Harrison Mantas

Harrison Mantas

Indian Country Reporter, Washington, D.C.
Latest from Harrison Mantas

Feds waived environment, other regs on 90 miles of state border in 2019

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration waived environmental and other regulations on nearly one quarter of Arizona's border with Mexico last year to ease the way for border wall construction, a review of government documents shows.


Star students: ASU team watches as its project is launched into orbit

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - A concussive boom radiated out from the launch pad as nine Arizona State University students watched a rocket carry their "nanosatellite" - and four years of their work - into the sky Saturday on its way to the International Space Station.


House OKs permanent ban on mining 1 million acres around Grand Canyon

WASHINGTON - The House voted 236-185 Wednesday to permanently ban uranium mining on just over 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon, on a largely party line vote in which each side accused the other of fear-mongering.


‘Operation Kayla Mueller’ stirs memories of Arizonan killed in Syria

WASHINGTON - One official called it fitting: The military operation that tracked down and killed the leader of the Islamic State this weekend was named for Kayla Mueller, a Prescott native who was killed while being held by that group in Syria in 2015.


Report: Phoenix sixth-highest metro area in nation for gun suicides

WASHINGTON - The Phoenix metro area had the sixth-highest rate of firearm suicides among the nation's urban areas, according to a new report by House Democrats tying the availability of guns to the prevalence of gun suicides.


Lawmakers optimistic for bill on National Museum of the American Latino

WASHINGTON - The dream of a national museum dedicated to the Latin American experience took one step closer to reality Thursday, as lawmakers and advocates touted a bill that they think has a good chance of putting a museum on the National Mall.


Schweikert among 129 House Republicans who join rebuke of Trump on Syria

WASHINGTON - Three Arizona Republicans held fast with President Donald Trump as the House voted 354-60 Wednesday to rebuke the president's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, leaving former U.S. allies, the Kurds, open to attacks by Turkish forces.


Arizona lawmakers join critics of Trump’s troop withdrawal from Syria

WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers joined a growing bipartisan chorus critical of President Donald Trump's decision to pull American troops from Northern Syria. Sen. Martha McSally is one of several Republicans who said the move could allow a return of the Islamic State that could threaten the U.S.


Volker quits McCain Institute, fears Ukraine testimony ‘a distraction’

WASHINGTON - Three days after he told staff at the McCain Institute that he was still their executive director, Kurt Volker resigned Monday because his role in a House impeachment inquiry "risks becoming a distraction" to the institute's work.


Court stays execution of Navajo man to hear claim of possible jury bias

WASHINGTON - A divided appeals court has stayed the scheduled December execution of Lezmond Mitchell, a Navajo double-murderer, saying it needs time to consider his claim that he was not allowed to question jurors for potential racial bias.


Navajo, Hopi will have objects, human remains repatriated by Finland

WASHINGTON - The Hopi and Navajo are among 26 tribes that will see the return of ancestral remains from Finland, where the items have been held in a museum after being taken from Colorado almost 130 years ago.


Tribal health insurance coverage rose, but still trailed U.S. average

WASHINGTON - The number of people who showed up at at Indian Health Service facilities with health insurance rose from 64% of patients in 2013 to 78% in 2018, according to a GAO report that said growth was highest in states, like Arizona, that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.


Tribal leaders, lawmakers chide FCC for lack of progress on broadband

WASHINGTON - Tribal representatives told a Senate committee Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission is not doing enough to ease the regulatory burdens that keep Indian Country from getting wireless broadband access.


House panel questions officials on efforts to help Native women

WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers questioned administration officials Wednesday on what they are doing to deal with the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women - and they weren't always satisfied with the answers.


Border apprehensions fell sharply, but still at highest level in years

WASHINGTON - Apprehensions at the southern border dropped sharply in August, to just over 64,000 people, in part because of increased cooperation from Mexican authorities, a Customs and Border Protection official said. But apprehensions were still the highest of any August in the last five years.


Navajo council votes to oppose possible HUD limits on home-loan program

WASHINGTON - The Navajo Nation Council voted unanimously Thursday to oppose a HUD draft plan that critics say could put income restrictions for the first time on applicants to the Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, but which HUD says has been misinterpreted.


12 Valley police agencies join program linking to video-doorbell owners

WASHINGTON - A dozen Valley police departments are among 400 in the U.S. partnering with video-doorbell maker Ring to connect police and local homeowners who use the company's technology, raising concerns among some privacy advocates. But police say the program is safe and helps solve crime.


Deadlines loom for Navajo looking to take part in land buy-back program

WASHINGTON - Time is running out for Navajo landowners who want to take part in the second round of a $1.9 billion federal program to buy back scattered and isolated parcels of land on the Navajo Nation. Friday is the last dayNew Mexico residents to apply while those in Arizona and Utah have until Sept. 30.


Court upholds ruling that town conspired with fundamentalist church

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court upheld a lower court's finding that Colorado City, Arizona, had been run as an extension of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, violating non-members' rights in the process.


Kayenta Mine layoffs hit, as Navajo Generating Station closure looms

WASHINGTON - The last 265 workers at Kayenta Coal Mine are being laid off this month, another step toward the looming closure of the Navajo Generating Station that will bring the loss of hundreds more jobs this winter.