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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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
UPDATE: Cherokee Nation weathering ‘shutdown storm’
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Legislation filed by Republican and Democratic leaders sets the framework for American Indian tribes in North Dakota to levy alcohol, tobacco and state sales taxes on their reservations and spend it for tribal services.

But the legislation filed this week would not exempt casinos from a state sales tax that tribal leaders have long argued is unworkable.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Ron His Horse is Thunder said Wednesday that the tribe would likely only support the legislation if casinos are exempt from the state's 5 percent sales tax.
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Numbers from the Oklahoma Tax Commission show medical marijuana sales reached nearly $1 million in December, generating about $70,000 for state coffers from a special new tax on pot sales.

The agency released figures on Wednesday that show the 7 percent tax on medical marijuana sales generated $69,425 in December. So far in January, more than $43,000 has been collected from medical marijuana sales. Those figures don't include the standard sales tax that varies from city to city.

Oklahoma voters approved a medical marijuana state question in June , and the industry has taken off quickly . More than 30,000 Oklahoma patients and nearly 900 dispensaries already have been licensed.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has generated more than $10 million in licensing fees.
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Voter registration in Oklahoma has reached an all-time high following the November mid-term election.

The Oklahoma State Election Board's annual Jan. 15 voter registration count eclipsed 2.1 million, the Tulsa World reported .

"Our state saw a big increase in voter engagement in 2018, and I am hopeful that this trend will continue through 2019 and into the 2020 elections," said Paul Ziriax, Secretary of the State Election Board.
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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Plans for a proposed limestone quarry in northwest Arkansas have been tabled indefinitely because of concerns over the project’s proximity to the Trail of Tears.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Benton County’s Planning Board voted 6-1 to table the project indefinitely at a meeting in December. The quarry is proposed for an area that is 900 feet (275 meters) from a section of the trail, which commemorates the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation from the southeastern United States in the 19th century.

More than 4,000 Cherokee died during the more than 1,000-mile walk to what is now Oklahoma.

The newspaper reports that the Trail of Tears Association and the Cherokee Nation recommended that a cultural resources study be done on the quarry site.
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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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