02-20-2024  5:31 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Supporters of Issue 1, the Right to Reproductive Freedom amendment, attend a rally in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 8, 2023. Some state governments and a federal agency are moving to block companies from selling geolocation data that shows who's been to abortion providers, among other places. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)

    States Aim to Protect Health Data Used in Abortion Battle 

    State governments across the U.S. are adopting or considering laws that would block the sale of personal health data or information about who visits sensitive sites such as sexual health facilities. Medical records are protected by a federal privacy law, but information collected by a lot of apps is not and state legislation is trying to close that gap. Data privacy ihas been a growing concern since the.Supreme Court overturned Read More
  • KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

    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 Read More
  • Author Michael Thurmond speaks poses for a portrait, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in Stone Mountain, Ga. A new book by Michael Thurmond entitled “James Oglethorpe, Father of Georgia” focuses on Georgia's white founding father’s failed attempt to ban slavery after starting Britain's 13th American colony in 1733. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    A Black Author Looks at Failed Attempt by Founder of Georgia to Ban Slavery

    Black author Michael Thurmond says Georgia's white founding father deserves credit for inspiring the abolitionist movement that ultimately ended slavery. His new book - “James Oglethorpe, Father of Georgia” --focuses on Oglethorpe's failed attempt to ban slavery after starting Britain's 13th American colony in 1733. Georgia's early prohibition on slavery ended and Oglethorpe returned to England where he inspired activists who would become Britain's first abolitionists Read More
  • Mpho Molutsi from the Children’s Radio Foundation during a live community broadcast in Johannesburg. Gulshan Khan/AFP/Getty Images

    100 Years of Radio in Africa: From Propaganda to People’s Power

    Radio is thriving across Africa. Exact figures are difficult to come by because audience research differs across countries. But studies estimate radio listenership to be between 60% and 80% of the continent’s 1.4 billion population. Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

Former Audubon Group Changes Name to ‘Bird Alliance of Oregon’

Portland Audubon has changed its name to the “Bird Alliance of Oregon," in the latest example of a local chapter to do so because of John James Audubon’s views as a slave owner. While the national organization opted to keep its name, other local chapters have changed theirs, including those in Seattle, Chicago and Detroit.

Childcare, Rural Investment, Wealth Creation, ‘Actually’ Affordable Housing: State BIPOC Caucus Talks Priorities at Start of Legislative Session

The Skanner spoke with BIPOC Caucus policy and communications vice chair Rep. Travis Nelson (D-Portland, Dist. 44) for a session preview. 

NEWS BRIEFS

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

“Nothing is more important than making sure folks in need have food to eat, and the resources to thrive,” Wyden...

Historic Church in Seattle Hosts Free Black History Month Film Series for All

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, located in Seattle’s historic Central District, will host “Freedom Fridays: A Black History...

Attorney General Rosenblum: Gun Safety Law Enacted By Voters Should Take Effect Now

Measure 114 establishes reasonable public safety regulations that do not unduly burden the right of self-defense. ...

Guardrail Repair Work to Impact Traffic on Morrison Bridge S.E. Belmont Ramp

On Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Morrison Bridge S.E. Belmont Street exit lane to S.E. Martin Luther King Jr....

Solemn monument to Japanese American WWII detainees lists more than 125,000 names

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Samantha Sumiko Pinedo and her grandparents file into a dimly lit enclosure at the Japanese American National Museum and approach a massive book splayed open to reveal columns of names. Pinedo is hoping the list includes her great-grandparents, who were detained in Japanese...

State governments looking to protect health-related data as it's used in abortion battle

Some state governments and federal regulators were already moving to keep individuals' reproductive health information private when a U.S. senator’s report last week offered a new jolt, describing how cellphone location data was used to send millions of anti-abortion ads to people who visited...

East and Missouri host No. 5 Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers (19-6, 9-3 SEC) at Missouri Tigers (8-17, 0-12 SEC) Columbia, Missouri; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Volunteers -11.5; over/under is 146.5 BOTTOM LINE: Missouri hosts the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers after Sean East scored...

Arizona hires Desireé Reed-Francois as athletic director to navigate move to Big 12

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona has hired former Missouri athletic director Desireé Reed-Francois to guide the athletics department through financial difficulties prior to the school's move to the Big 12. Reed-Francois agreed to terms Monday on a five-year contract that will start at...

OPINION

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...

The Future of Sexual & Reproductive Health Care Begins with Listening to Black Women

Repairing historic harm begins with trust — because we know that when Black women thrive, we all thrive. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

For Black ‘nones’ who leave religion, what’s next?

(RNS) — When Black Americans leave religion, it’s rarely a clean break. Take Rogiérs Fibby, a self-described agnostic, atheist and secular humanist who grew up in the Moravian Church. The head of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Black Secular Collective, Fibby also considers...

Attorneys for Georgia slave descendants urge judge not to throw out their lawsuit over island zoning

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Attorneys suing a Georgia county over zoning changes that they say threaten one of the South's last Gullah-Geechee communities of Black slave descendants asked a judge Tuesday to let them correct technical problems with their civil complaint to avoid having it dismissed. ...

US appeals court to decide if Pennsylvania mail-in ballots with wrong date still count

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court must decide if Pennsylvania voters need to put accurate handwritten dates on the outside envelopes of their mail-in ballots for the votes to count, a dispute with implications for this year's presidential contest. The 3rd U.S. Circuit...

ENTERTAINMENT

Prince Harry races head-first down a skeleton sled track and says 'everybody should do this'

WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Prince Harry raced head-first on a tiny skeleton sled going 99 kph (61.5 mph) down a track at next year’s Invictus Games site Thursday, saying with a smile afterward that everyone should do it. Harry was in Whistler, British Columbia, with wife...

Transform Asian kitchen staples into an umami-packed vegetarian soup

It’s a common misconception that the best soups require long ingredient lists and hours of simmering. In fact, just a handful of high-flavor items can be transformed into an umami-bomb of a soup in just 45 minutes. In this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” we get the job done thanks...

Seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson welcomes Creed to Daytona 500 with arms wide open

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson and his Legacy Motor Club race team welcomed Creed to NASCAR with arms wide open. So singer Scott Stapp and the rest of the multi-platinum rock band filled them — they handed Johnson an autographed guitar. Johnson, a two-time Daytona 500...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden wants people to know most of the money he's seeking for Ukraine would be spent in the US

MESQUITE, Texas (AP) — At a bustling construction site outside of Dallas, there are hopes that Congress can...

Welcome to the 'Hotel California' case: The trial over handwritten lyrics to an Eagles classic

NEW YORK (AP) — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles were working on a spooky, cryptic new song. On a...

College Football Playoff approves 5+7 format and reduces spots for conference champions

The field for the 12-team College Football Playoff beginning next season will comprise five conference champions...

Attacks on ships and US drones show Yemen's Houthis can still fight despite US-led airstrikes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Despite a month of U.S.-led airstrikes, Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels...

As the Ukraine war enters a third year, Putin waits for Western support for Kyiv to wither

When the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, some analysts predicted it might take as few as three days...

Ransomware group LockBit is disrupted by a global police operation that includes 2 arrests

LONDON (AP) — Law enforcement agencies have infiltrated and disrupted the prolific ransomware syndicate LockBit...

Justin Juozapavicius the Associated Press


Chad Smith served as chief of the Cherokee Nation until June.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- In a rare move by the government, a federal judge will delve in to the interworking of an American Indian tribe this week by deciding whether to allow the descendants of slaves once owned by members of the Cherokee Nation to vote in the tribe's embattled election for chief.

A special election being held Saturday was ordered by the tribe's highest court after recounts from a flawed election in June were reversed several times, with the longtime chief and his challenger each being declared the winner twice. Tribal experts believe the slave descendants - known as freedmen - could swing the vote to new leadership of one of the country's largest tribes.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy will hear arguments Tuesday in Washington, D.C., from attorneys for the freedmen, who are suing to keep their right to vote and other tribal benefits after tribe members voted to cut them off. They're asking for a preliminary injunction, which would allow freedmen to vote like other members of the tribe Saturday.

The election challenges had been playing out in the tribe's court system until the freedmen sued, citing an 1866 treaty with the federal government that they argue guarantees their tribal rights. That pushed the case into the federal courts. The federal government warned the Cherokees this month to reinstate the freedmen, saying Saturday's election would be illegal if they weren't allowed to vote.

Chad Smith, who was chief until a temporary replacement was named after the June election, has actively campaigned for the last decade to remove non-Cherokee freedmen from the tribe's voter rolls. His challenger, longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker, also backed their removal but not as vocally.

Although no official breakdown exists, attorneys for the freedmen estimate that between 330 and 500 freedmen voted during that election. The tribe initially announced Smith had won by 11 votes, but subsequent tallies had the margins at seven, 266 and five votes.

"My impression is that an overwhelming majority of the freedmen would be supporting Bill John Baker," said attorney Ralph Keen Jr., who is representing the freedmen in tribal court. "They feel like the past administration was so staunchly opposed to their rights that any change would be a change for the better."

After ballots were counted a fifth time from the June election, the tribe's Supreme Court said it couldn't be sure the tally was correct and ordered a new election.

But in the meantime, it upheld a 2007 vote by tribe members to revoke the freedmen's suffrage rights after three-fourths of voters favored doing so.

The Cherokee Nation has about 300,000 members, making it Oklahoma's largest tribe and one of the largest tribes in the U.S. About 2,800 freedmen held tribal rights after fighting for years to regain citizenship privileges that they believe were granted to them under the 1866 treaty, which gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."

Smith and Baker both backed the tribal court's decision to kick the freedmen out of the tribe. But Baker has appeared less vocal about it while on the campaign trail, inviting the idea by his opponents that he is courting the freedmen vote. Smith, however, has repeatedly invoked the freedmen issue and tells voters he is the only candidate who has consistently defended the results of the 2007 vote.

"The non-Cherokee freedmen are vocal in their support of Baker because they know he will support them instead of the constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the Cherokee people," Smith said. "I have chosen, instead, to be vocal in my support of the Cherokee people."

Jon Velie, a tribal law attorney who also represents freedmen descendants, said it would amount to "political suicide" if Baker came out as strongly as Smith has on the freedmen.

Chuck Hoskin, Jr., a senior adviser to the Baker campaign, dismissed any theory that the freedmen vote would automatically tilt in his candidate's favor.

"No matter what the courts end up deciding, we are confident that Bill John Baker will be elected as the next chief of the Cherokee Nation by a wide margin," Hoskin said.

Amid mounting pressure from the federal government, which included the freezing of $33 million in Cherokee funds by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the tribe's election commission decided to allow freedmen to cast provisional ballots for chief - but said those votes would only count in the event of a court order.

The principal chief controls business and gaming enterprises that provide jobs for thousands of Cherokees amid high unemployment, and he or she oversees rural health care facilities and other services. The chief administers a $600 million annual tribal budget, has veto power and sets the tribe's national agenda.

Baker and Smith waged bare-knuckle campaigns in the weeks leading up to the June election, with each accusing the other of negative campaigning and resorting to questionable campaign tactics. At odds on almost every issue, they fought over how many jobs the nation was creating for the Cherokee people, spending on health care and even Smith's use of a twin-engine airplane the tribe has owned for 38 years.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast