Osage News has report the unofficial results of the 2016 general election for the Fifth Osage Nation Congress. The Osage people reelected five incumbent members of the Congress and one new member. The incumbents who will continue to hold their position In the Congress are Archie Mason, Maria Whitehorn, RJ Walker, Shannon Edwards, and John Maker. Joe Tillman will be the sixth Congress member elected this year, Tillman is a former Osage Nation Division Leader for Education and Culture.
Members of the Osage Nation also voted on a constitutional amendment regarding the maximum punishment allowed to be issued by the Nation's tribal court system. The question passed with 84 percent yes votes.
Read more on the Osage News website at OsageNews.org.
Tuesday night the Pawhuska City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting, and continued the discussion started last month regarding the Triangle Building. Newly elected City Council Member Steve Holcome brought forward a motion last month to have the building declared as a nuisance, that motion was rejected, based on the promise from the building's current owners.
At the meeting Tuesday, Holcome wished to continue the discussion and give the City Council more power when dealing with building owners. The motion cited Oklahoma Municipal Code 11-22-112.4 which would give the City the authority to fine or apply fees to building owners who do not show adequate progress when improving abandoned or neglected buildings. While the city does not currently plan to fine the owners of the Triangle Building they do wish to set a precedence to establish a time table.
Holcome made the motion to give the negotiating authority to City Attorney John Heskett and the motion was approved. If a building is found to be abandoned, as per the Municipal Code, and the owner does not abide or provide a time table for repair or renovation it can be declared a nuisance. The Council hopes that progress will continue on the Triangle Building, but wished to have an additional option in the event renovation stops.
The Commissioners made strides towards closing the gap in Emergency Medical Service at the meeting of the Osage County Commissioners Monday. Commissioners Scott Hilton introduced Samaritan Emergency Medical Services' CEO Charlie Vetters to discuss bringing Samaritan to Osage County.
Vetters explained that Samaritan EMS has a history of service in Oklahoma and is the only specialty care licensed ambulance in Oklahoma.
Commissioner Hilton emphasized that the gap in coverage needs to be closed and it is unacceptable that residents must wait an hour for an ambulance to arrive; however, to greatest concern is how to fund the service. The County is willing to do whatever they can to help but funds will need to come from the people, Vetters remarked it is worth the cost.
The Commissioners were unable to take action Monday, however Samaritan will draft a contract for the District Attorneys Office to review. The item will return to the agenda at the next regular meeting Monday morning at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska.
Friday marks the beginning of the Skiatook Bluegrass Association's twelfth annual Tallgrass Music Festival. The event Brings some of the best in Bluegrass music to Skiatook June 3rd and 4th
Included in the lineup this year are: returning favorites Blue Pearl, Grass Crack, Southbound Mule, 2016 Bluegrass Music's Vocal Group of the Year and Bluegrass Gospel Band of the Year The Farm Hands, Wood & Wire, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s 2016 Male Vocalist of the Year Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out.
It all begins Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock and Saturday at 1. Each night will close out with the very popular band scramble, make sure you register and pick your instrument.
Check out band and vendor info on the Tallgrass Music Festival website at tallgrassmusicfestival.com.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners held their weekly meeting Tuesday due to the observation of Memorial Day. They opened bids for road and bridge items, grader blades, and state spec rock.
The Commissioners hosted discussion with Candy Thomas from the Osage Nation regarding the possibility of signing a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU would be to utilize the Nation's new facility in Fairfax to better serve the Nutrition Programs Title III customers. The Commissioners were supportive of the MOU and should sign once it has been drafted.
Osage County Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown brought before the commissioners the continuing concern of emergency medical services and the lack of coverage across the county. At the beginning of the May Eagle Medical Transport left the Barnsdall and Avant area leaving a large gap in coverage. The Commissioners have discussed several courses of action but the most realistic option would be to get funding from public tax to cover a county wide ambulance service. Skiatook City Manager Dan Yancey said while the public does not like additional taxes it is a means to an end.
Due to the lack of EMS coverage in Osage County it is frequently taking anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for an ambulance to get to customers, and once on a run, EMS is often out of service for several hours. The Commissioners decided to continue the discussion at the meeting next Monday at 10.