What's Up / Sept. 18 '06

    Flipflop in Cheyenne River Sioux election

    Eagle Butte, South Dakota (AP)

    A recount in a tribal primary election on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation has changed the order of two candidates who were one vote apart. Seventeen people sought the office of tribal chairman. The current officeholder, Harold Frazier, got the most votes and advanced to the tribe’s Nov. 7 general election. Preliminary results indicated Frank Thompson finished in second place for the right to challenge Frazier, but the recount showed that Joseph Brings Plenty actually had two more votes than Thompson, sending Brings Plenty to the general election ballot.

    Erosion work at Moccasin Bend park suspended

    Chattanooga, Tennessee (AP)

    Funding problems have delayed a project to stop erosion at Moccasin Bend, a site where the National Park Service is working to preserve American Indian and Civil War history. The 750-acre Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District is located in a peninsula in the Tennessee River near downtown Chattanooga. Erosion along the shoreline is destroying burials and artifacts, but a project expected to begin this fall has been put on hold. The $496,000 designated for the project’s design and planning phase has run out, said Eric Smith, interim superintendent of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, which is overseeing Moccasin Bend.

    Nine seeking Three Affiliated Tribes chair post

    New Town, North Dakota (AP)

    Nine people are seeking the position of Three Affiliated Tribes chairman, including incumbent Tex Hall. The primary on the Fort Berthold Reservation is Sept. 19. Hall has served two four-year terms as chairman. Previously, he was Mandaree representative to the tribal Business Council for two years. Two other current Business Council members – Nathan Hale and Marcus Wells Jr. – are among those seeking to unseat Hall.

    One of 16 charged in Pine Ridge drug bust gets 10 yrs

    Rapid City, South Dakota (AP)

    One of 16 people charged with drug trafficking on the Pine Ridge Reservation has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Norton Richards of Rapid City pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He and 15 other people were indicted on charges that include conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession of firearms in relation to drug trafficking. They were arrested following a Dec. 21 drug bust at a Rapid City motel after someone smelled marijuana smoke coming from a room. A search yielded 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine, guns, ammunition, $16,519 in cash and drug paraphernalia. The others indicted include: Geraldine Blue Bird, Colin Spotted Elk, Marvella Richards, Clarence Behan, Travis Elk Boy, Dawnee Frogg, Jay Dee Spotted Elk, Howard Blue Bird, Thomas Spotted Bear, Flint Thomas Red Feather, Justin Hawk Wing, Sage Richards, Wenona Richards, Joe Garcia and Rusty Richards.

    Former tribal official indicted in alleged fraud

    Billings, Montana (AP)

    The former director of the Fort Peck Tribes’ Department of Education and her husband, the former superintendent of schools at Brockton, have been indicted for allegedly scheming to defraud the federal government. Desiree Dean Kirn Lambert, 50, pleaded not guilty to two indictments during August. She was released on conditions until trial. Lambert is charged with conspiracy to defraud the government, fraudulent claims, federal student loan fraud and theft from a tribal organization. An arrest warrant was issued for Lambert’s husband, Bernard J. Lambert Jr., 58, a co-defendant in one of the cases. He faces conspiracy and fraudulent claims charges.

    Rocky Boy ethanol plant gets boost with tax credits

    Great Falls, Montana (AP)

    The Rock Boys Chippewa-Cree Tribe has secured $20 million in tax credits to help secure private investors for a proposed $100 million ethanol plant on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. Billie Anne Raining Bird-Morsette, the CEO of the National Tribal Development Association, said the tribe is close to signing a deal with a major international investor. Construction could begin in spring 2007, with the plant going online a year later. The plant would be capable of producing 40 million gallons of ethanol a year. The tribe has been working out the details of the plant for the past two years.

    Phoenix man sentenced to 15 years for shooting

    Bismarck, North Dakota (AP)

    An Arizona man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting and wounding a man near St. John, on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation, authorities said. Michael Anthony Russo, 32, of Phoenix, pleaded guilty in June to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. He was sentenced on Aug. 28 by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland. U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said Russo shot Mark Lenoir in the leg and chest during an argument at Lenoir’s home on Jan. 7.

    Ponca Tribe seeks to buy former college buildings

    Norfolk, Nebraska (AP)

    The Ponca Tribe has outlined its plans to buy buildings on the former Nebraska Christian College campus. Representatives of the tribe said their main interest in acquiring the former college’s administrative building and gymnasium for office space, services to tribal members and cultural activities. Plans for the dorms and other housing units and the large, undeveloped section of the campus have not yet been detailed. However, tribal officials said current plans do not call for building more housing.

    Billy Mills to keynote Native Media Symposium

    Brooking, South Dakota (AP)

    Billy Mills, Olympic gold medalist and South Dakota native, is scheduled as the keynote speaker for the 2006 Native American Media Symposium at South Dakota State University Oct. 6 and 7. The symposium will include Native journalists, activists, authors and educators discussing tribal sovereignty, press freedom and other issues at SDSU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, 75 high school students are expected to attend and talk with panelists and participate in workshops, organizers said.

    Gerald Hill to keynote Marquette conference

    Marquette, Michigan (ICC)

    Gerald Hill, a private consultant in tribal government and Native language activism, will be a keynote speaker at the UNITED “Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity” conference to be held Sept. 17-19 at Northern Michigan University. Hill previously served as the chief counsel for the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin for more than 20 years. He is currently serving his fifth term as president of the Indigenous Language Institute.

    Authorities investigating Eagleman death as homicide

    Pierre, South Dakota (AP)

    Authorities are investigating a Lower Brule woman’s death as a homicide. The body of Vicki Eagleman, 33, was found during late August by searchers near Medicine Creek, close to Pierre. The mother of five had been missing for a month. Investigators said Eagleman’s corpse was naked and her face was beaten. They are looking for the clothes she was wearing when she disappeared. She was last seen July 28. The woman’s boyfriend was with her the day she disappeared, but he told authorities she dropped him off and that’s the last time he saw her.

    Two killed in flash

    flooding on Navajo Nation

    Gallup, New Mexico (AP)

    A man and a boy were killed when their car was swept away by a flash flood in an arroyo they were trying to cross near Church Rock east of Gallup. The two died Aug. 24 on a tribal road just off N.M. 566, about four miles east of Church Rock, Navajo Nation Police Commander Johnny Johnson said. They were the only people in the car, he said. Navajo officials identified them as Darrell Luther, 29, and his 2-year-old son, Damani Luther, of Pinedale, New Mexico.

    SBA and chamber of commerce sign agreement

    Albuquerque, New Mexico (AP)

    The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico and the New Mexico Small Business Administration have agreed to form a partnership aimed at strengthening and expanding Indian small business development. “Our Native American small business community in New Mexico can benefit greatly by partnering with the SBA,” said Ted Pedro, executive director of the chamber of commerce.

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