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Nurse gets 10 years for sex assault of incapacitated woman

A former Arizona nurse was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman at a long-term care facility where she later gave birth.

Nathan Sutherland received the maximum punishment called for under his agreement to plead guilty to sexual assault. He also received lifetime probation for a conviction for abuse of a vulnerable adult stemming from his treatment of the woman.

"It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable adult than the victim in this case," said Superior Court Judge Margaret LaBianca, adding that Sutherland exploited his position of trust as a caregiver to sexually abuse the victim. 

The story.

Weekend newscast

ICT's weekend edition is all about the identity of land.

Interior secretary Deb Haaland traveled to the sacred site Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico last week. She was joined by tribal, state and federal leaders to celebrate the announcement that the Biden administration will block new federal oil and gas leasing within a 10-mile radius of Chaco over the next 20 years. Acoma Pueblo Governor Brian Vallo tells us about this special place.

Geronimo Louie has amassed more than 162-thousand followers on the social media platform: TikTok. He is a Chiricahua Apache and Diné content creator. The fashion designer and a youth director for Diné pride joins the show to talk about inclusion for two-spirit individuals.

On Thanksgiving Day, Indigenous people gathered in prayer and solidarity. The 43rd annual “Sunrise Gathering” was held on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. Participants say it proves that 400 years later, Native people have not vanished. ICT’s deputy managing editor Dalton Walker reports.

Also on the newscast:

  • Residents on a Navy base in Hawai’i are asking for answers after “petroleum product” was discovered in their tap water.
  • Washington state’s department of health is thinking outside the box to engage the issues some Native communities are facing.
  • In Mexico, victims of sexual violence are seeking justice … with help from Indigenous activists.

Today's show.

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People: Denise Juneau 

Bozeman Health is pleased to announce that Denise Juneau has accepted the position of chief government and community affairs officer on the Bozeman Health executive leadership team, starting January 3, 2022.

A news release from Bozeman Health says Juneau will be a critical leader and partner in informing and educating legislation and policy. She will oversee the assessment, planning, and implementation of community priorities across the organization and continue to elevate and build strong partnerships across the health system, community, and state.

Juneau was the first American Indian woman elected to a statewide executive position when she served as Montana’s State Superintendent, and was the first Native superintendent for Seattle Public Schools, where she provided leadership to 104 public schools and more than 5,800 educators.

State amassed $1.7M from sports, online bets

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut collected about $1.7 million during its first partial month of legalized online gambling and sports wagering, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday.

The figures represent the state's share of revenues collected Oct. 12-31.

Roughly $1.2 million came from the state's portion of online casino gambling revenues generated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, while approximately $513,000 came from sports betting revenues generated by the tribes and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

The money will be deposited into the state's general fund.

Under the state's new legalized system, Connecticut collects 13.75 percent of gross gambling revenue from sports wagering, and 18 percent from online casino gambling until 2026, when the rate increases to 20 percent. The state does not receive any payments on sports wagers placed at the southeastern Connecticut casinos owned by the two tribes, which currently have opened temporary sports book facilities.

The nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis has projected that Connecticut could receive a total of nearly $30 million in revenue from sports betting and online casino gambling in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Lamont said the state is "off to a great start." His spokesman Max Reiss said the administration expects revenues will grow as more people understand how the new marketplace works. — The Associated Press

Omicron-stricken South Africa may be glimpse into the future

JOHANNESBURG — Dr. Sikhulile Moyo was analyzing COVID-19 samples in his lab in Botswana last week when he noticed they looked startlingly different from others.

Within days, the world was ablaze with the news that the coronavirus had a new variant of concern — one that appears to be driving a dramatic surge in South Africa and offering a glimpse of where the pandemic might be headed.

New COVID-19 cases in South Africa have burgeoned from about 200 a day in mid-November to more than 16,000 on Friday. Omicron was detected over a week ago in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng, and has since spread to all eight other provinces, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said.

Even with the rapid increase, infections are still below the 25,000 new daily cases that South Africa reported in the previous surge, in June and July.

Little is known about the new variant, but the spike in South Africa suggests it might be more contagious, said Moyo, the scientist who may have been the first to identify the new variant, though researchers in neighboring South Africa were close on his heels. Omicron has more than 50 mutations, and scientists have called it a big jump in the evolution of the virus. 

— The Associated Press

Parents charged in Oxford school shooting

A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with a drawing and chilling message — “blood everywhere” — that was found at the boy’s desk.

James and Jennifer Crumbley committed “egregious” acts, from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to Ethan Crumbley to resisting his removal from school when they were summoned a few hours before the shooting, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

“I expect parents and everyone to have humanity and to step in and stop a potential tragedy,” she said. “The conclusion I draw is that there was absolute reason to believe this individual was dangerous and disturbed.”

By mid-afternoon, authorities said they were searching for the couple. Sheriff Mike Bouchard said their attorney, Shannon Smith, had agreed to arrange their arrest if charges were filed but hadn't been able to reach them.

Smith, however, said the Crumbleys weren't on the run and had left town earlier in the week “for their own safety.”

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Yakama Nation approves mascot

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Yakama Nation officials said this week they will allow a rural school district in central Washington to continue the use of the Wahluke Warrior image while a plan for respectful usage is developed.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the Wahluke School District in Mattawahas until January 2023 to develop a memorandum of understanding with the Yakama Nation to ensure the use of the image remains respectful, according to a Yakama Nation news release.

"The Yakama Nation Tribal Council is pleased to support Wahluke School District and our Wanapum relatives to continue the positive relationship developed honoring the Warrior image that honors the land, water, and people of the land," Yakama Tribal Council Chairman Delano Saluskin said.

State legislation passed in April barred the use of Native American names, symbols or imagery as school mascots, logos or team names, unless a school located on or near Native lands consults and receives permission from the tribe.

The Wahluke Warrior represents the strong relationship between the district and the Wanapum Indians of Priest Rapids, Yakima Nation leaders said. The Wanapum are part of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Over the last six months, a group of Wahluke School District staff worked with the Wanapum to discuss the future of the Wahluke Warrior, according to a news release from the school district.

In November, the Wanapum met with the Yakama Nation Tribal Council to share the district's proposal and before the school district presented to the Yakama Nation Tribal Council and the Yakama Nation General Council.

The presentation showcased the relationship that began generations ago between the district and Wanapum, officials said. The presentation also highlighted how Native American culture and heritage are intertwined into students' daily lives.

The district proposed the idea of a warrior image to the Wanapum in the 1980s. Frank Buck, a Wanapum leader, guided the district through the development of the image, which is not related to fighting or violence, tribe officials said.

School district officials said out of respect the district will refer to the Warrior as the Warrior Image and no longer will use the logo or mascot.

The Wahluke School District is "honored for this opportunity and is committed to educating our students, staff, and community on our shared historical facts, partnership and make certain we continue honoring the Warrior image," the news release said. — The Associated Press

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