Tribes challenge Schwarzenegger in CA
Los Angeles, California (AP)
A group of 64 tribal casino owners is throwing its weight behind a gambling initiative on the November ballot that threatens Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ongoing negotiations with tribes to share their revenue with the state. The California Indian Nations Gaming Association said July 16 it was endorsing Proposition 70, which would allow tribes to operate as many slot machines as they choose as well as games currently banned in California such as roulette and craps. The tribes are currently limited to 2,000 slots. In return, casinos would be required to pay about 8.8 percent of their net gambling income to the state.
Paugussett plan appeal
Bridgeport, Connecticut (AP)
The Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe announced July 20 it will file an appeal by mid-August of the decision denying the tribe’s application for federal recognition. The Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected the tribe’s application in June for the second time, dealing a major setback to the Paugussetts’ plans for a casino and thousands of acres of land claims. “We will continue our fight to force the U.S. Government to write a different chapter about the glorious history of our tribe and this nation,” Paugussett Chief Quiet Hawk said in a statement.
ChevronTexaco/Exxon report record profits
The Exxon Mobil Corporation said July 30 that net income climbed 39 percent, the highest profit in 13 years, producing earnings of $5.79 billion. Meanwhile, the ChevronTexaco Corporation reported July 31 that quarterly earnings more than doubled, rising net income to $4.13 billion according to reports in the New York Times.
Crow Tribal judge charged in domestic case
Crow Agency, Montana (AP)
Chief Tribal Court Judge Albert Gros Ventre has pleaded innocent to a charge of assaulting his wife and will remain free pending further proceedings. Gros Ventre was taken into custody July 26 by BIA Police Chief Darren Cruzan at the police headquarters at Crow Agency. Gros Ventre said Cruzan called him into police headquarters, he gave the police chief a statement and was arrested on the assault charge. He spent the night at the BIA jail, and was released after his arraignment in tribal court July 27.
Former Navajo president appointed to NMHU post
Las Vegas, New Mexico (AP)
A former Navajo Nation president who was ousted for ethics violations has been appointed director of the New Mexico Highlands University learning center in Farmington. Thomas Atcitty has been appointed to the job by Manny Aragon, Highlands president. Atcitty and Aragon are former Democratic state legislators. Atcitty will replace Kim Carpenter, a Farmington native who worked at the school for 17 years before he was fired by Aragon.
Pesata elected president
of Jicarilla Apache Nation
Dulce, New Mexico (AP)
Former Jicarilla Apache Nation President Levi Pesata has been elected to head the northwestern New Mexico tribe again. Jicarilla voters on July 17 chose Pesata over former tribal secretary Olivia Marias. Unofficial tallies show Pesata received 844 votes, or 70.5 percent, to Marias’ 353 votes. The tribal council impeached and ousted the Jicarilla’s former president, Claudia Vigil-Muniz, on March 3 after she had asked the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and others to investigate allegations of tribal police corruption. Vigil-Muniz attributed her ouster to her efforts to clean up the police department.
Justice Department won’t appeal Kennewick case
Portland, Oregon (AP)
The U.S. Justice Department has joined Northwest tribes in clearing the way for scientists to study the Kennewick Man remains. Blain Rethmeier, a Justice Department spokesman, told The Oregonian that the agency would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 8-year-old case.
EPA gives $1.1 million grant to Pottowatomi Tribe
Dorr, Michigan (AP)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a more than $1.14 million grant for a Kalamazoo River watershed restoration project being coordinated by a tribe in southwestern Michigan. The Targeted Watersheds Grant Program is a relatively new EPA initiative. It was created to encourage successful, community-based approaches and management techniques to protect and restore the nation’s waters, according to the EPA’s Web site. The Gun Lake Tribe, as the Dorr-based group also is known, plans to reduce agricultural runoff in the river. It is leading the initiative on behalf of a watershed-wide group, the EPA said.
Paiute-owned company in Utah gets federal contract
Salt Lake City, Utah (AP)
A company owned by the Cedar Band of the Paiute Tribe has secured a $200 million contract with the U.S. Interior Department for technology assistance. Cedar City-based Suh’dutsing Technologies LLC will offer hardware, software and other tech services. The contract covers 200 various IT labor categories. It lasts for one year, but has four additional one-year options.
25-year excavation ends
Hartford Beach State Park, South Dakota (AP)
The state archaeologist is ready to call it quits after 25 years of exploration at an ancient village. Jim Haug visited the site inside Hartford Beach State Park in 1980 and began digging the next year. Over the years, Haug, volunteers and others have excavated the site, which is believed to have been used by the ancestors of tribes now located in North Dakota. Haug said it appears the village was not occupied very long. “We haven’t been finding anything new, just a lot of the same things,” he said.
HUD gives $400,000 grant to Mississippi Choctaw
Jackson, Mississippi (AP)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it will give $2.4 million in grants to over 100 impoverished rural communities, with the maximum individual grant topping off at $400,000. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw, often hailed as a rags to casino-and-high-tech riches success, will get one of those $400,000 grants. Choctaw Housing Authority director Nathaniel Nickey said the $400,000 would be supplemented by other federal and state grants to build 27 houses.
Authorities charge man in fatal shooting in Belcourt
Belcourt, North Dakota (AP)
Tribal authorities have charged a man for the shooting death of passenger in a van here. Ronald Spears, 26, of Belcourt, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless endangerment. Federal charges against Spears are pending, said Wayne Thomas, a Belcourt law enforcement officer. Spears is accused of shooting 25-year-old Ivan Crissler on July 20. He was shot and killed while riding as a passenger in a van, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said.
State, Yakama Nation sign cigarette-tax agreement
Olympia, Washington (AP)
The state of Washington and the Yakama Nation have signed a cigarette taxation agreement, the governor’s office announced July 22. Under the agreement, the Yakama Nation will impose a tax on purchases by non-Indians equal to the combined state cigarette and sales tax. In exchange, the state will not impose its tax on cigarette purchases by non-Indians from reservation smokeshops. It was the 12th such agreement the state has reached with Indian tribes since negotiations began in 2001. Revenue from the tax will go to supporting the Yakama Nation’s government services.
Hualapai to build
Grand Canyon skywalk
Kingman, Arizona (AP)
The Hualapai Nation, which sits along the western edge of the Grand Canyon, plans to build a skywalk that overhangs the rim of the canyon. Robert Bravo, operations manager of Grand Canyon West, said a 60-foot long horseshoe-shaped skywalk will overhang the west rim. It will be partially clear so that visitors can look down into the canyon. The tribe hopes to have the skywalk complete by March 2005.
Former police officer sentenced to prison
Minot, North Dakota (AP)
A former Three Affiliated Tribes police officer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being found guilty on six counts of sexual abuse. Cuthbert Rory Flynn Fox, 29, was found guilty in April of three counts of abusive sexual contact and three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Fox on July 19.