Got CALICHE? Two developers duke it out. One wants to see recognition of Native American cultural traditions, powwow grounds and space for Native American artisans, and archaeological artifacts. The other has enlisted a group of four large museums - a Sonoran Sea Aquarium, an Arizona Historical Society facility, the Flandreau Science Center and Planetarium and a Museum of the Old West. They would build at least 570,000 square feet of retail space, including a 20-screen theater, two amphitheaters, an IMAX theater and four hotels.

ARSON SUSPECTED IN FIRE THAT DESTROYED FORT COLLINS HOMESTEAD 05/06/99 Arson is suspected as the cause of a fire that destroyed the last of three historic homesteads along the Poudre River early Wednesday, authorities said. A passing motorist alerted authorities to the fire at the Strauss Cabin around 1:20 a.m., but the structure had been reduced to smoldering rubble by the time fire crews arrived, authorities said. "It seems like we don't realize what we have until we've lost it," Fort Collins' historic preservation planner Carol Tunner lamented. "We've lost three of these structures now along the river." George Strauss built his cabin at the east end of Horsetooth Road in 1864. The Sherwood homestead and the old Grout House, which were built in that same era within a mile of the Strauss Cabin, were destroyed in earlier fires. "So now we've lost everything from the 1860s along here," Miss Tunner said. "It's very, very sad." The Strauss Cabin's history was preserved in 1997 as the first project completed under Larimer County's open-space program. Only four other dwellings had been built along the Poudre River between the mouth of the canyon and the confluence of the Poudre and South Platte rivers when George Robert Strauss arrived in 1860. Strauss obtained his homestead that year and started growing a vegetable garden. He built the two-story log cabin four years later and added a one-story stone building around 1890, Miss Tunner said. The homestead was the second-oldest structure in Fort Collins. Arson investigators searched the site for evidence on Wednesday, and fire crews planned to watch the site overnight to make sure flames didn't flare up again, said Poudre Fire Authority Assistant Fire Marshall Tom DeMint. The 130th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike completing the transcontinental railroad will be held Monday. The Union Pacific pushing west and the Central Pacific pushing east linked up at Promontory on May 10, 1869. The region is called Dixie because in 1861, with the Civil War in its bloody beginnings, Young dispatched 309 Mormon families to settle St. George and grow cotton, which would be hard to come by as long as the war continued. The Mormons produced 100,000 pounds of the stuff in their first harvest. Américo Paredes, a groundbreaking folklorist, professor, novelist and poet who pioneered a Mexican American intellectual tradition, died Wednesday of pneumonia at the Specialty Hospital of Austin. He was 83. During a 33-year teaching career at the University of Texas, Paredes inspired a generation of folklorists and intellectuals. His work skewered official versions of Texas history -- focusing on relationships between Anglos and Latinos -- long before such criticism became common in the 1970s and 1980s. Paredes dedicated his life to studying the folklore of what he called Greater Mexico. He traveled in Mexico, California, Texas and to the immigrant communities of Chicago to interview people and record the stories and songs of Mexican Americans.

JOHANNS PROCLAIMS MAY 12 STANDING BEAR DAY 05/05/99 Gov. Mike Johanns on Wednesday proclaimed May 12 a tribal holiday honoring the Ponca chief who won a landmark legal battle for American Indians. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will celebrate the inaugural Chief Standing Bear Day on the 120th anniversary of the civil rights victory that saw Indians legally recognized as people. In an Omaha federal courtroom in 1879, Standing Bear fought the forced removal of his people from their northeast Nebraska homeland to Oklahoma. The Ponca chief had returned to Niobrara to bury his son when he was arrested, said Fred LeRoy, chairman of the Ponca tribe. The trial was remembered for Standing Bear's eloquent and impassioned speeches. In the end, the federal judge, Elmer Dundy, ruled "that an Indian is a person within the meaning of the laws of the United States." The judge also found no legal authority for government removal of Indians from their homelands to distant reservations. "We look at it as one of the first civil rights cases for American Indians," LeRoy said Wednesday. "It proved that we were the indigenous people and that we had the same rights as everybody else." Tribal leaders presented Johanns with a smaller version of a mural painted in the state Capitol that commemorates Standing Bear's appearance in court. "It's very important to remember that there was a day when Chief Standing Bear could not come into our state to bury his son," Johanns said. "It was a sad day in our history." The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will recognize the holiday by closing tribal offices. Tribal leaders hope the day will provide incentive for Nebraska teachers to talk about the significance of Standing Bear. The proclamation came about through discussions in February between the Ponca Tribe and the governor. Standing Bear and Susan La Flesche Picotte, the nation's first American Indian woman doctor, are the only two American Indians in the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Last summer, a bridge spanning the Missouri River near Niobrara also was named in Standing Bear's honor. The tribe is working to build a memorial for the chief at Niobrara.

SKELETONS BELIEVED TO BE AMERICAN INDIANS 05/05/99 Authorities suspect bones found on the banks of the French Broad River by a vacationing Florida fisherman were American Indian remains from a looted grave. "We're examining the bones we brought out to try and determine whether they are Native American or not, or if, in fact, it's a forensic case," said Dr. Jan Simek, head of the University of Tennessee's anthropology department. The examination is expected to confirm the bones are remains of three to six American Indians that were buried near the river long ago and discovered recently. "My suspicion is that looters found their graves ..., took the artifacts and then threw the bones into the river," Simek said. Kenneth Tucker, a vacationing plumber from Pensacola, Fla., found what he thought was an old turtle shell while fishing with a friend April 23. When he looked more closely he discovered it was a skull. "I got to looking down there ... and there was a pile of them (bones) right there," he told The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Tucker and his friend, Kenneth Buffkin, called police. Simek said if the bones are American Indians the university will contact the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians about reburying them. "The main issue in a situation like this is the dignity of the bodies," Simek said.

CITY OF SQUAW LAKE KEEPS NAME FOR NOW 05/05/99 The city of Squaw Lake will keep its politically incorrect name _ for now. On Monday, members of the Squaw Lake City Council met with members of a Leech Lake Reservation committee trying to persuade the town to adopt a new name because of objections to the word "squaw." Some American Indians claim the word is derived from an Indian word for female genitalia, although some linguists disagree. "The meeting went relatively well, but I don't think we really resolved anything," said Mayor Art Mertes, who opposes changing the name. "Some people probably went away disappointed in our response. (But) most of the residents don't want to change." Mertes said the two major arguments against changing the name are the costs to the city and its residents, and that people who have lived in Squaw Lake do not want to lose their identity. The argument over the city's name stems from an Indian studies class project completed by two Cass Lake-Bena High School students in 1994, according to Muriel Crawford, the mother of one of the students. The two girls wrote to several state agencies asking about changing the names of places in the state using the word squaw in their titles. Minnesota in 1995 became the first state to require its counties to rename geographic features _ 19 lakes, streams and points in all with the word "squaw" in them. "It's hard to make a stand on because (the derogatory meaning of the word) is so personal. When you say the word it (refers) only to Native American women," Crawford said. "I grew up in Squaw Lake, but I tell people that I am from Leech Lake." Mertes said the reservation plans to give the city more information about why the city should change its name, and the city will make that and its arguments against changing the name available to anyone interested. The reservation also is considering hosting a public forum on the matter. But that is as far as the discussion will go for now, Mertes added.