05-30-2017  12:23 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

Happy Memorial Day

The Skanner wishes readers a safe and happy Memorial Day ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Two sisters in rural Kentucky who lived for more than 20 years without Social Security numbers will get the government recognition after settling a lawsuit.

Under Tuesday's agreement, the State Department will issue passport cards to Raechel and Stephanie Schultz, who live in the tiny enclave of Lily. Those cards can be taken to the Social Security Administration, which has agreed to accept the cards as proof of U.S. citizenship and issue Social Security numbers to the women.

Upon receiving the passport cards, the sisters will have five days to apply for Social Security numbers, under the terms of the settlement.

The sisters sued in federal court in July, after being turned away on multiple attempts at getting a card because of a lack of documentation proving their citizenship.

The sisters have no phone. Calls to their attorney, Douglas Benge of London, Ky., were not immediately returned Wednesday morning. The federal government did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Raechel, 29, was born at a home in Madison County, Ky., near where the family lives now; Stephanie, 23, was delivered in the back of a Dodge van in southern Alabama. The births were recorded in a family Bible but were otherwise not documented.

Their mercurial parents settled into a hardscrabble existence about 14 years ago along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where the family car broke down. The girls were home schooled by their college-educated parents.

The earliest years for the Schultz sisters were nomadic. The family traveled through 42 states, never staying too long in one place. Their father found occasional work in construction or at restaurants and the children picked up cans to make a few bucks. They stayed in motels or camped and the sisters' grandparents sent money to help.

On its website, the Social Security Administration lists documents that may be used to prove identity, age and citizenship. The accepted records include a birth certificate, driver's license, state-issued identification card or U.S. passport, and it's not entirely clear why they have been denied.

Raechel and Stephanie Schultz started to push for Social Security cards about five years ago so they could get jobs beyond bartending and making jewelry, repainting old furniture and bartending. Raechel even posed as her mother to get a job at a restaurant.

Everyone else in the family has a Social Security number, including an older sister now living in New Orleans who got her Social Security card as a teenager on her second try. She had a birth certificate and a baptismal record.

After being rejected by the Social Security Administration for lack of proper documentation, the sisters sued in state court in 2009, seeking birth certificates. Circuit Judge John Knox Mills in 2010 ordered DNA tests to prove the women were born to their parents, then ordered the records issued.

"The court has no reason to not believe the testimony and finds no reason to suggest the plaintiffs are seeking this relief for an illegal or immoral purpose," Circuit Judge John Knox Mills wrote in his 2010 order.

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