The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond will be opening her new Pawhuska Mercantile Shop this coming Monday, October 31st. For many Pioneer Woman fans the day cannot come soon enough, and the City of Pawhuska along with the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce are going to make an event out of the Halloween Opening. An assortment of activities are being planned for the opening night, while residents and guest await visiting the new Bakery, Deli, and General Store.
Plans for the Pawhuska store began nearly four years ago with an expected opening of August this year. Drummond had said in her blog at thepioneerwoman.com that the opening is later than she wanted at first, but the extended date gave everyone the time to make sure that every detail was right before they meet their first customers.
The Mercantile is located in a 100 year-old building in Downtown Pawhuska on the corner of Main and Kihehah and will be open 6 – 6 Monday through Thursday, 6 – 7 Friday and Saturday.
Tuesday the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce met for their second October meeting; during which the chamber members discussed their recent trip to the Enbridge Tour at the Cushing Terminal and received a presentation from recently opened Grand Lake Mental Health in Barnsdall.
Chamber Vice-President Claud Rosendale said the group had a great tour and greatly appreciated the effort it takes to bring crude oil into the state. Other members said they were amazed by the size of the pipeline and storage tanks with their 500 million barrel capacity.
The Chamber also received a presentation from Children Services Administrator Kimberly Hill from the recently opened Grand Lake Mental Health Clinic in Barnsdall. Hill stated that they have had a very successful month since their opening; so much so that they are looking to hiring more employees in the near future.
The clinic in Barnsdall currently focuses on Children Mental Health Services, but they do provide Adult Services as well. The Mental Health clinic accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, Medicaid, Sooner Care, and Humana. The clinic in Barnsdall along with all of the organization 11 facilities are available to self-referral along with walk-ins.
The Barnsdall Chamber will meet next on November 8, at the Barnsdall Community Center.
Monday Morning the Osage County Board of County Commissioners met for their weekly meeting. On the schedule was several property auctions, the continued discussion regarding providing funding for County Corner Fire Department and Ambulance Service, and a Public Hearing regarding opening a section line.
District #2 Commissioner Darren McKinney,opened the floor for discussion during the public hearing, however the only comments were for the line opening. The approval of the section line was more of a formality, the roadway was originally established more than 40 years ago by then District #1 Commissioner L.B. May. The roadway however has never been the County's responsibility to maintain. The approval of the section line will allow the county to begin maintaining the roadway for Osage County Residents.
The Commissioners also approved a rate increase for the rental of the Osage County Fairgrounds Arenas and Buildings, the updated pricing will soon be posted at the Fairgrounds for all interested parties.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners will meet again next Monday October 31 for their regular scheduled meeting.
The “Arts Adventure in the Osage” is a three day celebration of the arts, culture and history in Pawhuska, October 20th through the 22nd, and the event should provide fun for all ages.
It all starts Thursday evening with the Arts Bank Preview, which will give viewers an opportunity to see the works which will be on display through Saturday, place early bids and make purchases, and meet with some of the artist.
Bruce Carter owner of the Tallgrass Art Gallery in Pawhuska has been a driving force to bring artist from across the country for the event. Carter sat down an discussed the Art bank gallery on KPGM's Talk of The Town.
The ‘Art Bank’ art show and sale in the historic First National Bank building, 100 E. Main and proceeds from each sale will go to benefit the Ben Johnson Monument.
Friday night, the Osage Nation Museum will be hosting “A Night at the Museum” and will show the Ben Stiller Robin Williams film “A Night at the Museum”. Food vendors and popcorn will be available. The Osage Nation Museum will also be open during the event. Gates open at 7:30 pm and the movie starts at 8:00. Don't forget your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks and enjoy an outdoor movie at the oldest tribal museum in the United States.
Saturday will be the busiest day of the Arts Adventure and it all begins with registration at 8:30. “Adventurers” may sign up for the Pawhuska Scavenger Hunt, where first player to finish the hunt by visiting all 14 Pawhuska locations and having their ‘passport’ stamped will receive the first prize of $500, second place $300 and third $200. The scavenger hunt will end at noon.
Artist can register and participate in the Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Registration Station. There will be three age groups, age 5 to 13 (first prize $50), 14 to 17 (first prize $150.00) and Adult (17 and over first prize of $500.00). Sidewalks will be marked for each artist to work in with chalk provided. Artists will have from 9:30 to 3:00 to complete their works with the theme ‘The Real West’.
Tallgrass Art Gallery is sponsor a plein air painting contest from 9:30 to 3:00, with registration from 8:30 to 9:30. Artists may work in any media and any genre to create their work. All artists will need to bring their own supplies for a day of plein air in historic Pawhuska. At the end of the event, works will be judged. A prize of $200 will be awarded to the best portrayal of Pawhuska and a second prize of $200 for best piece of the day. Artists may choose to sell their works that evening at ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures with 70% going to the artists and 30% going to the Ben Johnson Monument.
So Head to Pawhuska this weekend to experience your very own Art Adventure. For Additional information visit www.artsintheosage.org
Monday the Osage County Board of County Commissioners met for their regular weekly meeting and received quarterly reports from Osage County Emergency Management Director Jerry Roberts and Planning and Zoning Director Jake Bruno.
Emergency Management Director Jerry Roberts started his presentation off by stating the County has had a good quarter from the standpoint of Safety, with no major incidents throughout the county. Roberts also pointed out that over the past quarter the county has had to deal with several incidents of water treatment issues and continue to receive support from Wal-Mart and the local media. To date the Wal-Mart Distribution Center has donated nearly 61,000 bottles of water to Emergency Management and Osage County.
Osage County Planning and Zoning Director Jake Bruno discussed the offices busy quarter. Much of Bruno report dealt with flood plain management and permits. Bruno stated the office is working with FEMA to redraw bounties and flood zones for land owners whose property lies in a flood plain. Many land owners has seen significant reduction in their insurance rates with the boundary changes.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners will meet again Next Monday at 9am at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska
The Pawhuska City Council held a Special Meeting Wednesday Afternoon to receive a presentation from Arthur Pittman with Communities Unlimited regarding his recent rate study for Pawhuska, and to make a determination if the City of Pawhuska needs to increase the rates of their sewer and water utilities. Communities Unlimited a Non-Profit organization out of Fayetteville Arkansas which provided free water and wastewater rate studies along with other services.
Pittman conducted a short term rate study for sewer and water utilities for the months of March through June of 2016 and determined that, much like the previous fiscal year, the City would end the year in the negative to an amount of nearly $83,000 if utility rates were not increased.
The troubling results also presented another problem, if there was to be another issue with the Pawhuska water treatment facility or water lines, similar to those which caused a boil order in August, it would likely cost the City upwards of $3 million to replace. The City also would not be able to apply for grants to assist with the replacement of the treatment center or numerous aging water lines throughout the city without a rate increase.
The Study also showed that residents of Pawhuska pay some of the lowest prices for their water utilities in the region, and customers have not seen an increase in their water and sewer utilities since 2009, so the sudden increase will most likely be a shock.
City utility customers will see an increase of $2.00 per 1,000 gallons on their next sewer utility bill, which for many customers will amount to a $8.00 per month increase, and residents will see an increase to an $8.00 base price per month for 1,000 gallons and 25 cent per each additional 1,000 gallons on their water utility bill.
The Pawhuska City Council understood that an increase is not what anyone wants but it is what is necessary. They also stated that the goal is to create a savings for when the water treatment center will need to be replaced, and have funds to continue maintenance on the aging water lines until the 100 year old system can be replaced.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners met Tuesday morning for their regular scheduled meeting; the meeting was held on Tuesday due to the County Observation of Columbus Day. The Commissioners opened the meeting with a couple of tax property auctions the fist of which was for several properties in Wynona the next for a lot in Fairfax. Today was the last opportunity for the public to bid and purchase tax properties before the Treasurer's Auction which is scheduled for November 7 at 10am at the Osage County Treasurer's Office in Pawhuska.
The Commissioners also discussed and approved a proposal to use the Osage County Fair Grounds as the future site for the Green County Music Festival. The festival hopes to make Pawhuska and the Osage County Fairgrounds a destination location for the three day country music festival. The Commissioners approved the fairgrounds for June of 2017 but have not established a rental cost or contract for the event.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners will meet again next Monday October 17, at 10am at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska.
Tuesday the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce met for the first of their October meetings, however the meeting was kept short because several members of the Chamber of Commerce had been invited and were traveling to Cushing to tour the Enbridge Energy Cushing Terminal.
The meeting Tuesday was the first to be run by newly elected Russell Hayman as Chamber President, and Hayman started the meeting off by welcoming the Barnsdall Students of the Month; from the High School Luke Robinson and Linda Marullo, and from the Junior High Holden Billingsly and Alicia Gosney.
Following a short discussion regarding Christmas in Barnsdall, which is scheduled for December 3, Hayman honored long time Barnsdall Chamber Treasurer Paul Overholt. Overholt was presented with a clock for his service to the Chamber and the citizens of Barnsdall. Overholt served as Treasurer for 12 years.
The Chamber then received a presentation from Mary Jackson from PSO regarding energy saving tips and programs offered by PSO. Jackson highlighted a winterization program which is available to those with low or fixed income. Under the program PSO will contract with a company to winterize your home for no cost. PSO also offers rebate programs to those who do not meet the requirements of the winterization program but would like to improve the energy efficiency of their home. More information can be found at www.powerforwardwithpso.com
The Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce will meet again at noon on October 25, at the Barnsdall Community Center.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Pawhuska man was killed when the pickup truck he was riding in collided with a tractor-trailer rig near Pawnee.
The OHP says 24-year-old Andrew Thomas died in the crash Thursday on State Highway 18. An OHP report says the semi was northbound when the driver made a left turn into a convenience store parking lot and the southbound pickup crashed into the trailer of the rig.
The driver of the pickup and another passenger were both hospitalized in critical condition while the driver of the semi was not injured.
The report says the weather was cloudy and the road was dry at the time of the crash.
Tuesday night the Pawhuska City Council met for their monthly regular meeting. Once the official business portion of the agenda was completed the discussion turned to community events, and a new drive by the Pawhuska Police Department to slow down traffic along Main Street.
The City of Pawhuska is preparing for a storm, of tourism, when the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond opens her Mercantile at the end of the month. In preparation the Pawhuska Police Department has been working to enforce cross walk usage and slow down the busy traffic along Main Street, which is also State Highway 60, and keep drivers watching for pedestrian traffic.
The conversation of parking once again arose during the meeting of the City Council, this time the discussion focused on parking enforcement or possibly setting up a means to collect parking fees, while no action was taken the discussion remains open.
One of the last items discussed was the 100th birthday of Pawhuska native, icon, and business owner Sally Carroll. The council was excited at the prospect to doing something to celebrate Carroll birthday later this month but did not share their plans.
The Pawhuska City Council will meet again Wednesday October 12, at noon for a Special Meeting at Pawhuska City Hall.