05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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Gov. John Kitzhaber speaking at a business industry event

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks during the annual Oregon Business Summit in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. The state's business community has outlined a legislative wish list centered on improvements in education, infrastructure and natural resource policy. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon public high schools have to start picking up the pace if they are to achieve Gov. John Kitzhaber's demand for a 100 percent graduation rate by 2025.

The state said Thursday that the on-time graduation rate increased to 72 percent in 2014. It's a jump of 3.3 percentage points from a year ago, but that gain is largely because of a new calculation procedure.

In previous years, special education students awarded modified diplomas were not counted in the graduation rate. This year, they are. The new calculation also includes students who met the requirements for a diploma after four years, but chose to stay in high school for a fifth-year program offered by some districts.

Oregon education officials say other states include such students in their tallies, so this year's rate makes for a better comparison than in 2013, when the state's graduation rate ranked last in the nation. National rankings for 2014 aren't available yet, but an extra 3.3 percentage points last year would have pushed Oregon ahead of four states.

Still, 72 percent leaves Oregon a long way from the governor's "40-40-20" goal. The governor expects 40 percent of students to receive a bachelor's degree or higher, 40 percent to get an associate degree or certificate and the other 20 percent to at least get a high school diploma.

"How (72 percent) strikes me is that we've got to go for 40-40-20 by 2025, and we've got work to do," Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden said.

Though no U.S. state has a graduation rate of 100 percent, or even 90 percent, most exceed 80 percent. Data released by Oregon education officials this week shows that 86 percent of Asian students graduated in four years, but white, black, Hispanic and American Indian students all fell well short of 80 percent. Only 68 percent of boys graduated in four years compared with 76 percent of girls.

As for improving the dropout rate, Golden said the state can make dramatic strides if it continues its push to have kids reading proficiently by the third grade and finds a way to get all students to show up regularly.

"We need to have a laser focus on chronic absenteeism," she said.

Despite the poor graduation rate, positive trends appeared in some districts. Hispanic students in the Woodburn School District, which is heavily Latino, had a graduation rate 23 percent higher than Hispanic students statewide. State officials credited a districtwide dual-language program.

Hispanic students in the Stanfield School District had a similarly strong performance. The state chalked it up to the Eastern Promise program, a partnership between Eastern Oregon high schools and Eastern Oregon University and local community colleges.

The state has nearly 200 school districts, most of them small. The districts representing the three largest cities — Portland, Eugene and Salem — had graduation rates near the state average.

Excluding districts with fewer than 20 students, the Eastern Oregon school districts of Imbler, Enterprise and Pilot Rock had the highest graduation rates, all topping 96 percent. The worst rates were in Crook County, Estacada and Elkton. All graduated between 20 percent and 30 percent the students who enrolled in 2010-11.

 

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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