02-05-2023  3:13 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...

Oregon brothers cut food waste and created the tater tot

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — When brothers Golden and Francis Nephi “Neef” Grigg began renting a frozen foods plant in the tiny Idaho border town of Ontario, Oregon, in 1949, they were hoping to expand their existing frozen corn business to include potatoes. Little did they know they’d taken the...

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...

Bradley defeats Northern Iowa 77-69

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Malevy Leons scored 19 points as Bradley beat Northern Iowa 77-69 on Saturday night. Leons was 5-of-8 shooting, including 4 for 6 from distance, and went 5 for 8 from the line for the Braves (17-8, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Rienk Mast went 8 of 12...

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

Jessy Wilson on 'Keep Rising' anthem and the hope it brings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson was ready to give up her musical dream when a film about female African warriors showed her the power of perseverance. Wilson’s Grammy -nominated song “Keep Rising,” was picked by director Gina Prince-Bythewood to be...

Bryan Adams, crafting albums amid Grammy Award nomination

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Adams may have nabbed his first Grammy nomination in over two decades, but he won't be at the ceremony. He's got a gig that night. The Canadian rock star had committed to a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday and he didn't want to disappoint his fans or his crew by...

Review: Stafford-Jutz album brings to life forgotten voices

“Lost Voices,” Tim Stafford & Thomm Jutz (Mountain Fever) “Lost Voices” features new songs written in the past tense, and serves as an engaging soundtrack to neglected chapters in American history. The album comes from the formidable singer-storyteller team...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who'll win on Sunday

The Beyhive is all abuzz over the possibility that Beyoncé will have a chance to make Grammy history this year,...

Biden makes progress on 'unity agenda' outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top...

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...

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation,...

Israeli army besieges homes of fugitives in West Bank raid

AQABAT JABR REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli army raided a refugee camp near the Palestinian city of...

Bolsonaro ponders election defeat, as crowd chants ‘fraud’

MIAMI (AP) — Only a few weeks after his supporters stormed the seat of his country's government, former...

Gene Johnson the Associated Press

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Despite the array of prescription drugs he was taking, an Army soldier's videotaped statement describing how he and his colleagues randomly killed three Afghan civilians appeared to be a reliable account, an investigator testified Monday at a hearing into one of the most serious war-crimes cases to emerge from the Afghan war.
Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, is among five Stryker soldiers charged with premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder. In interviews with Army investigators, he described a plot led by Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs to randomly kill civilians while on patrol in Kandahar Province.
Prosecutors have also alleged that members of the platoon mutilated Afghan corpses and even collected fingers and other body parts, and that some posed for photos with Afghan corpses.
Morlock's attorneys are seeking to suppress the statements he made, saying they were made under the influence of muscle relaxants, sleeping pills and anti-nausea medicine prescribed for repeat concussions. Morlock was being evacuated from Afghanistan for apparent traumatic brain injury when he was questioned in May.
But Army Special Agent Anderson D. Wagner testified that Morlock was articulate during the interviews and that his account was corroborated by others in the unit. The hearing will determine whether the case proceeds to a court martial; Morlock and the others could face the death penalty if convicted.
"He made good eye contact. He was able to recount events that happened several months ago," Wagner said by audio feed from Kandahar.
Prosecutors listed 18 witnesses for Monday's hearing. Fourteen of them asserted their right to remain silent, including other defendants as well as 1st Lt. Roman G. Ligsay, who has been removed as leader of the platoon but is not charged.
Portions of Morlock's interviews were aired by ABC News, and The Associated Press has reviewed statements he made under oath in which he claimed Gibbs — the highest ranking soldier accused — planned "scenarios" during which they could kill civilians. For example, Morlock said, if they came across someone in a village that had previously been flagged as having Taliban influence, they could toss a grenade at the civilian and claim they had been responding to a threat.
Gibbs also illicitly collected "drop weapons" that could be placed by the bodies to make them appear to be combatants, Morlock and others said.
"Gibbs had pure hatred for all Afghanis and constantly referred to them as savages," Morlock said in the statement reviewed by the AP. "Sometime after Christmas 2009, Gibbs gave me a (fragmentary) grenade and told me that if the situation presented itself that we should go ahead and run with the grenade scenario that he had briefed to us."
A few weeks later, in January, the first of the killings was carried out, followed by one in February and one in early May. In each, prosecutors say, Morlock and Gibbs enlisted one other soldier to be involved. Lawyers for those three say they either deny involvement or that their participation was unwitting.
Gibbs' attorney says all three killings were "appropriate engagements."
The case raised serious questions about the Army's handling of it. Spc. Adam Winfield, who is charged in the final killing, sent troubling Facebook messages home to his parents in Florida after the first killing. He wrote that he was being threatened to keep his mouth shut about it and that he didn't know what to do.
His father made nearly half a dozen calls to military officials that day, and he said he warned them about the ongoing plot and the threats against his son.
But no suspects were arrested until May, when a witness in a drug case in the unit alerted investigators to what he considered unjustified killings.
In cross-examination of Wagner and another investigator, Morlock's attorney, Michael Waddington, questioned the lack of forensic investigation into the killings. He pressed them on whether they really knew who killed which civilian, and why they had not exhumed the bodies or seized the weapons of the accused.
Wagner responded that investigators likely would have had trouble locating the bodies, and even if they did, it would be difficult to exhume them without upsetting local citizens.
"If it was on U.S. soil we would have done it, no question," he said. "It's not the United States. Everything we do has repercussions."
Associated Press writer Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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