Saturday, Aug. 17th
Fire Officials Urge Caution
We told you yesterday about the increasing threat of wildfires in the western part of the state. A large grass fire erupted near Snyder Friday afternoon, closing down a highway and nearly resulting in the collapse of a power line. The highway patrol reported the roadway was closed for nearly eight hours after the fire broke out just after 4:30 p.m. It was nearly midnight before all the roadways were re-opened. PSO and other power companies worked to make repairs and were going to have to replace at least one utility pole. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department says that the long-range forecast from the National Weather Service indicates the hot and dry weather pattern may extend into September and October. And while there are no current burn bans, he recommends some common sense reminders to prevent fires from starting.
Drought conditions are developing in western Oklahoma, with an area south of a Lawton-to-Altus line in a severe drought designation. Much of Grady, Caddo, and Stephens counties are in the moderate drought category.
Violent Domestic Violence Suspect Jailed
A Chickasha man is jailed after allegedly being involved in violent domestic violence incident. 44-year old Gary Lee Cabe, Jr. is being held in the Grady County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond after his arrest. We don't have details about the allegations, but Chickasha police booked Cabe into the Grady County Thursday night. Prosecutors have charged him with two felony counts of domestic violence, including one for causing great bodily injury. Cabe is scheduled to announce his attorney Sept. 19th and a preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for Oct. 2nd.
American Indian Expo Ends Today
Among the many highlights of the Anadarko American Indian Exposition is the men’s fancy dance competition, and that event will be among the events at the final day of the expo today. Another parade will circle downtown this morning, with more activities throughout the day at the Caddo County Fairgrounds. The Ponca Tribal Exhibition Dance Team will open the final performance at the grandstand tonight. The Ft. Sill-Apache fire dancers will also perform, and the expo honorees will be recognized.
Antique Auto Club Hosts Coffee and Cars
Antique car buffs are invited to share their fascination with older vehicles with the Chickasha Antique Auto Club this morning. The group’s monthly coffee and cars event features some magnificent restorations and rebuilds of cars and trucks from years gone by. There's free coffee and Paradise donuts while the supplies lasts and you're welcome to take as many pictures as you want and share your favorite stories. It’s a free, come-and-go event at Daniel Terry's Pro Auto Care in the Grandview Shopping Center, next to Stage.
Dairy Queen Hosts Ice Cream with a Cop
It's going to be another hot day in Oklahoma, and you and the kids can cool off and meet with the men and women with the Chickasha Police Department. Ice Cream with a Cop will be held at the Chickasha Dairy Queen today. Kids 12-and-under will get free junior cones, and will be able to visit with police officers and parents can take pictures. You might even see some officers making the cones for the patrons. Ice cream with a cop is from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. today at Dairy Queen.
Sheriff's Office Warrant List
The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has issued a list of individuals who have outstanding warrants. Here’s Public Information Officer Lisa Hatchett-
If you have information regarding any of these individuals you’re asked to contact the sheriff’s office by calling 405-222-5085.
Friday, Aug. 16th
Wildfire Threat Increases
With searing temperatures and hardly any rain over the last couple of months, the threat of wildfires is growing in much of western Oklahoma. A fire near Lake Ellsworth yesterday was sparked by a discarded cigarette butt, but crews were summoned in time to douse the flames and prevent damage to vacant mobile home. The lack of rainfall is also leading to a return of drought conditions. All or parts of seven southwest Oklahoma counties are in a D-2 designation, which is considered to be severe drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. That designation includes most of Comanche County and extreme southwest Caddo County. The rest of Caddo County and all of Grady and Stephens counties are in a D-1 drought designation which is considered moderate.
Randy Talley Announces Candidacy for State House
There has been a lot of speculation about who might run for the state house of representatives in District 56, with the recent announcement that David Perryman would not seek re-election. The first to publicly announce his candidacy is Randy Talley of Chickasha. He posted the announcement on his Facebook page yesterday. Talley is currently vice president of marketing for the First National Bank and Trust and previously worked in marketing and communications at USAO. District 56 includes parts of Grady, Caddo, and Kiowa counties. It includes a portion of Chickasha west of I-44, through Verden, Anadarko and Carnegie and over to an area near Hobart. The filing period is not until next spring with the election set for November of 2020.
Oklahoman Tabbed for EPA Post
A fifth-generation Oklahoman will be leading one of the programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scott Mason the 4th has been named the new director for the American Indian Environmental Office, as part of the EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs. Mason is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that Mason has nearly 15 years experiences in various capacities in local, state, and federal levels of government. Most recently he served as vice president and director of federal programs at OU. He also previously served on the staff of former governor Mary Fallin and has been a district field representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Business Reps Sought for Career Day
With Chickasha schools just getting underway, officials at the high school will be hosting a career day in a few weeks. Assistant High School Principal Michael Wynne is asking professional and trade-related businesses in the region to share information about what they do. He says high school students will eventually be entering the work force in the next few years and wants to show them a variety of employment opportunities. The event is called "It's Your Future" Career Day and will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 18th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the high school activity center. Wynne asks those wanting to participate to contact him by Friday, Sept. 6th by calling 405-222-6550.
Two Concerts Set for Chickasha Saturday Night
Music lovers will be heading to Chickasha this weekend for a couple of Saturday night concerts. The monthly 3C concert hosted by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce will feature local artists Travis Linville and Chris Foreman. The concert will be downtown at the corner of 3rd and Chickasha Avenue. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with games and activities for the kids and food trucks on hand. Admission is free. Also Saturday night, the Legends Pub House and Venue will host Copper Chief on its outdoor stage at 4204 S. 4th. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free until 7:30 p.m. After that, tickets will be $15.
Grady County Northern District Fair This Weekend
As area residents get ready for the Grady County Fair next week, those in the northern part of the county will take part in the district fair at Amber Pocasset schools. All still exhibit and livestock show entries need to be in today, while the cake entries don't need to be in until tomorrow between 10:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. The stock shows start at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. The trophy presentations will be at 7:30 p.m. followed by the crowning of the District Fair Princess.
Talk Show Topics
Here’s what we’re talking about this weekend. Jamie Jones with the Grady County Fairgrounds will be on our KOOL Konversation program to discuss a lot of the activities at the 104th Grady County Fair next week. On Real Estate Today with John Mosley, guests are Chickasha Fire Chief Brian Zalewski and the department’s new training director, Major David Fincher. We have links to both programs under the Community tab on this website.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.47 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.23.
Natural gas is $2.23 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,521 and silver is $17.11.
Thursday, Aug. 15th
West Coast Gang Member Arrested in Grady County
Federal officials say they've arrested a man in the Verden area on suspicion of sending firearms to fellow gang members in California. 23-year old Manuel "Flacco" Delatorre, Jr. was arrested Tuesday. Police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives recovered guns and ammunition in in Orange County, California - which were traced to Verden. The Associates Press cites a story published in the Orange County Register that says Delatorre is a member of the Baker Street Gang who relocated to Oklahoma. Delatorre could face charges of unlawfully transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Man Charged with Threatening OSBI Agent
A Caddo County man is in custody on weapons charges after it’s alleged he sent threatening e-mails to the OSBI. 32-year old David McFarland of Carnegie is charged with a felony for possession a firearm after conviction. He’s also charged with a misdemeanor for threatening acts of violence. He remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. The Lawton Constitution reports that the Caddo County Sheriff's Office started an investigation last week after an OSBI agent allegedly received the e-mail threats from McFarland. Court documents indicate one of the e-mails said that agents publicly harassed him at school via satellite, having children and adults say things that interfered with his school work. He said those comments were meant to provoke him into hitting one of the children. In December of 2017, McFarland pleaded guilty to charges of eluding and vandalism in connection with an arrest in May of that year.
Financial Advisor to Serve with USAO Regents
A Chickasha businessman will soon be the newest member of the board of regents for USAO. Cale Walker will be taking his oath of office during the Sept. 11th regents meeting. He'll be taking over the post previously held by Mo Anderson whose term ended June 30th. Walker was appointed to a seven-year term by Gov. Kevin Stitt. Walker is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. He previously served as a field representative for Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, and as a legislative assistant with the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. In the annual re-organization of the officers for the regents, David Ferrell will serve as chairman and Tom Cordell will serve as vice chairman for 2019-20.
Pipeline Firm Releases Financial Statement
There is mixed news for the company building a $1 billion natural gas pipeline through the region. On the positive side, Cheniere Energy Partners based in Houston reported net income for the first half of the year of $617 million. That's $1 million more than for the same period in 2018. On the negative side, 2019 second quarter earnings were down compared to the April through June period of 2018. The firm reported the reason for the drop was an increase in total operating costs and expenses. The website www.okenergytoday.com reports that Cheniere's total revenues for the first half of the year were $3.4 billion - which was up from $3 billion for the first six months of last year.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $55.23 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $60 to $59.48.
Natural gas is $2.14 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,528 and silver is $17.20.
Wednesday, Aug. 14th
Two Injured in Cement Shooting; Suspect Hospitalized
A weekend confrontation in Cement leaves two men suffering from gunshot wounds. One of them is hospitalized and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. 44-year old Robert Jessie McClaflin of Chickasha was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital. Prosecutors have charged McClaflin with shooting with intent to kill. The Lawton Constitution cites documents in Caddo County district court that say McClaflin shot a man, and a third individual shot McClaflin. The third man was not arrested. The condition of the initial shooting victim is not known. McClaflin has previous convictions and is facing 20 years to life in prison if found guilty of this most recent charge.
Chix Schools Curriculum Director Steps Down
Chickasha schools are looking for another top administrator. Kim Haney, who had been the district's director of curriculum, has stepped down. Haney submitted her letter of resignation last week and the school board formally accepted it at its meeting last night. Haney had only been on the job about a year. Interim superintendent Jennifer Stegman said she believed Haney had been offered a job with Lawton public schools but it wasn't clear if Haney accepted that position. In addition to Haney leaving the district, former superintendent Jack Herron stepped down this past spring. The school board is in the process of filling that position.
New Chix School Buses With A/C Approved
Chickasha schools will be getting some new buses for students and those buses will have air conditioning. Last night, the school board approved a lease-purchase agreement with Summit Bus Company of Oklahoma City to obtain five 70-passenger school buses. Many times, school districts will ask voters to pass transportation bonds to purchase buses. Interim superintendent Stegman said the cost to the district would be $14,000 per month for five years. The buses could be delivered in about 30 days.
Anadarko's American Indian Expo Begins
The American Indian Exposition is underway in Anadarko. A parade kicked off the event this morning and activities will be held at the Caddo County Fairgrounds through Saturday. This is the 84th year for the Expo which is a joint effort of the Native American tribes based in the Anadarko area. Noted honorees this year are Harvey Pratt of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe and the featured artist is Calvert Nevaquayah of the Comanche tribe.
All-Day Hiking Resumes at Refuge
With a break in the extremely hot weather, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife refuge has lifted the hiking restrictions put in place last week. With dangerous heat advisories in effect last week the refuge had banned on- and off-trail hiking after 10:00 a.m. With afternoon highs now forecast to be in the mid-90s for the next several days, those restrictions have been lifted and hiking is now allowed from daylight until dusk. The refuge's Facebook page still urges visitors to be hydrated and to stop and rest in the shade along the trails often.
New USDA Program is for Dairy Producers
In agriculture news, The 2018 Farm Bill includes an option for dairy operations called the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Mark Jackson with the Grady County Farm Service Agency says it’s an insurance-type program.
The deadline to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage program is Sept. 20th. Jackson also said that Grady County farmers and ranchers who suffered damage from spring flooding and storms have a couple of extra days to sign up for USDA’s Emergency Conservation Program. The deadline has been extended until Monday, August 19th. Jackson said for Caddo County producers the sign-up deadline remains August 30th.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $57.10 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $61.30.
Natural gas is per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,518 and silver is $17.10.
Tuesday, Aug. 13th
One Hospitalized After Near Head-on Collision
Two pick-ups collide in a near head-on crash between Chickasha and Dibble. One driver was taken to the hospital. The accident happened just after 5:00 p.m. Monday, a mile east of the intersection of State Highway 39 and the Alex Highway. 25-year old Issac Comacho of Driscoll, Texas suffered arm, leg, and internal injuries. He was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was admitted in good condition. The Highway Patrol reports that Comacho's truck was hit by an on-coming pick-up driven by 40-year old Shaun Poor of Lexington. Poor was not injured. The OHP reported that Poor may have been sleepy and crossed the center line in a no-passing zone. After the collision, Comacho's truck ran off the road and rolled 1 1/2 times and landed upside-down.
Chix Teacher, Support Staff Contracts May be OK'd
Collective bargaining agreements for Chickasha school teachers and support staff are expected to be approved by the board of education when the school board meets tonight. The agreements with the Chickasha United Teaching Association (CUTA) and the Chickasha Association of Support Employees (CASE) are for the current school year. Bobb Gragg is the chief negotiator for the school board. Gragg and union representatives are expected to provide summaries of the agreements. The school board is also expected to approve agreements with USAO and Redlands Community College regarding concurrent enrollment of high school juniors and seniors. School board members will also discuss the possibility of getting some new school buses through a lease-purchase agreement. The group will also get an update on the search for a new superintendent. The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the school administration building.
Deputy Awarded for Saving Lives
A Grady County deputy sheriff is honored his heroics. Deputy Corey Loftice was presented with a Life Saving Award from the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association. Loftice was recognized for his response to a domestic violence situation where a woman stabbed her fiancee and her own mother. The suspect also suffered a knife wound. Loftice said he didn't panic when he arrived on the scene.
Loftice and a dozen other officers across the state were honored for going above and beyond the call of duty regardless of their own personal safety, to serve and protect lives. Loftice you may remember is the deputy who had a kidney transplant a couple of years ago. He says he's doing well, and that the number of his doctor’s visits are getting fewer and fewer.
More Back-to-School Events Today for Chix Students
Here's the schedule for students heading back to Chickasha schools this week. Today, freshmen can take a tour of the high school if they haven't done so already and learn about some of the activities they can get involved in. Freshman roundup runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. At the middle school, 7th and 8th graders can stop by and pick up their schedules between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. tonight. At Lincoln School, a meet-the-teacher event for 5th graders will run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and 6th graders can to the same from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.93 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.57.
Natural gas is $2.11 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,543 and silver is $17.47.
Monday, Aug. 12th
Semis Collide Near Blanchard
There have been a lot of traffic accidents involving semis in recent months and there were a couple over the weekend. Fortunately there were only minor injuries in both collisions. One occurred about two miles west of Blanchard on U.S. Highway 62 just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Buddy Myers with the Grady County Fire Department said a tanker truck had slowed to turn into a salt water disposal site, when a second semi came from behind and didn't notice the first semi slowing down. The second semi tried to pass and ended up hitting the first big rig. One of the drivers was taken to the hospital complaining of back and neck pain. The names of the drivers weren't available. The highway was closed for about two hours after the crash.
Update on Turnpike Tuel Tanker Fire
We have a little more information about that fuel tanker fire on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike from Friday. Myers tells us that a wrecker made a U-turn on I-44 at mile marker 71 and hit the tanker which was pulled over by a state trooper for an ODOT inspection. The tanker burst into flames but the trooper on the scene said there were no injuries.
First Responders Answer Numerous Sunday Calls
Grady County volunteer firefighters and first responders were dispatched to several calls yesterday, according to Buddy Myers, who is the Public Information Officer for the Grady County Fire Department. Alex and Bradley fire crews were sent to a home southwest of Alex about 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Someone was burning trash when the fire got out of control, and the flames destroyed an outbuilding and about five acres of grassland. Damage was estimated at about $10,000. There were no injuries. Just before 3:00 p.m., Ninnekah first responders were sent to a single vehicle accident at State Highway 19 and CR 1430 where a driver lost control, ran off the road, and overturned. No one was transported. Ninnekah firefighters were also called to a farm west of Ninnekah when a hay baler caught fire. Myers said a bearing over-heated on the baler, and both the baler and the tractor were destroyed causing about $25,000 in damage. There were no injuries in that incident.
Free Back-to-School Haircuts for Chickasha Kids Today
Chickasha school kids head back to the classroom later this week. Today, students can get free haircuts as part of the community back-to-school outreach that was held this past weekend. Free haircuts are available until 5:00 p.m. today at the Washita Valley Park Community Building
Chickasha Schools Get Ready for Classes
Chickasha teachers and support personnel are meeting today for in-service training before school starts on Thursday, August 15th. Here’s the schedule for meet-and-greet and schedule pick-ups for students: At Grand Elementary, there is a meet-and-greet tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. At Lincoln School tomorrow (Tuesday) 5th graders can meet the teacher from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and 6th graders can meet teachers from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. At the middle school tomorrow (Tuesday), middle school students pick up schedules from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the high school Freshman Roundup is also tomorrow (Tuesday) from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. At the high school on Wednesday - sophomores, juniors, and seniors can pick up schedules in the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or in the afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Grady County Fair Almost Here
The 104th Grady County Fair is next week. Fair honorees are Shirley Burns and Marge McGlaughlin, both of whom have spent many years volunteering their time for numerous fair projects. The fair princess contest is next Monday, and Liz Taylor with Grady County OSU Extension tells when the entries into all the still exhibit competitions will be.
Exhibitors can pick up their numbers and tags at the extension office through next Monday. The Fair itself runs Thursday, August 22nd through Saturday, August 24th at the Grady County Fairgrounds.
Biggest, Best Watermelons from Rush Springs Festival
Here are some leftovers from the Rush Springs watermelon festival from this past weekend. The biggest watermelon grown this year again goes to Miller Farms, who brought in the two heaviest exhibits, one at 151 pounds and the other at 150 pounds. The largest watermelon ever at Rush Springs was 214 pounds which was in 2012. The Grand Champion Black Diamond also belonged to Miller Farms while the reserve grand was belonged to LeeAnn Tumbleson.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $54.50 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $58.53.
Natural gas is $2.12 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,515 and silver is $16.93.