02-22-2024  7:49 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, Oregon Lawmakers Propose More Funding for Opioid Addiction Medication in Jails

Democrats are looking to counterbalance restoring criminal penalties for possession with expanding access to treatment for a potentially growing number of people in the criminal justice system. The proposal would create a million grant fund for jails looking to provide opioid addiction medication. Federal data shows only 24% of jails provide such medication to people with prior prescriptions.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Community Input Helps Fuel George Park Project

The effort is an innovative partnership between the City, Portland Parks Foundation, and The Kidz Outside ...

Renewal of School Local Option Levy Will be on May Ballot

If approved by voters, the levy renewal would maintain the current tax rate and continue to fund approximately 660 teachers and other...

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...

Remains found over 50 years ago identified through DNA technology as Oregon teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The remains of a teenager found more than 50 years ago have been identified through advanced DNA technology as a young woman who went missing from Portland, Oregon State Police said. The remains are that of Sandra Young, a high school student who disappeared...

Amid fentanyl crisis, Oregon lawmakers propose more funding for opioid addiction medication in jails

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Kendra Sawyer spoke with her dad from the Deschutes County jail and told him she loved him. Six hours later, in the throes of opioid withdrawal, the 22-year-old took her own life. A year later, Sawyer’s father, Kent, is left wondering whether his daughter,...

Deen scores career-high 35, makes program-record 9 3-pointers as Bradley downs Missouri State 86-62

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Duke Deen scored a career-high 35 points and made a program-record nine 3-pointers as Bradley beat Missouri State 86-62 on Wednesday night. Deen shot 13 for 17, including 9 for 12 from beyond the arc for the Braves (19-9, 11-6 Missouri Valley Conference)....

Knecht gets hot in second half, scores 17 as No. 5 Tennessee rallies past Mizzou, 72-67

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes asked the young guys on his bench at halftime, when the fifth-ranked Volunteers were losing to struggling Missouri, what they needed to turn things around over the final 20 minutes. “They said, ‘I think we need more effort,’”...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

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...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent, known for her inspirational talks as a young child, dies at 39

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hydeia Broadbent, the HIV/AIDS activist who came to national prominence in the 1990s as a young child for her inspirational talks to reduce the stigma surrounding the virus she was born with, has died. She was 39. Broadbent's father announced on Facebook that she...

South Carolina bans inmates from in-person interviews. A lawsuit wants to change that

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina prison policy banning inmates from speaking to reporters in person or having their writings directly published violates the First Amendment free speech rights of prisoners, a civil rights organization said in a federal lawsuit Thursday. While...

Prosecutors to seek retrial in former Ohio deputy’s murder case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio sheriff’s deputy charged in the killing of a Black man will face a retrial, prosecutors announced Thursday. The decision comes just days after a jury couldn’t agree on a verdict in Jason Meade's first trial and the judge declared a mistrial,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dreaming of summer peaches? Some gardening tips for growing a peach tree in many climates

I planted my first peach tree last June, five months before Pantone named Peach Fuzz the 2024 color of the year. How serendipitous! Today peachy tones are showing up everywhere, from TV backdrops to home furnishings, clothing and brand logos. But for me, it’s not about the trend but...

FuboTV files lawsuit over ESPN, Fox, Hulu, Warner Bros. Discovery sports-streaming venture

Streaming service FuboTV has filed an antitrust lawsuit against ESPN, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery and Hulu, which are planning to launch a sports-streaming venture in the fall. The lawsuit has been filed in the Southern District of New York. FuboTV, which focuses primarily on live...

Far from gloomy, darker paints create a cozy, more welcoming room

Dark hues have a bad rap as gloomy and depressing. More likely, they're bringing home the good vibes, all year long. One weekend when I had the house to myself, I painted our family room Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal, a deep, earthy gray. I waited till I had two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Putin takes a flight in nuclear-capable bomber in a tough message to the West ahead of election

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took a co-pilot's seat in a nuclear-capable...

Houthi rebel attack sets cargo ship ablaze, forces Israel to intercept another attack near Eilat

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen's Houthi rebels launched attacks Thursday on both Israel and a ship...

'Little dark secret': DEA agent on trial accused of taking 0K in bribes from Mafia

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The way prosecutors tell it, Joseph Bongiovanni went to work for years with a “little...

Putin takes a flight in nuclear-capable bomber in a tough message to the West ahead of election

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took a co-pilot's seat in a nuclear-capable...

Polish lawmakers OK morning-after pill for ages 15 and over in a first step to ease reproductive law

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s lawmakers voted on Thursday to approve over-the-counter access to the...

Slayings of tourists and Colombian women expose the dark side of Medellin's tourism boom

MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — The lush valley enveloping Medellin was once the heart of a brutal war involving the...

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."

---

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

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast