KWSO News Oct. 1, 2018

In celebration of its 100-year anniversary, St. Charles Health System has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to 10 Central Oregon nonprofit organizations. In its news release, St. Charles says the grants were awarded to nonprofit partners who are helping make possible better lives for those who are most in need. Among the recipients was Native Aspirations. Grants were awarded from the Sister Catherine Hellmann Fund, which was created to help underserved people in the region. Each organization received $10,000.

Cayuse Technologies is expanding. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Director of Communications Chuck Sams says the tribe-owned company is purchasing Native Hawaiian Veterans LLC, which is owned by disabled veterans. Sam’s says the company “provides solutions and products in the areas of information technology, homeland security, and emergency management among other services.

The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled to review this month if Yakama tribal members are exempt from Washington state gas taxes on the reservation.  The Supreme Court has set a hearing for Oct. 30 on the case stemming from a state Department of Licensing lawsuit in 2013 against the Cougar Den, a gas station in White Swan owned by a tribal member. The department has claimed Kip Ramsey, who owns the store, brought out-of-state fuel onto the reservation without paying the state’s fuel tax. The Yakima County Superior Court and Washington State Supreme Court ruled tribal owners don’t have to pay, but it was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thousands of people gathered Saturday on the shore of the Columbia River to celebrate the grand opening of the Vancouver Waterfront park.  Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the $1.5 billion project has been in the works for more than a decade and transforms an area that’s being touted as the new face of Vancouver.  City leaders are hoping the new waterfront will draw residents – and maybe even tourists from across the river – to the growing southwest Washington.

On Friday, the U.S. Senate has passed S. 2515, the Practical Reforms and Other Goals To Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination or PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act of 2018. Senator John Hoeven, chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs said the legislation works to correct the bureaucratic processes and procedures that the Department of the Interior Self-Governance program has imposed upon Tribes. He says it will facilitate more productive negotiations between the Department and tribes when renewing compacts or annual funding agreements. It will now go to the House of Representatives.