Municipal Filing Period Opens Next Week
Candidates for municipal offices in the Avant, Burbank, Barnsdall, Fairfax, Hominy, Shidler, Prue and Wynona may file Declarations of Candidacy beginning at 8am Monday, February 6 and ending at 5pm Wednesday, February 8.
Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted at the County Election Board office for t offices for each of the following municipalities:
Town of Avant:
2 Trustees, 4 yr terms
City of Barnsdall:
Council Member Ward 2, 4 yr term
Council Member Ward 4, 4 yr term
Treasurer, 4 yr term
Town of Burbank:
1 Trustee, 4 yr term
1 Trustee, 2 yr unexpired term
Town Clerk/Treasurer, 4 yr term
Town of Fairfax:
2 Trustees, 4 yr terms
City of Hominy:
Council Member Ward 1, 4 yr term
Council Member Ward 4, 4 yr term
Council Member at Large, 4 yr term
City of Shidler:
Council Member, Ward 1, Seat 2, 4 yr term
Council Member, Ward 2, Seat 2, 4 yr term
Council Member, Ward 3, Seat 2, 4 yr term
Council Member, Ward 4, Seat 2, 4 yr term
Town of Prue:
3 Trustees, 4 yr terms
Clerk, 2 yr unexpired term
Treasurer, 2 yr unexpired term
Town of Wynona:
3 Trustees, 4 yr term
Town Treasurer, 4 yr term
Voters will decide the winners in the nonpartisan General Election scheduled for April 4.
For more information, contact the Osage County Election Board at (918) 287-3036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may download a Declaration of Candidacy at the State Election Board website at www.elections.ok.gov.
Monday at the meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners Heather Barkley from Osage County Heath Department introduced a proposed new employee, Brett Selvidge from Samaritan EMS provided his monthly report, and Sheriff Eddie Virden discussed Courthouse safety and County Jail repair.
Heather Barkley from Osage County Health Department introduced Morgan Shuping Monday morning. Shuping spent the previous six months working for the Health Department as an intern and headed the LoCo Fit program in Skiatook to encourage healthy living. Barkley praised Shuping for her hard work and wanted to bring her on full time, a contract will be presented at the next meeting.
Brett Selvidge of Samaritan EMS started his monthly presentation stating that the call volume for the month of December was down, however it is not uncommon during the holiday season. Selvidge presented the trends, which have stayed consistent, that the majority of Samaritans calls come from Barnsdall, on Wednesday, and are primarily injury related rather than medical.
Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden brought before the commissioners two items this week. The first was a safety and legality concern when bringing inmates to the Osage County Courthouse, the second was a necessary repair to the sewage system at the Osage County Jail.
Virden said when inmates are brought to the courthouse jury members are not allowed to see them chained, shackled, or cuffed, otherwise the case could be deemed a mistrial. However there is not currently a location or system in place for inmates to be unshackled before being brought into the Courthouse. Virden's recommendation was to build an inexpensive garage or shed, along with a sally port, to unshackle inmates outside the employee entrance then lead them into the Courthouse. The Commissioners agreed however said they would need quotes before action could be taken.
The second item was a sewer issue at the Osage County Jail, where the plumbing is beginning to deteriorate and work must be done quickly before the system collapses. Virden was able to collect several quotes, however due to the great variation in price points additional research must be conducted, both items were tabled until the next meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners next week.
You have waited patiently to see the effect of the opening of The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile on the City of Pawhuska's economy. The numbers are in.
City Manager, Mike McCartney spoke with us concerning the sales tax numbers. McCartney says he was excited to share that the figures for the first half of November 2016 were well above those for 2015. In sales tax dollars, November 2016 saw receipts of $83,016.42. That's a significant increase from the $70,537.99 in 2015. For the first half of December the numbers looked even better. As of December 16, 2016 sales tax income for the City was $103,310.13. In other words, a nearly $14,000 dollar increase from the 2015 figure of $89,342.40.
While some may have expected higher numbers based on traffic and sales through the Mercantile, McCartney says the figures are promising and he is anxious to see the numbers for the second half of December. Those figures should be available the second week of February.
Four Arrested for Hominy Murder
Four people are in the Osage County jail on first-degree murder charges. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation contacted the Osage County Sheriff's Office Thursday afternoon at about 1 o'clock with a request from the Perry Police Department regarding a missing man from that community.
Information from the OSBI indicated that Eric Hartung was missing. Hartung had reportedly been killed in Hominy and his body then dumped on a rural Osage County road.
Osage County Investigators and Perry Police met with OSBI in southern Osage County near Cleveland, Oklahoma and joined in the investigation. They found Hartung's body on New Prue Road in Osage County just minutes after 4 o'clock.
The investigation continued back to Hominy where investigators were able to obtain and execute a search warrant at the home where the alleged murder occurred. During the investigation authorities located and arrested four suspects for First Degree Murder. Crocket Daniel Beckham, white male, age 26; Helena Christina Jones, American Indian female, age 43; Tillman Caudy Wells III, white male, age 30 were all located and arrested in Hominy, Oklahoma. Sillwater police located and arrested 23 year-old Able Dale Horton.
Agencies involved in the investigation were OSBI, Perry Police Department, Payne County Sheriff's Department, Stillwater Police Department, Hominy Police Department, and the Osage County Sheriff's Office.
Improvements continue at Woolaroc. Woolaroc Chief Executive Officer Bob Fraser says work goes on to replace all of the floors in Rooms 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the museum. Fraser says the Woolaroc Museum remains open during the renovations but some of the rooms may be partially blocked off while the repairs are taking place.
Fraser wants you to know that because of the ongoing work, you can get in to Woolaroc now for only half price at the Front Gate -- $6 for adults, $5 for 65 and over through January 31st. Woolaroc thanks you for your patience and your support which allows the improvements to happen.
This week at the meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners, Jake Bruno from Osage County Planning and Zoning provided an update, the commissioners discussed whether to repair or replacement the heating and air systems at the Osage County Fairgrounds, and approved to surplussing of firearms for retiring officers from the Osage County Sheriff's Office.
Jake Bruno from Osage County Planning and Zoning discussed numerous topics during his report, including wind farms in Osage County, Oil and Gas production and the inspection process, the newly constructed Canyon Creek Campground, and Tulsa Botanic Gardens. Bruno has discussed during previous meetings the upcoming improvements at the Tulsa Botanic Gardens, an soon the gardens will be requesting a Conditional use permit from the county to build a new event center. The new event center will be capable of hosting weddings, business meetings, along with other educational events.
Last week Amos Adetula from Amos Electrical and Mechanical discussed with the Commissioners that the heating and air units on the AG Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds needed repaired or replaced. This week the Commissioners returned with three quotes for repairs and for full unit replacement. Of the three quotes Amos Electrical and Mechanical was the low bid, and the Commissioners chose to replace the units rather than repair the existing aged systems. The existing York units will be replaced with new York units at $9,240 each or $36,960 total.
Lastly the Commissioners discussed the surplussing of service weapons for the Osage County Sheriffs Office. The retiring officers Otis Hughes, Lou Ann Brown, and Sheriff Ty Koch wish to keep their service weapons upon retiring from the Osage County Sheriff's Office and the Commissioners approved their request. District #3 Commissioner Darren McKinney also wished to thank the officers for their years of service to Osage County and all of their accomplishments.
The next meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners will be next Monday morning at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska.
Osage Tourism Event Scheduled
The Osage County Tourism Committee and the Osage County Industrial Authority announce the speaker and topic line-up for the second Tourism Forum, "Dimensions of Osage Tourism" to be held Friday, January 27th from 10 to 2:30 at the Helmerich Research Center at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa.
The forum will kick off with inspiration from the President of Creative Oklahoma, Susan McCalmont. You will then learn what resources are available to organizations from representatives from Green Country Marketing, Osage County Tourism, the Pawhuska Industrial Authority, and Kimberly Noe-Lehenbauer from the Oklahoma Travel & Recreation Department.
Updates and highlights from Osage County's three world-class attractions will be provided by James Pepper Henry from the Gilcrease Museum; Harvey Payne from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve; and Kaci Fouts from Woolaroc. Bruce Carter, representing the Tallgrass Gallery in Pawhuska, will share "Top ten things you can do now to market your business and build a service culture".
The day will round out with Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Redcorn, Osage Nation, and Bruce Cass, Properties Manager of the Nation, sharing the Osage Story.
Osage County attractions, lodging, retail establishments and interested parties are encouraged to attend. Lunch is sponsored by Osage Casinos.
The Forum is free to attend but RSVP is required. To RSVP, contact the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce at pawhuskachamber2sbcglobal.net or (918) 287-1208.
For more information regarding the forum, contact Eddy Redeagle at eredeagpeoplepc.com or 918-637-1464.
Body Found in Osage County
The Osage County Sheriffs Office has confirmed that a body was discovered at Hulah Lake on Wednesday morning. The Osage County Sheriffs Office was informed of an unresponsive male subject located at the Rocky Ford boat ramp area. Deputies, Hulah Rural Fire District, and Oklahoma State Parks officers responded to the scene and determined that the male subject was deceased by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The name of the individual will not been released until family members have been informed.
Osage County Marking Abandoned Vehicles
Osage County Emergency personnel are taking specific additional action regarding abandoned vehicles due to the ice storm warning covering much of Oklahoma this weekend. Osage County Emergency Management Director Jerry Roberts told KPGM News that emergency personnel will be marking abandoned vehicles with lime green tape to identify that the vehicle has been inspected and determined that the operators are not in danger. Roberts stated that they still want you to call 911 if they see a vehicle off of any Osage County roadway, but be prepared to answer whether the vehicle has already been marked. The lime green tape will be attached to the vehicle on the side closest to the roadway, and most likely on the vehicle's driver side mirror or door handle. Safe and attentive driving is still the most effective way to keep you safe when operating your vehicle in winter weather, so take it slow and ensure to arrive at your destination safely.
Barnsdall Chamber Discusses Tourism
This week the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce met for their first meeting of 2017. The Chamber honored the January Students of the Month, discussed tourism and the upcoming tourism forum, and started the discussion regarding building a canopy and providing power for the community center stage.
For the month of January four students from Barnsdall High School and Junior High where honored for their citizenship. Students Jakob Babb, Nicole Brown, Maxwell Gaither, and Samantha Willis were presented with a certificate of achievement and made members of the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Vice-President Claude Rosendale spoke to the chamber regarding the upcoming Osage County Tourism Forum. The event will take place on January, 27 at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, and is free for the public to attend, however attendees should RSVP by contacting the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce at (918)287-1208.
Late last year the Barnsdall Chamber came together to build a stage at the Barnsdall Community Center to be used for various events, however the stage is currently without its own power supply and an protection from the elements. Rosendale said they had submitted for quotes to have a canopy and have electricity run to the stage, but were waiting for a few options. He hopes that they will have a few quotes to discuss at the next meeting of the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce on January 24.