Osage County

101-year-old escapes fire

101-year-old escapes fire

Thelma Bennett had to move fast on Thursday evening when her home on Vine near Sixth in Barnsdall suddenly caught fire – but at 101 years old, that was a challenge. But she got out, in her bare feet, as flames erupted in the dining room of the mobile home and soon consumed the front […]


A fiery first

A fiery first

From her family’s perspective, Greta Hurt was destined to become a schoolteacher. Her mother, Joyce, was one, and her sisters are now. And Hurt complied. She went to Pittsburgh State University on a basketball scholarship out of Barnsdall and entered the ranks of teacher hood at Glenpool Middle School, teaching science and coaching basketball and […]


Voters want to pay an extra %1 in sales tax

A proposal to raise the sales tax in Barnsdall by 1 cent for street repairs passed by huge margin Tuesday evening, while Brock Moore ousted incumbent mayor J.D. Cole to take over that post by 25 votes, according to unofficial returns. The sales tax measure, which passed 202-29,  brings Barnsdall’s tax rate in line with […]


Conner makes All-State

Conner makes All-State

It takes a village to get an all-state bid to western Osage County. After leading her team to within a game of the school’s first state tournament berth since 1991, Woodland senior guard Ray Lee Conner will play on the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association’s small east All-State team later this year. Although honored and […]


Wind tunnels, gadget trees and mazes

Wind tunnels, gadget trees and mazes

Late last month, the Barnsdall Junior High and High School Gifted and Talented group traveled to the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. There were 42 students and 4 sponsors who made the trip. The Science Museum is filled with innovative and engaging exhibits that encourage young people to use their minds to think “outside […]


Osage Nation may have to tap reserves

Citing financial concerns, the Osage Nation Congress may be tapping into its permanent fund to keep two of its entitlement programs sufficiently funded for the rest of the year. On Tuesday, the Congress’ Appropriations Committee voted 4-1 to recommend accessing $2 million from the tribe’s permanent fund to finance bills that would allocate more money […]


Grave mischief irks victims

Grave mischief irks victims

A one-day blitz of thievery and vandalism at the Pawhuska Cemetery has relatives of the deceased hopping mad and upset but any arrests are unlikely because it was apparently perpetrated by children who were only 7 years old, police say. “I told their parents that they could do more punishment than I could,” said Pawhuska […]


From fire, an inky future

From fire, an inky future

Out of the fetid, sooty and soggy remains of the old Barnsdall Times building, a fresh start got under way on Saturday. The old letterpresses, on which Supreme Court opinions, police tickets for Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Bartlesville and all manner of other documents were printed, were hauled out of the ruins and moved to […]


Tribe hires new AG

So much for retirement. On Feb. 28, Holli Wells officially stepped down as a special district judge for Cherokee County. On Wednesday, she was introduced as the Osage Nation’s second attorney general, pending confirmation by the tribe’s legislature during its spring session. “My intention was to take some time off, get some rest and do […]


Tribe looking at declining revenue, more

Defending Osage sovereignty and a looming potential government reorganization in light of a budget crunch were the headlining topics of the 2015 edition of the Osage State of the Nation address. Rather than deliver it earlier in March at Sovereignty Day, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear offered up the remarks Monday as his executive message […]


Osage Congress tackling drug banishments, village status

As of Monday, the spring 2015 Hun-Kah session is underway for the fourth Osage Nation Congress. “The legislative priorities for this session are to work together and follow our processes that we need to go through to move our legislation through and get to the end,” Speaker Maria Whitehorn said. “We need to keep it […]


Burbank woman critically injured in wreck

Burbank woman critically injured in wreck

A Burbank woman was critically injured in a car accident Friday in Pawnee County, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Arlene Christenson, 78, was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa after the accident on OK 18 two miles north of Pawnee at 12:44 p.m., according to a report by Trooper Justin Garrison. The report […]


Duncan complaints tossed

Duncan complaints tossed

After a short hearing in which District Attorney Rex Duncan accused Pawnee County Associate District Court Judge Patrick Pickerill of creating “fraudulent, counterfeit documents,” a specially assigned Creek County Judge denied Duncan’s every request in the case, then chided him for repeatedly saying he represents “the People.” Duncan has been dogging Pickerill in court since […]


Warrant: Search based on execs’ hunch

Warrant: Search based on execs' hunch

  Bartlesville police obtained a search warrant based on the suspicions of three Jane Phillips Medical Center administrators that a former hospital executive was behind a series of prank letters that reflect poorly on the hospital and the three current executives. The target of the search, Mark Aldridge, a former chief financial officer at Pawhuska […]


Minerals says no to BIA MOU

Minerals says no to BIA MOU

Citing the federal government’s actions during the negotiated rulemaking process and frustrations with the constant delays over new assessment rules, the Osage Minerals Council voted Wednesday afternoon against signing a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The proposed MOU would have guaranteed the Minerals Council representation in the final negotiation stages […]


4-day school week nixed

4-day school week nixed

An unusually divided Pawhuska school board voted 3-2 Monday against moving to a four-day school week despite surveys that showed an overwhelming majority of teachers supported the change. The main sticking point for those opposed: They worried that the quality of education would further erode for at-risk, low-performing students who could not be compelled to […]


Wynona woman dies in car crash

A Wynona woman died in a car accident near her hometown on Monday night after her car went into a broadside and hit a tree, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Rhonda Marie Dingman, 46, died at Pawhuska Hospital after the accident at 9:42 p.m. on County Road 5013, a third of a mile north […]


Judge case to be argued

Judge case to be argued

The ongoing skirmish between the district attorney and judges over the establishment of a drug court in Pawnee County played out in Bristow on Monday, when Creek County District Court Judge Joe Sam Vassar granted a one-week continuance and set the matter for oral arguments this coming Monday. Duncan has accused Pawnee County Associate District […]


A family, completed

A family, completed

On Monday night, Pawnee-Osage Court Appointed Special Advocates held a dinner in Pawhuska to honors its volunteers. Jack and Dee Dee Ditto were among those honored. The Dittos were the first CASA volunteers in Pawnee County to work through an adoption – a boy who became known as Koty Wilson, the son of Barnsdall wrestling […]


Tribe looks to take over IHS duties

Health care in Osage County may be changing in the near future. With the Osage Nation Health Authority Board confirming it has clean financials over the last three years, the tribe is moving forward to plans to implement a self-governance agreement with Indian Health Services by Oct. 1. More than 60 percent of federally recognized […]


Fugitive shoots, kills himself

Fugitive shoots, kills himself

A man who bolted from police during a Pawhuska traffic stop in January fled again on Thursday evening, this time with disastrous consequences: He shot himself in the head inside a car at the Eastland Shopping Center in Bartlesville. Osage County Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown said that lawmen got word that William David Parks Jr., […]


Spelling Bee yields a champ

Spelling Bee yields a champ

It started off easily enough Wednesday afternoon at the Osage County Spelling Bee. Mass. Gene. Bias. Text. And then the more difficult words came flying towards the 29 kids packed into the Osage County Interlocal Co-op Building: axis, divisor, position, scissors. The first five words in the fourth round – equivalent, parallel, resistance, appendix and […]


Osages celebrate sovereignty

Osages celebrate sovereignty

A single word carries a lot of different meanings to Osage leaders and citizens. In honor of the 2006 ratification of the tribe’s constitution, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and other officials with the Osage Nation took to the microphone Wednesday afternoon in the Congressional Chambers to discuss what sovereignty means to them as part […]


Five alarms on Fifth

Five alarms on Fifth

At 6:20 p.m. on Wednesday, my phone made a burbly noise I had never heard before. By the time I realized it was a Facebook phone call from Barnsdall City Treasurer Dianne Garrett, I had missed it. I inwardly cursed Facebook for trying to take over all forms of communication in the world. Then came […]