This week in the Tribune, readers will notice a new feature to our publication.

Court reports and arrests will now be listed.

For many years now, we’ve been trying to re-establish the court reports in the Tribune. In the 2000s, the Tribune ran them for a period of about two years.

These were supported by Resolution 2000-740, which “requires the Colville Tribal Court to list all convictions in the tribal court.” Basically, this information should be available to the public — and no better place than our Tribune.

These reports will be listed by the date, name, case number, charges and finding. Our first edition will include the court dispositions from the month of November.

When January comes, readers should expect the dispositions from December to be ran for the month — and so on, and so forth.

The daily inmate count has been one of the most popular pages on the ColvilleTribes.com website. It’s the new-age equivalent of the old scanner in the living room. People want to know who has been arrested and for what reason — perhaps even when a person will be released.

This, also, is public information. We will be running these with more frequent changes than the court reports. Every Friday, we will prepare the following week’s reports by reviewing the past seven days of PDFs listed on Colvilletribes.com.

With these new changes, there comes increased responsibility for our staff. Accuracy is a must. The difference between “not guilty” and “guilty” is great, and can be damaging if reported incorrectly. Also, placing the wrong charges on an individual could be equally damaging.

Why would we take on such a challenge?

Most newspapers today, including some tribal publications, publish these reports. Newspapers, in society, are a place of record. In the past, the Tribal Tribune was one of those places for court reports.

There is no information as to why they all the sudden came to a halt two years after they were initially run. 

But a Resolution passed by council is law, which needs to be followed.

The next resolution on deck is tribal council travel reports in the Tribune.

Stay tuned.

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