Stories for February 2018


Tuesday, February 27

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Letter to the editor: The future of the Navajo Nation will be brighter after NGS and Peabody

There is noise on and off reservation to save Navajo Generating Station and Peabody Mine, to save 800 high paying jobs and revenues.

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Around the Rez: week of Feb. 28

Upcoming news and events on the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Navajo, Havasupai resist uranium mining

Navajo leaders support Havasupai youth in stand against uranium mining in greater Grand Canyon region by running letters addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump out of Supai Village

Vice President Jonathan Nez joined Arizona State Rep. Eric Descheenie and six other runners on a run to the village of Supai Feb. 14 to collect handwritten letters from the students of Havasupai Elementary School.

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Winslow remembers the Orphan Train with performance at Winslow Visitor Center

The Old Trails Museum presented a Riders on the Orphan Train performance Feb. 17 at the Winslow Visitors Center with live music, storytelling and videos.

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Red Sands School puts roots in Winslow

Red Sands Christian School held an open house for its new location for the 2018-19 school year Feb. 20.

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‘Breezy at times’ in Winslow

The wind blew a sign off its pole in Winslow Feb. 20.

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Winslow Bulldogs win 3A State Championship

The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets 79-63 in the championship game played in the Arizona State 3A Conference Championship Tournament at Gila River Arena in Glendale Feb. 26.

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Leupp boys basketball team take home Northern Arizona Athletic Championship

The Leupp High Schools Braves basketball team captured the Northern Arizona Athletic Association Championship Feb. 17 in Leupp, Arizona in a game against Verde Valley High School.

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Hopi High girls beat Tuba City and Winslow at state playoffs

Hopi High girls basketball team had a memorable season, making it to the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs and beating rivals Tuba City High School and Winslow High School during the regular season.

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Winslow Bulldogs defeat Chinle Wildcats in semi-final in Glendale

The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Chinle Wildcats 68-57 in a semifinals game in the Arizona State 3A Conference Championship Tournament played at Gila River Arena in Glendale Feb. 23.

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St. Michael Lady Cardinals claim state championship

Baboquivari Warriors defeated, 60-40 at 1A state finals Feb. 24

When asked what it will take for the St. Michael Lady Cardinals to repeat as 1A State Girls Champions, Coach Carl Adams said, “Play Cardinal basketball, play northland basketball — get into their face, fast up tempo pressure defense, with motion quickness and speed.”

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Tribal leaders call on Washington to respect Native sovereignty

The federal tax overhaul passed in December is completely unacceptable to Native Americans, just another example of what can happen when tribes are not included in federal decision-making, a tribal leader said Feb. 12.

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FirstNet and AT&T to provide public safety broadband on Nation

Law and Order Committee votes 2-0 in support of development for nationwide network; Naabik’íyáti’ Committee to serve as final authority for bill

On Feb. 21, the Law and Order Committee considered legislation which requests FirstNet and AT&T to develop the nationwide public safety broadband network for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders on the Navajo Nation.

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Bates testifies in support of Kayenta and NGS mine workers

On Feb. 14, Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates provided testimony at the Arizona State Capitol before the House Finance Committee in support of legislation which proposes to repeal the Transaction Privilege Tax on the sales and purchases of coal.

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Indian Health Service director sought

In response to the White House’s announcement that Robert Weaver has withdrawn his name for consideration as director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Navajo Nation president called on the Trump administration to fill the position.

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“No Haven for Dangerous Fugitives Act” would violate Navajo soverignty and treaty

On Feb. 22, the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee approved legislation opposing a Congressional bill that would violate tribal sovereignty by permitting federal authorities to enter tribal reservation lands to arrest persons fleeing arrest, custody, testimony or service.

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Lt. Col. Tracey Clyde appointed as director for Navajo Veterans Administration

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye appointed Lt. Col. Tracey Clyde as the new director of the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration (NNVA).

Tuesday, February 20

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Around the Rez: week of Feb. 21

Upcoming news and events for the Navajo and Hopi communities and Flagstaff.

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Tuba City’s Tristan Antonio receives full ride to Bacone College

Tristan Antonio, 18, signed a full ride scholarship with Bacone College to run cross country starting this fall. Antonio, a senior at Tuba City High School (TCHS), is the son of Sonya Yazzie and the late Harvey Butler.

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Heard Museum hosts 28th annual World Championship Hoop Dance contest

Nakota LaRance wins World Champion title

Seventy-five contestants from the United States and Canada competed Feb. 10 and 11 in the Heard Museum’s Libby Amphitheater in youth, teen, adult and senior divisions.

Navajo committee recertifies land use plan for Black Mesa Chapter

On Feb. 14, the Resources and Development Committee (RDC) approved legislation recertifying Black Mesa Chapter’s community-based land use plan, which was reevaluated and readjusted.

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Winslow welcomes new library director

On Feb. 13, Galen Worthington, the new director at Winslow Library was introduced at the Winslow city council meeting.

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Community garden prepares for spring

The community garden is getting ready for another year of growth.

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Candlelight vigil remembers Nicole Joe and other missing and murdered Native women

About 35 people braved the sleet to gather in Heritage Square in Flagstaff Feb. 14 to call attention to Nicole Joe’s death and the fight for justice for missing and murdered indigenous women. Vaughn Seumptewa, was charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly beat Nicole and left her outside in the cold for hours. Nicole died on Christmas Day in 2017. She was 40 years old.

Winslow Bulldogs defeat Fountain Hill Falcons 80 - 56 at 3A Conference

The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Fountain Hills Falcons 80-56 in a second round game in the Arizona State 3A Conference Championship Tournament at Window Rock Feb. 17.

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Chinle Wildcats take home 58-48 win

For the second game in week, the Chinle Wildcats had to rely on a strong second half to overcome a first half shortfall. In the end, the No. 6 seeded Wildcats won, 58 - 48, over the No. 11 Patriots of American Leadership Academy.

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Monument Valley's Lady Mustangs defeat Holbrook, 59-49

Holbrook scored first from beyond the three point arc, which would be their only points in the first quarter. Monument Valley Lady Mustangs then went on a 19 – 0 run (and) held on to a 19 – 3, advantage going into the second quarter.

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LeChee Chapter pleads for increase in police presence

Law and Order Committee continues to address the need for public safety in the Western Navajo Agency

On Feb. 12, the Law and Order Committee received reports regarding the need for a police substation in LeChee, five miles south of Page, Arizona.

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Finalists hope Native American vets memorial is place of honor, healing

The charge from National Native American Veterans Memorial officials was daunting: design a memorial that honors the contributions of every tribe to every war fought for the U.S.

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Navajo Nation commemorates 150th anniversary of 1868 treaty

The Navajo Nation has officially kicked off the Year of the Treaty (Naaltsoos Sáni’), a year-long commemoration of the forced exile of the Diné People, their incarceration at Hwéeldi, the Treaty of 1868 and their triumphant return to Diné Bikéyah.

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Navajo Nation victorious in initial ruling for Gold King Mine spill

On Feb. 12, the Navajo Nation won a victory in its fight for fair compensation for the harm caused by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its contractors from the Gold King Mine spill of August 2015. 

Tuesday, February 13

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Letter to the editor: Hopi villages have a say in what happens with NGS/Kayenta Mine

The coal mining lease between Hopi and Peabody Western Coal Co. (Peabody) expires in the year 2025.

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Around the Rez: Feb. 14

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Navajo-Hopi Observer welcomes new account executive

The Navajo-Hopi Observer welcomes Sandy Hoover as its new account executive.

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Winslow St. Joseph Parish holds Mardi Gras fundraiser Feb. 10

The Winslow St. Joseph Parish held a Mardi Gras fundraiser at the Hillsdale Avenue auditorium Feb. 10.

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Community garden ready for spring

The community garden is getting ready for another year of growth.

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Chinle Wildcats cruise past Window Rock in 61-47 victory

Playing the Scouts of Window Rock for the third time this year, the No. 1 Chinle Wildcats reached the Championship game with a 49 to 45 win over No. 4 Tuba City Warriors, in the semi-finals game of the 3A North Regional Tournament, in the Chinle Wildcat Den, hosted by the NTUA Choice Wireless.

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Photo highlights: Monument Valley Mustangs defeat Winslow Bulldogs in Feb. 3 game

The Lady Bulldogs suffered a defeat to the Monument Valley Mustangs Feb. 3.

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Hopi wrestlers place at regionals, qualify for state meet

Hopi High wrestlers Mike Puhuyesa and Dylan Morningstar placed at regionals and qualified for the state meet.

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Photo highlights: Runners compete at Little Colorado marathon, half-marathon

Competitors gather to hear greetings and last minute instructions prior to running the marathon, half-marathon or fun run at the Little Colorado River Gorge Tribal Park, west of Cameron, Arizona Feb. 10.

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Winslow Bulldogs boys and girls teams lose in regional championship

The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the Payson Lady Longhorns 53-52 in a very tight game at Winslow Feb. 8 in their first Regional playoff game.

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Winter Solstice Cultural Symposium held at Tuba City School District

“Naasgoo Nihizaaad doo Nikee’o’ool’jjl bee Aniilzee doo”

An entire day in the winter school calendar at Tuba City School District is devoted to honoring and learning ways to implement respect, tribal culture, history and tribal language using practical teaching methods.

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Girl’s championship: Page defeats Ganado, 47-38

In the Girls Championship game of 3A North Regional Tournament at the Wildcat Den, the No. 1 seed Ganado Lady Hornets meet up with No. 3 Page Lady Sand Devils, won by Page, 47 — 38.

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Hopi High students visit Phoenix colleges and perform with blues bands

Three Hopi High media students visited two community colleges, the Central Arizona Project (CAP) headquarters and performed with two blues bands in Phoenix.

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STAR School creates solutions for staying cool in off-grid housing

Innovative students at STAR School design low-cost evaporative cooler, win $25,000 from Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow project

STAR School students recently won $25,000 from Samsung for their solution to cooling needs on the reservation by designing an evaporative cooler bucket that is low-cost and can be used on and off the grid.

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Candidate filing for Navajo elections to open May 17

The Navajo Election Administration (NEA) informed the public Feb. 7 that the candidate-filing period opens May 17, 2018 and closes on May 30, 2018 for the upcoming primary and general elections on the Navajo Nation.

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Speaker Bates reaffirms support for Navajo families at 'Yes to NGS' rally

Hundreds of Kayenta Mine and Navajo Generating Station workers marched on the Arizona State Capitol Feb. 6 to announce the formation of ‘Yes to NGS,’ a coalition that advocates for solutions to ensure the continuation of NGS operations beyond 2019.

Native church’s lawsuit spurs training for airport screeners

A wooden box carried an eagle feather and bone whistle, a gourd rattle and a feather fan — items that carry spiritual energy and are used in Native American religious ceremonies.

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Diné Action Plan confronts ‘modern monsters’ on Navajo Nation

Delegates addresss violence, substance abuse and suicide at two day summit

The 2018 Public Safety Summit centered on themes of “Safety, Protection, and Resilience” this year and highlighted communication, capacity building, consistency and uniformity, and community engagement.

Friday, February 9

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Hopis, Navajos say they’ll suffer if coal-fired plant closes

PHOENIX (AP) — Hopis and Navajos who work at a coal mine near the Arizona-Utah border said Feb. 6 their family lives and earning power will suffer greatly if the power plant fed by the mine is shuttered as planned.

Thursday, February 8

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Court of Appeals rules Hopi Tribe's lawsuit against snowmaking at Snowbowl can move forward

An Arizona tribe has the legal right to challenge the use of treated effluent to make snow -- even on public lands, the state Court of Appeals ruled today.

Tuesday, February 6

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Hopi High's Lady Bruins defeat Tuba City, 52-49

Hopi High girl’s basketball coach Barry Honyouti said a recent win against Tuba City was a big victory since it was the first time the varsity team has beat the Lady Warriors in three years.

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Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeat Holbrook 52-49 in Jan. 23 game

Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeat Holbrook in Jan. 23 game.

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Community information: Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation warns community about recent flu epidemic

The flu (influenza) is here in full force. Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) learned how severe the yearly flu will be by following other countries and the eastern U.S.

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Around the Rez: Feb. 7

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Hashknife Pony Express recreates historic mail ride from Holbrook to Scottsdale

Since 1958, Hashknife Pony Express riders have used relays of horses to deliver mail from Holbrook to Scottsdale, reenacting the Pony Express riders of years past.

Winslow Police Dept. accepting applications for Citizen Liaison Committee

The Winslow Police Department (WPD) is now accepting applications for the Citizen Liaison Committee (CLC), which is designed to proactively build trust between constituencies and the Winslow Police Department.

Standin’ on the Corner looks forward to annual festival

The Standin’ on the Corner Foundation held its annual meeting at Relic Road Brewing Company in historic downtown Winslow to appoint new board members and elect officers.

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Winslow teams wrap up season; top Show Low, boys win against Monument Valley, girls lose

The Winslow Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs ended their regular season with games in Show Low and home games against Monument Valley. The Bulldogs seem destined to be in the playoffs, with the likelihood of hosting an opening round game.

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Bulldog teams gain important wins over Holbrook and Blue Ridge Jan. 30 and 31

The Winslow Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs defeated the Holbrook Roadrunners and Lady Roadrunners in Winslow Jan.30. The wins helped both teams in the race for playoff seeding, especially in the girls’ tournament.

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Tuba City School District celebrates opening of new elementary school

Tuba City Unified School District’s (TCUSD) newest K-5 Elementary digital school has been formally christened with a ribbon cutting and will be in full operation for the 2018 winter semester.

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Heard Museum artist Cheyenne Randall to create murals in northern AZ

Cheyenne River Sioux artist collaborating with local artist Chip Thomas on Navajo Nation and Flagstaff mural project

The Heard Museum is featuring Cheyenne River Sioux artist Cheyenne Randall’s ‘The Mural Project' through Feb. 15, which will include creating murals at the museum and on Gray Mountain on the Navajo Nation and in downtown Flagstaff.

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Holbrook High January Students of the Month

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

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Holbrook High School students are Upward Bound

The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance.

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Tracy Lee Nelson, former chairman of Lajolla Tribe and blues legend, releases new album

Tracy Lee Nelson, a former member with the popular band known as Redbone, recently cut his eighth CD, “Blues Loving Man.”

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Descheenie moves to ban 'disparaging' terms

Native lawmaker asks for law forbidding derogatory sports logos and names of Native tribes to be used on signage and displays

A Native American lawmaker wants a new state law to forbid the display of any name or logo of any sports team at any publicly funded stadium if any of the state’s 22 tribes finds it “disparaging.’’

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Doctors Without Borders recruiting, Tuba City doctor lends a hand

Doctors Without Borders will hold a recruiting session for medical and non-medical workers Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Flagstaff Public Library, 300 W. Aspen Ave.

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Silent auction returns, supports educational programs and scholarships for Hopi students

On March 2, the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) will reintroduce one of their more popular and successful fundraising events, the HEEF Silent Auction.

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Navajo Nation Council pays tribute to the life of former delegate Annie B. Descheny

The 23rd Navajo Nation Council sent condolences to the family of former Council member Annie B. Descheny, who passed away Jan. 25 at the age of 77.

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Human Rights Commission testifies in sentencing hearing for murders of two homeless Navajo men

Representatives from the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission were in attendance Thursday, as Bernalillo County District Court Judge Briana H. Zamora sentenced Gilbert Tafoya to serve the maximum of 20 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections for the brutal beating deaths of two homeless Navajo men in 2014.

Navajo Nation Council issues unanimous support for Navajo veterans bill

Prior to recessing on the second day of the Winter Council Session Jan. 23, the Navajo Nation Council unanimously approved legislation, which seeks final approval from the president to increase funding available for direct services each year for Navajo veterans. This funding is made possible through the Veterans Trust Fund.

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Tribes say ‘no thanks’ to plan for scaled-back Bears Ears monument

Leaders of five tribes accused lawmakers Tuesday of “cherry-picking” tribal members to support an 85 percent reduction in the Bears Ears monuments, and said proposed tribal management of the new monument would be in name only.

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Rhonda Tuni confirmed as district court judge by Navajo Nation Council

On Jan. 25, during the fourth day of the 2018 Winter Council Session, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council confirmed the appointment of Rhonda Tuni, to serve as a probationary district court judge for the Navajo Nation.