09-29-2022  9:01 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tiny Oregon Town Hosts 1st Wind-Solar-Battery 'Hybrid' Plant

A renewable energy plant being commissioned in Oregon combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.

State Senator Weighs in on Lottery Issues

Sen. James Manning of Eugene voices concerns about the Lottery’s special treatment of two of its managers

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Clash Over Guns, Abortion

Three candidates clashed over gun control, abortions and the homeless crisis, just six weeks before election day.

Black United Fund Launches Emerging Entrepreneur Program

Pilot program will support promising small business owner ready to take the next step.

NEWS BRIEFS

1st Civil Trial Over Portland Cops’ Use of Force Begins

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Council Approves Dunn’s Proposal to Expand Hate Crime Reporting System

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Expiring Protections: 10-Day Notices of Nonpayment of Rent And "Safe Harbor" Protections

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11 Area Post Offices to Host Hiring Events

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Rep. Janelle Bynum Champions Oregon Business and Sets Sights on Strengthening Key Industries

Rep. Bynum invited leaders and experts to discuss ways the state can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the...

Bodies and floatplane parts recovered from Puget Sound

SEATTLE (AP) — The bodies of some of the 10 victims and most of a floatplane that crashed in Washington state’s Puget Sound earlier this month have been recovered. Island County Emergency Management confirmed Thursday that multiple bodies were recovered, but Deputy Director Eric...

Endangered southern resident orca numbers drop from 74 to 73

SEATTLE (AP) — The population of endangered southern resident orcas has declined from 74 to 73 in the latest census, according to the Center for Whale Research. The center posted on Facebook this week that it had completed its annual census estimate of the southern resident killer...

No. 1 Georgia will try to get ground game going at Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Georgia has one of college football's prolific offenses, triggered by one of its best quarterbacks, so of course the topic of conversation around Athens as the top-ranked Bulldogs head to Missouri on Saturday would be their run game. That's what happens when...

No. 1 Georgia heads back on road to face reeling Missouri

No. 1 Georgia (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at Missouri (2-2, 0-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network) Line: Georgia by 28, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Georgia leads 10-1. WHAT’S AT STAKE? Georgia looked vulnerable for the first time...

OPINION

No Room for Black Folk

A recent interview with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and an associate professor, reveals the inability of certain white Americans to share the benefits of our society ...

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Sheriff probed after comments surface condemning Black staff

WHITEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff was recorded calling Black employees by derogatory names and saying they should be fired, a television station reported. Several Black officers in leadership positions were later demoted or fired. Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene...

Russia to annex more of Ukraine on Friday at the Kremlin

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia planned to annex more of Ukraine on Friday in an escalation of the seven-month war that was expected to isolate the Kremlin further, draw more international punishment and bring Ukraine extra military, political and economic support. The annexation —...

Top leader of Episcopal Church tests positive for COVID-19

Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, said Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Curry, who in 2015 became the first African American leader of the denomination, said he will participate in upcoming events either remotely or through pre-recorded...

ENTERTAINMENT

Do the 'Time Warp' again — 'Rocky Horror' show will travel

NEW YORK (AP) — Grab your toilet paper. Bring a flashlight. Don't forget a newspaper — or your fishnets. A touring, interactive version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is hitting the road to celebrate the cult film's birthday with screenings, live shadow casts, the...

Katie Couric says she's been treated for breast cancer

NEW YORK (AP) — Katie Couric said Wednesday that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and radiation treatment this summer to treat the tumor. Couric, who memorably was tested for colon cancer on the “Today” show in 2000, announced her diagnosis in an...

Review: 'Smile' turns twisted grin into bland horror flick

I have mostly frowny faces for “Smile,” a bluntly unsettling and blandly grim new horror flick that wrings as much mileage as it can out of a twisted grin. Parker Finn’s directorial debut, which opens in theaters Friday, adapts his own 11-minute short into a jump scare-rich...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Asian stocks sink on German inflation, British tax cuts

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks sank again Friday after German inflation spiked higher, British Prime Minister Liz...

'Crown,' 'Interview With the Vampire' among TV highlights

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GOP states sue Biden administration over student loan plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration in an effort to halt its plan to...

Live Updates: Russia-Ukraine War

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Climate Migration: Blind and homeless amid Somalia's drought

DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — Blindness heightens the remaining senses. The thud of a toppling camel is more jarring,...

3 Russian cosmonauts return safely from Intl Space Station

MOSCOW (AP) — Three Russian cosmonauts returned safely Thursday from a mission to the International Space...

Charles Wilson the Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Registered sex offenders who have been banned from social networking websites are fighting back in the nation's courts, successfully challenging many of the restrictions as infringements on free speech and their right to participate in common online discussions.

The legal battles pit public outrage over sex crimes against cherished guarantees of individual freedom and the far-reaching communication changes brought by Facebook, LinkedIn and dozens of other sites.

"It's going to be really, really hard, I think, to write something that will achieve the state's purpose in protecting children online but not be restrictive enough to be unconstitutional," said Carolyn Atwell-Davis, director of legislative affairs at the Virginia-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Courts have long allowed states to place restrictions on convicted sex offenders who have completed their sentences, controlling where many of them live and work and requiring them to register with police. But the increasing use of social networks for everyday communication raises new, untested issues. The bans generally forbid offenders to join social networks or chat rooms or use instant-messaging programs - just a few of the online tools that civil liberties advocates say have become virtually indispensable to free speech.

After hearing challenges, federal judges in two states threw out laws or parts of laws that they deemed too stringent. In Nebraska, the decision allowed sex offenders to join social networks. And in Louisiana, a new law lets offenders use the Internet for shopping, reading news and exchanging email. A case filed against Indiana's law is under review.

Authorities insist the bans address a real problem: the need to protect children from pedophiles who prowl online hangouts visited by kids.

"It's hard to come up with an example of a sexual predator who doesn't use some form of social networking anymore," said Steve DeBrota, an assistant U.S. attorney in Indianapolis who prosecutes child sex crimes.

Ruthann Robson, a professor of constitutional law at the City University of New York, said the bans could eventually be taken up by the Supreme Court if the justices decide there's a constitutional question.

"If we think that the government can curtail sex offenders' rights without any connection to the actual crime, then it could become a blanket prohibition against anyone who is accused of a crime, no matter what the crime is," Robson said.

Supporters of the bans say they target repeat offenders such as a Maryland man charged with extorting a 16-year-old girl Indiana girl to perform sexual acts during video chats. He was free on bond when he was accused of doing the same thing to more underage girls.

Trevor J. Shea, 21, of Mechanicsburg, Md., was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison in January after pleading guilty to seven counts of production of child pornography.

Xavier Von Erck, founder of Perverted Justice Inc., a group devoted to exposing online sexual predators, said it doesn't make sense for judges to let pedophiles troll the Web for more victims but revoke the voting rights of people convicted of lesser crimes. He called that "judicial hypocrisy."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which is challenging Indiana's 2008 law, argues that it's unconstitutional to bar sex offenders who are no longer in prison or on probation from using basic online services.

"To broadly prohibit such a large group of persons from ever using these modern forms of communication is just something the First Amendment cannot tolerate," said Ken Falk, legal director of Indiana's ACLU chapter.

The case is scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. The main plaintiff, referred to in the suit only as "John Doe," was convicted on two counts of child exploitation in 2000 and released from prison in 2003, according to federal court documents.

The man cannot send questions to televised debates or comment on news stories on local websites because doing so requires a Facebook account, the ACLU contends. Neither can he communicate with his out-of-state family members using the social network or post his business profile on LinkedIn.

The plaintiff is also forbidden to supervise his teenage son's Internet use or investigate questionable friend requests sent to his child, the ACLU claims.

Prosecutors argue that social networking sites aren't the only forms of communication.

"The fact is that telephones still work. People including registered sex offenders may still congregate, discuss, debate and even demonstrate," Indiana Deputy Attorney General David Arthur wrote in a brief.

Television and radio are still widespread and offer numerous call-in shows. Newspapers still accept letters to the editor, he added.

The ACLU says precedent is on its side. The lawsuit cites a February ruling in Louisiana in which U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson found that the state's prohibition was too broad and "unreasonably restricts many ordinary activities that have become important to everyday life."

Louisiana lawmakers passed a new law this month that more narrowly defines what sites are prohibited. News and government sites, email services and online shopping are excluded from the new rules, as are photo-sharing and instant-messaging systems. The measure takes effect Aug. 1.

But courts continue to wrestle with the issue in Indiana and Nebraska, where a federal judge in 2009 blocked part of a law that included a social networking ban. A second legal challenge by an Omaha-area sex offender is set for trial in July.

"I think policymakers are struggling to come up with the right policy that makes sense," Atwell-Davis said. "There's no silver bullet."

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Follow Charles Wilson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharlesDWilson

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