Features

Tales of Two Lawmen

Tales of Two Lawmen

On the sunny morning of Sept. 9, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office was hard at work on the Rick Holt homicide, but in one corner, two legends of law enforcement sat back and didn’t pay it any mind. They had already earned their stripes and had many a murder and many a kidnapping behind them. […]


Fables Cast in Bronze

Fables Cast in Bronze

Dan Jones, a sculptor based in Kaw City, has spent three years on a single-minded mission to save stories that have long been told by his Ponca elders and Osages. The tales are being lost because of the tribes’ oral traditions, so he decided to cast images of the fables in bronze and concrete. On […]


Life of a Cowboy

Life of a Cowboy

The image of a true cowboy brings to mind Pawhuskan Jack Cheves. He’s a cowboy. He has always been a cowboy. He raised all of his children on ranches in Texas and Oklahoma. He worked on the Oxley ranch near Pawhuska for 28 years, until retiring a few years ago and moving closer to town. […]


50 Years at the County Fair

Rose Yount is a master seamstress. She sewed every dress but one that her daughter ever wore until she graduated from high school, and made her wedding dress after that. These days, she quilts. A lot. Even so, she has only entered the Osage County Fair once: A long sleeve dress, in brown with blue […]


Shoemake: He was a force

Shoemake: He was a force

When Shockley Shoemake found out he had terminal brain cancer three weeks ago, he had no regrets. “I’ve done everything I need to do, and I’m not afraid of death,” he said. He had, in fact, lived a life so full that it is hard to capture. He was a child of the Depression, who […]


Graduate of Iwo Jima

Graduate of Iwo Jima

In 1942, Bill Larkin was 16, a farm boy and an athlete at Skiatook High School who played football, basketball and baseball. When his basketball coach, Pat Dunlap, left before the season ended because he could get a commission in the armed forces fighting in World War II, change started rolling into Larkin’s life. He […]


Still sassy at 100

Still sassy at 100

When the odometer rolls over in a human life, it can lead to some awkward moments. Last month, Robbie Burnett took her mom to the doctor, and realized that when she had to fill out some new forms. The “today’s date” she penned into the form was in May 2014, and the next date to […]


54 years devoted to kids

54 years devoted to kids

For 55 years, Harold Huffman has devoted himself to children, for better and for worse. He spent 18 years teaching and coaching before settling into the job he has occupied for more than 36 years: Directing Youth Services of Osage County, the charitable organization that contracts with the state of Oklahoma to care for troubled […]


They, too, served, and now will be honored in bronze

They, too, served, and now will be honored in bronze

Six women soldiers and a child arrived in Pawhuska this week, ready to be cast into bronze for a large Women Veterans Memorial in Del City. The sculptures – five women soldiers united by their hands around a flagpole and another National Guard solider sitting next to a child at a reflecting pool – are […]


Wheels for a better future

Wheels for a better future

Korey McGowen had a big win when he attended a retreat for burn victims a few weeks ago in Tulsa. He won a new car, not by sheer luck of the draw, but because he wrote the most compelling essay – and gave the most compelling interview – about why he needed one. The 17-year-old […]


Brains first, then brawn

Brains first, then brawn

They say that no star fades faster than a high school athlete, but for one Barnsdall High School football player the old saw is proving untrue. In fact, the next time he faces another team, Hunter Hansen will be on the field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where he will be on the offensive […]


One era ends, another begins

One era ends, another begins

  More than 43 years ago, when John Dahl decided to cast his hat in the race for the Oklahoma Senate, Buck Wells was a young guy working at the Philips 66 gas station in Barnsdall. Dahl’s wife, Lucille, wasn’t up for the challenge of raising a family and running a busy feed store they […]


Race to the bottom

Recently I read the popular, post-apocalyptic, dystopian science-fiction novel by Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games.” I was curious as to why it was so popular with young adults. It is the story of a rich and powerful metropolis, set in a future North America, which controls twelve impoverished surrounding districts and each year exacts a […]


CASA auction helps volunteers go above, beyond

CASA auction helps volunteers go above, beyond

Sometimes, the work of a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children goes beyond the regular call of volunteer duty. On Saturday, as the Pawnee-Osage CASA held its annual birdhouse auction fundraiser, director Helen Norris singled out one volunteer who went all out for a child. She is a little girl, born to a morphine addict. […]


A man and his ship: Survivors

A man and his ship: Survivors

Wednesday, to all outward appearances, was a normal day in the life of Elmer Scullawl. He put together a Coke salad for the next day’s Thanksgiving dinner, tended to other chores, and went out with friends to eat supper at Murphy’s in Bartlesville. But it was also a day for giving thanks that he was […]


Giving food, thanks

A stockpile of frozen turkeys is defrosting in the fellowship hall at Pawhuska’s Immaculate Conception Church, fixing to get browned and basted for Thursday’s big dinner. The church has been scouting and storing turkeys for six months to feed the hungry this holiday. Immaculate Conception has fed an average of 50 people each day for […]


Fighting hunger all year long

Fighting hunger all year long

Thanksgiving is around the corner and some people are thinking about that one big dinner, but one group has food on its mind year round: Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. Program coordinator Emily Hudson knows there is a need to help feed children throughout the year, which is where the backpack program comes into play. […]


Roundup marks 20 years of bison on the prairie

Roundup marks 20 years of bison on the prairie

At sunrise, steam rose like a light fog off bison as they grunted and grumbled, their routines interrupted by corralling trucks Thursday morning during the annual Nature Conservancy roundup. The week-long roundup, the only time the bison come into close contact with humans,  is used to count, tag, medicate and sort the herd. This year […]


A life saved over breakfast

A life saved over breakfast

Juanita Williams awakened her granddaughter Tiffanie Brown by singing “Happy Birthday” on Tuesday last week, but she isn’t sure why she decided to keep her home for her 12th birthday. “The doctor said it must have been divine intervention,” Williams said. “A miracle,” Tiffanie added. After sending Tiffanie’s 16-year-old half-sister Breanna Red Eagle off to […]


Scholars adore the prairie

Scholars adore the prairie

A chilly wind blew up swirls of dust and prairie grass around 71 Fulbright scholars from 43 different countries, but the scholars paid no mind, trotting after bison to take photos at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve on Thursday morning. “I was joking that we really have them from A-to-Z: Argentina to Zimbabwe,” said Cheryl Matherly, […]


Retiring the flag

Retiring the flag

No one can quite remember when the last flag retirement occurred at Camp McClintock in the Osage Hills, or even if there has ever been one. For sure, the camp has not hosted one since at least the 1990s, but on Saturday a couple dozen scouts from at least seven different troops, including Pawhuska’s two, […]


Tent City: An encampment

Tent City: An encampment

On Thursday, just south of U.S. 60 and east of the asphalt ribbon called Highway 99 heading north into Kansas, a massive tent city sprung up, mystifying many a commuter. Some 600 people, all but one of them male, stayed in the field at Sooner Cattle Co. for three days, including a cold, wet Friday, […]


A POW and a friendly face

A POW and a friendly face

Jesper Gosney, a World War II gunner and prisoner of war who faced more than one near-death experience during that conflict, was a perpetually warm, welcoming face in the small town of Avant. Known as Avant’s designated driver because he was always sober and always willing to give a lift to someone who was not, […]


Helping help works

Pawhuska’s Help Works Inc., serves 35 people with an I.Q. below 70 and employs another 34, which is why its main fundraiser – an annual dinner and auction held this Saturday – is so important to the nonprofit organization. “It’s a little lean this year,” said Janie Glendenning, Help Works executive editor. There are no […]