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Mollman Media News Archives for 2023-03

2023, March 20th-25th

Saturday, March 25th

 

New System Tells Motorists They are Driving the Wrong Way

A new system intended to notify motorists they are driving on the wrong side of the highway is being installed on some Oklahoma interstates. The system is already in place along I-40 in eastern Oklahoma to the Arkansas broder and is currently being installed on I-35 from Oklahoma City north to the Kansas border. And beginning next week crews will be installing the system on I-40 from Yukon west to the Texas border. It's a $4 million project which will include raised pavement markers that will show red to indicate a motorist is driving the wrong way, lighted signs, and upgraded striping. In a press release, ODOT officials said 49 interchanges along I-40 from Yukon and points west will be modified.  They say internally lit ‘Do Not Enter’ signs will be easier to see at night and a thermal camera system which activates flashing lights will be installed at 10 locations. Officials say the project will cause some temporary ramp closures with detours and that interstate traffic will be narrowed to one lane in the areas where the work will be done.

 

Plan to Eliminate State Sales Tax on Groceries Being Discussed Again

A proposal that would eliminate the state sales tax on groceries is again making its way through the halls of the state capital. This week the House of Representatives passed a bill which would eliminate the state's 4.5 percent sales tax on groceries. It now goes to the senate for consideration. The house passed a similar measure last year but it stalled in the senate. Gov. Kevin Stitt supports a plan to eliminate the tax and has urged lawmakers for the last two years to send him a bill he can sign into law. You might remember that the measure was discussed during a special session of state lawmakers last summer but the senate didn't approve the measure. At the time Senate President Greg Treat said the senate is for tax reform, they just want to make sure it’s good for the long-term future of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is one of only 13 states which still charges a sales tax on groceries.

 

Proposal Would Allow Some to Pay Property Taxes Monthly

Also being considered at the state capital is a proposal that would make it easier for some Oklahomans to pay their property taxes. It's HB 2003 which would allow senior citizens and others on fixed incomes to pre-pay their property taxes in monthly installments. Qualifying taxpayers would have to provide a written notice to the county treasurer by Jan. 15th each year. Accounts with delinquent taxes, accounts with an on-going valuation protest, and taxes paid through an escrow account would not be eligible for the installment program. The measure passed the house this week and now goes to the senate for consideration.

 

Talk Show Topic

The two candidates who are on the ballot for the Chickasha City Council election on April 4th are on our KOOL Konversation. They are Ward 4 Councilman Kelly Boyd and challenger Eric Anderson. Find a podcast of the program under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituaries

Angeline ‘Angie’ Friskel

No service is scheduled for ’Angie’ Friskel, 75, of Chickasha. She was a scrub tech and owned an antique store. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

Catherine Robinson

Funeral service for Catherine Robinson, 83, of Chickasha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 1st at the Grady County Fairgrounds. She was a gospel singer and worked at Head Start. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

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Friday, March 24th

 

Bill Would Provide Help for Renters 

Living in Unhealthy, Unsafe Conditions

A bill designed to keep renters from living in unsafe conditions is gaining some traction at the state capital. HB 2109 would update the state's Landlord Tenant Act to provide some additional help to those who rent homes or apartments. If signed into law it should protect tenants who have complaints about their living conditions. It would allow courts to require that landlords make needed repairs for the health and safety of their tenants. State Rep. Daniel Pae (R-Lawton) is the author of the bill. He said tenants have little protection under current state law. It would prevent landlords from raising rent, threatening eviction, or decreasing services if tenants have legitimate concerns about the conditions of the home or apartment they are living in. The measure would apply to landlords renting less than 10 units. The bill now goes to the senate where Sen. John Montgomery (R-Lawton) is carrying the bill.

 

Former Animal Control Officer Pleads Guilty to Animal Abuse

The former animal control officer for the town of Fletcher has pleaded guilty to animal abuse. Timothy Peek was arrested two years ago for leaving animals unattended during the Polar Vortex freeze in February of 2021. Officials say four animals at the shelter were left to fend for themselves for more than four days during frigid arctic temperatures. Peek pleaded guilty to the charge in Comanche County District Court and received a five-year deferred sentence with one year of supervised probation; a fine of $500; will have to perform 100 hours of community service; and undergo drug and alcohol testing.

 

Chix Chamber, EDC to Hold 'Great Golden Egg' Promotion

Another retail shopping promotion to support Chickasha stores will begin next week. It's the Great Golden Egg Hunt. A total of 1,000 eggs will be hidden at participating retailers and each merchant will have several eggs hidden in their stores each day. Each egg has a prize from one of the participating merchants. After finding an egg shoppers will need to make a minimum $20 purchase. Customers who spend $50 will be entered into a grand prize drawing to win a Golden Egg filled with $500 in gift cards and prizes from the Chickasha Economic Development Council. The promotion will run Friday, March 31st through Saturday, April 8th. Shoppers will need to take a code received from the merchant to the chamber of commerce by Wednesday, April 12th to get entered into the drawing. The drawing will be live on the chamber’s Facebook page at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13th. A printable list of merchants will be available at the chamber on Thursday, March 30th or the list can be downloaded from the website: www.chickashachamber.com

 

Pesticide Applicator Training Scheduled

Grady County OSU Extension will be offering a pesticide applicator training program over the next couple of weeks. There is a brief session on Wednesday March 29th at noon for Dicamba training. The next training day will be Thursday, April 6th with morning and afternoon sessions. Topics include late-season disease management, early-season cotton weed management; soybean weed management; sorghum herbicides; and-early season insect management in summer row crops. Individuals must attend in person to get credit. For information contact the Grady County OSU Extension Center by calling 405-224-2216.

 

Aquarium to host 'World Meteorological Day' Event

Here's a family day trip you might consider this weekend. The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center will celebrate World Meteorological Day tomorrow. There will be experiments, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for participants. Among those taking part are U.S. Navy meteorology analysts. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, March 25th) and is included in the cost of regular paid admission. You can get more information on the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Resource Center Facebook page.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.96 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $75.91.

Natural gas is $2.15 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,016 and silver is $23.40.

 

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Thursday, March 23rd

 

More Downtown Chickasha Development Underway

Construction crews have begun working on more upgrades in the downtown Chickasha area. Chet Hitt, the California businessman who announced his intentions to invest more than $5 million around the Rock Island Railroad Depot, brought crews in yesterday to begin the transformation. Hitt tells KOOL-RANCH News-

 

              

 

Hitt recently purchased the Mill Building and adjoining property from the City of Chickasha. The Mill Building is expected to be a coffee house with a distillery to be built next to it and the old Savoy Hotel will be a restaurant. Hitt tells the Southwest Ledger that an informal meet-and-greet with the public will be held next week.

 

Volunteer Fire Departments Receive Check, Pickup

The Grady County Fire Department gets a sizeable donation. Gulfport Energy of Oklahoma City provided the fire department with $20,000 and a 2017 Ford truck. The money will be used to purchase some gas monitors for the volunteer fire departments. Grady County Fire Chief Rodney Gregory said plans are outfit the truck with emergency medical equipment to help first responders provide basic treatment to those who are injured until paramedics arrive.

 

Arrest Made After Stolen Car Found in Chickasha

A car stolen out of the Stillwater area is found in Chickasha and a suspect has been arrested and charged for being in possession of the vehicle. A probable cause affidavit indicates Stillwater authorities reached out to Chickasha police last Friday saying the car could be found in a residential area. Officers believed they located it at a home in the 1400 block of South 7th Street.  Investigators say they had probable cause to get a search warrant and found the 2008 Mazda Miata in the backyard. Authorities also searched the home and say they found drugs and weapons inside. Police arrested 62-year old David Joseph Voorhies. After spending the weekend in jail Voorhies was charged with felonies which include possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, and having a firearm after former felony conviction. Voorhies is out of jail after posting a bond which was only set at $12,500. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled April 12th.

 

'Domestic Abuse Survivorship Act' Passes State House

A house bill aimed at limiting the punishment for Oklahomans charged with killing their violent and abusive partners is being considered at the state capital. It's HB 1639 which is called the Domestic Abuse Survivorship Act. It's authored by State Rep. Toni Hasenbeck (R-Elgin). It states that if a defendant is a survivor of domestic abuse - it would limit the punishment that could be issued. It would require that courts consider whether a defendant has been physically, sexually, economically, or psychologically abused. The measure passed the house unanimously and can now be discussed in the senate.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $70.90 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $76.69.

Natural gas is $2.17 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,997 and silver is $23.02.

 

Obituaries

Louis ‘Bud’ McClaflin, Jr.

A graveside service for ‘Bud’ McClaflin, Jr. of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 24th at the Verden Cemetery. He was a truck driver and worked in the oilfield. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Billy ‘Mickey’ Stephenson

A memorial service for 'Mickey' Stephenson of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 25th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

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Wednesday, March 22nd

 

Rural Water District Receives Funds for Upgrades

A large grant and some American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will pay for some needed improvements to a rural water district in Grady County. Nearly $1.1 million will be used to upgrade the Rural Water District 7 system in the Ninnekah area. The district received a $1 million grant from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) for materials and nearly $70,000 in ARPA funds to pay for the construction work. The improvements will include the installation of a new water storage standpipe and the relocation and renovation of an existing standpipe. Officials credit the work of State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) and State Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle) in acquiring the funds. Officials with the OERB estimate that District 7 customers will save more than $1.5 million on the cost of the project compared to traditional financing methods.

 

Controversial Cockfighting Bill Advances at State Capital

A controversial bill at the state capital about cockfighting has been approved in the state house of representatives and now goes to the senate for consideration. HB 2530 would allow county residents to petition for elections to reduce cockfighting violations from felonies to misdemeanors. The bill’s author,  Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-Lane) said the bill would ensure that people who breed the birds won't be unduly punished and that no person has ever died from cockfighting. Officials with Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission said cockfighting would still be illegal under the proposal. They say current state law doesn't make it clear about whether a chicken is being raised to fight or as breeding stock. There are producers who say they don't raise roosters for fighting. Animal rights activists are opposed to the bill. Officials with a group called Animal Wellness Action called Oklahoma the cockfighting capital of the United States. Tuttle State Senator Lonnie Paxton is carrying similar legislation with SB 1006. He said he'll work to modify the legislation saying it needs more work before it even comes close to becoming law. Paxton said there has been some pushback as larger counties want to keep cockfighting out of big cities due to tourism and convention issues.

 

Chickasha Woman Arrested for Alleged Drug Trafficking

There has been another drug bust for the Grady County sheriff's office. Authorities arrested 28-year old Jessica Nicole Wright at a Chickasha motel last Friday. A probable cause affidavit indicates that authorities received a tip that Wright was at the Castle Inn. As part of his on-going investigation of illicit drug sales in the region, sheriff's office DEA agent Lt. Jim Peek alleged that Wright is a primary source of Fentanyl-laced counterfeit drugs. He said the tipster indicated that Wright had just gotten a new supply. Authorities allegedly found more than 80 pills which field-tested positive for having Fentanyl. Wright was taken into custody and has been charged with aggravated trafficking and possession of CDS. She remains in the Grady County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

Chix City Council OKs Veterinary Contract

The Chickasha City Council this week approved a proposal for the city's animal shelter to contract with the Verden Veterinary Clinic for treatment of the animals housed at the shelter. The contract is for $1,100 per month. The council also approved the purchase of a management program for the shelter at cost of $250. The council also approved the renewal of a maintenance contract for the fire department with Zoll Cardiac Monitors at a cost of just over $11,000.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $69.33 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $75.32.

Natural gas is $2.35 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,964 and silver is $22.59.

 

Obituary

Steve Largent

Funeral service for Steve Largent, 59, of Chickasha will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 24th at the First Assembly of God Church. He worked in the oilfield and was a mechanic. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

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Tuesday, March 21st

 

Grand Avenue Project Expected to Include Retail Outlets

The Chickasha City Council approved the final plat for work currently being done south of Grand Avenue. Following a brief public hearing during last night’s council meeting the group unanimously approved the plat for the second section of a Planned Urban Development (PUD) known as the Woodlands. Crews have been building roads and installing water and sewer lines over the last few weeks. Developer Eric Fleske told the council that he's anticipating some new retail outlets to locate there.

 

              

 

The council also heard a presentation from Pat Brooks with the Chickasha Community Foundation regarding Phase Two of the proposed downtown park near the Rock Island Railroad Depot. Preliminary plans included a pavilion for entertainment but Brooks said that may not be needed as developer Chet Hitt has plans to build an entertainment venue north of the depot. Brooks said there has been discussion of an option to replace the pavilion-

 

              

 

Brooks said the committee discussing Phase Two will be meeting soon and they could have a proposal for the city council to consider within the next 60 days. He said fundraising could start this summer but that any construction may not begin until next year.

 

Grant Helps USAO's Communications Department

A grant awarded to USAO will help improve the university's communications program. A $50,000 grant from the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education is being used to purchase equipment to emphasize video production. David Duncan is USAO's digital media technology instructor. He says they have purchased cameras, microphones, and drones - and students are already being trained on some of the new equipment. There has been a lot of recent interest in video production as two courses were taught last fall and enrollment in those courses almost doubled this spring. A course on podcasting is being developed and there are plans for an original student-produced podcast to be developed in the next few weeks. A course in drones and aerial photography will be offered this fall. Duncan said the equipment is expected to give students hands-on experience in everything from making image spots to producing news and sports interviews.

 

4Her Says Game of Chess Benefits All Age Groups

A Grady County 4Her has discovered the benefits of playing chess. Molly Williamson with the Rock Island 4H Club says that playing the game can improve a person's creative thinking, innovative skills, and even their mental health. She also says it can be beneficial for senior citizens-

 

              

 

She also points to a study that indicates that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can reduce their symptoms by playing chess.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.64 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $73.79.

Natural gas is $2.22 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,989 and silver is $22.63.

 

Obituary

Donald ‘Scotty’ Evans

A memorial service for Scotty Evans, 56, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 24th at Ferguson Funeral Home. He worked at Delta Faucet and in the oil field.

 

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Monday, March 20th

 

Public Hearing Set to Consider Next Phase of New Chix Development

It's a development that has been in the works for more than 15 years. The Woodlands Project is under construction on the south side of Grand Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets. A public hearing to consider the final plat of section two of the planned urban development will be held during a special meeting of the Chickasha City Council tonight. It was first discussed in 2007 and was last updated in 2019.  Also during tonight's meeting, the council will consider declaring some of the police department's weapons and ammunition as surplus and exchange it for about 12,000 rounds of ammunition from R and M Arms of Minco. The group will also hear a presentation from Pat Brooks with the Chickasha Community Foundation and consider awarding veterinary services to the Verden Veterinary Clinic. The council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Chickasha Citizens Police Academy Begins This Week

The Chickasha Police Department has one or two slots left in a Citizens Police Academy that will begin this week. The program begins Thursday and is an eight-week course that will run through May 11th from 6-9 p.m. each week. There will be a number of hands-on programs including a simulated 'shoot-or-don't-shoot’ exercise, participants will learn about gun safety, and shoot a weapon at the department's firing range. The series will include guest speakers including district attorney Jason Hicks, Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess, and tribal authorities. The academy is free and applicants will undergo a background check. Applications are available on-line in the lobby of the police department at 2001 West Iowa or on-line at www.chickasha.org/CPA

 

New Program Assists Transitioning Military Veterans

Last week, we reported on a new program for military veterans available through the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs called OK STEP (Oklahoma Specific Training Education Program). The goal is to help veterans transitioning out of active duty and into public life. Program Director Randall Coon tells us-

 

              

 

The service is available to help veterans looking for employment, wanting to train for a new career, or go to college. The program was developed as part of the Oklahoma Veterans Life and Wellness suicide prevention programming and designed to help meet the needs of veterans during gap periods. The service is available throughout a veteran’s lifetime. For information e-mail Coon at okstep@odva.ok.org

 

Prescribed Burn Group to Hold Annual Meeting

The Grady and Caddo County Prescribed Burn Association will hold its annual meeting tomorrow night. The group is part of the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association. The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 21st at the Caddo County Extension Office in Anadarko. The burn trailer with all of its equipment will be there. Don West is the president of the group. For information, contact the OSU extension offices in Chickasha or Anadarko or visit the website: www.ok-pba.org

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $66.74 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $72.97.

Natural gas is $2.34 per million BTUs.

Gold is $2,003 and silver is $22.66.

 

Obituary

Walter Knight, Jr.

Funeral service for Walter Knight, Jr., 62, of Lawton will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 22nd at New Hope Church of God in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

2023 March 13th-18th

Saturday, March 18th

 

Drug Trafficking Suspect Pleads Guilty

A woman arrested after authorities found more than 3,000 pills laced with Fentanyl in her Verden home will spend more than two decades behind bars. Amanda Songer recently pleaded guilty to several charges in Grady County District Court. Verden Police Chief Jason Cox estimated the street value of the drugs was up to $40,000. At the time of her arrest last July, Songer told investigators that she had been selling the pills for two years. Songer pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trafficking; having a weapon during commission of a felony; using a security camera or system; and child neglect. She was sentenced to 35-years in prison with 10 years suspended. Prior to her arrest Songer was on probation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of larceny of a vehicle stemming from an arrest in 2020.

 

Pros, Cons of Proposed 'Ratepayer Protection Act' Debated

There is debate whether a bill being considered at the state capital will or won't increase utility prices in the state. It's SB 1103 which is called the Ratepayer Protection Act. Supporters include former Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud who says it would stop the price shocks like the one that occurred in February of 2021. It would require electric utilities to store adequate supplies of natural gas. In an editorial written for The Oklahoman Cloud said if electricity utilities exceed an earnings threshold set by the Corporation Commission, they would have to return 100 percent of the excess earnings to customers - with 75 percent being directly refunded to customers and 25 percent invested to improve grid reliability. However, current Corporation Commissioner Todd Hiett submitted an op-ed piece to The Oklahoman opposing the bill. The former speaker of the house says the measure is opposed by consumer and business advocates - saying it would result in higher costs for electricity users and limit the corporation commission's role in determining those costs.

 

Study Compares Costs of Gas- and Electric-Powered Vehicles

A new study indicates that it was cheaper to drive a gas-powered vehicle than an electric vehicle in the final three months of 2022. The study by the Anderson Economic Group found that drivers of a typical mid-priced gas-powered car paid about $11.29 to fuel their vehicles for every 100 miles of driving. That's 31 cents cheaper than those who drove mid-priced electric vehicles (who mostly charged their vehicles at home). The cost was $3 less than those who charged their electric vehicles commercially. The report indicated that electric vehicles looked like a bargain during much of 2021 and 2022 but that rising electricity prices combined with lower gas prices late last year made it more affordable to drive a gas-powered vehicle.

 

Chix Chamber Announces Restaurant Bingo Winners

Three winners were selected at the end of the Clover Days Restaurant Bingo promotion held by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce this month. Winners are Margaret Davis, Dan Turner, and Whitney Smith.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. On our KOOL Konversation we have the press conference held this week by District Attorney Jason Hicks regarding the murder case of Lawrence Paul Anderson. Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and other brutal crimes and will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Find a podcast of the program under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Walter Knight, Jr.

Funeral service for Walter Knight, Jr., of Lawton will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 22nd at New Hope Church of God in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

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Friday, March 17th

 

Ninnekah Police Arrest Drug Trafficking Suspect

A traffic stop by Ninnekah police leads to the arrest of yet another suspect accused of drug trafficking. 40-year old Ace Ladon Shells, Jr. of Chickasha was arrested this past Monday night. A probable cause affidavit indicates that a Ninnekah police officer pulled over an SUV near U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 19 for erratic driving and a broken tail light. The officer detected an odor of marijuana inside the vehicle and called the sheriff's office for assistance. Among those responding was Lt. Jim Peek who is also an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Authorities found several baggies which allegedly contained about 20 grams of drugs which field-tested positive for Fentanyl and other drugs and drug items including PCP. The affidavit also indicates that Shells tried to swallow some of the drugs but spit it out. While being booked into jail officers found marijuana in one of his pockets. Prosecutors have charged Shells with felony counts of trafficking, unlawful distribution, and taking drugs into to jail.  Shells remains in the Grady County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

Coach Sought for Alleged Abuse of Female Students

A felony arrest warrant has been issued for a coach at a Caddo County school for allegedly abusing female students. The warrant for felony child abuse was issued last Friday for 33-year old Jacob Peck who is the high school wrestling coach at Hinton. On-line court records indicate that Peck lists a Mangum address.

 

Pre-War Swap Meet Underway

The history of the early years of transportation can be seen in Chickasha this weekend. It's the Pre-War Swap Meet which celebrates the first 50 years of the automobile. This is the 33rd year for Mike and Susie Ersland to hold the event. Vendors and buyers from across the country make the trek to the swap meet every year which only features modes of transportation prior to World War II. There is also a lot of transportation-related collectibles for sale or trade. The swap meet is being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds today and tomorrow and admission and parking are free.

 

'Streetery Party' Closes Out Chamber's Clover Days

Today is St. Patrick’s Day - a day when everyone can be Irish. It also marks the final day of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce’s Clover Days promotion and the Leprechaun Luck Restaurant Bingo game. The Chamber will close out the promotion with its inaugural St. Patrick's Day Streetery Party. The event will be held downtown at 1st and Chickasha Avenue near Brandy's Bar and Grill; Flowershop Winery and Pizzeria; and Canadian River Brewery. It's open to the public and all the establishments will have food and beverages for sale.  There will be live music, a costume contest, and a drawing for $250 in gift cards which is the grand prize for Leprechaun Luck Restaurant Bingo game. It starts at 5:00 p.m. with registration for the costume contest starting 6:00 p.m. The costume contest and drawing for the gift cards will be at 7:00 p.m.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.35 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $74.70.

Natural gas is $2.51 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,952 and silver is $21.96.

 

Obituary

Jerry Coshow

A memorial service for Jerry Coshow, 61, of Joshua, Texas and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 23rd at the First Baptist Church of Blanchard. Coshow was an assistant football coach for Chickasha High School with head coach Tim Reynolds when the team played in back-to-back state championship games in the late 1990s. He had worked as an administrator for Joshua Public Schools near Ft. Worth for the last several years.

 

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Thursday, March 16th

 

Triple Murder Defendant Pleads Guilty

Lawrence Paul Anderson, accused of the brutal murders of three people - including a four-year old girl - will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, one count of maiming, and one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in Grady County District Court yesterday. Anderson was arrested following the attacks that occurred in Chickasha in February of 2021. District Attorney Jason Hicks said he dropped his request for the death penalty at the request of the victims' families despite the gruesome details.

 

 

Anderson was sentenced to life without parole for the murders of his uncle Leon Pye; Pye's four-year old granddaughter Kaoes Yates and their neighbor, Andrea Blankenship. He was sentenced to life for maiming for the knife attack on his aunt, Delsi Pye and life for assault and battery with a deadly weapon and will serve the sentence consecutively meaning he will never be able to apply for parole. Relatives of the victims were allowed to give victim impact statements during yesterday's court hearing where Anderson was called a monster and one screamed and cursed at Anderson saying she hoped he would rot from the inside out. Anderson showed little emotion during the statements. The plea agreement also states that Anderson cannot write a book, appear on TV or a podcast or otherwise profit from discussing the murders. In addition to life in prison Anderson was ordered to pay $9,500 in fines and $40,000 to the victim's compensation fund.

 

Grass Fires Erupt with help from Wednesday Winds

Grady County fire fighters were called out to battle some grass fires that popped up in Minco and Union City in yesterday's high winds. In addition to fire firefighters being dispatched, employees from the District One Grady County Barn used heavy equipment to cut fire breaks on the blaze west of Minco. No structure damage was reported with the fires.

 

Energy Prices Tumble

Yesterday was a rough day for energy prices as we hear from Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission-

 

 

London-based Brent crude dipped below $75 to $73.69.

Natural gas is $2.44 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,925 and silver is $22.02.

 

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Wednesday, March 15th

 

Triple Homicide Suspect Due in Court

Lawrence Paul Anderson, the triple homicide suspect accused of killing his uncle, his uncle’s granddaughter, and their neighbor has a hearing scheduled in a Chickasha courtroom this morning. Anderson is accused of killing a woman who lived across the street from his aunt and uncle, cooking her heart, and trying to make his relatives eat it. Anderson has been behind bars for more than two years after the homicides occurred in February of 2021. A judge is expected to schedule a trial date in today's hearing. The case got a lot of media attention as Anderson was a convicted cocaine dealer, but was released just a few weeks before the homicides occurred after Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted his sentence at the recommendation of the state pardon and parole board.

 

Grady County Consumer Spending Lagging

Consumer spending in Grady County last December was down for the third straight month and was at its lowest level in more than a year. It's estimated that $79.6 million was spent on taxable goods and services that month. That’s off 1.9 percent from the previous month and down about 11.5 percent compared to December of 2021. We estimate consumer spending when we see the amount of sales tax revenue the county received from the state tax commission. In February, the county received about $600,000 based on the consumer spending that took place in December. The funds go to several voter-approved projects. The Grady County Fairgrounds received nearly $200,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received $176,000; the county's seven senior nutrition centers shared $100,000 (each center received $14,000); the county's 20 fire districts shared $100,000 (each received about $5,000); Tuttle EMS received $18,000; and Rush Springs EMS collected $4,500.

 

Jail Trustees to Assist in Chickasha Beautification Effort

A joint effort between the Chickasha Police Department, Grady County Sheriff's Office, and the Grady County Jail is expected to help with beautification efforts in Chickasha. Grady County Jail trustees will be picking up trash along city streets a couple of days a week. Interim Chickasha Police Chief G.G. Music approached Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess about the idea and officials at the Grady County Jail have agreed to allow three or four trustees per day to do the work. The trustees are to be non-violent offenders who will be supervised by a deputy sheriff. The project could start as early as next week. Brandt's Ace Hardware and Ross True Value have offered to provide materials and supplies as needed. Sheriff Boggess says he hopes to expand the project to other towns throughout the county.

 

Seniors Could Benefit from House Bill Under Consideration

A plan to help Oklahoma's senior citizens save money on their property taxes is being circulated around the state capital. HB 1926 would increase the income qualifier for an additional homestead exemption. The measure would increase the amount from the current $25,000 to $30,000. Officials say some seniors are losing out because of increases in their Social Security benefits. Supporters say the bill would keep pace with cost-of-living adjustments and ensure that seniors can still claim the exemption. The bill passed the house unanimously and will now be considered in the senate.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.33 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $77.45.

Natural gas is $2.57 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $21.94.

 

Obituaries

Dysart Dobbins

A memorial service for Dysart Dobbins, 60, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

LD Turner

No service is scheduled for LD Turner, 91, of Chickasha. He was a carpenter and started his own construction business. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

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Tuesday, March 14th

 

Fourth Drug Trafficking Suspect Appears in Court

A fourth suspect arrested in connection with an alleged drug trafficking operation in Chickasha has had his initial appearance on the charges filed against him. 53-year old Gregory Otis Johns was taken into custody Friday night and was in Grady County District Court for his arraignment yesterday. Johns was wanted for his alleged involvement of selling Fentanyl-laced pain killers following an investigation by the Grady County Sheriff's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Marshals. Johns is charged with aggravated trafficking, drug possession, conspiracy to distribute drugs, and having a weapon while committing a felony. A judge initially set his bond at $100,000 but it was reduced to $50,000 and Johns remains in the Grady County Jail.

Three other suspects held on similar charges

Three other people are also in custody on drug and weapons charges as part of the investigation after authorities converged on a home in the 1200 block of South 9th Street in Chickasha last week. They are Kaley Johns, Braden Harris, and Garret Woodle. Kaley Johns and Brandon Harris are being held on county charges and Woodle is charged with federal crimes.

 

Driver Hospitalized After Turnpike Crash

A driver is hospitalized after his SUV crashed on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike last night. It happened just after 10:00 p.m. near Mile Marker 61 just east of Fletcher. Injured in the accident was 61-year old Michael Jost of Edmond who was taken to a Lawton hospital and was last in fair condition. The highway patrol reports that Jost veered of the highway came back on the road and hit the concrete median where the  vehicle came to rest.

 

Mental Health Bills OK'd by State House

Two mental health bills have been approved in the state house of representatives and may now be considered in the senate. HB 2157 and HB 2154 were both authored by State Rep. Cynthia Roe (R-Lindsay). HB 2157 calls for crisis intervention training for at least 20 percent of active duty law enforcement officers. It also would require that an officer must document reasons for NOT getting a mental health evaluation done on individuals who appear to be or state that they are mentally ill, or alcohol- or drug-dependent. HB 2154 expands language which was passed three years ago to protect health care workers at health care facilities. The change would prohibit assault on independent contractors working in or for a health care facility in addition to health care employees. The bill would also require medical facilities to report assault data to the state health department.

 

Bill Seeks to Ease Restrictions on CDL Testing

A plan to make it easier for Oklahomans to get their Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) is working its way through the legislative process. HB 2750 is expected to help expedite the process of obtaining CDLs and may also help school districts recruit bus drivers. The measure would allow third-party individuals and groups to conduct the CDL written exams at locations throughout the state. Currently the written exam can only be administered by a state employee. Officials say that using both public and private entities as testing facilities would put more commercial drivers on the road.

 

'Hoppy Days' Scheduled in Anadarko

Easter is just a few weeks away and the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce will be having an Easter egg hunt with other activities. It's called Hoppy Day 2023 and will include games, a bounce house, live entertainment, and vendors. Hoppy Day will take place Saturday, April 8th at Anadarko’s Randlett Park. It will begin at 11 o’clock with the games, vendors, and entertainment with the egg hunt starting at 1:00 p.m. There will be three age groups for the egg hunt. The chamber is seeking vendors and musical groups to participate. For information, contact Alicia White or see the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.80 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $80.77.

Natural gas is $2.61 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $21.65.

 

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Monday, March 13th

 

Chix Airport Upgrades to be Discussed

The panel that oversees operations at the Chickasha Airport has a special meeting tonight to discuss some possible improvements. The city's Municipal Airport Authority which is a branch of the city council will consider going out for bids to rehabilitate the runway and a parallel taxi-way.  A pre-bid conference for the project is scheduled for next week. Preliminary bids will be received over the next month and the project could be awarded to the winning bidder within 90 days of the bid opening with a contract possibly awarded within 10 days after that. Tonight's meeting will get underway at 6:30 at city hall.

 

OSBI Seeks Info on 2020 Death of Woman

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is asking for information about the shooting death of a woman whose body was found in Union City three years ago. The agency posted on its authorized Facebook page that the body of 29-year old Jennifer Janelle Jesse was discovered by a passerby on Southwest 44th Street near Gregory Road on March 11th, 2020. An autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner's office indicated she had been shot several times. Media reports say the agency released photos on March 30th of that year of a man who was believed to have information about Jesse's death. The photos were taken at an Oklahoma City Braum’s restaurant but the only description they could confirm was that he was wearing light blue shoes with pink shoelaces. Individuals who may have knowledge of what happened can send an anonymous e-mail to: tips@osbi.ok.gov or by calling 800-522-8017.

 

Long-time Resurrection House Director Dies

Kent Hibbard, who spent 30 years helping the homeless in Chickasha has died. Hibbard died five days before his 67th birthday last week. Hibbard was the director of the Resurrection House which started as a one-room dormitory and spent time ministering to those who came to the shelter where he made sure everyone had a purpose. He also pastored at Southern Hills Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife Julie and their three sons and their families. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 14th at Trinity Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Toxic Waste from Ohio Kept from Coming into Oklahoma

Oklahoma officials blocked a shipment of toxic waste from entering the state. Gov. Kevin Stitt worked with U.S. Senator James Lankford and Congressman Markwayne Mullin to prevent the waste from the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment from traveling to eastern Oklahoma. The governor stated in a post on his Facebook page that there were too many unanswered questions and that it was not in the best interest of Oklahomans. Media reports indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) e-mailed the governor to let him know that the waste was going to be shipped to a facility in Waynoka which specializes in hazardous waste disposal. While it’s not uncommon for hazardous waste to come to the state KOCO-TV reported that the EPA request WAS unusual and state officials felt that was a red flag. The EPA indicated that the shipment was about 2,600 yards of toxic waste and the governor's team said that amount worried them.

 

Churches, Agencies to Feed Kids During Spring Break

Several churches and relief organizations are working to make sure area youth get some good food during spring break. In Chickasha, The Community Alliance is joining forces with a number of groups to provide free lunches for all youth 18-and under. That will take place at Breakout Ministries at 902 S. 9th Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today through Friday. Helping with the project are The Linked Church, Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, Grady County OHCE, and the community alliance.

Salvation Army has stops in Caddo County

The Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo counties will be in Cyril and Anadarko today and in Binger tomorrow with their food truck. They will provide a free hot meal for everyone and provide snack packs for kids. They'll be at the Cyril Housing Authority from 10 to 11 this morning and at the Anadarko Housing Authority from 12:30 to 1:30 this afternoon. They'll be at the Binger Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.68 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $82.78.

Natural gas is $2.43 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,891 and silver is $20.92.

 

Obituaries

Tracy Ann Heaton

A memorial service for Tracy Ann Heaton, 62, of Chickasha was held at 2:00 p.m. today (Monday, March 13th) at Sevier Funeral Home.

Audra Hughes

A private graveside service for Audra Hughes, 81, of Chickasha was held Wednesday, March 8th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.

Walter Knight, Jr.

Funeral service for Walter Knight, Jr., 64, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

2023, March 13th-18th

Saturday, March 18th

 

Drug Trafficking Suspect Pleads Guilty

A woman arrested after authorities found more than 3,000 pills laced with Fentanyl in her Verden home will spend more than two decades behind bars. Amanda Songer recently pleaded guilty to several charges in Grady County District Court. Verden Police Chief Jason Cox estimated the street value of the drugs was up to $40,000. At the time of her arrest last July, Songer told investigators that she had been selling the pills for two years. Songer pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trafficking; having a weapon during commission of a felony; using a security camera or system; and child neglect. She was sentenced to 35-years in prison with 10 years suspended. Prior to her arrest Songer was on probation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of larceny of a vehicle stemming from an arrest in 2020.

 

Pros, Cons of Proposed 'Ratepayer Protection Act' Debated

There is debate whether a bill being considered at the state capital will or won't increase utility prices in the state. It's SB 1103 which is called the Ratepayer Protection Act. Supporters include former Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud who says it would stop the price shocks like the one that occurred in February of 2021. It would require electric utilities to store adequate supplies of natural gas. In an editorial written for The Oklahoman Cloud said if electricity utilities exceed an earnings threshold set by the Corporation Commission, they would have to return 100 percent of the excess earnings to customers - with 75 percent being directly refunded to customers and 25 percent invested to improve grid reliability. However, current Corporation Commissioner Todd Hiett submitted an op-ed piece to The Oklahoman opposing the bill. The former speaker of the house says the measure is opposed by consumer and business advocates - saying it would result in higher costs for electricity users and limit the corporation commission's role in determining those costs.

 

Study Compares Costs of Gas- and Electric-Powered Vehicles

A new study indicates that it was cheaper to drive a gas-powered vehicle than an electric vehicle in the final three months of 2022. The study by the Anderson Economic Group found that drivers of a typical mid-priced gas-powered car paid about $11.29 to fuel their vehicles for every 100 miles of driving. That's 31 cents cheaper than those who drove mid-priced electric vehicles (who mostly charged their vehicles at home). The cost was $3 less than those who charged their electric vehicles commercially. The report indicated that electric vehicles looked like a bargain during much of 2021 and 2022 but that rising electricity prices combined with lower gas prices late last year made it more affordable to drive a gas-powered vehicle.

 

Chix Chamber Announces Restaurant Bingo Winners

Three winners were selected at the end of the Clover Days Restaurant Bingo promotion held by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce this month. Winners are Margaret Davis, Dan Turner, and Whitney Smith.

 

Talk Show Topic

Here's what we're talking about this weekend. On our KOOL Konversation we have the press conference held this week by District Attorney Jason Hicks regarding the murder case of Lawrence Paul Anderson. Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and other brutal crimes and will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Find a podcast of the program under the Community tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Walter Knight, Jr.

Funeral service for Walter Knight, Jr., of Lawton will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 22nd at New Hope Church of God in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

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Friday, March 17th

 

Ninnekah Police Arrest Drug Trafficking Suspect

A traffic stop by Ninnekah police leads to the arrest of yet another suspect accused of drug trafficking. 40-year old Ace Ladon Shells, Jr. of Chickasha was arrested this past Monday night. A probable cause affidavit indicates that a Ninnekah police officer pulled over an SUV near U.S. Highway 81 and State Highway 19 for erratic driving and a broken tail light. The officer detected an odor of marijuana inside the vehicle and called the sheriff's office for assistance. Among those responding was Lt. Jim Peek who is also an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Authorities found several baggies which allegedly contained about 20 grams of drugs which field-tested positive for Fentanyl and other drugs and drug items including PCP. The affidavit also indicates that Shells tried to swallow some of the drugs but spit it out. While being booked into jail officers found marijuana in one of his pockets. Prosecutors have charged Shells with felony counts of trafficking, unlawful distribution, and taking drugs into to jail.  Shells remains in the Grady County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

Coach Sought for Alleged Abuse of Female Students

A felony arrest warrant has been issued for a coach at a Caddo County school for allegedly abusing female students. The warrant for felony child abuse was issued last Friday for 33-year old Jacob Peck who is the high school wrestling coach at Hinton. On-line court records indicate that Peck lists a Mangum address.

 

Pre-War Swap Meet Underway

The history of the early years of transportation can be seen in Chickasha this weekend. It's the Pre-War Swap Meet which celebrates the first 50 years of the automobile. This is the 33rd year for Mike and Susie Ersland to hold the event. Vendors and buyers from across the country make the trek to the swap meet every year which only features modes of transportation prior to World War II. There is also a lot of transportation-related collectibles for sale or trade. The swap meet is being held at the Grady County Fairgrounds today and tomorrow and admission and parking are free.

 

'Streetery Party' Closes Out Chamber's Clover Days

Today is St. Patrick’s Day - a day when everyone can be Irish. It also marks the final day of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce’s Clover Days promotion and the Leprechaun Luck Restaurant Bingo game. The Chamber will close out the promotion with its inaugural St. Patrick's Day Streetery Party. The event will be held downtown at 1st and Chickasha Avenue near Brandy's Bar and Grill; Flowershop Winery and Pizzeria; and Canadian River Brewery. It's open to the public and all the establishments will have food and beverages for sale.  There will be live music, a costume contest, and a drawing for $250 in gift cards which is the grand prize for Leprechaun Luck Restaurant Bingo game. It starts at 5:00 p.m. with registration for the costume contest starting 6:00 p.m. The costume contest and drawing for the gift cards will be at 7:00 p.m.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.35 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $74.70.

Natural gas is $2.51 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,952 and silver is $21.96.

 

Obituary

Jerry Coshow

A memorial service for Jerry Coshow, 61, of Joshua, Texas and formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 23rd at the First Baptist Church of Blanchard. Coshow was an assistant football coach for Chickasha High School with head coach Tim Reynolds when the team played in back-to-back state championship games in the late 1990s. He had worked as an administrator for Joshua Public Schools near Ft. Worth for the last several years.

 

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Thursday, March 16th

 

Triple Murder Defendant Pleads Guilty

Lawrence Paul Anderson, accused of the brutal murders of three people - including a four-year old girl - will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, one count of maiming, and one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in Grady County District Court yesterday. Anderson was arrested following the attacks that occurred in Chickasha in February of 2021. District Attorney Jason Hicks said he dropped his request for the death penalty at the request of the victims' families despite the gruesome details.

 

 

Anderson was sentenced to life without parole for the murders of his uncle Leon Pye; Pye's four-year old granddaughter Kaoes Yates and their neighbor, Andrea Blankenship. He was sentenced to life for maiming for the knife attack on his aunt, Delsi Pye and life for assault and battery with a deadly weapon and will serve the sentence consecutively meaning he will never be able to apply for parole. Relatives of the victims were allowed to give victim impact statements during yesterday's court hearing where Anderson was called a monster and one screamed and cursed at Anderson saying she hoped he would rot from the inside out. Anderson showed little emotion during the statements. The plea agreement also states that Anderson cannot write a book, appear on TV or a podcast or otherwise profit from discussing the murders. In addition to life in prison Anderson was ordered to pay $9,500 in fines and $40,000 to the victim's compensation fund.

 

Grass Fires Erupt with help from Wednesday Winds

Grady County fire fighters were called out to battle some grass fires that popped up in Minco and Union City in yesterday's high winds. In addition to fire firefighters being dispatched, employees from the District One Grady County Barn used heavy equipment to cut fire breaks on the blaze west of Minco. No structure damage was reported with the fires.

 

Energy Prices Tumble

Yesterday was a rough day for energy prices as we hear from Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission-

 

 

London-based Brent crude dipped below $75 to $73.69.

Natural gas is $2.44 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,925 and silver is $22.02.

 

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Wednesday, March 15th

 

Triple Homicide Suspect Due in Court

Lawrence Paul Anderson, the triple homicide suspect accused of killing his uncle, his uncle’s granddaughter, and their neighbor has a hearing scheduled in a Chickasha courtroom this morning. Anderson is accused of killing a woman who lived across the street from his aunt and uncle, cooking her heart, and trying to make his relatives eat it. Anderson has been behind bars for more than two years after the homicides occurred in February of 2021. A judge is expected to schedule a trial date in today's hearing. The case got a lot of media attention as Anderson was a convicted cocaine dealer, but was released just a few weeks before the homicides occurred after Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted his sentence at the recommendation of the state pardon and parole board.

 

Grady County Consumer Spending Lagging

Consumer spending in Grady County last December was down for the third straight month and was at its lowest level in more than a year. It's estimated that $79.6 million was spent on taxable goods and services that month. That’s off 1.9 percent from the previous month and down about 11.5 percent compared to December of 2021. We estimate consumer spending when we see the amount of sales tax revenue the county received from the state tax commission. In February, the county received about $600,000 based on the consumer spending that took place in December. The funds go to several voter-approved projects. The Grady County Fairgrounds received nearly $200,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received $176,000; the county's seven senior nutrition centers shared $100,000 (each center received $14,000); the county's 20 fire districts shared $100,000 (each received about $5,000); Tuttle EMS received $18,000; and Rush Springs EMS collected $4,500.

 

Jail Trustees to Assist in Chickasha Beautification Effort

A joint effort between the Chickasha Police Department, Grady County Sheriff's Office, and the Grady County Jail is expected to help with beautification efforts in Chickasha. Grady County Jail trustees will be picking up trash along city streets a couple of days a week. Interim Chickasha Police Chief G.G. Music approached Grady County Sheriff Gary Boggess about the idea and officials at the Grady County Jail have agreed to allow three or four trustees per day to do the work. The trustees are to be non-violent offenders who will be supervised by a deputy sheriff. The project could start as early as next week. Brandt's Ace Hardware and Ross True Value have offered to provide materials and supplies as needed. Sheriff Boggess says he hopes to expand the project to other towns throughout the county.

 

Seniors Could Benefit from House Bill Under Consideration

A plan to help Oklahoma's senior citizens save money on their property taxes is being circulated around the state capital. HB 1926 would increase the income qualifier for an additional homestead exemption. The measure would increase the amount from the current $25,000 to $30,000. Officials say some seniors are losing out because of increases in their Social Security benefits. Supporters say the bill would keep pace with cost-of-living adjustments and ensure that seniors can still claim the exemption. The bill passed the house unanimously and will now be considered in the senate.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $71.33 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $77.45.

Natural gas is $2.57 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $21.94.

 

Obituaries

Dysart Dobbins

A memorial service for Dysart Dobbins, 60, of Chickasha will be held at a later date. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

LD Turner

No service is scheduled for LD Turner, 91, of Chickasha. He was a carpenter and started his own construction business. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

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Tuesday, March 14th

 

Fourth Drug Trafficking Suspect Appears in Court

A fourth suspect arrested in connection with an alleged drug trafficking operation in Chickasha has had his initial appearance on the charges filed against him. 53-year old Gregory Otis Johns was taken into custody Friday night and was in Grady County District Court for his arraignment yesterday. Johns was wanted for his alleged involvement of selling Fentanyl-laced pain killers following an investigation by the Grady County Sheriff's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Marshals. Johns is charged with aggravated trafficking, drug possession, conspiracy to distribute drugs, and having a weapon while committing a felony. A judge initially set his bond at $100,000 but it was reduced to $50,000 and Johns remains in the Grady County Jail.

Three other suspects held on similar charges

Three other people are also in custody on drug and weapons charges as part of the investigation after authorities converged on a home in the 1200 block of South 9th Street in Chickasha last week. They are Kaley Johns, Braden Harris, and Garret Woodle. Kaley Johns and Brandon Harris are being held on county charges and Woodle is charged with federal crimes.

 

Driver Hospitalized After Turnpike Crash

A driver is hospitalized after his SUV crashed on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike last night. It happened just after 10:00 p.m. near Mile Marker 61 just east of Fletcher. Injured in the accident was 61-year old Michael Jost of Edmond who was taken to a Lawton hospital and was last in fair condition. The highway patrol reports that Jost veered of the highway came back on the road and hit the concrete median where the  vehicle came to rest.

 

Mental Health Bills OK'd by State House

Two mental health bills have been approved in the state house of representatives and may now be considered in the senate. HB 2157 and HB 2154 were both authored by State Rep. Cynthia Roe (R-Lindsay). HB 2157 calls for crisis intervention training for at least 20 percent of active duty law enforcement officers. It also would require that an officer must document reasons for NOT getting a mental health evaluation done on individuals who appear to be or state that they are mentally ill, or alcohol- or drug-dependent. HB 2154 expands language which was passed three years ago to protect health care workers at health care facilities. The change would prohibit assault on independent contractors working in or for a health care facility in addition to health care employees. The bill would also require medical facilities to report assault data to the state health department.

 

Bill Seeks to Ease Restrictions on CDL Testing

A plan to make it easier for Oklahomans to get their Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) is working its way through the legislative process. HB 2750 is expected to help expedite the process of obtaining CDLs and may also help school districts recruit bus drivers. The measure would allow third-party individuals and groups to conduct the CDL written exams at locations throughout the state. Currently the written exam can only be administered by a state employee. Officials say that using both public and private entities as testing facilities would put more commercial drivers on the road.

 

'Hoppy Days' Scheduled in Anadarko

Easter is just a few weeks away and the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce will be having an Easter egg hunt with other activities. It's called Hoppy Day 2023 and will include games, a bounce house, live entertainment, and vendors. Hoppy Day will take place Saturday, April 8th at Anadarko’s Randlett Park. It will begin at 11 o’clock with the games, vendors, and entertainment with the egg hunt starting at 1:00 p.m. There will be three age groups for the egg hunt. The chamber is seeking vendors and musical groups to participate. For information, contact Alicia White or see the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $74.80 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $80.77.

Natural gas is $2.61 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,906 and silver is $21.65.

 

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Monday, March 13th

 

Chix Airport Upgrades to be Discussed

The panel that oversees operations at the Chickasha Airport has a special meeting tonight to discuss some possible improvements. The city's Municipal Airport Authority which is a branch of the city council will consider going out for bids to rehabilitate the runway and a parallel taxi-way.  A pre-bid conference for the project is scheduled for next week. Preliminary bids will be received over the next month and the project could be awarded to the winning bidder within 90 days of the bid opening with a contract possibly awarded within 10 days after that. Tonight's meeting will get underway at 6:30 at city hall.

 

OSBI Seeks Info on 2020 Death of Woman

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is asking for information about the shooting death of a woman whose body was found in Union City three years ago. The agency posted on its authorized Facebook page that the body of 29-year old Jennifer Janelle Jesse was discovered by a passerby on Southwest 44th Street near Gregory Road on March 11th, 2020. An autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner's office indicated she had been shot several times. Media reports say the agency released photos on March 30th of that year of a man who was believed to have information about Jesse's death. The photos were taken at an Oklahoma City Braum’s restaurant but the only description they could confirm was that he was wearing light blue shoes with pink shoelaces. Individuals who may have knowledge of what happened can send an anonymous e-mail to: tips@osbi.ok.gov or by calling 800-522-8017.

 

Long-time Resurrection House Director Dies

Kent Hibbard, who spent 30 years helping the homeless in Chickasha has died. Hibbard died five days before his 67th birthday last week. Hibbard was the director of the Resurrection House which started as a one-room dormitory and spent time ministering to those who came to the shelter where he made sure everyone had a purpose. He also pastored at Southern Hills Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife Julie and their three sons and their families. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 14th at Trinity Baptist Church. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

Toxic Waste from Ohio Kept from Coming into Oklahoma

Oklahoma officials blocked a shipment of toxic waste from entering the state. Gov. Kevin Stitt worked with U.S. Senator James Lankford and Congressman Markwayne Mullin to prevent the waste from the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment from traveling to eastern Oklahoma. The governor stated in a post on his Facebook page that there were too many unanswered questions and that it was not in the best interest of Oklahomans. Media reports indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) e-mailed the governor to let him know that the waste was going to be shipped to a facility in Waynoka which specializes in hazardous waste disposal. While it’s not uncommon for hazardous waste to come to the state KOCO-TV reported that the EPA request WAS unusual and state officials felt that was a red flag. The EPA indicated that the shipment was about 2,600 yards of toxic waste and the governor's team said that amount worried them.

 

Churches, Agencies to Feed Kids During Spring Break

Several churches and relief organizations are working to make sure area youth get some good food during spring break. In Chickasha, The Community Alliance is joining forces with a number of groups to provide free lunches for all youth 18-and under. That will take place at Breakout Ministries at 902 S. 9th Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today through Friday. Helping with the project are The Linked Church, Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, Grady County OHCE, and the community alliance.

Salvation Army has stops in Caddo County

The Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo counties will be in Cyril and Anadarko today and in Binger tomorrow with their food truck. They will provide a free hot meal for everyone and provide snack packs for kids. They'll be at the Cyril Housing Authority from 10 to 11 this morning and at the Anadarko Housing Authority from 12:30 to 1:30 this afternoon. They'll be at the Binger Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.68 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $82.78.

Natural gas is $2.43 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,891 and silver is $20.92.

 

Obituaries

Tracy Ann Heaton

A memorial service for Tracy Ann Heaton, 62, of Chickasha was held at 2:00 p.m. today (Monday, March 13th) at Sevier Funeral Home.

Audra Hughes

A private graveside service for Audra Hughes, 81, of Chickasha was held Wednesday, March 8th at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sevier Funeral Home.

Walter Knight, Jr.

Funeral service for Walter Knight, Jr., 64, of Lawton is pending with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

2023, March 6th-11th

Saturday, March 11th

 

Fourth Drug Trafficking Suspect Arrested

Another drug trafficking suspect wanted in connection with a probe at a Chickasha home this week is behind bars. Grady County deputies arrested 53-year old Gregory Otis Johns of Chickasha last night. An arrest warrant was issued for Johns earlier in the day Friday for felony charges that include aggravated drug trafficking, possession of controlled dangerous drugs (CDS) with intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute CDS, and having a firearm while committing a felony. Johns was the fourth suspect sought when the U.S. Marshal’s office and Grady County deputies executed a federal arrest warrant in the 1100 block of South 9th Street Wednesday. The federal warrant was for 33-year old Garret Woodle who is in the custody of U.S. Marshals and is being held in a federal facility. Also arrested Wednesday were 28-year old  Kaley Rashell Johns and 31-year old Braden Pierce Harris of Chickasha. All have been charged with alleged drug trafficking. Gregory Johns has been arrested twice before on drug charges. He pleaded guilty in connection with an arrest in 2017 and spent some time behind bars. He also pleaded no contest to another felony drug charge in 2018 and was ordered to attended drug court.

 

Sheriff's Office Warns of Phone Scam

The Grady County sheriff's office is warning residents of a telephone scam. Officials say some individuals have received phone calls from someone posing as a deputy and asking for money. A post on the sheriff's office Facebook page says anyone receiving the calls should not send money. Investigators are working to identify the culprits.

 

Town of Amber to Have Boots and Badges Appreciation Day

The community of Amber is holding its boots and badges community appreciation dinner today. It is a hamburger and hot dog cook out to benefit the police and fire departments and its by donation. There are activities for the kids including a bounce house and pony rides and they can get a look inside the fire trucks. There is also a cake auction and a silent auction. It will be held at the Amber-Pocasset high school cafeteria from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Time to 'Spring Forward' into Daylight Savings Time

Oklahoma and much of the country will be switching to Daylight Savings Time late tonight. The change takes place at 2 o'clock tomorrow morning so be sure to move your clocks and watches forward one hour and we'll lose an hour of sleep. Cell phones, most personal computers, and some devices will automatically make the change but if you still have analog alarm clocks or other items you'll have to manually make the change.

 

Talk Show Topic

Laurie Applekamp with the March of Dimes is this week’s guest on the KOOL Konversation talking about the group's effort to improve health care for babies and expectant mothers in Oklahoma. There is a podcast for the program under the Community Tab on this website.

 

Obituary

Tracy Healton

A memorial service for Tracy Healton, 62, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 13th at Sevier Funeral Home.

 

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Friday, March 10th

 

Three Arrested for Suspected Drug Trafficking

Three people are in custody for alleged drug trafficking after authorities find drugs and Fentanyl-laced pills at a Chickasha home. Grady County Deputy Jim Peek who works with the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted U.S. marshals who had a federal arrest warrant for an individual and went to a home in the 1100 block of South 9th Street Wednesday. The arrest warrant was for 33-year old Garret Woodle of Norman who officials allege is a large supplier of Fentanyl-laced counterfeit tablets in Grady County and surrounding areas. Authorities arrested Woodle as well as 28-year old Kaley Rashell Johns and 31-year old Braden Pierce Harris both of Chickasha. A probable cause affidavit indicates there was a fourth suspect who was taken to the hospital for treatment of unknown health issues. We're withholding the name of that individual as formal charges have not yet been filed.

 

Grady Memorial Installing New MRI

A new Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine (MRI) is being installed at Grady Memorial Hospital. Administrator Kean Spellman said it's a more than $2 million project.

 

              

 

Spellman said the old MRI is about 12 years old.

 

Arts Council Has Another 'Art Walk'

The Chickasha Area Arts Council will hold another art walk in downtown Chickasha tonight. The walks are held the second Friday of each month. Area artists will be displaying their works at more than 30 downtown locations along Chickasha and Kansas Avenues between 1st Street and 8th Street. Among some businesses and groups participating are the Grady County Historical Society, Alexander Eats, the Chickasha Community Theater, Jay's Jewelry and the Okie Mountain Trading Company, The Chickasha Area Arts Council headquarters, USAO's Art Wrecker Studio, the Petroleum Building, the Chickasha Art Center, Canadian River Brewery, and Shakespeare Wine Company. The art walk is from 5 to 8 o'clock tonight.

 

Salvation Army to Serve Some Caddo County Kids for Spring Break

The Salvation Army which serves Grady and Caddo counties will be taking its food truck to several Caddo County communities next week. The agency will be serving hot lunches and providing snack packs for kids during spring break. They call the food truck Hope on Wheels. On Monday, the food truck will be in Cyril at the Cyril Housing Authority from 10 a.m. to 11a.m. and also at the Anadarko Housing Authority from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Tuesday, they will be at the Binger Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to noon.

 

Fundraiser Saturday for Cyril Girl

There's a fund-raiser for the little girl whose three-year old sister died allegedly at the hands of her caretaker. The event for Adina Brownfield will be held tomorrow night. The body of her sister Athena was found buried in a rural area near Agawam earlier this year. The fundraiser is a barbecue dinner with either pulled pork or chicken that will take place at Lyndsay's Tavern which is just west of Cement on U.S. Highway 277. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m. and you can get a to-go order by calling 405-999-2713. Live music will start at 8 o'clock with the band Trujillo.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.72 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $81.59.

Natural gas is $2.54 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,838 and silver is $20.11.

 

Obituaries

Joe Allen

Funeral service for Joe Allen, 83, of Denton, Texas will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 13th at Erin Springs Baptist Church. He worked for many years with the National Geophysical Data Center, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Marjorie ‘Joyce’ Hobgood

A memorial service for ‘Joyce’ Hobgood, 82, of Verden will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 14th at the Verden First Baptist Church. She worked for Safeway for over 30 years. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

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Thursday, March 9th

 

Numbers Look Good for New Construction in Chickasha

2023 is off to a good start for new construction in Chickasha. We have the building reports for the first couple of months from the city’s Community Development Department. January got the year started with a big number with more than $2.5 million in projects approved. Commercial permits approved include one for SGA Design Group for the new Casey's General Store under construction at U.S. Highway 81 and Almar Drive which is a $1.6 million project. Also, a commercial renovation permit was issued for the Production House downtown Chickasha at the old PSO building at 5th and Chickasha Avenue which is a $60,000 project. Another commercial remodeling permit was issued to Rooster Cogburn who is renovating Roy's Barbecue in the 300 block of Missouri. In residential construction for January, Raush Coleman Homes was awarded permits to build three new single family homes valued at about $160,000 each on Dillard Drive. A residential remodel permit was issued to Rodrigo Torres for a home at 720 W. Minnesota for $140.000 in upgrades.

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February's building report was not as impressive as January with just under $640,000 in new construction approved. In the commercial sector, CDBL was issued a permit for new construction at 413 West Country Club valued at $100,000; and Bassam Zoabi was awarded a permit for new construction at 16th and Grand valued at $80,000. Royal Lantz was awarded a permit for a commercial remodeling project in the 1200 block of East Choctaw valued at $20,000. In residential construction, a permit to build one new home was issued to Cordeiro Home Services in the 300 block of Pondridge valued at just under $190,000. New construction was approved in the 400 and 500 blocks of West Alabama for Lighthouse Residential Homes for total project costs of $55,000. Residential remodeling permits were issued to Bare Bones Construction in the 2300 block of S. 18th for $75,000; Magnolia Nookes in the 900 block of West Kansas for $70,000; Brandon Bickerstaff in the 1200 block of West Dakota for $30,000; Tom Shearer in the 1000 block of Iowa for $15,000; Erica Patrick in the 1900 block of S. 5th for $3,000; and to Lovejoy Construction at 3 Woods Pond Road.

 

Suspect With Old Warrants Faces A New Drug Charge

A Chickasha man wanted for misdemeanor crimes as far back as seven years ago is now facing a felony drug charge. A state trooper pulled over 42-year old Ronald Gene Ward last weekend for an illegal lane change. The trooper was told that Ward's driver's license had been revoked and that he had outstanding arrest warrants. One was in connection with a misdemeanor drug arrest from 2019 and one was for attempting to obtain property by false pretenses in 2017. In his probable cause affidavit the trooper said he found suspected drugs in the vehicle which field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Ward was taken to jail and prosecutors have charged him with a felony for possession of CDS with intent to distribute. He is out of jail after posting a $15,000 bond.

 

Chix Rodeo Foundation Seeks Queen, Princess Candidates

Officials with the Chickasha Rodeo Foundation have begun taken applications from young ladies who would like to be candidates for the queen and princess contests this spring. The 84th annual Chickasha rodeo will be held in June. Candidates will sell advance tickets to the rodeo and help promote the event. Queen candidates should be 12 to 18 years old and princess candidates should be 11 and under. The queen winner will receive a 16-foot bumper-pull trailer being manufactured by Jackson Trailers that has an estimated value of $10,000. The princess will receive a new saddle. The registration deadline for candidates is April 15th. Contact Silke Barthelme for information by calling 405-574-4909.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.66 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $82.66.

Natural gas is $2.55 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,823 and silver is $20.18.

 

Obituaries

Alan Anderson

Funeral service for Alan Anderson, 18, of Lawton will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 11th at St. James Baptist Church in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

James Green

Funeral service for 59-year old James Green of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 14th at Shepherd Street Christian Church. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

 

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Wednesday, March 8th

 

State Voters Reject Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

State Question 820, a proposal seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma, failed in yesterday's special election. The measure failed in all 77 counties with just over 61 percent of voters casting ballots against the measure. In Grady County the count was 6,730 to 2,529; in Caddo County, 2,646 to 1,020; In McClain County, 5,101 to 1,984; in Garvin County, 3,051 to 1,154; in Stephens County,  5,121 to 1,559; and in Comanche County, 6,480 to 4,030.

 

Crash Leads to Arrest of Drug Trafficking Suspect

A traffic accident leads to the arrest of suspect for allegedly trafficking drugs. The accident happened three miles west of Dibble in rural Grady County early Saturday where a car had crashed into a culvert. A probable cause affidavit said a passenger was trying to hide in a nearby field but investigators found him with a bag which allegedly contained about 30 grams of methamphetamine. 50-year old Todd Alan Furra of Oklahoma City was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries and then cleared to be taken to the Grady County Jail. Prosecutors have charged Furra with felony drug trafficking and he remains in jail on a $40,000 bond.

 

One Arrested After Pursuit Tops 125 MPH

A high-speed pursuit at speeds that topped 125 miles per hour and went for 30 miles through two counties lands a man behind bars. It started about 1:00 a.m. Monday when a Rush Springs police officer attempted to pull over a speeding motorist. The driver sped south on U.S. Highway 81 to Marlow where Marlow police joined the chase - then to Duncan where Stephens County deputies and Duncan police also joined the pursuit. The motorist ran numerous red lights through Duncan then abruptly stopped just south of that city. Authorities arrested 35-year old Christopher Cornelius McKnight of Shawnee who had a Tennessee driver’s license which had been revoked. McKnight has been formally charged with felony eluding and misdemeanors of reckless driving and possession of marijuana. He remains in the Grady County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

 

Group Looks to Improve Health Care for State Moms, Babies

Officials with the March of Dimes say Oklahoma received an F on a recent report card regarding pre-mature births. The agency reported that one out of every nine babies born in the state last year were pre-term. Laurie Applekamp with the March of Dimes says that has parents facing difficult situations.

 

              

 

Volunteers with the March of Dimes will be at the state capital tomorrow as part of its national March for Change to encourage lawmakers to pass legislation to help improve health care for Oklahoma's moms and babies. Officials say while the birth rate has been decreasing the maternal mortality rate has been increasing over the last 10 years. Oklahoma's mortality rate of 25 per 100,000 is higher than the national average of 17.3.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.58 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $83.29.

Natural gas is $2.69 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,820 and silver is $20.21.

 

Obituaries

LeRoy Carr

A graveside service for LeRoy Carr, 88, will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 9th at Pleasant View Cemetery in Pine Ridge, Oklahoma south of Ft. Cobb. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home. He was an ordained Pentecostal minister.

Amy Mason

Funeral service for Amy Mason, 45, of Newcastle will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 10th at the First Baptist Church of Newcastle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

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Tuesday, March 7th

 

Chix City Council OKs Code Enforcement Changes

The Chickasha City Council has approved some revisions to the city's code enforcement regulations designed to give officials more authority to help clean up dilapidated properties. The approval came after a series of public hearings.

Abandoned, Wrecked, and Non-Operating Vehicles

In a 5-4 vote, Mayor Chris Mosley broke a 4-4 tie to allow code enforcement to have abandoned vehicles towed from private property. Also voting for the proposal were Zack Grayson, Nate McAlla, Kia Ginn, and Georgianne Hebblethwaite. Voting against were Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Brian Gerdes, Kelly Boyd, and Oscar Nelson.

Unlawful Storage of Abandoned Items

The panel voted 6-3 to approve an ordinance to make it illegal to store abandoned items outdoors in public view - regardless of whether they would be covered with a tarp or under a canopy.  During the public hearing on this issue there was a concern among some councilors that the ordinance seems like city ‘over reach’ – that the city would be going too far in determining if a property was violating codes. Voting yes were Mosley, Nelson, Ginn, Hebblethwaite, Grayson, and McAlla. Voting no were Boyd, Ashanti-Alexander, and Gerdes. Community Development Director Rachel Bernish said the regulations give the city the authority to enforce ordinances that are already on the books. Bernish said the changes are to target absentee property owners she described as ‘slum lords’ who live out of the area or even out-of-state who are unwilling to clean up their properties. She said if local property owners are in a bad situation and need help removing items that the city can help find groups that would provide assistance.

International Property Maintenance Code

The council voted unanimously to have the Community Development Director serve as a hearing officer in demolition cases instead of relying on a panel to make the decision.

 

Council OKs Sewer Line Relocation Project

Despite Cost Nearly Doubling in Five Years

The council also approved entering into to contract with an Oklahoma City firm to relocate a sewer line near U.S. Highway 62 and U.S. Highway 81. The project was awarded to Matthews Trenching which submitted the low bid of just over $616,000. That price tag is nearly double the original estimate of $319,000 received in 2018 to move the line. Officials said the project sat dormant for several years and that the COVID-19 outbreak, inflation, and rising costs of labor and materials were to blame for the increase.

 

Warrant Sweep Nets More than A Dozen Arrests

More than a dozen arrests were made by Grady County sheriff's deputies over the weekend after authorities performed a county-wide warrant sweep. Sheriff Gary Boggess said there was a combination of outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants from Grady and other counties and municipalities. Among the 14 arrests are:

-32-year old Johnell Pimpton, III of Chickasha was wanted for alleged assault and battery by strangulation after two previous felony convictions. A felony arrest warrant was issued for him last November;

-57-year old Richard Shaun Johnson of Alex was wanted for failure to appear after pleading guilty to a felony charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle stemming from a 2019 arrest;

-46-year old Timothy Shawn Yarberry of Minco was wanted in Stephens County on a felony arrest warrant issued just last week for larceny of lost property and some pending Grady County charges, and;

-37-year old Tasha Nicole Provence-Davis of Chickasha was wanted for failure to appear for a misdemeanor embezzlement charge stemming from an arrest last November.

 

Oklahomans Deciding Recreational Marijuana Proposal

Oklahomans are going to the polls today to decide if recreational marijuana use should be legalized in the state. It's the only issue on the ballot. Polls are open until 7 o'clock tonight.

 

Chickasha Dog Park Closed for Maintenance

The City of Chickasha's dog park will be closed for the next three days as officials spray for weeds and stickers. The Susan Dale Badgett Dog Park next to Centennial Park will re-open on Friday, March. 10th.

 

4Her Combines Horsemanship, Archery Skills

A Grady County 4Her is combining two projects into an interesting hobby. Curtis McDermott has discovered an event call Match Archery. He describes two different types of the competition which are sports track and field archery.

 

              

 

Match archery is a fairly new competition in the United States which was introduced in this country in 2001.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $80.46 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $86.18.

Natural gas is $2.57 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,847 and silver is $21.05.

 

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Monday, March 6th

 

Additional Sewer Line Replacement  Work

for U.S. Hwy 81 Bypass Project up for Review

Another sewer line replacement project connected to ODOT's Highway 81 bypass construction will be up for discussion by the Chickasha City Council tonight. The panel will consider awarding a bid of $616,000 to Matthews Trenching of Oklahoma City. The engineering firm Chisholm Trail Consulting is recommending the bid which officials say was the lowest and best of four bids submitted. This project is for more than 1,100 linear feet of 14-inch in diameter sewer line on the north side of U.S. Highway 62 at U.S. Highway 81. The engineer said it would be necessary to bore and encase about 400 linear feet under Highway 81. The engineer said the city will be responsible for the entire cost of this project. Last month, the city approved a previous sewer line project also associated with the bypass for about $300,000 with ODOT paying about 60 percent of that work.

Public Hearings Set to update Code Enforcement Policies

The council will hold several public hearings to discuss updates to code enforcement policies. One is to make it unlawful to store abandoned items outside in public view regardless of whether the items are covered or sheltered. Another is to give code enforcement officials the authority to tow abandoned wrecked and non-operating vehicles from private property. Another is to adopt amendments to the International Property Maintenance Code and provide that the city's community development department director be the hearing officer in demolition cases. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.

 

Chix Board of Education Also Meets Tonight

The Chickasha school board meets a week earlier than usual tonight since the usual date for the monthly meeting falls during spring break. The group will consider renewing its agreement with Vype Magazine and will consider some overnight travel for administrators to attend a Women in School Leadership conference in Tulsa. The panel will also discuss accepting a $10,000 contribution from Focus Federal Credit Union from the financial institution’s Support Our Schools program. The group will also recognize Deborah Clark with the Quality Academy and Rose Halcomb in the central kitchen as the Chicken Express Employees of the Month. The high school wrestling team will be recognized for its season as it qualified for dual state and finished 4th at the state high school wrestling tournament; Jarret Patty's state wrestling title and unbeaten season; and coach Chad Randle for being named 4A coach of the year. The high school pom team will be recognized for its hip-hop state championship and Ma'lek Murphy will be recognized for being named an all-state football player by the Oklahoma Coaches Association. The school board meets at 6 o'clock tonight at the school administration building.

 

OHCE to Hold Discussion on Dangers of Fentanyl

It seems like there is something in the news nearly every day about the dangers of Fentanyl - a drug that the National Institute on Drug Abuse says is a powerful synthetic pain-killing drug similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. Even a small amount of Fentanyl can be fatal. The Grady County OHCE Family Issues Committee will hold a program about the dangers of the drug tonight. Grady County Deputy Jim Peek, who is also an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will share information about the drug. The program will run from about 6 to 7 o'clock tonight and will be held at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community Building.  The program is free and open to the public.

 

Friend Fire Department Hosts Fundraiser

The Friend Fire Department will hold its annual community appreciation barbecue dinner and cake auction this afternoon and tonight. The annual fund raiser will be held at the Friend School cafeteria from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Donations will be accepted. The cake auction gets underway at 6 o'clock.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $79.68 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $85.83.

Natural gas is $3.00 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,856 and silver is $21.24.

 

Obituary

Fern Allen

Funeral service for Fern Allen, 98, of Chickasha will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 11th at College Heights Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

2023, Feb. 28th-March 4th

Saturday, March 4th

 

State Rep. Boles Looks to the Future

Regarding Old Wind Turbine Blades

Oklahoma is the second-highest wind power state in the country and there is a concern about what to do with old wind turbine blades once they get to the end of their life-cycle. The blades, which are more than 100 feet long and weigh about five tons, last about 20 years. The website OK Energy Today cites a Wyoming newspaper that indicates there is no cost-effective way to recycle them. Most will end up being crushed and buried in landfills. The Cowboy State Daily reported that a study published in the Waste Management scientific journal estimated that 43 million tons of blade waste will be produced annually by the year 2050. Oklahoma currently doesn't have wind turbine landfills but State Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) is looking ahead to try and make plans to control them should that take place. Boles has filed HB 2359 which would require renewable energy recycling facilities to submit a financial security report with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. OK Energy Today recently reported that the bill specifies that firms dealing in the recycling of wind turbine blades would be required to meet the new act if it is signed into law. Last month, North Dakota's governor signed a bill into law to require landfills to get state approval before receiving old wind turbine blades.

 

USAO Student Group Proclaims 'John Feaver Day'

The Student Government Association at USAO has issued a proclamation recognizing long-time president John Feaver. The group approved a resolution to celebrate John Feaver Day. Halli Humphrey is the vice president of the association.

 

              

 

The resolution proclaims that Sunday, March 5th will be John Feaver Day on campus which just happens to be Feaver's birthday.

 

Arts Council Hosts Showcase for Chix High School Students

The Chickasha Area Arts Council is teaming up with art students from Chickasha High School for a unique program. A visual arts showcase of the students' work will be held at the arts council's Fine Arts Gallery. Art teachers Adam Heilman and Allison Cofer invite the public see the works of the young artists and show support and encouragement. The event is free and will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at the arts council gallery at 521 Chickasha Avenue.

 

Obituary

Margie Akins

Funeral service for Margie Akins, 83, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 6th at Northside Church of Christ. She worked for Chickasha Public Schools for nearly 50 years and was Support Employee of the Year in 2016. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

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Friday, March 3rd

 

New Record Set in Jr. Livestock Show Bonus Sale

Buyers were out in full force for the bonus sale which capped off the 87th annual Grady County Junior Livestock Show last night. The total payout for the top 125 animals surpassed $300,000 for the first time at just over $312,000. That's a 17 percent increase or $45,000 more than last year. The actual auction brought in about $160,000 which is an increase of 25 percent or $32,000 from last year. Add-ons totaled $153,000 which is an increase of 8 percent or $12,000 from last year. The top price for any animal sold was $4,000 which was for the grand champion steer shown by Braedon Callis of Minco. The three other grand champion animals received bids of $3,700 each - the grand champion hog was shown by Madilyn Norvell of Amber-Pocasset; the grand champion lamb was shown by McKenna Hurley of Alex; and the grand champion goat was shown by Kolton Kohler of Alex. Officials recognized James Hicks, owner of Hicks Western Wear, for attending his 71st consecutive sale.

 

Monthly Chickasha Household Expenses Up 10 Percent

A new report shows that average monthly bills for Chickasha households has increased. The report indicates that expenses are up about 10 percent to $1,526 when combining the ten most common household bills. The total is about 12 percent lower that the state average of $1,705 and 34 percent lower than the national average of more than $2,000 per month. Mortgage and rent are the top expenses at more than $760 per month; auto loans are next at more than $400 per month; auto insurance is about $200 per month; mobile phone service is about $80 per month; and cable and internet is estmated at $75 per month. The combined expenses represent more than one-third of the average monthly household income.

 

Tax Cut, Daylight Savings Time Bills Advance at State Capital

Proposals to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and to cut individual incomes taxes have advanced to the full House of Representatives. The state sales tax portion on groceries is 4.5 percent. There are two proposals for reducing personal income tax rates - one that would cut the top rate by one-quarter of a percentage point and another that would make the reduction one-half of a percentage point. Either would lead to modest savings for middle income earners. Also, a bill to keep from changing back and forth from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time was approved in the state senate. The proposal would permanently lock the state in Daylight Savings Time. If passed the measure would not go into effect unless and until lawmakers in Washington, D.C. approve the Sunshine Protection Act. So far 19 states have adopted proposals to permanently stay in Daylight Savings Time.

 

State Voters to Decide Legalizing Recreational Pot Use

Oklahoma voters will go to the polls next week to decide if recreational marijuana use should be legalized. Those supporting State Question 820 say it would boost the state's economy while building on previous criminal justice reforms. But many law enforcement groups are against the plan saying the campaign supporting the measure is misleading. Early voting is available for Oklahomans today by visiting county election boards until 6 p.m. Precincts will be open Tuesday, March 7th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $78.16 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $84.75.

Natural gas is $2.76 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,854 and silver is $21.23.

 

Obituary

Kathleen Sullivan

No service is currently scheduled for Kathleen Sullivan, 75, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

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Thursday, March 2nd

 

Onward Chickasha Website Updated with Open House Info

The City of Chickasha's push to get feedback and data for numerous proposed community improvements continues. The Onward Chickasha project includes plans for upgrades to city infrastructure, parks and recreation, and other areas. Officials with the Guernsey Engineering firm of Oklahoma City - hired last summer to develop the long-range plans - say they were encouraged by the turnout during last week's open house. It was estimated that nearly 100 people attended and joined the discussion about the early plans. Officials say all the information from that open house is now available on the website Onwardchickasha.org and comments are encouraged since they are seeking input from residents. Also, the initial community survey is still posted on the website so residents and community partners are still asked to submit their thoughts. That survey will be on the website through March 15th.

 

Air, Car Show to Return to City's Airport

City officials are also making plans for a popular event later this spring. The 5th annual Wings and Wheels Air Show will return in June. The event will be held Saturday, June 3rd at the city’s airport. The event features numerous air show events, a car show, free airplane rides for kids, and food trucks. It's a family-friendly event with free admission. The Wings and Wheels Air Show is produced by David Shultz Air Shows with the help of the city and the Chickasha Wings Flying School.

 

USAO Hosts Discussion on Ohio Hazardous Chemical Fire

The massive hazardous chemical fire that erupted after a train derailment in New Palestine, Ohio last month has captured the nation's attention. Professors at USAO will hold a panel discussion today regarding the issues that have come to light. New Palestine residents are concerned about their health and the environment and have been highly critical of state and federal agencies in their responses. The USAO panel will include chemistry professor Nicholas Boyde; environmental science assistant professor David Reed; and chemistry instructor and lab coordinator Thomas Wilcock. The program will get underway at 11 o'clock this morning in Davis Hall Room 224. The free program will be hosted by the USAO Foundation and lunch will be provided.

 

Cattle Show Results of Jr. Livestock Show

Here are results from the cattle show at the Grady County Junior Livestock Show at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The grand champion steer was shown by Braedon Callis of Minco and reserve grand was shown by Sage Schenk of Ampo. The grand champion prospect steer belonged to Carson Caldwell of Minco and the reserve grand was shown by Raegan Wilbourn of Tuttle. The county bred-and-owned steer was shown by Ladd Turner of Ampo.

Heifer Show

The grand champion heifer was shown by Kylie Callis of Minco and the reserve grand belonged to Kamden Fillipo of Rush Springs. Kamden also had the county bred-and-owned heifer. The champion senior showman was Bailee Wilbourn of Tutttle, champion intermediate showman was Cade Jones, and the champion junior showman was Hayes Devine of Verden. Today is the final day of the show which begins with the livestock judging contest and ends tonight with the buyers’ dinner starting at 5:00 p.m.; the awards presentation at 6:15 p.m.; and the bonus sale at 6:30 p.m. The top 125 animals shown this week will be up for auction.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.69 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $83.89.

Natural gas is $2.81 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,836 and silver is $20.87.

 

Obituary

Mary Jane Walters

A graveside service for Mary Jane Walters, 80, of Tuttle will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 4th at the Rush Springs Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

 

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Wednesday, March 1st

 

Two Convicted in Connection with Death of Blanchard Man

A McClain County jury finds a mother and son guilty of murder and arson in connection with the death of a Blanchard man in October of 2021. On-line court records indicate that this past Monday, 47-year old Debbie Senft and 26-year old Zachary Mussett were found guilty in connection with the death of Andy McGuffee - Senft's half-brother. Blanchard police discovered McGuffee's body at his burned out home and called the OSBI to lead the investigation. Senft and Mussett were arrested a few days later in Wyoming. The jury recommended that both defendants serve life in prison without parole for murder and 35 years for arson. A presentencing investigation has been ordered with formal sentencing to be held May 2nd.

 

Motel Closes After Complaints of Code Violations

A Chickasha motel has closed after being cited for numerous code violations. The Maverick Inn at 2701 S. 4th Street voluntarily closed its doors after the city's Community Development Department investigated several complaints over the last couple of months. Officials say there were unhealthy and unsafe conditions including numerous electrical violations, missing or expired fire extinguishers, and missing smoke detectors. Authorities also said there had been recent gas and water leaks. It wasn't clear how many individuals were displaced or if owners would make an effort to make repairs and re-open.

 

New Grady County Undersheriff Sworn In

There's a new second-in-command at the Grady County Sheriff's Office. Kori Brewer was sworn in as undersheriff in a ceremony at the Canadian Valley Technology Center last night. The oath was issued by Sheriff Gary Boggess. Brewer has more than 20 years’ experience in law enforcement. He joined the sheriff's office last year after retiring from the Chickasha Police Department.

 

Restaurant Bingo Returns with an Irish Theme

The Chickasha Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its latest campaign to promote local restaurants. Using St. Patrick's Day as a general theme it's called Chickasha Clover Days which will run today through March 17th. The Chamber is bringing back Restaurant Bingo and are calling it Leprechaun Luck Restaurant Bingo.  Bingo cards which have the names participating restaurants on them can be picked up and every time a purchase is made the corresponding space is marked off. Participants need to keep their receipts as proof of purchase. Once participants have a Bingo they can submit the winning card and will have a chance to win up to $250 in local gift cards. At the end of the campaign there will be a St. Patrick's Day Streetery Party on Friday, March 17th. Wing T's has designed some Lucky to Live in Chickasha t-shirts as part of the promotion. T-shirts can be pre-ordered until March 6th. For information check out the chamber’s social media outlets or website.

 

Jr. Livestock Show Sheep, Goat Results

We have results of the sheep and goat shows from the Grady County Junior Livestock Show. For the sheep, McKenna Hurley had the grand champion wether and Kobi Scroggins had the reserve. Scroggins had the grand champion ewe and Hurley had the reserve grand ewe. Brody Scoggins was named champion senior showman, Kobi Scroggins the intermediate showman, and Ryder Drennan the junior showman.

Goat Show

Kolton Kohler of Alex had the grand wether and Jack Ferrell of Ampo had the reserve. Destyn Emerson of Tuttle had the grand champion doe and Kohler had the reserve. Emerson was the champion senior showman, Kohler the intermediate showman, and Gauge Ratzlaff of Alex the junior showman.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $77.05 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $83.89.

Natural gas is $2.75 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,842 and silver is $21.10.

 

Obituaries

Prophet Williams

Funeral service for Prophet Williams, 19, of Lawton will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 4th at New Hope Church of God in Christ in Lawton. Arrangements are with Brown-Thomas Funeral Home.

Michael Dearinger

No services are scheduled 78-year old Michael Dearinger of Chickasha. He was a U.S. Army veteran and worked at Pet Milk. Viewing will be from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 6th at Ferguson Funeral Home.

 

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Tuesday, Feb. 28th

 

Grady County Sheriff's Office to Hold Warrant Sweep

Grady County residents who have outstanding arrest warrants for failing to pay fines or appear in court might want to take care of those court costs this week. Sheriff Gary Boggess says his deputies will conduct a county-wide warrant sweep this coming weekend.

 

              

 

Boggess said that individuals can avoid jail time by paying fines or appearing at the Grady County Court Clerk’s Office. Individuals can call the court clerk's office to find out what is owed. Law enforcement officials will be out most of the day Saturday looking for individuals who are not up-to-date on their fines.

 

Dangers of Fentanyl to be Discussed

A program to educate the public about the dangers of Fentanyl will be held next week.  The program will be hosted by the Grady County OHCE and will feature Lt. Jim Peek with the Grady County sheriff's office. Peek is also a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration out of Oklahoma City. For the last year-and-a-half Peek has investigated numerous cases of drug dealing, drug use, and drug abuse including Fentanyl. Peek said Grady Memorial Hospital is seeing as many as three Fentanyl overdose cases every day. He says Fentanyl that is the size of two grains of salt is enough to kill two people. The program will be next Monday, March 6th at 6 p.m. at the Grady County Fairgrounds Community building. It's open to the public and is especially for parents and grandparents who would like more information.

 

Grady County Junior Livestock Show Swine Results

From the Grady County Junior Livestock Show, Madilyn Norvell of Amber-Pocasset and Kennedy Clark of Minco had the top animals in the swine show yesterday. Norvell had the grand champion market barrow and Clark had the grand champion gilt. Olivia Bradford of Ampo had the reserve-champion market barrow and Wyatt Basford of Ampo had the reserve-grand gilt. The sheep and goat shows will take place today at the Grady County Fairgrounds.

 

Bill Supports Program to Address Invasive Red Cedars

There's an effort at the state capital to establish a pilot program to address the red cedar infestation problem across the state. State Rep. Mike Dobrinski (R-Okeene) has introduced HB 2239 in an attempt to deal with the issue. Red cedars are known to absorb a lot of groundwater and he said there has been discussion of doing something for years but that now is the time to take action. Dobrinski pointed to studies from 30 years ago that showed what would happen if the red cedar – which is considered an invasive species - was not dealt with. He said you can drive through western and northwestern parts of the state and see those studies were right. He added that water is depleting, and that nothing should get more attention than the threat on the state's water supply. Dobrinski said identifying Canton Lake as a water source for Oklahoma City would get the most attention. He has worked with officials with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in an attempt to create the Terry Peach North Canadian Watershed Restoration Act which is named after the state's former ag secretary who passed away last year.  Dobrinski’s bill would set aside $600,000 for the program and says there are federal  programs that may be able to provide some funding.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $75.68 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $82.45.

Natural gas is $2.73 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,817 and silver is $20.67.

 

Obituaries

Goldia ‘Marie’ Reed

A graveside service for ‘Marie’ Reed, 81, formerly of Chickasha will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 1st at Fairlawn Cemetery.  She was a nurse’s aide and also worked at the Workforce Oklahoma office. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.

Barbara Gee

A memorial service for Barbara Gee, 60, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 2nd at Southern Oaks Church of Christ. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

 

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Monday, Feb. 27th

 

Rare February Tornados Touch Down

More than a half-dozen tornadoes skipped across the state last night and that number could be even higher after officials survey areas where severe storms hit. The National Weather Service issued at least 15 tornado warnings during a massive storm system that sped across Oklahoma. If enough tornadoes are confirmed it could set a new record for the number of twisters in Oklahoma in the month of February. Tornado warnings were issued at Carnegie, Ft. Cobb Lake, Gracemont, Minco, Mustang, Yukon, and Norman while others were issued in northern Oklahoma. KWTV News 9 showed at least one home in Minco that had significant damage. There was damage and downed power lines blocking streets in Norman. Straight-line winds recorded at more than 70 mph blew several vehicles off of I-40 in western Oklahoma including a couple of semis. Officials with the National Weather Service will be out looking at damage today to determine how many tornadoes actually touched down.

 

Road Work Closes SH 39 West of Dibble 

Road construction work on State Highway 39 between Chickasha and Dibble will have part of that highway closed to through traffic for the next few months. Contractors for the state department of transportation are widening about 2 1/2 miles of SH 39 west of State Highway 76. ODOT says the highway could be closed through the summer.

 

More First-Year Freshmen Succeed at USAO

Some new programs at USAO have been a big help for first-year students. Last fall officials introduced initiatives to assist first-time freshmen with their transition to college life and help them be successful. Officials say as they wrap up the first trimester there is a 91 percent persistence rate for first-time freshmen who are returning for the spring trimester. Among the programs launched includes a year-long seminar designed to help first-year freshmen manage stressful issues that can cause students to drop out. Officials also began a new data-driven approach to better meet the needs of students and faculty – with students meeting with trained success coaches. USAO president John Feaver says the programs have boosted completion rates and students are graduating at a faster pace.

 

Grady County Jr. Livestock Show Underway

The Grady County junior livestock show gets underway today. The swine show kicks things off as 4H and FFAers from the area bring their animals in for judging this week. The goat and sheep shows are tomorrow with the beef show taking center ring on Wednesday. Thursday, livestock judging teams will put their skills to the test and Thursday night is the grand finale with the premium auction. The top 125 animals shown this week will command top dollar and when factoring in bonus add-ons paid by families, friends, and businesses the total amount paid out to exhibitors could top $200,000.

 

County Fairgrounds Seeking Bids for 2023-24 Fiscal Year

The Grady County Fairgrounds is soliciting bids for several contracts for the 2023-24 fiscal year. They include concessions management for the indoor arena; concessions and beverage management for the event center; mobile concessions and beverage management for the outdoor arena; as well as lawn maintenance and landscape services. Bids must be submitted by March 22nd with contracts running from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. Vendors can reach out the Grady County Fairgrounds business office for information.

 

Energy and Metals

Crude oil on the NYMEX is $76.32 per barrel.

London-based Brent crude is $83.16.

Natural gas is $2.45 per million BTUs.

Gold is $1,818 and silver is $20.79.

 

Obituary

Verna Brennan

A graveside service for Verna Brennan, 92, of Chickasha will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28th at Fairlawn Cemetery. She and her husband Jack were known for their Christmas light displays at their home on Miller Drive. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.

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