The Board of Osage County Commissioners will meet for a regularly scheduled meeting at the fairgrounds this Monday and in light of Brandon Handke’s resignation last week, Nancy Johnson with the Oklahoma State University Extension Office will give a report.
Judge Stuart Tate will make a request to use the Agriculture Building and the Women’s Building for the fall jury term, which will last from Monday, October 5th through Friday, November 6th.
There will be discussion regarding the possibility of waiving the rental fee for use of the Clarence Brantley Indoor Arena for the Punchy in Pink Ranch Rodeo on Saturday, October 24th. Proceeds from this will go toward the Working Ranch Cowboy Foundation.
The commissioners will also hold the weekly discussion on possibly making further amendments for procedures for the public entering the Osage County Courthouse and other county-owned buildings.
The meeting begins at 10 o’ clock in the morning for those interested in attending.
An injury collision occurred Thursday evening on State Highway 18 and County Rd. Little Chief Ranch Rd., near Fairfax in Osage County.
A motorcycle being driven by Ricky Fowler was travelling northbound on State Highway 18 and negotiated a curve at a high rate of speed. Fowler was forced to lay the bike over. He was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and admitted in fair condition with head, leg and trunk internal injuries.
Huskies Open the Season at Perry
The Pawhuska Huskies open up the season Friday evening with a road trip to Perry. The Maroons went 7-4 a year ago, losing in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs to Jones. Perry will be starting a fresh face at quarterback, but Pawhuska coach Matt Hennesy knows he is plenty capable of having a good game.
Kickoff from Perry is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard on Sportstalk KPGM FM 99.1 AM 1500.
Oklahoma's COVID-19 alert system will soon be seeing changes to how it determines each county risk level.
The alert system currently shows the risk level for each county on four different colors, green, yellow, orange and red. Health officials say these measurements aren't useful because they are based on hospital data statewide. Health officials say measurements need to be calculated using local hospital data to comply with the surge plan.
Currently, to be in the orange or red category, counties must average 14 or more positive cases per 100,000 people. For a county to move into the red risk level, outside factors outside of its control must occur. With the current system in place, a local hospital system could struggle, but because surrounding areas are doing fine, that given county would stay at the orange risk level.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will now adjust the system in a more localized way to more accurately reflect what is happening on a county-by-county basis. A spokesperson from the Oklahoma State Department of Health had this to say:
“Utilizing regional hospital data will offer a clearer, more accurate picture of local hospital capacity and increase the value of the alert system for all Oklahoman's.”
It isn't clear when these changes will take effect, but the next COVID-19 alert map is scheduled to come out on Friday.
(Pictured is a Photo of last week's alert map.)
The Board of Osage County Commissioners made a formal request to get rapid response testing equipment for COVID-19 and a mobile care unit to assist those with the virus in Osage County at Monday's meeting. Regional Director of the Osage County Health Department, Kelli Rader says they are working with a company to bring those needs to the county.
Rader says these units won't be available for another couple of months, but she goes into detail with what the mobile clinics would look like.
Jones says these three units would be a great help for the county because there are so many small communities in the area that would be unable to make it to the likes of Pawhuska, Skiatook and Hominy.
Regional Director of the Osage County Health Department, Kelli Rader recently gave an update as to how the department has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Rader said that through July 27th, the Osage County Health Department has provided 415 coronavirus tests. These tests are available daily at the health department in Pawhuska and on Tuesday and Thursday in the Skiatook location. District one commissioner Randall Jones has been pleased with how they have handled the difficult situation.
Rader talks about the continued improvements she wants to see at the health department.
For more information on the Osage County Health Department, call 918-287-3740.
The Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission says it is beginning to work on upgrades to its unemployment filing system. This comes after a number of people say they have ran into problems with the process.
The commission says a new digital identification verification system is what they are testing so that they can cut down on fraud. State officials are working with the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission on funding for this project.
The Tulsa Call Center has had 25 people added to its office to help with any call problems. Interim Director Shelley Zumwalt says this should help with the high call volumes they receive on a daily basis.
There were problems with delays in weekly payments for those who made claims earlier this week, but the commission says they have worked with the company who makes the payments to get this problem fixed.
Nutrition Report Given in Osage County
Nutrition Director for Osage County, Kyme Vincent was at Monday's board meeting hoping the commissioners would approve the financial report from July 1st, 2019 to June 20th, 2020. Vincent says this S-20 report looks a little bit different then ones she has presented in years past.
Vincent says a lot of grant money came through in a very short amount of time, but there wasn't anything available to buy because the demand for products was so high when the pandemic first began. Vincent was sure to say that everything worked out and everybody in the program is being fed.
All Osage County Nutrition Centers remain closed, but Vincent is taking a unique approach to get people together outdoors.
These picnic tables will be handicap accessible.
OSU Extension Officer Resigns
The Board of Osage County Commissioners got some surprising news on Monday when they learned that the Director of the Oklahoma State University Extension Office, Brandon Handke was resigning. It is with a good cause though.
The commissioners were sure to wish Handke luck and thanked him for all he had done while working for the extension office.
Handke said Rick Clovis will be taking over for him effective immediately. He serves in Pawnee County as well and representatives should be on the agenda next week to introduce themselves to the commissioners.
A Homegrown Music concert will be taking place this Saturday on Kihekah Ave. in downtown Pawhuska from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Luke Christenson and Serena Jeffers will be performing throughout the evening and this event is free to the public. You are asked to bring your own lawn chair. Balcony seating on the Historic Whiting Hotel is reserved for guests, but there are still a few rooms available for Saturday night.