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Saturday, July 14th
'Vacuum Salesman' Arrested for Break-in Attempt
Frightening moments for some Chickasha residents, when a man who said he was selling vacuum cleaners tries to force his way into their home. It happened Thursday afternoon around 15th and Iowa. A woman told police the man asked if he could clean her floor, and she told him she wasn't interested. A police affidavit alleges the man pulled the porch door open and tried to get in the house. The woman kicked the man in the leg, and locked the door and called 9-1-1. The man walked away cursing, and told the woman she'd be sorry if she called police. The woman gave police a description of the van the man was driving, and authorities located the vehicle just a few blocks away, and arrested the suspect on a burglary complaint. 31-year old Abel Rodriguez of Moore spent the night in jail. On Friday, prosecutors charged him with a misdemeanor of breaking and entering. He is out of jail after posting a $2,500 bond.
Arrest Made in Sexual Assault Investigation
Tuttle police are investigating a sexual assault in which a man has been arrested on a rape complaint. No details of the case are available, but we can tell you a 62-year old man was booked into the Grady County Jail Friday night on complaints of rape, incest, and destroying evidence. He'll spend the weekend behind bars. Formal charges could be filed on Monday. We're not releasing his name until prosecutors file formal charges, which could be as early as Monday.
Accident Victim Dies Several Days After Crash
An Anadarko man has died from injuries he suffered in a traffic accident earlier this month. 57-year old Scott Tsoodle was hurt in a crash west of Anadarko on July 1st. The Highway Patrol says the car Tsoodle was driving went through a T intersection, then hit both a culvert and a tree. He was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital with head injuries. The Highway Patrol said Tsoodle died this past Monday.
Fire-damaged Home Burns Again
Fire erupts at a vacant home that had previously been gutted by fire. Chickasha fire crews responded to a call in the 600 block of Colorado about 12:30 p.m. Friday. A couple of nearby homes and businesses were threatened by the flames, but none were damaged. The home had been uninhabitable after a previous fire which happened about a year ago. It wasn't clear what started Friday’s fire. We have some video of the fire on our Facebook page, and other viewers have also posted additional video.
Sheriff's Office 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, contact the sheriff’s office by calling 405-222-5085.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. The next Leadership Chickasha training series with the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce will begin in September. Coordinators Paul Lewis, Kimmie Loggins, and Johnny Trammel will discuss the program on our KOOL Konversation. We have a link to the program elsewhere on this website. Find it under the Community Tab.
Friday, July 13th
Proposed U.S. Highway 81 Bypass Update
The estimated cost of a U.S. Highway 81 bypass of Chickasha is increasing. Jay Earp is the state Department of Transportation's division engineer for the region that includes Grady, Caddo, Stephens, and Comanche counties. Earp says it's believed the project will cost upwards of $200 million. Earp says officials have started the process of purchasing property along the route of the bypass.
Construction is not expected to start for at least two years. Follow this link to see the proposed route:
Work on New Aldi's Grocery Store May Begin Soon
A lot of people have been asking about the status of a new grocery store that announced it will be coming to the Chickasha area. We have an update this morning about the Aldi's store. City of Chickasha officials say developers have taken several months to select a general contractor, which has taken place in recent days. The contractor is expected to pick up the design plans from the city's Community Development office within the next week or so, and there's a possibility work could begin by the end of the month. Developers purchased the old Staples store near Highway 81 and H.E. Bailey Turnpike last fall, and in December city officials issued a $2 million permit to renovate that building. There's no word on how long the renovation may take or when the store may by open.
Chickasha School District Releases 2018-19 Calendar
Chickasha Public School officials have released the district’s 2018-19 school calendar. The first day of school will be Thursday, August 16th which is just five weeks away. Teachers and many school personnel will have three days of in-service training that will start Monday, August 13th which is 31 days from today. Fall break will be Oct. 18th and 19th; the district will be closed an entire week for Thanksgiving in November. There's a two-week Christmas break, and a full week for spring break in March of 2019. Graduation for seniors will be May 17th, with the last day of school for the rest of the students on May 24th.
Bill Wallace School Enrollment Set
By the way, enrollment for students who will attend Bill Wallace school is just a couple of weeks away. Students who will be in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or 1st grade can enroll Wednesday, July 25th or Thursday, July 26th. A flyer announcing the enrollment says if children were students at the school last year, no information is needed unless you've changed your address. Parents of new students will need their children's birth certificates, immunization records; Social Security numbers, and proof of residence. An open house and orientation at Bill Wallace will be on August 9th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.33 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.45.
Natural gas is $2.80 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,241 and silver is $15.83.
Thursday, July 12th
Consumer Spending Stays Strong
Business is booming in Grady County. Recent reports indicate that consumer spending topped $105 million in the month of April. That's a gain of 11 percent from March, and it’s an increase of 66 percent compared to April of last year. We estimate consumer spending when we see the sales tax revenue collected by the county, and factor in the county's sales tax rate. The county collected about $793,000 in sales tax funds based on a sales tax rate of 3/4 of a penny. Here's how that money is spent, all approved by county voters. Nearly $255,000 goes to the Grady County Fairgrounds; another $255,000 is for Grady Memorial Hospital; 20 local fire districts divide $127,000 - so each one gets more than $6,000; seven senior nutrition centers split $127,000 – so each one receives $14,000; Tuttle EMS receives $23,000; and Rush Springs EMS collects almost $5,800.
Church Burglary Suspect Charged with Felonies
Formal charges have been filed against one of three people arrested in connection with recent break-ins at Chickasha's First Assembly of God Church. 18-year old Clayton Grigg has been charged with two felonies - burglary and vandalizing a church. He's being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond. A court-appointed attorney has requested a mental competency hearing for Grigg. A 17-year old and a 15-year old were also arrested in connection with the break-in, where some equipment was stolen and thousands of dollars in damage was done. A Chickasha police affidavit indicates the 17-year-old claims that Grigg and the 15-year old did all the damage. There's no word on whether either of the juveniles will be charged as an adult in connection with the crimes.
New Chickasha Mayor to Discuss State of the City
Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley will give his first State of the City address next week. Mosley, who was just elected in March, will discuss the city's status to business leaders as part of a Chamber of Commerce program at InterUrban Restaurant on Friday, July 20th. Breakfast will be served starting at 7:30 a.m, with Mosley's presentation starting about 8:00 a.m. Cost is $10. Individuals planning to attend are asked to RSVP the chamber by the close of business Monday, July 16th.
USAO Regent to be Inducted into State Hall of Fame
A regent for USAO will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Mo Anderson will be added to the hall later this year. Anderson serves as vice chairman for Keller-Williams Realty, and has helped the firm grow from 35 market centers to 530 across the country. Anderson has served as a regent since 2012. She's even a former student. Anderson studied piano as a student when it was known as the Oklahoma College for Women.
Road Construction in Elgin Causing Problems
A road construction project is causing some traffic issues just off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike at Elgin. A contractor is widening Highway 277 at the I-44 junction, causing some big-time problems for northbound turnpike traffic exiting at Elgin. Officials estimate as many as 500 vehicles are using that off ramp during the afternoon rush hour drive. The ramp has been narrowed to just one lane for about three weeks while crews work to extend a right turn lane.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.38 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.40.
Natural gas is $2.83 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,244 and silver is $15.90.
Wednesday, July 11th
Chickasha Sees Good Construction Numbers
There has been a lot of new construction in Chickasha in the first half of 2018. About $17.3 million in new projects were approved by the city's Community Development Department. For June, 19 permits totaling $1.1 million were authorized. The largest project is for more construction at the Shoppes at Chisholm Trail. It's a new building going up next to the Cotton Patch Restaurant. Developers will put up a nearly 6,000 sq. ft. building valued at $440,000. Officials have not yet announced what new stores may be locating there. A second project in that area is near Jimmy's Egg, a new 1,400 sq. ft. building valued at $5,000. That will be another mobile phone business, called Boost Mobile. Other commercial projects approved include $70,000 in renovations to Southern Hills Baptist Church near 25th and Country Club, which was damaged by a powerful thunderstorm this spring; Canadian Valley Technology Center will build a new paint booth for its auto body program, a $75,000 effort; and a cell phone tower is to be built at 101 East Grand for $35,000. In residential construction, authorities issued permits to Home Creations to build two new single family homes in the Sleepy Hollow Two addition. Each of them valued near $150,000. Also approved, the construction of a duplex in the 200 block of South 15th Street to a firm called Deda Homes, which is a $140,000 project. Authorities also approved the construction of a pole barn north of 29th and Georgia, a $20,000 project.
$7.8 Million in Budget Requests Issued by County Leaders
Officials with Grady County government offices have submitted budget requests for the 2019 fiscal year that are nearly 8 percent higher than last year’s actual spending plan. Department heads submitted requests at a recent excise board meeting. The requests add up to more than $7.8 million, which is up from the $7.2 million from the 2018 fiscal year that ended last month. The Grady County Sheriff's Office has the largest budget of any department. The agency is asking for $1.8 million, up from $1.4 million from last year. Sheriff Jim Weir is hoping to purchase body cameras for his deputies. Also asking for increases, emergency management asking to nearly double its budget, from $164,000 to nearly $320,000; the court clerk budget is seeking a nearly $25,000 increase to $544,000; and the assessor's office asking for a $30,000 bump to $417,000. The county clerk budget request is lower by $20,000 to $730,000. Budgets for county commissioners and the district attorney’s office are not included. The proposed budget also includes a $600,000 payment to the Grady County Jail. Officials are also budgeting $250,000 for courthouse repairs, the same as last year. The budget proposal will be reviewed at the next county excise board meeting, where accountants will give an estimate of projected revenue for the coming year, and many of these requests will more than likely be revised.
Seminar on Human Trafficking Set
A local church hopes to increase awareness about the problem of human trafficking. Grand Assembly of God will host a couple of speakers to discuss the issue and how to recognize potential victims. Michael Snowden with the Human Trafficking Division of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics; and Joni Middleton a missionary with Project Rescue will lead the discussion. The program will be Saturday, July 28th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the church. The program is free and open to the public.
Grady County OSU Alumni Schedule Senior Send-Off
Only a few more weeks of summer vacation remain for public school and college students. For last year's high school seniors in Grady County who will be headed to Oklahoma State, the Grady County OSU Alumni Association will have a senior send-off. Pistol Pete and a guest speaker from OSU will be part of the program. There will be live and silent auctions, and all current OSU students from Grady County can enter a drawing for a scholarship. The senior send-off is open to all OSU alumni and students. It will be at the Byford Buick-GMC dealership in Chickasha next Thursday, July 19th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Grady, Caddo County FSA Offices Have Job Openings
If you're interested in a career related to agriculture, there are openings in both the Grady and Caddo County Farm Service Agencies. Mark Jackson is with with the Grady county office.
Jackson said the positions include full federal benefits.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.11 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $78.86.
Natural gas is $2.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,250 and silver is $15.97.
Tuesday, July 10th
Long-term Contract Expected for Chix School Superintendent
The Chickasha school board is expected to approve a two-year contract with the district's superintendent. Last month, the board approved hiring Jack Herron, who has been serving as the district’s interim superintendent since January. Much of the discussion of Herron's contract will be done behind closed doors, but the final vote will be made in an open forum. The board is also expected to name Renee Jacques as the new principal at Grand Avenue Elementary School. Jacques has been the assistant principal at the school. She'll take over for Cindy Stone, who stepped down from the post to accept a similar position at a Norman school. The board of education may also accept the resignations of administrative assistant Jolinda Brown, who had been working in the administration building; and Denise Burns who had been employed as a school counselor. The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the school administration building.
Hearing Set for Proposed RV, Boat Storage Business
A request to rezone some commercial property is among several issues that will have public hearings in front of the Chickasha Planning Commission today. Todd Morris is asking that some property on the southwest corner of 3rd and Texas be re-zoned to allow boat and RV storage, as well as some storage units. The site is already zoned C-1, but Morris is asking to re-zone the area as C-2. A second public hearing will be held for James Stephens, who is asking for a variance of the city's building code. Stephens wants to build an accessory building over the maximum size of 600 sq. ft. that's allowed in a residential area. A third public hearing will be held on a request by Heather Schenk, who is seeking a use-on-review in order to operate a massage therapy clinic at her home. Regardless of the planning commission's decisions regarding these issues, they all must get city council approval at a later date before moving forward. The planning commission meets at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon at city hall.
One Critical After Cyril Crash
A traffic accident near Cyril yesterday sends three people to the hospital, with one in critical condition. The driver of one vehicle, 22-year old Karli Garrett from the Ft. Worth, Texas area, was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital with head, trunk, and internal injuries. Two Apache residents in an SUV, including the driver - identified as 52-year old Astrid Smith - and an un-named 14-year old boy were taken to a Lawton hospital where they were treated and released. The accident happened just before 8:30 a.m. Monday, about two miles west of Cyril on State Highway 19. The Highway Patrol reports that Garrett failed to stop at a stop sign, and was broadsided by the SUV. The accident closed the highway for nearly an hour-and-a-half.
Grady County Woman Receives State Award
A Grady County woman receives a state honor. Peggy Eiss is awarded the Oklahoma Home and Community Education State Rookie of the Year Award. As the Southwest Oklahoma district rookie-of-the-year, Eiss was one of four finalists. The award was announced during the state OHCE conference last night. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension says Eiss is an active member with the Spring Creek group.
Eiss, who has been an OHCE member for three years, works at the county level as reporter and chairs the public relations committee. She has a passion for helping those in need, especially the elderly.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $73.85 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $78.07.
Natural gas is to $2.83 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,253 and silver is $16.03.
Monday, July 9th
Two Die in Separate Semi Crashes Along I-40 in Caddo County
Two deadly accidents involving semis occurred along a stretch of I-40 near Hinton over the weekend. The accidents occurred within a few hours of each other. The first happened about 9:30 a.m. Friday, a mile west of Hinton. The drive shaft of a semi broke, and four cars behind the rig all hit the debris. 30-year old Landon Sayers of Altus died as a result of the accident. The highway patrol reports he lost control of his vehicle, ran off the highway and rolled several times, and was pinned in the vehicle for about 15 minutes. None of the other drivers were injured. The other accident was a fiery head-on collision involving two semis. That happened three miles east of Hinton about 7:00 p.m. Friday. 34-year old Justin James Schneider of Elk City died in the crash. State troopers say Schneider was westbound on the interstate when a tire blew. He crashed through the cable barrier in the median and hit the on-coming big rig. Schneider was ejected from his cab. The other driver, 50-year old Tirso Leyva of Phoenix, Arizona managed to escape uninjured. The crash closed the east bound lanes of the interstate for nearly 10 hours.
Amber Truck Driver Involved in Serious Crash
Also on Friday, an Amber truck driver was involved in traffic accident in eastern Oklahoma. 34-year old Cynthia Rittenberry, - driving a 2016 Peterbilt - was not hurt, however the driver of the other vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries. That accident happened Friday afternoon south of Wagoner on U.S. Highway 69 and the Muskogee Turnpike. The highway patrol reports that Rittenberry was northbound, when the other vehicle tried to merge onto the highway and drove into Rittenberry's path. The other driver, identified as 45-year old Samantha Otterbine of Muskogee, was last in critical condition with head, neck, and internal injuries in a Tulsa hospital.
Drowning Reported Near Bray
A Marlow woman has drowned in eastern Stephens County. 61-year old Beverly Ann Cook was pronounced dead at the scene by a medical examiner. The drowning occurred just after 9:00 p.m. Sunday about four miles east of Bray. The Highway Patrol sais she was not using a flotation device.
OU Wrestling Legend Found OK After Silver Alert Issued
Family, friends, and fans of an Oklahoma wrestling legend are breathing a collective sigh of relief. A Silver Alert for Danny Hodge was issued by Perry police Saturday night. Hodge is 86 years old and suffers from dementia. The alert was canceled late Sunday afternoon. The website Intermat reported that Hodge’s granddaughter, Stacy Wilson, posted a message on Facebook saying that Hodge had been located in Tulsa, about 90 miles from his home. Hodge was a three-time NCAA champion at OU and went 46-0 from 1955-57. He was a member of the U.S. men's freestyle wrestling teams in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, and won a Silver Medal in 1956.
Alex School Expansion Continues
Some new elementary classrooms, a library and other new buildings are in the future at Alex Public Schools. Patrons approved a $15 million bond issue earlier this year to expand the elementary school to include six additional classrooms and a new library. Superintendent Jason James also says it will allow the district to have a state-of-the-art facility for high-tech courses.
The district has already purchased I-pads and lap tops for students to use with their classes.
Now 8 Thailand Kids Rescued from Cave
More good news out of Thailand this morning. Four more members of a boys soccer team trapped in a cave for more than two weeks have been rescued. So far, eight of the 12 youngsters have been saved. Four more youth and their coach remain trapped 2 1/2 miles from the cave's entrance.
Rig Count Rises in Oklahoma and the Nation
The rig count is up slightly both in Oklahoma and across the country this week. Oklahoma's rig count was up one to 141 this past week. Nationwide, the rig count grew by five, up to 1,052. Texas has the most active rigs with 526. Oklahoma is second with its 141, with New Mexico, third at 99. Kansas has 50 active rigs.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down last week to $73.80 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude was lower as well, to $77.11.
Natural gas slid to $2.85 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,264 and silver is $16.25.