01-17-2022  9:17 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner Foundation Drum Major for Justice 2022 is Teressa Raiford

Through political campaigns, legal actions, founding the grassroots organizing group Don't Shoot Portland and through her fearless determination to speak up against racial injustice, Portland-born Teressa Raiford has made a lasting impression on our city and our state

Paid Workplace Training Internships Program Receives Support From City

Black, Latinx students receive skilled on-the-job training, career coaching, through POIC-RAHS program

Oregon Supreme Court OKs Dropping Bar Exam for Alternatives

The state’s highest court in a unanimous vote “expressed approval in concept” to a pair of alternative pathways designed for law students and postgraduates seeking admittance to the state bar

Washington Lawmakers Kick off Mostly Remote Session

Lawmakers in Washington state have started a new legislative session amid the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and much of their work will be done remotely 

NEWS BRIEFS

MLK Day March Starts at Peninsula Park

Humboldt Neighborhood Association invites the public to participate in the March for Human Rights and Dignity in commemoration of the...

Shabbat Service Honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Congregation Beth Israel's Shabbat Service will be online Friday, Jan.14, at 6 p.m. to honor Dr. King’s work and legacy. ...

MLK Virtual Youth Summit Offers Resources for Portland’s Young African Americans 

With the ongoing rise in youth violence in our community, Highland Christian Center aims to take practical steps to reach our youth...

Underground Railroad Topic of Genealogy ZOOM Presentation

The public is invited to join the Genealogical Forum of Oregon’s African American Special Interest group Saturday, Jan, 15, from...

Recycled Arts Festival Accepting Applications for Artists, Vendors, and Educational Booths

The annual festival is returning to Esther Short Park on June 25-26. ...

Dan Rayfield likely to be Oregon’s next House speaker

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State Rep. Dan Rayfield is poised to be the next Oregon House Speaker after being officially nominated by Democratic representatives for the post. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Rayfield, of Corvallis, prevailed Sunday in a contested race to replace...

Pierce County deputy fatally shoots person

PUYALLUP (AP) — Authorities say a Pierce County Sheriff's deputy fatally shot a person during a traffic stop. The deputy had pulled over a person near Puyallup, Washington, about 10 p.m. Sunday. KOMO reports the deputy told dispatch the person had a gun and one minute later, radioed...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

On MLK Day, Biden says Americans must commit to King's work

ATLANTA (AP) — Americans must commit to the unfinished work of Martin Luther King Jr., delivering jobs and justice and protecting "the sacred right to vote, a right from which all other rights flow,” President Joe Biden said Monday. Martin Luther King Day is a moment when a...

Far-right presidential contender convicted of hate speech

PARIS (AP) — French far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour was convicted Monday of inciting racial hatred over 2020 comments he made about unaccompanied migrant children. A Paris court ordered Zemmour to pay a fine of 10,000 euros (more than ,000) and several thousand...

Scott creates MLK Day videos, hopes to rebut Biden speech

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — With a video series on issues he sees as pertinent to the Black community, the U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican, Tim Scott of South Carolina, is putting forth what he characterizes as a positive response to partisan rhetoric on race that he’s best-positioned to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Los Angeles police investigate Ye after battery complaint

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating after a battery report was filed Thursday against Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. The incident that spurred the complaint took place in downtown Los Angeles at about 3 a.m. Thursday, LAPD spokeswoman Redina Puentes said. No...

Elvis Costello rocks out from the back porch

NEW YORK (AP) — Elvis Costello's 32nd album rings with the sound of a tight rock ‘n’ roll combo sweating together on a tiny stage, feeding off each other to produce a joyful noise. Yet that's all a mirage. Costello and his three-piece band, the Imposters, were...

Review: Jamestown Revival, more than just a roadhouse band

Jamestown Revival, “Young Man" (Thirty Tigers) The list of really good Americana roadhouse bands that have emerged from the Texas music scene over the years is a long one. The list of those that distinguished themselves by doing something fresh and original, not so much. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Retirement awaits Roethlisberger after 42-21 loss in KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raised some eyebrows ahead of their wild-card...

Jill Biden: I didn't expect 'healing role' as first lady

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says “healing” a nation...

Russia denies looking for pretext to invade Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's top diplomat angrily rejected the U.S. allegations that it was preparing a pretext to...

Ex-Guinean President Conde flown abroad for medical care

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Former Guinean President Alpha Conde left the country for medical treatment in the United...

Leaders of Germany, Spain meet to align progressive agendas

MADRID (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met Monday in the Spanish...

Euro nations seek path between high inflation, weak growth

BRUSSELS (AP) — Euro finance chiefs on Monday engaged in a high-wire political balancing act prompted by...

Bob Ferguson
The Skanner News

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

More than 230,000 Washington customers may be entitled to payouts over unauthorized telecom charges on their T-Mobile bills.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson $90 million nationwide agreement with T-Mobile, resolving allegations the company placed unauthorized third-party service charges on subscribers’ telephone bills.

Consumer victims of this practice, called “cramming,” are socked with charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message services (PSMS) — such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores — that they have never requested or even heard of.

“I will not tolerate deceptive billing practices,” Ferguson said. “My office will hold any company accountable that tries to hide unauthorized charges in the fine print of a consumer’s bill.”

Under the agreement, T-Mobile will pay at least $67.5 million in restitution to consumers around the country in the form of refunds or debt forgiveness.  Consumers must contact T-Mobile to request a refund at www.t-mobilerefund.com.

According to T-Mobile’s records, an estimated 230,754 Washington customers may be eligible for restitution.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division worked with the attorneys general of all 49 other states and the District of Columbia as well as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to bring about today’s resolution.

T-Mobile is the second mobile telephone provider to enter into a nationwide settlement which Washington has helped to lead to resolve allegations regarding cramming. Attorney General Ferguson announced a similar, $105 million settlement with AT&T in October of this year. T-Mobile and AT&T were among the four major mobile carriers — in addition to Verizon and Sprint — that announced they would stop billing customers for commercial PSMS charges in the fall of 2013.

The agreement requires T-Mobile to stay out of the PSMS business, which law enforcement agencies believe represents the lion’s share of the cramming problem.

The company must also take steps to ensure it’s only billing customers for charges that have been authorized. These steps include:

  • Obtaining customers’ express consent before billing for third-party charges, and ensuring consumers are only charged for services if they are informed of all material terms and conditions of their payment.
  • Providing a full refund or credit to any customer billed for unauthorized third-party charges in the future.
  • Informing new customers that they can either block third-party charges or choose to use their mobile phone to pay third-party charges.
  • Presenting third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, which clearly distinguishes them from T-Mobile’s charges and contains information about how to block third-party charges.

In addition to restitution, T-Mobile will pay $18 million to go to cost recovery for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, whose attorneys general participated in the agreement. Washington’s share of that money is $726,583.07. The FCC will receive $4.5 million.

TO REQUEST A REFUND:

Beginning today, eligible current or former T-Mobile customers should submit claims to the T-Mobile cramming refund program by visiting www.t-mobilerefund.com

On that website, consumers can submit a claim, find information about refund eligibility and how to obtain a refund, and can request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts. 

Consumers who have questions about the program can visit the program website or call the Refund Administrator at (855) 382-6403.   

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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