Stories for March 2008

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Wednesday, March 26

Is consuming alcohol really a disease?

To the editor:We say, "Our children, who are extraordinary to us, are our future." In the state of Arizona, we have devastating laws legislated on certain crimes. Hidden from the public is what caused the crime. Yet through commercials and advertisements we are lured on buying the obvious.

Whatever happened to the advisory council on disability?

To the editor:The Navajo Nation Council on Disability (NNACOD) was established alongside the trust fund for people living with variable disabilities to help voice their opinions with the Navajo Nation leader's office of the president/vice president and so govern the use of the trust fund for its people in the same matter as the Navajo Veterans Affairs. So-called advocates for the disability community have marched to Window Rock.

Greyhills Academy seeks art supplies

Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City is in need of some basic supplies for their art department and would appreciate any donations to meet their need for this current semester. There are many talented youth artists at the school who need the opportunity to showcase their talents.

June-Watchman will be missed

WINDOW ROCK - Ramona June-Watchman, a case management specialist with Navajo Nation Department of Child Support Enforcement, passed away on Friday, March 14, 2008. She had suffered from diabetes.

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Coleman offers an evening of classical music

FLAGSTAFF - Piano virtuoso and Coconino Community College music instructor Chase Coleman will be offering a free piano recital at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Lone Tree Commons.

20-year-old seeks county clerk office

Churchrock, N.M. - On March 18, Titus Jay Nez, a 20-year-old from Churchrock, N.M., filed his paperwork to run for McKinley County Clerk. Nez, originally from Pinedale, N.M. will be running as a Democrat along with seven others in the hopes of winning the clerk seat. At the age of 20, Nez is the youngest candidate running in McKinley County.

Learning center now offers Sunday services

Thanks to the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC), the school library and computer room for Tuba City Boarding School (TCBS) are now open on Sundays from 3-6 p.m.Tutors will be available in the library to assist students with homework assignments. Students can also use the library for studying (quiet place), research from text material and for leisure reading. The library is located on the first floor of TC-11.

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President, Mrs. Shirley urge Navajo children to read for success

WINDOW ROCK - Navajo Nation First Lady Vikki Shirley urged children across Navajoland to read to get on the path to success during a "Reading Across America" assembly held at the Navajo Nation Museum and Library March 17."All it takes is a book to begin a path toward success," Mrs. Shirley said.

Conservation groups challenge uranium mine exploration near Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF -The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust have filed a lawsuit challenging the approval of up to 39 new uranium drilling sites within only a few miles of Grand Canyon National Park.

Monument Valley Film Festival seeks submissions

The Second Annual Monument Valley Film Festival is making a call for entries to all Native American filmmakers for this year's 2008 festival. This year's festival will be held July 4-6 on the Navajo Nation in Kayenta. Like the previous year, the festival will be focusing on original films directed, produced or written by Native Americans.

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County recorder verifies recall petitions filed

FLAGSTAFF - Coconino County Recorder Candace Owens verified that recall petitions against Tuba City Unified School District No.15 Advisory Board members Alvin Harvey, Linda Honahni and Jack Begay were filed at her office on Friday, March 14.

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Longest Walk reaches Flagstaff

Far ahead of a crowd of a few dozen Long Walkers, a Japanese man waved a safety flag. He wanted to talk, he wanted to be heard, but a language barrier allowed him only to say, "All life is sacred." He had been marching the southern route - there is also a northern route - with comrades since Alcatraz; all bound for Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 21

OBITUARY - Susie G. Young

KAYENTA - Funeral services for Susie G. Young, 82, were held March 12, 2008 at the Kayenta Bible Church. Services were officiated by Bob Manymules and burial was at Chilchinbeto Community Cemetery. Young died March 7, 2008 in Flagstaff. She was born Dec. 5, 1926 in Chilchinbeto to Kai'has'bah Helen and Ralph T. Gilmore.

OBITUARY-Jerry T. Pettyjohn

Jerry T. Pettyjohn, beloved husband and father, died Friday, March 7, 2008. Jerry was born March 22, 1932, in Elkin, N.C. He was the second son of Ella and Clifton Pettyjohn. He has a sister and brother living in Pueblo, Colo.

DPS assisting Hopi Tribal Police; SR 264 closed

Unknown when road will re-open

State Route 264, which runs across tribal lands from Moenkopi to Window Rock, has been closed in both eastbound and westbound directions, according to a Department of Public Safety email notice.

Wednesday, March 19

Help us populate 'Milestones'

Last week, we added a new section to our Web site called Milestones. We are excited to offer this bonus feature to our faithful online readers, but at the same time, we are a bit disappointed. If you visit our Web site now, you will find Milestones is empty. We need your help to fill this new section.

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County recorder verifies recall petitions filed

FLAGSTAFF - Coconino County Recorder Candace Owens verified that recall petitions against Tuba City Unified School District No. 15 Advisory Board Members Alvin Harvey, Linda Honahni and Jack Begay were filed at her office on Friday, March 14. "We must now go through the process of checking each signature to verify its validity," Owens said. "We will check each signature against the person's voting registration to make sure they match. We have 60 days to do that, although we don't expect the process to take that long."

Tuesday, March 18

Quick Reads for 3-19

Monument Valley High School AIMS testing Students and parents: the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) testing for Spring 2008 for Monument Valley High School will resume Tuesday, April 8 (Mathematics) and April 9 (Science) for juniors and seniors who have not yet passed this section of the AIMS test. All students must pass all three sections of the AIMS in order to graduate. For more information, contact Monument Valley High School at (928) 697-2228. - - MORE - -

AZ Department of Public Safety seeks witnesses, others involved in multi-vehicle collisions on Interstate 40

Names of the two victims who died in one of the pileups released

Investigators from the Arizona Department of Public Safety are requesting potential witnesses and those involved in the collisions who have not made contact with DPS to please contact the agency's investigators at the Flagstaff DPS Headquarters. Please call (928) 773-3601 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Hopi JROTC places in Bonanza Drill Meet

After the Hopi Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program returned from Hawaii in January, another challenge was already underway. The Raiders started their tough workouts and the Drill and Color Guard Teams concentrated on making their movements sharp. What were they getting ready for? They were preparing for the Bonanza Drill Meet which was held in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 8.

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STUDENTS OF THE MONTH

from Washington Elementary School in Winslow

Congratulations to the following students of the month for February 2008:

Obesity - when surgery becomes the only real option

Weight loss surgery is the treatment of choice for the morbidly obese. The definition of "morbid obesity" is having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher or weighing 100 pounds over ideal weight. Another group for whom surgery may be the treatment are the "seriously obese," those with BMIs of 35-39. Both types of obesity have added weight-related complications such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis.

Finally - some answers to your carbohydrate questions

Q: Is there research on whether low-carb diets help weight loss?A: Yes. Some good studies show that during the first six months, low-carbohydrate diets do tend to produce more weight loss than traditional low-fat diets. Research shows that when you focus on reducing carbohydrate intake (less than 35 percent of total calories) you take in fewer calories overall.

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Navajo royalty combine efforts to raise money for a 'special' cause

Thumbnail photo: Miss Western Navajo, Crystal Carr with Miss Navajo Nation, Jonathea Tso. Hosted by Miss Western Navajo, Crystal Carr, a fundraising event called "Tip-A-Royalty" took place March 1 at Hogan's Restaurant in Tuba City. Royalty from across the Navajo Nation came and collected donations in support of the Special Olympics.

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Three Mesa Productions to perform in Hopi

POLACCA - Three Mesa Productions performed two puppet shows March 17 at the Hopi Veteran's Center and March 18 at Shungopavi Community Center. There will be another puppet show March 19 at the First Mesa Consolidated Villages Grill and Deli starting at 6:30 p.m. There is no admission charge to attend the shows.

Standards of conduct for elected officials conference announced

WINDOW ROCK - The Ethics and Rules Committee of the Navajo Nation Council, along with the Ethics and Rules office is pleased to announce the Standards of Conduct for Elected Officials conference to be held April 29 through May 1 in Albuquerque, N.M. The conference is a great opportunity for elected officials, community members and the general public to learn more about the Navajo tribal government.

President Shirley pleased with Inspector General's inquiry into NIEA conference

WINDOW ROCK - Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., said he was pleased with the findings by the Interior Department's inspector general's office that the Navajo Nation's participation at an education conference in Hawaii last October was reasonable, appropriate for the size of the tribe, and did not misuse federal funding.

President Shirley asks U.S. Senate committee to respect Diné natural resources protection act, uranium ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., on March 12 asked a U.S. Senate committee to respect Navajo sovereignty and to uphold the 2005 Navajo prohibition on uranium mining. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, President Shirley said the Navajo people have suffered through a traumatic and tragic experience of illness and death resulting from uranium mining from the 1940s until the 1970s, and they did not wish to repeat it or be forced to by uranium mining companies who now want to return to Navajoland.

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Opening day at the Arboretum

Experience a lifetime of memories, family fun, enjoyable educational exhibits and presentations

FLAGSTAFF - The Arboretum at Flagstaff opens for the 2008 season on Tuesday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year we want to welcome visitors of all ages to come and celebrate opening day at The Arboretum free of charge. The Arboretum has over 200 acres of vast meadows and ponderosa pines sprawled across the property.

Highlights from the New Mexico state high school championships

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Pit, home of the Lobos, played host to the New Mexico 2008 First Community Bank State High School Basketball Championships where the No. 2 seeded Lady Sartans of St. Pius X (28-2) upset the top-seeded Kirtland Central Lady Broncos (27-4) to win the New Mexico Class 4A Girls Basketball Championship with a final score of 57-48.

LETTER - Mine will affect sacred sites

Senator McCain recently co?sponsored land swap legislation giving away 1,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near Superior to a British/Australian copper mining consortium. McCain's legislation intentionally exempts the mine from our nation's most important environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

LETTER - Residents' decision should be respected

As of the date of this publication, the residents in the proposed Leupp Casino site have not approved nor agreed to the casino idea. I have personally met with the families and heard their reasons to oppose the casino site. Their decision should be highly respected, for their justifications have been well thought out, weighed and rationalized.

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Pinon Accelerated Middle School honors students with 'sweet treat'

PINON - Pinon Accelerated Middle School honored all of its students who successfully achieved at least one grade level improvement in the latest round of NWEA Math, Reading, and Language Arts examinations. Over 80 students were rewarded for their outstanding effort with a place at "the world's largest banana split" sundae fest in the school cafeteria on March 10.

ADOT seeks public input at Community Workshops across northern Arizona

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and local/regional partners are hosting a series of community workshops in late March and early April across the state to solicit public input on a long-range vision for the future of transportation in Arizona. This statewide transportation planning process looks ahead to the year 2050 and is also known as "Building a Quality Arizona."

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OBITUARY - Kenneth Silas Lee

Kenneth Silas Lee, age 39, died suddenly on March 10. He was born in Tuba City and graduated from Tuba City High School in 1986. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Flagstaff where he met his wife Alice. In 1990 they moved to Grand Canyon where he met and made many friends. In 1994 he moved his family back to Flagstaff where he had been a resident with his wife and their three children, Shaun, Michael and Sierra.

Arizona low income families receive $623,047 in energy assistance from LIHEAP

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt recently announced the release of $623,047, which includes $46,995 for tribes, to help eligible low-income homeowners and renters in Arizona meet home energy costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds will provide states, territories, tribal areas and the District of Columbia with heating assistance for the winter months ahead.

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Tuba City track and field teams make strong start to 2008 season

The Tuba City's girls and boys track and field teams both placed second at the Mustang Classic Track and Field Meet held at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta on March 8. The Lady Warriors scored 90 points to finish just half a point behind Chinle, who won with 90.5 points. Both teams have shown depth in all the events this season, a key ingredient to overall success.

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Diné College receives $5 million for Shiprock campus library

SHIPROCK, N.M. - Diné College received approval from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson of its $5 million request to the state legislature to build a new library at its Shiprock campus on March 5. As part of Senate Bill 471, which included over $341 million for projects throughout New Mexico, Diné College's share of $5 million was one of the largest appropriations approved.

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Kinlani dorm helps Native teens pursue their dreams

FLAGSTAFF - The beat of drums, rattle of traditional shakers and hum of chanting fill the room as 10 teens from the Navajo Nation and other tribes join in what's known as a drum circle. It's an after-school activity at the Kinlani Bordertown Dormitory, a place where nearly 150 Native American youth live while they study at Flagstaff High School. As they pursue their education, the dorm's staff works to make sure the students continue developing the values important back home.

Wednesday, March 12

CCC to Purchase Green Power

FLAGSTAFF - Coconino Community College (CCC) is joining some of the county's largest power users who are committing to purchasing a portion of their power from renewable energy sources. CCC is part of the Northern Arizona Renewable Energy Purchasing Group (NAREG) that signed a Memorandum of Understanding Feb. 5 at Northern Arizona University's (NAU) Applied Research and Development Building.

TRAVELER ALERT: I-17 closed at Carefree Highway this weekend for bridge demolition

Drivers are urged to plan for extra travel time this weekend while Interstate 17 is closed at Carefree Highway (State Route 74) for bridge demolition work. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says crews will tear down the old Carefree Highway bridge over I-17 to make room for a new, wider bridge already under construction.

Tuesday, March 11

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Tuba City Primary School to receive NCA accreditation under new model

TUBA CITY - The teachers, staff, students and parents of Tuba City Primary School have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. On Jan. 22-23, a group of teachers came to visit the Primary School as a part of a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) Team to witness and report how the school is performing for Navajo Nation North Central Accreditation (NCA). Just recently, Navajo Nation NCA has begun using a new model to evaluate schools.

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Navajo Nation passes comprehensive toxic waste cleanup bill

WINDOW ROCK - The Navajo Nation passed a toxic waste cleanup law that may be the most comprehensive by any tribe in America. The Navajo Nation Council voted 50-15 to pass the Navajo Nation Comprehensive Environmental Reponse, Compensation and Liability Act. The legislation, sponsored by Council Delegate George Arthur, calls for the Navajo Nation to locate, investigate and clean up the most severely abandoned toxic waste sites on the Navajo Nation.

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Salt River Indian Community prepares for 19th annual 'Heart of the American Indian Women's Network' Conference

SALT RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos will welcome members of the "Heart of the American Indian Women's Network" during their annual conference in Scottsdale. This year's conference is the 19th Annual Leadership Conference scheduled for April 7-8 at Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale.

Eat to satisfy your body, not to satisfy your friends

Plain and simple - a healthy diet is crucial in preventing health conditions like heart disease and cancer. People don't doubt this truth, but many choose not to act on it all the time. It can be tough to limit sweets, fats and red meat from our diet because for so long, we have associated those foods with rewards and feelings of well being. Luckily, it is never too late to renovate your diet and make healthier decisions.

12 Ways to Help Make Exercise a Habit

"Nothing will work unless you do." John Wooden, UCLA legendary basketball coach, NCAA hall of fame Most of us would agree that it's not hard to start an exercise routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once. The trouble, of course, comes with sticking to an exercise program. All too often, the excitement and energy we had at first starts to fade away and we only think of the other things going on in our lives, or we don't think we're seeing results quickly enough -- and we forget about our exercise routine.

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Diabetes dwells among Native Americans

NAVAJO NATION - March is National Nutrition Month and March 25 is National Diabetes Awareness Day. Did you know that diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.? Diabetes, exercise and nutrition are linked. Heart disease is also linked to diabetes. That's why many tribal health programs are running special events in March to promote good nutrition and health screenings for diabetes.

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NMSU President signs Tribal extension agreement with two Native American colleges

SANTA FE, N.M. - University presidents from New Mexico State University (NMSU), Diné College and Navajo Technical College signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in support of a Tribal Extension program before members of the Navajo Nation Council during a Santa Fe luncheon hosted by Sen. Lynda Lovejoy (D-McKinley County) Feb. 13.

Navajo Council represented at NACO meeting in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Navajo Nation Council Delegate Young Jeff Tom (Mariano Lake/Smith Lake) and Legislative Staff Assistant Jonathan Hale with the Office of the Speaker, recently attended the 2008 National Association of Counties (NACO) meeting on behalf of the 21st Navajo Nation Council. Other Navajo Nation officials present at the meeting were Navajo Vice President Ben Shelly, Coconino County Supervisor Louise Yellowman, Jesse Thompson, and Ernest Becenti Jr.

Tribal, state police earn federal enforcement authority in Indian Country

PHOENIX - More than 40 tribal police and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers were tested recently after a three-day training course led by federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office. Those who pass the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) exam will receive a special law enforcement certificate granting them federal law enforcement authority in Indian Country. The training was the third time that the BIA and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona have teamed up to give the training over the past year with approximately 100 tribal and state police officers certified through the program.

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ASU to visit Navajo schools during spring break

NAVAJO NATION - Two teams of students and staff from ASU were scheduled to visit 19 schools on and around the Navajo Nation from March 9-15 during Arizona State University's (ASU) spring break. ASU representatives, many of whom grew up in the Navajo Nation, plan to meet with more than 1,000 students, counselors, teachers and community members.

Planning in advance is necessary to avoid emergencies

Navajo Nation is in a sea of mud and there are numerous emergencies with stranded families, stuck vehicles and medical emergencies. Many entities from the Navajo Nation emergency offices, Navajo County road crews, chapter crews, Indian Health Service crews and school district crews are working to alleviate this, but very little progress is being made.

Don't forget to contact the Observer before your event

People are sometimes taken by surprise when they call up the Navajo Hopi Observer to request coverage of an event that is happening "right now," only to discover that we do not have a reporter available to run out and take a few photos. Yes, we are the newspaper, but we don't always know about everything going on in Flagstaff or out on the rez. We are a small staff, so we need your help.

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Hopi High Teen Show adds new environmental segment

POLACCA - The Hopi High School Teen Show has added a weekly environmental report and selected Joelle Mansfield as the environmental editor. The Hopi High Teen Show is the only live remote Native American teen talk show in the nation. It airs from 2-2:30 p.m. each Thursday on KUYI, the Hopi community radio station, 88.1 on the FM dial. The show already includes an introduction, community calendar and three interviews.

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'Common Threads' exhibit examines Hopi quilting

Editor's note - The print edition of this story reported that Somana Yaiva is from the village of Kykotsmovi. Yaiva is actually from Hotevilla. The Observer apologizes for the error. PRESCOTT - Noted author Carolyn O'Bagy Davis and Prescott's Smoki Museum of Indian Art and Culture came together to present a collection of Hopi quilts. Davis is the author of "Hopi Quilting: Stitched Traditions from an Ancient Community" and "Hopi Summer." Somana Yaiva of Hotevilla was fortunate not only to be a part of the exhibit, but one of her quilts was chosen to represent the exhibit.

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Shiprock falls to Artesia in NM state championships

SHIPROCK, N.M. - The road to the University of New Mexico Pit ended at the Shiprock Pit when the No. 11 seeded Shiprock Chieftains (16-13) hosted the No. 6 ranked Artesia Bulldogs (20-9), during an elimination round of the New Mexico State high school championships. Despite a rallying effort, the Chieftains lost with a final score of 57 -52.

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Tonalea School parenting classes end successfully

TONALEA - On Wednesday, Jan. 27, parents attended the last of six parenting sessions with presenter James Bilagody of Tuba City along with special surprise guest speaker James Junes, best known as half of the comedy duo "James and Ernie." Junes made a surprise visit to the session for parents and spoke of his personal experience on parenting. Throughout the six-week course, each two-hour class emphasized the essential basics of parenting and being involved in a child's educational process.

Tuesday, March 4

Who does McCain represent?

This month England's Prince Andrew visited our beautiful state of Arizona to promote a polluting, destructive, British copper mine here. Senator McCain recently sponsored land swap legislation in the Senate giving the Brits 3,025 acres of U.S. Forest Service land and exempting that mine from most U.S. environmental, cultural and religious protection laws.

State budget cuts could affect future of drug abuse coalition

Navajo County Coalition Against Drug Abuse may fall victim to state budget cuts currently under consideration in the Arizona Legislature. Senate Bill 1300 and House Bill 2857, currently in the Appropriations Committee, reduce state General Fund operating expenses, transfer monies from various other funds to the state General Fund and delay appropriations in order to reconcile an anticipated FY 2007-2008 state General Fund shortfall.

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Hopi journalism students to attend youth radio conference

POLACCA - Two radio students at Hopi High School have been awarded scholarships to attend a prestigious national radio conference where they will learn about the First Amendment. Povi Lomayaoma and Paul Quamahongnewa have been awarded scholarships to attend the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) Youth in Radio Journalism Project in Atlanta, Ga., March 26-29.

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Hopi Jr. High holds academic awards banquet

Hopi Junior High honored 49 students Jan. 22 during its academic awards banquet. "These awards are important because they are the core subjects and the students deserve the recognition." said Diane Honyumptewa, secretary at Hopi Junior High. Brooke Namoki and Hayley Keith received the most awards; each received five awards. Crystal Jenkins, LaKayla Adams, and Sacheen Mike each received four awards.

Vice President Shelly, DPS director attend re-opening of To'hajiilee public safety building

TO'HAJIILEE, N.M. - Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly and Division of Public Safety Director Samson Cowboy joined Tohajiilee community members for the reopening of its newly renovated Public Safety Building. Located next to the Tohajiilee Chapter House, the renovated building will allow both Tohajiilee and Alamo community members direct access to Navajo law enforcement officers and criminal investigators.

One More Time, Now It's Nine

Cliff Castle Casino receives #1 Casino award for ninth consecutive year

CAMP VERDE - For the ninth year in a row, Cliff Castle Casino has been ranked the best casino in Arizona. The Yavapai-Apache Nation, casino management, and all of the casino team members are delighted to receive this honor once again. The Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business 2008 edition of Arizona Business Magazine lists Cliff Castle Casino as the best of 22 casinos found in the entire state of Arizona.

Hopi Sinom fruit tree grafting workshop for Hopi farmers

HOPI RESERVATION - The Black Mesa Water Coalition in conjunction with Moenkopi Greenhouse and Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture will host beginning and intermediate Fruit Tree Grafting workshops for Hopi farmers and the greater Hopi community March 8-9 at the Moenkopi Greenhouse, located next to Moenkopi Day School. Enrollment is free to Hopi tribal members.

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Dzil Libei student wins Western Navajo Agency Spelling Bee

Tanya Tso, a teacher at Eagles Nest Intermediate School (ENIS) was this year's spelling bee sponsor for Tuba City District. Of the ten reservation area schools registered to compete and with the recent cold weather traveling conditions, Tuba City District produced several top spelling winners, including fifth grade level top winner Francita George.

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Dzil Libei Hawks win Hopi elementary BB tournament

In two separate but equally tough contests - Moencopi Day School for the boys and Jeddito Public School for the girls - the Dzil Libei Hawks took the HEAL Tournament 2008. Both contests were held at Hopi High School in Keams Canyon. Both teams played an excellent game according to Head Coach Brad Kewenvoyouma, with the parents and fans demonstrating positive community support and fair sportsmanship for their teams.

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Navajo language assessment testing to occur in elementary schools

SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) Indian Education Division and the Navajo Nation's Office of Dine Culture, Language, and Community Services (ODCLCS) are collaborating with seven public school districts in New Mexico to pilot a recently developed Navajo Language Assessment to determine mastery levels of Navajo language.

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Couple reported missing

The Navajo County and Coconino County sheriffs' offices are seeking assistance from the public in locating two missing individuals and their vehicle. Michael and Gina Tapley were last seen in the Snowflake area on Feb. 15 and have not been seen or heard from since.

Walker presents health priorities at FY 2010 National Budget Formulation work session

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Navajo Nation Council Delegate Thomas Walker Jr., Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee of the Navajo Nation Council, along with staff from the Department of Health and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, presented the Navajo Area budget and health priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 to tribal leaders, Indian health advocates, and Indian Health Service representatives on Feb. 13 at the FY 2010 National Budget Formulation work session.

IRS busts stimulus payment myths

PHOENIX - The Internal Revenue Service wants to set the record straight on several issues surrounding the administration of the 2008 economic stimulus payments. "The latest and most complete information on stimulus payments is at IRS.gov," said IRS spokesperson Bill Brunson. "We want to correct the record and make sure people know the facts about the payments, and what to expect."

Economic stimulus letters hit mailboxes this month

PHOENIX - More than 130 million American households will begin receiving Internal Revenue Service letters this week reminding them to file a 2007 tax return in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment. The mailings by the IRS began this week and will continue throughout the month. The informational notice, titled Economic Stimulus Payment Notice, alerts people that they may be eligible for a one-time stimulus payment of up to $600 ($1,200 married filing jointly) starting in May.

Vice President Shelly urges equitable taxation before NM Public Regulation Commission

SANTA FE, N.M. - Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly appeared before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) recently to discuss an investigation into the collection of non-federal taxes by utility and telecommunication companies operating on New Mexico's Native American lands, including the Navajo Nation.

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IPCC presents Pueblo Women's History Award to former Assistant U.S. Surgeon General

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) honored Josephine Waconda (Isleta/Laguna) with the 7th Annual Pueblo Women's History Award March 2. The award is given in observation of National Women's History Month. Over the years, this public event has included pueblo women artists, activists, tribal leaders and educators who have made a difference in their communities.

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Sacred Mount Taylor wins temporary reprieve from uranium mining threat

Sierra Club, tribes will continue to fight mining efforts on NM peak

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The sacred Mount Taylor, located near the community of Grants in north central New Mexico, has won a temporary reprieve from exploratory uranium mining. Tribal leaders, pueblos and the Sierra Club praised the decision by the New Mexico State Cultural Properties Review Committee, which will allow the state to gather input from affected tribal groups. This decision will allow the tribes and the Historic Preservation Division to carefully evaluate any applications for mining permits.

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Shiprock Chieftains tame Piedra Vista Panthers

Chieftains win first-ever 1-4A district title

SHIPROCK, N.M. - Just when you though it was all over, guess what? Same game, same fans...just a different state. About 4,500 fans amassed at the Shiprock "Pit" for this much-anticipated New Mexico district tournament. Due to the large turnout, many fans were turned away an hour before the 7 p.m. start. Those who were fortunate enough to get in witnessed school history as the Shiprock Chieftains won their first-ever New Mexico District 1 AAAA title over the Piedra Vista Panthers of Farmington with a final score of 55-54.

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Navajo Code Talkers monument dedicated in Phoenix

Council delegates attend historic ceremony

PHOENIX - A number of Navajo Nation council delegates attended the public unveiling of the Navajo Code Talker Monument last Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Arizona State Capitol. In a welcome speech, former Navajo Nation Chairman Peter MacDonald Sr. stated, "It was a long time coming," as he looked upon the bronze statue situated in front of the capitol in downtown Phoenix.