06-25-2024  8:49 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Parts of Washington State Parental Rights Law Criticized as a ‘Forced Outing’ Placed on Hold

A provision outlining how and when schools must respond to records requests from parents was placed on hold, as well as a provision permitting a parent to access their student’s medical and mental health records. 

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Art Exhibit 'Feeling Our Age-Sixty Over Sixty' Opens

The exhibition runs through mid-August, 1540 NW 13th Ave. at NW Quimby. ...

PCCEP Forum on Brain Injuries, Policing, and Public Safety

This Wednesday, June 26, 6-8:30 p.m. in person at The Melody Event Center ...

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

Olympic champion Athing Mu's appeal denied after tumble at US track trials

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Track officials denied an appeal by 800-meter Olympic champion Athing Mu, who got tangled in a pack of runners and fell at the U.S. trials, denying her a chance to defend her title. Mu's coach, Bobby Kersee, said Mu got clipped by another runner on the...

Jury awards more than million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded .1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top European rights court says Russia responsible for breaching rights in Crimea after 2014 takeover

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Europe's top human rights court ruled Tuesday that Russia was responsible for a string of human rights violations in Crimea since overrunning and later illegally annexing the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. The European Court of Human Rights said in a...

Alabama town's first Black mayor, who had been locked out of office, will return under settlement

NEWBERN, Ala. (AP) — The first Black mayor of a small Alabama town, who said white officials locked him out of town hall, will return to the role under the terms of a proposed settlement agreement. Patrick Braxton will be recognized as the lawful mayor of the town of Newbern, under...

California lawmakers abandon attempt to repeal law requiring voter approval for some public housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday abandoned their attempt to repeal the nation's only law requiring voter approval for publicly funded affordable housing projects, a provision added to the state Constitution more than half a century ago that aimed to keep people of color...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: 'Kung Fu Panda 4' chops, PBS hits the disco and Kevin Hart chats

The debut of “Echoes,” a sequel series to “Orphan Black," and the documentary “Bread & Roses” looking at how Afghan women’s lives were impacted after Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021 are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Music Review: Concert album from the Tomasz Stanko Quartet explains the jazz lineup’s staying power

Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko ’s first notes on the new album "September Night,” dark and slightly distant, sound as though they’re coming from the hereafter. Stanko died in 2018, and his new album is a previously unreleased recording of a 2004 concert by his quartet. Along with...

Music Review: Linda Thompson’s family and friends sing her songs on 'Proxy Music'

Linda Thompson, who ranks among the finest singers of her generation, hardly sings a note on “Proxy Music," her first album in over a decade. Instead, Thompson makes herself heard through her songwriting. She’s often remembered for music she made with Richard Thompson, including...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US surgeon general declares gun violence a public health emergency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by...

On heartland roads, and a riverboat, devout Catholics press on with two-month nationwide pilgrimage

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into...

A potential Trump VP pick backs a controversial CO2 pipeline favored by the Biden White House

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is one of Donald Trump’s most visible and vocal backers,...

With another setback for cease-fire talks, worries of full-scale war for Israel and Lebanon escalate

BEIRUT (AP) — The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group terrifies...

International court seeks arrest of Russian officials over attacks on Ukrainian power plants

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it issued arrest warrants for...

South Sudan says its 6M antelope make up world’s largest land mammal migration, but poaching on rise

BADINGILO and BOMA NATIONAL PARKS, South Sudan (AP) — Seen from the air, they ripple across the landscape — a...

Andrew Welsh-Huggins AP Legal Affairs Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A decision by Ohio officials to remove all pork products from prison menus in response to a lawsuit by Muslim inmates is not sitting well with the state's pork producers and processors.

Both promise action of their own, including a possible counter lawsuit, to address what they consider an unfair and illogical decision.

"We really think it's not in the best interest, frankly, of the whole prison system," said Dick Isler, executive director of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. "It seems like we're letting a small group make the rules when it really isn't in the best interest of the rest of prisoners."

Pork is inexpensive and nutritious and compares well with other lean meats, he said.

Ironically, the inmates' lawsuit doesn't involve pork at all; it demands that non-pork meats like beef come from animals slaughtered according to Islamic law. But the prisons system responded by simply removing pork as an option altogether.

Assistant prisons director Steven Huffman has spoken with Isler, but the system isn't changing its mind, spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Wednesday.

She said she couldn't comment on the lawsuit specifically, but said removing pork assures that inmates' religious practices aren't jeopardized by pork coming into contact with other food during preparation.

The prison system first took pork off the menu in 2009 after, in a money-saving attempt, it closed the pig farm and processing facility it operated to provide meat for inmates.

Last year, after lobbying by pork producers, the system added pork rib patties back to the menu twice a month.

The prison system couldn't immediately say Wednesday how much it spent on pork. But Kristin Mullins, who lobbies for Ohio pork processors, said the move last year actually saved Ohio money because pork was less expensive at the time than other meats.

"Let's service the entire prison population and not let one portion dictate what's being served," said Mullins, who also represents processors in Kentucky and Tennessee.

In a federal lawsuit, death row inmate Abdul Awkal complains that the state is restraining his religious freedoms by not providing meals prepared according to Islamic law, known as halal, while at the same time supplying Jewish prisoners with kosher meals.

Awkal, joined by a second inmate not on death row, says the vegetarian and non-pork options aren't good enough. The inmates say food must be prepared in specific fashion, such as ensuring that an animal is butchered by slitting its throat and draining its blood, to conform to Islamic beliefs.

Prison guidelines for Muslim inmates already provided that meals will be "free of all pork and products containing or derived from pork."

As a result, the decision to remove pork from menus won't affect the lawsuit, which will continue, said David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which is suing on behalf of the two inmates.

A judge has given lawyers and inmates for the state until next month to finish filing documents bolstering their arguments, ahead of an expected January trial.

Ohio says requiring halal meals could mean new dietary plans for as many as 2,000 inmates, while Awkal's lawyers believe the figure is lower because not all Muslims eat halal meals.

Awkal, 52, is scheduled to die in June for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal, and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in 1992, in a room in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. Joining Awkal in the lawsuit is Cornelius Causey, 35, serving 15 years to life for murder and aggravated robbery convictions out of Hamilton County.

In court documents, Ohio has argued that it provides both non-pork and vegetarian meals to Muslims and says the courts have sided with this practice. The state also says that providing halal meals could hurt Ohio financially, given the current budget situation.

It's unclear if any other state prison system has made a similar move. California provides packaged kosher meals to Jewish inmates and halal meals prepared at prisons for Muslim prisoners, as well as including pork on the regular menu.

Muslim inmates in Texas can select regular, meat-free or pork-free meals but are not served halal meals.

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