Code talkers discuss reorganization plans

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, April 3, 2014

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Losing its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service as a 503(c)19 military organization is one reason why the Navajo Code Talkers Association and Navajo Code Talkers Foundation are going to merge forces.

The other reason is due in part to the number of active members – there are about 40 Navajo Code Talkers currently living – meaning that there are fewer of them left.

Most are becoming immobile as they age, causing them to miss out on the politics of the two organizations that define their legacy as heroes of World War II.

This is what Ray Hawthorne, the association's vice president, told the board of directors Monday during a regular meeting of the Navajo Code Talkers Association.

The board of directors includes Hawthorne, Peter MacDonald, Bill Toledo, George James and Samuel Sandoval, as well as descendants Regan Hawthorne and Danny Akee.

Regan Hawthorne is a descendent to Roy Hawthorne and Akee is a descendent of Dan Akee.

Not everyone agrees with Fort Wingate settlement

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK – Efforts by Congress and the Navajo and Zuni tribes to finally reach a settlement in the division of the former Fort Wingate Army Depot are continuing but not everyone is in agreement.

Representatives of the two tribes last year finally reached agreement on how to divide the 21,000 acres given to them after the depot ceased operation in 1993.

The Navajos would get about 10,000 acres, while the Zunis would get 9,000.

The remaining would stay with the federal government because of contamination.

This led to the introduction this past January of the Fort Wingate Land Division Act of 2014.

According to the bill, the division that is included in the bill was the one agreed to by Navajo and Zuni tribal representatives when they met in the office of U.S. Rep. Don Young on July 8, 2013.

While Council Speaker Johnny Naize supports the settlement, the division is still being opposed by numerous chapters, including Churchrock Chapter, and the Council delegate from that area, Edmund Yazzie.

Police: Murders up, rapes down slightly in 2013

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK – Murders were up substantially on the Navajo Reservation in 2013 while the number of rapes was down slightly during the same period.

Violent crimes overall went down in 2013, according to crime statistics developed by the Department of Law Enforcement.

The police department reported eight murders in 2013, up from only three the year before.

However, 2012 was an unusual light year since the department normally sees between five and seven murders annually, according to previous reports.

Only one of the 2013 murders was cleared by an arrest but this doesn't reflect the actual figure since these cases are turned over to the FBI, which conducts the investigations and makes the arrests.

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