When pediatricians at Cherokee Indian Hospital retreat to their desk between patients to log data, research puzzling symptoms or review lab results, they’re constantly looking over their shoulders.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is hitting domestic violence abusers in their pocketbooks.
People convicted of domestic violence-related charges must now pay a $1,000 fine, in addition to other penalties handed down by tribal court. Tribal council approved of the measure at its meeting last week.
It’s all started with a phone call.
A lifelong thirst for adventure led Ronald R. Cooper to a love of backpacking, where he soon began hiking around the Grand Canyon and beyond. But, he was in search of a new challenge, one that ultimately tied together his Native American ancestry with his own modern existence.
Swain County’s oversized jail will lose about one-third of its current inmate population and a sizeable revenue stream when the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opens a new justice center, complete with its own jail.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was accidentally overbilled $2.7 million for IT service over several years by the company that manages Harrah’s Casino.
Twice a year, Dorothy Posey arrives for her job at Mountain Credit Union in Cherokee knowing one thing: the lines will be long.
Not the sort of long by normal bank standards, like the 10-person-deep line that might form during the peak of Friday afternoon payday traffic. But so long that the line from the teller’s counter will snake out the credit union’s front door and continue to pile up outside.
Sequoyah National Golf Course, a signature course built and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is slowly being weaned from tribal subsidies that have helped prop up its operations since it opened several years ago.
This month, tribal council voted not to extend a $500,000 line of credit Sequoyah golf course has through the tribe to help cover budget shortfalls and emergency expenses — symbolizing tribal leaders’ sincerity in seeing the course become self-sufficient.
Ryan Ott, director of golf at Sequoyah National Golf Course, asked tribal council earlier this month to extend the course’s line of credit through fiscal year 2015. The line of credit was scheduled to expire in the fall of 2013.
“It is strictly there for, in case of emergencies,” Ott told the council. In the past, it has been used to pay for utilities or paychecks when cash flow was strained, Ott said.
The line of credit was originally setup to cover Sequoyah National’s budget shortfalls, but as it moves closer to profitability, the credit became a fall back for emergencies. The golf course is still not breaking even, however.
“We are getting closer though,” Ott said.
In addition to the line of credit, the tribe gives the golf course an annual contribution to help keep it afloat. Last year, the amount was $1.2 million.
The course was built both to flesh out Cherokee’s tourism offerings and to provide tribal members with a form of recreation that was lacking.
Last year, tribal council members said they could not justify subsidizing the golf course for too much longer when other operations were forced to take budget cuts. Voting not to extend the expiration date on the line of credit shows tribal leaders intend to stick to their guns and start cutting off financial support for the course.
“After having the budget season that we’ve had, I don’t feel like we can support this,” Tribal Council Member B. Ensley said at the meeting earlier this month.
Without the line of credit, if an emergency arose, tribal council would have to vote to allocate additional money to the golf course.
“If they come to the tribe, the tribe is going to have to find money somewhere,” said Vice Chief Larry Blythe. The line of credit allowed the course to have access to emergency money without coming to tribal council first.
About this time last year, Ott said that the golf course was still about five years away from breaking even. In addition to the start-up costs associated with building the course, maintaining the luscious golf course year-round takes quite a bit of green.
Golf is all about the experience — skimping could cause a course to lose business. In late July, the golf course began selling beer, which has helped business.
“It’s definitely an experience enhancer,” Ott said.
Drinking alcohol is a common activity for recreational golfers. Other golf courses in Western North Carolina sell alcohol somewhere on the country club’s premises or allow people to bring alcohol onto the course with them.
In addition to adding alcohol sales, Principal Chief Michell Hicks in August made first mention of the possibility of building housing around Sequoyah National. Typically, golf courses are part of a larger business, such as a resort or real estate development. Profits made from home sales or room rentals are used to cover the costs associated with upkeep of the course itself.
More than 50 years after Cherokee veteran Charles George died in the Korean War, military medals belonging to the private first class were finally welcomed home Monday — and along with them, the two young boys responsible for their return.
The tribal council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently approved a $28 million upgrade for the sewage treatment plant, which will double the capacity and accommodate demand fueled in part by growth of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.
In Cherokee, a dead coyote is worth more than a live one — about $25 more.
In the coming weeks, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department will begin doling out $25 bounties to enrolled tribal members for each coyote they shoot and kill on tribal land. Cherokee hunters can exchange the coyote carcasses for money but get to keep the pelt if they want. The bodies will be incinerated.