KWSO News for Thu., May 19, 2022

The Warm Springs Tribal Council was in Session on Monday May 9th. They started with an update from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, followed by an Update from the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration. The Tribal Attorney update was given by Josh Newton with an executive session and a motion approving the Chairman to sign a letter to Mr. Bryan Mercier, Northwest Regional Director requesting a decrease of the Forest Management Deduction, motion was carried. They went over draft resolutions with the Secretary-Treasurer, first was a motion to appoint Chairman Smith to the Legislative Commission on Indian Services, motion carried. The Tribal Fishco, LLC, was tabled until July. There was a motion for resolution no. 12,940 appointing Chairman Smith to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission with Jim Manion as alternate, motion was carried. They also held a Federal Legislative Update call, a State Legislative Update call, an Indian Health Service Update, COVID Update, Managed Care Update as well as other business. The complete summary is available in this link…TC SUM 050922

The Tribal Council was again in Session on Wednesday May 11th. They started with a Tribal Attorney Update. There was a motion approving a letter to Colonel Michael D. Helton, Commander and District Engineer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District regarding the Statement on Comprehensive Village Development Plan, the motion was carried. They continued with updates from Human Resources, Finance, Governmental Affairs, Education and Administrative Services. They then had a Tribal Court update and it was motioned to amend resolution no. 12,329A, appointing Gayleen Adams as Interim Chief Judge, to serve until this position is filled, motion was carried. They finished with Updates from Health & Human Services and Public Safety. Updates with Natural Resources and High Lookee Lodge will be rescheduled. A link to the complete summary is located here…TC SUM 051122

After 7 years of running Indian head Casino, Jeffrey Carstensen will go in to work for the final time today as he has accepted a new job in California as the CFO of the Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning. He would like to thank all for everything over the last 7 plus years.

Unofficial results in the Primary Election in Jefferson county: Jefferson County Commissioner Position 1 shows Mark Wunsch has a lead over incumbent Mae Huston with over 2300 votes as Huston has almost 2100 votes, Laurie Danzuka is coming in with just over 1600 votes. Mark Wunsch and Mae Huston will now move to the November election to decide who gets Commissioner Postion 1. Jefferson County Commissioner Position 2 shows Incumbent Kelly Simmelink keeping his seat as he dominated the votes over Sabria Rios, having more than 4000 votes and Rios coming in just shy of 1900 votes. Jefferson County Assessor Ray Soliz ran unopposed. The Jefferson County Sheriff race shows challenger Jason Pollock took the votes over incumbent Marc Heckathorn with over 3200 votes at 52.39% as Heckathorn came in at almost 2700 votes. The voter turnout for Jefferson County shows that as of 6:00am this morning, there have been 6560 ballots accepted out of 16,665 registered voters which is 39.36% turnout so far.

The St. Charles Health System is undergoing staff cuts in order to reduce expenses to try to dig out of a financial hole brought on by needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. St. Charles Health System President and CEO Joe Sluka in a press release stated that they must reduce their workforce this week, eliminating 76 positions that were already vacant, but that wasn’t enough, they are also reducing 105 positions that will result in layoffs. With skyrocketed labor costs, increased equipment and supply costs, decreased revenue and having to pay back pandemic relief funds, it brought them to the point where they have to take additional action to ensure the long-term financial stability of the health system. Sluka talks about the possibility of more cuts in the future. “Despite all of our best efforts to reduce expenses, as you can see our costs continue to accelerate and we will take more cost cutting measures over time. We are hopeful that the impact to our caregivers is something that we will not have to resort to again. But we can never say never on that, we will always monitor the financial situation to make sure again that we have a high quality health system for the communities that we serve. At this point there is nothing being planned or nothing on the table and we hope we don’t have to resort to this again.”  Sluka also stated that although the decisions are incredibly difficult, they are being made in order to stay committed to becoming a more efficient health system that is well-equipped to continue caring for the people of Central Oregon.

In Local Sports: The Warm Springs Nation Little League had two games in action yesterday. The Junior Softball team traveled to Sisters and came home with a loss 18-15. The Minor Softball team hosted Madras last night and came away victorious 9-7. Games today have the Junior Baseball Springers hosting the Jefferson County Braves at 6pm and the Major Baseball Lil Bucks are on the road today to take on the Sisters Outlaws at 5:30pm. The Warm Springs K-8 Academy Track & Field went to districts on Tuesday in Prineville and had quite a few athletes place in several events. The 6th/7th Grade Boys saw Nokian Jackson get 1st Place in the Discus event and 2nd Place in the Shot put, Julian Stwyer took 5th Place in the 1500m and 5th Place in the 4×100 relay along with John Ball Jr, Dennis White & Keillan Allen. Keillan Allen also took 5th place in the Discus. Lucius Stevens took 5th Place in the Shot Put and 4th Place in the Javelin. The 8th Grade Boys saw Gavin Williams take 1st Place in the Long Jump, 3rd Place in the High Jump and 3rd Place in the 100m which ended up having the top 3 runners all within 7 one hundredths of a second within each other’s times. Jason Rabbie got 5th in the Javelin and Red Sky Waheneka grabbed 5th Place in the 400m. The 6th/7th Grade Girls saw Ciara Wolfe take 1st Place in the Javelin, 3rd Place in the High Jump and 5th Place in the 100m dash. Riyah Stacona took 3rd Place in the Javelin. 8th Grade girls saw Arema White take 3rd Place in the Discus and Heaven Stwyer take 4th Place in the Javelin. Congratulations to all those Athletes who participated in districts this year. In Madras High School Sports, the Buff Boys were on the road yesterday to take on Baker/Powder Valley and after a slow start with a scoreless game through 2 innings, the Buffs got on the board with a run in the 3rd, Baker countered with 3 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and then added 3 more in the 4th inning. The Buffs added one more in the 5th inning but then Baker put them away with 6 runs in the 6th inning to take the game 12-2. Next up for the Buffs is a playoff game this Saturday as they host Elmira/Triangle Lake in the Play in round of the 4A state Playoffs, first pitch is 2pm.

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