Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah


One of two teens charged with allegedly bringing two stink bombs to a Navajo Nation high school pleaded innocent to tribal charges. Stewart Tracy Jr., 18, pleaded innocent May 1 to charges of aggravated battery, endangering the welfare of a minor, conspiracy and dangerous use of an explosive. His classmate Rager G. Hudson, also 18, was scheduled to be arraigned on the same charges May 3, said Navajo Judicial Branch spokesman Ed Martin. Both teens remained in Tuba City jail May 2. Tracy and Hudson told investigators they hadn't intentionally hurt anybody when they brought two stink bombs to Tuba City High School on April 27. One went off in the bathroom and another in the hallway. Six people were sent to the hospital, complaining of eye and throat irritation after inhaling the substance put off by the cleaning chemicals and aluminum foil that interacted in a plastic bottle. None was hospitalized overnight.

A development corporation has appealed a Navajo tribal judge's ruling that residents need not leave a trailer park where a new housing complex is planned. Navajo District Judge T.J. Holgate ruled April 27 the Navajo Townsite Community Development Corp., or CDC, lacked authority to charge rent or to evict residents of Navajo, a trailer-park community on the Arizona state line about 20 miles northwest of Gallup. The community originally was organized in 1968 as housing for Navajo Forest Products Industries workers, but the sawmill closed in the mid-1990s. "The landlord agreement was terminated in 1995 when Navajo Forest Products Industry was closed and terminated the employees," said Richie Nez Sr., attorney for the trailer park residents. Nez said rents were collected illegally, and the CDC "now has a duty to turn all of that money over to the Navajo Nation." However, a consultant speaking for the CDC, said an appeal of Holgate's ruling was filed May 2 with the Navajo Supreme Court by CDC attorney Albert Hale, former tribal president. The CDC master lease was approved 62-0 by the Navajo Nation Council in December 1998 and was signed by Begaye in January 1999, she said.