Links to good sites:
Vintage Photographs of Ottawa County OK
Diggin' Up Okies in Ottawa County
This site also has Greenlawn Cemetery, Lyons Township, Cherokee Co. KS.
Cherokee County KS GenWeb
Tom and Carolyn Ward are currently responsible for Cherokee County.
Cherokee Co. KS
100 S. Tennessee
PO Box 33
Columbus, KS 66725-0033
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Tue, Jan 20, 2009 9:46 PM
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 5:04 PM
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 2:41 AM
PICHER, Okla. - Members of the Picher-Cardin, Quapaw and Commerce school boards agreed at a meeting Tuesday to a plan for a
voluntary annexation of Picher-Cardin students next year into the neighboring districts.
"It's well documented that our school has suffered many impacts," said Picher Superintendent Donald Barr.
Barr outlined a proposal that would divide his school district's area in half. "Each district will get about 8.5 square
miles of land added to their district," he said.
Barr said he would seek an independent appraisal of all property and assets so they can be divided equally.
"We have no debts at this time," he said. "If we had liability, it would be shared in a similar fashion."
The district's enrollment has dwindled this year to 52 students in kindergarten through grade 12 because of a federal buyout of
residents in the former mining area. The first phase of the buyout focused on families with young children.
Barr said the students in Picher will have the option of choosing which district they will attend next year.
"The permanent records will follow the students," he said. "Older records will go to the Ottawa County
Property that is not wanted by the two school districts could be sold at auction.
A resolution will be drafted for each board's consideration, but the official annexation procedure requires a vote of
Picher-Cardin residents, Barr said. No date for a vote has been set.
"We are here to assist in any way we can," said Jim Haynes, superintendent at Commerce.
Quapaw Superintendent Dennis Earp echoed that sentiment. "We will definitely welcome students," he said. "We've
taken several students, and we've enjoyed them."
Because of safety and health concerns after decades of lead mining in the area, Picher school officials placed a similar measure on
the ballot in February 2007, but the measure failed. There were 142 votes against the proposal to send Picher students to Commerce and Quapaw, and 132 votes
for the proposal.
School officials warned at the time that closing the district, which at one time had 450 students, was inevitable because of the
A report released in 2006 by the Army Corps of Engineers said much of the Picher area is heavily undermined, and that parts of the
town, including areas around the school buildings, could collapse.
The three boards also met in a closed session for about 50 minutes to discuss the employment status of certified and noncertified
Picher-Cardin employees, as well as possible severance compensation, but no action was taken.
Picher Elementary School Principal Kim Pace, a 30-year veteran of education who has taught her entire career in the district, said
she probably will retire at the end of the school year.
"This is distressing," Pace said about the proposed closure of the school. "It's about the worst thing I've
ever had to do."
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 3:38 PM
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 5:09 PM
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 4:18 PM
PINEVILLE, Mo. - The wife of a county commissioner in Delaware County, Okla., will receive probation - conditioned on restitution
to her former employer - under a plea agreement with the McDonald County prosecutor's office, her attorney said Thursday.
Michelle Crowder, 41, of Grove, Okla., pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony stealing. Crowder, the wife of
Commissioner Kenneth Crowder, was charged in 2007 in McDonald County after allegedly embezzling money from Roper Gas Co., of Southwest City.
Michelle Crowder's attorney, Ross Rhoades, of Neosho, said the amount of restitution is still to be determined. Rhoades said
his client's estimate of what she took is between $30,000 and $35,000, although Roper Gas Co. claims she took more than $62,000, according to records.
An evidentiary hearing is planned for determining what the figure will be, Rhoades said.
A phone message left for McDonald County Prosecutor Janice Durbin was not returned Thursday. The owner of Roper Gas Co., Peter
Zouraeff, also was unavailable for comment.
There was no answer from repeated calls to the Crowder house in Grove on Thursday. Kenneth Crowder also could not be reached at the
Michelle Crowder was charged in August 2007 after Zouraeff told Southwest City police that she had admitted to taking money from
the company for her personal use, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Zouraeff then called for an audit, which reportedly found that $62,632.99 was missing.
After the audit's findings, Zouraeff reportedly asked Michelle Crowder to talk with her husband and "see if he would make
the money good like he did two years ago for between $30,000 and $40,000 that she had embezzled," according to the probable-cause affidavit filed by Larry
Huston, assistant Southwest City police chief.
"Her husband said that he would make a $35,000 offer if Peter (Zouraeff) would keep it (quiet) like he did the last
theft," Huston later alleged. "Peter said no way and he was going to file charges on her."
Zouraeff testified during Michelle Crowder's preliminary hearing in January 2008 that she worked for the company from 2003
until about July 2007.
A sentencing hearing in the case of Michelle Crowder has been set for 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.
Tue, Jan 27, 2009 2:13 AM
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 10:14 PM
Thu, Jan 29, 2009 5:27 PM
Fri, Jan 30, 2009 5:18 PM
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32 PM
Globe/Gary Crow Michael Payton snaps a photo of a courtroom in the old Ottawa County Courthouse in Miami. The
building, which has been replaced by a $5.2 million structure, is to be demolished.
Demolition of old Ottawa County Courthouse set to begin
Published February 02, 2009
10:24 pm - Joplin Globe
By Debbie Robinson
MIAMI, Okla. - Demolition of the 91-year-old Ottawa County Courthouse in Miami will begin later this week.
County Commission Chairman Russell Earls said Monday that the commissioners awarded a contract to DT Specialized Services in Tulsa
for $68,055. The work is expected to take two weeks.
The contract was awarded a week ago, but the contractor was required to get a permit from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental
Quality for the work, Earls said.
The county grossed $15,000 from a recent auction of furniture, electrical boxes, doors, marble fixtures and other items that were
inside the old courthouse. Marble and granite fixtures were highly sought, Earls said.
"A number of us were sad once they took the marble out," Earls said. "It had a lot of attractive features."
Other debris will be buried about two miles from the courthouse, with the site to be seeded and restored to pasture, he said.
Once the demolition is complete, the area will be used to create 77 parking spaces, Earls said.
Stan Fimple, Oklahoma State University Extension specialist, said the move out of the old courthouse and into a renovated annex
across the street from the new courthouse is welcome.
"We have 10 times more space, and it's cleaner," Fimple said. "We don't have to deal with the dust blowing
in the windows."
The commission purchased the former IBC Bank building at a cost of $640,000 to house the OSU Extension office, small-claims court
and emergency operations. Before the move, public programs offered by the extension office were held in the Miami Civic Center or churches, or had to be
limited to 15 people because of the limited space in the old courthouse.
"You hate to see a historic building torn down, but that building was collapsing and sinking," Fimple said.
The new $5.2 million, two-story courthouse was constructed by Crossland Construction Co. of Columbus, Kan. Voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax for 30
years to finance the construction.
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:37 PM
Published February 03, 2009 08:39 pm - Joplin Globe
By Debbie Robinson
MIAMI, Okla. - The Miami City Council has voted to split the duties of city clerk and chief financial officer into two separate
The clerk and CFO positions were joined in 1986. Under the new measure, the CFO will be hired by and under the direction of the
"I understand why they were combined 20 years ago," said Councilman Rudy Schultz. "I don't like to spend the
extra money, but, structurally, it's the thing to do."
Councilman John Dalgarn dissented in Monday's vote.
"I would just like to see us have a say in the hiring of a CFO," he said.
When City Manager Huey Long was asked whether a qualified CFO could be hired for $80,000 a year, he replied:
Long also stated his support of the city manager hiring the CFO.
"I'm concerned that we'll end up hindering our ability to hire a quality person if they're subjected to the
politics of the community," he said.
"As long as the council has jurisdiction over the city manager, you do have oversight," said Mayor Brent Brassfield.
Long said the council would have the opportunity to meet the final candidates and set the salary range.
"What I hear out on the street is they would like to see us rein in some of these high-dollar salaries," Dalgarn
Brassfield said the volume of regulations today and the complexities of government place a burden on one person charged with both
"Sometimes the cheapest person is not the most prudent financially," he said.
In other business, the council:
Adopted an emergency ordinance that establishes a retirement plan for Charles Tomlin, former city clerk and chief financial
officer. Tomlin's last day on the job was Monday after 29 years with the city.
Heard from Long that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to finance the demolition of 33 homes that were heavily
damaged in the July 2007 flood, saving the city about $150,000. The city has issued an appeal to FEMA regarding 16 more flooded homes for which funding
initially was denied.
Approved plans to seek a loan from the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, not to exceed $180,000, for construction of two additional
homes in a subdivision started by the city for permanent housing for flood victims. The program is administered through the Miami Development Authority, and
homeowners are eligible for low-interest loans and grants for down payments. One of the two homes to be constructed already has been sold, said Larry Eller,
grant coordinator and community development director. The subdivision has three homes now occupied.
The Miami City Council on Monday approved the location of an arch that will span North Main Street in the 200 block. The arch will
carry the Route 66 logo.
Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:25 PM
Thu, Feb 5, 2009 5:16 PM
Fri, Feb 6, 2009 5:01 PM
Mon, Feb 9, 2009 4:09 PM
Mon, Feb 9, 2009 11:49 PM
QUAPAW, Okla. - The construction of Blue Stem Park, a new subdivision that is recycling old houses from Picher, is
progressing, with the first units set for possible occupancy in May.
Johnny Seeling, developer of the property, said 30 houses have been moved to the site, but two of them could not be remodeled
because of structural issues.
"We have some of the nicer houses on County Road 620, and 15 in back that are ready for sale," he said. "We
have three under contract."
The houses cannot be occupied because the permits for water and sewer service to the subdivision are still pending with the
town of Quapaw. Seeling said he hopes to have the permit issues resolved in the next 30 days. If that happens, water and sewer infrastructure could be
installed in April.
Electrical service to the subdivision has been installed. About 60 percent of the work associated with natural-gas service
has been completed.
"We've had a lot of interest," Seeling said. "We're cutting in interior streets right now, and
we'll pave them with asphalt after the water and sewer infrastructure is in place. It's beginning to be more like a place somebody would want to
About 90 other structures are awaiting relocation from Picher to Quapaw as the buyout of properties in the Superfund site
continues. A federal study found that much of Picher and Cardin is undermined, and to some degree at risk of collapse. The Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation
Assistance Trust was formed by state legislation to fund a voluntary buyout and relocation of residents.
Seeling said he has been told that the buyout of families could end later this year or early in 2010.
Johnny Seeling lost about 20 houses that could have been moved. The houses were destroyed by a tornado struck the south side
of Picher on May 10, 2008.
Tue, Feb 10, 2009 9:41 PM
Wed, Feb 11, 2009 8:32 PM
Tanner Ernst, 9, bagged a 175-pound hog this week on a family hunting trip near Antlers.Courtesy photo
Thu, Feb 12, 2009 4:42 PM
Cherokee Co. KS Genealogical-Historical Society
100 S. Tennessee
PO Box 33
Columbus, KS 66725-0033
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