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NORTHWEST NEWS

Jazz Festival Turns 39

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival kicks off this Friday afternoon in St. Johns

Billy Webb Elks Lodge Seeks Historic Designation Status

A decade after [scripts/homepage/home.php] million in renovations breathed new life into the Billy Webb Elks Lodge, members are working to designate the headquarters of Portland’s only remaining African American Fraternal Organization as a historic landmark

Portland Grocery Launches an Innovative Solution for Dog-Owning Customers

Customers can use the app-connected houses as a safer and smarter solution when shopping with their dogs, rather than leaving them in the car or tied up on the street.

Oregon State Workers Could Get up to 15% Raises

Public employee unions representing Oregon state workers have negotiated new contracts that would provide pay increases of up to 15% over the next two-year budget period.

NEWS BRIEFS

Penson Sworn in as PCC Board Member

Newly elected officer represents Zone 2 of the college’s district ...

Human Rights Campaign Appoints Its First African American President

Alphonso David, an accomplished and nationally-recognized LGBTQ civil rights lawyer and advocate, will lead the organization beginning...

Alberta Commons Hosts Public Grand Opening Celebration July 20

Dream Street Community Market event will feature food, drinks, art and music ...

Living Room Realty Announces Scholarship Opportunity

The scholarship will help facilitate a path toward a real estate career for underrepresented communities ...

U.S. Bank Invests $1 Million with the National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Through this support of the National Museum, we hope these historical stories and rich cultural experiences will continue to...

Sanders campaign adapts after Washington primary shift

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — It's a cloudy weekend morning at a farmers' market in a leafy suburb east of Seattle, and Bernie Sanders' volunteers are out in force.Along with traditional campaign materials, they have what they say might be the next best thing to the candidate himself: a life-size...

Man pleads not guilty in Foster Farms plant incident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — An Albany man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to a Thursday incident in which a shot was fired at Foster Farms in Corvallis.The Gazette-Times reports 22-year-old Adrian Nickerson faces charges including failure to perform the duties of a driver, criminal...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...

Florida's Mullen hoping for sizable leap in 2nd season

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Dan Mullen made a big leap in his second season at Mississippi State, but his Florida team doesn't have quite so much room to grow.Unless, of course, the Gators can jump to national contender status. That's what another four-win improvement would mean.The Bulldogs won...

OPINION

Breast Cancer Is the Most Imperative Health Issue Facing African American Women

An estimated 6,540 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among Black women in 2019. ...

Trump Levels Racist Attack on Congresswomen of Color in Latest Social Media Screed

As is his general habit, Trump lies in his communications and brands places where people of color reside as dangerous. President Trump has a long history of racism as does his late father, Fred Trump. Fred Trump was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens,...

Hearing on H.R. 40 Puts Reparations Debate in National Spotlight

“These are the vestiges of enslavement that people don't want to deal with,” said Dr. Julianne Malveaux, the former President of Bennett College. ...

Perfecting the Cat Nap: Lessons on Sleep From a Cat

Watching Soleil's languorous lifestyle has inspired me to establish better sleeping habits which have led to increased happiness and productivity. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Germany marks 75th anniversary of plot to kill Hitler

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Europeans to confront populism, nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism as she paid tribute to the Nazi resistance in her own country.Speaking Saturday at a solemn ceremony marking the anniversary of the failed attempt to kill Nazi...

Trump's "go back" remark: In workplace, it might be illegal

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's suggestion that four activist Democratic congresswomen of color "go back" to countries "from which they came" has excited some in his political base. Yet in many of America's workplaces and institutions, the same language would be unacceptable and...

Serbia's president says Kosovo PM's resignation is a 'trick'

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The surprise decision by Kosovo's prime minister to step down over a call for questioning from a Hague-based court has been slammed as a "political trick" by Serbia's president.Aleksandar Vucic said Saturday that Ramush Haradinaj's resignation the day before was...

ENTERTAINMENT

Star trio from 'Knots Landing' keep each other in stitches

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly 40 years after first forging their friendship while working together on the nighttime soap "Knots Landing," actresses Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills are now more than just friends — they're a sister act.At one point in their interview Thursday...

The moon landing was a giant leap for movies, too

NEW YORK (AP) — In 1964, Stanley Kubrick, on the recommendation of the science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, bought a telescope."He got this Questar and he attached one of his cameras to it," remembers Katharina Kubrick, the filmmaker's stepdaughter. "On a night where there was a lunar...

Gina Torres steps into the spotlight with 'Suits' spinoff

NEW YORK (AP) — Gina Torres used to wonder about the back story of her "Suits " character, Jessica Pearson.The character was the co-founder and boss of the law firm at the center of the show, but that was about all that was known.Torres wondered: "'She doesn't have family, she doesn't have...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Co-stars say Huffman remorseful for role in college case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Felicity Huffman's co-stars in a new Netflix movie say they found her remorseful about...

Trump offers to guarantee A$AP Rocky's bail in Sweden

BERLIN (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with Sweden's prime minister Saturday about jailed...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and Dems on an incendiary week

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump attributed statements to a Democratic congresswoman that she...

The Latest: Iran says Saudis release tanker after 2 ½ months

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on developments related to tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times...

Trump offers to guarantee A$AP Rocky's bail in Sweden

BERLIN (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with Sweden's prime minister Saturday about jailed...

Vatican college space holds bones of dozens, expert says

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A genetics expert retained by the family of an Italian girl who went missing in 1983...

McMenamins
Mitch Weiss the Associated Press

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) -- The attorney for a North Carolina man accused of robbing a bank so he could receive health care in jail says the issue illustrates the nation's health care crisis.

Attorney Michael Neece said Wednesday that 59-year-old James Verone was a good law-abiding citizen before robbing the bank.

But he said Verone, who has serious health issues, had nowhere to turn because he was unemployed.

"This is a man who is a veteran, a man who had worked his whole life for the American dream," Neece told the Associated Press. "But that dream has now become the American nightmare, not only for him but for numerous people."

Police said Verone on June 9 handed a bank teller a note demanding $1. Then he sat down and waited for police to arrive.

He has been charged with one count of larceny from a person. He was being held in the Gaston County jail on $2,000 bond. But Verone doesn't want to post bond because he wants to be in jail for the medical care.

Neece, who was just appointed Verone's attorney, said the problems facing his client could happen to anyone.

"He contributed to a system and has worked for that system. He paid his taxes and did everything he was supposed to do. But when he needed help, the system couldn't help him. He had to try to figure out a way to get his health care needs met."

Verone outlined his dilemma in a letter to The Gaston Gazette that he mailed before he committed the robbery. He told the newspaper that he planned to rob a bank because of his health care problems, and told them they would be able to find him in the Gaston County jail.

"When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me. This robbery is being committed by me for one dollar," he wrote. "I am of sound mind but not so much sound body."

When the newspaper interviewed him, he said: "I prepared myself for this."

Neece said he talked to his client and was trying to find out more details of his life.

But he said Verone moved to North Carolina from Florida after working as a Coca-Cola deliveryman for years. Once in North Carolina, Verone, who had never been in trouble with the law, landed a series of jobs, including driving a truck and working in a convenience store.

Meanwhile, his health problems continued to mount: He had a herniated disc, arthritis and other ailments.

When Verone's savings were gone, Neece said, he didn't want to go to the doctor because he lacked the money. He also didn't want to burden family members. So he hatched a plan: If he robbed a bank, he knew would spend time in prison, where he would receive free medical care for his ailments.

Neece said his client didn't want to hurt anyone. So he didn't take a gun. A few days before the robbery, he sold or donated his furniture and paid his last month's rent. At the time, he was living in a run-down apartment complex in Gastonia.

"I remember him selling the stuff. We didn't know where he was going," said Gene Robinson, who lives nearby. "He kept to himself, but he would smile and talk. He never caused no trouble." He said Verone's son stayed there for a while, helping his father. When Verone moved out, he didn't say where he was going.

On the day of the robbery, Verone took a cab and stopped in front of an RBC Bank branch that he chose at random. He went inside and handed the teller a note demanding $1. Then he told the teller he would just sit down and wait for police to arrive.

When Gaston County sheriff's deputies arrived, Verone was arrested without trouble. But because he only asked for $1, it was considered a larceny instead of a bank robbery - a federal offense for which he would spend more time in prison if convicted.

Neece said Verone would appear Friday in Gaston County court, and he's not surprised about the public's reaction to his plight. It has reignited debate about the nation's health care system.

"When you look at what he did, he was doing it to get health care for himself," the lawyer said. "But obviously what he did touched a nerve in the country about health care. A lot of people like Verone are hurting."

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