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Chukchansi feud holds up $1 million in funds

MADERA, Calif. (AP) -- A dispute about tribal leadership is holding up about $1 million in donations to Madera County schools, animal welfare agencies, tribal organizations and veterans groups.

The Chukchansi tribe is obliged to donate $1 million annually to local groups under a contract with the county. But a legal tussle between two factions of the tribe has brought its leadership and the funds into question.

One group operates the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians business complex and the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino near Fresno.

But the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs last week said it intends to recognize seven members of the 2010 tribal council, including the second group's leader.

The first group is appealing that decision.

The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1ehypOA) that in the meantime, additional court battles have caused the funds to be withheld.

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Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

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