08-09-2022  10:35 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

A statement from the county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments —...

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Rep. Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump, concedes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of two Republican members of Washington state's congressional delegation who voted to impeach Donald Trump, has conceded her reelection bid after being overtaken in late vote tallies by a GOP challenger endorsed by the former president. ...

Seattle City Council OKs outlawing abortion discrimination

SEATTLE (AP) — It will soon be illegal in Seattle to discriminate against people for seeking or receiving an abortion, part of the city’s efforts to preserve reproductive rights locally. The Seattle City Council on Tuesday passed a measure making it illegal to discriminate...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, most likely closing the case that shocked a nation and galvanized the modern civil rights movement. After...

Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son's birthday during the weekend. Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee's...

Lutheran bishop issues public apology to Latino congregation

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, issued a public apology Tuesday to members of a majority Latino immigrant congregation for the pain and trauma they endured after the predominantly white denomination’s first openly transgender bishop unexpectedly...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: 'Day Shift' and 'Five Days at Memorial'

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES — One of the best movies of the year is finally streaming. “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda's tour-de-force...

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. ...

'P-Valley' explores Black strip club culture, gay acceptance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Katori Hall first pitched the idea to convert her popular play about Black strip club culture into the television series “P-Valley,” the Pulitzer Prize winner was either quickly rejected after meeting with networks or denied before she could fully explain the concept. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nebraska woman charged with helping daughter have abortion

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy at...

Large explosions rock Russian military air base in Crimea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Powerful explosions rocked a Russian air base in Crimea and sent towering clouds of smoke...

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off...

Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists prepared Tuesday to move a beluga whale that strayed into the Seine River...

'El Jefe' the jaguar, famed in US, photographed in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — They call him “El Jefe,” he is at least 12 years old and his crossing of the heavily...

3 migrants drown entering Panama near Darien Gap

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Three migrants drowned while crossing into Panama from Colombia, authorities said Tuesday. ...

Mitch Stacy the Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge sentenced Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton to 10 years in prison Thursday, the lowest sentence legally allowed for his role in a large cocaine trafficking deal in 2009.

The 38-year-old Jamaican recording artist got a break when U.S. District Judge James S. Moody threw out a gun conviction, which would have added another five years to the minimum sentence. Banton's attorney, David Markus, said with time already served and good behavior, he could be out in six years.

In a statement he wrote after the sentencing, Banton - whose given name is Mark Myrie - thanked family, fans and supporters from around the world who flooded the court file with letters of support.

"The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I'm hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through," he said in the statement, which was read by Markus. "The man is not dead. Don't call him a ghost."

Banton, dressed in gray jail scrubs and shackled at the ankles, did not speak in court and did not react when Moody announced the sentence. The tall, thin, dreadlocked singer blew a kiss and waved to his subdued supporters as he was led away.

A jury found him guilty in February of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. Moody threw out the gun charge, acknowledging that Banton had no idea others involved in the conspiracy were carrying guns, which was the basis for the charge. He was not convicted of carrying a weapon himself.

Markus contended that Banton deserved a lower sentence because of his limited participation in the drug buy, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record.

But prosecutor James Preston argued for a longer term, contending that the cocaine deal would not have gone down without Banton's participation. Moody agreed that Banton's participation was key to the deal but declined to increase the sentence.

Preston acknowledged it was a sad day for Banton's fans but noted the distinction between the joyful reggae artist Buju Banton and the drug dealer Mark Myrie.

"He has brought this sadness to these people," Preston said in court, acknowledging Banton's supporters who filled the gallery. Preston declined to comment afterward.

Preston argued during trial that Banton portrayed himself as a broker of drug deals in several conversations with a confidential informant. Preston said Banton thought he was getting involved in a "no-risk" deal in which he would introduce a friend to a confidential informant and then collect money from drug transactions.

Prosecutors acknowledged that Banton did not put any money into the drug deal nor did he ever profit from it. Markus characterized his client as "a big talker" who admitted to trying to impress the confidential informant but wasn't involved in any drug deal.

Much of the case hinged on meetings and phone calls that were video- and audiotaped by the informant, who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration - and who made $50,000 in commission after the bust.

In one video, Banton could be seen tasting cocaine in a Sarasota warehouse on Dec. 8, 2009. But he was not present during the actual drug deal on Dec. 10 that led two others to be arrested. Those two men later pleaded guilty.

Banton testified that the informant badgered him after they met on a trans-Atlantic flight in July 2009 and insisted they meet to set up a cocaine purchase. He said he was so uninterested in the informant's proposals that after they met twice, Banton didn't return the man's phone calls for months.

Markus said he plans to appeal.

"This fight is not over," Markus said. "We will keep fighting for him. Mark Myrie is my brother, and I'm going to keep fighting until they tell me to stop."

Among the dozens of letters of support in the court file were those from several of Banton's 15 children wrote, a Jamaican government official, an NBA player, other reggae artists and actor Danny Glover, who called Banton a "role model, philanthropist and spiritual leader in the community."

"Your honor, Mark Myrie is not a drug dealer," Glover wrote. "Society would not benefit from his incarceration."

Banton's oldest son, also named Mark Myrie, wrote that his father "puts hard work, sweat and tears into his music and that is what (he) `puts on the table,' it has never been drugs....The situation is just an example of our mere imperfections as people, being at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Banton remains wildly popular in Jamaica, and his trial - his second over the drug accusations - was packed with supporters that included other well-known reggae artists. The first trial ended in a mistrial last year after the jury deadlocked.

Shortly before his conviction in February, he won a Grammy for best reggae album for his work entitled "Before the Dawn."

© 2011 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.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events