08-03-2020  5:54 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressed event organised by NAACP focused on Black Lives Matter

Shootings Increase During Portland Protests

Between June 1 and end July 31, 2020 there were 125 reported shootings compared to a total of 59 shootings in 2019

Portland Protest Scene Relatively Calm After US Drawdown

Under the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, the federal agents will withdraw in phases.

Portland Approves $114 M Relief Budget with Focus on Communities of Color

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no, arguing for better houseless resources.

NEWS BRIEFS

House Approves Legislation to Stop Trump Attack on Fair Housing

Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer amendment would block rollback of anti-discrimination rule ...

Louis Mair Named as New Principal at Harriet Tubman Middle School

Louis comes to Harriet Tubman from Georgia, where he was a leader in building an inclusive and supportive learning community. ...

Portland City Council OKs Independent Police Oversight Board

The measure advanced by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty would set up a commission of undetermined size ...

TODAY: Blumenauer holds forum with Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

The forum can be viewed on Youtube and takes place today at 4:00 PM PDT. ...

State Rep. Will Dismukes Called Upon to Take Accountability and Reconcile with Alabama History

The Republican Alabama state representative gave the invocation at an annual birthday celebration for a Confederate general and leader...

Boat passenger missing after mishap on Columbia River

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man is missing after a boat he was in took a sharp turn and ejected two people into the Columbia River near the north end of Broughton Beach Park Sunday afternoon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports emergency responders from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office...

Body of climber who died on Mount Jefferson recovered

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The body of a Kennewick, Washington, climber who died in a fall from Mount Jefferson in central Oregon has been recovered.The Tri-City Herald reports David Freepons, 68, was climbing July 25 with a group at the mountain that is about 50 miles from Bend, Ore., when he...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

OPINION

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

Loretta Smith—Vote Yes

The Skanner News endorses Loretta Smith for City Commissioner, Position 2 ...

Essay on War Against Portlanders Who Support Black Lives Matter

The author questions how people can see only the cops' side when their criminality and lawlessness against peaceful protest is fueling the rage on the streets. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China accuses US of harassing Chinese students, researchers

BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday accused the United States of “monitoring, harassing and willfully detaining” Chinese students and researchers in the U.S. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s comments follow the denial of a bail request in California for a...

'If not now, when?': Black women seize political spotlight

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — The little girl ran up to her, wide-eyed and giddy.“Are you Charisse Davis?” the fourth grader asked. Davis was stunned. A former kindergarten teacher and librarian, she was more accustomed to shuttling her two sons to basketball practice than being seen as...

AP VoteCast: How Black women shape Democratic politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black women are often called the backbone of the Democratic Party — reliable and loyal voters whose support can make or break a candidate.In 2018, they were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, according...

ENTERTAINMENT

US Marshals put Fyre Festival merchandise up for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — More than three years after the highly publicized Fyre Festival famously fizzled out in the Bahamas, merchandise and other “minor assets” are up for sale — courtesy of the U.S. Marshals Service.In a release Thursday, the U.S. Marshals announced that 126...

Review: Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ is supreme Black art

King Beyoncé’s new film takes you on a journey of Black art, music, history and fashion as the superstar transports you to Africa to tell the story of a young man in search of his crown, matched to epic songs she created while inspired by “The Lion King.”The voyage feels...

'Rebuilding Paradise' looks at emotional toll of deadly fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Almost two years since a wildfire swept through his mountain town and virtually wiped it out, Steve “Woody” Culleton got to put the final touches on his new home.Two redwood trees were planted in the ground, a new lawn and stone patio transformed the once...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Report: Retired Pope Benedict XVI ill after visit to Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria...

Retail rout gains pace, Lord & Taylor seeks bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — Lord & Taylor, America's oldest retailer, is seeking bankruptcy protection, as is the...

Idaho hearing could offer new details in missing kids' case

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday plan to begin sketching out their evidence against a couple at...

Notre Dame Cathedral's organ getting 4-year-long cleaning

PARIS (AP) — Pipe by precious pipe, the organ that once thundered through Notre Dame Cathedral is being...

Rajapaksa brothers to get strong support in Sri Lanka polls

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong...

Isaias near hurricane strength as it crawls toward Carolinas

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Isaias was forecast to become a hurricane Monday as it neared landfall in the...

ODOT I-205 toll
McMenamins
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.   

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