In “Getting to know your Chickasha Fire Department we meet…Captain Dave Wright
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Monday, June 4th
Double-Homicide Suspect Shot and Killed by Law Enforcement
Two crime scenes were cordoned off in Chickasha and Pocasset yesterday, after two people are shot and killed at a Chickasha home - and then the suspect is shot and killed by a law enforcement following a high-speed pursuit. The OSBI was summoned to investigate. It began about 5:00 a.m. Sunday, when Chickasha police were dispatched to a home in the 900 block of North 12th. We obtained police scanner audio about the initial call. Two children were in the home.
The children were not hurt. As police arrived the suspect ran out of the house, jumped into his truck and led police on a high-speed pursuit on U.S. Highway 81 north to Pocasset. Here is scanner audio as the chase comes to end.
The suspect has been identified as 32-year old Julio Eduardo Hernandez Mata. His estranged wife, 31-year old Rebecca Mae Hernandez Mata was one of his victims. The other is 31-year old Juan Antonio Hernandez Gonzales. U.S. Highway 81 in Pocasset was closed for more than eight hours as authorities investigated that scene. Officers with Chickasha police, the Grady County Sheriff's office, and state troopers all fired their weapons at Hernandez Mata. Investigators did find a weapon at the crash site.
Surgeries Finally Resume at Grady Memorial Hospital
It's been almost three years since any surgeries have been performed at Grady Memorial Hospital. That is changing today, as the hospital officially opens its new surgery wing. State and federal health officials closed the hospital’s old surgery rooms in August of 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grady County residents approved a county-wide sales tax increase to pay for the new addition, which also includes an imaging center. Hospital administrator Kean Spellman says the new surgery rooms are already booked, with new general surgeon Dr. Michael Johns joining several other surgeons and doctors.
The imaging center won't be open for a few more weeks. Spellman said an open house is scheduled for Sunday, July 1st.
Accounting Firm, Inmate Labor to be Discussed by City Council
A proposal to hire an accounting firm for the City of Chickasha for the coming fiscal year is to be considered by the city council tonight. City Manager John Noblitt is recommending the use of Crawford and Associates to assist with a move to modified accrual accounting, and to prepare financials, general accounting, and financial assistance. Hourly rates range from $45 an hour for clerical staff to $250 an hour for the firm’s president and chairman. The council is expected to renew a contract with the Department of Corrections for inmate labor; and may also approve the service contract with the Grady County Jail. The group is also to recognize Daniel Ward in the public works department as the city's employee of the month. He's worked for the city for 10 years. The city council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $65.81 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.59.
Natural gas is $2.96 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,297 and silver is $16.43.
Saturday, June 2nd
Dr. Joe Ellis White, Lifelong Educator, Dies
Dr. Joe Ellis White, an Alex native who was a life-long educator, has died. Dr. White was 80 years old when he passed away at his Edmond home on Thursday. He spent many years in public education, and was a high school football coach at Alex, Minco, and Elk City. He spent several years as an administrator for public school districts in Elk City, Sentinel, and for a short time in Roswell, N.M. In 1975, he became president of Carl Albert State College in Poteau. Dr. Ellis hosted several U.S. presidents at the college when Albert was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Those presidents included Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush. Dr. White helped to build the Carl Albert State College Foundation which today has a $10 million fund. White is a member of three Oklahoma Hall of Fame organizations. The funeral for Dr. Joe Ellis White will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 6th at Santa Fe Presbyterian Church in Edmond. Burial will follow in the Alex Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Joe E. and Melba Sue White Academic Scholarship Fund at Carl Albert State College.
Octogenerian Leads Police on High-Speed Pursuit
High speed pursuits by law enforcement are in the news quite often, but here's one that's a little different. It involves a senior citizen on his way home from a casino. The chase started in Amber Wednesday evening, and ended a few minutes later in Chickasha. Amber Police Chief Marvin Akers said he tried to pull over the elderly driver because of erratic driving. The pursuit reached speeds of 100 miles per hour, until it came to end at a Chickasha home near 11th and Choctaw. The senior citizen told Akers he had an emergency, but did not say what it was. Authorities said that the man lived alone, and there was no emergency. 84-year old George Allen Brinkman of Chickasha was arrested on numerous complaints, including DUI. A breath test indicated Brinkman's blood-alcohol content was point-zero-eight. After his arrest, Brinkman was charged with misdemeanors of DUI and eluding. He remains in jail pending a $5,000 bond.
Grady, Caddo Counties Join Forces for Relay for Life
Grady and Caddo County residents are teaming up for a Relay for Life this year. The relay collects funds for the American Cancer Society. This year's combined relay will be held at the Chickasha High School football field. There are numerous activities scheduled to keep participants busy throughout the event. In previous years, some relays have run all night and wrap up early in the morning. This year, activities will finish up about 11:00 p.m. tonight. Registration for the relay starts at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, with the relay starting at 4:00 p.m.. There are inflatable games, touch-a-truck, and other events for the kids, and a lot of creative activities for other relay participants.
Final Go-Round Tonight for State High School Rodeoers
The final go-round of the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association state finals is tonight at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The top 15 contestants in each event will have a chance to improve their placings, with top four in each competition qualifying for the National High School rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming in July. Rodeo action starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, with a $5 general admission. Children 12-and-under are free.
Sheriff's Office Releases Warrant 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.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. Improving the overall health of Oklahomans is a responsibility taken on by what's known as the TSET program. That's the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. Director John Woods is this week's guest on our KOOL Konversation program to talk about his group's efforts to encourage better eating habits, more exercise and ending tobacco use. Find a link to that program elsewhere on this website, under the Community tab.
Friday, June 1st
USAO Softball Wins National Title
The newly crowned national champions of NAIA softball are headed home this morning. The USAO Drovers won the championship in Clermont, Florida yesterday, defeating Columbia, Missouri, 4-1. The Drovers won the title on Coach Jadyn Wallis' first trip to the series in her five-year stint as head coach. The Drovers left Orlando earlier this morning and are on their way to Houston where they'll catch a connecting flight to Oklahoma City. They are expected to be in Chickasha about 11:30 a.m. A police escort will welcome the champs home, where a crowd of supporters is sure to be on hand when the team arrives at the USAO Fiedlhouse. It's only the second national championship for USAO. The men's basketball team won an NAIA title in 2002.
New Entrance to Verden Separate School Dedicated
A formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony is held for the new entrance to a treasured historical school. Local and state business, education, and government officials were on hand for the event at the Verden Separate School, which was moved to Chickasha a few years ago. Loretta Jackson spear-headed the effort to save the one-room school. It's historical significance is that it was built by a black man, on land he owned, and specifically for the black children in the region. Jackson said there have been many individuals who have helped her along the way.
The school is on the national register of historic places. It's one of only two known schools of its kind in the state, and among only four in the country.
High School Rodeo State Finals Continue
The state finals of the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association are underway. The season started last August, with the youth traveling as far as Woodward and Beaver in northwest Oklahoma and to Ardmore in the southern part of the state. Veronica Cornett is a freshman from Luther, who is competing in barrel racing, goat tying, and pole bending. She's also a candidate to serve as the association's queen next year. She talks about getting ready for the queen pageant tomorrow.
Cornett will also be in the national high school rodeo queen pageant in Wyoming this summer.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.04 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.59.
Natural gas is $2.95 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,303 and silver is $16.47.
Thursday, May 31st
USAO Softball to Play for National Championship
A national championship is on the line for the USAO softball team today. The Drovers advanced to the NAIA title game with a 7-6 win in 9 innings over Columbia, Mo. last night. It's the first time in team history the Drovers are in the title game. USAO will play Columbia for the championship in Clermont, Fla. Columbia earned a re-match with USAO by defeating Southern Oregon late last night. The contest set to start at 12:30 p.m. CDT. USAO has won all three games it has played so for in the NAIA College World Series. Should Columbia win, an if-necessary game would be played later this afternoon.
Sleepiness Blamed on Crash into Cemetery Fence
The driver who crashed his SUV through a cemetery fence last week told police he fell asleep prior to the accident. The accident report from the Chickasha Police Department indicates 24-year old Trenton Robnett of Ninnekah told officers he had worked all night the night before the crash. The accident happened at Rosehill Cemetery along Grand Avenue. Robnett's SUV crossed over three lanes of traffic without hitting any other vehicles. The SUV jumped a curb and rolled more than three times, taking out about 80 feet of the cemetery's fence and causing thousands of dollars in damage. Somehow Robnett avoided injury. Robnett was ticketrf for failure to devote full attention to driving.
Man Accused of Head-Butting, Choking Girlfriend
A man faces several charges including a felony for allegedly choking his girlfriend at a Rush Springs apartment. 34-year old Dylan Wayne Gill, who lists a hometown of Marlow, was arrested after the confrontation last weekend. A Rush Springs Police arrest affidavit indicates the victim said she was holding the couple's one-year old child when an argument between her and Gill turned to physical violence. It's alleged Gill bit the woman on her shoulder, head-butted her, choked her, and threatened to kill her. The child also suffered some minor injuries. The woman and two children were taken to a hospital for treatment. Authorities found Gill at a Duncan casino the next day, where he was arrested without incident. Gill is formally charged with a felony of domestic assault and battery, and misdemeanors of domestic abuse and threatening violence. He is being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.
State High School Rodeo Finals Underway
The first go-round of the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association state finals are set for this afternoon at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Rough stock events like bull riding and bronc riding are up first, followed by barrel racing, goat tying, pole bending, and others. Leading the girls all-around competition is Tuttle's Kathryn Todd, who has a slim lead over Chaley Hext of Canadian. Todd is the overall leader in pole bending. She's second in break-away roping and third in goat-tying. Leading the boys all-round is Austin Christensen of Laverne, who has a wide lead over Trevor Hale of Perryton, Texas. Rodeo action starts at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, and again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. The top 15 in each competition qualify for the third and final go-round at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Grady, Caddo Counties Unite for Cancer Fight
Local fights against cancer take center stage this weekend, with a combined Relay for Life to support efforts in both Grady and Caddo counties. The relay will be held Saturday at the Chickasha High School football field, with registration starting at 3:00 p.m., and the relay starting at 4:00 p.m., and wrapping up about 11:00 p.m. There will be a lot of activities for kids, from inflatable games to a touch-a-truck. Numerous teams that have spent several months raising money for the American Cancer Society will have booths set up to continue their fund-raising efforts. Among the more interesting events are a mad scientist lap, where walkers will don goggles, lab coats, and carry laboratory items; a choose-a-costume lap, where walkers can dress up as super-heroes; and a Wild West lap, with cowboy hats, ropes, and stick horses.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is to $68.21 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.50.
Natural gas is $2.88 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,308 and silver is $16.56.
Wednesday, May 30th
Man Charged With Father's Death Out of Jail on Bond
A Blanchard man accused of killing his father and trying to make it look like a suicide is out of jail after posting bond. 37-year old James Kyle Brooks posted a $400,000 bond after being charged with murder in Stephens County this past March. Brooks’ father, Timothy Brooks, was found in his Marlow home with a fatal shotgun would to his stomach in 2012. James Brooks claimed his father shot himself. It's alleged that the younger Brooks had taken out a $500,000 life insurance policy on his father. Investigators say the elder Brooks was mentally ill.
DA to Speak Against Medical Marijuana State Question
Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks will speak at a town meeting on State Question 788, the proposal to legalize medical marijuana. Hicks will address the issue at the forum to be held by the Grady County Republican Party. The program is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th at the Canadian Valley Technology Center at 6:30 p.m. Hicks is against the proposal. No one supporting the state question is scheduled to speak.
Voter Registration Deadline Nears for June 26th Primary
This Friday, June 1st is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming June 26th primary election. If you've never registered to vote before, or need to update your registration, now is the time to do so ahead of the primary. Stop by your local county election board, or applications are available at the post office, tag office, or library. Applications may also be downloaded from the state election board website, www.elections.ok.gov Sample ballots are also available at county election board offices.
Youth Rodeoers Arriving for State Finals
All the teens taking part in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association state finals will be in Chickasha today. A mandatory meeting of the contestants will be held this afternoon at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Among them is Larae Luis, who is in the cow horse and cutting competitions. Luis, from Wynnewood, just finished her junior year in high school. Her family moved to Oklahoma from California within the last couple of years.
Luis qualified for the National High School rodeo competition her freshman and sophomore years, and is looking to return after missing out last year. Some 130 competitors are looking to finish in the top four of their respective competitions, in order to qualify for the National Finals. Rodeo competition is at 2:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday with a final round of competition at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tips to Minimize Tick Problems
We're already hearing about problems associated with ticks. The bugs cause severe illnesses like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Shiann Burns with Grady County OSU Extension has some information to help reduce the risk of ticks around your home.
Burns also says to clear brush and leaf litter frequently, and keep the ground under bird feeders clean.
Shannon Springs Park Pool Now Open
After some delays the public pool at Chickasha's Shannon Springs Park is now open. Officials had hoped to have the pool open over the Memorial Day weekend, but ran into some issues which prevented that from happening. The pool is managed and operated by the Chickasha Area YMCA. Normal pool hours are 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. YMCA members get free admission, while admission is $5 for non-Y members. The pool can be reserved for private parties after regular hours during the week, and on Sunday. Contact the YMCA for information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.73 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.39.
Natural gas is $2.87 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,301 and silver is $16.39.
Tuesday, May 29th
Retired Green Beret Addresses Memorial Day Ceremony
A solemn ceremony at the Grady County Veteran's Memorial in Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park Monday, as a small crowd gathered for a Memorial Day program. Guest speaker was retired Lt. Col. Mark Oschenbein, a Green Beret who spent time in special operations. He said the soldiers who laid down their lives should be honored by battling tyranny around the world, and supporting veterans who served our country.
Oschenbein spoke of the sacrifice of Walter Edmond Steele who was born in Chickasha and was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Steele enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was serving on the USS Forestall when a rocket was fired from one aircraft and hit another. Steele was among more than 130 sailors who died, and another 160 were injured in the accident.
Retired Marine Walking Across America Attends Memorial
Also part of the Memorial Day program, retired Marine sergeant, Roy Brady. We told you about Brady last week and his mission to walk across America to support veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to further research to improve prosthetics to help veterans who lost limbs while serving. Brady said individuals must make an effort to help veterans talk about their issues.
Brady walks 15-20 miles per day. He's on his way to Tulsa this week. He started his journey in California in March, and will be walking more than six months. He’s raising awareness and funds for the non-profit group, Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge.
Energy Prices Fluctuate
Crude oil prices were lower last week. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission explains why prices have been fluctuating.
Skinner said the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in Oklahoma was up by two last week, to 140. That is an increase of 14 percent from the same time last year. Nationwide, the rig count grew by 13 to 1,059 which is also higher that for this time in 2017.
State High School Rodeo Finals in Chickasha This Week
The Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association state finals will be held in Chickasha this week. About 130 high school youth will be competing for spots in the national high school rodeo competition later this year. Many of the competitors will be arriving in Chickasha today. Official competition will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There's even a prom for participants tomorrow night and later in the week, the selection of a new OHSRA queen.
Food Preservation Program Set
There have been a lot of changes in the area of food preservation over the years. A workshop to provide updates on home canning of fruits and vegetables is coming up. Dr. Barbara Brown is the state extension food specialist at Oklahoma State University. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension describes what Brown will be discussing.
Dr. Brown's program will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center on Tuesday, June 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The program is limited to 25 participants, and individuals should pre-register by this Friday by calling the technology center, 405-222-7565.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.88 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $76.44.
Natural gas is up to $2.94 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,307 and silver is $16.46.