02-28-2024  5:34 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, Oregon Lawmakers Propose More Funding for Opioid Addiction Medication in Jails

Democrats are looking to counterbalance restoring criminal penalties for possession with expanding access to treatment for a potentially growing number of people in the criminal justice system. The proposal would create a million grant fund for jails looking to provide opioid addiction medication. Federal data shows only 24% of jails provide such medication to people with prior prescriptions.

KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Portland NAACP chapter said they were appalled

Rep. Blumenauer Talks Retirement from Congress and His Plans to Help Put Portland Back Together

U.S. Representative for Oregon has held his seat for nearly 30 years.

NEWS BRIEFS

Governor Kotek Announces Director of Equity and Racial Justice

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Black Community Input Helps Fuel George Park Project

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Renewal of School Local Option Levy Will be on May Ballot

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Wyden, Merkley Announce $70,000 for the Oregon Food Bank

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Lawsuit seeks up to .5M over allegations that Oregon nurse replaced fentanyl drip with tap water

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The first lawsuit brought amid reports that a nurse at a southern Oregon hospital replaced intravenous fentanyl drips with tap water seeks up to .5 million on behalf of the estate of a 65-year-old man who died. The wrongful death suit was filed Monday against...

Bill to set minimum marriage age to 18 in Washington state heads to governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A law to establish 18 as the minimum marriage age in Washington state is headed to the governor's desk for his signature. State lawmakers in the House and Senate passed House Bill 1455 this session after the measure stalled in the Senate last year and other...

East leads Missouri against No. 24 Florida after 33-point game

Missouri Tigers (8-19, 0-14 SEC) at Florida Gators (19-8, 9-5 SEC) Gainesville, Florida; Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Gators -13; over/under is 154 BOTTOM LINE: Missouri visits the No. 24 Florida Gators after Sean East scored 33 points...

Vanderbilt visits Arkansas after Battle's 42-point game

Vanderbilt Commodores (7-20, 2-12 SEC) at Arkansas Razorbacks (14-13, 5-9 SEC) Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Razorbacks -10; over/under is 144.5 BOTTOM LINE: Arkansas hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores after Khalif...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NC Central coach apologizes for social media post after his team's QB was hurt in HBCU Legacy Bowl

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Central coach Trei Oliver has apologized for the example he set in a social media post, although he remains angry at coaches in the HBCU Legacy Bowl after his team's quarterback was injured while running the ball in the all-star game. Eagles...

Man gets life in prison after pleading guilty in the sexual assaults of 4 women in their Texas homes

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — A man was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in the attacks of four women who were sexually assaulted in their homes throughout the Dallas area, including three women who were alumnae of the same national Black sorority. Jeffery Lemor Wheat, 52,...

UC Berkeley officials denounce protest that forced police to evacuate Jewish event for safety

Leaders of the University of California, Berkeley, have denounced a protest against an event organized by Jewish students that forced police to evacuate attendees and a speaker from Israel for their safety after demonstrators broke through doors. A criminal investigation has begun,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Music Review: Ex-Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is back with another great solo album

No shock here: Ace Frehley has still got the power. The former Kiss guitarist whose vocal debut came on 1977's “Shock Me” is back with “10,000 Volts,” a new solo album that's crackling with energy and personality. The title track is another electricity-themed...

Music Review: MGMT's 'Loss of Life' is a nostalgic return full of hope and heart

They say trends make a cyclical comeback every 20 years. We saw it recently in the revival of Y2K style that emerged with Gen-Zers returning to parties post-pandemic wearing claw clips, mini skirts and baby tees. Now, as we barrel into the mid-2020s, it's about time for an aesthetic that...

Movie Review: Writer-director Julio Torres proves a storyteller to cheer with awesome 'Problemista'

The hero of “Problemista” sees the world differently. He's an aspiring toy designer named Alejandro who thinks today's toys are too fun. He proposes a toy truck with a deflating tire to teach kids they’re running out of time. Alejandro is the creation of Julio Torres, who stars,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Can conservative Latin American populists motivate the Hispanic vote? Republicans are counting on it

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — On a recent evening outside Washington, the president of Argentina had the eyes and ears...

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

KUNA, Idaho (AP) — Idaho halted the execution of serial killer Thomas Eugene Creech on Wednesday after medical...

French Senate approves a bill to make abortion a constitutional right

PARIS (AP) — France’s Senate on Wednesday adopted a bill to enshrine a woman’s right to an abortion in the...

Activists urge Nigeria to delay Shell's [scripts/homepage/home.php].4 billion sale of assets in deeply polluted Niger Delta

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Local activists and international environmental groups want Nigeria's government to delay...

Soviet ex-premier Nikolai Ryzhkov, who vainly tried to prevent USSR's economic meltdown, dies at 94

MOSCOW (AP) — Nikolai Ryzhkov, a former Soviet prime minister who presided over botched efforts to shore up the...

UN hands over 1st military base in Congo to begin its drawdown after decades in the country

KAMANYOLA, Congo (AP) — United Nations peacekeepers handed over their first military base to security forces in...

Bob Ferguson
The Skanner News

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

More than 230,000 Washington customers may be entitled to payouts over unauthorized telecom charges on their T-Mobile bills.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson $90 million nationwide agreement with T-Mobile, resolving allegations the company placed unauthorized third-party service charges on subscribers’ telephone bills.

Consumer victims of this practice, called “cramming,” are socked with charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message services (PSMS) — such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores — that they have never requested or even heard of.

“I will not tolerate deceptive billing practices,” Ferguson said. “My office will hold any company accountable that tries to hide unauthorized charges in the fine print of a consumer’s bill.”

Under the agreement, T-Mobile will pay at least $67.5 million in restitution to consumers around the country in the form of refunds or debt forgiveness.  Consumers must contact T-Mobile to request a refund at www.t-mobilerefund.com.

According to T-Mobile’s records, an estimated 230,754 Washington customers may be eligible for restitution.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division worked with the attorneys general of all 49 other states and the District of Columbia as well as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to bring about today’s resolution.

T-Mobile is the second mobile telephone provider to enter into a nationwide settlement which Washington has helped to lead to resolve allegations regarding cramming. Attorney General Ferguson announced a similar, $105 million settlement with AT&T in October of this year. T-Mobile and AT&T were among the four major mobile carriers — in addition to Verizon and Sprint — that announced they would stop billing customers for commercial PSMS charges in the fall of 2013.

The agreement requires T-Mobile to stay out of the PSMS business, which law enforcement agencies believe represents the lion’s share of the cramming problem.

The company must also take steps to ensure it’s only billing customers for charges that have been authorized. These steps include:

  • Obtaining customers’ express consent before billing for third-party charges, and ensuring consumers are only charged for services if they are informed of all material terms and conditions of their payment.
  • Providing a full refund or credit to any customer billed for unauthorized third-party charges in the future.
  • Informing new customers that they can either block third-party charges or choose to use their mobile phone to pay third-party charges.
  • Presenting third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, which clearly distinguishes them from T-Mobile’s charges and contains information about how to block third-party charges.

In addition to restitution, T-Mobile will pay $18 million to go to cost recovery for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, whose attorneys general participated in the agreement. Washington’s share of that money is $726,583.07. The FCC will receive $4.5 million.

TO REQUEST A REFUND:

Beginning today, eligible current or former T-Mobile customers should submit claims to the T-Mobile cramming refund program by visiting www.t-mobilerefund.com

On that website, consumers can submit a claim, find information about refund eligibility and how to obtain a refund, and can request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts. 

Consumers who have questions about the program can visit the program website or call the Refund Administrator at (855) 382-6403.   

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast