Current News

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Four Nebraska stores that sell millions of cans of beer each year near a South Dakota Indian reservation lost their liquor licenses Wednesday amid complaints that they fuel alcohol-related problems among members of the Oglala Lakota Tribe.

The state ruling marks a monumental shift for Whiteclay, an unincorporated town with nine official residents on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The stores have operated in town for decades despite criticism that the area lacks adequate law enforcement to enforce state liquor laws and prevent violence and sexual assaults.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) – As high schools prepare for graduation ceremonies across Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock has signed a bill allowing Native American students to wear traditional regalia while marching to get their diplomas.

The bill signed Friday prohibits schools and government agencies from interfering with students who wish to wear eagle feathers, beads and other items of cultural significance.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Friday that she’s creating a taskforce focused on increasing voter registration and turnout in tribal communities.

Toulouse Oliver says the Native American Voting Taskforce will include members from the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mescalero Apache tribe and Fort Sill Apache tribe, among others.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Authorities dropped nearly three dozen cases last month that stemmed from arrests of protesters against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, court records show.

The Bismarck Tribune reported Saturday that prosecutors and judges dropped the 33 misdemeanor cases while another 14 were resolved by guilty pleas. Most of the cases dropped last month related to criminal trespass charges from the late summer and fall.

NEW YORK (AP) – The math behind your credit score is getting an overhaul, with changes big enough that they might alter the behavior of both cautious spenders as well as riskier borrowers.

Most notably for those with high scores: Abiding by the golden rule of “don’t close your credit card accounts” may now hurt your standing. On the other side, those with low scores may benefit from the removal of civil judgments, medical debts and tax liens as factors.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Cherokee Nation sued distributors and retailers of opioid medications on Thursday, alleging the companies have contributed to "an epidemic of prescription opioid abuse" within the tribe and have not done enough to prevent tribal members from acquiring illegally prescribed opioid painkillers.

The lawsuit alleges that six distribution and pharmacy companies have created conditions in which "vast amounts of opioids have flowed freely from manufacturers to abusers and drug dealers" within the 14 northeastern Oklahoma counties that comprise the Cherokee Nation.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – The Kalispel Tribe sued the U.S. government on Tuesday over its approval of a rival casino project by the Spokane Tribe in the lucrative Spokane gambling market.

The Kalispel Tribe sued the Department of the Interior for giving the Spokane Tribe a rare approval for an off-reservation casino about two miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Kalispel’s 15-year-old Northern Quest Casino.

“Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” (Doubleday), by David Grann

The FBI burnished its reputation by gunning down Depression-era gangster John Dillinger and bringing to justice the kidnapper of Charles Lindbergh’s baby. However, a more challenging but long forgotten investigation a decade earlier gave the fledgling agency its first major success.

At least two dozen and perhaps as many as several hundred Osage Indians were murdered during what became known as a yearslong “Reign of Terror.” The shocking episode that unfolded on the high-grass prairie during the 1920s was fueled by oil wealth, greed and prejudice.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – After altering voter identification laws in previous legislative sessions, North Dakota’s Republican-led Legislature now is attempting to fix them after a group of American Indians sued in federal court, alleging the state requirements are unconstitutional and disenfranchised tribal members.

The House passed a bill Monday that allows those who don’t have proper ID to cast a ballot that’s set aside until the voter’s eligibility is confirmed. The Senate still must agree to the measure before it goes to GOP Gov. Doug Burgum for his signature.

Before 2013, a voter could sign an affidavit attesting to his or her eligibility to vote in the precinct but the Legislature removed that provision. Some members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued last year, alleging the reworked state requirements are unconstitutional and robbed tribal members of their right to vote.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes say the state will lose $85.6 million annually if it creates a competitive process for developing a third casino in the state.

The sum includes the loss in existing tribal gambling payments to the state. But MGM Resorts International says such predictions are “pure fantasy,” arguing Monday it’s a better deal for the state to allow a commercial casino in southwestern Connecticut.