02-06-2023  1:34 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis, the head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Avalanches kill 9 in Italy, Austria as heavy snow hits Alps

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Nine people died in avalanches in Austria and Italy over the weekend as heavy snow and...

EU migration impasse leaves many refugees out in the cold

BRUSSELS (AP) — Some refugees and asylum-seekers in Brussels have been spending months in between the Street of...

Ex-foreign minister will face diplomat for Cyprus presidency

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A center-right former foreign minister and a career diplomat backed by a communist-rooted...

Kyle Hightower Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Jurors aren't talking. Prosecutors are stunned that they lost. Defense attorneys are lashing out at the media. And Casey Anthony could be free by the weekend.

A case that involved years of forensic investigation, weeks of often highly technical testimony and untold hours of media analysis turned out to be a quick decision for the jurors weighing whether Anthony killed her 2-year-old daughter. Early in their second day of deliberations, the 12 men and women concluded Tuesday that Anthony lied to investigators but wasn't guilty in her child's death.

Now Anthony waits to learn if she could spend her first night out of jail in almost three years since she was first accused in the case. She was only convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators, and it's possible that Judge Belvin Perry could sentence her Thursday to time already served for those crimes. The four counts of lying to sheriff's deputies each carry a maximum sentence of one year.

Anthony, 25, has been in jail since her October 2008 arrest on first-degree murder charges. She avoided a possible death sentence thanks to her acquittal on the murder count. The case began in July 2008 when Caylee Anthony was reported missing.

"I'm very happy for Casey, ecstatic for her and I want her to be able to grieve and grow and somehow get her life back together," defense attorney Jose Baez said Tuesday. "I think this case is a perfect example of why the death penalty does not work ... Murder is not right, no matter who does it."

The trial became a national sensation on cable TV, with its CSI-style testimony about duct-tape marks on the child's face and the smell of death inside a car trunk.

After a month and a half of testimony, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.

Tears welled in Anthony's eyes, her face reddened, her lips trembled, and she began breathing heavily as she listened to the verdict.

Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, left court quickly after the verdict without hugging or saying anything to their daughter. Their attorney, Mark Lippman, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that they hadn't spoken with their daughter since the verdict. Lippman wouldn't answer whether the Anthonys believe their daughter killed Caylee.

The jurors - seven women and five men - would not talk to the media, and their identities were kept secret by the court.

But an alternate juror told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday he thought they came to the right verdict. Russell Huekler told the network he didn't think the prosecution presented enough evidence to sustain a murder charge.

"When they explained to us what reasonable doubt was, I definitely had reasonable doubt then," said Huekler, who wasn't involved in deliberations as an alternate.

Huekler also said he didn't think prosecutors provided a motive for why Anthony would kill her daughter.

"Just because Casey was a party girl did not show why she would possibly kill Caylee," he said.

Also on NBC, prosecutor Jeff Ashton said the verdict left him and other prosecutors in shock.

"I think I mouthed the word `wow' about five times," he said.

Many in the crowd of about 500 people outside the courthouse Tuesday reacted with anger after the verdict was read, chanting, "Justice for Caylee!" One man yelled, "Baby killer!"

Given the relative speed with which the jury came back with a verdict, many court-watchers were expecting Anthony to be convicted in the killing, and they were stunned by the outcome.

Prosecutors contended that Anthony - a single mother living with her parents - suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to hit the nightclubs and spend time with her boyfriend.

Defense attorneys argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and that Anthony panicked and hid the body because of the traumatic effects of being sexually abused by her father.

The case played out on national television almost from the moment Caylee was reported missing three years ago. CNN's Nancy Grace dissected the case at every turn with the zeal of the prosecutor she once was, arguing that Anthony was responsible for her daughter's death. The TV host turned the term "tot mom" into shorthand for Anthony.

Anthony's attorney Cheney Mason blasted the media after the verdict.

"Well, I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years, bias, prejudice and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be," Mason said.

"I'm disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don't know a damn thing about."

State's Attorney Lawson Lamar said: "We're disappointed in the verdict today because we know the facts and we've put in absolutely every piece of evidence that existed." The prosecutor lamented the lack of hard evidence, saying, "This is a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove. The delay in recovering little Caylee's remains worked to our considerable disadvantage."

Caylee's disappearance went unreported by her own mother for a month. The child's decomposed body was eventually found in the woods near her grandparents' home six months after she was last seen. A medical examiner was never able to establish how she died.

The case became a macabre tourist attraction in Orlando. People camped outside for seats in the courtroom, and scuffles broke out among those desperate to watch the drama unfold.

Because the case got so much media attention in Orlando, jurors were brought in from the Tampa Bay area and sequestered for the entire trial, during which they listened to more than 33 days of testimony and looked at 400 pieces of evidence. Anthony did not take the stand.

"While we're happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case," Baez said after the verdict. "Caylee has passed on far, far too soon and what my driving force has been for the last three years has been always to make sure that there has been justice for Caylee and Casey because Casey did not murder Caylee. It's that simple. And today our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction."

In closing arguments, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick showed the jury two side-by-side images. One showed Anthony smiling and partying in a nightclub during the first month Caylee was missing. The other was the tattoo Anthony she got a day before law enforcement learned of the child's disappearance: the Italian words for "beautiful life."

"At the end of this case, all you have to ask yourself is whose life was better without Caylee?" Burdick asked. "This is your answer."

Prosecutors also focused heavily on an odor in the trunk of Anthony's car, which forensics experts said was consistent with the smell of human decay.

But the defense argued that the air analysis could not be duplicated, that no one could prove a stain found in the trunk was caused by Caylee's remains, and that maggots in the compartment had come from a bag of trash.

Prosecutors hammered away at the lies Anthony told when the child was missing: She told her parents that she couldn't produce Caylee because the girl was with a nanny named Zanny - a woman who doesn't exist; that she and her daughter were spending time with a rich boyfriend who doesn't exist; and that Zanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic crash and that they were spending time with her.

Baez said during closing arguments that the prosecutors' case was so weak they tried to portray Anthony as "a lying, no-good slut" and that their forensic evidence was based on a "fantasy." He said Caylee's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control."

He contended that the toddler drowned and when Anthony panicked, her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a murder by putting duct tape on the girl's mouth and dumping the body in the woods a quarter-mile away. Anthony's father denied both the cover-up and abuse claims.

The verdict could divide people for many years to come, just as the O.J. Simpson case in the mid-1990s did, with some believing Anthony got away with murder.

Ti McLeod, who lives near the Anthony family, said, "The justice system has failed Caylee." Jodie Ickes, who lives a mile away and goes to the same hairdresser Anthony uses, said she is against the death penalty and was glad that Casey wasn't facing execution. "I'm comfortable with the outcome," she concluded.

Among the trial spectators was 51-year-old Robin Wilkie, who said she has spent $3,000 on hotels and food since arriving June 10 from Lake Minnetonka, Minn. She tallied more than 100 hours standing in line to wait for tickets and got into the courtroom 15 times to see Anthony.

"True crime has become a unique genre of entertainment," Wilkie said. "Her stories are so extreme and fantastic, it's hard to believe they're true, but that's what engrosses people. This case has sex, lies and videotapes - just like on reality TV."

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.