Posts Tagged ‘associated press’

Leaders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are trying to find ways to stop statistics like this: One in four children born there suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.

A man drinks a beer while standing with other American Indians on the streets of Whiteclay, Neb. (File photo by William Lauer, courtesy of Associated Press)


Alcohol is not sold on the reservation but it is in nearby cities. That prompted Oglala Sioux tribe to file a lawsuit accusing the retailers and others of knowingly contributing to the reservation’s alcohol-related problems.

But, as Grant Schulte reports on the Great Falls Tribune website, beer companies have filed several motions to have the suit dismissed.

    Lawyers for the beer companies said in court papers that such an order would force Whiteclay’s beer stores to discriminate against American Indians from Pine Ridge.

    “The absurdity of this request cannot be understated,” said Jerald Rauterkus, an attorney for State Line Liquor in Whiteclay. The tribe “is seeking an order from this court that would actually command retail defendants to refuse the sale of their otherwise publicly available goods to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation based solely on their race and ethnicity.”

Are there other answers to the problem? That remains to be seen.

    Randall Goyette, an attorney for the Jumping Eagle Inn store in Whiteclay, said the alcohol problems on Pine Ridge “can only be due to personal conduct.

Jenna Cederberg

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The four objectors to the historic Cobell land trust mismanagment settlement say they’re not backing down, even after their names and phones numbers were published in an open letter printed online and sent to thousands of plaintiffs prompted them to receive angry phones calls.

As Associated Press reporter Matt Volz reports, Carol Good Bear is one of the objectors that received a flood of angry phone calls.

    At first, the resident of New Town, N.D., hung up on the angry voices at the other end. After 15 calls, she unplugged her home phone and started screening her cellphone calls.

    She said she worries for her safety now that her address is in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people who might blame her for holding up their money.

    “To put my name out there for the public, I think that’s scary that these attorneys would use this tactic and intimidate me into dropping my appeal,” Good Bear said. “I don’t have protection. If somebody is upset about all this and comes at me with a gun, what am I supposed to do?”

The Cobell settlement was approved by the courts last fall after almost 16 years of court battles. Payments were scheduled to be send out in November before the objections were filed.

    The plaintiffs’ attorneys, led by Dennis Gingold of Washington, D.C., wrote in their letter that the “hopes and wishes of 500,000 individual Indians” had been delayed by those four people. If it wasn’t for them, the first payments would have been made before Thanksgiving, the letter said.

    “There is little doubt that they do not share the desires or care about the needs of the class, over 99.9 percent of whom support a prompt conclusion to this long-running, acrimonious case,” the attorneys wrote.

    The letter went on to list the names, phone numbers and addresses of Good Bear; Kimberly Craven of Boulder, Co.; Charles Colombe of Mission, S.D.; and Mary Lee Johns of Lincoln, Neb. The attorneys invited people to “ask them directly about their motives” and cautioned them to “please be civil in your communications.”

Jenna Cederberg

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29
Dec

Bison ranchers struggle to meet consumer demand

   Posted by: admin    in bison

Bison brave the winter elements on the Ed Eichten family farm near Center City, Minn. Despite growing consumer demand for bison meat which has sent prices soaring, Eichten, right, said he doesn't see the boom slowing down. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

In a photo made Friday, Dec. 24, 2010 bison brave the winter elements on the Ed Eichten family farm near Center City, Minn. Despite growing consumer demand for bison meat which has sent prices soaring, Eichten, right, said he doesn't see the boom slowing down. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Bison are being listed as a “hot commodity” these days. The iconic and once scarce beasts are being used more and more in everyday meals. And even as the price for the sweeter, leaner meat from the animals keeps going up, consumers keep paying the cash.

It’s a trend that has bison ranchers looking for ways to keep up with the growing demand, the Associated Press reports.

Ground bison meat runs about $7 a pound, while bison burgers sold at various restaurants are on average $2 more than a beef burger.

    Bison grow slower than other livestock, and a heifer can’t have her first calf until she’s 3, said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association in Westminster, Colo. Beef cows can have calves at 2. Also, many producers are finding heifers more valuable for breeding than eating, which means fewer bison going to market – at least temporarily, he said.

    The tight supply comes after bison farmers spent much of the past decade aggressively courting consumers by touting the health benefits of the low-fat, low-cholesterol meat. Bison caught on, and even in the economic slump, prices haven’t discouraged consumers.

    “Now our challenge is keeping up with that demand,” Carter said.

Jenna Cederberg

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