The Board of Osage County Commissioners will meet at the courthouse in Pawhuska this Monday for what appears to be a brief meeting.
The commissioners will consider signing a contract with AT&T to get new 911 equipment.
The commissioners will also consider purchasing seven Kenwood Digital Radios for the Pershing Fire Department. This would cost nearly $5,000. They will also consider purchasing 66 digital analog mobile radios for the emergency management department.
The meeting begins at 10 o’ clock in the morning for those interested in attending.
The Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska was opened in 1914. In recent years, there has been concern that the courthouse is deteriorating and some believe a new one needs to be built or the current one needs to be re-furbished. Others would like to see a courthouse annex in Skiatook.
Conversation surfaced once again at a recent Board of Osage County Commissioners meeting. District Two Commissioner Kevin Paslay said the same issues linger around the courthouse and even more have came to light recently. He let Jeff Raley speak on the subject. Raley ran a campaign lobbying for a re-furbished courthouse several years ago. Osage County voters voted against that measure.
Those figures include having an annex of some sort in Skiatook for residents in the southern part of the county to take care of basic needs. District One Commissioner Randall Jones is concerned about how many employees would have to work at the annexed office in Skiatook.
Paslay made it clear that he believes his constituents deserve an annex in Skiatook to make it easier to conduct business. He said that it is feasible and needed. Raley added that a compromise of some sort is the only way anything will ever move forward.
When the measure was voted on last, a committee was formed to see if the courthouse should be re-furbished or if it should be built downtown. After talking to residents across the county, the committee decided a re-furbished courthouse was the way to go.
Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher, who was on that committee last time, would recommend holding town halls as they did last time. Raley added if they were to hold an election this year, the best time to do it would be June or August. He said it would be best to avoid the November election.
Former Pawhuska Police Chief Nick Silva was notified earlier this week that City Manager Dave Neely had terminated his contract. This is in the wake of an OSBI investigation into the Pawhuska Police Department that Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher had requested earlier this month. Fisher says the case is now being handed to the Washington County’s District Attorney’s Office.
Silva lives in Washington County, hence the reason the case is being handed over to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Lorrie Hennesey remains the interim police chief in Pawhuska.
Last Thursday, the Pawhuska Huskies took the floor to take on Fairview in the first round of the Tonkawa Tournament. Coach Jake Christenson was pleased with the way his team came out and played in that first round game, but was disappointed to see back-to-back losses against Mannford and Blackwell to end the tournament. While Christenson had hoped for a better outcome, he says it is important to keep things in perspective.
The Huskies have consecutive road trips at Newkirk and Pawnee starting on Friday. Christenson says this will be the start of a tough schedule for Pawhuska to end the regular season with.
Pawhuska will play as many as 12 guys a game. Christenson says he is still trying to figure out the right lineup to put on the floor at the same time.
Pawhuska will be on the radio next Friday when the Huskies take on Dewey at home. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game can be heard on Sportstalk KPGM FM 99.1.
Pawhuska Police Chief Fired
The OSBI continues to investigate the Pawhuska Police Department, but Pawhuska City Manager Dave Neely confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Pawhuska Police Chief Nick Silva had been terminated.
In an exclusive interview with Bartlesville Radio, Chief Silva had some parting words for Pawhuska residents.
District Attorney Mike Fisher is unsure if this has to do with the OSBI investigation or other matters relating to city government, as Neely is the one who let Silva go. Neely declined to comment further.
Fisher went on to say that his office is currently trying to figure out who should prosecute the case moving forward.
Lorrie Hennesey has been named interim police chief. Hennesey had been the Pawhuska Public School Resource Officer. Because she is now the interim police chief, superintendent David Cash says the school is without a resource officer for the time being.
The Extension Office for Oklahoma State University has moved to the Osage County Fairgrounds and Director Branden Handke says area residents are finally adjusting to the move. Handke says groups have planned many events for the new building in the near future.
To learn more about what the new building has to offer, call 918-287-4170.
The Barnsdall basketball team took third place at the Caney Valley Tournament over the weekend and defeated Shidler on Tuesday evening by nearly 30 points. Coach Wade Corder says last week was a busy time for the Panthers, so he is looking forward to getting back in the gym the latter part of this week.
In the win against Shidler, senior Heath Moles scored 35 points. Last Thursday, Caney Valley coach Tug Brinker said Moles was one of the biggest matchup problems he had encountered all year long. Corder said he has seen Moles improve dramatically in his time at Barnsdall.
Coming down the stretch run of the season, Corder says he is focusing on getting his team to improve on the defensive end of the floor.
The Panthers will be at Copan this Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Crew members of Miller EMS were at Monday's Board of Osage County Commissioners meeting saying that things were going well with their company, but Jim Koch added response times needed to be better. He said a new mapping system would help that.
In the month of December, they responded to 32 phone calls in the Barnsdall and Avant area. Five responses didn't require the transport of a patient.
There has been a lot of debate between the Board of Osage County Commissioners and the citizens of Fairfax regarding what should happen to the Bighill Furniture Store in Fairfax. At Monday's Board of Osage County Commissioner meeting, Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, Geoffrey Standing Bear stated that the Osage Nation might be interested in doing something with the property.
Standing Bear has been asked by the Osage people what is being done to take advantage of the economic boom currently going on across Osage County, especially with producers of,“Killers of the Flower Moon,” beginning to film in May. Right now Standing Bear doesn't have an answer for them. Joe Conner, who is partnering with Standing Bear in this attempt, said this memorial would only be the beginning to what he would hope be a restoration of downtown Fairfax.
Citizen Jerry Butterbaugh spoke up and said he isn't in favor of letting the Fairfax foundation partner with the Osage Nation.
One thing the commissioners are concerned about is the fact that they have already sent bid packets out on two separate occasions. If they were to do it a third time, they might have trouble finding a firm willing to demolish the building. Terry Loftis of J&L Associatesaddressed that problem to Standing Bear.
The commissioners decided to table the agenda item until they could get more information from the Osage Nation.
A Bartlesville man has been arrested and is charged with burglary in the second degree and damage to property at the Dollar General, located at 1501 SW Frank Phillips Blvd. in Bartlesville.
Verdee Marshall is accused of breaking into the Dollar General early Friday morning. Officers were dispatched to the scene just after 6 a.m. and noticed the glass in both front doors had been broken. After searching the business, officers were unable to find any suspects. They then called the manager of the store and began watching video surveillance. Officers saw a male break the glass out of the front door and begin walking into the store. He then stole two cases of beer.
The manager told officers she believed it was a male she had seen on Wednesday whom she had to kick out for attempting to steal beer. Officers were able to identify Marshall from a shoplifting incident earlier this week as well. Officers made contact with Marshall at his home address. They brought Marshall back down to the Dollar General. Marshall claimed he didn't break into the store and it wasn't him on the video surveillance footage.
Marshall is next due back in court this Monday at 1:15 p.m. His bond was set at $25,000.