12-13-2019  2:59 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project Send Notice of Intent to Sue to Ardagh Glass

Violations listed include illegal discharges into the Duwamish River, failure to collect stormwater samples and failure to install required treatment systems

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy Parsons’ limited offerings, then keep walking.Parsons never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm. Supplies were short, she was told. Instead, she was shipped some...

Dozens out sick at Vancouver schools, Seattle school closed

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of students are out sick at several Vancouver Public Schools elementary schools, prompting cleaning, disinfecting and a letter to parents warning them of the symptoms of the stomach flu.The Columbian reports at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, 72 of the...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order to expand the scope of potential anti-Semitism complaints on college campuses is raising the stakes of an already tense battle over how to define discrimination against Jews.The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday tells the...

New Jersey attackers linked to anti-Semitic fringe movement

The deadly shooting rampage at a New Jersey kosher market has cast a spotlight on a fringe movement known for its anti-Semitic strain of street preaching and its role in a viral-video confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial this year.Investigators believe that the man and woman who killed three...

Man convicted in 2017 Charlottesville car attack to appeal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An Ohio man plans to appeal his convictions for driving his car into a crowd of counterprotestors during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.The Daily Progress, citing online court records, reports that a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. filed a notice of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Weinstein lawyer says 98% of creditors agreeing to settle

NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety-eight percent of The Weinstein Co.'s creditors are joining a tentative settlement that plaintiffs say includes million for over two dozen actresses and former employees who claim Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them, a lawyer said Thursday.The attorney, Karen...

Review: In Malick's 'A Hidden Life,' a hymn of defiance

Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” resides above the clouds in a small Alpine hamlet.Franz Jägerstätter lives there, in Austria, with his wife, Franziska, and their young daughters. They spend their days working and playing in the hillside fields, enraptured by their...

Wilde defends 'Jewell' reporter over sex-for-tips claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Olivia Wilde said Thursday she does not believe the real-life journalist she plays in the new film “Richard Jewel” “traded sex for tips" despite that insinuation in the movie. In a series of tweets, Wilde called late Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy...

Tokyo being billed as 'Recovery Olympics' -- but not for all

FUTABA, Japan (AP) — The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics will kick off in Fukushima, the northern...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

EU leaders break stalemate over climate target, claim deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU leaders broke a deadlock early Friday and claimed a deal over a key climate target by...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

UK vote eases corrosive uncertainty hurting businesses

LONDON (AP) — The British election result is a boost to the economy and financial markets in the short term...

McMenamins
By Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press

By NEDRA PICKLER of The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Appeals court judges are expressingconcern about whether to overrule Congress' determination that some southern states and other jurisdictions still must have federal election monitoring to protect minority voting rights.

Alabama's Shelby County is challenging a requirement under the Voting Rights Act that governments with a history of discrimination obtain federal approval to change even minor election procedures. An attorney for the county argued in federal appeals court in Washington that the South has changed and that extraordinary oversight is no longer needed.

But two of three judges on the panel hearing the case Jan. 19 pointed out Congress renewed the provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006 after finding that discrimination still exists. A lower court endorsed that finding.

"Why shouldn't we defer to the judgment of Congress?" asked Judge Thomas Griffith, the Senate's former top lawyer and a nominee of President George W. Bush. Judge David Tatel, a former civil rights attorney and appointee of President Bill Clinton, asked similar questions.

Griffith pointed out that lawmakers spent a considerable amount of time weighing evidence of continued racial discrimination and that the Constitution gives the legislature power over decisions that affect the 15th Amendment's protections of voting rights for racial minorities.

"But that can't be without limitation," responded Shelby County's attorney, Bert Rein. He said the numbers of blacks registered to vote and elected to office has increased dramatically since the act was first passed and said those who implemented discriminatory practices in the 1960s are no longer in charge. "The South has changed," he said.

The county, located just south of Birmingham in central Alabama, sued Attorney General Eric Holder in 2010 to stop the monitoring required under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The provision relies heavily on patterns of past discrimination to determine which state, county and local governments must obtain "preclearance" for election changes as minor as moving a polling place or redrawing school district lines. That clearance can come either from the Justice Department or from a federal court in Washington.

U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled against the county and upheld the law in September after reviewing 15,000 pages of congressional records and deciding that lawmakers were justified in finding that discrimination still existed in the covered jurisdictions.

The judge pointed to several examples of outright discrimination across the South since the 1980s, including legislators in Mississippi and Georgia using racial epithets during redistricting debates and reports of harassment of blacks at the polls in Texas and South Carolina.

According to the Justice Department Web site, Section 5 currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, as well as some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Preclearance coverage under the act has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives and Hispanics.

The same three-judge appellate panel, which also includes Ronald Reagan appointee Stephen Williams, is scheduled to hear another challenge to the law brought by North Carolina on Feb. 27.

Justice Department attorney Sarah Harrington argued that Section 5 has stopped discriminatory actions and said its protections are still needed. Although the Voting Rights Act has been called the most successful civil rights legislation in U.S. history, she said, "Things have not gotten better enough. There still continues to be a problem."

But Tatel reminded Harrington that the Supreme Court questioned in 2009 whether Southern states should still need advance approval of voting changes more than 40 years after the law was enacted. In that case, the justices avoided deciding whether the requirement is constitutional, which creates the possibility of the Shelby County or North Carolina cases reaching the high court.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, a judge has delayed a decision on whether to let a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's new voter identification law to proceed.  Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess on Thursday heard arguments from the League of Women Voters and attorneys representing Gov. Scott Walker and the state's elections board but did not rule.  Niess plans to be back in court to make a decision on March 9.The League of Women Voters say the law disenfranchises eligible voters. But supporters of the law say it helps prevent fraud.   The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP's Milwaukee chapter have also filed lawsuits against the law. Those suits are still pending.   The law is scheduled to be in effect for the state's spring primary in February.

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