http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgPeople prepare to float on the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in this 2011 photo. Ed Brocksmith, a Save the Illinois River volunteer, said he’s concerned about the phosphorus levels in the river. ARCHIVE
People prepare to float on the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in this 2011 photo. Ed Brocksmith, a Save the Illinois River volunteer, said he’s concerned about the phosphorus levels in the river. ARCHIVE

2 states’ river feud clearing up

The Illinois River Watershed flows from Arkansas into Oklahoma and includes a large part of the Cherokee Nation on the Oklahoma side. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
The Illinois River Watershed flows from Arkansas into Oklahoma and includes a large part of the Cherokee Nation on the Oklahoma side. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/05/2018 08:00 AM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Once an avid camper and canoeist, Ed Brocksmith no longer visits the Illinois River in east Oklahoma.

These days Brocksmith fishes for smallmouth bass and sand bass at Horseshoe Bend, located on the upper portion of Tenkiller Lake where the Illinois River drains into it. Decades ago, the water was so clear he could step 4 or 5 feet into the lake and still see his feet.

“That’s no longer the case,” said Brocksmith, 76, a secretary and treasurer with the volunteer group Save the Illinois River.

Brocksmith is concerned that phosphorus levels in the Illinois River will continue to contribute to the degradation of the lake and eventually threaten its bass population. He and others worry the lake eventually will become hospitable only to the “wrong” type of fish, like catfish.

“We want to catch those fish and not mudcats,” Brocksmith said.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the level of phosphorus in the Illinois River continues to consistently exceed Oklahoma’s state standard of 0.037 milligrams of phosphorus per liter, more than a decade after the state sued northwest Arkansas poultry companies for contributing the element to the river.

Such levels pose a threat to the well-being of the highly popular river, which each year draws about 500,000 visitors – including some 200,000 floaters – who spend an estimated $15 million, according to the Grand River Dam Authority, a branch of Oklahoma’s state government.

There are indications things are getting better.

The level of phosphorus is far lower than it used to be, from as high as an average of 0.423 milligram of phosphorus per liter in Watts, Oklahoma, in 1980 to 0.065 milligrams of phosphorus per liter in the same spot in 2016. Samples taken this fall from other parts of the river show levels ranging from 0.05 milligrams of phosphorus per liter to 0.09, according to Brian Haggard, director of the Arkansas Water Resources Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Experts attribute the drop to farmers applying less poultry litter, which is rich in phosphorus, to the ground in northwest Arkansas and industries reducing the amount of phosphorus in their wastewater. The Illinois is one of several rivers across the country that the U.S. Geological Survey identifies with likely improving phosphorus levels.

The lower environmental footprint comes at a time when northwest Arkansas’ population has more than doubled to more than 500,000 people, according to census estimates.

“We’re making progress, but we still have a bit to go,” said Nicole Hardiman, executive director of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, an Arkansas-based nonprofit formed in 2005 that focuses on voluntary means of reducing phosphorus in the river.

The amount of poultry litter applied to ground in the Illinois River’s northwest Arkansas watershed has dropped significantly at a time when the amount of litter being generated has increased, according to Arkansas Natural Resources Commission data analyzed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In the counties that contain portions of the watershed, the amount of poultry litter applied has dropped 30 percent, from 219,195 tons in 200 – the earliest year of data available – to 154,067 tons in 2016.

Several Arkansas counties in the region are subject to stricter regulation because of the dispute with Oklahoma. In those areas, collectively called the Nutrient Surplus Area, the amount of phosphorus that farmers can apply to land is limited and farmers must create nutrient management plans that detail what is applied. Farmers are not subject to those regulations elsewhere in the state, although the integrating poultry companies with which farmers contract may require a nutrient management plan as a part of their agreement.

The amount of applied poultry litter has decreased by 19 percent statewide and in 36 of the 58 counties that have reported nutrient application during at least a portion of that time period. Two counties – Lonoke in east-central Arkansas and Jackson in northeast Arkansas – have reported no application. The amount of applied poultry litter has increased in 20 counties.

Arkansas poultry farmers have been selling more poultry litter to farmers in other states, said Sheri Herron Scott, executive soil scientist for BMPs, a nonprofit that helps coordinate the sales.
Since poultry companies started the nonprofit in 2004, more than 1 million tons of litter have been moved out of the watershed, according to Caroline Ahn, a spokeswoman for Tyson Foods.
“Cooperative efforts between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, along with regulatory programs and the efforts of the poultry industry have helped to make substantial improvements,” Ahn said in a written response to an interview request.

The amount of phosphorus from the Springdale wastewater utility also has dropped, said Heath Ward, executive director of Springdale Water Utilities. In fiscal 2001-02, the utility’s treated effluent contained on average 8.4 milligrams of phosphorus per liter. In fiscal 2016-17, it contained 0.24 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

That’s the product of cleaner wastewater from industries and millions of dollars spent on improving the utility’s treatment processes, Ward said.

The treatment is a five-part process that partially removes nutrients such as phosphorus from the wastewater. Called the Bardenpho process, it involves five tanks – anaerobic, anoxic, aerobic, anoxic (again) and aerobic (again) – that mix fluids and ultimately separate out nitrogen.

The Bardenpho process has resulted in a Rogers treatment plant producing one-tenth of the phosphorus produced previously, according to plant manager Todd Beaver. The discharge has less than 0.1 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

Fayetteville’s new Nowlin treatment plant also discharges at about that level.

Ward wants to improve the things the region is doing, but he also noted a project in Fayetteville that restored a few hundred feet of stream bank that kept between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds of phosphorus from finding its way into the Illinois.

He and others favor smaller projects that can make a big impact, such as stream bank restoration and stormwater management.

“That’s how you eat an elephant, too, is one bit at a time,” Ward said. “I’m just hopeful people want to try some new things.”

Ideas abound for how to continue the improvements, such as low-impact development, land conservation, regulatory changes and additional partnerships.

Low-impact development, Hardiman said, would employ ways to prevent dirty stormwater from running directly into storm drains.

Some cities have developed stormwater management plans as a part of Clean Water Act compliance, said Katie Teague, a Washington County extension agent. All will have to adopt them, she said.

Construction permit applicants in Fayetteville are required to manage stormwater in one of six different ways, Teague said. Those include outreach and education, management and prevention of pollution, and control of stormwater runoff.

That has led to pervious pavement at a Whataburger drive-thru on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Stormwater from the drive-thru travels underneath the pavement and into the soil, rather than running off, loaded with fuel and other substances, into a storm drain. Storm drains discharge directly into bodies of water.

Stream bank restoration projects and partnerships to complete them also interest different groups.

When stream banks erode, they drop sediment into the stream. In northwest Arkansas, that sediment often contains phosphorus from years of poultry litter being applied to the ground. So restoring stream banks can prevent the addition of more phosphorus making its way to the river.

A public-private partnership to restore the banks near Savoy, where several Illinois tributaries meet, would make a big difference, Hardiman said.

He also would like to find ways to encourage people to put their land into conservation easements and to finance the purchase of land to conserve, perhaps through a millage.

Oklahoma already has a program for land conservation, capturing more than 500 acres at the cost of $1 million to landowners for extended contracts, said Ed Fite, vice president of scenic rivers operations for the Grand River Dam Authority. A recent $500,000 grant will buy more land soon, he said.

Decisions are pending on other actions that could affect the river.

The lawsuit against poultry farmers hasn’t had a ruling, nearly eight years after the 50-day trial on it ended.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the two states on a total maximum daily load study for several years but has not completed one. It would determine the maximum amount of certain nutrients that can be introduced into a body of water.

The EPA did not make anyone available for an interview for this story.

A joint study committee recommended in December 2016 that the phosphorus limit be reduced further to 0.035 milligram per liter to protect the scenic nature of the river, but Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin have taken no action on the recommendation.

“We are working through the details with Oklahoma to ensure that the findings and recommendations of the independent study are fully implemented,” Hutchinson said in a statement issued to the Democrat-Gazette.

Michael McNutt, a spokesman for Fallin, said the Oklahoma Water Resources Board is working on a total maximum daily load study.

Cole Perryman, a spokesman for the board, said it has no plans to change the standard because it is not bound to do so unless the change is outside the range of 0.027 milligram of phosphorus per liter to 0.047 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

For Fite, approval of that standard is one of the three necessary things for improving the river, along with an approved total maximum daily load study and robust partnerships.

Brocksmith has similar desires, but at least he’s finally seeing clearer waters near Tenkiller Lake after years of work.

“The last few years the river seems to have improved,” he said.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Once an avid camper and canoeist, Ed Brocksmith no longer visits the Illinois River in east Oklahoma.

These days Brocksmith fishes for smallmouth bass and sand bass at Horseshoe Bend, located on the upper portion of Tenkiller Lake where the Illinois River drains into it. Decades ago, the water was so clear he could step 4 or 5 feet into the lake and still see his feet.

“That’s no longer the case,” said Brocksmith, 76, a secretary and treasurer with the volunteer group Save the Illinois River.

Brocksmith is concerned that phosphorus levels in the Illinois River will continue to contribute to the degradation of the lake and eventually threaten its bass population. He and others worry the lake eventually will become hospitable only to the “wrong” type of fish, like catfish.

“We want to catch those fish and not mudcats,” Brocksmith said.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the level of phosphorus in the Illinois River continues to consistently exceed Oklahoma’s state standard of 0.037 milligrams of phosphorus per liter, more than a decade after the state sued northwest Arkansas poultry companies for contributing the element to the river.

Such levels pose a threat to the well-being of the highly popular river, which each year draws about 500,000 visitors – including some 200,000 floaters – who spend an estimated $15 million, according to the Grand River Dam Authority, a branch of Oklahoma’s state government.

There are indications things are getting better.

The level of phosphorus is far lower than it used to be, from as high as an average of 0.423 milligram of phosphorus per liter in Watts, Oklahoma, in 1980 to 0.065 milligrams of phosphorus per liter in the same spot in 2016. Samples taken this fall from other parts of the river show levels ranging from 0.05 milligrams of phosphorus per liter to 0.09, according to Brian Haggard, director of the Arkansas Water Resources Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Experts attribute the drop to farmers applying less poultry litter, which is rich in phosphorus, to the ground in northwest Arkansas and industries reducing the amount of phosphorus in their wastewater. The Illinois is one of several rivers across the country that the U.S. Geological Survey identifies with likely improving phosphorus levels.

The lower environmental footprint comes at a time when northwest Arkansas’ population has more than doubled to more than 500,000 people, according to census estimates.

“We’re making progress, but we still have a bit to go,” said Nicole Hardiman, executive director of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, an Arkansas-based nonprofit formed in 2005 that focuses on voluntary means of reducing phosphorus in the river.

The amount of poultry litter applied to ground in the Illinois River’s northwest Arkansas watershed has dropped significantly at a time when the amount of litter being generated has increased, according to Arkansas Natural Resources Commission data analyzed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In the counties that contain portions of the watershed, the amount of poultry litter applied has dropped 30 percent, from 219,195 tons in 200 – the earliest year of data available – to 154,067 tons in 2016.

Several Arkansas counties in the region are subject to stricter regulation because of the dispute with Oklahoma. In those areas, collectively called the Nutrient Surplus Area, the amount of phosphorus that farmers can apply to land is limited and farmers must create nutrient management plans that detail what is applied. Farmers are not subject to those regulations elsewhere in the state, although the integrating poultry companies with which farmers contract may require a nutrient management plan as a part of their agreement.

The amount of applied poultry litter has decreased by 19 percent statewide and in 36 of the 58 counties that have reported nutrient application during at least a portion of that time period. Two counties – Lonoke in east-central Arkansas and Jackson in northeast Arkansas – have reported no application. The amount of applied poultry litter has increased in 20 counties.

Arkansas poultry farmers have been selling more poultry litter to farmers in other states, said Sheri Herron Scott, executive soil scientist for BMPs, a nonprofit that helps coordinate the sales.

Since poultry companies started the nonprofit in 2004, more than 1 million tons of litter have been moved out of the watershed, according to Caroline Ahn, a spokeswoman for Tyson Foods.

“Cooperative efforts between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, along with regulatory programs and the efforts of the poultry industry have helped to make substantial improvements,” Ahn said in a written response to an interview request.

The amount of phosphorus from the Springdale wastewater utility also has dropped, said Heath Ward, executive director of Springdale Water Utilities. In fiscal 2001-02, the utility’s treated effluent contained on average 8.4 milligrams of phosphorus per liter. In fiscal 2016-17, it contained 0.24 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

That’s the product of cleaner wastewater from industries and millions of dollars spent on improving the utility’s treatment processes, Ward said.

The treatment is a five-part process that partially removes nutrients such as phosphorus from the wastewater. Called the Bardenpho process, it involves five tanks – anaerobic, anoxic, aerobic, anoxic (again) and aerobic (again) – that mix fluids and ultimately separate out nitrogen.

The Bardenpho process has resulted in a Rogers treatment plant producing one-tenth of the phosphorus produced previously, according to plant manager Todd Beaver. The discharge has less than 0.1 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

Fayetteville’s new Nowlin treatment plant also discharges at about that level.

Ward wants to improve the things the region is doing, but he also noted a project in Fayetteville that restored a few hundred feet of stream bank that kept between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds of phosphorus from finding its way into the Illinois.

He and others favor smaller projects that can make a big impact, such as stream bank restoration and stormwater management.

“That’s how you eat an elephant, too, is one bit at a time,” Ward said. “I’m just hopeful people want to try some new things.”

Ideas abound for how to continue the improvements, such as low-impact development, land conservation, regulatory changes and additional partnerships.

Low-impact development, Hardiman said, would employ ways to prevent dirty stormwater from running directly into storm drains.

Some cities have developed stormwater management plans as a part of Clean Water Act compliance, said Katie Teague, a Washington County extension agent. All will have to adopt them, she said.

Construction permit applicants in Fayetteville are required to manage stormwater in one of six different ways, Teague said. Those include outreach and education, management and prevention of pollution, and control of stormwater runoff.

That has led to pervious pavement at a Whataburger drive-thru on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Stormwater from the drive-thru travels underneath the pavement and into the soil, rather than running off, loaded with fuel and other substances, into a storm drain. Storm drains discharge directly into bodies of water.

Stream bank restoration projects and partnerships to complete them also interest different groups.

When stream banks erode, they drop sediment into the stream. In northwest Arkansas, that sediment often contains phosphorus from years of poultry litter being applied to the ground. So restoring stream banks can prevent the addition of more phosphorus making its way to the river.

A public-private partnership to restore the banks near Savoy, where several Illinois tributaries meet, would make a big difference, Hardiman said.

He also would like to find ways to encourage people to put their land into conservation easements and to finance the purchase of land to conserve, perhaps through a millage.

Oklahoma already has a program for land conservation, capturing more than 500 acres at the cost of $1 million to landowners for extended contracts, said Ed Fite, vice president of scenic rivers operations for the Grand River Dam Authority. A recent $500,000 grant will buy more land soon, he said.

Decisions are pending on other actions that could affect the river.

The lawsuit against poultry farmers hasn’t had a ruling, nearly eight years after the 50-day trial on it ended.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the two states on a total maximum daily load study for several years but has not completed one. It would determine the maximum amount of certain nutrients that can be introduced into a body of water.

The EPA did not make anyone available for an interview for this story.

A joint study committee recommended in December 2016 that the phosphorus limit be reduced further to 0.035 milligram per liter to protect the scenic nature of the river, but Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin have taken no action on the recommendation.

“We are working through the details with Oklahoma to ensure that the findings and recommendations of the independent study are fully implemented,” Hutchinson said in a statement issued to the Democrat-Gazette.

Michael McNutt, a spokesman for Fallin, said the Oklahoma Water Resources Board is working on a total maximum daily load study.

Cole Perryman, a spokesman for the board, said it has no plans to change the standard because it is not bound to do so unless the change is outside the range of 0.027 milligram of phosphorus per liter to 0.047 milligram of phosphorus per liter.

For Fite, approval of that standard is one of the three necessary things for improving the river, along with an approved total maximum daily load study and robust partnerships.

Brocksmith has similar desires, but at least he’s finally seeing clearer waters near Tenkiller Lake after years of work.

“The last few years the river seems to have improved,” he said.

News

BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/19/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The attorney general’s office cites perjury as a reason why it’s asking the Supreme Court to dismiss a petition from two Tribal Councilors and six Cherokee Nation citizens challenging Freedmen citizenship. In a Dec. 29 filing in the Cherokee Nation v. Nash and Vann v. Zinke case, the attorney general’s office states five of eight citizens listed in a Dec. 11 petition committed perjury and because so the petition should be dismissed and “the Court should take other appropriate action, including sanctions.” “Council Member David Walkingstick, in his individual capacity, Twila Pennington, Randy White, Norman Crowe and Vicki Bratton all swore in notarized statements they ‘voted in the 2007 referendum election…to only allow citizenship in the Cherokee Nation only to people who are Cherokee by blood.’ They did not (vote),” states the response. The response states Election Commission records show Walkingstick, Pennington, White, Crowe and Bratton did not vote in the March 3, 2007, election in which voters amended the Constitution to require Indian blood for citizenship. The Cherokee Phoenix contacted the attorney general’s office regarding the perjury allegation, but was told “there is no further comment on the perjury allegation other than what has already been filed.” Walkingstick said he voted in the election and that the records are incorrect. “In (20)07 I ran for council. I remember voting in that election. I know the records in the Election Commission, you know, they’re not always accurate.” The 2007 general election in which Walkingstick’s name first appeared on the ballot was June 23. Walkingstick added that he didn’t perjure himself. “Perjury, the definition of perjury is getting up on the witness stand and putting your hand on a Bible and take an oath that you’re going to tell the truth and then getting up there and intentionally lying. That’s perjury,” he said. “This is a desperate attempt for (Attorney General) Todd (Hembree) to not face the consequences of him not adhering to his own AG Act. This has nothing to do with who voted or who didn’t vote in the (20)07 election. It has everything to do with the Cherokee Nation trying to uphold its Constitution.” According to Black’s Law Dictionary, perjury is the willful assertion as to a matter of fact, opinion, belief, or knowledge, made by a witness in a judicial proceeding as part of his evidence, either upon oath or in any form allowed by law to be substituted for an oath, whether such evidence is given in open court, or in an affidavit, or otherwise, such assertion being known to such witness to be false, and being intended by him to mislead the court, jury, or person holding the proceeding. In a Jan. 8 affidavit, Crowe states he voted in the election and that EC records are wrong. John Parris, the petitioners’ attorney, spoke on behalf of those alleged of perjury stating they all “remember voting” in the election. “The position of the interveners is that they remember voting and don’t know why the records are inaccurate,” he said. “The interveners hope that we get to the main issue and not deal with these side issues.” In regards to the EC records being “wrong,” EC officials said they do “not feel it would be appropriate to comment” on litigation before the Supreme Court. On Dec. 11, Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard, Kathy Robinson, Marcus Thompson, as well as the five accused of perjury, filed a petition as individual citizens against the CN and Hembree. It stems from Hembree’s decision not to appeal the District of Columbia District Court’s ruling to bind the CN to the 1866 Treaty and provide Freedmen “all the rights of native Cherokees,” including the right to citizenship. Freedmen are descendants of slaves once held by Cherokees. The petitioners ask the Supreme Court to set aside its Sept. 1 order to enroll Freedmen as citizens and instruct the attorney general’s office to appeal the federal court ruling until the Tribal Council approves or disapproves of Hembree’s decision not to appeal. According to the attorney general’s response, the petition should also be dismissed because its grievances against the CN and Hembree do not have “any basis in law or fact.” “Movants fail to demonstrate a legally cognizable interest in the present action that establishes a right to intervene under Cherokee Law. Nonetheless, even if Movants can establish a right to intervene – which they cannot – the Court must dismiss the Writ of Mandamus because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction,” the response states. “Specifically, Movants fail to cite any jurisdictional statute which permits Movants to maintain a lawsuit against AG Hembree – an appointed official of the Nation that enjoys sovereign immunity from this type of suit. Moreover, Movants fail to establish standing to bring this action against AG Hembree and fail further to plead a claim for relief.” The attorney general’s office also asks the court to maintain its Sept. 1 order by stating the request to continue litigating the case is “simply not available under Cherokee law.” Walkingstick said, hypothetically, if the tribe doesn’t appeal the federal ruling the Constitution would still have to be amended. He said Cherokee voters could accept the ruling or “vote in contradiction to it.” “The consequences are if the Cherokee people vote in contradiction to (federal) Judge (Thomas) Hogan’s ruling, or opinion, then federal program dollars could be frozen. Those are the consequences, and it just kind of depends what our Cherokee people want and, you know, me as being elected official, I take the Cherokee people’s voice very seriously,” he said. According to the Sept. 1 order, the Supreme Court deemed the special election void and without effect. Walkingstick said he’s “never taken a stance” on citizenship rights for Shawnees, Delaware, intermarried whites or Freedmen but that he did take an oath to uphold the Constitution. “The disappointment in all of this is our Cherokee Supreme Court contradicted our own Constitution. That’s a catastrophe. The other catastrophe is our chief and our attorney general supports contradicting our Constitution,” he said. “If we were wanting to protect our Constitution to the highest degree possible we would appeal this decision, which that’s the highest degree we can go with in regards to what that outcome is. It may be favorable. It may not be favorable, but we can look our constituents in the face and say we did everything possible to uphold your voice.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/17/2018 04:00 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Family Research Center at the Cherokee Heritage Center teamed up to create this series on Cherokee genealogy. Thanks to CFRC genealogists Gene Norris and Ashley Vann, we are able to show you the genealogies of the Cherokee Phoenix staff and the CFRC’s genalogy inner workings at the CHC as well as the people behind them. For the next several months, we will highlight Cherokee Phoenix staff members’ genealogies and bring you information regarding Cherokee genealogy. You may even spot an ancestor on a staff member’s genealogy chart. This month we spotlight Advertising Representative Danny Eastham and Advertising Specialist Samantha Cochran's genealogies Wado! <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/1/11902__Samantha.pdf" target="_blank">Click here</a>to read Advertising Specialist Samantha Cochran's genealogy.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/17/2018 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The first trial date has been set for a lawsuit by a state against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid epidemic, according to Oklahoma’s attorney general. Oklahoma, one of at least 13 states that have filed lawsuits against drugmakers, alleges fraudulent marketing of drugs that fueled the opioid epidemic in the lawsuit filed in June 2017, and seeks unspecified damages from Purdue Pharma, Allergan, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals and several of their subsidiaries. “We appreciate the urgency Judge (Thad) Balkman saw in getting the case to trial,” Attorney General Mike Hunter said. “Oklahomans who have suffered immeasurably from the years of fraudulent marketing campaigns will see this case resolved sooner rather than later.” Hunter said Balkman scheduled the trial to begin May 28, 2019. The companies deny wrongdoing and say they complied with Federal Drug Administration requirements that include warning labels showing potential risks that come with using their drugs. “We are deeply troubled by the prescription and illicit opioid abuse crisis, and are dedicated to being part of the solution,” Purdue Pharma said in a statement. “We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense.” Teva spokeswoman Kaelan Hollon said the company “is committed to the appropriate use of opioid medicines,” and complies with all state and federal drug regulations. “Teva also collaborates closely with other stakeholders, including providers and prescribers, regulators, public health officials and patient advocates, to understand how to prevent prescription drug abuse without sacrificing patients’ needed access to pain medicine,” Hollon said. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office said other states that have filed lawsuits are Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington state. The state lawsuits are separate from pending lawsuits in Ohio by dozens of local governments, and lawsuits by Native American tribes in the Dakotas and Oklahoma. In Ohio, a federal lawsuit by local governments nationwide that makes similar allegations is pending. And in South Dakota, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate filed a federal lawsuit in January against 24 opioid industry groups. In Oklahoma, a federal judge has ruled that another similar lawsuit by the Cherokee Nation cannot be tried in tribal court, and CN Attorney General Todd Hembree siad the tribe would file the lawsuit in state court.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/16/2018 04:00 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Family Research Center at the Cherokee Heritage Center teamed up to create this series on Cherokee genealogy. Thanks to CFRC genealogists Gene Norris and Ashley Vann, we are able to show you the genealogies of the Cherokee Phoenix staff and the CFRC’s genalogy inner workings at the CHC as well as the people behind them. For the next several months, we will highlight Cherokee Phoenix staff members’ genealogies and bring you information regarding Cherokee genealogy. You may even spot an ancestor on a staff member’s genealogy chart. This month we spotlight Staff Writer Brittney Bennett and Former Intern Chandler Kidd's genealogies Wado! <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/1/11898__ChandlerKidd.pdf" target="_blank">Click here</a>to read Former Intern Chandler Kidd's genealogy.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/16/2018 03:30 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Family Research Center at the Cherokee Heritage Center teamed up to create this series on Cherokee genealogy. Thanks to CFRC genealogists Gene Norris and Ashley Vann, we are able to show you the genealogies of the Cherokee Phoenix staff and the CFRC’s genalogy inner workings at the CHC as well as the people behind them. For the next several months, we will highlight Cherokee Phoenix staff members’ genealogies and bring you information regarding Cherokee genealogy. You may even spot an ancestor on a staff member’s genealogy chart. This month we spotlight News Writer Brittney Bennett and Former Intern Chandler Kidd's genealogies Wado! <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/1/11895__BrittneyBennett.pdf" target="_blank">Click here</a>to read News Writer Brittney Bennett's genealogy.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/16/2018 12:00 PM
MUSKOGEE (AP) — Cherokee Nation leaders marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15 by acknowledging the tribe needs to come to terms with its treatment of former slaves, known as Freedmen. The tribe — one of the country’s largest — recognized the King holiday for the first time with participation in a King parade and a visit to the Martin Luther King Community Center in Muskogee. Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Principal Chief Bill John Baker decided the tribe should honor the King holiday this year because of ongoing racial tensions nationwide and because the tribe is seeking to make amends with slavery. King’s writings spoke of injustices against Native Americans and colonization, but Hoskin said the tribe had its own form of internal oppression and dispossession. “The time is now to deal with it and talk about it,” said Hoskin. “It’s been a positive thing for our country to reconcile that during Dr. King’s era, and it’s going to be a positive thing for Cherokee to talk about that history as part of reconciling our history with slavery.” Such talk from tribal officials would have been surprising before a federal court ruled last year that the descendants of slaves owned by tribal citizens had the same rights to tribal citizenship, voting, health care and housing as blood-line Cherokees. One descendant of Freedmen, Rodslen Brown-King, said her mother was able to vote as a Cherokee for the first and only time recently. Other relatives died before getting the benefits that come with tribal citizenship, including a 34-year-old nephew with stomach cancer, she said. “He was waiting on this decision,” Brown-King, of Fort Gibson, said. “It’s just a lot of struggle, a lot of up and down trauma in our lives. It’s exciting to know we are coming together and moving forward in this.” Derrick Reed, a city councilman in Muskogee, and director of the King Community Center there, said the Jan. 15 event was the first attended by citizens of the CN in honor of the holiday. Baker later spoke at an after-party the tribe sponsored, and Hoskin served breakfast earlier in the day. “We have a wonderful story to tell but we need to tell the whole story,” Hoskin said.