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Vintage Photographs of Ottawa County OK
Diggin' Up Okies in Ottawa County
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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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Wed, Jun 3, 2009 11:29 PM
GIRARD, Kan. - A 74-year-old Arma man died Monday while awaiting trial on a felony charge accusing him
and his wife of bilking more than $900,000 out of a 97-year-old woman.
Ernest "Sonny" Anselmi, who was charged with mistreating a dependent adult, died Monday at a hospital in
Anselmi and his wife, Ernestine Anselmi, 74, were charged last year by Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six with
bilking $923,897 out of Lena Zanichelli, for whom they were serving as unofficial caregivers. Six's office filed charges against Ernestine
Anselmi in September and against Ernest Anselmi in October.
The couple were scheduled to appear for pretrial conferences Aug. 17 in Crawford County District Court in Girard. A jury trial had
been scheduled for Aug. 24, according to court records.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas attorney general's office did not return messages left on Tuesday. Kurt Kerns, a Wichita attorney
representing Ernest Anselmi, was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
When reached by phone, Ernestine Anselmi's attorney, Eddie Battitori, of Pittsburg, declined to comment.
A woman who answered the phone at a listing for Ernest Anselmi declined to identify herself or to comment about the case.
According to court documents, the Anselmis had been acting as "unofficial guardians" for Zanichelli since at least May
The charges allege that the couple used "undue influence, coercion, deception, and false representation" to make payments
to themselves and others on their behalf from funds that belonged to Zanichelli. The acts are alleged to have taken place from May 14 to Aug. 11, 2008.
Zanichelli died in late March. Attempts to reach her niece, Tina Vanderelzen, were unsuccessful Tuesday.
A Crawford County District Court employee on Tuesday said the case against Ernestine Anselmi is expected to proceed.
Ernest E. "Sonny" Anselmi, 74, of Arma, Kansas passed away on June 1, 2009 at Freeman West Hospital after a long and courageous
battle. The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm, Thursday, June 4, 2009 at Bath-Naylor Funeral Home in Pittsburg, KS. Funeral services will be at 10:00 am
Friday, June 5, 2009 at the funeral home with Rev. Robert McElwee presiding.
Ernest was born on May 17, 1935 in Pittsburg, Kansas to Edward and Margaret (Robinson) Anselmi, who preceded him in death. He was a 1954 graduate of Arma
High School. He was married to Ernestine Chiartano for 53 years. Ernest was the former owner of A&A Service Station and Crestview Lodge Nursing Home. He
was employed as a salesman at Ray Shephard Motors and had also worked for the Kansas City Southern Railroad. Ernest served the town of Arma as a former Mayor,
School Board Member of USD246, former President of the Arma Homecoming Association, was an active Arma Council Member, and a member of the Masons and Shriners.
Ernest enjoyed the time he spent with his family laughing and talking over dinner. He loved to go fishing in his spare time when he wasn't watching KU
basketball, the KC Chiefs, or the KC Royals. Ernest was a vital member of the community and of his family and will be missed by all who loved him.
Ernest is survived by his:
Wife: Ernestine Anselmi of the home
Children: Kathy Anselmi of Kansas City, KS
Keith Anselmi of Arma, KS
Penny & Larry VanBecelaere of Arma, KS
Kevin Anselmi of Arma, KS
Grandchildren: Jason & Amber VanBecelaere of Pittsburg, KS
Eric & Becky VanBecelaere of Arma, KS
Ryan Anselmi of New York
Justin Anselmi of New York
Jacob Anselmi of Arma, KS
Liz & Kyle Harryman of Overland Park, KS
Lyndsay & Patrick Arkeketa of Arma, KS
Miranda Anselmi of Arma, KS
Great-Grandchildren: Riley & Tyler Arkeketa of Arma, KS
Coral VanBecelaere of Pittsburg, KS
Brother: Terry & Jenelle Anselmi of Mexico, MO
And many nieces and nephews
Thu, Jun 4, 2009 3:37 PM
Fri, Jun 5, 2009 2:36 PM
Fri, Jun 5, 2009 2:39 PM
Fri, Jun 5, 2009 2:48 PM
Fri, Jun 5, 2009 2:56 PM
Sun, Jun 7, 2009 5:28 PM
By Roger McKinney
COLUMBUS, Kan. - The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department has established a Web site that allows users to more easily track
sexual, violent and drug offenders who are registered with the state.
Users may access the site at www.sheriffalerts.com/ks/cherokee. It allows
users to type in their home address, or that of a school, park or other or property. The site presents a map that includes information and locations of
offenders within two miles, one mile, a half mile or a quarter mile.
Sheriff David Groves said that when users enter their e-mail address, they will be notified when an offender moves within their
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation also maintains a Web site listing registered offenders, but Groves said that requires users to
check it regularly for changes.
"I think it will give them a little bit of peace of mind," Groves said of the new Web site. "This lets people pick
specific locations and tells them what kind of offenders are living in the area."
Groves said there are 53 registered offenders in Cherokee County.
Typing in a random address on High School Avenue in Columbus produced information for 11 offenders within two miles and seven
offenders within one mile. There were none within a half mile.
A random address on 25th Street in Baxter Springs resulted in information on 12 offenders within two miles and nine within a mile.
There were three within a half mile, but none within a quarter mile.
The Web site provides a photo and description of the offenders, their addresses and whether they are compliant or not with the
Galena police Chief Larry Delmont said the Web site will be a useful tool for residents and police. He said he is often questioned
by residents about whether sex offenders live in certain neighborhoods.
"I think it's very important that people know who's in their area," Delmont said. "It makes it easier for
all of us. The technology is getting more advanced and that's going to help us out in the future."
Cherokee Citizen writes:
http://www.familywatchdog.us/ is a better sight because
it lists where offenders live and work as well as the reason they are on the list. The site also allows you to view over the state line instead of looking for
Mon, Jun 8, 2009 9:57 AM
PITTSBURG, Kan. - The numbers are impressive: At 344 pages, it weighs in at 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Between the covers are 900
But for Pittsburg resident Debby Ossana Close, who spent Saturday morning and evening at Frontenac Homecoming festivities
publicizing her new book, "Coal Mining Days," it was a project about much more than numbers.
Close battled winds and heat at a small, unassuming but attractive booth on McKay Street to spread the word about what the book
She didn't get many buyers at the event, which draws hundreds of people to an annual parade, carnival and street dances. But
her goal wasn't to write a best seller.
Close, a retired teacher, has a passion for history. For the past six years, she has worked on compiling information she gleaned
from interviews and newspaper clippings into a comprehensive record of the miners who settled in the area once known as the Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field.
"We found such valuable information, we can't let it get lost," she said.
By "we," she is referring to her uncle, Louis Casaletto, who married Louise Casaletto, Close's father's
Louise and Joe Ossana were grandchildren of Johann "John" Christian Ott, a German immigrant who settled in Chicopee and
later Arma, and worked as a coal miner in the deep shaft mines.
"He's my great-grandpa, and he was the inspiration for the bronze statue of the miner at Immigrant Park," Close said.
"Now, posthumously, he's getting recognized along with all the other miners."
Louis Casaletto was instrumental in developing Immigrant Park, 106 W. Second St., where walls of granite inscribed with 1,015 local
miners' names pay homage to their contributions and sacrifice.
She immersed herself in their histories, and those miners have become like family to Close, she said.
"After the last edit, you'd think I'd be sick and tired of it, but I still love them," she said. "I love
their stories of struggle and then success."
Among her favorites are the poignant ones, such as the story of a miner who worked at Mine No. 7, and one day decided to smoke a
cigarette before boarding the cage that would take him down into the deep shaft mine. Another man got in the cage in his place, and on the way down, the cage
cable broke. All six miners on board died.
In another story of reverse fortune, a miner left his pipe in the mine and returned below to retrieve it. He lost his life when a
rock fell on him.
"Reading about those life-changing yet everyday simple choices they made was sobering," Close said.
She recalled a lighter story as another favorite: One miner had a dog named Nero, a Saint Bernard, and every day the miner's
wife put his lunch in a bucket, hung it in Nero's mouth and sent him to the mine to deliver it to his master.
"The people who submitted information to the book were in their 80s, 90s, even a few who were 100, and many of them have since
passed away," Close said. "That's scary, because they would have taken this information to their grave. But I got it."
She credits her husband, Terry Close, with the cover design; colleagues Judy Tilley and Mike Gullett, for design assistance; and
Pitt Craft Printing, for assistance in preparing it for printing.
She ordered 1,000 of the books, due to be delivered this week, and she is buoyed by the orders she's received in her post
office box and by phone. All proceeds will go toward upkeep of the Miners Memorial at Immigrant Park.
Far from being tired of keeping history, Close continues to stay involved in it even now that the book is done. She is looking
forward to assisting with the Arma Centennial Celebration in August.
Saturday evening on McKay Street in Frontenac, she gestured to the passers-by.
"I watch these people down here tonight," she said. "I think they need to be taking photographs, they need to be
documenting occasions in their lives. Someday, this will be history to look back upon."
Mon, Jun 8, 2009 4:15 PM
Mon, Jun 8, 2009 4:24 PM
Wed, Jun 10, 2009 6:15 PM
Thu, Jun 11, 2009 5:21 PM
Globe/T. Rob Brown - Mickey Miller of Craig County, Okla., buys a sandwich this week at Angelo's Deli at Hallowell. The
owners of the business were in hopes of obtaining a permit to sell beer on Sunday at the deli. Cherokee County officials are doing more research on the matter.
Restaurant owners asked to wait for response to Sunday-beer request
Published June 09, 2009 10:03 pm - Joplin Globe
By Roger McKinney
COLUMBUS, Kan. - It may be a while before customers of Angelo's Deli in Hallowell can buy a beer
with their sandwiches on Sundays.
When the owners of the deli approached the Cherokee County Commission last month about selling beer on Sundays, the commissioners
told them to get approval of their township board. One of the owners, Shannon Dunbar, returned to the County Commission on Monday with written approval of the
Lola Township board.
"I just thought you wanted a permit to sell beer," said Commissioner Pat Collins. "I didn't know it was a Sunday
Dunbar and the other owner, Tom Taylor, had requested permission to sell low-alcohol-content beer at the deli for consumption off
the premises. Dunbar said at that meeting that many customers were surprised that the business couldn't sell beer on Sundays.
Commissioners Jack Garner and Richard Hilderbrand said they understood the request. Hilderbrand said he asked County Counselor
Kevin Cure to research the issue.
Cure told the commissioners that they could either approve or not approve a resolution allowing Sunday beer sales at Angelo's
and four other businesses within the county but outside of towns. He said that if the county were to approve the resolution, it wouldn't take effect for 60
days. During that time, opponents could present a petition containing signatures equal to 5 percent of the registered voters in the 2008 presidential election
who live in the county, but outside of the towns. The petition would force an election on the issue.
Cure said that if the commission didn't pass a resolution, Sunday beer sales at the business wouldn't be allowed.
"You don't have to pass the resolution," Cure said.
"I guess the buck stops here then," Collins said. "Well, I'm sorry, I'm not cashing it."
Collins directed Cure to do further research to determine if the issue could go directly to the ballot.
"I'd like a further examination of the issue," Collins said.
Cure said he would do more research, but he didn't think placing the issue on the ballot directly was allowed under state
"I don't want to do it if it's going to upset anybody," Dunbar said. When she asked the commissioners if they
thought there would be opposition, they responded as one.
"You'd be surprised," they said.
Hilderbrand said later that he would favor conducting a public hearing on the issue, adding that the opinions of the other two
commissioners also must be considered.
Dunbar was asked outside the meeting what she thought about what the commissioners told her.
"There's a lot more involved than I thought," she said. She said the commissioners were trying to consider all county
"It's not as simple as I thought it would be," Dunbar said.
Other businesses that would be affected by a Cherokee County resolution allowing Sunday beer sales are Truck and Travel, south of Pittsburg; R&J's
Convenience Store, in Cherokee; Riverton Quik Stop; and Jack's Shack, outside Baxter Springs. Inside incorporated towns, Columbus allows Sunday beer sales,
but Galena and Baxter Springs do not.
Fri, Jun 12, 2009 2:58 PM
Fri, Jun 12, 2009 3:18 PM
Fri, Jun 12, 2009 4:11 PM
Published June 11, 2009 10:41 pm - Joplin Globe
By Roger McKinney
TREECE, Kan. - U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on Thursday called attention to the spending of federal
stimulus money by the Environmental Protection Agency in Cherokee County.
The issues involve the repair of old Highway 96 and a federal buyout of Treece. Roberts noted in a press release that he used Vice
President Joe Biden's visit Thursday to Overland Park to point out what he called wasteful spending of taxpayer money in Southeast Kansas and Southwest
Missouri. Biden was promoting the use of federal stimulus money to improve U.S. Highway 69 in Overland Park.
The Globe previously reported that the Kansas Department of Transportation awarded Cherokee County $760,000 in federal stimulus
money for resurfacing work on old Highway 96 from the Missouri state line to Crestline.
Between $10 million and $25 million in federal stimulus money had been approved for the EPA to clean up contaminated mining sites
in Cherokee County and Jasper County, Mo.
Cherokee County officials had been notified that the EPA contractor's trucks might use a section of the highway, possibly
damaging the road and requiring further repairs at taxpayer expense. Another possibility was that both projects could proceed at the same time.
Roberts on Wednesday sent a letter to Biden saying the projects didn't pass the common-sense test. Roberts, in his release,
said Biden responded.
"We reversed this silly plan in a bipartisan way," Roberts said Thursday on the Senate floor. "I want to personally
thank Vice President Biden - the man charged with overseeing all the stimulus spending - with taking action to correct this abuse after I contacted
Chris Whitley, spokesman for EPA Region 7, said by phone that before Roberts' statement on Wednesday, the EPA and KDOT had
agreed that the EPA's use of old Highway 96 would finish before the road resurfacing work starts.
"That's worked out," Whitley said. "There's no need to build a road twice."
He said the EPA project using the road would be under way by the end of July and had about a three-month schedule. After that, the
road resurfacing would begin.
The EPA contractor planned to use only about a mile of the road. Whitley said there were provisions in the contract for the
contractor to repair any damage, though he acknowledged that the contractor would be paid with stimulus funds.
Roberts wasn't satisfied with the government's response to a call by the Kansas congressional delegation to use stimulus
money to relocate Treece residents as the government has done in Picher, Okla. Picher is adjacent to Treece, with only the state line separating them, but they
are in separate EPA regions.
The EPA's response to the Kansas congressional delegation was "no."
Roberts said on the Senate floor that using stimulus money to remove lead-contaminated soil in Treece is like pouring the money
down a hole.
"They remain there, despite the loss of businesses and infrastructure, because their homes have no market value, and they
cannot sell them to fund a new home or even rent one," he said.
Roberts said the Treece buyout could be accomplished for about $3 million in federal stimulus money, a portion of the $25 million
that may be allocated for mine-waste removal.
The senator noted that the EPA in its response said the situation in Picher "materially differs" from the situation in
"We don't need to spend $25 million on a problem that won't be solved," Roberts said. "We need to take care
of these people and spend $3 million to let them get on with their lives."
Whitley said the EPA disagrees with Roberts' assessment of the cleanup work being a waste of money. He said a buyout would be
an inappropriate use of the stimulus money.
"We believe the remediation planned for Treece is the appropriate way of addressing the environmental hazards there,"
Mon, Jun 15, 2009 9:47 AM
COLUMBUS, Kan. - Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said he is cracking down on county residents who have illegally registered
their vehicles in other states.
Groves said he prefers residents to comply voluntarily, but if not, his deputies will issue citations.
"I think it's definitely a problem," Groves said. "It's easy for people to go to another state to register
their cars and trucks."
He said the problem is primarily in the southern part of the county, near the Oklahoma and Missouri borders, especially around
Baxter Springs and Galena.
"It's essentially illegal registration," Groves said. "The problem, aside from them just choosing to break the
law, is the money from those registrations goes toward cities and school districts, and a lot of other government functions."
Groves said residents sometime get a post-office box in Oklahoma, or register their vehicles at the address of a cabin on the lake,
or a friend's or family member's address in Oklahoma.
The cost to register a car in Oklahoma is much less than it would be in Kansas or Missouri.
Adding to the cost in Kansas and Missouri are personal property taxes. Paula Ross, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Tax Commission,
said there is no property tax on vehicles in her state.
Using a 2008 Toyota Corolla as an example, the cost to register the car in Oklahoma is $91.
In Kansas, the cost to register the car is $39, but property taxes add $207.55, for a total of $246.55.
In Missouri, a one-year registration is $21.25. There also is a $3.35 fee. An inspection can add up to $12.50 to the price. The
property tax on the car, if it's in Joplin, in Jasper County and in the Joplin School District, is $175.99. The Missouri total is $213.09.
Ted Farnen, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Revenue, said a new license plate could add $2.78 to the total.
Cherokee County Treasurer Juanita Hodgson said she has already seen some results of the increased enforcement effort.
"I've had people come in saying 'I need to get this changed to Kansas before I get in trouble,'" Hodgson
She said the revenues go back into the communities, for roads, police, to school districts and townships.
Hodgson said another consideration is that if a newly purchased Kansas vehicle is registered in Oklahoma, Kansas loses the
sales-tax revenue. The sales-tax rate in Columbus and Baxter Springs is 7.8 percent.
Ross, with the Oklahoma Tax Commission, said the local sales tax rates in Oklahoma don't apply to vehicles. Instead, a 3.25
percent excise tax is used statewide on vehicle sales.
The sales-tax rate in the Jasper County portion of Joplin, Mo., is 7.825 percent. In the Newton County portion of Joplin, the rate
is 7.725 percent.
Having an illegal vehicle registration is a misdemeanor. Groves said if convicted, a fine would result, plus the violator must
register his vehicle legally.
"You're better off just going and doing it" before being cited, Groves said.
Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard, the county prosecutor, said the fine is usually about $250 to $300. He said most of the
violators have registered their vehicles in Oklahoma. Registration is based on where the person lives, he said.
"This is something I totally support," Bullard said of the sheriff's effort.
Galena police Chief Larry Delmont also said he supported the effort. He said he also has heard from residents saying they needed to
register their vehicles in Kansas before they were cited.
"If you live in Kansas, do not try to rip off the state of Kansas," Delmont said. "I support the sheriff all the way
on this. We need our money in the state of Kansas. It does a lot more than people realize."
Groves said it is sometimes difficult to determine if a vehicle is registered illegally. He said it often is revealed during
traffic stops and sometimes with traffic accidents.
He said sometimes people inform the Sheriff's Department about suspected violators. He said if an investigation determines the
person to be in violation, they are provided with a warning notification, requesting they voluntarily comply with the law.
"We don't want to give people tickets," Groves said. "We want people to go up and do what they need to do."
Total cost of registration, property taxes and associated fees for a 2008 Toyota Corolla:
Ottawa County, Oklahoma: $91.
Cherokee County, Kansas: $246.55.
Joplin, Missouri: $213.09.
Sources: Oklahoma Tax Commission, Cherokee County Treasurer's Office, Missouri Department of Revenue, Jasper County (Mo.)
Jim Keener writes:
The only problem I see is keeping all the sheep in their proper pin. We live in the United States of
America, why not one tag? It's only a tax as a ticket, fine or citation isn't it? If the tags are the only problem then the cars should be too, they
should be built in the state they are driven it, RIGHT? Put up some border crossings and charge people to get out of their pins, you would have fewer problems
with your lies.
Why do some people who live in Kansas think they're better than other people in Kansas who pay
their taxes and car tag fees? And why shouldn't police be interested in these people? They're as much of a criminal as someone selling drugs.
So far not one comment on the fact that these people are breaking the law!!! If you dont agree with
the law, then get it changed. This is totally shameful that no one will respect the law!!!!!!!! David Groves, keep doing what is RIGHT!!!!!!!
Thank you David, and if these people work for the city and live in the city or on cty property then
Ihope they go to jail.
The Fair Tax Should be used on a federal, state, county and local basis. No one should have to keep
paying to keep something they already own. This should also cover car tags and registeration. This would bring in far more money than the current system does
now. It would bring more jobs.You would bring home your whole paycheck. You would contol when, where and how much tax you pay. With the prebate you would bring
in more money every month to cover the taxes on everything up to the proverty level. No one should have to keep paying to keep what is theirs. It's like
paying extortion money to the Mob. You don't pay they take over.
just drive around in Baxter and take down tags David Groves cause their are vehicles everywhere that are tagged
out of state and i bet you cant do anything about it.
kansas resident writes:
There's a simple solution to this problem . Stop charging taxes in kansas. Then people
wouldn't have to register their vechicles in neiboring states. I guess oklahoma just runs their state better than kansas. Thats why they can afford to not
suck every penny they can out of their residents.
So, If I do own property in oklahoma, and travel there 3-4 times a year, for mini-vacations, I have been
harrassed by local law enforcements. The problem is this, it's not uncommon for families to own property at the lake, or even on the river in another
state, therefore taking advantage of the lower taxes for vehicles. Why cant Missouri and Kansas look at lowering vehicle registration costs? I support my state
with other taxes and own property in another state. We have been, as a family, harrassed in both states for having tags from another state while having a house
in each state. Fix the tax problems in your state, and quit harrassing us!
Getting Out Of Missouri writes:
Another reason not to live in Kansas or Missouri. Pack up and move to Oklahoma and let them get their
Good luck getting convictions. If the person has a valid address in Missouri or owns property they
have the express right to register the vehicle there. It will be up to the County to prove otherwise. I doubt there is revelant case law to suppport the
issuance of a summons in cases where the victim...er defendant, has two addresses. You simply can't tell a person because they possess two differing state
addresses they have to register in Kansas and not the other state. I'm glad Cherokee County deems this more important than methamphetamine related crime
and property crime. Gotta pump of the government coffers?
Looking at the fine vs. the savings and figuring in the chances of getting caught, people might as well keep
doing it! If you buy a $20k car (something like the Camry described), you would save 900 dollars in sales tax and about 150 dollars a year registering it. If
you get away with it for one year and get caught, you've just saved about 800 bucks.
Cherokee Citizen writes:
Seeing how the county has not mowed their right-of-way since last summer, has not
black-topped my road as promised, and seem to waste my dollars at every turn, I will keep my OK tags. If OK can pay for stuff at the example of $91 why should
we pay $246? Lord help you when you buy a new vehicle. You need a loan just to pay the property tax. Buy a car in Columbus?? LOL, ROFLMAO, the prices are too
high and the dealership does not provide good service.
Mon, Jun 15, 2009 4:49 PM
Tue, Jun 16, 2009 5:07 PM
Tue, Jun 16, 2009 5:34 PM
Wed, Jun 17, 2009 4:07 PM
Cherokee Co. KS Genealogical-Historical Society
100 S. Tennessee
PO Box 33
Columbus, KS 66725-0033
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