a yard sale. No permit will be necessary during the swap meet, which will run Thursday through Saturday.
Chickasha Public School Foundation Projects Reviewed
Last Friday night was purple pride night for the Chickasha Public School Foundation. Attendees wore Chickasha purple, and were greeted by high school cheerleaders and drum corps. Foundation director Jen Jantzen said the foundation has provided more than $1 million in grants since it began in 1986 and that over the last three years has provided $100,000 in school supplies which have been distributed to every student in the school district. A live auction helped to bring in an additional $20,000 to the foundation. Among the items sold were a pair of autographed running shoes from Camille Herron of Oklahoma City, who is the daughter of interim Chickasha school superintendent Jack Herron. Camille Herron holds five world records for ultra-marathons including the fastest time for a man or women running 100 miles.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.72 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.87.
Natural gas is $2.71 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,314 and silver is $16.49.