Osage Nation

Osage Supreme Court rules that Minerals Council must follow ethics laws

The Osage Nation Supreme Court issued a strongly worded opinion Friday afternoon ruling in favor of the nation’s attorney general, who had filed against five minerals councilors who refused to file annual ethics disclosures. The opinion also says that the minerals councilors’ mistrust of the 10-year-old Osage Nation government is “misdirected.” The “most egregious offenses […]


U.S. smacked down in federal suit against Osage Wind development

U.S. smacked down in federal suit against Osage Wind development

U.S. District Court Judge James Payne has ruled against the United States, which sought to force Italian utility giant Enel to pay for minerals — rock — that is used to build its wind development in Osage County. The ruling does not bode well for a similar case by the United States aimed at stopping […]


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 […]


Osage Minerals Council rejects proposed overhauled of drilling regulations

The Osage Minerals Council voted Wednesday to reject a suggested Congressional overhaul of the federal drilling regulations in Osage County. Released earlier this month, the three-page proposal from the offices of Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, “Regulatory Challenges Facing Osage Oil and Gas Estate,” offers three potential responses in an effort to “improve the […]


Eaves charged with murder

Thomas Mongrain Eaves was charged in U.S. District Court with second-degree murder on Wednesday, and the criminal complaint against him says that his story waffled vastly after he delivered the dead body of Starr Pennington to Pawhuska Hospital early Aug. 25. The complaint by FBI agent Jamie Cavitt says that Pennington, 42, died of blunt-force […]


Man dies right before molestation trial

Man dies right before molestation trial

Jack “Rusty” Cheshewalla, who was poised to go on trial next week in Osage County District Court, was found dead Monday morning at a house in Pawhuska Indian Camp. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate his death. Neither the FBI nor the Osage Nation Police Chief, Nick Williams, returned calls on […]


The Week in Photos

The Week in Photos

BIA in hot seat in Pawhuska

For almost two hours Wednesday, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was in the hot seat at the Pawhuska Business Development Center. After a few introductory remarks, BIA head Mike Black took questions, comments and complaints from community members concerned about whether his agency is impeding local drilling operations and fully honoring its […]


Brothers implicated in disappearance, death of Pawhuska oilman and cowboy

Brothers implicated in disappearance, death of Pawhuska oilman and cowboy

Two brothers have been implicated in the apparent death of a well-known Pawhuska oilman and cowboy who disappeared Saturday morning from his home south of town and whose body has not yet been recovered. The disappearance and death of Rick Holt, 46, stunned Pawhuskans, who offered up prayers and other well-wishes when they believed he […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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,” […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


Oil producers sue BIA

Oil producers sue BIA

The Osage Producers Association is going for broke in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The trade organization contends that new oil and gas regulations issued by the BIA are not only “arbitrary and capricious” but unconstitutional. OPA is also seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the rules from going into […]


Casinos over budget $30M

An interim report from the Office of Fiscal and Performance Review has some members of Congress questioning some of the procedures used in two Osage Casino expansion projects. Speaking Tuesday afternoon before the Osage Nation Congress’ Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Kelly Corbin outlined OFPR’s initial findings on Osage Casinos’ expansions in Skiatook and Ponca […]