Bo and Sherrie Burrows, of Hulbert, fill a shopping cart Jan. 7 at the Cherokee Nation’s Food Distribution Center in Tahlequah. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Read More
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Sunday, January 20, 2019
UPDATE: Cherokee Nation weathering ‘shutdown storm’
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will distribute February's food assistance benefits early due to the partial government shutdown.

The agency says those already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps, will begin receiving February benefits by Jan. 20. Benefits are loaded onto Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and can only be used at U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved grocery retailers.

DHS Director Ed Lake said employees will work overtime to process case renewals and applications.

Last week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told states to issue the February benefits early and several states have already announced distribution plans.

Lake says about 610,000 Oklahomans receive SNAP benefits each month.
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Area writers are encouraged to bring their work to the meeting to be critiqued.
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Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Shawn Slaton addresses the Tribal Council during its Jan. 14 meeting. Slaton told legislators that a Mississippi-based company announced plans to build a three-phase, $250-million resort casino in Pope County, Arkansas. COURTESY
A Mississippi-based company announced plans to build a casino in Pope County, but local residents oppose it.
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In New Mexico, a lone police officer patrolled a Native American reservation larger in size than Houston on a shift that normally has three people.
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Oklahoma Republican Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt, with his wife Sarah Stitt at his side, speaks at his pre-inaugural Redbud Ball on Jan. 12 at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa. The Cherokee Nation citizen was sworn in to office on Jan. 14. MIKE SIMONS/TULSA WORLD VIA AP
His agenda includes improving public education and reducing the state’s incarceration rate.
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Hundreds expected for rally and march followed by activist engagement fair.
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Ashley Renae Freeman (left) and Lauria Jaylene Bible, both 16 at the time, have been missing since Dec. 30, 1999. COURTESY
In 2000 investigators were told Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible were killed and dumped in a mine shift near Picher, Oklahoma.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Cherokee National Youth Choir is to be among the performers at a series of events marking the inauguration of incoming Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is a Cherokee Nation citizen.

The three inaugural events will take place between Jan. 10 and Jan. 14 in Lawton, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Other performers are country music singers Toby Keith and Jimmie Allen and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Stitt, a Republican and political newcomer, defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson in the November election.
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A roulette wheel sits ready for play at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Aug. 20, 2018. Ball and dice games were officially opened that day for players. In roulette, players bet on red or black or odd or even numbers before a ball is dropped on the outer edge of a spinning wheel with numbers on alternate red and black pockets. The ball eventually loses momentum, passes through an area of deflectors and falls onto the wheel and into one of 38 colored and numbered pockets on the wheel. COURTESY
CATOOSA — Craps and roulette at Cherokee Nation casinos have proven “extremely popular” in the short time they’ve been offered, according to gaming officials.

Mickey Ward, who oversees all 10 of the nation’s casino properties as senior director of corporate gaming, said craps and roulette have attracted “an influx of guests that were not our regulars.”

“So it’s opened us to some of the guests that would normally travel to commercial gaming markets such as Tunica, Kansas City, etc., to play the actual real, live craps and roulette,” he said. “Our goal wasn’t to be the first to market, even though we were the first in the Tulsa area. We wanted to be sure we rolled it out the right way, had our staff properly trained, had all the necessary equipment on site.”
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Bo and Sherrie Burrows, of Hulbert, fill a shopping cart Jan. 7 at the Cherokee Nation’s Food Distribution Center in Tahlequah. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Food Distribution Program officials say that without federal funding, deliveries could cease at the end of the month.
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Gary and Janet Freeny of Skiatook load cans of food into boxes as they check out of the Collinsville Food Distribution Center in January 2014. During the current government shutdown, the tribe’s Food Distribution Program is still getting food deliveries to provide healthy food options for tribal citizens. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH — As the latest federal government shutdown neared the three-week mark, Cherokee Nation leaders were cautious but hopeful that services and citizens would be minimally impacted.

“The tribe’s Food Distribution Program from USDA is still getting food deliveries to provide healthy food options for tribal citizens,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a prepared statement. “Our WIC program continues to help mothers and infants with essential supplies. And our health care, housing and community service programs are still delivering vital services for our people while we continue to monitor these essential federal funds.”

Prior to the partial federal shutdown, CN Treasurer Lacey Horn assured tribal councilors there were “significant cash reserves on hand.”
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