Roadwork begins on Phase 1 of E0850 Road off of Bell Road in Honey Hill in Adair County. The Cherokee Nation’s Roads Program is expected to complete the .75-mile project by May. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CN roads program to wrap up three road projects by spring
The Honey Hill road project leads to the Honey Hill Free Holiness Church located in its namesake community in Adair County. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Roads Program has 38 projects in its Transportation Improvement Program inventory with three projects expected to be complete by or in springtime.
The Honey Hill project, located in Adair County on E0850 off Bell Road, is a total of 3.75 miles with a cost of nearly $3.8 million. Workers were expected to obliterate the old road, widen a new road and install drainage structures, ditches, new fences and signage. The project was expected to be complete by May.
Because 0f past complications in road construction, adjustments needed to be made when planning and designing a road project, officials said.
“Several years ago we went and tried to build the entire length of a project, and we had some issues with some right-of-way, so what we did was we phased it into two phases. The way we lay a road out is little different than one might think. We lay a road out from south to north, and then from west to east,” CN Road Program Director Michael Lynn said.
The Leach/Kenwood project involves an overlay of 11.4 miles of road on N4540 that connects the Leach and Kenwood communities at a cost of $3.9 million. Some construction has already been finished.
“We’ve gone in and replaced some drainage structures. We built some new box bridge type structures for drainage. Then we’re going in and overlaying the whole 11.4 miles from around Leach all the way up to Kenwood that will tie into Kenwood Road just east of Kenwood community,” Lynn said.
The project is expected to end by early spring.
The third project is Moonshine Road in Sequoyah County that runs about 5 miles north of Vian off Hwy. 82 and west to Hwy. 64. This project is 8.5 miles long, costs $2.5 million and is near completion.
Lynn said construction consists of replacing guard rails, improving drainage structures, tearing out of old head walls (walls built at pipe openings to support the road and protect it from the erosion of flowing water) and replacing them with higher head walls to make them safe for drivers and overlaying the road.
“One of the things that we’re doing with this job that we have not done on any other job is, and it is a safety feature that we’re adding, is we’re adding what we call a centerline rumble strip,” Lynn said.
Rumble strip grooves are being added to the centerline and striped.
“It kind of serves two purposes. The grooves serve as an audible warning for the drivers. If you go left of center you’ll hear and you’ll feel it in your steering wheel when you do it. It also helps in low light conditions and in the rain. You’ll see the upside of the groove. It gives you a better view of the stripe in rainy conditions,” he said.
Other projects include the northeast Fort Gibson project, which is 6.9 miles of road between Tahlequah and Muskogee; White Oak Road in Craig County, also known as north-south 4340 road, which is 4.3 miles; Ross Street in Tahlequah that connects to the W.W. Hastings Hospital expansion; and eight projects that require right-of-way easements before construction can begin.
A project is prioritized if it serves tribal facilities, public schools, bus routes, if there is trust or restricted land along the road route, and if the tribe is looking to develop property along the route, among other criteria. For more information, call 918-453-5731 or email email@example.com
TULSA – Cherokee Nation Management & Consulting, a subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses, has secured two indefinite-delivery contracts with the U.S. Army.
“We are pleased to continue growing our relationship with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army,” Steven Bilby, CNB’s diversified businesses president, said. “It is a great honor and privilege to serve the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who serve our country so bravely.”
Through the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the tribally owned company will provide the U.S. Army with professional support to ensure sustainable and ready operational services and enhance the ability of the U.S. military forces to fight and meet the demands of the national military strategy.
CNMC will provide a skilled team of analysts and specialists to support the OASA IEE and its Energy and Sustainability Directorates in focus areas such as environment, safety and occupational health, strategic integration, installations, housing, and partnerships.
“We are proud to have these opportunities,” Scott Edwards, CNMC operations general manager, said. “As a company, we are dedicated to providing first-class service, and we’re looking forward to deploying the expertise and skills of our team to support the vital mission of the U.S. military.”
CNMC is fulfilling a $10 million, four-year contract with the Department of Defense and a $15 million, three-year contract supporting the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.
CNMC formed in 2013, provides technical support services and project support personnel to its defense and civilian agency partners. It’s headquartered in Tulsa and is part of the CNB family of companies. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.cherokeenationbusinesses.com" target="_blank">www.cherokeenationbusinesses.com</a>.
HULBERT – Cherokee Nation officials recently distributed $138,400 to 27 law enforcement agencies that patrol within the tribe’s jurisdictional area.
CN officials recently gave $15,000 and $10,000 to the Hulbert and Okay police departments, respectively.
According to a CN press release, the Hulbert funds were provided through the Tribal Council’s annual law enforcement funds. Tribal Councilors Joe Byrd, Rex Jordan and David Walkingstick each dedicated a portion of their allocated funds.
“This donation means a great deal to me and my department,” Hulbert Police Chief Casey Rowe said. “Our budget is so short and it’s such a small department that having this extra $15,000 helps us make it through the year. I don’t think our department could make it without it. It’s a great thing.”
Okay Mayor Bradley Mathews said the $10,000 donation helps fund a contract with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement service in the community.
“When we get assistance like this, it goes toward meeting our goals and what our community expects to be provided,” Mathews said. “Without the help of the Cherokee Nation, there are a lot of things we wouldn’t be able to do, and this is just one more example of that.”
Aside from monetary donations provided to agencies, the tribe frequently donates surplus equipment, including vehicles, to police departments and sheriff’s offices.
Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Janees Taylor also recently distributed more than $55,000 to 16 Rogers and Mayes counties law enforcement agencies.
Austin distributed $3,500 each to Rogers State University police, Oologah police, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, Chelsea police, Claremore police and the 12th District Attorney’s Office. He also contributed $1,750 each to Collinsville, Verdigris and Talala police departments.
Taylor distributed $3,500 each to Locust Grove police, Pryor police, Mayes County Sheriff’s Department, Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, Salina police, Inola police and Chouteau police. She also contributed $1,750 each to Verdigris police and Claremore police, as well as $1,000 to the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said his department is using the donation to purchase a canine officer that would benefit not only the sheriff’s office but also other area departments.
“County law enforcement is kind of at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to funding for our needs, so I don’t visualize being able to make it without partners like the Cherokee Nation,” Walton said. “With the Cherokee Nation’s donation, we are able to purchase some of our core, fundamental needs. We’re so blessed to have these kinds of community partners, and the tribe is always there for us and listening to us.”
Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed said his agency is upgrading its communications equipment by purchasing 800 megahertz radios for deputies.
“It means a lot to us to receive Cherokee Nation’s support,” Reed said. “We appreciate what the tribe provides us.”
Tribal officials also distributed $58,400 to law enforcement agencies in Tribal Council districts 5 and 6, which encompass all of Sequoyah County and part of Muskogee County.
Of the $58,400 distributed, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department received $12,000, and the Braggs, Gore, Marble City, Muldrow, Roland, Sallisaw, Vian and Webbers Falls police departments each received $5,800.
For Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, partnerships with the CN are an important resource.
“Anything we need, we know we can call the tribe, and they are always great to work with,” he said.
Twenty percent of the revenue from the tribe’s motor vehicle tax is used to fund the annual law enforcement donations.
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Phoenix is now taking names of elders and military veterans to provide free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper.
In November, Cherokee Nation Businesses donated $10,000 to the Cherokee Phoenix’s Elder/Veteran Fund. The fund provides free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper to elders 65 and older and military veterans who are Cherokee Nation citizens. Subscription rates are $10 for one year.
“The Elder/Veteran Fund was put into place to provide free subscriptions to our Cherokee elders and veterans,” Executive Editor Brandon Scott said. “Some of our elders and veterans are on a very limited budget, and other items have a priority over buying a newspaper subscription. The donations we receive have a real world impact on our elders and veterans, so every dollar donated to the Elder Fund is significant.”
Using the Elder/Veteran Fund, elders who are 65 and older as well as veterans can apply to receive a free one-year subscription by visiting, calling or writing the Cherokee Phoenix office and requesting a subscription.
The Cherokee Phoenix office is located in the Annex Building on the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. The postal address is Cherokee Phoenix, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465. To call about the fund, call 918-207-4975 or 918-453-5269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
No income guidelines have been specified for the Cherokee Phoenix Elder/Veteran Fund, and free subscriptions will be given as long as funds last.
Tax-deductible donations for the fund can also be sent to the Cherokee Phoenix by check or money order specifying the donation for the Cherokee Phoenix Elder/Veteran Fund. Cash is also accepted at the Cherokee Phoenix offices and local events where Cherokee Phoenix staff members are accepting Elder/Veteran Fund donations.
The Cherokee Phoenix also has a free website, <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeephoenix.org</a>, that posts news seven days a week about the Cherokee government, people, history and events of interest. The monthly newspaper is also posted in PDF format to the website at the beginning of each month.
TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band is finalizing building plans and will soon move forward with its Elder Home Project, a pilot program to construct small, energy efficient homes for low-income elders ages 55 and older.
“There was a need for housing for some of our elders who lived in substandard housing conditions, but we didn’t necessarily want to put them in a big two-bedroom, three-bedroom house because they really can’t afford to live in a house that big,” Charles Deason, UKB Housing Department development manager, said. “We got to researching different housing options and it was kind of born from there.”
Deason said the project is expected to begin within “60 to 90 days” using approved contractors via a bidding process. He described the homes as “cottages” on permanent foundations ranging from 500 to 1,000 square feet.
“It will have insurance ratings, and it will be built to the national building codes, and it will be a standard home. They’ll be fully equipped when we give you the keys, minus the furniture. It will have all the appliances and all the amenities of a regular home. It’ll just be a small home. We’re looking to do two to three this year and next year, depending on the amount of applications and the participation that we have. We hope to maybe increase that.”
The homes are intended for one to two occupants.
“That’s like a single elder who may have a caregiver that stays with them part-time or an elder that has just been displaced and maybe having to live with family members and they just kind of want to be independent, but still be close to their families,” Deason said.
Applicants must own land in the UKB’s operating area and will be selected based on a point system that relies on various factors to determine eligibility and need.
“The basic requirements are that you have to be Native American. Another that you have to have is a minimum income amount with HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development),” Deason said. “We also give preference to exclusive Keetoowahs. We give preference to elders. The program is for 55 and up, but we give more points to those that are 62 and older. We also give preference to those that are full blood. We take all of those things into consideration.”
Deason said once all applications have been received, the UKB Housing Department would evaluate them before passing recommendations to the UKB Housing Committee.
The homes will take approximately 45 days to complete once building starts, and the budget would vary depending on the occupant’s needs.
“We’re looking at somewhere around $50,000 as the total,” he said. “It could be more. It could be a little less, but that’s our target budget for each home. Each one will have a different value depending on the amount of work that is having to be done. We’re wanting to do cost-effective and energy efficient housing.”
The homes will be primarily funded through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. “It is NAHASDA monies. It’s set aside. We’ve also realigned some budget items, and we’re using acquisition funds in acquiring homes for these particular individuals. Funds are limited,” Deason said.
Occupants will own their homes after making income-based monthly payments on a 10-year loan, though the UKB will cover any applicable taxes and insurance for the duration, Deason said.
“We’re still kind of learning as we go,” he said. “We hope to have it streamlined one of these days, but right now we’re still trying to figure out all the bugs that might be in it. Our elders are what we’re all about. If it wasn’t for the elders, none of us would be here.”
Applications are available at the UKB Housing Department and upon request by phone by calling 918-871-2773. The deadline for applications is July 2. Completed applications may be delivered or mailed to the UKB Housing Department at P.O. Box 746, Tahlequah, OK 74465.
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation leaders on May 3 signed an agreement with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to create a mobile food bank at the tribe’s Veterans Center for qualified veterans, their families and their widows on a quarterly basis.
“We had a wonderful signing ceremony with (Principal) Chief (Bill John) Baker, signifying our partnership,” CFBEO Executive Director Eileen Bradshaw said. “The program focuses on veterans and their food security.”
The CFBEO is a member of the national Feeding America network and delivers food to clients in eastern Oklahoma’s 24 counties through its network of 465 partner programs.
However, the partnership didn’t get into full swing until May 29 when Veterans Center staff, CN administrators and employees, as well as federal officials, bagged and distributed approximately 10,000 pounds of food to qualified veterans.
Cherokee veteran Allan Johnson said he’s grateful for the assistance. “I have to live within a limited budget from disability and, this program is going to help my quality of life.”
Veterans Center Executive Director Barbara Foreman said she was pleased with the program’s first food distribution.
“The event was a wonderful success, which assisted 117 veteran families who received tickets. With the extra food after the event, we assisted about eight more veterans who heard about the program but were unaware of the process,” she said. “The feedback was good, and we know the veterans appreciated our efforts very much. We will continue with our efforts to assist our veterans with this food outreach program every 90 days.”
The next mobile food pantry is scheduled for August. Foreman said the Veterans Center compares schedules with the food bank and that it would try to schedule distributions every 90 days. She said the center would contact veterans and widows of veterans regarding the next distribution.
Foreman also said the center doesn’t receive a list of food items and that she doesn’t know what food they will be distributing until they take it off the truck.
“The food is based on the donations received at the food bank warehouse,” she said.
She added that the Veterans Center receives 125 tickets for veterans and widows on a first-come, first-serve basis. Foreman said if a veteran or widow has five or more people in the household, they receive two tickets.
For more information on the Veterans Center and mobile food bank, call 918-772-4166. For more information about the CFBEO, visit <a href="http://www.okfoodbank.org" target="_blank">okfoodbank.org</a> or call 918-585-2800.
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Family Assistance will again give out school clothing vouchers to eligible children through its Clothing Assistance Program this summer, and applications are available now.
Family Assistance Manager Angela King said voucher applications will be taken via fax, mail, email or walk-in until June 29. Applications can be found at <a href="http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Human-Services/Family-Assistance" target="_blank">http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Human-Services/Family-Assistance</a> or picked up any of the Human Services field offices in Tahlequah, Catoosa, Stilwell, Locust Grove, Sallisaw and Jay.
“The intent of this program is so the children can have at least one nice outfit to begin the school year with,” King said.
King said the vouchers must be spent at Stage stores. According to its website, there are approximately 10 Stage locations within the CN.
She said the vouchers must be spent on school clothing and not on accessories such as backpacks or fragrances. She added that the vouchers have no expiration dates and can be utilized during the state’s tax-free weekend of shopping on Aug. 4-6.
To receive vouchers, students and families must meet eligibility requirements and income guidelines. Eligibility requirements and required documents are:
• Student must be a CN citizen,
• Student and family must live within the CN jurisdiction,
• Student must be in grades kindgertarten-12 for the upcoming school year,
• Must bring proof of school enrollment for each child,
• Kindergarten students must be age 5 before Sept. 1,
• Must bring a utility bill, not older than 30 days, that shows physical address or service address,
• Custodial parent or legal guardian must show identification and complete application,
• Guardians must bring letters of guardianship issued by a district court, and
• Must bring verification of income for everyone in the household, and
• Household must meet income guidelines. Income guidelines are the 2018 National Poverty Income Guidelines plus 25 percent.
Also, state home schooled children are not eligible for the program.
According to the CN website, the Clothing Voucher Program is funded through the Tribal Council and has been implemented through Human Services since 2006. The goal is to assist families with back to school expenses by providing financial assistance for school clothes for the children’s first day school.
For more information, call 918-453-5266 or email <a href="mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.
<a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/5/32309__brief_180531_ClothingAidApp.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the clothing aid application.
<a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/5/32309__brief_180531_ClothingAidFAQ.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the clothing aid FAQ.
<a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2018/5/32309__brief_180531_ClothingAidInfo.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the clothing aid information document.