02-05-2023  6:40 pm   •   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

Boyhood collides with masculinity in Oscar-nominated 'Close'

NEW YORK (AP) — When Lukas Dhont was 12, a camera was thrust into his hands. For Dhont, who would come out as gay as a young adult, the camera was an escape from the strains and stereotypes he was beginning to feel pushed on him. “I needed this other reality in which I could...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyoncé ties Grammys record; Bad Bunny gets crowd dancing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beyoncé has tied the late Georg Solti for the most wins in Grammys history after she took...

US officials offer Congress briefing on Trump, Biden papers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have offered to brief congressional leaders on their investigation into the...

Cubans respond with zeal to new US migration policy

HAVANA (AP) — In barely a week, 25-year-old engineer Marcos Marzo went from riding his small electric motorcycle...

Former Israeli PM: Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A former Israeli prime minister who served briefly as a mediator at the start of...

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters...

Pope makes final bid for peace, forgiveness in South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Pope Francis made a final appeal for peace in South Sudan on Sunday as he celebrated...

Laura Wides-Munoz the Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- The civil rights groups that turned outrage over Trayvon Martin's death into action say their work is far from over now that his killer has been charged with second-degree murder. Next, they hope to harness the activism to challenge Florida's "stand your ground" law and similar statutes in 24 other states.

But they also worry about maintaining their momentum during what could be a long judicial process and translating it into political action that could help sway lawmakers. The leaders plan to use churches, social media and other means to rally the movement that has already prompted protesters to take to the streets in several major cities.

"Arresting Zimmerman is the beginning of the process. This is a first down, not a touchdown," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told The Associated Press this week from Houston, where he was talking to black church leaders about the Martin case, Florida's gun law and racial profiling.

Martin's death is also being used as a call to action by politicians such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and more traditional gun control groups including the Brady Campaign.

When prosecutors in Florida announced the charge against 28-year-old George Zimmerman on Wednesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton had just opened his National Action Network's annual conference in Washington. Sharpton said attendees immediately began discussing ways to keep attention on Martin's case and pressure governors and legislators to reconsider the self-defense laws.

"How did people hear about it in the first place? The kids heard about it on the radio. They heard about it on social media. That's what we need to continue," Sharpton said. "But school is going to be out soon, so you've got to have infrastructure that goes beyond the students, with black and minority media, with the churches."

His organization is calling for a national "stand your ground" rally on Sunday and plans to announce a rally outside the Florida Legislature in the coming days. Martin's parents are expected to speak at his conference Saturday. A pastor in Detroit is also planning a rally on Monday to support a teacher fired when she encouraged her students to raise money for Martin's family.

Elsewhere, pastors such as the Rev. Raphael Warnock, of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, are writing the case into their Sunday services.

And with 200,000 "likes," the Facebook page called "Justice for Trayvon Martin" is also keeping people informed. It continues to post about art, poetry and events organized in commemoration of the teen.

It's a continuation of an effort that began not long after Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. When no charges had been filed by early the next month, the Martin family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, reached out to civil rights leaders around the country.

Martin's parents and their supporters argued that race played a role in authorities' initial reluctance to bring charges. Martin was black, while Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

Rallies as far away as New York, Chicago and D.C. drew hundreds each, while more than a thousand protesters gathered in Miami and thousands more in Sanford. Protesters that included sports and film stars donned hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin was wearing when he was shot. The shooting was even discussed at presidential news conferences, and it became international news.

After an extraordinary 45-day campaign, the special prosecutor who took over the case charged Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer maintains that he shot the teen in self-defense after Martin attacked him. His attorney plans to cite Florida's "stand your ground law," which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight. The law is also part of the reason why authorities were reluctant to charge Zimmerman in the first place.



A document filed by the special prosecutor alleges that Zimmerman followed and confronted the unarmed teen, even after a police dispatcher told him to back off. He is being held without bond.

Martin's parents say that they plan to keep up their efforts even if Zimmerman is convicted.

"We would just like for the world to know that we will continue to fight for other Trayvons out there," his father, Tracy Martin, recently told the AP. "This just doesn't stop with our child."

The call to overturn the so-called "stand your ground" laws is gaining support from leaders beyond the civil rights community. Citing Martin's death, Bloomberg launched a national campaign on Wednesday called "Second Chance at Shoot First" that seeks to repeal or reform the self-defense laws.

Even the gun-control group the Brady Campaign, formed in the 1980s following the attempted assassination of then-President Ronald Reagan, is enjoying renewed attention. President Dan Gross plans to use the Martin case to fight proposed federal legislation that would force states with strict gun laws to recognize concealed weapons permits granted in states that have fewer requirements.

"We've been saying all along that the `stand your ground' laws - or the `shoot first and ask questions later' laws, as we call them - are only part of the issue," Gross said.

In Florida, a state senator recently convened a committee to review whether changes are needed to the state's self-defense laws. Gov. Rick Scott plans to convene a separate committee with a similar aim.

Still, advocates face a tough battle against an entrenched and well-funded gun-rights lobby.

The National Rifle Association, which opposes most gun control bills, spent more than $14 million on campaigns at the federal level during the last election cycle. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the headline speaker at its national convention Friday in Missouri.

The NRA didn't immediately respond to a call on Friday seeking comment about the self-defense laws.

Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said the presidential election gives the activists leverage but cautioned that the pitch to change self-defense laws will be tough in states where gun rights are sacred.

"Policy changes are never quick," she said. "The bottom line is rapid policy changes have a much better chance when you have a very high-profile, volatile issue like this one that reaches so many people."

Jackson doesn't expect any major changes to come quickly or easily, either.

"We must do some heavy lifting," he said. "This cannot be a fad where you wear the hoodie, the apparel, and then it goes away."

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kyle Hightower in Stanford, Fla.; Mike Hightower in Detroit; Errin Haines in Atlanta and Sonya Rosss in Washington.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

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