11-29-2021  9:34 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4


City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

COVID-19: Oregon Drops Outdoor Mask Requirement

Oregon still has in place, a statewide indoor mask mandate for all public settings

Oregon Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Legislative Maps

The Oregon Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two challenges filed by Republicans to new state legislative districts approved by the Legislature in September.


Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Oregon Records More Than 5,000 COVID-19 Related Deaths

Today, Oregon health officials reported 103 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to more than 5,000 ...

Northwest Library Site Acquired as Part of Multnomah County Library Capital Bond Projects

Location will help library move towards permanent spaces, expedite other bond projects ...

Four LGBTQ Leaders to Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Governor Kate Brown included in 2021 class of inductees to be honored at Victory Fund’s 30th Anniversary Gala ...

Northwest residents urged to stay alert as storms roll in

Weather officials urged Northwest residents to remain alert Sunday as more rain was predicted to fall in an area with lingering water from extreme weather earlier this month. “There's some good news and some pending news,” said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National...

Community systems offer alternative paths for solar growth

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Strolling his church's rooftop among 630 solar panels, Bishop Richard Howell Jr. acknowledged climate change isn't the most pressing concern for his predominantly Black congregation — even though it disproportionately harms people of color and the poor. ...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...


State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...


Former US Rep. Carrie Meek remembered as trailblazer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Carrie Meek, who died Sunday, is being remembered as a trailblazer, a descendent of slaves who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction. But the late Congressman John Lewis had another way of describing her. ...

Lee Elder, 1st Black golfer to play Masters, dies at age 87

Lee Elder, who broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow, has died at the age of 87. The PGA Tour announced Elder’s death, which was first reported Monday by Debert...

PGA Tour says golf pioneer Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, has died at the age of 87

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., (AP) — PGA Tour says golf pioneer Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, has died at the age of 87....


Chris Diamantopoulos builds a hot career, on screen and off

NEW YORK (AP) — When you see Chris Diamantopoulos on screen, you may get a sense of déjà vu. The actor regularly pops up in movies and TV shows as a variety of characters, and he's fine if you find yourself trying to place where you've seen him before. “I want people...

Pistol Annies craft holiday album for the not-so-sentimental

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country star Miranda Lambert readily admits that she doesn't really like Christmas music at all. The only thing that would get her in the spirit to do a holiday record was singing with her two best gal pals from the Pistol Annies, Ashley Monroe and...

Barbra Streisand, Lea Salonga, more mourn Stephen Sondheim

Tributes quickly flooded social media following the death of Stephen Sondheim as performers and writers alike saluted a giant of the theater: “Rest In Peace, Stephen Sondheim, and thank you for your vast contributions to musical theater. We shall be singing your songs...


EXPLAINER: Can world powers curb Iran in new nuclear talks?

JERUSALEM (AP) — Can the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers be restored? As Iran and six...

EXPLAINER: What we know and don't know about omicron variant

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says it could still take some time to get a full picture of the...

Doctor: Many South Africans ill in surge have mild symptoms

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's rapid increase in COVID-19 cases attributed to the new omicron variant is...

Leftist holds commanding lead in Honduran presidential vote

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro held a commanding lead early Monday as...

EXPLAINER: What we know and don't know about omicron variant

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says it could still take some time to get a full picture of the...

Scotland's leader aims for independence referendum in 2023

LONDON (AP) — Scotland’s leader said Monday that she will renew her push for independence from the United...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- One of three Washington state prison guards fired after the slaying of a corrections officer was away from his post during the attack, and officials still don't know where he was, documents state.

The officer was supposed to be watching inmates as they filed out of the Monroe Correctional Facility's prison chapel on Jan. 29. In his absence, inmate Byron Scherf was able to re-enter the chapel, where he's accused of strangling officer Jayme Biendl.

Officials believe the guard was still on prison grounds, documents released at the request of The Daily Herald ( http://is.gd/ocE8gW ) show.

He said he was helping with pat-down searches and talked with two other guards, but the documents state that neither remembers seeing him.

The documents indicate that prison Superintendent Scott Frakes told the officer he "severely compromised an essential safeguard" for Biendl and an inmate "took full advantage of your failure."

Scherf, 53, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

The three officers who were fired are appealing their terminations. It's unclear whether they could face criminal charges. The newspaper did not include the names of the fired officers.

The Monroe complex includes five prisons on one campus. About 25 miles northeast of Seattle, it's the state's largest prison and houses more than 2,500 offenders. Biendl worked inside the Washington State Reformatory, a medium-security prison, now more than a century old.

Since Biendl's slaying, the prison says it has increased training, changed staffing and improved how inmates are classified.

Scherf was serving a life sentence. His file contained warnings that his criminal history and indicated he could present a grave risk to corrections officers, particularly women.

Officers also are being outfitted with personal alarms designed to better alert colleagues to problems. The overall inmate population at the reformatory was reduced to 630, from around 750.

Another officer who was fired is accused of failing to verify with Biendl that the chapel was clear of all inmates. He was fired for allegedly making a false entry in a log book indicating the chapel had been checked by Biendl and was empty. After the killing, the officer presented an initial incident report, indicating he saw Biendl close the gate outside the chapel. He later told investigators he wasn't sure.

"Despite what you entered in the logbook, Officer Biendl did not close the gate, did not make notification that the chapel was clear," Frakes wrote in the documents.

The third fired officer submitted an incident report saying he inspected and secured the chapel after Scherf turned up missing in an inmate count.

The officer found Scherf sitting in a chair within feet of the chapel's front doors at 9:19 p.m., Frakes said, adding that Biendl's body was not discovered until 10:26 p.m., after others in the prison realized she had not left work after her shift ended that evening.

After being confronted with video surveillance during a June interview with investigators, the officer acknowledged he did not inspect the chapel, the documents state.

"I wrote down what was expected of me, not what I did," he said.

Four other corrections officers also faced discipline that included demotion or reprimands.


Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com

© 2012 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.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events