11-19-2019  2:56 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps

NEWS BRIEFS

Smithsonian Magazine Announces the 2019 American Ingenuity Awards Honorees

The Annual American Ingenuity Awards honor individuals who are transforming American culture ...

Noodle Dish at Portland Public Schools One of Best School Meals in US

Food Management, a news organization dedicated to noncommercial food service, has named PPS’s yakisoba noodles the nation’s top...

Clark College names new VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Rashida Willard leads college equity work supporting students, faculty and staff ...

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Parents who starved 5-year-old daughter to death sentenced

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Parents who starved their 5-year-old daughter to death have been sentenced to life in prison.The Bulletin reports 33-year-old Sacora Horn-Garcia and 35-year-old Estevan Garcia were sentenced Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court in the 2016 death of Maliyha Hope...

Lawsuit: Elderly woman dies after ambulance workers drop her

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The family of a 92-year-old Vancouver, Washington woman who died after ambulance workers who were transporting her allegedly dropped her onto a sidewalk has filed a million lawsuit.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the lawsuit was filed Monday in Multnomah County...

All-America Watch: Florida’s Pitts one of nation’s top TEs

It was midway through the third quarter last Saturday, and Missouri had just cut Florida’s lead to 13-6, when Gators quarterback Kyle Trask dropped back and saw Kyle Pitts down the right sideline.Trask heaved the ball and Pitts, the big and rangy tight end, grabbed it along with Tigers...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge refuses to expunge record of officer in fatal shooting

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has refused to expunge the record of white, former Chicago police officer who was acquitted of fatally shooting an unarmed black woman.Dante Servin last week asked that his records tied to the 2012 death of Rekia Boyd be stricken from police and court databases. In...

Condemned Tennessee inmate’s supporters seek clemency

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Supporters of Tennessee death row inmate Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman kicked off a clemency campaign on Tuesday amid uncertainty over whether his death sentence will be upheld.Abdur'Rahman (AHB'-dur-RAK'-mahn) was sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of Patrick...

Macalester College pulls founder’s name from campus building

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A private liberal arts college in Minnesota is removing its founder's name from a campus building after students brought attention to his racist views in the 1800s.The board of trustees for Macalester College in St. Paul announced Monday that Edward Duffield Neill's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Beck shoots into the galaxy for latest trippy album

Beck, “Hyperspace” (Capitol Records)We’ve heard Beck when he’s down. And we’ve heard Beck when he’s up. Now hear Beck go past up to something else. Cosmic? Celestial?The 11 songs on the aptly named “Hyperspace” are airy and psychedelic, with...

Kelly Clarkson on new music, family life and cruise ships

NEW YORK (AP) — Kelly Clarkson already has a stacked resume — singer, songwriter, talk-show host, “Voice” coach, children’s book author and mother of four. Now she’s adding travel to the mix.Clarkson has been named godmother of Norwegian Cruise...

Lady Antebellum get honest, vulnerable on new record ‘Ocean’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country vocal group Lady Antebellum know how to move people to tears with their songs and their newest record feels as vulnerable and honest as a therapy session.The trio of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are known for their heartfelt harmonies and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Warm ocean water delays sea ice for Alaska towns, wildlife

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. research vessel Sikuliaq can break through ice as thick as 2.5 feet (0.76...

Nerf gun, Power Rangers claw cited by toy safety watchdog

BOSTON (AP) — A Nerf dart gun, ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime and a plastic Power Rangers claw are...

Tom Hanks didn’t want to be Mr. Rogers. Then he met Marielle

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Hanks has never played a superhero. But when the actor recently donned a very simple...

Iran will seek new fighter jets, tanks as 2020 embargo lifts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran will likely buy new advanced fighter jets and tanks next year when a U.N. Security...

NATO chief heads to Paris as France comes under fire

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that he will travel to Paris next week...

N. Korea snubs US move to postpone military drill with South

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Tuesday it won’t consider a recent U.S. decision to...

McMenamins
Michael Graczyk the Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) -- It's a tradition with roots that can be traced far back in history: Before being put to death, a condemned prisoner can choose his last meal.

Not so anymore in Texas.

Officials who oversee the country's busiest death chamber stopped the practice on Thursday after a prominent state senator complained about a hefty request from a man executed for his role in a notorious dragging death. Now, inmates get to eat only what the kitchen serves.

The controversy began after Lawrence Russell Brewer, pictured at left, who was executed on Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn't eat any of it.

"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege," Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote in a letter Thursday to Brad Livingston, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Within hours, Livingston said the senator's concerns were valid and the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their final meal was history.

"Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made," Livingston said. "They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit."

That had been the suggestion from Whitmire, who called the traditional request "ridiculous."

"It's long overdue," the Houston Democrat told The Associated Press. "This old boy last night, enough is enough. We're fixing to execute the guy and maybe it makes the system feel good about what they're fixing to do. Kind of hypocritical, you reckon?

"Mr. Byrd didn't get to choose his last meal. The whole deal is so illogical."

Brewer, a white supremacist gang member, was convicted of chaining Byrd, 49, to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him to his death along a bumpy road in a case shocked the nation for its brutality.

It was not immediately clear whether other states have made similar moves. Some limit the final meal cost - Florida's ceiling is $40, according to the Department of Corrections website, with food to be purchased locally. Others, like Texas, which never had a designated dollar limit, mandate meals be prison-made. Some states don't acknowledge final meals, and others will disclose the information only if the inmate agrees, said K. William Hayes, a Florida-based death penalty historian.

Some states require the meal within a specific time period, allow multiple "final" meals, restrict it to one or impose "a vast number of conditions," he said.

Historical references to a condemned person's last meal go as far back as ancient Greece, China and Rome, Hayes said. Some of it is apparently rooted in superstition about meals warding off possible haunting by condemned people once they are put to death.

The Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based anti-capital punishment organization that collects execution statistics, said it had no data on final meals.

Since Texas resumed carrying out executions in 1982, the state correction agency's practice has been to fill a condemned inmate's request as long as the items, or food similar to what was requested, were readily available from the prison kitchen supplies.

While extensive, Brewer's request was far from the largest or most bizarre among the 475 Texas inmates put to death.

On Tuesday, prisoner Cleve Foster's request included two fried chickens, French fries and a five-gallon bucket of peaches. He received a reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court but none of his requested meal. He was on his way back to death row, at a prison about 45 miles east of Huntsville, at the time when his feast would have been served.

Last week, inmate Steven Woods' request included two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic bread sticks with marinara on the side. Two hours later, he was executed.

Years ago, a Texas inmate even requested dirt for his final meal.

Until 2003, the Texas prison system listed final meals of each prisoner as part of its death row website. That stopped at 313 final meals after officials said they received complaints from people who found it offensive.

A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky's Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called "Meals to Die For."

© 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.

mlkbreakfast2020 tickets 300x180

AARP Rx
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events