CN gives portable defibrillators to 50 fire departments

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/11/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – First responders from 50 northeastern Oklahoma fire departments have increased life-saving abilities after receiving new portable defibrillators from Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses.

During the next two to three years, the tribe and its business arm will provide automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to fire departments within the tribe’s jurisdiction. The first 50 departments were selected at random and received their new devices on Oct. 2.

“Cherokee Nation has always been a strong supporter of fire departments and first responders in our 14 counties,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We know there is a need for rural departments, which are on the frontlines during critical scenarios, to have these life-saving AEDs. I’m convinced that these first 50 defibrillators will save the lives of Cherokees and non-Cherokees for years to come, and we look forward to the day when each and every department in our 14 counties is equipped with this life-saving tool.”

An AED uses electric shock to restore a normal, effective heart rhythm during cardiac arrest. Many rural fire departments operate with donations and membership dues and may be unable to afford the portable defibrillators, which cost nearly $900 each.

CNB employees helped raise funds to purchase the AEDs through the company’s yearlong fundraising effort, Heart of a Nation. The employee-driven campaign specifically addresses health needs of CN citizens. Throughout the year, employees at the tribe’s business and entertainment properties raise funds through volunteer efforts such as cook-offs, dunk tanks, bake sales, silent auctions, penny wars, Indian taco luncheons and more.

“As a company, we take great pride in knowing our efforts directly benefit Cherokee Nation and its citizens, as well as Oklahoma and our local communities,” CNB CEO Shawn Slaton said. “Our employees take it a step further by volunteering their time and personal funds to charitable efforts throughout the year. The Heart of a Nation campaign truly exemplifies how much our workforce cares for our neighbors.”

The annual Heart of a Nation campaign is a partnership between CNB and CN Health Services. It is coordinated through CNB’s Community Impact Teams, an initiative to help promote volunteerism and community engagement among employees.

Mid-County Fire Department in Adair County was one of the 50 departments to receive an AED on Monday. Mid-County firefighter Dianna Yell said the addition of the AED is important for the department and the tribe’s support is vital to the department’s operations.

“This equipment is very important because we’re in a rural area and it can sometimes take EMS a longer response time to find our area,” Yell said. “Our first responders from the fire department are usually the first to arrive on scene. An AED is crucial when we get to the patient for rapid response. Cherokee Nation provides a lot of our funding and equipment each year, and it’s a vital part of keeping our fire department going and our community safe.”

Fire Departments Receiving AEDs:

• Adair County: Adair County Tri-Community Fire Department, Bell Rural Fire Department Inc., Greasy Community Fire Association, Highway 100 West Fire Protection Association, Mid-County Fire Department, Watts Fire Department, Westville Volunteer Fire Department.

• Cherokee County: Chicken Creek Fire Department, Hulbert Fire Department, Illinois River Area Association Fire Department, Keys Fire Department, Norwood Rural Volunteer Fire Department, Welling Fire Department, Woodall Fire Department.

• Delaware County: Cowskin Rural Fire District Inc., Flint Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Lakemont Shores Fire Protection District, Oaks Fire Department.

• Mayes County: Cabin Creek Fire Department, Chouteau Fire Department, Osage-Pleasant View Fire Department, Strang Community Fire Department.

• Muskogee County: Porum Volunteer Fire Department, Warner Volunteer Fire Department.

• Nowata County: South Coffeyville Fire Department, Town of Delaware, Town of Lenapah, Wann Community Rural Fire Department.

• Rogers County: Catoosa Fire Department, Chelsea Fire Department, Fair Oaks, Tri-District Fire Department, Verdigris Fire Protection District.

• Sequoyah County: Blackgum Mountain Civil Defense and Volunteer Fire Department, Central High Volunteer Fire Department, Liberty Fire Department, Maple Rural Fire District Inc., McKey Rural Firefighters Association, Moffett Fire Department, Redland Fire Department Incorporated, Rocky Point Rural Fire Department Inc., Sallisaw Fire Department, Town of Gore, Vian Volunteer Fire Department, West Tenkiller Fire Department.


• Tulsa County: City of Collinsville, Sperry Fire Department.

• Wagoner County: Flat Rock Volunteer Fire Association, Toppers Rural Fire Department Inc. Washington County: Ochelata Volunteer Fire Department.

News

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
10/16/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Oct. 9, Native Americans, including many Cherokees, celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day in Tahlequah and on Northeastern State University’s campus. The following Cherokee Phoenix video highlights people and events of the day.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
10/15/2017 04:00 PM
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BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
10/15/2017 12:00 PM
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Three hung juries in the case of a white former Oklahoma police officer charged with fatally shooting his daughter's black boyfriend had one thing in common besides unwillingness to convict: Each had only one African-American juror. Race has been an undercurrent in ex-Tulsa officer Shannon Kepler's first-degree murder case, which is headed for a fourth trial. Criminal law experts and U.S. Supreme Court cases point to the importance of racial identity and policing when it comes to jury selection, which is set to start Monday. Kepler, a 24-year veteran of the force, was off duty in August 2014 when he fatally shot 19-year-old Jeremey Lake, who had just started dating Kepler's daughter. Kepler doesn't deny pulling the trigger but says he did so only because he thought Lake was armed. No weapon was found on or near Lake's body. Officers across the U.S. involved in fatal shootings of black residents have recently faced similar trials. In the past year alone — including in Tulsa — juries were unwilling to vote for a conviction or prosecutors were unwilling to charge officers in cases from Baltimore to St. Louis. In May, a jury acquitted now-former Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby in the killing of an unarmed black man, which roiled the city's black community. "I don't see how race cannot play a role," said Kris McDaniel-Miccio, a professor at Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and a former Bronx-based prosecutor. "I don't think there's any way to get around it because of what has happened in this community." The racial makeup of the juries in Kepler's previous trials prompted criticism from at least one civil rights group. Tulsa activist Marq Lewis with We the People Oklahoma said Kepler's defense attorneys have been booting potential jurors based on skin color. "The last three juries somehow felt that Jeremey was a bad person because he was black," Lewis said. "They couldn't bring themselves to believe this off-duty officer would literally shoot someone in cold blood without thinking somehow the black guy is sinister and he's done something bad." Richard O'Carroll, Kepler's defense attorney, has denied race played a role in Lake's killing. O'Carroll did not return messages this past week seeking comment on the case. Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler declined to comment specifically on the racial makeup of the past juries, but acknowledged "frustration" with the results of the trials. "I know I had citizens who put in a lot of effort and worked very hard and I know from their perspective they are frustrated as well," Kunzweiler said. Another racial element was recently added to the case when Kepler argued that he couldn't be tried by state prosecutors because he's a member of an American Indian tribe. A judge determined the fourth trial could move forward in state court. Kepler says he's 1/128th Muscogee (Creek). Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-1 that prosecutors violated the Constitution by excluding African-Americans from an all-white jury that convicted a black Georgia death row inmate of killing a white woman. The decision emphasized rules set by the court in 1986 to prevent racial discrimination in jury selection. Seating more jurors of color — especially in cases involving police who have fatally shot people — could be a factor in how a jury ultimately votes, said Bridgette Baldwin, professor of law at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. "The life experience is different," said Baldwin, who is black. "I may not be scared of a young male with a hoodie on because I've been socialized to be around these types of individuals. You see things differently, you hear things differently, you process things differently." McDaniel-Miccio, the Denver law professor, said the Kepler case illustrates what the U.S. is trying to address when it comes to race, police and the justice system. "How many generations do we have to have pass before we come to the honest realization that there is a distinct racial and ethnic asymmetry in this country?" she said. "We live in a world where we should believe that when something like this happens, they will be facing justice and they will be held accountable if they broke the law — no more, no less.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
10/14/2017 04:00 PM
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BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
10/14/2017 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A hearing examiner has determined that Oklahoma City is entitled to a permit for water from a reservoir in the southeastern part of the state. The city seeks to take up to 115,000 acre feet (nearly 1.42 million cubic meters) of water annually from the Sardis Lake reservoir in the Kiamichi River basin, The Oklahoman reported . The reservoir impounds water from Jack Fork Creek, which is a tributary of the river. The city plans to invest $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades to divert the water to Lake Stanley Draper. Jim Couch, the city's manager, said the water will help the city's future growth. The report by hearing examiner Lyn Martin-Diehl was released Tuesday. It said the water the city is seeking is available for appropriation and that the city's plans will put the water to beneficial use, which is a requirement under the law for obtaining a permit. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board will consider Martin-Diehl's recommendations. Opponents of the permit say it negatively would affect the Kiamichi's flow as well as wildlife and tourism in the area. Martin-Diehl said the city's use of Sardis water won't interfere with the area's water needs with the proper management. Acquiring the permit is one of the steps necessary to finalize last year's water settlement between the city, the state, and Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. The settlement aims to end litigation over water management in southeastern Oklahoma. The settlement includes plans to manage the reservoir's levels and the river's flow as well as ensure tribes have a role in resource management in the region.
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
10/13/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Oct. 10, Election Commissioner Teresa Hart was presented a letter commending her for her years of service to the Cherokee Nation and citing that her service with the commission “has come to a close.” In the letter, Principal Chief Bill John Baker thanked Hart for her service with the commission. “On behalf of the Cherokee Nation I want to thank you for your service as a Commissioner of the Cherokee Nation Election Commission,” the letter states. “During your years of service on the Election Commission, there has been much progress pertaining to the Cherokee Nation Election process. This progress could not have happened without the guidance of the Commissioners, and for that you should be commended.” Hart said she appreciated the opportunity to serve on the EC. “My life has truly been blessed. I have met so many wonderful people and made several lasting friendships,” she said. “The past year has not been as enjoyable to me, and I’m grateful to be moving on. Thank you Chief Baker for giving me this opportunity.” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. shared his admiration for the work Hart has done at the EC. “We appreciate Teresa’s service to the Cherokee people. Those who serve on Cherokee Nation boards and commissions sacrifice so much of their time and share their talents in the name of good government. Teresa certainly did so and she is rightfully proud of her tenure on the CNEC.” According to a 2013 Cherokee Phoenix story, Hart was appointed by Baker to take the seat of former Commissioner Lindsay Earls. Hart served in her first EC meeting in September 2013. Hart’s letter of dismissal was accompanied with a letter of appointment for Randy Campbell. According to the letter, Baker informed Tribal Councilors that he would be appointing Campbell to fill the vacancy with a four-year term beginning on Oct. 1 and concluding on Oct. 1, 2021. “I’m pleased to appoint Randy Campbell to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Randy has tremendous experience in organizational management which will be beneficial to the election commission.” Newly appointed commissioner Campbell spent 35 years with the Teamsters Local Union 523 where he served as president and business manager before retiring in 2007. He also served on the executive board of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). “Its an honor that my chief and the rest of the board would ask me to be involved and take this position on. I hope I can fulfill their expectations and plan to do a great job.” Campbell said.