Today lets meet Chickasha Future Farmer of the week Chapter Farmer Jamie Steele.
Monday, Oct. 1st
Duplex Development Opposed by Some Residents
Some Chickasha residents oppose a plan to build duplexes in their neighborhood. A number of them spoke against the proposal in last month’s Planning Commission meeting. The development is proposed to be on the north side of Country Club Road between the Elks Lodge and the city water tower. Despite the objections the planning commission narrowly gave it’s recommendation to the proposal in a 3-2 vote. The Planning Commission also recommended re-zoning property in the 3600 block of South 16th Street to operate a pet hotel. The area in question is already zoned local commercial but the request is to change it to general commercial. The commission unanimously voted to recommend that change.
City Council to Review Other Re-zoning Proposals
Another re-zoning issue asks to re-zone property at 410 West Almar Street from single-family residential to a general commercial district. That measure also is being recommended for approval. The council will review a re-zoning request in the 700 block of North 13th Street to open an RV Park with residential office space. The area is little more than three acres which would be located close to some mobile home districts and it also borders a heavy industrial lot. The Planning Commission recommended those changes as well.
Alternate Members Suggested for Planning Commission
The council will also consider adding two alternate members to the Planning Commission. A couple of the group's meetings had to be canceled this summer because of a lack of a quorum. Officials say delays can be costly to developers and residents and that having alternate members with voting powers would be helpful.
Strong Beer, Medical Marijuana Ordinances up for Review
The council is expected to update city ordinances in regards to the new state laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages. The state law changed today to allow retail outlets to sell six-point beer, and the revision would reflect the changes in city ordinances. The council is also to adopt new codes regarding the legalization of the sale of medical marijuana which also are effective at the state level starting today.
Lawsuit, Land Appraisal Part of Executive Session
In more council activity, the panel will go behind closed doors to discuss a lawsuit the city filed against Tom Word of Word Industries. The council is trying to re-coup a $250,000 economic development loan provided to Word and his company. He was going to use the money to move his operation from the Tulsa area to Chickasha but that move never occurred. A second issue in the executive session is to discuss the purchase, sale, or appraisal of property for economic development purposes.
Employee-of-Month, Festivals, Parades
The council is also expected to recognized Kay Perry with the Community Development Department as the city’s employee of the month, approve dates for the downtown Neewollah Festival on October 31st, the downtown Christmas parade on Thursday, December 6th, and an agreement with the Festival of Light for the upcoming season.
Work Session Set Before Council Meeting
In addition to those issues, the council will hold a special work session prior to its meeting. They'll be discussing the sports complex and traffic signals. The work session will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the council meeting to get underway at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Semi Crash Sends Driver to the Hospital
A semi crashes on a Grady County road over the weekend, sending the driver to the hospital. 37-year old Jose Resendiz of Purcell was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in good condition. The accident happened about 9:00 a.m. Saturday southeast of the Naples Store, about a half-mile south of State Highway 39. The highway patrol reports that Resendiz was traveling south on a gravel road when the semi ran off the road, hit a fence and rolled. It was foggy when the accident happened.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $73.25 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude rises to $82.72.
Natural gas is $3.01 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,190 and silver is $14.61.
Saturday, Sept. 29th
Defendant In Baseball Player's Slaying is Out of Prison
He was one of four teenagers implicated in the shooting death of a college baseball player from Australia. James Edward Jr. is out of prison. Edward was one the teens charged with the death of Christopher Lane, who was gunned down while jogging near the home of his girlfriend in Duncan in the summer of 2013. Edward was 15 years old at the time. He was originally charged with first degree murder, but prosecutors lowered the charge to accessory to murder in exchange for his testimony against three others implicated in the shooting. Edward was sentenced to 15 years plus probation. He was released from prison this week, serving five of the 15 years. The others connected to the murder - Chancey Luna, Michael Jones, and John David Barnes - are still in prison.
School District's Estimate-of-Needs to be Reviewed
The estimate of needs for the Chickasha public school district will be reviewed during a special meeting of the Chickasha Board of Education on Monday. A notice for the meeting was sent to the Grady County Clerk Thursday and the agenda was posted on the doors of the school district's administration building Friday morning. The panel will discuss if the estimate of needs should be approved. The meeting will start at 11:30 a.m. Monday and will be held at the administration building at 9th and Choctaw.
Tremor Hits Near Dibble
An earthquake shakes parts of the Dibble area. The tremor hit a little after 2:00 a.m. Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey registered the quake at 2.9 on the Richter scale with the epicenter about 4 miles northeast of town. There were no reports of damage.
Rock Island Arts Festival Continues
The Rock Island Arts Festival resumes today. A lot of people took advantage of good weather yesterday to check out the artist booths, taste the offerings of the food truck vendors, and sit back and enjoy the live entertainment on two stages. The festival continues today and tomorrow at the Rock Island Railroad depot, downtown Chickasha. There is free admission and free parking.
Good Samaritan to Bid Adieu
One of Chickasha's Good Samaritans is moving on. Jay Barnes, who mows lawns for free for senior citizens and had held yard sales for fire victims and youth groups, will be heading back to be near his original home in the northeast part of the country. Barnes says his wife, who has been a professor at USAO for the last four years, recently accepted a job in Boston with Google. They'll be moving at the end of the year. Barnes tells KWTV News 9 that there's nothing like lending a hand to your fellow man.
Barnes list of clients for lawn mowing topped 100 this past summer, and he's had two lawn mowers donated to him. Barnes says he's working on getting someone to take over for him next summer.
PRCA Rodeo in Apache
If you're a rodeo fan, head to Apache this weekend for one of the final PRCA rodeos of the season. The Apache Stampede will feature a number of cowboys still trying to make the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Apache's Bryson Sechrist will be in the mix. While he won't make the NFR this year, he's made over $200,000 in his pro rodeo career in tie-down roping.
Rodeo times are 2:00 p.m. today and tomorrow.
Talk Show Topic
Here’s part of what we’re talking about this weekend. Courtney Mayall and Brande Bradford with the Chickasha Public Library are this week's guests on our KOOL Konversation program. We have a link to the program elsewhere on this web site. Find it under the Community tab.
Friday, Sept. 28th
One Critical after Pickup Hits Semi
A pickup driver is in critical condition this morning and three others were also taken to hospitals after their truck slams in to a semi. It happened just before 9:00 p.m. Thursday about a mile south of Anadarko on State Highway 8. 74-year old Margaret Burgess of Fletcher suffered the most serious injuries. She was pinned inside the pickup for about 30 minutes. After being freed she was taken by an air ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital where she was admitted in critical condition. Two other passengers were also flown to Oklahoma City. 21-year old Mia Fisher and 18-year old Nathan Bennett, both also of Fletcher, were last in fair condition. Another passenger, an unidentified 16-year old boy, was taken to a Lawton hospital for observation. The driver of the semi, 27-year old Cody Knight of Pauls Valley, was not hurt. The highway patrol reports that Knight was backing the semi across the highway from a county road when the pickup hit the semi. The crash shut down traffic on the highway for more than an hour-and-a-half.
CV Tech Sets Program on Medical Marijuana at Work
With the approval of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, workplace supervisors will need to be aware of employees who may be using it. Canadian Valley Technology Center will be offering a free seminar on the issue next month. The program will be led by the Crowe and Dunleavy law firm. They'll offer information on how to assess, document, and discipline employees, practical advice as to the documentation required for the discipline of impaired employees, and whether or not test workers. The one-hour program will be held on Tuesday, October 9th on the Chickasha campus of the technology center. Reservations are requested and you can contact the tech center for more information by calling 405-224-7552.
Rock Island Arts Festival Opens
Downtown Chickasha will be rockin' the next three days with the Rock Island Arts Festival. Opening ceremonies kick off the event at 10:00 a.m. this morning at the historic Rock Island Railroad Depot on the east end of Chickasha Avenue. Artists from the region will have their work on display and for sale and some food trucks will be open. Live music starts at 4:00 p.m. today with Ron Blankenship on his steel drums. Children’s activities begin at 5:00 p.m. inside the depot. Love to Dance Studio performs at 5:00 p.m., and local artist Thomas Kenada takes the stage at 6:00 p.m. Local band Tim Brauer and First Look play at 7:00 p.m. Festival activities tomorrow begin at 10:00 a.m. The first ever Oklahoma Food Truck Championship will be held with 10 competitors seeking a $5,000 cash prize to the winner. The festival wraps up on Sunday, running from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking all weekend are free.
Anadarko Schedules Special Needs Students Livestock Show
In Anadarko, special needs students will be getting an opportunity to show livestock. The Anadarko schools livestock show team is preparing for this second annual show. 4H and FFA students will help participants show animals and help them explore the livestock industry. The show is set for Saturday, Oct. 13th at the Caddo County fairgrounds in Anadarko. The show is free and open to Anadarko schools special needs students. Contact Renee Hill for more information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $72.12 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is up to $81.72.
Natural gas slides to $3.04 per million BTUs.
Gold is down to $1,184 and silver is down to $14.35.
Thursday, Sept. 27th
More Energy Exploration OK'd in the SCOOP
Some new oil and gas drilling permits have been approved in this region. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission putting its stamp of approval on the locations in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP). Overflow Energy LLC was issued a permit for Panther SWD just east of Amber. It's in Section 17 of Township 8 North, Range 6 West. Unit Petroleum Company was issued a permit to drill White 6, No. 3H west of Ninnekah, about a mile south of State Highway 277. It's in Section 31 of Township 6 North, Range 7 West. In Caddo County, Territory Resources was approved for Stidham No. 1-19 which is in Section 19 of Township 6 North, Range 10 West.
Dowtown Development Gains Support
The last few months we’ve been reporting about the efforts of business leaders wanting to see a resurgence of investment and activity in downtown Chickasha. It started a few years ago with multi-million dollar renovations of the main branch of the First National Bank and the former Chickasha Hotel. A number of events are scheduled in the downtown area over the next several months, starting with the Rock Island Arts Festival this weekend. In the month of October, there is the annual Ne'ewollah Festival, which is the costumed trick-or-treating event for Hallowe'en which will draw a big crowd. Phyllis Steelman said it reminds her of downtown many years ago.
Downtown will also host its annual lighted Christmas parade in December, and the community theater will have a holiday performance at the Washita Theater. Downtown merchants are also encouraging more shopping at their stores with some new discount cards that are now available. The cards are $10 each and can be used at selected merchants now through the end of next year.
Rock Island Arts Festival Opens Tomorrow
A final day of preparations today, ahead of this weekend's Rock Island Arts Festival. Months of planning by the Chickasha Area Arts Council will bring together dozens of regional artists, along with numerous performing artists putting their talents on display. This is the 10th year for the event, with opening ceremonies kicking off the three-day event tomorrow morning. There will be two stages for live acts this weekend. The main stage will be under the pavilion at the Mill Building of the historic railroad depot. The second stage will be just south of the depot area. Among the children's activities include pumpkin decorating, art classes, a sand pit to dig for prizes, face painting, inflatables, and the Chickasha Public Library will have several activities. Among the headlining bands, Tim Brauer and First Look on Friday night, and Travis Linville on Saturday night. On Saturday a couple of events will piggyback alongside of the festival, including the second annual Rock Island Ride, featuring bicycle rides of 8 to more than 60 miles, and the Together We Heel Walk, a domestic violence awareness event.
More Monster Trucks Headed to Chickasha
After a successful monster truck event at the Grady County Fairgrounds this summer, a second such event will be held which will feature a muddy twist. The Monster Truck and Mud Racing Nationals will include local residents who are encouraged to take part in a mud race. There will be races for street legal and modified trucks, jeeps, and SUVs. There is also a division for ATVs and UTVs, where individuals will race side-by-side in a 100 foot-long mud pit. The two-day event will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13th and 14th at the fairgrounds. Advanced tickets are now on sale at selected merchants or on-line at www.showclix.com or tickets will be available at the gate.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is down to $71.77 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude dips to $81.34.
Natural gas is down to $3.02 per million BTUs.
Gold drops to $1,199 and silver slides to $14.44.
Wednesday, Sept. 26th
Counterfeit Money Found in Chickasha
Funny money is floating around Chickasha. Chickasha police say a number of merchants have turned in fake $100 bills within the last few days. On their Facebook page, police say the fake bills appear to be $10 bills that have been washed and re-printed. They may still have the "ten" printed on the security strip within the bill. Some comments on the post indicate that counterfeit pens used to check the bills don't work, because its technically legal tender paper stock the government uses. Another post says that clerks should look closely at the watermark to ensure the $100 bills are real.
BIA Offers Reward in Connection With Carnegie Homicide
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is offering a huge reward for information about the recent stabbing death of a Caddo County man. Investigators continue looking into the death of Byron "Subee" Tongkeamah, Jr. His body was found in an abandoned home in Carnegie the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 12th. An unidentified woman survived the knife attack. The agency is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the successful projection of those responsible. Anyone with information about the death of Byron "Subee" Tongkeamah, Jr. is asked to contact the BIA and Office of Justice Services, by calling 833-778-4758.
Chickasha Street Improvements Underway
Your tax dollars are hard at work in Chickasha. A street improvement program approved by the city council earlier this year is underway. The city hired a Missouri company that is using a different process to make the upgrades. The company applies less than an inch of its product which is expected to extend the life of the streets. Gabe Beason is the spokesman for Donelson Construction.
Work crews have already made the improvements on 6th Street north of Choctaw, and on Chickasha Avenue, from 10th to 15th Streets. Other areas targeted for improvements are Missouri Avenue from 4th to 9th Street; 9th Street from Grand Avenue to just south of Shannon Springs Park; Almar Drive, from 4th to 9th Street; Country Club Road from 16th Street to 29th Street; and 2nd Street from Minnesota Avenue north to Choctaw Avenue. Cost of the project is about $400,000.
Steer Wrestler Hopes to Qualify for NFR
A Caddo County cowboy is looking forward to a trip to Las Vegas later this year. Apache's Blake Mindemann is pretty sure he's locked up a trip to the National Finals Rodeo for steer wrestling. To make sure, Mindemann will be one of the many cowboys on hand at the Apache Stampede PRCA Rodeo this weekend.
This is the last PRCA rodeo for cowboys to earn money to go to the NFR this year. The top 15 money winners qualify. The Apache Stampede runs Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults with children 6 and under, free.
Grady, Caddo County Wheat Growers to Get Relief
Wheat producers in both Grady and Caddo counties have been approved for wheat pasture losses from last winter. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency-
Jackson says payments should be made within the next 30 days. He says producers who have already filed a notice-of-loss don’t need to do anything else to receive their payment.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is up to $72.27 a barrel.
London-based Brent Crude climbs to $81.87.
Natural gas is up to $3.08 per million BTUs.
Gold is down slightly to $1,202 and silver is up to $14.49.
Tuesday, Sept. 25th
Jury Convicts Man of Killing Gracemont Couple
It was three years ago that a Gracemont man and his girlfriend were shot and killed at their home. Prince Robertson and Kayla Martin both died from multiple gunshot wounds. Last week, a Caddo County jury convicted D'veric Jessie of the crimes. Jessie himself called 9-1-1, saying he was acting in self-defense after he and Robertson got into an argument. District Attorney Jason Hicks and assistant DA Andrew Benedict prosecuted the case. In a statement, Hicks says he believes the jury's decision speaks volumes about how the community views senseless crimes like this one. The jury recommended a life sentence for the shooting death of Robertson and life without parole for the death of Martin. Formal sentencing is set for Dec. 12th.
Man Arrested, Charged in Claw Hammer Attack
A man is arrested for attacking his sister with a claw hammer. Chickasha police were called to a home in the 300 block of Ohio last Friday morning where a woman was bleeding from her head and arm. A bloody hammer was found. The woman was taken to the hospital where some of her wounds had to be stapled closed. Authorities were called back to the home several hours later to talk to the woman's brother. He told investigators he and his sister had been arguing, and that both had hammers and threatened to beat each other's heads in. The brother did have a wound on his right eye. Police arrested 35-year old Elvie Eugene Mandrell, Jr. Prosecutors have filed a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against him. During arraignment yesterday, Mandrell’s bond was set at $100,000.
Grandfather Posts Bond in Molestation Case
An Alex man is out of jail, after posting bond in connection with a molestation charge filed against him. 65-year old Billy G. Williamson was formally charged with felony sexual battery and providing alcohol to a minor in Grady County District Court yesterday. He was released after posting a $25,000 bond. An Alex police affidavit alleges Williamson made improper advances toward his 19-year old granddaughter. The teen ran to a neighbor's house clad only in a towel after alleging Williamson's lewd behavior. She also alleged he got her drunk on wine. If convicted, Williamson faces 5 to10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
One Still Critical After Sunday Crash
We now know the names of two people injured in a Sunday night traffic accident between Bray and Elmore City. One of the men, 56-year old Joseph Whitaker of Randlett, was still in critical condition in an Oklahoma City hospital after the car ran off the road and hit a tree. The driver of the car, 55-year old Jack Cesar, Jr. of Lindsay, was taken to a Duncan hospital where he was initially reported in critical condition. Authorities say he was treated and released.
Some Chickasha Water Bills May Have Errors
At Chickasha City Hall, officials say there are problems with some recent utility bills. They say there was an error in the billing processing system. Consumers whose bills have a due date of October 10th will be receiving a corrected bill. Any payments that have been made will be applied to the corrected bill. Officials are apologizing for any inconvenience the situation has caused.
Community Meeting Set to Discuss Downtown Development
Yesterday, we told you about an OU under-graduate program called the Institute for Quality Communities which Chickasha is participating in. Officials with the Chickasha Economic Development Council say the group will host a come-and-go meeting for Chickasha residents next month to share their ideas about downtown. The students who are majoring in city planning and urban design will hold the meeting on Monday, Oct. 29th. It will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
'Truck Platooning' System Gets Interim Study
A system that digitally connects big rigs to help them travel close together is part of an interim study at the state capital. It's called "truck platooning," which digitally tethers convoys of two or more trucks. It's supposed to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency, lessen highway congestion, and reduce traffic accidents. Oklahoma State Senator Darcy Jech, who serves Senate District 26 which includes Caddo County, chairs the senate transportation committee and requested the interim study. Jeck says several states have either adopted or are considering legislation which exempts trucks from maintaining a minimum following distance when tethered together.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX climbs to $72.08 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is at its highest in nearly four years, up to $81.21.
Natural gas tops $3 for the first time this year, up to $3.03 per million BTUs.
Gold is slightly higher, up to $1,204 and silver is down a bit to $14.30.
Monday, Sept. 24th
County Man Accused of Sexual Assault
An Alex man is in jail accused of sexual battery. 65-year old Billy G. Williamson was arrested over the weekend. Alex police requested the arrest warrant following an investigation last week. No details about the investigation are available this morning. The website On Demand Court Records indicates the warrant was issued last Thursday, and Williamson was taken into custody by a Grady County Sheriff's deputy Sunday morning. Williamson is charged with sexual battery and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years old. Both are felonies.
Two People Critically Injured After Crash
Two people are hospitalized in critical condition after a traffic accident between Bray and Elmore City. The accident happened about 8:15 p.m. Sunday not far from the junction of State Highways 76 and 29. The names of the injured have not been released as troopers say relatives have not yet been notified. The highway patrol reports the vehicle was headed east on Highway 29 and failed to go around a curve, then left the highway and hit a tree. The passenger was pinned for about 45 minutes. The passenger was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital while the driver was taken by ambulance to a Duncan hospital. Both suffered head, arm, leg, trunk, and internal injuries.
Semi Temporarily Blocks Highway 81 Traffic
A jack-knifed semi blocked traffic on U.S. Highway 81 just south of Pocasset for a short time last night. The Highway Patrol reported the accident happened about 7:45 p.m. Sunday near Salt Creek Casino. However, before a trooper arrived, a citizen and the truck driver managed to clear the roadway. The trooper sent to investigate said the roadway was clear when he arrived.
Leaders Look to Revitalize Downtown Chickasha
Chickasha is one of just two Oklahoma communities selected to take part in a unique program through the University of Oklahoma. It's called the Institute for Quality Communities. Cody Mosley is president of the Chickasha Economic Development Council and explains the work of the students involved in the program.
Officials are hoping to develop downtown into a tourist destination to include arts, entertainment, and restaurants, pointing to Guthrie and Broken Arrow as examples. In Broken Arrow, Mosley said there was about $65 million in private investment in its downtown.
Homecoming Set for National Guard Troops
Oklahoma National Guard troops will be coming home from a nearly year-long deployment to the Middle East. About 350 soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 180th Cavalry Regiment have been in Afghanistan. The squadron was participating in the Kabul Security Force, a NATO-led mission to train, advise, and assist local defense forces. The soldiers were also were part of a U.S.-led operation to train Afghan Army and police units. They are set to be back in the Sooner State tomorrow.
Rock Island Arts Festival Set this Weekend
The 10th annual Rock Island Arts Festival comes to downtown Chickasha this weekend. The three-day event features live music, lots of artists with items for sale from paintings, photography, jewelry, sculptures, and more. For the first time in the history of the event is the Oklahoma Food Truck Competition. There will be two stages for live entertainment all three days. Among the features bands will be Travis Linville, who will perform Saturday night. Local band Tim Brauer and First Look play Friday night, with other local artists like Shane Harris and Thomas Kenada performing. There's free admission and free parking for the event, which runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Rock Island Railroad Depot downtown Chickasha.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX was higher last week, to $70.78 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude rose to $78.80.
Natural gas was up 7 1/2 percent for the week to $2.97 per million BTUs.
Metals were up slightly for the week. Gold was up $1,203 and silver had a gain to $14.38.