09-27-2020  7:35 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Late night protest in Portland, Oregon, declared unlawful

PORTLAND (AP) — Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly late Saturday, forcing protesters from downtown Portland, Oregon, and making several arrests, just hours after demonstrations earlier in the day ended without many reports of violence.Hundreds of people were gathered downtown in...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Some Breonna Taylor protesters out past curfew, fires set

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A diverse crowd of hundreds marched in Louisville's streets chanting “Black Lives Matter" on Saturday night, the fourth night of protests after a grand jury declined to charge officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.People in the crowd also chanted...

Homespun BLM products include cookie kits, garden gnomes

A few weeks after nationwide protests erupted over the police killing of George Floyd, Julie Muller looked for something positive she could contribute to the movement from her Houston home.The 67-year-old white woman, who has been selling homemade cookie-decorating kits online since March, decided...

After a year of drama, the Lakers reach NBA Finals anyway

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Here’s a list of just some of the things the Los Angeles Lakers have gone through in the last 12 months: playing through a politically charged situation in China during the preseason and more massive fallout after returning home, the death of Kobe Bryant...

ENTERTAINMENT

With spy series 'Tehran,' Israelis reach out to an enemy

NEW YORK (AP) — Things are not as they seem in the new Apple TV+ series “Tehran” — as it should be in a spy thriller. The series opens with a commercial flight from Jordan to India that's suddenly diverted to Iran. A few of the passengers on board have secrets. Those...

Demi Lovato, Max Ehrich call off engagement after 2 months

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Singer-actors Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich have called off their engagement after two months. Lovato and her former fiance have parted ways, according to a person close to Lovato who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The split...

J-pop stars ARASHI release English surprise before hiatus

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japanese pop sensation ARASHI has a big surprise for fans as they near their planned hiatus at year's end: a collaboration with Bruno Mars on their first all-English single.The band told The Associated Press the multi-Grammy Award-winning musician delved into their...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Israelis mark Yom Kippur under 'painful' virus lockdown

JERUSALEM (AP) — The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt,...

Some Breonna Taylor protesters out past curfew, fires set

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A diverse crowd of hundreds marched in Louisville's streets chanting “Black...

Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its...

Romania's municipal election seen as test for December vote

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Voters in Romania were casting ballots Sunday in municipal elections, which are...

Attenborough gives shark tooth to 7-year-old Prince George

LONDON (AP) — Veteran broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough has given Britain’s Prince...

The U.S. reckoning on race, seen through other nations' eyes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — It's not only in the United States where protests against racial...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Christina Hoag the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Officials at an elementary school rocked by teacher sex abuse claims are investigating yet another allegation of misconduct, this one involving a teacher's aide accused of sending love letters to an 11-year-old boy.

The mother of the fourth-grader told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/z9XilN ) that the aide, a woman the mother appeared to be in her 50s, sent at least three letters to her son in 2009, including one that read: "when you get close to me, even if you give me the chills I like that. Don't tell nobody about this!"

The allegations come as school district administrators move to replace the entire staff at Miramonte Elementary School as the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates two veteran teachers arrested last week.

Mark Berndt, 61, is charged with committing lewd acts on children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. The alleged acts include blindfolding children, feeding them semen, taping their mouths, and photographing them in a "game."

The furor led to two parents coming forward Thursday to complain that teacher Martin Springer, 49 who had worked at the school for 26 years, fondled two second-grade girls in his classroom.

Springer pleaded not guilty Tuesday after he was charged with committing lewd acts upon one girl in 2009. Bail was set at $300,000.

Police have set forth no connection between the cases, but parents' confidence has been badly shaken.

In the latest allegations to come to light, the teacher's aide wrote a letter signing herself "sad girl" because she was being transferred to another school, the mother alleged.

The mother went to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which directed her to the school. During a meeting that included the mother, her son, his teacher and an assistant principal, the teacher's aide acknowledged writing letters and said she had a grandmotherly affection for the boy.

The aide no longer works for the school system, district spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said.

The move to replace the entire has been met with mixed feelings.

Some parents applauded the decision, but others protested the move and circulated a petition calling for the staff at the school to be reinstated.

All 120 staff members at Miramonte will be replaced as of Thursday after a two-day school shutdown as part of Los Angeles Unified School District's investigation into the two veteran teachers arrested last week.

"It's the most severe action I've seen taken by a school district," said Terri Miller, president of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation, an advocacy organization based in Las Vegas.

The decision Monday came after about three dozen people protested in front of the main doors of the school earlier in the day, some carrying a banner that read, "We the parents demand our children be protected from lewd teacher acts." It also followed a march later in the day, in which 100 angry parents marched from the elementary school to the nearby administrators meeting.

Mother Maria Jimenez said some parents would at least like to have been notified that this was being considered as many feel it's drastic. "They did this without advising us or consulting us," she said.

Parents on Monday night handed Superintendent John Deasy a petition with 400 signatures calling for open doors and allowing parents to observe classrooms and act as hall monitors.

But they did not want good teachers removed, said Martha Escutia, a lawyer and former state senator who is helping parents to organize a group named Mothers of Miramonte.

"This is not being very well received," Escutia said. "Some kids have established close relationships with their teachers."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he supported Deasy's decision to replace the staff.

"I think we need to do everything we can to make sure these kids, these students and their families, get the help that they need and to get to the bottom of how this happened," he said.

The school board on Tuesday voted unanimously to fire Springer. He has 30 days to file an appeal.

Berndt was fired in January 2011 after the district learned of a sheriff's department probe. He appealed and resigned six months later.

Miramonte's old staff will continue being paid and will be housed at an undisclosed location at least until August while each person is thoroughly interviewed, Deasy said.

Replacing teaching staffs at schools has been done in LAUSD and other schools, but in cases of chronically low academic performance. Teachers usually must reapply for their jobs, and the turnover does not also extend to support staff.

It's unclear whether any staffers will return to Miramonte. On Tuesday, they were packing up their classroom belongings to head to a nearby newly constructed school that is unoccupied, district spokesman Tom Waldman said.

The new principal will be a retired principal, while the rest of the new staffers, including some 90 teachers, are former district personnel who were laid off due to budget cuts in recent years, the district said.

Deasy said the new staff members are being vigorously screened for any previous complaints against them. Each of the approximately 90 teachers will be accompanied in class by a psychiatric social worker to address possible issues caused by the scandal and the midyear disruption.

The cost of the plan has not yet been determined, but Deasy said he was sparing no expense to understand how the abuse occurred over some years and no one reported it.

The district's investigation, which will be handled by an independent commission led by retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Moreno, will include interviewing past students and staff at Miramonte.

School sex abuse expert Mary Jo McGrath, an attorney who has conducted some 350 abuse investigations, said the investigation could uncover more cases.

"It's not a witch hunt, it's just that someone is really looking," she said. "Cases start unpeeling like an onion. It's always the same pattern."

Berndt is charged with committing lewd acts on children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. The alleged acts include blindfolding children, feeding them semen, taping their mouths, and photographing them in a "game."

Berndt, who worked at the school for 32 years, remains jailed on $23 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted.

Springer pleaded not guilty Tuesday after he was charged with committing lewd acts upon one girl in 2009. Bail was set at $300,000.

Investigators said they know of no connection between the men. Berndt and Springer took their classes on at least two joint field trips in the past decade, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Associated Press writer Robert Jablon contributed to this report.

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