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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.
Thursday, April 2nd
Governor Closes Non-Essential Businesses Statewide
All non-essential businesses throughout Oklahoma are ordered closed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as officials to try to help stem the tide of the coronavirus health emergency. During a Wednesday press conference the governor expanded his recent executive order. Previously, the non-essential business closure pertained only to those counties where the coronavirus had been confirmed. That order is now effective in all 77 counties and it has been extended through April 30th. The governor also again asked Oklahomans to postpone elective surgeries in order to allow doctors and health care workers to focus on the health crisis. Stitt also extended his Safer-at-Home order, asking those 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems to stay home through the end of the month unless they have to get food or prescriptions.
Officials Seek Sites for Temporary Hospitals
Stitt also said hospitals are expecting a surge in patients that will need to be treated for the coronoavirus infection. He is also looking for locations to build temporary hospitals.
The governor also urged families to not take children grocery shopping. He said the store is not a place for family outings and recommended that only one person from each family go into a store. The governor stopped short of issuing a statewide shelter-in-place plan, but said mayors and county commissioners may issue those restrictions if they feel they are necessary.
State Coronavirus Cases Still Climbing
The state health department now indicates 719 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, April 1st. Checking the counties in the Chickasha and Anadarko area: Oklahoma County now has nearly 200 cases confirmed; Cleveland County, 87; Canadian County, 24; Comanche County, 21; McClain County, nine; Garvin County, seven; Stephens County, six; Grady County, three; and Caddo County still with only one. Officials anticipate the steep rise of the COVID-19 virus cases in Oklahoma to peak around April 22nd.
SNAP Recipients to Receive Emergency Allotment
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will be issuing emergency allotments to SNAP recipients – families which are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The action is to address temporary food needs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The allotment allows up to the maximum monthly amount based on the number of individuals in a recipient's household. March SNAP supplements will be staggered between April 1st and April 10th and April supplements will be staggered between April 10th and April 30th.
Tom Cole to Host Another Town Hall Tele-Conference
4th District Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole has scheduled another town hall tele-conference this week. Cole will discuss the coronavirus relief package which was approved in Washington, D.C. last week and other recent developments. The telephone town hall meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, April 2nd). To participate, call 1-888-652-5404.
USAO Hosts Virtual Chalk-Art Festival
Today was supposed to be a big day on the USAO campus. Hundreds of high school students from across the state were to take part in the annual Spring Triad which normally includes an academic competition, a sidewalk chalk art festival, and the Droverstock outdoor concert. With the campus closed due to coronavirus concerns, officials reached out on Twitter yesterday to encourage students take part in a virtual chalk art festival. Calling it the Stay at Home Chalk Art Festival they say to draw on your sidewalk or driveway, take a photo, and e-mail it to the university to be posted on its on-line album. Photos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.31 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $22.76.
Natural gas is $1.58 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,602 and silver is $14.30.
A memorial service for Thomas South, 29, of Chickasha will be held at a date. Arrangements are with Ferguson Funeral Home.
Wednesday, April 1st
Grady County COVID-19 Number Revised Downward
Grady County's number of confirmed COVID-19 virus infections has been revised downward. The state health department changed the number from three to two yesterday. An official said one of the cases may have been a duplicate or it was placed in the wrong county. Statewide, the confirmed coronavirus number is now at 565 with the number of deaths up to 23. There have been 177 people hospitalized with the illness.
Commerce Dep't. Sets Weekly Tele-Conferences
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce today is launching a weekly series of teleconferences to discuss the coronavirus situation in several business sectors. State Commerce and Workforce Secretary Sean Kouplen and others will answer questions from those who participate. They'll address retail, energy, agriculture and food processing, manufacturing, energy, non-profits and others. The teleconferences are being held every Wednesday. A different teleconference is held each hour, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participation is limited to the first 1,000 people who join. To see the schedule and conference links, go to the website www.okcommerce.gov
Child Advocacy Group Begins Tele-Conferences
A new series of teleconferences to discuss issues important to children and their families also kicks off today. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy calls the sessions telephone town hall meetings where health care professionals and government leaders will be featured. Dorman talks about some of the topics that will be reviewed.
Those calling into the teleconference will be able ask the panelists questions. The teleconference will get underway at 11:45 a.m. (Wednesday). There is no charge but participants will have to register. Go to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's website, www.oica.org and sign up in the pop-up box. They'll be using the Zoom Internet platform.
Man Alledgedly Uses Shovel Handle to Beat his Brother
A fight between brothers that included a shovel handle being used as a weapon lands one of the men in jail. Chickasha police were called to a home near 9th and Oregon last Saturday morning. A probable cause affidavit indicates one of the men was homeless, but his brother allowed him to live in a shed at the residence. The fight began over allegations that the suspect had been defecating in the yard, then escalated to the point where the suspect allegedly grabbed the shovel handle and hit his brother in the head, neck and back. Authorities arrested 49-year old Johnathan Clifford Mulligan. Prosecutors have charged him with a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors also want to revoke a suspended sentence Mulligan received for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge back in December. Mulligan remains in jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.
Grant to Create Native American Institute at OU
A multi-million dollar grant to the University of Oklahoma will create a new program to study Native American nations. It will be called the Native Peoples Institute. University officials say the nearly $5 million grant will make OU the premier center for Native American research and teaching. The grant was provided by The Horizon Foundation which is a grant-making non-profit group from the Dallas area. It includes three $1.5 million endowed chairs to attract nationally recognized scholars in Native American studies. Areas of study will include spirituality and the environment, history and culture, and language preservation and revitalization.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.48 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $22.74.
Natural gas is $1.64 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,607 and silver is $14.17.
A private graveside service is scheduled for Shirley Daugherty, 74, of Tuttle. The service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 3rd at the Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home of Tuttle.
Tuesday, March 31st
Official Guestimates When State COVID-19 Cases Peak
The number of Oklahomans infected by the COVID-19 virus will likely top 500 today. The state health department reported Monday that the number was up to 481, with 17 deaths blamed on the illness and 153 hospitalized. When the threat might peak in Oklahoma is anybody's guess, but Grady Memorial hospital administrator Kean Spellman told county commissioners yesterday that there are projections that it could be a couple more weeks, perhaps mid-April. Yesterday's health department report indicated three confirmed COVID-19 virus cases in Grady County. Spellman said there are likely more who are self-quarantined at home, and those who are ill but not having severe symptoms. Spellman said that if needed the hospital could create an emergency room overflow driveway, which could circle through the hospital parking lot. The hospital and its adjoining Five Oaks Medical Group are screening everyone who visit the medical facilities for potential coronavirus symptoms.
Two Hospitalized After SUV Accident
An SUV crashes on a wet highway near Anadarko sending two people to the hospital. The accident happened just after 10:30 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 62, about three miles west of Anadarko. 42-year old Tymaemah Tofpi and a passenger, 35-year old Sky Bullock both of Anadarko, were taken to a Lawton hospital. Tofpi was last in fair condition and Bullock was in good condition. A third person in the SUV refused treatment. The trooper investigating the accident said Tofpi was driving when she lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and hit a sign and a couple of trees. She was pinned in the vehicle for about 20 minutes.
April 7th City Council, School Elections Postponed
City council and school elections which were scheduled across the state next week have been postponed because of the health risks involving the COVID-19 virus. Most of those elections have been re-scheduled for June 30th including the Chickasha City Council election and the Anadarko municipal election. One area school district has postponed a bond election indefinitely. That’s in Bridge Creek where school officials will decide later when to re-schedule that election.
Filing Period for County, State Offices Set
(EDITOR'S NOTE - An earlier version of this story had the wrong dates for the filing period. We apologize for the mistake)
How will the coronavirus affect the filing period for candidates who want to run for state or county offices? The filing period is officially next week, April 6th through the 8th. While election board offices are closed to the public, candidates can find applications for county and state offices on the state election board website. Grady County Election Board Secretary Katrina Hughes says that candidates can fill out those forms ahead of time and deliver or mail them to the election board in a sealed envelope. For county offices, the applications must also include a $300 filing fee. Hughes says it’s not clear from the state election board if the county offices will extend their hours during the filing period. Currently some election boards are closing at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. County offices up for election this year include the sheriff, district two county commissioner, court clerk, and county clerk.
'Bingo' Campaign Begins to Support Restaurants
In an effort to help local restaurants experiencing hardships because of the coronavirus, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council have combined to create a plan that will help consumers help those eateries. Plus, the consumers will be eligible to win gift certificates to use later at those establishments. It's called To Go Bingo. 39 area restaurants are listed on a “card”, and customers must purchase a minimum of $20 to mark a restaurant's spot. A card must have at least eight squares marked off and the receipts from the restaurant where the purchase was made. Photos of the card and the receipts can be e-mailed to: email@example.com or through regular mail to: Chickasha EDC, 221 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018. Names will go into a daily drawing where $100 gift certificates will be given away every weekday through the month of April. Officials expect to give away more than $10,000 in gift certificates.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $20.09 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $22.76.
Natural gas is $1.69 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,611 and silver is $14.09.
A private graveside service for Anna Powell, 93, of Chickasha will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 1st at Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Pauline “Polly” Wilson
A private graveside service for old Polly Wilson, 86, of Duncan will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday. April 2nd at the Oddfellows Memory Gardens Cemetery in Norman. Arrangements are with Sevier Funeral Home.
Monday, March 30th
Governor Adds More Restrictions Due to COVID-19 Virus
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has made more changes to his executive order designed to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Oklahoma. On Sunday, Stitt required travelers from six states to self-quarantine for two weeks. Individuals from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, Washington, and California will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Another change requires delivery personnel to submit to screenings upon request at medical facilities, long-term care facilities, and day care centers. Those tests would likely include a temperature check and a short questionnaire about possible exposure to the coronavirus.
State Democrats Call for More Coronavirus Restrictions
Over the weekend, Democrats in the State House of Representatives called on the governor to take stronger action against the infection. A letter from house minority leader Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City said the Democrats agree with medical experts who are calling for an executive order to implement a statewide shelter-in-place policy. Floyd said limiting the Safer at Home initiative to only those counties where the coronavirus has been confirmed will not effectively contain the community transmission of the illness. As of Sunday, the state has 429 confirmed coronavirus cases which included 16 deaths. Grady, Stephens, and McClain Counties each have two, Garvin County has four, Canadian County has 12, and Comanche County has 11. Caddo County still has just one confirmed case.
Goodwill Closes Local, National Stores
There's another store closure in Chickasha because of the growing number of COVID-19 illnesses. Goodwill has closed its doors not only locally, but nationwide. Chickasha store officials posted a sign on its door Sunday that the store is temporarily closed. Goodwill Industries of Southern Oklahoma and North Texas released a statement saying they also will not be providing home pick-up service of donated items. Goodwill has also closed their adult day care services, workforce development services, the career development center, and voluntary income tax assistance service. Operations are expected to resume on April 12th. Officials say they are still accepting donations at their blue bins, but ask that no large items like furniture be dropped off during the temporary closure.
Loans Available to Help Small Businesses Stay Open
Small businesses across the country are hurting due to the coronavirus pandemic. The passage of the coronavirus act last week includes a new loan program to help businesses keep their doors open and their employees on the job. Sean Kouplen is the Secretary of Commerce for the State of Oklahoma. He says business owners should contact their local banks to get information.
Business owners will not have to re-pay the loans as long as they follow some guidelines, which include maintaining their current level of employees through the economic slowdown.
OSU Extension Offices Closed, but Services Available
Like many public buildings OSU Extension Offices are not accessible to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Dave Deken with the OETA Sunup program says offices are still able to offer assistance.
He said the offices can still send soil samples from agriculture producers and those wanting to plant spring gardens to Oklahoma State University for testing.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $21.51 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $24.93.
Natural gas is $1.63 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,622 and silver is $14.19.