July 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/02/2018 12:00 PM
In this month's issue:

• Chief ’s son is RN behind Hastings protocol lapse

• Leach/Kenwood Road nears completion after delays

• Cherry Tree residents petition for new water board

...and much more.
July 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
July 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Article/index/42330

June 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/01/2018 08:15 AM
In this month's issue:

• CN Supreme Court tosses Freedmen suit

• 27 Cherokees running for public offices in Okla.

• Bacone College temporarily suspends operations

• Crittenden asks to be ruled eligible for re-election
June 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online June 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
June 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

May 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/01/2018 08:45 AM
In this month's issue:

• Riders announced for ‘Remember the Removal’ journey

• Court says Baker eligible for re-election, Crittenden not

• Councilors amend civil codes

• Grim named Health Services executive director
March 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
March 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

April 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/01/2018 12:00 PM
In this month's issue:

• Topping out ceremony held for Hastings expansion

• Tribe pays state $19M in gaming compact fees

• Marshals offering active shooter training

• Cherokee Phoenix asks readers to complete survey
April 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
April 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

March 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/01/2018 08:00 AM
In this month's issue:

• Cherokee Phoenix celebrates 190th anniversary

• CN files opioid lawsuit in state court

• CN Veterans Center adds more help, events

• CN receives Indian Health Services settlement funds
March 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
March 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Feb. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix and Health Guide available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/01/2018 08:15 AM
In this month's issue:

• Judge: CN courts can’t hear opioids case

• Concurrent enrollment program faces amendments

• Walkingstick resigns as MPS Indian Ed director

• Employment planning underway for future health facility
Feb. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix and Health Guide available online Feb. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix and Health Guide available online
Feb. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix and Health Guide available online

Jan. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/01/2018 08:00 AM
In this month's issue:

• Freedmen bill tabled indefinitely, suit filed

• CNMS doing more with lowest-staffed force

• CN begins free tax prep Feb. 5

• 4 graduate from Cherokee language program
Jan. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
Jan. 2018 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

Dec. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
12/01/2017 08:30 AM
In this month's issue:

• Walkingstick wants Freedmen ruling appealed

• MAP helps Cherokees obtain homeownership

• Birdwell’s service in Vietnam honored

• Cherokee Speakers Bureau helping keep language alive
Dec. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online
Dec. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix available online

Nov. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix and Shopping Guide available online

BY STAFF REPORTS
11/01/2017 08:30 AM
In this month's issue:

• New provider pay package implemented

• Freedmen ruling fuels mixed reactions

• CN Community Health promotes preventative health

• Girty teaches other soapstone carving
Nov. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix 2017 Shopping Guide
Nov. 2017 issue of the Cherokee Phoenix

Culture

‘Warriors for A Cure Powwow’ set for Aug. 11 in Muskogee
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/22/2018 02:00 PM
MUSKOGEE – Team Phoenix made up of staff located at the Cherokee Nation’s Three Rivers Health Center is inviting powwow dancers, drummers, food vendors, sponsors and volunteers to assist with and take part in the first “Warriors for A Cure Powwow” to fight cancer.

The powwow will be held from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Aug. 11 at the health center located at 1001 S. 41st St. East.

The Head Man, Head Lady and Head Singer are Tim Washee, Asa Cunningham-Concha and Jamison Concha, respectively. Junior Head Man is Grayson Miller, and Junior Head Lady is Spring Chalakee. Christopher Moore will be the arena director, and Greg Bilby will be the master of ceremonies.

The powwow is a family-friendly event. No alcohol or tobacco is allowed.

For more information, call Derek Birdtail at 918-200-3022 or Lora Cortez at 918-839-1372.

Education

Oklahoma sorority chapter bring home national award
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/20/2018 04:00 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Oklahoma chapters picked up top honors as Alpha Pi Omega announced its national award winners on July 14.

The sorority’s newest chapter, the Iota Pi Chapter in Cherokee County was named the 2017-18 Professional Chapter of the Year.

To be considered for the award, the chapter submitted a portfolio, highlighting its members’ community involvement, individual awards and commitment to community service. The chapter’s current roster features a 2018 “Remember the Removal” bike ride participant, a current member of Leadership Tahlequah and one of UNITY’s 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders.

“It’s an honor to have the national recognition from our other sisters,” Iota Pi Chapter president and Cherokee Nation citizen Haley Noe said. “Hopefully we can continue to show more involvement both in the community and for our area sisters.”

Council

Tribal Council approves $31M Indian Housing Plan
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
07/12/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – At the July 9 Tribal Council meeting, legislators unanimously authorized the submission of the fiscal year 2019 Indian Housing Plan, estimated at more than $31 million, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The FY2019 funds will be used for housing assistance such as $5.6 million for housing rehabilitation, nearly $4.5 million for the Rental Assistance Program and $3.4 million for the Mortgage Assistance Program.

Legislators also unanimously adopted revisions to the FY2018 IHP because the Cherokee Nation’s $31.8 million Indian Housing Block Grant allocation was higher than estimates provided. The CN’s submitted FY2018 IHP, as required by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, had an original estimate of nearly $29 million.

“The actual appropriations are based on what Congress approves in the federal budget. For this year it was $655 million for NAHASDA and our part was the $31,856,007,” Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Executive Director Gary Cooper said. “The current two appropriations being considered, one in the House, the other in the Senate, both include amounts equal to 2018. Assuming that Congress does pass a budget or omnibus or other type of appropriations bill for next year at the same (amount), we should receive more than the estimate.”

Legislators also unanimously authorized the submission of a tribal soil climate analysis network, also known as TSCAN or a weather station. The weather station will be placed on tribal property near the buffalo ranch in Delaware County.

The resolution said the CN recognizes the importance of addressing food, agriculture and natural resource needs within the CN boundaries through the utilization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“This is an NCRS project. It will give us more soil climate data, soil moisture information. It will be really helpful for researches and people who are really involved in agriculture. So it will be a good thing,” CN Natural Resources Sara Hill said in a June 11 Resource Committee meeting.

In other business, legislators:

• Authorized a grant application for an economic development feasibility study for FY2019 on creating a blackberry processing and marketing program utilizing organic blackberry growers who are CN citizens,

• Amending the comprehensive FY2018 capital budget with an increase of $8 million for a total budget authority of $260.2 million, and

• Amended the comprehensive FY2018 operating budget with an increase of $29.7 million for a total budget authority of $724.7 million. The changes reflecting the increase include increases in the General Fund budget of $312,725; the DOI-Self Governance budget of $388,958; the Indian Health Service Self-Governance Health budget of $24.6 million; and the IHS-Self Governance TEH budget of $4.5 million.

Health

Oklahoma Medicaid approved for drug pricing experiment
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/19/2018 04:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Oklahoma’s Medicaid program for a first-in-the-nation drug pricing experiment that supporters say could save taxpayer dollars and provide patients with the most effective medications for their ailments.

Under the “value-based purchasing” program approved in late June, the state and a pharmaceutical company would agree to a set payment if its medication works as advertised, but only a fraction of that if the drug is not as effective as promised.

“When a company signs an agreement, we hope that they’re going to agree to only have us pay for the therapy that works .... and if it doesn’t work we should get a rebate on it,” said Nancy Nesser, pharmacy director for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which administers the Medicaid program in the state.

“One thing we’ve learned is that some companies don’t really stand behind their drugs, and it’s kind of scary,” Nesser said. “We’re paying a premium for them and they’re not willing to say that they will work.”

The companies are not required to take part, but Nesser said several, which she declined to identify, have shown interest and discussions are underway with three. She said she hopes the program can begin by Aug. 1.

“This is a good thing,” said Matt Salo, executive director of the nonpartisan National Medicaid Directors Association, which represents state programs. “It paves the way for states and other payers to start really thinking about how to do value-based purchasing for prescription drugs.”

The federal waiver would allow Oklahoma to get around a potential obstacle to value-based contracts.

A possible pitfall is Medicaid’s “best price” requirement, which says if any purchaser gets a really good deal on a drug, then Medicaid has to get that lower price too.

Some interpret that to apply to value-based deals as well, Salo said. That means that if a drug didn’t work too well, and a state paid only 10 percent of the original price, then every other Medicaid program could get the drug for that rock-bottom price, too.

“This seems to allow for paying less for a failed treatment without triggering the ‘best price’ requirement,” Salo said.

Oklahoma spent about $650 million on prescription drugs in the fiscal year that ended June 30, Nesser said, and the change could save “a couple of million, maybe.”

Medicaid patients, primarily children who do not pay for prescriptions and the elderly, whose costs are fixed, would see no pocketbook impact, according to Oklahoma Health Care Authority spokeswoman Jo Stainsby.

“The change we’re looking for is improved health outcomes,” Stainsby said.

Oklahoma is “taking the lead” in working to bring down the cost of medications, the AARP director for the state, Sean Voskuhl, said.

“It is a great example of how states can implement change in the absence of reform at the federal level,” Voskuhl said.

Opinion

OPINION: Expanded laws allow CN to better enforce VAWA
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
07/05/2018 12:00 PM
The Cherokee Nation remains committed to protecting our women and children from violence. As principal chief, I reinforced that dedication by creating the ONE FIRE program for survivors of domestic violence, and recently, the Tribal Council passed laws that strengthen our ability to protect Native women and children within our own jurisdiction.

The amended titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated allow the tribe to better enforce the Violence Against Women Act tribal-jurisdiction provisions aimed at preventing domestic abuse and violence against women and children on tribal reservations.

These amendments authorize the CN to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, dating violence or violations of protective orders within our jurisdiction. The CN has the authority to hold offenders accountable for their crimes against women and children regardless of the perpetrator’s race. This law will apply to a spouse or partner of a CN citizen or other tribal citizen with ties to our jurisdiction.

Additionally, the Tribal Council also modified Title 12 of the Cherokee Code Annotated, which gives the CN’s District Court the expanded ability to issue and enforce protective orders for acts of domestic violence occurring within the CN. The amendments enable CN courts and CN marshals to combat domestic abuse more effectively.

Native American women suffer from violent crime at some of the highest rates in the United States. With non-Indians constituting a significant percent of the overall population living on tribal lands, it is imperative that we take this action to close the jurisdictional gap in the CN. This will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of women and children within the CN’s 14 counties.

I want to commend the CN attorney general’s office for working on this new law for more than two years, and the Tribal Council for taking this major step in flexing the CN’s sovereign muscle to bring justice to Native American victims.

We will continue to offer programs and services that curb the rate of domestic abuse. Our people deserve to live healthy and secure lives within the CN. We have always looked at how our decisions will impact the next seven generations, and providing a safe future for our children and grandchildren is an important part of securing that future.

People

Tehee named Muskogee police chief
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/17/2018 04:15 PM
MUSKOGEE – As of July 14, Cherokee Nation citizen Johnny Tehee, of Vian, was expected to take over as the new chief for the Muskogee Police Department.

Tehee has been with the MPD for more than 30 years. For the past 15 years he’s been the deputy chief to Chief Rex Eskridge, who was to retire on July 13. For about 10 years on the force, he’s specialized in investigating child abuse. Before the promotion, Tehee served as the deputy chief of the Investigation Division.

Tehee said he believes the most important thing to concentrate on is community relations. He wants the community more involved on what the police are doing, and the police more involved on what the community is doing.

“Back about 20 years I ran the Muskogee Police Athletic League, which means all the police officers would coach young kids’ football, baseball and basketball,” Tehee said. “We quit doing that about five or six ago, and I definitely want to get that back in place. I just think it’s a big asset for the community if you have officers involved in young kids’ lives.”

In the 1990s, Tehee said Muskogee had a problem with drugs and gangs with the murder rate high going into the 2000s. Since that time, he said the MPD has put more officers on the street and crime rates have gone down.

“We went from having double digits homicides to one or two a year. For the most part it’s a matter of keeping things going in the right direction,” Tehee said.

He added that he’s “excited and looking forward to the challenges” of being the police chief.

“I want to continue to move the Muskogee Police Department forward and carry on the legacy that was created by Chief Eskridge to remain one of the top law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma,” he said.

Tehee graduated Vian High School in 1982 before studying criminal justice at Northeastern State University. He also graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He said he’s been a member of First Baptist Church of Muskogee for more than 30 years and has spent years travelling the world on mission trips. He also said he’s been a long-time teacher in the church’s youth department.

“Deputy Chief Tehee has the experience, the community relationships and leadership skills needed to be an outstanding chief of police,” Muskogee City Manager Mike Collier said. “He has big shoes to fill, but I know he’s more than capable and will do great things in our community.”
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