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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Half-cent sales tax approval urged for city’s growth
Twenty years have passed since the City of Duncan passed a half-cent sales tax to establish a foundation to strengthen the local economy.
Lyle Roggow, president of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, and Ben Herrington, DAEDF Board chairman, spoke Thursday on the need to continue the sales tax to keep the economy strong.
Junior livestock show finishes Friday night
The 76th Stephens County Junior Livestock Show concludes tonight with the awards presentation at 6 and the bonus sale at 6:30 at the county fairgrounds and expo center.
On Thursday, the doe meat goat show, wether meat goat show, steer show and heifer show were held.
Church Women United organization to celebrate World Day of Prayer
Christian women from various denominations will celebrate their beliefs by coming together this morning to pray.
The local Church Women United organization is set to meet at 9:30 a.m. today in the First Christian Church for fellowship and a program. Today is the 2014 World Day of Prayer, which brings women from all denominations together. The local effort is headed by Church Women United.
Baseball teams remember Chris Lane in Ada
One by one, they stopped playing or coaching and walked past the media to talk about Chris Lane.
Guess you could say he was on everybody’s mind Wednesday, especially the 40 or so players from Redlands Community College and East Central University.
They were all wearing Chris Lane’s numbers on the ECU diamond.
Ray sentenced to life without parole
Stephens County District Judge Joe Enos on Wednesday sentenced 16-year-old Michael Anthony Ray to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a 14-year-old girl.
Ray, of Marlow, pleaded guilty Dec. 30, 2013, to the murder of Alyssa Dawn Wiles on June 10, 2013, in her home in Duncan.
McDonald talks about Fort Sill to Rotary Club
As the U.S. military continues to evolve, Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald said Wednesday he hopes Fort Sill will continue to improve.
McDonald, the guest speaker at the Duncan Rotary Club, gave an update on Fort Sill and compared the Rotary Club to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Arrest warrant issued for two assailants
An arrest warrant has been filed for Terrance Johnson and Dermond Jones Jr. after an attack in the Elm Terrace Apartments.
The alleged assailants took off with a suitcase containing the victim’s clothes, his wallet with $20 in it and a pair of boots worth $150. The victim was treated at Duncan Regional Hospital and was not able to note who his attackers were until Friday.
Awards handed out at Junior Livestock Show
The Stephens County Junior Livestock Show enters its fourth day today with the doe meat goat show at 10 a.m. followed by the wether meat goat show.
The steer show will be at 3 p.m. and the heifer show will be at 5 p.m.
Modern dance troupe to perform Saturday
A modern dance company based in Oklahoma City will perform in Duncan on Saturday.
Known as Perpetual Motion Dance, the troupe was formed in 2002 and has become known as the premier modern and aerial dance company in Oklahoma.
Waurika city manager fired
Waurika City Commissioners will hold a special meeting Thursday to begin a job search to replace City Manager Chuck Brown, whose contract with the city was terminated at a regular meeting Monday.
Brown was in a seventh year as city manager before his tenure ended following an executive session late in the regular meeting at City Hall. Mayor Jim Bernard, Vice Mayor Carole Eakin and commissioners Gayle Johnson and Bill Everett voted unanimously to confirm the termination.
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