Wednesday, March 3rd
Drugs, Stolen Items Found at Dibble Area Home
One person is custody and authorities are looking for two others after investigators find drugs and dozens of stolen items at a home near Dibble. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir says deputies were called out late Monday night by McClain County authorities to a home just west of the Grady-McClain county line. A Texas man who reported his vehicle stolen said he was able to trace the vehicle on an app to that location. When the man pinged the vehicle, deputies saw its lights flashing and heard the horn honking behind a mobile home off the roadway. Deputies saw two people leave the trailer, get in different vehicles and drive through a pasture to get away. Weir said authorities obtained a search warrant and talks about what they found-
Deputies arrested 32-year old Kimberly Sue Siemens on complaints that include possession of stolen property and possession of drugs with intent to distribute. The sheriff said an arrest warrant has been issued for 38-year old Samuel Mirach. He's Caucasian, 6-3 and 220 pounds with brown hair and green eyes and has a tattoo of an unidentified name on the left side of his neck. Weir said Mirach should be considered to be armed and dangerous, and asks anyone who might see him or know where he is to call 9-1-1 or local law enforcement. Weir said Mirach pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder out of Cleveland County in 2007 and was released from prison after serving 10 years of a 35-year sentence. Weir said they do not know the name of the third suspect.
Couple Face Child Pornography Charges
A Chickasha man and his wife are facing child porn charges after authorities say they were found with hundreds of lewd pictures and videos. Documents on file at the Grady County Courthouse show that investigators with the Department of Homeland Security discovered Mark and Tina Moreland with nearly 600 images of child porn on a cell phone and on a computer system in December of 2019. Arrest warrants were issued just last week and both were taken into custody. Both are facing felony charges of possession of child porn and violating the state's computer crimes act. Bond has been set at $500,000 each. They face up to life in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted.
Finalists to be Interviewed for Chix City Manager Post
The Chickasha City Council is moving quickly to find a new city manager. The panel will have a special meeting tomorrow night to interview two finalists. The interviews will be held during an executive session which is closed to the public. Mayor Chris Mosley said the two finalists were among 10 individuals who applied. Mosley said they were set to interview a third finalist but that candidate withdrew their name from consideration. Mosley, who is temporarily serving as acting city manager, said the council was originally going to hire an interim city manager but has decided against that move.
Verden, Cement Voters OK School Bond Issues
Voters in Verden and Cement school districts approve special bond issues by wide margins in special elections yesterday. In low voter turnout, just over 50 voters in Verden approved a $250,000 bond issue to purchase three buses. The measure passed 45 to 7. Fewer than 60 voters cast ballots for two bond issues for Cement schools. A $245,000 bond issue to make upgrades to the cafeteria kitchen, some bathrooms, and to purchase lawn mowers and maintenance equipment passed 53 to 5. A $55,000 bond issue to purchase a school bus passed 53 to 6.
Hay Destroyed, Grassland Charred by Flames
A wildfire fire destroyed dozens of large hay bales and charred several acres of grassland east of Chickasha yesterday. Grady County Fire Department spokesman Buddy Myers says smoke from the fire may also have caused a multi-vehicle pileup on the turnpike. Volunteer firefighters from Amber, Friend, and Naples departments were called out about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday to mile marker 89 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. The fire destroyed about 75 large round bales of hay and burned about 50 acres of grassland. About 20 firefighters and 14 trucks were on the scene for about three hours. The cause of the fire couldn’t be determined but may have been from a vehicle dragging a chain or a discarded cigarette. Myers also said several other departments were dispatched to battle smaller fires yesterday. Pocasset, Rush Springs and Bailey fire departments were called out. Myers said while the area has had some recent moisture, vegetation is dry and conditions are ripe for rapid spread of any fire that breaks out. He also said while the vegetation is dry, the ground beneath is wet – which causes problems for firetrucks.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.75 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $62.70.
Natural gas is $2.83 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,722 and silver is $26.65.
Funeral service for Perry Pape, 61, of Anadarko will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 5th at Ferguson Funeral Home.
Tuesday, March 2nd
City of Chickasha Hires Contractor
to Pick Up Brush from October Ice Storm
It's been more than four months since an October ice storm paralyzed much of central and western Oklahoma. The City of Chickasha has finally received FEMA funds to hire a contractor to help remove the numerous downed trees and limbs which have been sitting on the curbside since then. The city only had one crew available to do the work. Last night, the Chickasha City Council approved a $171,000 contract with Greenbelt Turf Management Company of Wilson, Okla. It was the lowest of four bids submitted for the project with the highest being $630,000. Ward 2 Councilman Clark Van Dyck was concerned that the bid was half that of the next lowest bid. Mayor Chris Mosley said that officials checked with three other cities that also contracted with Greenleaf - Newcastle, Warr Acres, and Del City - and all said they were happy with the company’s work. Mosley noted that firm did use subcontractors to help with those projects.
Chix City Council OKs Advertising for Dog Park Construction
The council also approved going out for bids to build a dog park at Centennial Park. Mayor Mosley said that the Badgett Family has donated $100,000 to build a more than 1 1/2 acre park. The preliminary design shows there will be separate areas for large and small dogs and that the park will be fenced in so the dogs can be off their leashes. Councilman Oscar Nelson asked if there would be additional police patrol around the park due to a recent stabbing there and that a dog was stolen out of a car recently just a few blocks from the park. There was also concern about liability issues but Mayor Mosley said that numerous signs would be posted around the park to help with that issue.
Hall of Fame Coach Joe Tunnell Passes Away
Legendary high school football coach Joe Tunnell has died. Tunnell coached for more than 40 years and won more than 300 games with stops at Lindsay and Rush Springs, winning at least 100 games at each school. The Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Famer won two state championships at Rush Springs. After retiring in 2000, he worked with the Oklahoma Coaches Association where he just retired last year. Tunnell was 83 when he passed away at his Rush Springs home this morning. Funeral service is pending.
Bridge Replacement Project Underway
Contractors for the State Department of Transportation have started the initial work to replace two bridges on U.S. Highway 62 just east of downtown Chickasha. The Manhattan Bridge Company of Tulsa was awarded a $12 million contract to build new bridges over the Washita River just east of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. ODOT resident engineer Reece Knight says both bridges will be completely removed and new bridges built in their place. The parallel bridges will each be widened from 28 feet to 44 feet and will include full-size shoulders. Crews have started the work to construct crossover lanes. Motorists will need to be cautious as traffic will be down to one lane in each direction on one bridge while the other bridge is being built. Construction is expected to take about a year.
Verden, Cement Voters to Decide School Bond Issues
Voters in the Verden and Cement school districts have special bond elections today. In Verden, there's a $250,000 bond issue to purchase two new school buses for rural routes and a 44-passenger activity bus. In Cement, there are two bond issues - one for $245,000 for renovations to the cafeteria kitchen and student bathrooms at the high school and elementary schools. It would also pay for exterior paint at the high school and some new mowers and maintenance equipment. There is also a $55,000 bond issue to purchase a new bus. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m. tonight.
Grady County Jr. Livestock Show Underway
Grady county youth are hoping to earn bragging rights for having the top cattle, sheep, swine, and goats this week. The annual Grady County Junior Livestock show is underway at the Grady County Fairgrounds. The best animals shown this week will command top dollar at the premium sale which is the highlight of the week. In the swine show yesterday, the top honors were shared by Kaylee White of Rush Springs FFA and Hadley Cooper of Ampo 4H. Kaylee had the grand champion market hog and Hadley Cooper had the reserve-grand. Hadley had the grand champion breeding gilt and Kaylee had the reserve-grand. In the showmanship competition, Chyann Emerson of Tuttle FFA was senior showman; Lindsay Massey of Verden FFA was intermediate showman; and Kendyll Dunn of Alex 4H was the junior showman. Today both the sheep and goats shows will be held. At the premium sale Thursday night, more than $125,000 is expected to be paid to the top exhibitors between the auction and additional funds provided by family, friends, and businesses.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $60.64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $63.69.
Natural gas is $2.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,729 and silver is $26.39.
Robert “Bob” Bates
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Robert “Bob” Bates, 92, of Chickasha. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home. Bates was a U.S. Air Force veteran.
A memorial service for Tim Ketchum, 56, of Chickasha will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 5th at Southern Oaks Church of Christ. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.
Monday, March 1st
Chix City Manager Applicants to be Reviewed
The Chickasha City Council tonight will sift through the names of a number of candidates who have applied for the vacant city manager position. That will take place during a behind-closed-doors session as part of tonight's only regularly scheduled city council meeting for the month of March. The group is expected to schedule interviews with some of the applicants. The panel is expected to hire a contractor to help clean up the brush that still remains from last October's ice storm. There will also be discussion to solicit bids for what will be known as the Badgett Dog Park. The Badgett family has donated several thousand dollars to the city to build a dog park at Centennial Park. Bids are to be in to city hall later this month. The group is also to approve going out for bids to install water and sewer lines for the development of The Villas at Grand Avenue. The city council meets at 6:30 tonight at city hall.
Virtual Re-Districting Town Hall Meeting Tonight
State lawmakers will hold a virtual town hall meeting this evening to discuss re-drawing state and federal district lines. Legislators will provide an update and discuss actions regarding the proposed changes. Tuttle State Senator Lonnie Paxton chairs the senate redistricting committee. He said the rules, guidelines, and map parameters are one of the key components in the open and transparent redistricting process. The virtual town hall meeting will be held at 6 o'clock tonight and will be accessible from the state House of Representatives website at www.okhouse.gov Individuals may submit one house and one senate map with the deadline to submit them of April 4th.
Chix Firefighters Call Attention to Rare Diseases
Chickasha firefighters took some time this past weekend to promote Rare Disease Day. The last day of February is set aside to raise awareness for rare illnesses. Annaliese Smith, the 7-year old daughter of Chickasha firefighter Dallas Smith and wife Darci, has Wolf- Hirschhorn Syndrome which affects about one of every 50,000 babies. Annalise was born with a heart defect, a cleft palate, and has developmental delays. Some Wolf-Hirschhorn children cannot walk, but Annalise is good on her feet and loves to dance. She is non-verbal, but is able to communicate through signing. She has a therapeutic program to help improve her quality of life.
Passport Program Begins at Chickasha Retail Outlets
A new retail promotion is underway in Chickasha in which shoppers can qualify to win up to $500 in gift cards. The Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council have begun the Chickasha Passport Program. Starting today, shoppers are encouraged to travel to participating retail outlets. For every $10 spent, customers will receive a sticker they can place on their passport, with a maximum of three stamps per day. Once the passport is filled out, it will need to be mailed or dropped off at the chamber office. On April 1st, a drawing will be held live on the Chamber's Facebook page, where eight of the $500 gift-card bundles will be awarded. Chickasha Wings is a co-sponsor of the Passport Program. The passports are available at participating merchants and can also be downloaded from the chamber's website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $61.50 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $66.13.
Natural gas is $2.77 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,742 and silver is $26.91.