It’s been an expensive winter for propane users.
A steady stream of customers at the MFA Propane outlet in Duncan visibly wince or roll their eyes when the soaring price of propane is brought up.
They are recreational vehicle dwellers, folks living in the country without access to natural gas, itinerant pipeline workers who travel the country in their RVs and dedicated outdoor cooks who barbecue even in the dead of winter.
“They’re more understanding that I thought they’d be,” said MFA bookkeeper Paul McElroy, who takes the orders and pumps the propane at the MFA store on Bois ‘D Arc.
“We hate to charge so much, but no more’s going in our pocket than what we had before.”
Before the shortage, a gallon of propane cost $2.19, she said. Then it shot to $4 a gallon.
In the midst of a bitterly cold winter, customers have little choice but to pay the going rate.
“It’s too cold to go without it,” said Belinda Adams, a Duncan woman who lives in a 38-foot recreational vehicle that is warmed by two electric heaters.
Her 7-gallon propane tank will last about four days, she said.
The high prices and short supply have been blamed on high demand, the nationwide cold weather, increased exports and the shutdown of a pipeline to the midwest in December.
Propane supplies are 44 percent below last year’s level, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The U.S Department of Transportation has granted 31 states, including Oklahoma, so-called "Hours of Service Relief" to allow truckers to drive longer hours to expedite propane deliveries.
Gov. Mary Fallin also instructed the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to expedite financial help to low-income families who can’t afford their propane bills.
In Stephens County, 10 applications for help with propane costs were processed while three were processed in Cotton County, said Rodney Wade, the DHS director in Duncan.
Up to $650 per family can be authorized for propane heating assitance, Wade said.
There are about 400,000 propane consumers in Oklahoma.
It’s been an expensive winter for propane users.
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Church ministry to host $1-per-gallon gas event on Saturday
Hop & Sack Grocery should be hopping on Saturday morning.
The annual gas buydown project, a ministry of Marlow’s First Baptist Church, will begin at 8 a.m. and last until noon on Saturday.
The church will buy down the price of gas so customers will pay only $1 per gallon for up to 20 gallons.
Homegrown Marlow singer returns for free concert
Marlow native Chance Anderson brought his band to Marlow’s downtown stage Thursday evening for the second of three community concerts of the summer.
Free hot dogs and drinks were served to about 150 people who gathered for the music.
Jason McPherson, city administrator, said he was proud of the turnout, especially with the raging heat.
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National Day of the Cowboy kicks off Saturday
The annual National Day of the Cowboy will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
The theme is centered around Native American culture and will be showcased through a variety of different activites, specifically the ongoing Allan Houser Exhibition.
Temperature hits 101
The temperature hit 101 in Duncan on Thursday and stayed there for about two hours before cooling down to 99 at 6:35 p.m., the National Weather Service reported.
More hot weather is in the forecast.
Nelson discusses Duncan’s water supply during Rotary meeting
Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson doesn’t think Duncan residents need to worry about the city’s water supply.
Despite Stage 3 water rationing, which limits outdoor watering to midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nelson said the forethought of Duncan’s forefathers, who were also Duncan Rotary members, have created a backup system for the city.
What’s dug up at cemetery goes down at spray pad project
Dana Stanley knew just where to go to get fill dirt for the Douglass Park spray pad project -- the local cemetery.
The city is building a splash pad on top of what used to be Douglass Pool, but before that happens a fairly large hole has to be filled.
Traffic stop leads to drug arrest for Duncan man
Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who was allegedly found to have two bags of methamphetamine and two bags of marijuana in his home.
Duncan Police Officer Suzannahe Weir said she stopped Steven Fontinott, 62, for a traffic violation on Saturday.
Man drives drunk, rolls truck in the process
A felony warrant was issued for a Marlow man who was allegedly found to have been driving drunkenly following a rollover accident on Nabor Road.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Darin Carman said William Waller, 33, was pinned under the steering wheel of his truck and smelled of alcohol.
Hard year for peaches doesn't dampen summer tradition
A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they've come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.
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