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Thursday, April 26th
City-Owned Land May be Sold
The newest members of the Chickasha City Council won't have to wait too long to be part of their first closed-door meeting. The council, which also acts as the governing body of the Chickasha Municipal Authority, will go behind closed doors in a special meeting this afternoon. It will be the first executive session for new councilmen Zach Grayson, Joe Molder, and David Sikes after they were sworn in just two weeks ago. The group is to consider the purchase or appraisal of some real estate in the University Heights addition, and the possible sale of that property. The agenda for the special meeting calls for setting a price for four lots in Block 12 of the addition, and the possible sale of that land to Paul Thompson, Jr. The proposed sale will be voted on during open session. The plans for those lots aren't disclosed on the agenda. There is also a short special meeting of the city council which is open to the public. The one issue to discuss is to waive the bidding requirement to purchase and install about $7,300 in equipment needed for a fifth wheel. The special meetings will get underway at 5:30 this afternoon at city hall.
Some DHS Clients May get More Job Training Help
Low income Oklahomans who receive state and federal assistance may get some added help for job training. Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill designed to have the Department of Human Services enhance its partnerships with career tech, community colleges, and other training programs. HB 2825 is expected to assist DHS clients who are part of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF program. In a press release, the governor said the new law should expand opportunities for TANF recipients to participate in and complete employment and training opportunities. The new law will go into effect November 1st.
Teen Business Innovation Camp Set
High school students who may want to run their own business one day have an opportunity to get a crash course on what they might need to do. An Innovation Business Camp will be offered to students to learn the basics of how to build a business plan, get real-world experience and knowledge on how to start and build a business, and network with local business owners and operators and community leaders. It's a three-day course sponsored by the Chickasha Economic Development Council and Zippety's Lazer World. It's available to all high school students and will be held on the USAO campus. There is a $99 fee and some financial assistance may be available. The camp will be Thursday, May 31st through Saturday, June 2nd. Interest forms are available on-line at www.zippetys.com/camp
District Attorney to Discus Medical Marijuana State Question
The medical marijuana state question that is on the June 26th primary election ballot will be getting a lot of discussion over the next eight weeks. It will be among the issues addressed tonight by District Attorney Jason Hicks, who is the guest speaker for the monthly meeting of the Grady County Republicans. Hicks recently ran un-opposed for a third term as DA. He'll be joined by a couple of Republican candidates on the June 26th ballot, including Charles Wells, candidate for House District 56; and Brian Bingman, a candidate for corporation commissioner. The Grady County GOP group meets at 6:30 tonight at the Canadian Valley Technology Center.
OSU Research Station to Host Wheat Field Day
Wheat producers in the region can get the latest information about the current crop, and other information about the commodity in a program tomorrow. The OSU Research Station in Chickasha will host its annual wheat field day. Manager Michael Pettijohn encourages producers to spend a couple of hours with OSU wheat developers and get information about the grain market, and new directions for wheat. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., with the program getting underway at 9:00 a.m.. The program will wrap up about noon.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.05.
London-based Brent crude is $74.00.
Natural gas is $2.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,323 and silver is $16.59.
Wednesday, April 25th
Grady County Clerk Retires
After more than four decades of working at the Grady County courthouse, County Clerk Sharon Shoemake is retiring. Shoemake made the formal announcement at this week's Grady County Commissioner’s meeting. Shoemake was 22-years old when she started working at the courthouse in 1977. She's been the county clerk for 22 years. Shoemake's last day on the job will be next Tuesday. Jill Locke will take over the county clerk's post, and will fill out the remaining years on the term.
Chickasha Middle School Teacher Tops in the District
A middle school instructor has been named teacher of the year for the Chickasha school district. Michael Voyles picked up the honor yesterday. Voyles is a language arts teacher in his third year of teaching in Chickasha. He was selected by a panel of school administrators and teachers. Voyles is now eligible to compete for state teacher of the year award.
Tip Leads to Arrest in Stolen Motorcycle Case
Chickasha police credit a tip from a resident for the arrest of a suspect accused of stealing a motorcycle. It happened just after midnight Monday, April 23rd when the witness noticed a neighbor's motorcycle being loaded into a pickup. The witness called authorities with a description of the truck, a tag number, and direction of travel. It wasn't long before police had the suspect in custody. Authorities arrested 29-year old Nathan Todd Dobson on complaints of larceny of a vehicle and drug possession. It’s the third time Dobson has been arrested in the last three months. Grady County court records indicate he was arrested a couple of weeks ago and charged with a misdemeanor drug offense. He was arrested in February and faces a felony drug charge in connection with that offense. He was also charged with felony drug possession in 2012. Court documents indicate he successfully completed a drug court program in 2014 following that offense.
Brothers Face Charges in Beating of Carnegie Teen
A Caddo County teen is hospitalized after being brutally beaten and dumped into a trash bin. While he recovers, two brothers have been arrested and formally charged in the attack. 27-year old Ryal Guevera and 23-year old Adrian Guevera, both of Carnegie, are facing a felony charge of aggravated assault. Formal charges were filed in Caddo County District Court in Anadarko earlier this week. The attack occurred in Carnegie on April 14th. A probable cause affidavit from Carnegie police indicates the unidentified teen suffered serious head injuries. He was first taken to the hospital in Carnegie, then air-lifted to an Oklahoma City hospital. It's unknown if the teen is still there.
Hundreds Turn Out for OERB Stem Night
There was a huge turnout for the OERB STEM Night program at Chickasha High School last night. Hundreds of students from kindergarten through high school had the opportunity to see a number of groups that use science, technology, engineering and math in those fields. The OERB presented more than $30,000 in grants to school districts including Chickasha ($7,800),Tuttle ($2,600), Minco ($2,400), Ampo ($1,700), Friend ($1,100), Verden ($1,300), Ninnekah ($2,500), Pioneer ($1,400), Rush Springs ($2,000), Alex ($1,500) and Anadarko ($6,700). The grants are among $2 miilon in grants issued to schools throughout Oklahoma by OERB.
Dry Winter Damages Fall-Planted Crops
While most of Oklahoma is getting some much-needed rain, it did not come in time for many grain producers. The lack of rainfall over the winter months had a negative impact on many crops planted last fall. Producers may be able to re-coup some of their losses with the USDA's Livestock Forage Program. Amanda Tye is with the Caddo County Farm Service Agency.
Producers should contact their local FSA office for information.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $67.70 a barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $75.47.
Natural gas is $2.78 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,325 and silver is $16.63.
Tuesday, April 24th
Big Rigs Collide, Block State Highway
The main thoroughfare between Chickasha and Dibble was shut down for several hours last night, after two semis collide at the intersection of a couple of state highways. The accident happened in the community of Naples at State Highways 39 and 19C, which is commonly called the Alex highway. Details about the crash haven't been released. The state trooper working the site indicated there were minor injuries. The names of the truck drivers weren't available. The accident happened about 9:30 p.m. Monday. State troopers say the roadway was blocked for four hours, and didn’t re-opened about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
State Drug Agents to Discuss Opioid Crisis
The opioid epidemic and how to combat other drug-related problems will be discussed in a public forum in Chickasha tonight. Officials with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) will be on hand to give an overview of the use and abuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs. Mark Woodward with the OBNDD fears that if the state question to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma passes in June, Oklahoma’s overall drug problem would get worse. He points to states like Colorado and California where there have been increases in marijuana use in children as young as 12 and 13 years old. Woodward said individuals who want health benefits of marijuana can instead use CBD oil which is legal. The forum will be held at 6 p.m. tonight on the Chickasha campus of the Canadian Valley Technology Center.
WFEC Reports $1.6 Million in Damage from Wildfires
Oklahoma wildfires not only destroyed homes, livestock, and crops, there was also considerable damage to electric lines. It's estimated that more than $1.6 million in damage was done to facilities, equipment, lines, and utility poles belonging to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. A press release from the company indicates most of the damage occurred in Dewey County where more than 100 structures were damaged or destroyed. There was also damage in Roger Mills and Woodward counties. More than 260 transmission poles need to be replaced and it’s believed that number could go up.
STEM Night Set for Area Schools
It sounds like a scene straight out of a science fiction movie. Bugs, robots, and drones all invade a high school. It’s not a movie, but a program to show students the benefits of taking technology and engineering-related courses. The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) is hosting a STEM night for area high school students and their families. Younger kids can make slime and check out a live bug petting zoo. A lot of energy-related companies will have exhibits. The teacher that brings the most students to the event will receive a $250 gift card. STEM night will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. tonight at the Chickasha High School Activity Center.
Wheat Field Days on the Calendar
There are a couple of opportunities for wheat producers to see how the Grady County crop is progressing and to get information about wheat in general. This Friday, the OSU Research Station in Chickasha will host its annual Wheat Field Day. There will be discussion of new directions for wheat, a grain market forecast, and nitrogen management of dual-purpose wheat. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting at 9:00 a.m. On Wednesday, May 9th, the Shawnee Mills Elevator in Minco will host a discussion of wheat varieties and general topics. That program will start at 10:30 a.m.
Grady County Woman Earns Southwest Oklahoma Honor
A Grady County woman is recognized for her community service work. Peggy Eiss is named the Rookie of The Year for the southwest district of Oklahoma Home, Community, and Education groups, also known as OHCE. Susan Routh with Grady County OSU Extension coordinates the local OHCE programs.
Eiss will now compete for the state Rookie of the Year award at the state OHCE meeting in July.
Energy and Metals
Crude oil on the NYMEX is $68.64 per barrel.
London-based Brent crude is $74.71.
Natural gas $2.74 per million BTUs.
Gold is $1,329 and silver is $16.75.
Monday, April 23rd
Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Train
State troopers are investigating the death of a man who was hit by a train near Chickasha. Officials have not yet identified the victim, saying only that his is Native American. The accident happened about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, just west of 29th and Highway 62. The highway patrol reports a Union Pacific train with three engines was pulling 55 cars. The engineer was 60-year old Mark Peach of Chickasha and the conductor was 38-year old Michael Prothro of Norman. Neither were injured.
Driver Hospitalized Following Caddo County Crash
A Caddo County man is hurt in a weekend accident where his pickup ran off a wet highway and overturned. 52-year old James David Zahorsky of Aline suffered head and trunk injuries in the crash. It happened south of Alfalfa on State Highway 58 about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Zahorsky was last in good condition at the Carnegie hospital.
Truck Hauling Fruit Overturns, Causes Slippery Mess
Officials had quite a mess to clean up south of Apache. A truck load of fruit overturned on U.S. Highway 281 about a mile south of Apache Sunday morning. The entire roadway was blocked for more than 3 1/2 hours while the highway was cleared of the debris. There were no reports of injury.
Drones, Bots, Bugs Part of OERB STEM Night Tuesday
An interesting event in Chickasha tomorrow to encourage more students to take science and technology classes. The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board is hosting what is called STEM Night. STEM is short of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Mindy Stitt is the executive director for OERB, and says the agency has provided some $2 million in grants to Oklahoma schools in the past year. Nearly every school district in Grady County has received one of the grants. STEM night will have drones and robotics, and kids will get to make slime. Stitt says there will be other exhibits, too.
STEM night has activities for students of all ages.. It’s free and open to school districts throughout the region. It' will be held at the Chickasha High School activity center Tuesday, April 24th from 4:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.
3 Chickasha Police Officers Honored by State Group
Three Chickasha police officers are honored by a statewide group of law enforcement agencies. Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield and Officers Colton Weger and Daniel Ramirez received the Medal of Valor from the Oklahoma Sheriff's and Peace Officers Association. The group held its 104th annual banquet in Midwest City last week. The group honors individuals who contribute to the conclusion of major criminal cases and others for heroism. The group posthumously honored six Oklahoma law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2017.
Chick Police Receives Bio-Hazard Grant
Chickasha police have also received one of a handful of grants to attend biohazard training programs and obtain biohazard equipment. The grant provided by a company called Aftermath, which has 32 regional offices and 40 mobile units nationwide. Chickasha was one of only five departments nationwide to receive such a grant. Initially, Chickasha receives 20 Personal Protective Equipment kits and will receive 30 more over the next few months. Each kit contains a bio bag, a bio-suit, arm sleeves, latex and rubber gloves, a respiratory mask, safety goggles, and shoe and boot covers.
CHS Valedictorians Announced
A baker's dozen of Chickasha High School seniors are sharing valedictorian honors this year. The students achieved the highest grade point average among their peers. They are Emily McKinley; Krishna Patel; Bailey Battershell; and Ethan Christian. Also Vatrea Ellis; Erin Powell; Ashlyn Tryczak; and Madeline Roberson. Plus, Su Xhian Lim; Emily Friend; Brayden Layman; Sam Gerdts; and Ian Turpin. There are expected to be about 160 graduating seniors this year. Graduation will be held Friday, May 18th.