Today lets meet Chickasha Future Farmer of the week Chapter Farmer. Blake White
Monday, Sept. 17th
North Carolina Family Impacted by Hurricane is Safe in Cyril
A North Carolina couple who fled their home to avoid Hurricane Florence is spending some time in their former hometown of Cyril. Justin and Renae Snider debated riding out the storm, but then decided it would be best to evacuate. So last Tuesday, they boarded up the windows in their home, put their outdoor furniture in the garage and headed west with their children. The Sniders said a few people thought they were crazy for making the 1,300-mile trip, But they knew they had family and friends they could stay with. Both are school teachers. KSWO-TV reporting that Justin's school has a lot of damage. The Sniders don't know when they'll be able to get back to the east coast.
Emergency Repairs Needed on Ft. Cobb Reservoir Pump
Thousands of dollars in emergency repairs are needed for a pump that sends water from the Ft. Cobb reservoir to Chickasha. The Chickasha City Council will be asked to declare an emergency and waive competitive bidding to get the repairs done as soon as possible. In background information given to city council members, the public works department says the primary motor at Ft. Cobb stopped running at low speed on Sept. 8th. It was determined that it could run at high speed, but the power could damage water lines and/or the motor could stop running completely. The motor was sent to a contractor and repairs were estimated at $35,000 - while replacing the motor could cost between $50,000 to $100,000. City administrators say bidding out the repairs could cost valuable time that the city may not have. If approved, it will still take up to three weeks before the motor can be repaired and re-installed.
Police, Fire Union Contracts May be Approved
The council is also to go behind closed doors to discuss contract negotiations with both the Fraternal Order of Police, Local 129 and the International Association of Firefighters, Local 2041 and possibly approve the collective bargaining agreements for both unions. The council is also to consider approving the payment of retirement funds to former employee Juliana Buckmaster. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Giving Week Underway at USAO
It's a big week on the USAO campus. The USAO Foundation is hosting TAG Week. TAG is short for Think About Giving. It's an effort to raise $100,000 for the university, to make up for several years of cuts in state spending. Among the events today is something called Swag Cart, which is a take-off of a game show. Misti McLellan is with the USAO Foundation.
Today, students can "get the scoop" on TAG week with free ice cream sundaes. Tonight is trivia night at the Legends Cafe. There are different activities every day, which culminate on Thursday with Giving Day. It’s a 12-hour marathon involving university students, staff, alumni, and supporters asked to encourage their social media contacts to contribute to the university.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was up for the week to $68.99 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude was higher to $78.09.
Natural gas was down slightly for the week to $2.76 per million BTUs.
Gold finished a bit higher last week at $1,201 while silver was slightly lower to $14.19.
Saturday, Sept. 15th
Wrongful Termination Lawsuit May be Settled out of Court
A long-time City of Chickasha employee who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city may be settling the lawsuit out of court. Juliana Buckmaster worked many years in the utility billing department. She was terminated late last year, allegedly for blowing the whistle on alleged wrong-doing at city hall. Buckmaster filed the wrongful termination suit in Grady County District Court in January. She was seeking damages in excess of $10,000 - though an exact total is not known. According to an item on the agenda for the city council meeting on Monday, city administrators are recommending the council approve Buckmaster's pension. She is requesting a lump-sum payment. The issue on the agenda is scheduled to be discussed in open session instead of an executive session, which is normally the case when the council reviews personnel issues.
Chickasha Teens Wanted on Caddo County Charges
Felony arrest warrants have been issued for two Chickasha teenagers in connection with some thefts in Caddo County. Michael Crawford and Clayton Jason Grayson, both 17, are charged as youthful offenders. The Lawton Constitution reports both teens have been charged with first-degree robbery in connection with the allegations. No information was available on the theft the teens were alleged to have been involved in.
Another Large Well Reported in the STACK
Marathon Oil is reporting one of its wells north of El Reno is doing just fine. The Siegrist well in the STACK play is bringing in 1,100 barrels of oil-equivalent, and more than 1,600 mcf of natural gas per day. The site is just off Highway 81 near Concho. The spud date was this past January, and finished in May, with production starting in June.
Antique Auto Group Holds Coffee and Cars
If you enjoy seeing automobiles of the past, head to downtown Chickasha this morning. The Chickasha Antique Auto Club is holding its third Thursday coffee and cars. A number of fully-restored antiques will be on display. You're welcome to take photographs, and chat with the owners about their pride and joy. There's free coffee and donuts as long as they last. Coffee and Cars runs from 9 to noon today at the Rock Island Railroad Depot. The group is also getting ready for a huge swap meet. The 50th annual event will be held Oct. 18th through the 20th on and next to the Grady County Fairgrounds. Hundreds of vendors from across the country will have hard-to-find parts and numerous transportation related items. The auto club is still seeking vendors for that weekend. It's dubbed the largest swap meet in Oklahoma. Go to the web site, www.chickashaautoswapmeet.com or call 405-224-OKLA.
Anadarko Hosts Wings and Wheels
If you like both cars and airplanes, head to Anadarko today for the town's annual wings and wheels event. There's a car show, family activities, food trucks, and children ages 8 to 18 can take a free airplane ride. Wings and Wheels will be at the Anadarko Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
High School Football Scores
El Reno 53, Chickasha 26
Blanchard 48, Newcastle 14
Minco 42, Okla. Chr. Academy 20
Rush Springs 46, Oklahoma City Patriots 0
Allen 12, Dibble 6
Mangum 28, Apache 22
Tecumseh 59, Bridge Creek 7
Marlow 14, Washington 3
Davenport 80, Alex 58
Cyril 52, Bray-Doyle 6
Waurika 64, Carnegie 14
Friday, Sept. 14th
Stabbing Victim was Wanted for Questioning in 2017 Homicide
The man found stabbed to death in Carnegie this week was wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide that happened about a year ago. Officials wanted to talk to Byron Tongkeamah regarding the death of 30-year old Cindy Kaudlekaule of Carnegie, whose body was found along a rural road near Carnegie in October of last year. This past Wednesday, Tongkeahmah’s body was found with multiple stab wounds at an abandoned home in Carnegie. There are reports he was be-headed. A woman was also founded with stab wounds, but survived. She was taken to a hospital where she is expected to fully recover. Officials are not releasing her name. Anyone with information regarding Tongkeamah's death is asked to contact the FBI by calling 405-290-7770
Bicycle Rider Recovering After Being Hit by Pickup
A Cyril woman is recovering after the bicycle she was riding was hit by a pickup. 59-year old Holly Pahdocony was last in fair condition in an Oklahoma City hospital with neck, trunk, leg, and internal injuries. The accident happened just after 6:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of a couple of county roads southwest of Cyril. The highway patrol reports that Pahdocony was hit from behind by a pickup driven by 43-year old Melissa Klingman of Anadarko. Klingman was not injured.
Rush Springs Pursuit Suspect Behind Bars
A Duncan man is charged with assault after ramming a Rush Springs police cruiser twice during the course of a pursuit. 37-year old Joey Dean Bray was arrested Monday, after a Rush Springs officer was called to check on a report of an alleged intoxicated driver of a vehicle that was stolen out of Lindsay. After a short pursuit, it's alleged the officer had Bray trapped on a dead-end street, but Bray rammed the police cruiser twice and got away. A second police officer caught Bray after he crashed his vehicle into a log. The first officer did go to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries suffered in the crash. He was treated and released. Bray is facing felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He pleaded guilty to previous Grady County charges, includine one from 2004 for stealing anhydrous ammonia and one in 2005 for bail jumping. Bray was also awaiting a court appearance on a felony DUI charge out of Garvin County stemming from an arrest last August. Bray remains in the Grady County Jail pending a $40,000 bond.
Cancer Survivor Attends Training on Bone Marrow Donations
A two-time cancer survivor will spend part of his weekend learning how to better support some fairly new cancer treatments. Howie Jackson will be traveling to Minnesota for training to encourage the continued funding of a federal program which he says is critical for cancer patients.
About 50 people from across the country will be part of the weekend training. Jackson also says it will help the advocates to be active at the grass-roots level to promote bone marrow and cord blood donations. Jackson was the first adult in Oklahoma to receive a cord blood stem cell donation, and he's been cancer-free for nearly 16 years.
Talk Show Topic
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Cassandra Ersland and Misti McClellan with USAO will be on the KOOL Konversation to discuss Giving Week at the university. We have a link to the program elsewhere on this website. Find it under the Community tab.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX falls to $68.59 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude dips to $78.18.
Natural gas was also down, to $2.81 per million BTUs
Gold was down slightly to $1,210 and silver is $14.25.
Thursday, Sept. 13th
County Emergency Management to Aid in Hurricane Recovery
A number of Oklahomans are already on the east coast, preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Among them is Amanda Wilkerson, with the Grady County Emergency Management office. It's her first deployment since earning her certification as a professional emergency manager. The state office of emergency management called Grady County on Tuesday afternoon, and Wilkerson was on a plane early Wednesday morning to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. She says more Sooner State resources will be brought in.
The storm is expected to arrive on shore tomorrow afternoon, and could batter an area from South Carolina to Virginia for several days.
FBI Investigates Fatal Stabbing in Carnegie
The FBI has been called in to lead the investigation into a fatal stabbing in Carnegie. A second stabbing victim, a woman, was hospitalized with knife wounds and her condition unknown. Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims. Carnegie Police were initially called to the home inside the city limits Wednesday morning. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was also on the scene. News reports indicate the man and woman were squatting in an abandoned home. Neighbors told reporters that numerous people would come and go from the home, and that a lot of fights would take place. The FBI asks anyone with information to contact them by calling 405-290-7770.
Energy Companies Continue SCOOP Exploration
We have more energy-related activity to tell you about in Grady County. Continental Resources continues its aggressive search for oil and gas in the SCOOP, which is short for the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province. A relatively new company, Roan Resources, is also active in the region. We told you earlier this week about some permits to drill in Grady County approved by the Corporation Commission. The state agency approved four permits for Continental Resources in multi-pad locations near the Tabler Y. Roan Resources was approved for three permits to drill at a location south of Tuttle. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports Roan Resources was formed with contributions from Linn Energy and Citizen Energy. It now has 150,000 net-acres within the SCOOP and STACK plays. Roan officially took over the first of the year, and was producing about 40,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day by the end of the first quarter with growth expected through the second half of the year.
Caddo-Kiowa Tech Center Marks 50th Anniversary
This year marks the 50th anniversary of what we know today as the Career Tech education system. Initially called the vo-tech, the system provides education and job training skills to adults and high school students. In Ft. Cobb this afternoon, officials are marking the golden anniversary of the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center. Caddo Kiowa was the second such district to be created, just a few minutes after the Bartlesville district became the first such district. Caddo Kiowa Superintendent Tony Hancock says current enrollment is about 600 students.
An open house and formal ceremony will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today with guest speakers to include former superintendents and administrators, as well as alumni who have excelled after graduating from Caddo Kiowa.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX rises above $70 to $70.37 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is up to $79.74.
Natural gas had a slight gain to $2.84 per million BTUs.
Metals are higher, with gold up to $1,211 and silver up to $14.27.
Wednesday, Sept. 12th
Regional Consumer Spending Remains Healthy
Consumer spending throughout Grady County continues at a brisk pace. It's estimated that $126 million was spent on taxable goods and services in the region in June. While that's down 3.8 percent from the previous month, May could have been the best month ever for consumer spending. The June spending was up more than 50 percent compared to the same time a year ago. We estimate consumer spending when we see the sales tax revenue collected by the county. The sales tax report for August shows the county received $949,000 which was paid on those goods purchased in June. Here's where the Grady County sales tax revenue goes: Nearly $316,000 goes to the county fairgrounds and Grady Memorial Hospital receives almost $280,000. Each of the 20 fire districts receive almost $8,000 and each of the seven senior nutrition centers receive more than $22,000. Tuttle EMS receives more than $29,000 and Rush Springs EMS receives more than $7,000. In addition to the sales tax revenue, Grady County also received $162,000 in use tax revenue, which comes from sales taxes paid on Internet purchases.
Spending at Chickasha Retailers Remains Strong
The city of Chickasha saw consumer spending also at a good level in June, although down from the previous month. About $26.5 million was spent at city retail outlets in June. That’s down about 9.7 percent from the previous month, but up more than 12 percent compared to a year ago. The city collected $993,000 in sales tax revenue in August. The city collected an additional $119,000 in use taxes, which is up 19 percent from last year.
Plan Calls for Holiday Lights in Dowtown Chickasha
City leaders want downtown Chickasha to piggyback off the success of the Festival of Light. Officials are considering the purchase of a large Christmas tree and decorative lights for downtown. The Economic Development Council (EDC) is recommending that the city spend some $90,000 to light up downtown during the holiday season. The funds would purchase a 35-foot tall Christmas tree to be placed at the Rock Island Railroad Depot and also to string some lights throughout the 300 and 400 blocks of Chickasha Avenue. The EDC is asking the Chickasha Industrial Authority, which is an economic development arm of the city, to purchase the tree and lights. The Industrial Authority met briefly yesterday to hear about the project, and have a special meeting scheduled Friday morning to decide on whether to spend the money. City Manager John Noblitt says if the project is approved, the funds would be paid out of the city's hotel-motel tax collections.
Family of Cancer-Stricken Mom Appreciates Support
A local family is thankful for the outpouring of support for a mother with cancer. Emily Dyan Walker Mitchell is being treated for stage four colon cancer. Emily and her husband Michael have two children - 13-year old Preston and 5-year old Cameron. Numerous benefits have been held over the last few weeks to raise the funds for the family. Among the fundraisers, a concert that featured a number of regional bands, and the Chickasha Elks Lodge put together fund raisers to include a pancake breakfast, a spaghetti dinner, and a silent auction. Emily's co-workers with Developmental Disabilities Services have donated their vacation time to her, and Michael's co-workers at Chickasha Public Schools say they'll donate their time off to him. There are numerous donation jars in local businesses, an account has been established at the First National Bank, and a Go Fund Me account has also been set up.
Producers Can Apply Now for Tariff Relief
Farmers and ranchers can now apply for relief from tariffs that are being placed on commodities sold overseas. The Market Facilitation Program announced by the Trump administration includes a number of crops, as well as assistance for dairy and swine producers. Mark Jackson is with the Grady County Farm Service Agency.
Jackson said producers must wait until after harvest of the eligible crops to apply, with applications accepted through Jan. 15th. If deemed necessary, a second payment rate will be announced in early December.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $69.25 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $79.06.
Natural gas was up to $2.82 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,196 and silver is $14.19.
Tuesday, Sept. 11th
New Construction in Chickasha is Down
After a good first half of the year, new construction projects in Chickasha have slowed considerably. Only eight permits totaling just under $225,000 were approved by the city's Community Development Department in August. Three of the eight permits approved were for commercial projects. One is for Johnny Trammell at 317 Chickasha Avenue for $150,000. Another went to Williford Construction in the amount of $25,000 for a remodeling project 528 West Iowa. The other was for an $8,000 remodel for Michael Ersland at 1610 West Alabama. Five residential remodel permits were awarded, totaling about $40,000. New construction in Chickasha since January is $18 million.
More Good Wells Reported for Continental Resources
Continental Resources is reporting some big producing wells in the STACK play, including a couple of natural gas wells in Caddo County. The wells are southwest of Hydro in section seven of Township 12 North Range 13 West. The Harris well and the Joe well both had productions of more than 14,000 MCF of natural gas per day. In Blaine County, about nine miles south of Watonga in section three of Township 15 North Range 13 West, Continental reports it's Nelda well producing nearly 1,900 barrels of oil and nearly 13,000 MCF of natural gas per day.
Permits to Drill in Grady County Approved
A couple of permits to drill in Grady County were approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission yesterday. Continental was given the go-ahead to drill a couple of miles east of the Tabler Y in Section 25 of Township 7 North Range 6 West. It's called Pyle No. 5. Travis Peak Resources was allowed a permit to drill about four miles northeast of Amber in Section 35 of Township 9 North Range 6 West. It's called the Ragsdale No. 1.
Circus Prepares for Two Shows
The circus comes to town today. Carson and Barnes will put up their massive tent this afternoon at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Brooke Caper with the circus says a treat for the whole family.
The public is invited to see the elephant wash at 3:00 o'clock this afternoon, as the two pachyderms get treated to what Caper calls a spa day. They will also bring dinosaurs to life during the circus. There are two performances, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m.. The show will last about two hours, with an intermission.
Genealogy Workshop Set at Chickasha Library
Researching your family history has become a lot easier in recent years with the development of websites like ancestry.com. The Chickasha Public Library will be offering programs for beginners as well as advanced genealogists later this month. The program will include Delores Smith, a retired educator and current volunteer at the Oklahoma History Research Center; and former local resident, Nancy Calhoun, head of the genealogy and local history department of the Muskogee Public Library. There will also be a panel discussion with the speakers. The program is free, but space is limited and officials ask that you register in advance. It's set for Tuesday, Sept. 25th at the library. For information, visit the library or call 405-222-6075.
Mt. Scott Road Closed for Repairs
If you were planning a trip up Mt. Scott over the next couple of days, you'll have to postpone your visit. The road up the mountain is closed for repairs. Workers discovered a hole in the road about half-way up the mountain. It started small, but had grown to about eight feet wide when crews began repairs yesterday. Park rangers believe recent rains washed out the ground underneath the pavement. Over the next few days, officials will be inspecting the road for any other problems. In the meantime, the road is closed to all motorized traffic, as well as bicycle riders, walkers and runners.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX falls to $67.54 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude was up slightly to $77.34.
Natural gas was up to $2.80 per million BTUs.
Gold was down to $1,198 and silver dips to $14.14.
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.