Over the next few weeks we will highlight some outstanding FFA Members. This week lets meet “Chickasha Future Farmer of the week," Greenhand, Claire Carver
Monday, Sept. 10th
Grady Memorial Hopes to Add 3D Mammography Machine
The new surgery and imaging wing at Grady Memorial Hospital is up and running. Hospital officials hope to add a new 3D mammography machine to the imaging center. Hospital administrator Kean Spellman said it will allow for improved detection of the early stages of breast cancer. Plus, there's an added benefit for patients who undergo the procedure.
Spellman said it would also reduce the number of false-positives seen with the current two-dimensional machine. The cost of the 3D machine is $300,000. First National Bank has come through with a $50,000 challenge grant and will donate an additional $50,000 once it’s initial contribution is matched. The hospital foundation will be hosting a fund-raising golf scramble at Winter Creek Golf and Country Club on Friday, Sept. 21st to help with the fund-raising effort.
Four Injured in Head-on Crash
A head-one collision near Sterling yesterday sends four people, including a toddler, to the hospital. The accident happened south of Sterling on State Highway 65 just before 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Admitted to a Lawton hospital was 68-year old Patsy Catlett of Lawton. She was last in good condition with leg, trunk, and internal injuries. Three people in the other vehicle were taken to a hospital and were treated and released. The driver, 62-year old Rickey Reynolds and 35-year old Oliver Reynolds both of Fletcher, and an unidentified two-year old boy from Burkburnett, Texas suffered minor injuries. The highway patrol reports the accident happened when the SUV driven by Catlett crossed the center line of the highway and hit the Reynolds’ vehicle, causing it to roll one time. Everyone was wearing their seatbelts.
Emergency Manager Earns Certified Professional Status
A staff member of Grady County Emergency Management has reached a lofty goal. Amanda Wilkerson is now a certified professional emergency manager. To qualify, individuals must attend 1,000 hours of training, and earn 24 college credit hours. Wilkerson is only the ninth person in the state to achieve certified status, and the third in Grady County to do so. The others are Grady County Emergency Management director Dale Thompson and Sean Douglas with Tuttle emergency management. Wilkerson has been with the Grady County office for six years, beginning part time in 2012 and starting full time in 2016.
State Congressmen Back Broadband Expansion in Rural Areas
Improving broadband technology in rural Oklahoma is getting some attention from Oklahoma's congressional delegation. The group sent a letter on the issue to the Federal Communications Commission. We get a report from Carson Horn with the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network.
Lucas said if the FCC decides that some rural areas should be served, they may not get funding help from the Universal Service Fund for up to 10 years. Lucas said that could adversely affect economic development in rural areas.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down last week to $67.75 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude fell to $76.83.
Natural gas slipped to $2.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is just under $1,200 and silver is $14.24.
Saturday, Sept. 8th
Tuttle Man Who is an Illegal Immigrant May Be Deported
The family of an illegal immigrant who has lived in Grady County for a decade fears the worst, saying he is being treated unfairly. Relatives of Didier Pineda say he is being denied due process in his attempt to stay in America. Pineda is from Honduras. He's lived in Oklahoma for 10 years, owns his home in Tuttle, and has never been in trouble with the law. KWTV News 9 reports that Pineda has been in a detention center in Okmulgee since checking in with immigration officials more than two months ago. Didier had a hearing in Dallas this week. His wife Melisa and their immigration attorney say they were in the courthouse waiting for the hearing to start, when they found out it was changed to another time and another courtroom - and the hearing was held without Pineda's attorney. Melisa and the family attorney say time is running out, and are afraid Pineda will be deported any day. The attorney is trying to schedule another hearing.
Wind Energy Giant Sells Assets Within its Company
Next Era Energy, which operates a number of wind turbines in the Rush Springs and Minco areas, is selling more than $1 billion of its assets within the company. Next Era Energy Partners has agreed to purchase 11 wind and solar projects - including those in the Sooner State - from NextEra Energy Resources. The website www.ok energytoday.com reports it’s a nearly $1.3 billion purchase, which includes $930 million in tax-equity financing and $38 million debt. Assets in a number of other states, including Texas and Kansas are included. It consists of more than 1.3 megawatts of electrical power generated by the wind farms. The transaction comes a week after NextEra Energy's western Oklahoma wind projects were accused of possibly violating a state law that prevents wind farms close to the installations of military bases. Next Era Energy Partners is based in Florida.
Alex and Cement Host Activities
A couple of small-town events are being held in the area today. In Alex, residents are celebrating the community’s 140th birthday. The town was named in honor of Uncle Red Alexander, a Civil War captain who moved to the area in 1878. He controlled much of the region in the Washita Valley of Indian Territory, as his wife was a member of the Chickasaw tribe. The first post office in Alex was established in 1885, and the town was incorporated in 1910. There was once a newspaper there, called the Alex Tribune which was in operation from 1907 to 1942. Editions of the paper are available on-line. Among the activities parade, live entertainment and vendors at the park, a fishing tournament, a car show, and a community dinner. In Cement, a legendary bank robber will be celebrated. It’s the town's first-ever Jesse James Festival. Events all day including a car show. There are many stories that the famed bank robber spent time in that area and is said to have hidden some of his stolen loot in area hills.
USAO Sets Giving Day
USAO students, faculty and staff will be working on a project to benefit the university. USAO's third annual "Giving Day" will be later this month. In addition to raising funds for the university, students will also learn the importance of volunteerism. Students, alumni, professors, and campus officials and employees will spend 12 straight hours reaching out to others mainly through their social media networks. The goal is to raise $100,000 for the university, to make up for cuts in state funding. The days before the Sept. 20th marathon is called TAG week, to include a blood drive, helping with Chickasha's Festival of Light, taking food and clothing donations, and conducting a voter registration drive. Last year, Giving Day brought in more than 400 gifts. For information, go on-line to www.givingday.usao.edu
High School Football Scores
Chickasha 27, Harrah 7
Blanchard 34, Anadarko 0
Tuttle 34, Plainview 19
Rush Springs 45, Hollis 16
Crossings Christian 14, Minco 6 (OT)
Alex 48,Central High 0
Mt. View-Gotebo 44, Cyril 8
Lindsay 43, Bridge Creek 14
Apache 29, Hobart 26
Lexington 44, Dibble 8
Cache 26, Marlow 0
Friday, Sept. 7th
Drug Trafficking Suspect was Wanted for Violent Bethany Crimes
An Oklahoma City teenager facing drug charges in Chickasha was arrested on unrelated charges as he showed up for a court appearance this week. 19-year old Dominique Wimms was arrested by Chickasha police in April. He was picked up on a traffic stop when officers allege he had thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine and marijuana. He was formally charged with trafficking and intent to distribute. He was released after posting a $100,000 bond. Wimms showed up for a scheduled preliminary hearing conference this week. As he checked in to the Grady County courthouse, a deputy found he was wanted in Oklahoma County in connection with a burglary and a drive-by shooting that occurred in Bethany in July of 2017. Wimms was booked into the Grady County Jail, and is being held for Oklahoma County officials. Wimms conference on the Chickasha drug charges was re-scheduled for Oct. 3rd.
Bugs Destroy Reding Cornfield Maze
What had become an annual fall tourist attraction in Chickasha over the last few years won't be happening this year. This was supposed to be the 10th year for the Reding Farms cornfield maze....but nearly the entire field fell victim to bugs recently. Millions of aphids attacked the field within the last few weeks, and the bugs destroyed much of the field in about 24 hours. Lady bugs are natural enemies of the aphids, but they didn't arrive in time to help. The maze has hosted thousands of visitors each year. In addition to facing the challenge of the maze, tourists were treated to hay rides, including a haunted hay ride, and live music. Among the maze themes they've used over the years are OU and OSU; the Oklahoma City Thunder; and even a 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown. The Redings hope to be back next year.
Alex Residents to Celebrate Founders Day
A big day in the town of Alex tomorrow. The annual Founder's Day celebration will be held. There's a car show, live entertainment, a parade, a bass tournament, and vendors in the park. It all starts at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, with a community dinner served at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Talk Show Topic
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. An effort to raise awareness about domestic violence is coming up later this month. Eric Feuerborn with the Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network, along with Grady County Assistant District Attorneys Kara Bacon and Tracy Dorman will discuss the Together We Heel walk and other issues on our KOOL Konversation. We have a link to the program elsewhere on this website. You’ll find it under the Community tab.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down to $67.77 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude was down to $76.50.
Natural gas slips a notch to $2.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,205 and silver is $14.17.
Thursday, Sept. 6th
Grady County Jail Inmate Dies
A Grady County jail inmate was found dead in his cell last month. Jail administrator Jim Gerlach confirmed the report. The as-yet unidentified inmate was found in his cell the night of August 21st. Investigators say the inmate apparently took his own life. A preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office indicates the inmate died by hanging. Jail investigator Johnny Drewery said the inmate used a bedsheet to hang himself from his bunk. The inmate wrote a suicide note on a manila envelope. The contents of the note were not disclosed. Authorities are not yet releasing the name of the inmate, saying they will wait until their investigation is complete which could be early next week. They did say the 22-year old had been in jail about three weeks. He was arrested by Chickasha police following a burglary. He had been awaiting a court appearance on charges of burglary, malicious injury to property, and assaulting a corrections officer.
State Auditor Begins Reviewing Overpayment of County Officials
State Auditor Gary Jones hopes to uncover just how Grady County elected officials got overpaid. Jones was in Chickasha yesterday to address county commissioners and the excise board regarding the over-payment issue that was brought to light last month. Jones has staff members combing through records as part of a detailed audit at the Grady County courthouse trying to find the details. Jones said he was surprised to hear of the over-payment, and said there is enough blame to go around - including his own office – for not finding the error. He says the ultimate goal in the detailed audit is to-
Jones hopes to have the audit completed by the time he leaves office in January. The results will be given to the district attorney and the state attorney general for their review. In the meantime, excise board chairman Jerry White said it would be a miscarriage of justice of the elected officials had to repay the overage.
Police Look Into Numerous Shots-Fired Reports
Chickasha police say they have been called out to a number of shots-fired reports in the last month. Since August 1st, police have investigated seven such reports scattered throughout the city, but no arrests have been made. Public Information Officer Lt. Scott Weaver said the most recent report was Monday night, when a 9-1-1 caller reported hearing gun fire near 29th and Grand. Other reports have come from the 1100 block of Texas and in the 600 block of West Missouri. Weaver says in each of the reports, officers were unable to find any bullet holes in homes nor any spent bullet casings. Weaver said he could not say if the reports are the result of drive-by shootings. He said usually when officers respond to such a call, there are citizens near the location flagging them down, but that has not been the case. Weaver says some shots-fired calls are the result of an engine backfire or fireworks. He encourages residents to call 9-1-1 if they suspect shots are fired in their neighborhoods.
Chickasha Drinking Water Treatment Process Resumes
Tap water in Chickasha may have a chlorine-like smell for a short time. It's to be expected, as the contractor for the city's water treatment plant completes an annual process of working to reduce bacteria throughout the city’s water system. Debbie Seagroves is the project manager for USW which operates the city's fresh water and waste water treament plants. During the entire month of August, the water treatment chemicals were changed to mostly chlorine. That reduces the bacteria which can lead to the development of trihalomethanes, which the EPA warns can lead to cancer. On September 1st, officials began re-introducing a combined treatment of chlorine and ammonia, called chloramines. Seagroves says crews will start flushing the city's fire hydrants today and will spend a couple of weeks to remove the chlorinated water from the system. If you're tap water is cloudy and/or smells like swimming pool water, run your tap for a few minutes to clean out the line that runs from your meter to your home.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is down to $68.72 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude falls to $77.27.
Natural gas dips to $2.79 per million BTUs.
Metals were up. Gold rises to $1,210 and silver is up to $14.31.
Wednesday, Sept. 5th
City Officials Again Consider Storm-Water Drainage Plan
City of Chickasha officials are working with a state agency to do something about the flash flooding that occurs during periods of heavy rain. City Manager John Noblitt told the city council last night that he is working with the state emergency management office to do a more comprehensive city-wide study of flooding. A controversial plan developed by previous City Manager Alan Guard that would have increased water rates for residents and businesses to alleviate flooding was voted down a couple of years ago. Noblitt said that plan was designed more for the downtown area. Noblitt thinks state officials might come through with some matching grant funds for more studies of Line Creek which runs through the north part of town, and Congo Creek which runs from the south to the east. Noblitt is hopeful that the state could provide anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the funds needed.
Knife-Weilding Woman Attacks Victim in Alley
A woman is recovering after police say she was attacked by someone with a knife. It happened in the alley behind the Love's store on Choctaw Avenue early Sunday morning. The victim suffered about a four-inch gash on the left side of her face that goes from her ear to under her chin. Police say after the attack, the victim rode her bicycle to a nearby friend’s house where the police and an ambulance were called. The victim was taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. Authorities say the victim was un-cooperative and did not give a description of the suspect.
Hit-and-Run Suspect Followed, Found in Shed
A hit-and-run driver was taken into custody over the weekend, after the victim followed him and called police. The accident happened near Taco Bell in the Southland Shopping Center. The victim followed the suspect to a neighborhood in the 2200 block of South 13th, where the suspect ran from his truck. Police found him hiding in a shed, along with a two-year old boy who was in the truck with him. 24-year old Dakota Norton, who lists a Marlow address was taken into custody and spent the weekend in jail. He was formally charged with a misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident. Norton is out of jail after posting bond.
DHS Seeks Foster Families
There are more than 200 children in foster care in Grady and Caddo counties, but only 24 foster homes. Lourie Myers with the Department of Human Services says the agency is always looking for foster families, and that it’s important for the kids to stay as close to their families as possible.
Myers says being a foster parent is an opportunity to be a positive influence on the lives of children. Foster families receive monthly DHS payments, and the agency provides 100 percent of the children's medical, dental, and counseling needs. To learn how to be a foster parent, contact a local DHS office or go on-line to www.okfosters.org.
Well Completed in the Minco Area
There’s another drilling rig completion in Grady County. The Corporation Commission reports it’s about three miles west of Minco in section 30 of Township 10 North Range 7 West. It's bringing it about 200 barrels of oil and 2,200 cubic feet of natural gas per day at a depth of about 16,000 feet.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up slightly to $69.87 a barrel.
London-based Brent creeps up to $78.17.
Natural gas was down to $2.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is down a bit to $1,199 and silver falls to $14.15.
Tuesday, Sept. 4th
Police Union Talks on Tap for City Council
A closed-door session is set for the Chickasha City Council when it meets for the first of two scheduled September meetings tonight. The executive session is to discuss the status of negotiations for the new fiscal year contract with the Fraternal Order of Police Local 129. The council will also consider accepting a $200,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration which will pay for fencing and gates at the airport. The panel may decide to approve a contract with a firm to appraise some city-owned property near the city’s sports complex. It's recommended the panel spend a little more than $13,000 to contract with Valbridge Property Advisors for that appraisal. The group will also award retirement watches to a couple of long-time city employees. Steve Sanders has worked for 22 years with the lake maintenance department and Chris Dennis has worked for 16 years with the fire department. The council will also recognized police officer Derek Hunt as the city's employee of the month. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
State Official to Discuss County Audits
State Auditor Gary Jones will be in Chickasha tomorrow to discuss his office's role in auditing county finances. The discovery that Grady County elected officials were being overpaid will be the primary discussion. Jones will address a special meeting of Grady County commissioners and the county excise board. The meeting is open to the public. It will get underway about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Courtroom No. 1 at the Grady County Courthouse.
Arrest Warrant Issued for Carnegie Man
Authorities in Caddo County are looking for a Carnegie man implicated in the death of his cousin. An arrest warrant has been issued for 39-year old George Allen Kodaseet last week. Authorities say his cousin died in a traffic accident in which Kodaseet was drinking and driving. The accident occurred last November. Kodaseet is charged with first-degree manslaughter after former conviction. On-line court records indicate he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of a stolen vehicle from a 2003 arrest.
Biker Injured in Weekend Accident
A motorcycle rider is hospitalized after crashing his bike into a pickup over the weekend. 19-year old Kyle Hamlett of Gotebo was last in stable condition with head, arm, leg, and trunk injuries. The accident happened about 2:00 a.m. Sunday in Gotebo. The highway patrol reports that Hamlett broadsided an oncoming pick up when it turned in front of him. Four people riding in the pick-up were not injured.
Truck Driver Charged With Unlawful Removal of Body
A Michigan truck driver is charged with the unlawful removal of a body, when the remains of his fiance were found in his semi. Charles Lockhart was arrested last week after the body of Jennifer Jadrich was found in the cab of his truck at the Lawton-Duncan Y. The Duncan Banner cites an OSBI report that says Lockhart gave conflicting stories. One of them indicated the couple had an argument, and that she left with some people he didn't know. When she returned, he said Jadrich was drunk or high, or both. Lockart said they had spent the night in Tulsa and that when he woke up Jadrich was dead. However, he didn't call authorities until he drove to the Duncan area. Lockhart is in the Stephens County Jail pending a $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is set Sept. 27th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was down Friday but up for the month of August to $69.80 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $77.42.
Natural gas was also up for August to $2.91 per million BTUs.
Metals lost ground last month. Gold is $1,200 and silver is $14.29.