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Today Let’s meet Canadian Valley Technology Center “Spotlight person of the week’” Is Tuttle Junior, Rylan Thomsen, who’s studying “Auto Service Technology, at CV Tech. Tune in Friday the 24th, to 106.1 The Ranch FM, (the 7AM and 8AM News) to hear the story.
Wednesday, Sept. 18th
Search for Chix Schools Superintendent Underway
Chickasha residents share what qualities they think a new school superintendent should have. Consultants working with the Chickasha Board of Education spent the day Tuesday meeting with residents, business and civic leaders, and even school employees to develop a check list of personality and leadership traits they would like to see with a new administrator. Stephanie Hyder is the Director of Executive Search Services with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. That's the group hired by the Chickasha school board to find qualified candidates for the post. She discusses the next step in the process.
The group will accept applications and resumes from September 30th through November 8th. They will recommend four to eight candidates for the school board to interview between mid-November and late December. A new superintendent could be named in January or February, but may not be on board until next school year. Currently, the district is being led by interim Superintendent Jennifer Stegman.
Pre-Trial Conference Set for School Official
Who is Accused of Domestic Violence
The superintendent of Ninnekah schools has a pre-trial conference today, as he prepares to face a jury trial on a felony domestic abuse charge. The conference for Todd Bunch stems from his arrest last summer in connection with allegations that he assaulted a woman in Lindsay and tried to smother her with a pillow. The conference is scheduled this afternoon in Garvin County District Court in Pauls Valley. Bunch was initially charged with a misdemeanor but prosecutors have since charged him with a felony. Bunch has remained on the job at Ninnekah schools. The Ninnekah Board of Education issued a statement saying they believed in due process, and that Bunch is innocent until proven guilty. Bunch's trial is scheduled to start on Monday.
Suicide Prevention Program Scheduled
Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in Oklahoma and in 2017 resulted in more deaths than the flu. A program this weekend hopes to raise awareness about suicide in hopes of providing help to those considering taking their own lives. Melanie McKinley is a counselor with Grand Assembly of God. She points to several situations where an individual may choose death over life.
The church will host a free program Saturday called Overcomer. A couple of guest speakers will discuss the warning signs of individuals who may be considering suicide and how to intervene. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the program running from 9 a.m. to noon.
New 'Compass' Can be Seen at Chix Airport
The Chickasha Airport has a bright, new huge compass painted on its taxiway. This past weekend, about a dozen members of the Oklahoma Chapter of the 99s, a female pilots group, gathered at the airport to paint the 70-foot in diameter compass 'rose' and refresh the “Chickasha” lettering also on the taxiway. Compass rose markings are designed to help calibrate compasses in airplanes which is required each year by the Federal Aviation Administration. The 99s is an international organization of license women pilots with headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $59.34 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $64.55.
Natural gas is $2.66 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,509 and silver is $17.94.
Tuesday, Sept. 17th
City Council Extends Contract with Water Group
The contractor hired by the City of Chickasha for water treatment services will continue its work for an additional five years. Last night, the city council approved a five-year extension of its contract with the USW Utility Group. Mayor Chris Mosley said the company has made a lot of progress with the city's equipment as well as the city’s water quality.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board has recognized that Chickasha's water is among the best in the state. USW executive Mike Jump acknowledges there have been a few problems with water quality this year and says it is due in part to some equipment issues at the plant as well as flooding. He says some equipment repairs are expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The current contract with USW expires in June of 2020. The contract extension will run through June of 2025. The contract calls for the city to pay USW about $750,000 per year for its services. (EDITOR'S NOTE - That figure is a corrected from a story published Monday, September 16th. We apologize for the mistake)
City Land Sale Approved for RV Park
The city council also approved the sale of some city-owned land to Paul and Jan Knight. For years, the Knights have leased about four acres of land from the city to operate the Time Out RV Park. The Knights have previously tried to purchase the property but were turned down. Last night, the council approved the sale of about 5 1/2 acres of land to the Knights for about $7,000 per acre. The purchase will allow the Kinghts to add about 20 spaces to the RV park. Paul Knight said the expansion probably won't happen until next spring.
Firm to Study Storm Water Drainage
The council also approved an agreement with Smith, Roberts, and Baldischwiler LLC for engineering services on a storm water drainage study. Fire Chief Brian Zalewski said it will be the most detailed study of the city in more than 60 years. It's hoped the study might be able offer some solutions which might alleviate flooding problems the city has experienced over the years.
Firefighter's Funeral Set
The funeral for a volunteer firefighter killed in a non-fire related traffic accident is set. 21-year old Blaine Alexander died when his pickup was hit by a semi near Ft. Cobb last week. Alexander was a volunteer with Grady County's Acme fire department which is near Rush Springs. Firefighters from the region and the around state are expected to honor Alexander at the funeral which will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the Sterling High School gymnasium. Grady County fire officials say an initial staging of fire trucks will organize at the Hop N Sack in Rush Springs about 1:00 p.m. Thursday and will caravan to Sterling. Some departments may meet at the school prior to the service. After Thursday's funeral, there will be a graveside service for Alexander at the Woodlawn Cemetery.
Native American Activist to Visit USAO
The challenges that Native Americans face in the 21st century will be discussed at USAO next week. Lyla June, a Native American activist, musician, and poet, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Abelson Religious Reconciliation lecture. A USAO press release indicates that June is a student of global cycles of violence, and the destructive relationships between human beings and nature. June founded the Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council to help heal the inter-generational trauma and ethnic division in northern New Mexico. She also takes part in a 1,000-mile prayer walk which exposes how various energy industries have exploited the Navajo Nation's land. The renowned hip hop artist and singer-songwriter also founded the Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration of children held every September in 13 countries. June's lecture will be next Tuesday, Sept. 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the USAO ballroom. It is free and open to the public.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $62.90 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $69.02.
Natural gas is $2.68 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,505 and silver is $17.91.
Monday, Sept. 16th
Man Dies Following Turnpike Motorcycle Crash
There have been a lot of motorcycle accidents this summer, and there were two more over the weekend with one of them claiming the life of an Oklahoma man. Killed in a crash on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike was 71-year old Richard McDonald of Broken Arrow. The accident happened about nine miles southwest of Chickasha on the turnpike near Mile Marker 71 about 4:15 p.m. Sunday. A report from the trooper responding to the crash indicated that McDonald may have had a medical issue that caused him to run off the highway and crash.
Another Bike Accident Hospitalizes Rush Springs Man
A second crash involving a motorcycle injured a Rush Springs man. 53-year old Nicholas Jackson was air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and was last in serious condition with head injuries. That accident happened just west of Elgin about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The OHP said Jackson swerved to miss an unidentified object then ran off the road and rolled. He was not wearing his helmet.
Contract for Chix' Water Treatment Firm Up for Renewal
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This is a correction to the version published Monday, September 16th. The previous story had an error regarding the annual payment. We apologize for the mistake)
It's contract renewal time for the firm that treats the City of Chickasha's drinking water and waste water. The city council is expected to sign off on a five-year extension of the contract with USW Utility Group when the council meets tonight. The current five-year contract is set to expire next June. The city pays USW more than $750,000 a year for water treatment services.
Proposed Land Sale Back on Council Agenda
The council is also to consider selling about 5 1/2 acres of city-owned land to Paul and Jan Knight. The Knight's have leased acreage from the city for 13 years to operate the Time Out RV Park at Ada Sipuel Avenue and Grand Avenue Extension. The issue was tabled from a meeting earlier this month. The council is also expected to waive bidding requirements in order to have PSO install a three-phase electrical distribution system at Shannon Springs Park. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall.
Input Sought Regarding Chix School Superintendent
Consultants who are working to find candidates to be the next superintendent for Chickasha schools will be in town tomorrow to get local input. The school board contracted with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to do a nationwide search for candidates. The consultants will meet with business leaders, school administrators, teachers, and school employees in the afternoon, then will hold an inter-active community meeting tomorrow night. Individuals are encouraged to bring their laptops, tablets, or use their smart phone to provide instant feedback during the program That community meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.
Blanchard Sup't. Looks Foward to School Growth
Blanchard School Superintendent Jim Beckham is ready to move forward with the projects approved by school district voters last week. Voters passed a $31 million bond issue by a two-to-one margin. The projects include a new auditorium/performing arts center and a new football stadium.
Also part of the bond issue is a new middle school cafeteria that will double as a safe room, and some new classrooms at the elementary school. Groundbreaking is not likely for any of the projects until next spring.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.85 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60.22.
Natural gas was up to $2.61 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,512 and silver is $17.93.