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Archive for Cherokee

Sixth annual Public Lecture on Indian Health at WCU

Sarah Sneed, a resident of Cherokee’s Birdtown community who earned her law degree at Harvard Law School, will visit the Western Carolina University campus Wednesday, Sept. 2, to deliver the sixth annual Public Lecture on Indian Health.

Sneed will speak on the topic “Federal Indian Health Policy and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians” at 6 p.m. in Room 204 of WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building.

Sneed’s lecture will provide an in-depth look at federal Indian policy in relationship to the evolution of health care for the Eastern Band, said Lisa J. Lefler, director of WCU’s Culturally Based Native Health Programs.

Sneed graduated with honors with a degree in history at the University of Colorado at Boulder prior to earning her law degree. She has worked in various capacities with Indian tribes throughout her career.

Former Harrah’s Employee Convicted of Embezzlement

Keith Alan Franklin, 27, of Waynesville was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $400,000 from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino while he was an employee. He must also pay $475,000 in restitution to the casino.

In a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Asheville, Franklin was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Franklin pleaded guilty to theft by an employee of gaming establishments on Indian lands.

Franklin was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

According to court records, Franklin embezzled money from Harrah’s from October 2013 to April 2014. Franklin was employed at Harrah’s and had direct access to the casino’s funds during this period, according to court documents.

Franklin was fired in April 2014 and pleaded guilty in October 2014 to the embezzlement charge.

Franklin is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The U.S. Secret service handled the investigation, assisted by the Cherokee police.

Fly Fishing Museum Opens in Cherokee NC

Cherokee NC’s newest attraction – the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians – is now open. Through exhibits and videos visitors will learn about past fly fishing legends, the evolution of rods and reels, basic knots, fly-tying, types of gear, types of gamefish, regional fishing waters, and the history of fly fishing in the Southeast.

The museum is open daily (off-season schedule may vary). The website, FlyFishingMuseum.org, has hours of operation, directions, and exhibit information, as well as membership and donation opportunities.

The museum is the recipient of start-up grants from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and tremendous support from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Two other large donations include a grant for the Tailrace Exhibit from Tennessee Valley Authority, and a $20,000 donation by Southern Trout Magazine.

“We’re pleased that Southern Trout has been so generous in its support of the museum,” says curator Alen Baker. “The donation is largely in the form of advertising, which is great for the museum as the magazine is well-read by fly fishermen.”

The museum is centrally located in Cherokee – next door to the Visitor Center, and across from the Fairgrounds and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The back deck of the museum building overlooks the Oconaluftee River; and the Museum is within walking distance of Oconaluftee Islands Park.

Cherokee is the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and some of Western North Carolina’s most acclaimed trout waters.

Grant Assists with Homeless Veterans in Cherokee

Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. has been awarded a $10,123 grant from the Evergreen Foundation based out of Waynesville. The grant is to help renovate 10 rooms and a kitchen/dining area at the Home Stead Motel to serve homeless veterans.

The Veteran Housing is the pilot project for the 7th generation programs that Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. is focused on. Plans are to expand to family housing to reconnect veteran families as the veteran is more capable of adjusting to civilian life. Future projects will be announced as funding becomes available.

Cherokee Man Shot In Head; 4 in Custody

The EBCI Public Safety Communication Center received a report at 10:05pm on Thursday, May 21 of a male subject having been shot in the head. The shooting was alleged to have taken place at a residence in the Birdtown Community. Four people have been arrested in relation to this incident.

Cherokee Indian Police Department officers responded to the Cherokee Indian Hospital where the victim had allegedly driven himself.

CIPD officers arrested suspect, James Ralph Brady, as well as two other males and one female, whose names are not being released at this time, on Friday, May 22 at 8:03pm. Brady, 48, will be charged in Cherokee Tribal Court for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious bodily injury and aggravated weapons charge.

No other details are being released pending further investigation.

Two Veterans Honored by USET

United South and Eastern Tribes, Incorporated’s (USET) honored two veterans of U.S. armed forces, who are citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. USET presented plaques and blankets show appreciation of their service to Sam Lambert and Ernest D. Panther during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Semi-Annual Meeting in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Sam Lambert is a Vietnam veteran, who served three west pacific tours and two Vietnam tours of duty while serving in the United State Navy from 1966 through 1972. Lambert earned the rank off Boatswains Mate 3rd Class and served on the board from Landing Craft Carrier LKA USS Union.

Ernest Panther is a retired staff sergeant from the United States Air Force, who enlisted in 1955 and was assigned to the 3555 Instillation Group at Perrin Air Force Base in Texas and retired in 1975 with more than 21 years of service. In addition to his service, which took him to Japan and various points in the United States, Panther was also on special detail as participant in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

“You are not just veterans of the United States Armed forces. You are valued warriors who have protected our Tribal nations’ sovereignty and are honored members of Indian Country. The plaques and blankets are only small tokens of the tireless work and service you have given to Indian Country by promoting veteran affairs,” USET President Brian Patterson said to Lambert and Panther.

Cherokee Woman Charged in Stabbing Death of Husband

Cherokee Indian Police Department officers responded to a stabbing call at a residence on Calhoun Road in the Big Cove Community at approximately 9:20pm on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Upon arrival, officers found that Henry Bradley, a 45 year old male, had suffered a laceration wound to his abdomen. He was transported for medical attention by Tribal EMS. Bradley died a few hours later at Memorial Mission Hospital.

Bradley’s wife, Pattie Calhoun-Bradley, 42, has been charged tribally with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury. Additional charges are pending.

Cherokee Police Search for Missing Children; Mother

Shira Mattocks

Shira Mattocks

Police on the Cherokee Indian Reservation are looking for the public’s help in locating three children and their mother, who was last seen with them.

Police officials said the children’s mother, Shira Raman Mattocks, 26, of Cherokee has “custody issues” involving the children, which range in age from 3 months to 8 years old. Family members have indicated through social media that the children were allowed supervised visits with Mattocks, but she may have taken off with the children at some point earlier in the week.

Police also said that Mattocks was last seen in the company of her mother, Teresa Arneach Arreaga, also of Cherokee.

James Paul Owle

o 8 years old / M / Brown Hair / Brown Eyes / 4’7” / 75 pounds

o Native American from Cherokee, NC

Samuel George Owle

o 6 years old / M / Brown Hair / Brown Eyes / 4’4” / 90 pounds

o Native American from Cherokee, NC

Evelyn Grace Arneach

o 3 months old / F / Brown Hair / Brown Eyes

Police indicated that the fathers of the three children currently have custodial rights.

Police said they have charged Mattocks with failure to obey a lawful order and two counts of custodial interference.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Cherokee Indian Police Dept. at 828-497-7405.

39th Annual Pow Wow on Qualla Boundary

powwow1For almost four decades, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has hosted its annual Pow Wow on the Qualla Boundary and this year’s promises to be the best ever.

This year’s event, July 4-6, features world-champion dancers and drums competing for prizes. Vendors from across the country will offer food and arts and crafts items. The Pow Wow attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.

Dance competitions are open to participants in five groups and several categories including Traditional, Grass, Fancy, Straight, Jingle and Buckskin. There will also be Northern and Southern Singing prizes and a Hand Drum special. Age groups include “Golden Age” contestants (age 50+), men and women (age 18-49), teens (13-17), Junior (6-12), and tiny tots (under age 5). Specials include Men’s Fancy and Straight, Women’s Jingle, Old Style Fancy Shawl, Cowboy/girl and two Junior specials.

The Pow Wow opens at the Acquoni Expo Center (formerly Cherokee High School) Friday, July 4, at 5 p.m. with a grand entry at 7 p.m. and a fireworks show at 10:00 p.m. The event begins Saturday, July 5 at 10 a.m. and grand entry at 1 p.m. and 7 a.m., and Sunday, July 6, at  gates open at noon with grand entry at 1 p.m. Admission is $10 per day with a weekend pass for $25.

Cherokee to Host State GOP Convention

Republican_Party_(North_Carolina)The North Carolina Republican Party will host its annual convention in Cherokee this year June 6-8th. Normally, the convention is held in cities like Raleigh or Charlotte. There is an anticipated 1600 attendees. The city hosting the convention needs to have accommodations to handle the group. Cherokee happened to be one of few locations which fit this criteria. The convention will include committee meetings and general sessions which will map out the future for the Republican party in the state. US Senate nominee Thom Tillis is expected to give his acceptance speech at the event. A Dinner will also feature former US Speaker Dennis Hastert.

“Play On” Paying Off Statewide

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that the North Carolina tourism industry generated record visitor spending in 2013. The $20.2 billion in domestic visitor spending represents a 4.1 percent increase over 2012.

“The growth of our tourism industry gives us a lot to celebrate,”Governor McCrory said. “We attracted 52.5 million travelers from across the United States last year because of our great tourist destinations.The money they spent while visiting our mountains, beaches, cities and places in between directly supported nearly 200,000 jobs and more than 40,000 businesses. We can be proud that the quality of North Carolina’s travel experiences makes us the sixth most visited state in the nation.”

Governor McCrory, who proclaimed May 3-11, 2014, as Tourism Week in North Carolina, will discuss the new figures from the U.S. Travel Association at a news conference on Thursday, May 8 at the Outer Banks. Preliminary results from the study show that direct tourism employment grew 2.1 percent and that state tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 4 percent to top $1 billion. Visitors spent more than $55 million per day in North Carolina last year and contributed more than $4.4 million per day in state and local tax revenues as a result of that spending.

“Everyone in North Carolina can feel the benefits of the tourism industry’s success,” Secretary Decker said. “Tourism means jobs in all of the state’s 100 counties. In addition, each North Carolina household saves $435 annually in state and local taxes as a result of taxes generated by visitor expenditures.”

Tourism Week in North Carolina is part of National Travel & Tourism Week, which also runs May 3-11. The state’s nine Welcome Centers will host activities throughout the week.

Tourism Facts

Domestic travelers spent a record $20.2 billion in 2013, up from $19.4 billion in 2012. That’s an increase of 4.1 percent.
In 2013, total visitor volume was 52.5 million, up nearly 16 percent from 2012. North Carolina is the sixth most visited state for domestic travel.
North Carolina’s domestic market share increased from 4 percent to 4.3 percent.
For every $1 invested by the Division of Tourism in paid media advertising, North Carolina receives $191 in new visitor spending, $10.31 in new state taxes and $6.25 in new local taxes. This is nearly a 17-to-1 return on investment of tax dollars.
For every $1 invested by the Division of Tourism is paid media advertising, one trip is generated to the state.
More than 40,000 businesses in North Carolina directly provide products and services to travelers, with travelers directly contributing more than 25 percent to their total products and services.
Visitors to North Carolina generated more than $3 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013.
State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending passed the $1 billion mark in 2013. The figure represents 4 percent in growth over 2012’s $970 million.
Local tax receipts from visitor spending grew 3.1 percent to $597.3 million.
Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased nearly 2.1 percent, to 197,700. The majority of the growth was in lodging, transportation, food service and retail employment.
Direct tourism payroll increased 3.8 percent to $4.6 billion.
Visitors spend more than $55 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds more than $4.4 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $2.8 million in state taxes and $1.6 million in local taxes).
Each North Carolina household saves $435 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

– See more at: http://governor.nc.gov/newsroom/press-releases/20140507/governor-mccrory-celebrates-record-visitor-spending-and-impact#sthash.nBgrGXaE.dpuf

An Employment Boom Hits Local Area

Consolidated Metco Inc in Bryson City has notified WRGC Radio of the need to add employees in six production divisions including assembly, material handlers, quality inspectors, finishing press, molding press and painting operators. These are good paying jobs for the local area starting at $12.00 per hour. This news comes on the heels of Hom-Tex in Sylva who last week announced the immediate need for 40 employees with an additional 60 workers to be recruited in the coming weeks. Consolidated Metco is having job fairs the first two days of May. The first job fair will be welcome news to Robbinsville who learned last week that Stanley Furniture was closing their Robbinsville plant and sending 400 workers to the unemployment line where unemployment benefits will only last for a few weeks. The second Con Met job fair will be in Sylva on May second at the State Employment Office located above the Jackson County Library in Sylva. This is also in addition to a job fair held this week by Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee. For more information on the ConMet positions check their website at www.omnisource.net

Key Appointed To Crime Commission

800px-Eastern_Band_CherokeeCalling it an “important milestone,” Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks applauded Gov. Pat McCrory’s appointment of tribal member Iva Key to the N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission. She is the first member of the tribe to serve on the commission that advises the governor’s office on crime and public safety policy “Ms. Key has made great strides on behalf of our tribe as manager of the EBCI Domestic Violence program and we are gratified to know she will take her exceptional talent and experience to Raleigh,” Hicks said. Chief Hicks went on to say that appointment also “signals a commitment by our state to address the issue of violence against women which has long been a pressing problem for Native people in America.” He cited data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting violence against women in Native American tribes is the highest among any group in the nation. Ms. Key’s appointment follows sweeping expansion of the national Violence Against Women Act in 2013 that gave Indian courts greater jurisdiction in domestic violence cases.”It is gratifying that Ms. Key can now expand her commitment to saving lives and improving the ways we treat victims of abuse on a statewide level,” Hicks said.

Pageant Inn Motel Fire

Pageant Inn Motel on 441

Pageant Inn Motel on 441

A fire caused major damage to the Pageant Inn Motel on Highway 441 on the Cherokee Reservation Thursday Evening around 9:40pm. No one was injured in the blaze and no other structures were damaged. A portion of the motel was salvaged. Fire officials say Kudzu had caught fire behind the structure, but was quickly extinguished. No word yet on the cause of the blaze. We’ll keep you posted as details become official.

Investigation Into Forest Fire

Cherokee Reservation Fire

Cherokee Reservation Fire

Investigators are looking into who started a forest fire in Cherokee Tuesday morning that burned 120 acres on Mt. Noble. The fire also burned some land in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Bureau of Indian Affairs said Wednesday most of the fire is out, but not all of it. It is under control, but a few hot spots remain. Crews are on hand to make sure wind doesn’t re-start it. Bureau of Indian Affairs Supervisor Darlene Whitetree says they know it is an arson fire since it was started in four places. No arrests have been made and Whitetree says there are no leads.

New Cherokee Indian Hospital

800px-Eastern_Band_CherokeeThe Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority announces the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 10:00 am for the new Cherokee Indian Hospital located at 1 Hospital Road, Cherokee, NC. This project represents a unique opportunity and a culmination of three years of planning to create a facility which will serve as a healthcare and community anchor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Recognizing the need to address the health care challenges of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and to create a positive wellness environment, the Tribal Council voted to approve the construction of a $75 million dollar facility. The new 150 thousand square foot (approximately) hospital will house numerous programs including a 20 bed Inpatient, Integrated Care Outpatient services, Lab, Pharmacy, Complimentary Therapies, Physical Therapy and other services currently provided by Cherokee Indian Hospital.

Cherokee Reorganizing DSS

800px-Eastern_Band_CherokeeThe death of a girl three years ago is providing much of the motivation behind Cherokee reorganizing its social services. In 2011, Aubrey Littlejohn died.  An investigation found she was neglected, and abused, and died with a body temperature of 84 degrees. Family members say Swain County DSS didn’t do enough to protect her. Swain County social worker Candice Lassiter pleaded guilty to attempting to cover up the agency’s role after Littlejohn’s death. Tribal leaders are now restructuring its medical division into a Health and Human Services Department. In turn, it will take over child protective services from surrounding counties. The reorganization will take a year to year and a half to complete. All social services for adults and children will be centralized in one location. A director is expected to be named this week, and the director will decide how many people might be hired.

Arson Suspected in Cherokee Fire

Cherokee Reservation Fire

Cherokee Reservation Fire

Arson is blamed for a wildfire that burned more than 120 acres in Swain County. The fire started yesterday on the Cherokee Reservation and made its way into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Bureau of Indian Affairs says it was clear that it was arson early on because the fire was actually set in four different locations. You could see the the fire from Downtown Cherokee. The fire was first reported just after noon and the wind pushed it quickly through tinder-dry woods. Flames came close to some homes on the secluded mountainside. Some of the firefighters were left to stand-watch at homes that had been threatened, making sure there were no flare-ups. Crews from both the reservation and national park sides coordinated efforts to surround the flames. That strategy paid-off. 100 percent containment has been achieved Tuesday night and no structures were damaged. No arrests have been made at this time.

More Deer For Cherokee

white-tailed-deer-great-smoky-mountainsA new tribal program is to thank for more deer roaming the Cherokee Reservation. Wildlife officals are moving deer from the Morrow Mountain State Park to the Reservation. The deer have spent a month in a protected habitat but were released into the wild on Monday. Chief Michell Hicks says “It definitely makes you feel proud to know that we are helping to improve the environment that we live in. Our goal is to monitor and hopefully watch them blossom.” Each deer has a tag and collar for radio tracking. The deer will be monitored closely. Cheif Hicks hopes that more deer will be released on the reservation in the near future.

 

Swain County Sex Charges

David Peterson

David Peterson

A Swain County school resource officer and former teacher is accused of having sex with a high school student. David Peterson is charged with felony statutory rape in Macon County. That’s where the arrest warrant says he had sex with the 15-year-old victim. Peterson had taught science at Swain County High School and had only been with the sheriff’s office in Swain County for three weeks. Peterson was an SRO for East Elementary and was terminated after his arrest. The SBI is handling the investigation. Peterson was released on a written promise to appear in court. His next court date is set for March 6th.