11 27 2014
  10:59 pm  
     •     
The Wake of Vanport oral history

Killings Shock Refugees

Sudanese community protects four children orphaned by tragedy

A tight-knit community of Sudanese refugees has rallied around four children orphaned by what police have called a murder-suicide. The community is determined to help the youth through their grief. The King County sheriff's office believes James-Soka Wani, 34, stabbed Jesika Poni Wani, 33, in the chest on Dec. 12, then drove his car across the centerline of Highway 18 east of Maple Valley, ramming into a truck and colliding with another vehicle. Three of their children — Betty Wani, 17, and her two youngest brothers, Rudu, 6, and Emmanuel, 19 months — are staying with Margaret Nalonga, one of Jesika Wani's cousins. The fourth child, 14-year-old Samuel Wani, is living with family friends. A court commissioner has ruled they can stay where they are for the next month, while custody issues are sorted out. Nalonga has started the process of becoming a licensed foster parent to the children. "I don't want these children to be scattered," said Nalonga, who works with disabled children and in an assisted-living facility for the elderly. The Wanis' violent deaths have jolted people in the Seattle area's Southern Sudan refugee community, forcing them to deal with a kind of grief most have tried to put behind them since fleeing the war-ravaged African nation. Many showed up at a court hearing last week to determine where the children will live.


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Holiday Cheer

Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, center, holds a young Albina Head Start student during a visit with Santa Claus at the Rose Quarter Commons on Dec. 12. Santa's — and McMillan's — visits were part of the Blazers' Holiday Express event, which distributed 1,000 fully decorated Christmas trees to low-income Portlanders.


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Past and Present Combine

A unique free class delves into the history of Western thought

In Plato's Republic, the ancient Greek philosopher describes the way most people live their lives. They sit, Plato says, deep in a cave, sheltered from the real world of experience and ideas. Instead of thinking for themselves, they sit, captivated, and watch shadows cast by the hands of their rulers dancing on the cave wall.
And in this way the rulers, the shadow masters, remain in power.


Read more: Past and Present Combine

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