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Associated Press, Published October 27 2009

Tribes say finances back to normal

NEW TOWN, N.D. — Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Marcus Levings says the tribes have paid off a judgment owed in a casino dispute and the tribes' finances no longer are frozen.

A panel of arbitrators determined earlier that the tribes must pay developer Dale Little Soldier about $6.3 million for pulling out of a planned $20 million casino on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea.

Levings says the tribes were temporarily blocked last week from accessing funds due to garnishment orders levied in the dispute with Little Soldier's company and a group of banks that were involved.

Levings says the tribe obtained money from the Southern Ute tribe in Colorado to pay off the judgment. The Colorado tribe is a partner with the Three Affiliated Tribes in oil and gas development.

Levings says that while the tribes' money was frozen, the 4 Bears Casino and Lakeside State Bank in New Town helped out. He says at no time were the tribes without enough money to pay employees and bills and to provide necessary services.

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