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Friday, 12 December, 2014

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Woman pleads guilty in Madaree drive-by shooting

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A woman has pleaded guilty for her role in a drive-by shooting on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
Morgan Williams is accused of driving the vehicle during an Aug. 12 shooting at a residence in Mandaree. Police say there were people in the residence at the time of the shooting. There were no injuries.
Authorities say Williams helped plan the crime and cover it up. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on federal charges of terrorizing and reckless endangerment.
The alleged shooter, Michael Mitzel, is charged with four counts, including reckless endangerment, terrorizing and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday.
Sentencing has not been set for Williams.
A public defender could not be reached for comment.

Crows want break from Obama Administration climate proposal

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The chairman of the coal-dependent Crow Nation wants a break from the Obama administration's climate proposal and said Friday that the pending rule violates the government's trust responsibility to the Montana tribe.
Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote said the proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would wreck the tribe's economy.
Up to two-thirds of the tribe's non-federal revenue comes from a 15,000-acre coal mine near Hardin.
The Westmoreland Resources mine sends Crow coal to power plants in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Those plants need to be carved out of the president's climate proposal, Old Coyote said during an appearance in Billings with Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.
If that can't happen, Old Coyote said the administration needs to help replace the jobs and services that will be lost if the coal industry suffers.
“We want to be self-sufficient,'' Old Coyote said. He added coal revenue helps supplement health care, education and law enforcement for the tribe's more than 13,000 enrolled members.
Old Coyote said he and representatives of other coal-dependent Western tribes brought their concerns to President Barack Obama during meetings at this week's White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.
The chairman said he was assured federal officials would work with the Crow to offset impacts from the proposed rule.
Under the administration's proposal, states must reduce their carbon emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Several tribes that have coal-burning or gas-fired power plants were included in a separate proposal that could give them more leeway in meeting emission reduction targets. The Crow tribe was not included because it doesn't burn the coal mined on its reservation, federal officials said Friday.
Yet Fox and Old Coyote said the administration's climate proposal could shutter power plants that buy Crow coal.
That would take away the Westmoreland mine's main customers and cause ``severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts to (the tribe's) future,'' the two wrote in a Dec. 1 letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.
They said the EPA had ``utterly failed'' to consider the rule's economic effects on the Crow.
“EPA did not consult with the Crow Nation, did not consider the economic impacts on the Crow Nation and did not provide a less-intrusive alternative to the severe effect,'' Old Coyote and Fox wrote.
EPA officials said in response that they met with Crow leaders July 18 in Denver and have offered to consult with the tribe further.
The EPA press office provided The Associated Press with two letters sent to Old Coyote in June and October from senior EPA official Peter Tsirigotis. He wrote that the EPA intended to pursue its climate plan ``with sensitivity to the needs and culture of your tribe and with attention to the potential impact of our actions.''
EPA officials said they also consulted with other tribes, including the Fort Mojave, the Hopi, the Navajo Nation, the Ute Tribe and several more.
Old Coyote and Fox dismissed the agency's efforts. They described the correspondence from Tsirigotis as a form letter.

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