Archive for Cherokee

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.

Per Capita Notice for New EBCI Enrollees

To be considered for the December 2013 per capita distribution, a complete enrollment application or a new applicant must be submitted to the Enrollment Office by 4:30 pm., Monday, September 16. Enrollment applications received after this date will not be considered for the December distribution. An application will only be considered complete with a county certified birth certificate and Certified DNA results sent directly from the lab to the Enrollment Office. To schedule a DNA test in Cherokee, contact Michelle at the EBCI Enrollment office at 554-6463. To schedule a DNA test out of town, contact Amber Harrison (918)-685-0478. DNA testing must be scheduled on or before August 30th to obtain the results before the September 16th deadline. Because of the extended amount of time in receiving a social security number for a newborn, an application will be considered for enrollment without the social security number. However, an Enrollment Card will not be issued until the Enrollment Office receives the social security number for the new enrollee. Applications may be obtained from the Enrollment Office located in the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex or you may call the Enrollment Office at 554-6467, 554-6465 or 554-6466.

Harrah’s Cherokee Named Best Overall Gaming Resort, NS Region

476cc673c084f8a197123d7eae7a48b8 Readers of Casino Player Magazine recently voted Harrah’s Cherokee as Best Overall Casino Resort in the Native South region for 2013. The annual “Best of Gaming” issue of the magazine features the results of a reader survey ranking casinos in various parts of the country. Harrah’s Cherokee topped the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa and Silver Star Casino at Pearl River Resort in this category.

In addition, Harrah’s Cherokee also won for Best Casino, Best Video Slots, Best Video Poker, Best Players Club and Casino Where You Feel Luckiest. Amenities at the property were also awarded top spots for Best Rooms (Hotel) and Best Golf Course (Sequoyah National Golf Club). Rounding out the list of accolades for Harrah’s Cherokee was Casino With Best Facebook Page.

About Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort:

An enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is celebrating 15 years of operation since opening its doors in November, 1997. The Casino has 150,000 square feet of gaming space, and offers traditional table games such as black jack, roulette and craps. The property also features over 1,100 hotel rooms, the Le Fu Men gaming area, 10 restaurants, the ESSENCE Lounge, the luxurious 18,000 square feet Mandara Spa and seven retail shops. In addition to the 56-acre property, guests have privileged access to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation-owned Sequoyah National Golf Club, named one of Golf Magazine’s best new golf courses.




Chief Michell Hicks Appointed to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

left to right Ms. Marsha Hicks, Judge Alan Thornburg and Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians being sworn in the North Carolina Wildlife Commission

left to right Ms. Marsha Hicks, Judge Alan Thornburg and Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians being sworn in the North Carolina Wildlife Commission

Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has recently been appointed commissioner on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission it was announced today by N.C. Governor Pat McCrory. Created in 1947, the commission oversees conservation of and sustains the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. With an annual budget of $65 million and 590 full-time employees, the commission also enforces N.C. fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws. Chief Hicks had the following to say; “This is a great honor for me and also for the Eastern Band,” Hicks commented. “Our tribe has long been committed to environmental preservation and sustainability and this appointment represents a natural extension of the work we have been doing for many years on the Qualla Boundary and in Western North Carolina.” Chief Hicks concluded with “We look forward to the opportunity to continue this tradition and also to give back to the state of North Carolina.”


Update: Tragedy for Girl Struck by Car in Cherokee


Haze Lynn Ayen

Haze Lynn Ayen

In an unfortunate update to a news story we reported earlier, the 10 year old who was struck by a vehicle on August, 22nd, Haze Lynn Ayen, died from her injuries. The accident happened along Adams Creek Road in Cherokee around 3:30 pm. She was taken to Mission Hospital where she was listed in critical condition and put on life support. After being advised by doctors on her prognosis and inevitable fate, her family has decided to donate her organs. They already know that lives have been save by her sacrifice and they hope that many more will be. Family and friends are posting condolences on a Facebook page that has been made in Hazes memory, and say she was beautiful and full of love, and gone too quickly. One quote reads; “She is so beautiful. She is in God’s hands now, and with other loved ones. My prayers are with the family…” Another says “Such a beautiful little girl. God gained an angel today, I pray for healing for the family. I did not know Haze but my heart is broken for those that love her. I pray God will comfort you as only he can.” Investigators are still putting together exactly what happened when a vehicle struck the girl. The Cherokee Indian Police and the North Carolina Highway Patrol are working together to reconstruct the accident, and there is currently no word on whether the driver of the vehicle will face any charges.

Girl Struck by Car in Cherokee

A 10-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle on Adams Creek Road in the Birdtown community of the Qualla Boundary, yesterday at approximately 3:27 pm. She was transported to a nearby medical facility where she remains in critical condition. The accident took place during the first day of school for Cherokee. WRGC would like to remind everyone to be cautious on the roads now that school season has started. Pedestrian Traffic is much higher during the school season, especially in the morning and afternoon. The Cherokee Indian Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol continue to investigate the incident.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Donates $15,000 to NC Senior Games

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort has sponsored the NC Senior Games state finals for the past 12 years. NC Senior Games President and Executive Director Brad Allen and Senior Games board member Sue Bent accept a $15,000 donation for the organization's state finals from Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort VP of Human Resources and External Relations Jo Blaylock and Community Relations Specialist Janna Hyatt.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has sponsored the NC Senior Games state finals for the past 12 years. NC Senior Games President and Executive Director Brad Allen and Senior Games board member Sue Bent accept a $15,000 donation for the organization’s state finals from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort VP of Human Resources and External Relations Jo Blaylock and Community Relations Specialist Janna Hyatt.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort donated $15,000 to the North Carolina Senior Games, Inc. (NCSG) for its annual Senior Games state finals. This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Senior Games state finals, and the 12th year Harrah’s Cherokee has sponsored the event.

“The support of Harrah’s is critically important to the western part of our state, but also to every corner of every community – all across North Carolina,” Brad Allen, NCSG president and executive director, said. “Once again, Harrah’s has shown its dedication to the ideals of health across the lifespan and a significant commitment to providing health and wellness opportunities for older persons.”

North Carolina has the largest Senior Games program in the nation with 53 local games serving all 100 counties and more than 60,000 year-round participants. The state finals in Raleigh will bring together over 3,200 qualifiers from the local games and more than 900 volunteers throughout September and October. Competitive categories include visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, heritage arts, as well as over 40 sporting events. The 2013 state finals is set to be one of the largest in history.

“We are proud to support Senior Games and look forward to state finals in a few weeks,” Jo Blaylock, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort VP of Human Resources and External Relations, said. “Being active is important to good health as we age, and the artists and athletes of the Senior Games inspire us all to do just that. Senior Games are important all year long, and we are proud to offer our support in many ways.”

A full schedule of events and volunteer activities can be found at www.ncseniorgames.org.

Seven Indicted in Cherokee Drug Trafficking Ring, Several More Facing Charges

A criminal indictment that charges seven suspects with drug trafficking and other related charges was announced in a U.S District Court on June 19 by Western North Carolina U.S Attorney Anne M. Tompkins. The indictment is the aftermath of a joint federal, tribal, and state investigation that targeted the circulation of illicit drugs, with a particular focus on prescription narcotics. The defendants indicted are being charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with an intent to sell controlled substances, those substances include; oxycodone, cocaine, marijuana, and alprazolam. In accord with the indictment, the purported conduct occurred between January of 2007 and December of 2012 in Swain County and Jackson County. The individuals charged are as follows; Jackie Lee Rattler, of Cherokee, Jacob Hunter Rattler, of Cherokee, Evan Thomas Norris, Jr., of Robbinsville, Taryn Krista Elizabeth Toineeta Rattler, of Cherokee, Timothy Leroy Rattler, of Cherokee, Justina Nacole Rattler, of Cherokee, Mark Allen Winstead, of Cherokee. Jackie Rattler is also charged with six additional counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to sell, and one count of being controlled substance user in possession of firearms. Jacob Hunter Rattler is also facing charges of one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Each Drug offence has a maximum prison term of twenty years, a one million dollar fine, or both. The use of narcotics in possession of firearms offence holds a maximum prison term of ten years, a $250,000 fine, or both. Six out of the Seven people charges in the indictment are currently in custody. Taryn Rattler remains a fugitive. The names of others facing various drug charges are as follows; Deborah Smith, Charles Taylor, Austin Gunter, Humberto Corral, Deanna Smith (not arrested), Kevin Smith, Shenna Crowe, Lisa Toineeta, Sam Thompson, Mike Walkingstick (not arrested), Annie Cucumber, Robert Tramper, Ashley Keel (not arrested), Chadwick Feather, Walter Bradley, Thomas Rickman, Victoria Cucumber (not arrested), Delores Cabrera, Sally Bryson, Raymond Whitecotton, Rachel Taylor, Regan Parton, Alea Ohmart, James Murphy, Ceegee Bird (not arrested), Clyde Taylor, Rogelio Cabrera, Eric Dossett, Anthony Dossett (not arrested), Frankie Dyer and Christin Hodgins (Not arrested). The following names are those arrested on charges related to the case; John Patrick Smith, Michael Keener, Jacob Chase Wolfe, Clifford Brown, Heather Cucumber, Rita Howard, Sheena Standingdeer, Will Howard, Jason Thompson, Charlotte Cabe, Patrick Mahsetky, Kathy Sue Smith Bradley, Taslisa Bradley, Christopher Kirkland, Carl Arch, Josie Owle, Anna Parton, Ontonio Rodriguez, Krystal Pheasant Watty, John Taylor Sr., Katelyn Ledford, Stephanie Taylor, Kogee Postoak, John Patrick Smith Jr., Frances Sequoyah, William Douthit, Nancy Griffin, Paul Stanley, John Cameron George, Kevin Johnson, Jasmine Lossiah, Kandance Griffin, Eudine Wilson, Marie Raymond, and William Hatt. All those who were arrested will have detention hearings on Friday, June 21st. All charges in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

NC Congressman Mark Meadows Opens the First Congressional Office on an Indian Reservation


(left to right) Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Tribal Council member Tommye Saunooke, Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Congressman Mark Meadows and Tribal Council member "B" Ensley.

(left to right) Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Tribal Council member Tommye Saunooke, Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Congressman Mark Meadows and Tribal Council member “B” Ensley.

On Tuesday congressman Mark Meadows made history when he and his staff opened the first ever congressional office on an Indian reservation. Tuesdays opening of the congressional office in Cherokee, North Carolina was attended by many tribal members including Chief Michell Hicks. When asked about his comments on this first ever event Chief Hicks had this to say; “The congressman proposed it to me a number of months ago, I told him was an excellent idea. With the job base we have here in Cherokee and the partnerships with the surrounding counties I think it would be a good idea to have an office here”.  When asked if he thought if congress members not only in our area but also across the country would follow this example Chief Hicks was quoted as saying; “I don’t think there’s any question in my mind. He’s taking a huge step and I think we are going to see a number of these offices spread out in the United States and I think that’s something that’s going to be part of any future congressman’s platform”. In an earlier interview with the Cherokee One Feather Congressman Mark Meadows had the following to say; “Constituent service is my top priority. By holding office hours in all 17 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, my staff and I will be able to better serve western North Carolinians.  Constituents can set up meetings at any of the district office locations to receive help with anything from navigating the federal government to assistance with their Social Security and Medicare.  My staff and I are dedicated to assisting constituents whenever and wherever they need us.” Cherokee’s office will be located in the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex and office hours will be the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10am – 12pm and 1-3pm.

Cherokee Man Arrested After Swat Standoff


 Chris HillA Cherokee is man in custody after a standoff with reservation police. At approximately 11:10 pm Thursday evening the Cherokee Indian police department responded to a report of a suspicious person at the Big Cove recreation center. Upon arriving at the scene police officers located suspect Chris Hill of Cherokee, he then immediately barricaded his self inside an office in the recreation center and claimed to be armed. During the ensuing standoff the Cherokee Police Swat Team were called to the scene, upon entering the recreation center the Cherokee Swat Team located Chris Hill hiding in the ceiling area of the office and took him into custody. There were minor injuries to the suspect reported by the arresting officers, there was also damage to the recreation center caused by Hill being extracted from the ceiling. Chris Hill is charged with Criminal damage to property, trespassing in the first degree and Burglary by forcible entry. According to authorities Hill is also suspected of several larceny charges that happened on the same day in the Big Cove community. It is possible he will be facing additional charges pending the outcome of ongoing investigations.