In Getting to know your Chickasha Fire Department we meet Captain Chris Calhoun
Saturday, July 28th
Deadly Hit-and-Run Info Still Being Sought
Investigators continue asking for information regarding the tragic death of a man who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. The accident happened early Friday morning on U.S. Highway 277 west of Ninnekah. The victim still has not been identified. The state medical examiner is sifting through its records working to find out who he is. The victim is a Caucasian male between 30 and 45 years old. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with the name "McKesson" on the front. Ninnekah police and the highway patrol determined that the vehicle that hit him was traveling west on the highway. They have released photographs of the victims tattoos – one on his chest which is a cross – and one on his back which appears to be the grim reaper with a dog on a chain. Information we posted on our Facebook page has been shared more than 300 times and has reached 16,000 people. If you have information, you're asked to call Crimestoppers at 405-224-TIPS, Ninnekah police or the highway patrol.
PSO's Windcatcher Project Canceled
There's a lot of disappointment following the news that PSO and its related partners are canceling the Windcatcher project. The announcement was made after the Texas Public Utility Commission ruled against what would have been the largest wind farm in the country. The plan had already won the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and regulators in Arkansas and Louisiana. The plan was still under review in Oklahoma. State Representative David Perryman, D-Chickasha is among those disappointed to hear about the cancellation. The minority floor leader said it’s a huge loss for Oklahoma and the U.S. Perryman said much of the equipment for the infrastructure was to be manufactured in America, and many components would have been made in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Perryman said the project has been under attack by the fossil fuel industry as well as politicians who are funded by fossil fuel companies.
Some Caddo County Roadways to Close for Railroad Work
We want to remind you of some highway closures in the Anadarko and Apache areas that are taking place over the next few days. In Anadarko today, Central Boulevard just east of 1st Street - and, U.S. Highway 281 about a mile north of Highway 19 near Apache are closed. Tomorrow near Apache, U.S. 281 just east and just south of the Highway 19 junction will be closed. Then on Monday, U.S. 281 about two miles south of Highway 19 will be closed. The closings are due to work on union pacific railroad crossings.
Talk Show Topic
Here's what we're talking about this weekend. On our KOOL Konversation, we'll discuss the annual clean out of Chickasha water lines with Debbie Seagroves, Rick Jones, and Mike Jump from USW, the private contractor for the city’s water treatment plants. We have a link to the program elsewhere on this website. Find it under the Community tab.
Friday, July 27th
Driver Sought in Deadly Hit-and-Run
Investigators are on the scene of a deadly hit-and-run accident in the Ninnekah area this morning. The highway patrol says a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle and the vehicle left the scene. Authorities have not yet released the name of the victim. The highway patrol and Ninnekah police are investigating. The accident happened about a mile-and-a-half west of the U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 277 junction about 1:30 a.m. The highway was closed for more than six hours while officials combed the scene for evidence. If you have information about the accident, you're asked to call the highway patrol. Listen to 106.1 The Ranch for more details as they become available.
Charges Filed Against Man Found Driving a Stolen Pickup
Now the latest about this week's arrest of a man who was driving a stolen pickup. Prosecutors have filed a felony charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle against 24-year old Anthony Shane Brooks. He's also facing a misdemeanor charge of driving under suspension, which is his second such offense. Chickasha police stopped Brooks for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, and discovered the truck was stolen out of Newcastle earlier this month. Brooks remains in jail in lieu of a $7,500 bond. While Brooks lists a Tulsa address, he's a familiar face with local law enforcement. The website on-demand court records indicates he pleaded guilty to a previous charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle out of Chickasha 2016; and got a deferred sentence for pleading guilty to a drug charge from a 2015 Chickasha police investigation. He also received several traffic tickets from a state trooper this past May, including leaving the scene of an accident and speeding.
Energy Sector Continues Growth
A new report shows Oklahoma's energy sector continues to see on-going growth. Researchers say the expansion is driving widespread economic growth and stronger than expected fiscal conditions. The Oklahoma Energy Index shows a 2 percent increase over the previous month, mainly due to gains in crude oil prices which is leading to more rig activity. The website OK Energy Today indicates the index has grown by 14 percent in the last year. The industry added 2,000 jobs in May alone and some 9,000 jobs over the last 12 months. That doesn't include new jobs related to energy - manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation, and professional services. Some say that Grady County is the second largest natural gas producing county in North America right now.
Railroad Work to Detour Traffic in Anadarko, Apache
Work on railroad crossings will be shutting down some major traffic routes in Anadarko and Apache over the next several days. Crews will be making some upgrades along the Union Pacific Railroad line. In Anadarko, Central Boulevard just east of 1st Street will be closed Saturday, July 28th from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the Apache area on Saturday, July 28th, U.S. Highway 281 a mile north of State Highway 19 will also be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. More work in the Apache area on Sunday, June 29th will close U.S. 281 just east AND just south of the State Highway 19 junction from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then on Monday, July 30th one more Apache project will close U.S. 281 about two miles south of State Highway 19 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's not clear what kind of work crews will be performing.
Weekend Concerts Set
There are a couple of concerts in the area to check out this weekend. Tonight, USAO will host the second concert of its summer series, Listen Local at the Greek. It's a free outdoor concert at the USAO Greek Theatre just off 17th and Grand. Performing tonight is Kyle Reid and the Low Swingin' Chariots. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and you're welcome to have a picnic if you'd like. Tomorrow (Saturday, July 28th) in Rush Springs, it’s an entire afternoon of performers, with proceeds to help victims of wildfires and the Rush Springs Fire Department. The Oklahoma Wildfire Relief Gathering will include entertainers from musicians to cowboy poets and more. That will be held from noon to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Rush Springs Lions Club and the Southern Baptist Church Family Life Center. There will be food, dessert, and an auction. Ron Secoy is the promoter.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was higher to $61.61 a barrel.
London-based Brent tops $74 to $74.54.
Natural gas sees a slight increase to $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,227 and silver is $15.36.
Thursday, July 26th
Chickasha Water Lines to be Cleaned Out
Officials who operate the City of Chickasha's water treatment plant will be conducting an annual clean out of the city’s water system. Debbie Seagroves is the project manager for USW utility group, the city's private contractor for water treatment. Starting next Wednesday, Seagroves said technicians will be introducing chlorine only into the system. The chlorine rids the city's water pipes of bacteria and algae growth that can lead to water issues.
Seagroves says there could be a temporary discoloration and a slight odor in drinking water when the chlorine is first introduced. If you notice that, simply run your tap water for a few minutes to clear your water line. The clean out will last the entire month of August. A similar discoloration will occur the first of September when officials change back to chloramines, which are the usual chemicals used. The water will be safe to drink. Dialysis centers will have to modify their filtration systems. If you have an aquarium, you'll also have to modify the filter to protect the fish.
Stolen Pickup Discovered During Traffic Stop
Sometimes, the most minor traffic violations can have surprising results. Such was the case yesterday for Chickasha police. Officer Clayton Hobbs made a traffic stop on a motorist going the wrong way on a one-way street. Come to find out, the pickup had recently been stolen. The truck was pulled over in a residential area near Washita Valley Community Action Council, the old Bill Wallace School, near 11th and Minnesota. The truck was reported stolen out of Newcastle about three weeks ago. Police arrested 24-year old Austin Brooks of Tulsa on complaints of possession of a stolen vehicle, a suspended driver's license, and driving the wrong way. A female passenger in the truck was not arrested.
New: Chickasha Golf Course Sold
Now an update to a story we had yesterday regarding Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. Businessman Max Stewart, who initially told us he was going to lease the golf course, has instead bought the golf course. Stewart said a lot had happened in the 24 hours that followed when he and previous golf course owner Jerry Morris discussed a long-term lease. Now, Stewart owns the 9-hole course, buildings, and carts on seven acres, which is located at 16th and Country Club. The purchase price was not disclosed. The course will be open to the public, and Stewart will be offering memberships in the very near future. Stewart said the first thing that has to be done is repairing or replacing the air conditioner in the clubhouse.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.30 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.93.
Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,237 and silver is $15.58.
Wednesday, July 25th
Swather Blamed for Grady County Fire
Firefighters were summoned to put down a grass fire between Amber and Middleberg yesterday. Four departments were called out to what was once known as Giles Ranch about 2:30 p.m. Crews battled temperatures in the 90s, a brisk wind, and rough terrain. About 60 acres of grassland burned, and some hay was destroyed. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers said a mechanical failure on a swather was to blame. Crews from the Amber, Friend, Naples, and Blanchard fire departments had the fire contained after a couple of hours.
State Officials Warn of Increasing Fire Danger
Fire danger is increasing across the Sooner State. Myers said weeds and grass have been growing from recent rains is among the reasons why fire fighters are on a higher alert.
Currently, only two Oklahoma counties have burn bans in effect. They are the Waurika area in Jefferson County in the southern part of the state; and the Altus area and Jackson County in the southwest. Officials urge individuals in rural areas to delay any burning until weather conditions improve. Motorists should avoid dragging chains while driving and/or towing vehicles. State forestry officials also ask that you use extra care when using charcoal and gas grills, and make sure campfires are completely out.
New Economic Development Director Hired
A new leader will soon be in place with Chickasha's Economic Development Council (EDC). Cody Mosley of Broken Arrow was extended an offer of employment in a special meeting of the EDC board of directors this morning. Mosley, who is not related to Chickasha Mayor Chris Mosley, previously served as the director of community development for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce for the last two years. He’s also served as the director of city planning and economic development for the City of Guthrie. He’s expected to begin August 13th. He takes the post previously held by Christy Elkins, who stepped down last month. She is now working in economic development for OG and E.
Crash Victim Critical After Accident Near Marlow
Two people are injured, and one remains in critical condition after being thrown out of a pickup that crashed near Marlow. 20-year old Zachary Thompson of Duncan was taken by air ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital with critical injuries. 19-year old Barry Grooms of Alabama was taken to a Duncan hospital where he was treated and released. The accident happened just after 10:00 p.m. Tuesday about four miles west of Marlow. The highway patrol reports that Thompson was driving the pickup when it left the roadway and rolled. Neither were buckled up and were ejected. Officials say there was an odor of alcohol at the crash site.
Businessman Leases Chickasha Golf Course
Good news for area golfers. A Chickasha native will be leasing Cottonwood Creek Golf Course and re-opening the course to the public. Max Stewart, who played golf at Chickasha High School, tells KOOL/RANCH News he signed a one-year lease with owner Jerry Morris. While the course is playable, Stewart said there are some improvements that need to be made. He's hoping to get everything ready to go by next week. Stewart previously worked at Winter Creek Golf and Country Club in Blanchard. He earned a degree in finance, and recently started his own investment firm. Golf course hours have not yet been established, and Stewart hopes to eventually be open seven days a week.
Nomination Deadline Nears for FSA County Committees
Only a few more days remain for farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to serve on their local county committees for the Farm Service Agency in their area. In Grady County, the northern part of the county is where an office is up for election. In Caddo County, its the central district. Mark Jackson with the Grady County FSA office-
If an election is needed, it will be held later this fall. Winners will serve a three-year term, starting in January.
Energy Company Reports Increase in Oil Production
Continental Resources is reporting an active second quarter. Company officials have announce a 25 percent increase in oil production compared to the same period in 2017. OK Energy Today reports the Oklahoma City-based company says it produced nearly 26 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) during that three-month period, or about 284,000 BOE per day. Actually daily production was about 157,000 barrels. Continental Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm said officials are expecting a good second half of 2018, mainly with the company’s large Bakken pads in North Dakota, and by the Springer, Woodford and Sycamore assets in what's known as Project Springboard.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.52 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $73.44.
Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,240 and silver is $15.60.
Tuesday, July 24th
Tips Help Police Nab Church Burglary Suspect
Chickasha police credit the public as well as alert employees of a local store for the arrest of a man suspected of breaking into College Heights Baptist Church. The police department issued a press release thanking residents for providing the tips. Investigators posted pictures from the church’s video surveillance cameras on mass media and social media. A police affidavit indicates a Wal-Mart employee thought he spotted the individual and called police. After spending the weekend in jail, 29-year old Patrick Donn French was formally charged with second degree burglary in Grady County District Court yesterday. He remains in jail pending a $15,000 bond. Police did find some of the stolen equipment at a couple of local homes and returned it to the church.
Cock-Fighting Ring Raided
More than 20 people are arrested when officials break up a cockfighting ring in western Oklahoma. It happed near the small Kiowa County town of Cooperton, which is south of Hobart. Officers from the Kiowa County Sheriff's Office, Snyder Police Department, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol converged on the site Sunday. Authorities found 16 dead roosters and 50 other birds were rescued. Investigators received an anonymous tip which led to the raid. Authorities are searching for several other suspects in connection with the investigation.
Panel Looks to Ensure Quality Health Care for the Elderly
The health care industry is growing by leaps and bounds. A state group looks to assure patients are treated with quality health care. The South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board will be meeting in Chickasha next week to hear concerns from professionals and educators. Trina Southard is the director of the workforce board. She says while there is a need to grow the workforce in all job sectors, this program is geared only for health care. The panel wants to provide opportunities for education, training, and employment - which some Oklahomans believe may be out of reach for them. The program will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center next Tuesday, July 31st from 11:30 to 1 p.m. There is no cost and lunch will be provided. The South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board serves eight counties in the region which inclues Grady, Caddo, Comanche, Stephens, and McClain counties.
Fall Event Planning Continues
While we are in the middle of Oklahoma's searing summer, planning has been underway for several months regarding a couple of events scheduled this fall. The annual Rock Island Arts Festival is a three-day event that will feature a lot of family-friendly events. Something new this year will be a food truck competition. Returning for its second year will be the Rock Island Ride, an opportunity for bike-riding enthusiasts to spend a day in the area. The Rock Island Arts Festival will be held at Chickasha's Rock Island Railroad depot during the final weekend in September. Also being planned is the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce fall celebration. The business community will gather to celebrate the city's future, with entertainment provided by local band Dollar 98. The chamber is looking for investors to help with the event. Business and corporations should RSVP chamber president Mark Rathe to assist with the effort. The fall celebration is just before the Rock Island Arts Festival, on September 27th.
Energy Firms Report Higher 2nd Quarter Earnings
A couple of energy firms with Oklahoma ties report big earnings for the second quarter of 2018. Halliburton reports earnings from continuing operations of $511 million, or 58 cents a share. That's a far cry from the first quarter, where the company only reported $1 million in earnings. Operating income was more than double, up to $789 million. OK Energy Today reports Halliburton officials said total company revenue was $6.1 billion, which was a 7 percent increase over the first quarter. Schlumberger announced revenue of $8.3 billion for the second quarter, an increase of 6 percent. Last week, the firm's board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is down slightly to $67.89 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is fairly steady at $73.06.
Natural gas is down to $2.72 per million BTUs.
Metals were down, too. Gold is $1,294 and silver is $15.50.
Monday, July 23rd
Suspect in College Heights Baptist Church Burglary Arrested
The man accused in the most recent Chickasha church break-in may be formally charged with the crime today. Police arrested 29-year old Patrick Donn French on a burglary complaint on Friday. Chickasha police say information about their investigation was passed on to the district attorney’s office over the weekend. Officials at the DA’s office will decide what, if any charges French may face. KOOL/RANCH News are the only media outlets to report the arrest, which we broke over the weekend. Details of the arrest are not yet available. French's mug shot on the Grady County jail log is very similar to the photo of the man shown on the church's video surveillance. The church reported the burglary the morning of Saturday, July 14th. Investigators say it appeared a window was broken to get inside. Among the items taken were a guitar, a DVD-Blue Ray player and a laptop. French's last known address was in Moore. He's been in trouble before in Grady County, pleading guilty to a felony charge for false personation, in which he received a five-year deferred sentence. He also pleaded guilty to some misdemeanor drug charges.
Grady County Commissioner Posts on Aug. 28th Run-Off Ballot
The August 28th primary run-off election is now just five weeks away. Included on some of the Grady County ballots will be run-offs for two county commissioner posts, both of which include the incumbents. In the southern region which is District 3, Democrats will choose between current commissioner Ralph Beard and challenger Lee Dorman. In the northern region which is District 1, Republicans will choose between incumbent Windle Hardy and opponent Michael Walker. In each race, the winner will earn a four-year term as commissioner. For state offices, Republicans in House District 47 which is the northern part of the county have two candidates to choose from - Brian Hill and Beverly Adams. They are running for the post currently held by Leslie Osborn, who is running for Labor Commissioner.
Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Run-Off Aug. 3rd
Prospective voters wanting to cast ballots on August 28th should update their voter registration soon. County election board officials say the deadline to do so is coming up next week, Friday, August 3rd. Also, anyone who has not yet registered to vote, but would like to do so next month should apply by that same date.
Fightin' Chick Football Coach in Dual Role as Athletic Director
Chickasha High School football coach Jerry Don Bray has some new duties. Bray continues to serve as head coach of the Fightin' Chicks, but now he's also the district's athletic director. Bray thanked former athletic director Yohance Brown for his work, and for giving him the opportunity to return to his alma mater.
Brown is now working in the Edmond Public School system. Coach Bray says Chickasha student athletes will be able to get their physicals on Saturday, August 4th at the Five Oaks Medical Clinic. Football practice begins August 6th, the first scrimmage is against Blanchard on Aug. 17th, and the first football game will be a home game on Friday, Aug. 31st with Marlow. Chickasha will have six home games this year.
Grady County Fair About a Month Away
'The Grady County Fair is about a month away. Along with the carnival, great food, commercial exhibit booths, and the stock show will be competitions to see who grows the best tomatoes, who makes the best cakes and cookies, who takes the best photographs, and who can make the best hand-sewn quilts and clothing. Individuals will be finishing up those projects over the next several weeks. All exhibitors will have to pick up an exhibitor number from the Grady County OSU Extension office. Fair booklets are not in just yet, but are expected to be available in early August. Also, organizers are getting ready for the fair princess contest, which will be in early August. The county fair runs August 23rd through 25th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX starts the week at $68.26.
London-based Brent crude is $73.07.
Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,299 and silver is $15.50