News Stories for Wed., Nov. 8, 2017

The Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center in Mission has delayed its transition into the new facility. Originally set up open this fall, Yellowhawk spokeswoman Kaeleen McGuire told the East Oregonian newspaper that construction setbacks mean the new clinic won’t start receiving patients until March. The $26.3 million, 63,000-square-foot facility is being built near the Nixyaawii Tribal Governance Center, triple the size of Yellowhawk’s current building. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation anticipate the facility will house five tribal departments and incorporate energy-conserving technologies.

Voters easily passed a renewed five-year levy for the Madras Aquatic Center District. KTVZ reports that the levy passed by a better than 2-to-1 ratio, with 68 percent of the votes  in support to fewer than 32 percent opposed. The Madras Aquatic Center’s first levy was approved by voters four years ago, raising nearly $250,000 for district operations that expanded beyond the pool to programs such as football, basketball and volleyball.

Normally, this is the time of year that gas prices start to fall, but Marie Dodds of the AAA Motor Club says unprecedented demand sees them going up again this week. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is up seven cents to $2.54. Oregon’s average jumps six cents to $2.81. Dodds says relatively pleasant weather in October kept people on the road longer than the norm, and demand usually drops off sharply after September. She adds that they do expect gas prices to fall later in the year. The West Coast continues to lead the U.S. among most expensive markets. Six of the top 10 most expensive markets in the country are here. The most expensive gas in the nation is in California, followed by Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

Residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska turned in over thirty-five thousand pounds of prescription medications on October 28th. Oregon had fifty-six collection sites which removed just over ten thousand pounds of prescription meds from circulation.  It was part of a nationwide effort to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 456 tons of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal. Now in its 8th year, this year, DEA worked with its tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands. Opioid addiction impacts Native American communities just as it does all parts of American society. By partnering with FBI, BIA, and tribal law enforcement, the DEA was able to greatly expand tribal participation in the Take Back program.