Navajo Nation marks completion of Kayenta Multi-Purpose Justice Center

Navajo Times

KAYENTA, June 24, 2014

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Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly recently marked the substantial completion of the Kayenta Multi-Purpose Justice Center with a tour of the new facility and official signing and acceptance of the Center from the project team, on June 23.

“The new justice center will provide the Nation with needed infrastructure for detention services and a suitable headquarters for Navajo Police in the area,” said Shelly. “This new facility will allow our public safety officers to continue direct services to the Navajo people.”

The $34 million campus consists of two single-level buildings and was fully funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). One 54,000-square-foot building contains 84 beds and is a short-term holding facility for male and female inmates, both adults and juveniles. A 13,500-square-foot support building houses dispatch, police and criminal investigation departments.

In the past, violators have been transported to Flagstaff or other areas of the reservation, requiring family members to travel far distances to visit those who are incarcerated. During major community events and holidays that draw many people, the overcrowded conditions of the prior facility required law enforcement to release those with lesser offenses, or transport violators to Window Rock or Tuba City.

The facility includes accommodations for inmates who want to maintain their cultural traditions, including a sweathouse, teepee ground and a hogan.            Navajo Nation Department of Corrections Director Delores Greyeyes played an integral role in the project planning, emphasizing the importance of developing a facility that focuses on maintaining family connections and cultural values as members rehabilitate and transition back into society.

The project was built by the joint venture BITCO-Kitchell. The building was designed by D Sloan Architects.

“It’s gratifying to come into these communities and be embraced,” said BITCO-Kitchell Partner Brad Gabel. “The cultural immersion that our team experiences on these projects helps us identify and understand how deeply the Navajo People are committed to their culture and their traditions, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

Only Five Percent of More Than 29,000 Assessed Properties Receive Four Diamond Rating

FLAGSTAFF – The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise announce its recently expanded Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, located 20 minutes east of Flagstaff, Ariz., has been awarded AAA’s coveted Four Diamond Award for its architecture, customer satisfaction and infusion of Navajo culture into its architecture, amenities and decor.

"We had a vision in the early development of Twin Arrows to design a flagship Navajo gaming and hospitality facility capable of achieving AAA’s Four Diamond Award standards, and more importantly to hire and train a predominantly Navajo workforce capable of exceeding their stringent guest service standards,” stated Derrick Watchman, Navajo Gaming CEO, in a June 19 press release. “It is the deepest honor to receive this distinction just one year after our grand opening. I congratulate our entire team on this achievement, thank AAA for inspiring us to reach for their Four Diamond Award and invite guests to our premiere travel destination to enjoy the Twin Arrows gaming hospitality experience.”

The achievement ranks Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort as a premier establishment esteemed by AAA’s professional inspectors, the hospitality industry and its millions of members. Only five percent of the more than 29,000 properties approved by AAA achieve this prestigious distinction. Additionally, Twin Arrows Navajo Casino is the only Flagstaff destination to receive this honor.

“Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort is committed to providing every guest with a personalized experience and attentive service in comfortable, high quality surroundings,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “This property exceeded the expectations of the most discriminating traveler – the AAA inspector.”

Shiprock man pleads guilty to sexual abuse of child

ALBUQUERQUE – Gilbert Yazzie, 45, who resides in Shiprock, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal district court here to felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Yazzie will be sentenced to eight years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Yazzie also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Yazzie was arrested in June 2013, based on a criminal complaint alleging that he engaged in a sexual act with a Navajo child under the age of 12 years.

According to court filings, Yazzie sexually abused the child victim on June 15, 2013, in a residence in Shiprock. During today’s change of plea hearing, Yazzie admitted that on June 15, 2013, he engaged in a sexual act with the child victim.

Yazzie has been in federal custody since his arrest. He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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