Stories for April 2018


Wednesday, April 25

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World War II Navajo Code Talker, Roy Hawthorne Sr. dies at 92

Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to confound the Japanese in World War II has died.

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Coconino Forest begins Stage 1 fire restrictions April 27

In an effort to protect public health by reducing the number of preventable human-caused wildfires, Stage 1 campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented across the entire Coconino National Forest starting Friday (April 27) at 8 a.m.

Tuesday, April 24

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Around the Rez: week of April 25

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Guest column: Navajo Nation holds voting rights hearing in Tuba City April 25 aiming to strengthen and protect Navajo voting rights

The Navajo Nation Department of Justice is collaborating with the Native American Rights Fund to host a Native Nations Voting Rights Hearing in Tuba City April 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tonaneesdizi Chapter House, 220 Main St., Tuba City.

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Jonathan Curley comes to Winslow

On April 14, Jonathan Curley, a well know Diné artist from Shiprock, New Mexico who works mainly with paints, spent the day hosting youth classes and collaborative painting outside the Gemini Gallery in Winslow.

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Ahli Foster signs with Garys Harbor College

Ahli Foster signs a contract to go to Garys Harbor College in Washington State on an athletic scholarship.

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Bulldogs baseball ranked 15th at 14-11, but loss to Flagstaff Eagles may hurt playoff chances

The Winslow Bulldogs were ranked 15th going into their game in Flagstaff April 21, but their 13-1 loss to the Eagles may have hurt their seeding in the conference playoffs.

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Closing date for NGS remains unchanged

House Committee meeting brings no change for future of Navajo Generating Station; still set to close in 2019

The Navajo Nation Navajo Council Speaker and Hopi Tribal Chairman testified before a House Committee on National Resources subcommittee to try and garner congressional support for keeping the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) open beyond 2019.

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Holbrook High finds leaders among students

Holbrook High School students traveled to Tucson for leadership conference.

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Photo highlights: Museum of Northern Arizona reveals new exhibit April 14

The Museum of Northern Arizona unveiled an expanded and revitalized gallery called Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau with an exclusive preview for Native people April 14.

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Author and illustrator Dale Deforest presents new comic book "Hero Twins"

Author and illustrator Dale Deforest presented his comic book, “Hero Twins,” at the Museum of Northern Arizona April 21, saying it was his love of comic books and superheroes that inspired him to create the story.

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Holbrook High announces March Students of the Month

Holbrook High School recently announced its March Students of the Month.

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Airbrush artist, Nate Tsosie, chosen as lead artist at Universal Studios

Nate Tsosie, an airbrush artist from Page, Arizona has been chosen as lead artist at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. The milestone in his career comes after several highlights leading up to this major announcement.

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Navajo Nation puts spotlight on sexual assault and child safety

Prior to the official start of the 2018 Spring Council Session April 16, the Navajo Nation Council, in coordination with the Navajo Department of Family Services’ Strengthening Families Program, held an early morning awareness walk in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Awareness Month.

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Navajo Nation sues over opioid crisis

The Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit April 11 against top opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies for creating a market of highly addictive drugs and for failing to prevent the flow of illicit opioids in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Hopi Jr/Sr. High votes not to renew 12 administrator and teacher positions

The revolving door of administrators at Hopi Jr/Sr High School continues.

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Hopi High's Ellyse Fredericks wins national award

Fredricks places third in sports writing at Journalism Education Association Conference April 14 in San Francisco

Ellyse Fredericks, a print journalism student at Hopi High School, became a national award winner when she won honorable mention, or placed third, in the sports writing division at the Journalism Education Association Conference in San Francisco April 13-14.

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President Begaye swears in Kim Silentwalker to Navajo Veterans Advisory Council

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye April 17 administered the oath of office for Kim Silentwalker, who was sworn in as a member of the Navajo Veterans Advisory Council.

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Navajo Nation approves $100M for power and water lines across the Nation

The Navajo Nation Council voted unanimously in support of legislation approving an expenditure plan to invest over $100 million for Navajo communities and families across the Navajo Nation to receive power lines, water lines and various capital improvement projects.

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Navajo committee says no to amending criminal code for marijuana and hemp

The Law and Order Committee April 9 issued a ‘do not pass’ for legislation seeking to amend the criminal code related to marijuana and industrial hemp to conform with federal regulations.

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Piñon Chapter receives emergency response truck from Navajo County Sheriff

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office donated a 4-wheel-drive Chevy truck to the Piñon Chapter April 9, helping ensure the chapter’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has the wheels to transport patients in emergency situations.

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Navajo Nation allocates $1.6M in funding for Navajo Nation scholarships

Navajo Nation lawmakers approved legislation which sought to allocate approximately $1.6 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance to the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance under the Department of Diné Education.

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Revenge Porn Act approved by Navajo Nation Council

The Navajo Nation Council considered legislation seeking to enact a Revenge Porn Act while amending other sexual offenses within the Navajo Nation Criminal Code.

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Soldwedels inducted into UofA Journalism Hall of Fame

Newspaper ink flowed in the blood of The Daily Courier’s long-time owners Don and Luda Soldwedel. Their devotion to the Fourth Estate proved a lasting legacy for their children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, April 18

Gila County and Tonto National Forest implement Stage 2 fire restrictions

Drought conditions, warm temperatures, and increasing fire danger have prompted officials to implement Stage 2 fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning April 18. Fire-causing activities are prohibited across the entire Tonto National Forest.

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Coconino County enacts Stage 1 fire restrictions below Mogollon Rim

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors enacted the Wildfire Defense Ordinance Stage 1 fire restrictions, for Coconino County, below the Mogollon Rim, during the regular board meeting April 17.

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Fire restrictions begin for Cottonwood, Prescott National Forest and Yavapai County

Strong winds, low humidity and drought: fires in the southwest desert now have the potential to spread swiftly, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

Tuesday, April 17

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Letter to the editor: It is time for clean, safe renewable energy

I am concerned about the conflicting and misleading information Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates, Nathaniel Brown and other Navajo Nation officials have made, as well as legislation they are pushing through council relating to the Navajo Generating Station’s 2019 closure.

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Around the Rez: week of April 18

Upcoming news and events on and surrounding the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Winslow teachers awarded Masonic grants

On April 9 the Arizona Masonic Lodge Classroom Grants were awarded to two Winslow teachers.

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Winslow Little League ushers in first day of the season April 7

Approximately 300-500 kids and parents were on hand for Winslow Little League opening day April 7.

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Winslow softball 14-6 after wins near playoffs

The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the Snowflake Lady Lobos 11-1 in Winslow April 10. They defeated the Page Lady Sand Devils 15-2 in Page April 12.

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Winslow baseball team improves to 13-8 after losses at tourney

The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Snowflake Lobos 8-3 in Winslow April 10 and defeated the Page Sand Devils 7-6 in Page April 12.

Arizona Cardinals to hold draft pick event in Winslow April 28

For the second year in a row, the National Football League is taking their draft days on the road and this year the Arizona Cardinals will be coming to Winslow for the third day of the draft.

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Hopi students discuss homelessness at journalism convention

While there are some programs to address homelessness in America, the problem will continue as long as there are low wages, expensive housing and expensive health care, according to two journalists who have covered the problem for decades.

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Tuba City senior receives full ride scholarship to Dartmouth

Kayleigh Paddock, a senior at Tuba City High School (TCHS), received a full ride scholarship to Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire; she is also a finalist for the Wells Fargo Academic Leadership Fellowship Scholarship.

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Diné language valued by Russell Begaye

The Navajo language has immeasurable value, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye told a crowd of about 200 educators April 6 during the second annual BIE-Navajo District Diné Language Symposium.

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Black Mesa roads receive upgrades

Vice President Jonathan Nez signs $247,000 for road upgrades to Black Mesa Chapters

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez April 6 signed a $247,000 contract with CB Emulsion, laying the foundation for continued road upgrades in the 10 Black Mesa region chapters.

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Ashlynn Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act signed into law by President Trump

President Trump signed the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act April 13.

Firm narrows potential buyers for Arizona coal-fired plant

An investment firm tasked with finding a new owner for an Arizona coal plant is focused mostly on an unnamed potential investor, but critics of the plant say talks to keep it open are a “wasteful distraction” that hinders future economic prospects for the Navajo Nation.

Arizona tribes seek to halt copper mine on sacred lands

Several Indian tribes say they have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arizona challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a proposal to develop an open pit copper mine on public land.

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Navajo Nation judge weighs jurisdiction of Mormon Church

A Navajo Nation judge is weighing if sexual abuse lawsuits against the Mormon Church should proceed and where the cases should be heard.

Gila River Indian community mourns the death of legal icon and leader

Rodney B. Lewis, first Native American to practice law in Arizona, first Native to argue and win a case before US. Supreme Court passes away at 77

Rodney B. Lewis, a giant of the legal profession in Arizona and across Indian country nationally, and a tribal leader of the Gila River Indian Community, passed away April 10 at the age of 77.

Kaibab National Forest to offer firewood permits in Tuba City and Cameron

Kaibab National Forest will issue free-use, paid personal-use and ceremonial firewood permits for the Tusayan Ranger District at the following locations in Tuba City and Cameron over the coming months:

Thursday, April 12

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Warnings issued for hazardous weather conditions in Arizona

Hazardous weather conditions are expected across much of Arizona today.

Tuesday, April 10

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Around the Rez: week of April 11

Upcoming events and news around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Soroptimist Club hosts annual prom dress exchange

On April 5, Winslow Soroptimist Club hosted a prom dress exchange at the Winslow Visitors Center.

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Marie La Marr’s nine decades in Winslow

Born in 1928 in Winslow, Marie La Marr was a petite baby weighing three pounds.

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Winslow Elks hosts 'Longest Hair' contest

Winslow Elks hold 'Longest Hair' contest.

Winslow council declares April ‘fair housing’ month

The Winslow City Council met March 27 and announced April as Fair Housing Month.

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Searching for patterns: Lessons in math circles at Hopi High School

Hopi High math students had a special math lesson March 30 courtesy of the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles (AIMC) and math specialist Tatiana Shubin.

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Museum of Northern Arizona showcases new exhibit

Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau exhibit opens April 15 at Museum of Northern Arizona; Native community invited to exclusive, free preview April 14

The Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) will unveil an expanded and revitalized gallery called Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau with an exclusive preview for Native people April 14.

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A return to traditional food and support of local farmers highlighted at Diné Food Summit

The sprouts of a Diné Food Policy emerged out of the Diné Bich’iiya’ Summit held at Diné College March 29-30 and at the Navajo Nation Museum March 31.

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Congressional Silver Medal bestowed on former Navajo Code Talker

The family of Navajo Code Talker Adolph Nagurski were presented with a Congressional Silver Medal in recognition of his service during World War II at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial in Albuquerque, New Mexico April 3.

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Arizona tribe: Ruling could help Native students across U.S.

Stephen C. has been taught only math and English at a U.S.-run elementary school for Native American children deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon.

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Snowbowl attorney wants state Supreme Court to overturn ruling

Attorneys for Snowbowl are warning the Arizona Supreme Court that if they don’t overturn a ruling allowing the Hopi Tribe to sue over artificial snow they are opening the door to a flood of litigation.

Northern Arizona University elects new officers for Native American Advisory Board

Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler was recently elected chairwoman of the Native American Advisory Board at Northern Arizona University.

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Delegate Begay continues to advocate for construction of Dzil Yijiin Judicial facility

On April 5, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. discussed federal funding to construct the Dził Yijiin Judicial District facility in Pinon.

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Former K’ai’bii’to Chapter employee charged with fraud and forgery by Nation

Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch announced April 6 that former K’ai’bii’to’ Chapter Accounts Maintenance Specialist Berniece Pinto-Denetdeal has been criminally charged with 28 counts of forgery and 34 counts of fraud against the Navajo Nation.

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Budget and Finance Committee receives update on sanctioned chapters

On April 3, the Budget and Finance Committee received an update regarding sanctioned Navajo chapters and the division’s efforts to help the chapters mitigate their sanctioned status.

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Pascue Yaqui leads hit in tribal courts’ handling of domestic violence

A five-year-old law that let Native American tribes prosecute non-Natives in domestic violence cases has fundamentally changed the landscape of tribal criminal jurisdiction in the modern era, according to a new report.

Tuesday, April 3

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Hopi High graduate Brianna Laban returns to encourage students to succeed

Brianne Laban, a 2008 graduate of Hopi High School, returned to Hopi High to talk to students about college and what it takes to get through college.

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Coalition fights for justice for Loreal Tsingine

Navajo Nation files suit against city of Winslow and feds in killing of Tsingine

The Bordertown Justice Coalition unveiled a billboard in Winslow as a memorial of the second anniversary of the death of Loreal Tsingine, who was shot and killed by former Winslow police officer Austin Shipley March 26, 2016.

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Letter to the editor: Retaining hope while world is in turmoil

This comment just suddenly came to me and inspired me to comment on the ‘New Year’ of 2018.

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Easter: Winslow kids out for the hunt

Children and parents enter the Easter egg hunt field at the annual Winslow Easter Egg Hunt March 30 in Winslow.

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Winslow baseball and softball put up wins with few losses at start of season

The Winslow High School baseball season has started well and won nine of their first dozen games.

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Hopi High students join RISE movement to promote school safety

The Hopi Jr/Sr High School student body held a walk March 22 to show support and a positive attitude for the students who went through the shooting in Florida.

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Law students spend spring break in the Navajo Nation

Six American University Washington College of Law students spent a week in Window Rock on an Alternative Spring Break trip organized by the law school’s student organization – Action for Human Rights.

Medical complications force Navajo comedian to cancel shows

One of the Navajo Nation’s popular comedians is facing medical complications that have forced him to take a break from performances.

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Navajo Technical University inducts 13 students into honor society

On March 22, thirteen Navajo Technical University students were inducted into National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) during a candle light ceremony in NTU’s Hospitality Center. The ceremony also saw the installation of NTU’s new honor society officers.

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Around the Rez: week of April 4

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Former Tuba City Chapter Executive Priscilla Littlefoot pleads no contest to 18 counts of theft

Attorney General Ethel Branch announced March 26 that former ToˊNaneesˊDizi (Tuba City) Chapter Executive Manager Priscilla Littlefoot pleaded no contest to 18 counts of theft from the Navajo Nation.

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Suicide surveillance and prevention a priority for Navajo committee

On March 26, the Health, Education and Human Services Committee received a report regarding a collaborative suicide prevention project involving the Navajo Nation Epidemiology Center, Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services, and the Northern Agency Crisis Response Alliance.

Peshlakai lobbies for establishment of Native America Day on June 2

Arizona Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai recently announced that her bill SB1235 passed out of the Senate. The bill would establish June 2 as Native American Day and an official Arizona state unpaid holiday.

Tribe sues over death of Navajo woman shot by police officer in Winslow

The Navajo Nation has sued the federal government and Winslow over the death of a tribal member who was holding a pair of medical scissors when she was shot by a police officer for the northern Arizona city.