10-21-2021  1:01 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tool for Police Reform Rarely Used by Local Prosecutors

Brady Lists flag officers whose credibility is in question due to misconduct – a designation that must be shared with defense attorneys. Defense attorneys, public defenders, civil rights groups and some prosecutors are calling for an increased use of the lists.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) Proposed as a Center for Black Arts and Culture

Feasibility Study for community-led vision moving forward thanks to Parks Local Option Levy

Oregon Housing and Community Services Makes Progress on Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Agency stresses importance of applying for the program and works with partners to prevent evictions from moving forward 

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bootcamp for Prep Cooks Supplies Ingredients for Entry Into Food Service Career

Individuals interested in starting a career in food service have an exciting new choice – Prep Cook Bootcamp ...

WA BLM Demands Resignation of Criminally-charged Sheriff Troyer

"He is being charged with two crimes: false reporting and making a false statement when he said that newspaper deliverer Sedrick...

'A Dangerous Time': Portland Sees Record Homicides

Unlike previous years, more bystanders are being caught in the crossfire — from people mourning at vigils and sitting in cars to...

State Agency Inadvertently Releases Employees Vaccine Status

Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to...

Simple Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating After Fauci Greenlighted Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (

FBI: 1 person found dead after standoff at Portland home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The FBI say sone person was found dead in a Portland, Oregon, home Thursday morning after a standoff. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the FBI says it was unclear how the person died. No law enforcement agencies used force during the standoff in Northeast...

Farmer fined 4K over alleged water theft during drought

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A farm in southeastern Washington has been fined 4,000 by the Washington state Department of Ecology for irrigating 250 acres (101 hectares) without rights to the water. Frank Tiegs LLC in Franklin County has 30 days to appeal the decision to the...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

Letter to the Publisher: Black Publishers Shed Light on Pending Litigation Against NNPA

NNPA members Carole Geary, Dorothy R. Leavell and Amelia Ashley-Ward provide an update on pending litigation against the organization, its CEO and its former Treasurer. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Memorial service in honor of Colin Powell set for Nov. 5

WASHINGTON (AP) — A memorial service for Colin L. Powell, the retired Army general and former secretary of state who died on Monday, will be held Nov. 5 at Washington National Cathedral, a spokeswoman said Thursday. “There will be very limited seating and it will be by...

Biden bill would put US back on path of reducing uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ social spending and climate change bill would put the United States back on a path to reducing its persistent pool of uninsured people, with estimates ranging from 4 million to 7 million Americans gaining health coverage. Those getting...

Australia, UK defend AUKUS pact, say fears overhyped

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia and Britain on Thursday defended their nuclear submarine deal with the U.S. amid concerns it could escalate tensions in the region and spark an arms race. U.K. Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey said there “has been a lot of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: ‘Harder They Fall’ updates the Western, with style

These. People. Existed. Those three words — and that very emphatic punctuation — appear onscreen at the beginning of “The Harder They Fall,” setting a definitive tone for this stylish and bold new Western by Jeymes Samuel. Yes, Samuel is saying, his...

Gwyneth Paltrow tackles bedroom taboos in Netflix series

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow admits she has insecurities about her physical appearance in an episode of her new Netflix series “ Sex, Love & goop,” but she’s working on that. The Oscar-winner and entrepreneur behind the goop beauty and wellness brand opens up in the six-episode...

Chapelle special spurs Netflix walkout; 'Trans lives matter'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix employees who walked out Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle's special and its anti-transgender comments were joined by allies who chanted “Trans lives matter,” getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up. A pre-noon rally at a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Billions in environmental justice funds hang in the balance

Tens of billions of dollars for U.S. environmental justice initiatives originally proposed in a .5 trillion...

Biden ties legislative agenda to MLK push for racial justice

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday tied his legislative priorities on voting rights, police...

Trump plan for new media venture gets investors' thumbs up

NEW YORK (AP) — Some investors aren’t waiting to see if former President Donald Trump’s plans for a media...

Year after Nigeria's deadly protests, police still accused

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Joshua Samuel painfully recalls the day, one year ago, when Nigerian soldiers opened fire...

Putin says new pipeline could quickly pump more gas to EU

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia could quickly boost natural gas...

World's biggest triceratops sells for .7 million in Paris

PARIS (AP) — The world’s biggest triceratops skeleton, known as “Big John,” was sold for 6.6 million euros...

Justin Juozapavicius the Associated Press


Chad Smith served as chief of the Cherokee Nation until June.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- In a rare move by the government, a federal judge will delve in to the interworking of an American Indian tribe this week by deciding whether to allow the descendants of slaves once owned by members of the Cherokee Nation to vote in the tribe's embattled election for chief.

A special election being held Saturday was ordered by the tribe's highest court after recounts from a flawed election in June were reversed several times, with the longtime chief and his challenger each being declared the winner twice. Tribal experts believe the slave descendants - known as freedmen - could swing the vote to new leadership of one of the country's largest tribes.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy will hear arguments Tuesday in Washington, D.C., from attorneys for the freedmen, who are suing to keep their right to vote and other tribal benefits after tribe members voted to cut them off. They're asking for a preliminary injunction, which would allow freedmen to vote like other members of the tribe Saturday.

The election challenges had been playing out in the tribe's court system until the freedmen sued, citing an 1866 treaty with the federal government that they argue guarantees their tribal rights. That pushed the case into the federal courts. The federal government warned the Cherokees this month to reinstate the freedmen, saying Saturday's election would be illegal if they weren't allowed to vote.

Chad Smith, who was chief until a temporary replacement was named after the June election, has actively campaigned for the last decade to remove non-Cherokee freedmen from the tribe's voter rolls. His challenger, longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker, also backed their removal but not as vocally.

Although no official breakdown exists, attorneys for the freedmen estimate that between 330 and 500 freedmen voted during that election. The tribe initially announced Smith had won by 11 votes, but subsequent tallies had the margins at seven, 266 and five votes.

"My impression is that an overwhelming majority of the freedmen would be supporting Bill John Baker," said attorney Ralph Keen Jr., who is representing the freedmen in tribal court. "They feel like the past administration was so staunchly opposed to their rights that any change would be a change for the better."

After ballots were counted a fifth time from the June election, the tribe's Supreme Court said it couldn't be sure the tally was correct and ordered a new election.

But in the meantime, it upheld a 2007 vote by tribe members to revoke the freedmen's suffrage rights after three-fourths of voters favored doing so.

The Cherokee Nation has about 300,000 members, making it Oklahoma's largest tribe and one of the largest tribes in the U.S. About 2,800 freedmen held tribal rights after fighting for years to regain citizenship privileges that they believe were granted to them under the 1866 treaty, which gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."

Smith and Baker both backed the tribal court's decision to kick the freedmen out of the tribe. But Baker has appeared less vocal about it while on the campaign trail, inviting the idea by his opponents that he is courting the freedmen vote. Smith, however, has repeatedly invoked the freedmen issue and tells voters he is the only candidate who has consistently defended the results of the 2007 vote.

"The non-Cherokee freedmen are vocal in their support of Baker because they know he will support them instead of the constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the Cherokee people," Smith said. "I have chosen, instead, to be vocal in my support of the Cherokee people."

Jon Velie, a tribal law attorney who also represents freedmen descendants, said it would amount to "political suicide" if Baker came out as strongly as Smith has on the freedmen.

Chuck Hoskin, Jr., a senior adviser to the Baker campaign, dismissed any theory that the freedmen vote would automatically tilt in his candidate's favor.

"No matter what the courts end up deciding, we are confident that Bill John Baker will be elected as the next chief of the Cherokee Nation by a wide margin," Hoskin said.

Amid mounting pressure from the federal government, which included the freezing of $33 million in Cherokee funds by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the tribe's election commission decided to allow freedmen to cast provisional ballots for chief - but said those votes would only count in the event of a court order.

The principal chief controls business and gaming enterprises that provide jobs for thousands of Cherokees amid high unemployment, and he or she oversees rural health care facilities and other services. The chief administers a $600 million annual tribal budget, has veto power and sets the tribe's national agenda.

Baker and Smith waged bare-knuckle campaigns in the weeks leading up to the June election, with each accusing the other of negative campaigning and resorting to questionable campaign tactics. At odds on almost every issue, they fought over how many jobs the nation was creating for the Cherokee people, spending on health care and even Smith's use of a twin-engine airplane the tribe has owned for 38 years.

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