ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A North Carolina car dealership has taken down a 23-foot fiberglass statue of a Native American that has drawn complaints over its 50-year history.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports that Harry's On the Hill was prompted to take down the statue known as ``Chief Pontiac'' partly because of a bad experience by a female customer who's a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The newspaper said an employee was fired after sending an offensive text message to the customer in June. Even before that, some Native Americans had complained about the statue.
The statue was removed Friday with a crane. It's being donated to the Pontiac-Oakland Transportation Museum in Michigan.
Pat Grimes, owner of Harry's, said he received offers to buy the statue but felt that the museum was best for it.
WWII Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday Dies at Age 94
GEORGE, Utah (AP) _ Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died in southern Utah Monday surrounded by family members who raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to be by his side.
He was 94.
Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it.
He was 19 when he joined the Marine Corps and became a part of operations in several locations across the Pacific during the war, according to The Spectrum. A mortar explosion left him with hearing loss, but he would later tell family that he always felt safe during battle because of a pouch around his neck holding sacred stones and yellow corn pollen.
He received a Congressional Silver Medal, a Purple Heart and other recognition for his action during the conflict.
After the war, Holiday returned to the Navajo reservation and worked as a police officer, a ranger and later started his own equipment company. He married Lupita Mae Isaac and had eight children.
In 2013, Holiday co-wrote a book about his experience as a Code Talker called ``Under the Eagle.''
Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war.
Holiday spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah.
Shortly before his death, family members turned to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise $4,000 to be able to visit him in hospice care. The Navajo Nation said he was surrounded by friends and family when he died.
There will be a viewing at the Hughes Mortuary in St. George, Utah, on Thursday and funeral services in Monument Valley on Friday, according to the Navajo Nation Council.
Holiday will be buried at a veterans' cemetery in the Navajo community of Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife.
The library at the Kayenta Middle School is named for Holiday.
He is survived by six children, 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
This story has been corrected to say Holiday is survived by six children, not five.
Photo Credit: Samuel T. Holiday Facebook Page
Murkowski: Bill Would Create New Native Corporations
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) _ Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says a proposed bill would give 100,000 acres of federal land in total to Native groups in five Southeast Alaska towns.
The Ketchikan Daily News reports the proposed legislation _ also called the ``Alaska Native Claims Improvement Act of 2017'' _ looks to mitigate issues with the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act that was passed almost a half century ago.
A major component of the legislation involves the formation of Native corporations in five Southeast Alaska communities _ Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee and Haines.
Murkowski says these five communities were never granted village or urban corporations.
The bill says upon incorporation, each of the five new corporations would receive ``one township of land (23,040 acres).''
Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com
School district votes to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) _ A Long Island school district has voted to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day for the coming academic year.
The six-member Southampton School Board voted 4-2 in favor of adopting next year's calendar which designates the new holiday on Monday, Oct. 8. Newsday reports the board had previously adopted a generic calendar for the past three years that didn't list holiday names.
Southampton students had asked the board to take Christopher Columbus' name off the holiday in 2016.
Board Member James McKenna, who voted no, says he feels the decision to change the name slights Italian-Americans.
Board Member Roberta Hunter, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, says she disagrees with McKenna's reasoning on the vote.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com
Navajo Prep students win $10K for Gold King Mine spill study
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) _ Students at Navajo Preparatory School researching the lasting impacts of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill have won $10,000 for their work.
The Farmington Daily Times reports seven sophomores and juniors in a gifted-and-talented program at the school entered the Lexus Eco Challenge with a project that involved testing green onion roots for iron and zine after they had been submerged into the Animas River. The work won them $8,000 in scholarships, and $2,000 for school equipment.
They now are competing in a second phase of the competition.
More than two years ago, the EPA accidently released 3 million gallons of mustard-colored water from southwestern Colorado's Gold King Mine into the Animas River. The spill tainted water in three states, as well as the Navajo Nation.
Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com