Osage County

Chief: Keep OCC paws off trust

A flurry of long-distance politicking was unleashed late last week by rumors that some oil and gas producers want the Oklahoma Corporation Commission take over oil and gas regulation in Osage County. Such a step would require an act of Congress, since the rights of Osage shareholders to the mineral estate are governed by the […]


A rescue turns ugly

A rescue turns ugly

On Monday morning, in stifling heat, a ragtag bunch of 10 dogs were saved from lethal injection in Pawhuska. Their time had come: One pit bull had been held for more than two weeks in the city pound, well beyond the 72 hours that dog owners have to claim their pets. Among the others: A […]


Tribe closes 2 Head Starts

Citing low Osage enrollment, the Osage Nation says it will not open the Head Start centers it operates in Barnsdall or McCord this coming school year. The Head Start in Barnsdall had an enrollment of 17 students, four of whom were Osage. McCord served 18 students and no Osages. The closures were announced by letter […]


IHS to be operated by Nation by Oct. 1

After more than a decade of plotting and planning, changes are about to hit the Pawhuska Indian Health Services Clinic. As part of its seventh special session, the Fourth Osage Nation Congress unanimously approved a self-governance compact with Indian Health Services to operate the clinic come Oct. 1. By compacting the clinic, the tribe will […]


Osages approve language immersion

Come August, a few more area children are going to be exposed to a second language. As the last vote of the seventh special session Friday, the Fourth Osage Congress approved an additional $195,896 appropriation to the tribe’s Division of Education and Early Childhood Services to fund an Osage immersion language nest in Pawhuska for […]


Wild Rides (Cavalcade photos)

Wild Rides (Cavalcade photos)

Judge rules OMC has to abide by Ethics Act

Despite a push to maintain separation, a trial court judge says the Osage Minerals Council is not exempt from a tribal disclosure law. On Monday, Osage Nation Associate Trial Court Judge Lee Stout denied a summary judgment motion from five members of the Osage Minerals Council and ruled that they are subject to the tribe’s […]


Minerals Council divided over relations with Chiefs

At their Friday meeting, the Osage Minerals Council decided to address what one member called the “elephant in the room” – relations between the Minerals Council and the Office of the Chief. Councilwoman Kathryn Red Corn raised the issue at the outset of the meeting. “We have no communication with Chief Standing Bear and Assistant […]


New law: Bring parents to park

New law: Bring parents to park

No more unwatched children at the park, says the Barnsdall City Council, which passed an ordinance last week banning children under 12 from unless accompanied by an adult. Townspeople say that the park has endured a rash of vandalism, prompting the city to adopt the ordinance, which also prohibits littering, profanity, tree climbing, property destruction […]


County OKs road pact

County OKs road pact

Osage County is embroiled in a legal battle between its Board of Adjustment and the proposed Mustang Run wind project, but county commissioners on Monday voted unanimously to approve a road maintenance plan with the wind company for a six-mile portion of Foraker Road. “It’s the same agreement you had with the other wind farm,” […]


Owls move into Pythian castle

Owls move into Pythian castle

Barnsdall’s has a few new feathery inhabitants: secreted away in the top floor of Jack Kelley’s 5th street building, a parliament of barn owls has taken up residence. While Kelley is not certain when precisely the owls moved in, he is anxious to have them gone – but not anxious enough to do just anything […]


Cop involved in felon gun deal

An Osage County reserve deputy traded a firearm to a convicted felon in March in exchange for construction work which was never completed. The reserve deputy, Bobby Sappington, met with Michael Whitesell at Whitesell’s business, Big Mike’s Welding and Fabrication, in Skiatook. There, Whitesell agreed to build a 700 foot pipe fence at Sappington’s residence […]


Come October, Osages intend to operate IHS

Come October, Osages intend to operate IHS

Facing a loaded and potentially expensive agenda, the fourth Osage Nation Congress reconvened Monday for the start of its seventh special session. Of the 19 pieces of legislation filed for the special session, 15 are funding bills, including four that would allocate almost $16 million in revenue from fiscal year 2016 for the tribe’s entitlement […]


Temps are sizzling and so is Cavalcade (photo gallery)

Temps are sizzling and so is Cavalcade (photo gallery)

Producers have ’til Aug. 10

Producers have 'til Aug. 10

Osage County’s oil and gas producers may well heave a cautious sigh of relief as the deadline to comply with new oil and gas regulations moves back to at least August 10. The Osage Producers Association had asked a federal court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the rules from going into effect on the […]


Working on wind farm No. 2

Working on wind farm No. 2

After months of limbo as three wind lawsuits await action in two courts, the Mustang Run Wind Project is moving ahead, laying the groundwork to start building the 67-turbine array adjacent to the existing Osage Wind project. On Monday, Tradewind Energy asked the Osage County Board of Commissioners to approve a plan to use and […]


Lost in a kindly Osage County

Josephine Winningham never intended on coming to Osage County in the wee hours of July 1. She was headed to a doctor’s appointment in St. Louis, which is where she lives, but somehow managed to end up 436 miles off target, at the intersection of highways 18 and 20 near Fairfax, where she wrecked her […]


Assault case declined again

The Payne County District Attorney, specially assigned to the case of a Cleveland police officer Hominy police wanted charged with domestic assault, has declined to press charges. DA Laura Thomas said that evidence was lacking in the case, and that police should have interviewed officer Raymond Leach, who also co-chairs the Osage County Republican Party, […]


Fourth of July 2015 (photo gallery)

Fourth of July 2015 (photo gallery)

High Court rejects DA case

Without comment, eight of the nine justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out an application by District Attorney Rex Duncan in which he sought to have a Pawnee County judge’s order creating a drug court vacated. The high court also tossed Duncan’s similar challenge to another order by Pawnee County Associate District Judge Patrick […]


Oilmen: Feds are killing us

Oilmen: Feds are killing us

Five miles west of Pawhuska, a blue water tower rises incongruously from the prairie. Beside it is a gate just wide enough for a large pickup truck to pass, its posts topped with the tri-cone drill bits emblematic of the oil and gas industry. Mark Helmer exits his truck, opens the gate and drives through […]


Casino: Remodel or new building

Osage Casinos’ Pawhuska property is getting new digs, but the new facility’s specifics are raising some questions about the tribe’s Competitive Bidding Act. Speaking before the Osage Congress’ Commerce and Economic Development committee Wednesday, Osage Casinos CEO Byron BigHorse confirmed that the casino is relocating into seven new modular buildings once water, sewer and electricity […]


Beetle credits: Pricey for sure

Osage County has a new way to deal with its beetle problem – invest in the beetle bank. On May 14 Osage and 10 other northeast Oklahoma counties collectively spent $706,860 on “credits” to make up for potential impacts to the habitat of the endangered American burying beetle. These credits will be used for county […]


BIA, producers continuing in tiff

BIA, producers continuing in tiff

Last Thursday’s BIA-hosted public information session bore more than a passing resemblance to the climactic scene of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” in which rugged individualist Max faces off against the unbelievably strong giant known as Blaster. Just replace Max with a group of frustrated oil producers and Blaster with the cumbersome machinery of federal government, […]