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Wed, May 22

Arizona in Brief: Tribes: Monument co-management proposal is slap in the face

Tribes: Monument co-management proposal is slap in the face

FLAGSTAFF (AP) — President Donald Trump’s decision to drastically reduce and break up a national monument in Utah wasn’t the only blow Native American tribes say they were dealt last week.

The president’s proclamation on Bears Ears National Monument also contained a little-known plan that changes the makeup of a tribal advisory commission for the remote monument filled with canyons, plateaus, rivers and rust-colored rock formations. It adds a county commissioner who is among the minority of Navajos to support Republicans in peeling back protections for the land.

The new commissioner will have the same authority as the group’s five other members, all representatives of tribes.

The same day the president visited Utah to cut the monument by 85 percent to 315 square miles (815 square kilometers) and divide it into two units, a Utah congressman introduced legislation to create tribal co-management councils that were touted by Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The Utah congressional delegation sees the changes as unifying forces in a region long divided over land management, and as a way to ensure local control.

Tribes say that while co-management might sound nice, the proposal by Republican Rep. John Curtis excludes tribes outside Utah and lets the president hand-select most representatives.

“Don’t try to appease us by giving us something you think we want or you think will make us happy,” said Katherine Belzowski, an attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. “This is a slap in the face.”

2 bodies found inside Phoenix home; May be a murder-suicide

PHOENIX (AP) — Police have released the names of a couple found dead inside the northeast Phoenix home and say it appears to be a homicide-suicide.

They say a man went to the house Monday morning and discovered the bodies of his parents. Police say both adults died of apparent gunshot injuries. They identified the couple as 77-year-old Ronald Stafford and 76-year-old Anna Stafford. Police say their investigation into the deaths was continuing, but evidence discovered so far indicates it likely was a homicide-suicide.

2 arrested at Arizona border on suspicion of human smuggling

TUCSON (AP) — Border Patrol officials say two Tucson residents have been arrested after agents found two Mexican citizens in the trunk of their vehicle.

Agents arrested the 19-year-old male driver and 18-year-old female passenger on suspicion of human smuggling after they sped away Saturday night from the Interstate 19 checkpoint near Amado.

The names of the two weren’t immediately released.

Border Patrol officials say the driver lost control of the vehicle after fleeing the inspection checkpoint and crashed on I-19 near Arivaca. That’s when agents found the two Mexican residents hidden in the car’s trunk — a 24-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man. Authorities say the two now are being held for immigration violations.

Police search for suspects who vandalized 9 cars in Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — Police are searching for suspects after at least nine cars were vandalized at a north Phoenix apartment complex.

They say two of the cars appeared to have “KKK” scratched onto the hoods. Police say the vandalism occurred Saturday between 4 a.m. and noon at the Silver Creek Apartments near 43rd and Peoria avenues. Some of the car owners believe it will cost them at least $300 to repair the damage. One woman says she just bought a new car last week. She awoke Saturday to find vandals had etched the letter “A’’ onto the hood.

The unidentified woman told KTVK-TV that she’s hoping insurance will pay for the damage.

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