Stories for August 2008


Wednesday, August 27

Quick Reads for 8/27

Havasupai Tribe seeks assistance for flood victims The Havasupai Tribal Council is requesting financial, technical and supplies assistance to deal with the recent flooding, which wiped out trails, campgrounds and some homes. The Havasupai Tribal Disaster Fund has been set up to assist with relief efforts. --- MORE ---

Tuesday, August 26

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Milestone: Dawnae R. Holcomb

Holcomb is the daughter of Roy V. and Darlene A. Smith of Kayenta, Ariz. and the granddaughter of Katherine Smith of Big Mountain, Ariz. and Loretta Adakai of Monument Valley, Utah.

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Milestones: PV2 Trevor Benally and PFC Tonietta Morris

Trevor Benally, 19-years-old, of Kirtland, N.M. and Tonietta Morris, of Navajo, N.M. graduated from Basic Training in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. on Aug. 14

Environmental assessments on Wupatki - Sunset Crater scenic loop road available for public review

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Superintendent Diane Chung announced Aug. 20 that the Route 10 Environmental Assessment/Assessment of Effect (EA) to repair road shoulders along the south entrance road to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument was released for a 30-day public review period starting Aug. 18.

Northland Family Help Center celebrates Pearls of Hope 30th Anniversary

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northland Family Help Center invites the public to celebrate 30 years of healing and empowerment at a free concert with national singer/songwriter Michelle Shocked. Northland Family's Pearls of Hope 30th anniversary celebration will take place Sept. 20 ...

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Arboretum announces fall photography exhibit

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Arboretum at Flagstaff is pleased to announce a photographic exhibit by Sedona professional photographer Rick Daley. The exhibit runs from now until Oct. 31.

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Yavapai-Apache Nation contributes $15,000 for Havasupai flood victims

CAMP VERDE, AZ. - On Aug. 19, the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Council voted to provide $15,000 to the Havasupai Tribe for assistance in managing and assessing the damages of a recent flood ...

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Floods wreak havoc on rural reservation roads

These photos were taken in White Mesa. Recent rains have wreaked havoc on many rural reservation roads, leaving many to find alternate routes to get to and from school and work. Isolated thunderstorms are being predicted for the coming week.

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Hopi High graduate wins prestigious $5,000 NAJA journalism scholarship

POLACCA, Ariz. - Povi Lomayaoma, who graduated from Hopi High School in May, has received a $5,000 scholarship from the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA).

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Sequoyah cheerleaders score big at summer cheer camp

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.-The 2008-2009 Sequoyah Schools' cheerleading squad proved this summer that big things do indeed come in small packages. The group of eight girls returned from their annual summer training camp with the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) in Springfield, Miss., with a handful of trophies, ribbons and awards.

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Greyhills Academy High School holds open house

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - On Aug. 20, Greyhills Academy High School (GAHS) held their open house, a second event for parents and students to enhance parent involvement. The first event was held Aug. 5 with the Building Partnerships through Education Conference.

Letter: Are we to blame for the Peaks decision?

I was shocked and outraged on the news of the Ninth Circuit Court decision allowing the use of retreated wastewater for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks. But upon further reflection, I realized that we, the Native people, are partly to blame for this adverse decision. We talk about our culture, our heritage and our traditions, but we hardly practice them.

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Sorci named principal of St. Michael High School

ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. - St. Michael Indian School is pleased to welcome Thomas Sorci, who was selected to serve as the school's new high school principal. Sorci replaces Al Sye, who was principal for the past two years.

Arizona Town Hall discusses reform to retain high quality teachers

Public input sought during Sept. 8 meeting in Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Arizona Town Hall will present a community program in Flagstaff on Sept. 8 at 12 p.m. to discuss the Town Hall's recommendation for a fundamental redesign of Arizona's education system to recruit and retain more high-quality teachers.

Letter: Navajo leaders need higher pay

Now that the President and the Speaker have agreed to work toward reducing the number of Council delegates, the next logical step is to raise pay for the President and Vice President. I feel that the figure of $125,000 is in line with what we should expect to pay our President for service as leader of our Nation.

Hopi student begins medical school

POLACCA, Ariz. - Pearlyn Tomosie began school this week at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine.Tomosie, Hopi, was accepted last year, but since she was married last year and her grandmother was ill, she received a deferment to start this year.

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Fireworks will light up the sky Saturday

Valle-Wood Fire offers show

For the second time this year, the Valle-Wood Volunteer Fire Department in Valle will offer an evening of fun Saturday starting at 6 p.m. Valle is located at the junction of highways 180 and 64.

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Editorial: Cast your ballot on Tuesday

Tuesday is Election Day. It's time to exercise your right to vote. Voters can cast their votes in the Primary Election at numerous locations throughout the area. The polls are open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Voters can also cast early ballots at various locations until Friday at 5 p.m.

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Editorial: Flood control dam necessary to protect Supai

The flooding of Supai Village attracted national media attention last week when torrential rains led to the evacuation of approximately 426 people. Many were stunned and followed the story closely. While we, too, were shocked about the news of the flood, we weren't surprised. This has happened before.

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Tonalea School gives fourth grade Excellence Awards

TONALEA, Ariz. - On Aug. 16, Roger Blake, Tonalea School's fourth grade teacher held his Seventh Annual Motivational and Inspirational Academic Excellence Awards ... that recognizes achieving students with a luncheon and trophies.

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"Where Do I Vote? What Do I Need To Bring To The Polls?"

Things to know for Tuesday’s primary

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - "Where do I vote and what ID do I need?" is a question that's heard over and over again by Coconino County Elections staff on Election Day. Registered voters are encouraged to be prepared when they visit their polling place to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday. This means knowing where your polling place is located and what ID is required in order to vote.

Northeastern Arizona Anti-Drug Summit opens online registration

PINETOP-LAKESIDE, Ariz. - Plans for the second Northeastern Arizona Anti-Drug Summit is gaining momentum as online registration opens and the keynote speaker is named.

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Freedom rings at Navajo Nation Veterans' Park

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The patriotic phrase "Let Freedom Ring" is often heard nationwide. Last Wednesday afternoon at the Navajo Nation Veterans' Park, that freedom was heard when leaders, community members and visiting tourists were given the opportunity to ring a replica of the 1753 Liberty Bell. The Navajo Nation welcoming ceremony began Aug. 20 with an honor ride escort of the Liberty Bell from the Arizona-New Mexico state line to the Navajo Nation Veterans' Park.

Wednesday, August 20

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Williams man survives flood

Supai Canyon trip turns into race for high ground

Williams resident Joel Masson is lucky to be alive. What started as a simple camping excursion with friends turned into a night Masson will never forget. The group, along with roughly 170 others, were forced to flee Supai Canyon in the middle of the night Aug. 16 due to rising flood waters.

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I've heard this saying before and chuckled at the exasperation of why people say it! Never in mind did I ever think I'd feel this magnitude of exasperation till this past week. One morning while working away from the family I got a frantic phone call saying "come quick".

Tuesday, August 19

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President Shirley signs spending legislation totaling $6.7 million

Budget includes $2.1 million for Speaker's discretionary funds

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. ­ Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., on Friday signed several pieces of legislation into law totaling more than $6.7 million, and approved the purchase of the Double D Veterinary Services property and business at Black Hat/Tse Bonito, N.M.

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Prevention of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer can be a health problem for young women of all races, backgrounds, and lifestyles. In 2004, almost 12,000 women in the U.S. were told they had cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can often be treated and cured if found early ...

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Leupp Chapter voters expressed change at primary election

LEUPP, Ariz. - With a surprisingly large margin of voter turnout, somewhat unusual for a Navajo Chapter Primary election, the majority of Leupp community members chose to vote for new candidates. The margin of loss ranged from 20 to 60 votes indicating that voters want a change.

NAU biodiversity center opens

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Board of Regents have established a new center that will focus on biodiversity teaching and research. The new Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center (CPBC) is already conducting research on the biodiversity of the Colorado Plateau with over $1.7 million in research funding.

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Speaker Morgan clarifies reform statement

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan issued a statement to clarify recent media reports that he supports the reduction of the Navajo Nation Council, saying "the focus should be on comprehensive government reform, not just on downsizing the ... Navajo Nation Council."

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Navajo Nation officials attend TBAC meeting

VERONA, N.Y. - The Oneida Indian Nation hosted a two-day session for the Tribal Budget Advisory Council that met on Aug. 12-13 at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. to discuss issues and strategies related to the federal budgeting process for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

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Supai Village evacuates residents after flooding

Severe weather over the weekend led to storms that dumped between four and eight inches of rain in Grand Canyon country, prompting an evacuation from Supai Village and spawning a small tornado about 10 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park.

Letter: Snowbowl fails to make the grade

In the spring semester of 2008, I taught a class on political economy, using the Snowbowl case as an example of the interplay of politics, religion and culture in financial decisions. We invited two speakers to the class: Howard Shanker, lawyer for the Navajo Nation, and a spokesperson from the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, which supports snowmaking on the Peaks.

Letter: Arizona should consider changing 'Open Primary' system

After reviewing previous election data on the Secretary of State's Web site I began to ponder the reasons for such low turnouts for the primary elections in my county. I couldn't establish a logical reason other to think of my own personal experiences with past elections.

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Editorial: Ninth Circuit Court ruling ignores sacred beliefs

Since the Ninth Circuit Court ruling on Aug. 8, which gave the go-ahead to the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort to commence with plans to use reclaimed wastewater to produce artificial snow on the San Francisco Peaks, much of the Flagstaff community has been up in arms over what will happen in the weeks and months to come.

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Peshlakai Foundation to hold hoop dance contest

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - James Peshlakai and the Peshlakai Cultural Foundation will sponsor their annual hoop dance contest on Labor Day weekend, from Saturday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 1 between the Grand Hotel and McDonalds. The hoop dance contest will be Saturday, Aug. 30, starting at noon.

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Raymond Foundation scholarships to send 29 students to college

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Raymond Educational Foundation will be sending 29 more students to college, each on a $1,000-scholarship. Members of the Flagstaff organization presented a check for $29,000 to the Coconino Community College Foundation at Dr. Tom Montfort's dental office Aug. 12.

Coconino County fair offers fun for everyone Aug. 29-Sept. 1

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Labor Day weekend brings the largest high-profile event in northern Arizona. The 59th Coconino County Fair will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff. The fair is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 29-31 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 1.

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Navajo student takes college Horizons course at Duke

WINSLOW, Ariz. - Winslow High School senior R. C. Brown has completed a five-day crash course in college life at Duke University. Brown, Diné, is the defending Arizona State prose champion and was a third place finisher in poetry competition last school year.

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EPA meets with Black Falls, Tuba City residents

BLACK FALLS, TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Region 9, Navajo Nation EPA (NN EPA), and the Indian Health Service (IHS) met with residents of Black Falls and Tuba City on Aug. 10 and 11 to discuss concerns about access to safe drinking water. The meetings were organized by the Forgotten People Community Development Corporation (FPCDC), a grassroots organization representing communities in the western portion of the Navajo Nation, and were attended by over 100 people.

Monday, August 18

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Grand Canyon Update: Rescue operation in Supai Village continues

Severe weather over the weekend led to storms that dumped between four and eight inches of rain in Grand Canyon country and spawned a small tornado about 10 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park.The deluge breeched an earthen dam, leading to the evacuation of more than 400 campers and residents from Supai Canyon, which is located about 75 air miles west of the park. During the flooding, the water was running at 4,731 cubic feet per second.

Tuesday, August 12

Photo Gallery: 2008 Gallup Ceremonial parade

Since 1922, the community of Gallup, N.M., located along Historic Route 66, has hosted the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, an all-embracing, annual celebration of Native American culture and art. This year marked the 87th anniversary of showcasing authentic Native American culture from Indigenous tribes throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The following photos are from the 87th annual Ceremonial parade, held Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. Photos by Audris Joe and Regina Robertson.

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Department of the Interior responds to Cobell lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C- After 12 years of litigation over its management of the trust funds of individual Indians, U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson recently issued a decision in the Cobell lawsuit rejecting the plaintiffs' theory that the government owes them $47 billion.

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Indigenous Youth Summit 2008 - 'Cultivating Unity for Mother Earth'

The Cultivating Unity for Mother Earth: 2008 Indigenous Youth Summit, brought together youth from across the nation for three days on the Hopi Reservation.

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President Shirley vetoes tobacco legislation

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. ­ Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., last Thursday vetoed the Commercial Tobacco Free Act that would have banned cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing in all public places

Environmental groups, tribes to continue efforts to protect sacred Peaks

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Arizona's sacred San Francisco Peaks and the neighboring tribal communities were denied environmental justice Friday in a split decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in favor of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort in its efforts to expand and contaminate the area.

Census Bureau hiring local office managers in Flagstaff

The U.S. Census Bureau's Denver Regional Census Center recently announced that it is currently recruiting managers for a local census office in Flagstaff

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Water Wheel Trail - a hidden oasis

WATER WHEEL TRAIL, PAYSON, Ariz. - The Water Wheel Trail is a somewhat hidden oasis for naturalists and hikers, but more importantly a mainstay for divers and swimmers.

Additional articles regarding the Aug. 8 Ninth Circuit Court ruling

President Shirley expresses disappointment over reversal of San Francisco Peaks ruling WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - ­ Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., last Friday expressed disappointment about the en banc Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' reversal of the court's earlier decision to prevent desecration of Dook'o'osliid but said the Navajo Nation would consider appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Avoid West Nile virus

Late last month, Coconino County Health officials reported that mosquito samples collected south of Flagstaff tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This was the first positive WNV test this season. So far, no animal or human cases have been reported.

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Hopi High football squad prepares for new season

POLACCA, Ariz. - Hopi High's football team hopes to do as well during the regular season as they did this summer.Hopi won five of seven games on seven-on-seven football.

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NAU Navajo professor writes book to help save her Native language

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - For 18 years, Evangeline Parsons Yazzie taught Navajo without a textbook she felt represented both the Indigenous language and its culture, until she decided to write her own. The Northern Arizona University professor married her traditional Navajo upbringing with techniques she created to teach her native language, and wrote a colorful 448-page textbook, Diné Bizaad Bínáhoóaah or Rediscovering the Navajo Language, published earlier this year by Salina Bookshelf, Inc.

Report on tribal jails now public

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Senator Byron Dorgan recently made available a draft study on the status of Indian country jails, titled "Master Plan for Justice Services in Indian Country."

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Forest Service, Snowbowl win right to use fake snow

Money wins out over religion, some say

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Just one day after Indian Country registered its shock over the settlement in Cobell v. Kempthorne, 13 Arizona tribes learned that they had lost their bid to protect the sacred San Francisco Peaks from desecration by the use of treated wastewater to make artificial snow at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. Eleven Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals justices filed a split decision in Pasadena, Calif. on August 8, with seven justices joining Judge Bea in affirming the district court's denial of relief on all grounds.

Tuesday, August 5

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Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project representatives meet with Arizona diabetes coalition

PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project (NNSDP) made a presentation before the Arizona Diabetes Coalition meeting on July 18 regarding Wireless Monitoring and Access in the Navajo Nation (WiMANN), which involves the utilization of weather balloons and a transmitter/receiver that would hover above the Navajo Nation.

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Navajo County supervisors present van to detox center

Navajo County Supervisors Jesse Thompson and J.R. DeSpain presented a new 12 passenger van to the NARBHA Loma Puh Tah' Vi Center in Holbrook on July 7. From left: Dilkon Center for Behavioral Health director Phil Peterson, Supervisors Jesse Thompson and J.R. DeSpain, Executive Director Loren Sekayumptewa, Holbrook City Councilman Cynthia Stewart, Interim City Manager Fern Larson, Head Shift Manager Janelle Manygoats, Assistant County Manager Dusty Parsons, Peer Support Specialist Kara Nez, County Public Works employee Doris Hernandez, EMT Casey Deignan, Assistant Executive Director Ramon Romero.

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Enhanced medical imaging comes to Tuba City Regional health care facility

New state-of-the-art CT scanner enhances diagnostic capabilities

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The ability for doctors and health care providers at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) to examine images from inside the body, and see and diagnose problems has been greatly enhanced with the delivery of a new CT (computed tomography) scanner in the radiology department.

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District 5 candidate Fowler strives to offer Coconino County a different level of service

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Lena Fowler brings 25 years of community service into the race for the District 5 Coconino County Supervisor's seat. "I didn't just wake up one morning and think, 'I want to serve my community - I think I'll run for Coconino County Supervisor,'" Fowler said. "I've been serving for a long time, and the Board of Supervisors is a way to work for the people at another level."

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Navajo art, culture draws many to annual festival

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The 59th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture, held Aug. 2 and 3, had something for everyone. Over 80 artists, presentations, the Museum of Northern Arizona's gift shops, food and cold drinks and more made for an exciting and entertaining weekend. As always, the event closed each evening with festival-goers walking slowly to their cars or the shuttle stop, laden with their purchases - and an intent to return to next year's event.

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Photo Gallery: 'Just Move It' Tsaile

Runners participate in the final 'Just Move It' event held July 30 in Tsaile. Over 300 particpants - young and old, small and big, tall and round - took part. The event continued into the evening hours with line dancing, volleyball, kick-boxing, basketball, and socializing. Tsaile Public Health officials offered diabetic screening, cholesterol checks, and dietitians were there to give nutritional advice.

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Fort Valley experimental forest readies for centennial celebration

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Nation's Experimental Forests and Ranges. In honor of this milestone, the founding of the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, the first in the country, will be celebrated during a three-day event, scheduled for Aug. 7-9 in Flagstaff.

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MNA scientist wins research award

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Under a big tent in the Coconino National Forest just north of Flagstaff on Aug. 9, Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) Senior Research Anthropologist Dr. David R. Wilcox was presented with the 2007 Byron S. Cummings Award.

Quickreads 8/6/08

Tuba City hospital seeking new board members

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CCC and NAU create new pathway to bachelor's degree

CCC2NAU guarantees that students will be ‘a degree closer’

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona's premier higher education institutions - Coconino Community College (CCC) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) - are combining forces to offer students an innovative program that will smooth the path toward a baccalaureate degree. CCC2NAU was announced Aug. 4 during a joint news conference with CCC President Leah. L. Bornstein and NAU President John D. Haeger in the CCC Lone Tree Commons.

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Cliff Castle Casino receives several Romero Awards

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. - Cashing in on their marketing efforts, Cliff Castle Casino took top awards in several categories at the Romero Awards

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Nature (and bugs) aplenty at Goldwater Lake

GOLDWATER LAKE, PRESCOTT, Ariz. - Goldwater Lake offers plenty for those who want a short hike whether they have a lot of time or want to do it quickly.

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Diné College receives $250,000 for 'Wisdom of the People Initiative'

TSAILE, Ariz. - Diné College has received a $250,000 grant from the American Indian College Fund "Woksape Oyate:

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Shirley hails air permit approval for Desert Rock

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. on July 31 welcomed the approval of the final air permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Cherokee elder Eva Gilbert turns 106

SALLISAW, Okla. - Eva Gilbert, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an original enrollee of the Dawes Rolls, recently celebrated her 106th birthday.

PublishAmerica presents 'Native Dreams'

FREDERICK, Md. - PublishAmerica is proud to present "Native Dreams" by Melinda Elmore of Crossville, Tenn.

A positive outlook toward school creates success for our students

For many Native youth, the start of school is just around the corner!

Institute of American Indian Arts receives $7.65 million education grant

Department of Education awards funding to improve, expand facilities

SANTA FE, N.M. - The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is pleased to announce it has received $7.65 million in grant funding

Photo Gallery: 2008 MNA Navajo Festival

The 59th Annual Navajo Festival of Art and Culture, held on Aug. 2-3, is part of the Museum of Northern Arizona's (MNA's) ongoing Heritage Program. Artists, traditional music and dances and Heritage Insight programming rounded out the weekend's celebration of the vibrant culture of the Diné, the largest tribe in the U.S. Photos by S.J. Wilson (Navajo Hopi Observer) and Michele Mountain (Museum of Northern Arizona).