02-06-2023  4:46 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Victims to speak in court in Chasing Horse's sex abuse case

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Victims, police detectives and federal agents are expected to speak in court Monday...

'Loophole' excuses WHO officials accused of misconduct

LONDON (AP) — A confidential U.N. report into the alleged missteps by senior World Health Organization staffers...

Adani woes spur protests as stock turmoil turns political

NEW DELHI (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators from India's main opposition party turned out Monday in India's...

Greece: Snow reaches Acropolis, halts services

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — High winds and a cold snap in Greece halted ferry services and highway traffic and dusted...

Manuel Valdes and Gene Johnson the Associated Press

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) -- A frightened 9-year-old boy accused of accidentally shooting a classmate sat before a judge in juvenile court, crying and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, as his father gently rubbed his back.

Thursday's scene came a day after police said the boy accidently shot a fellow third-grader, and raised questions that will be played out in the legal system: Did he know what he did was wrong? And is anyone else responsible?

Bail was set at $50,000 during the hearing where preliminary charges were filed, and ultimately the court will determine whether the case against the third-grader will continue.

An 8-year-old girl remains critically wounded.

"I just want everyone to know that my kid made a mistake. It was a terrible mistake," the boy's father, Jason Cochran, said outside the courthouse.

An uncle, Patrick Cochran, is the boy's legal guardian and also sat by his nephew's side in the courthouse. The Seattle Times reported late Thursday the boy had been released on bail. The Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Facility said it couldn't comment and a juvenile administrator did not immediately return a phone call. Court arrangements provided that the boy would be released to his uncle and placed under house arrest if bail was met.

"He's a good kid. It's all I can say," Patrick Cochran said earlier Thursday. "I apologize to the family of that girl. I really do."

Authorities say the boy brought a .45-caliber handgun he got from his mother's house to an elementary school in Bremerton on Wednesday, and the weapon discharged from inside his backpack just before classes let out, critically injuring Amina Kocer-Bowman.

Her father, John Bowman, said in a statement that if not for the quick actions of his daughter's teacher the girl would likely have died. "Had she not administered first aid and stopped the bleeding from the gunshot wound, this event would have surely been tragic," Bowman said.

The teacher, Natalie Poss, told KING-TV on Thursday night the shooting was "a teacher's worst nightmare."

She recalled hearing a loud bang, then seeing the little girl slump. Poss told students to go get help.

The teacher located the gunshot wound and applied pressure until medics arrived, telling the girl, "Stay with me, Amina!"

Todd Dowell of the Kitsap County prosecutor's juvenile division said that his office had enough information to charge the boy on Thursday. However, the child will not be arraigned until the court determines whether he has the capacity to understand that what he did was wrong.

Under state law, children between 8 and 12 years old can face charges if a court makes such a determination. A capacity hearing in this case will be scheduled in two weeks.

Kitsap County officials said both the child's mother and father have criminal records. Bremerton police Lt. Peter Fisher would not discuss whether authorities were investigating any adults in connection with Wednesday's shooting, and he wouldn't release further information about the investigation.

The boy's classmate remained in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound. Dr. Eileen Bulger said the girl will likely be at the hospital for several weeks and face further surgeries. She was sedated and on a ventilator but has woken up and interacted with her parents. A bullet hit the girl in the abdomen and arm, according to authorities.

The boy was charged with unlawful possession of a gun, bringing a dangerous weapon to school and third-degree assault.

Authorities believe he got the weapon during a visitation with his mother over the weekend, according to charging documents released Thursday. The documents state that the boy told a classmate about five days ago that he was going to bring his "dad's gun" to school and run away. The gun discharged after the boy slammed his backpack down on a desk, the documents said.

"He has a lot of good in his heart," Poss said of the boy. "I know he didn't intend this to happen. And I know he's hurting tonight."

Court documents show Jamie Lee Chaffin, who is listed as the boy's mother in a child support case, sued the boy's father for failing to pay child support. She also has been in and out of the court system, according to court documents. In 2005, she was arrested for possession of meth in Bremerton, but pleaded guilty to a drug paraphernalia charge. She also was convicted of marijuana delivery and forgery.

Jason Cochran has been convicted multiple times for violating protection orders regarding Chaffin.

In twenty-seven states, there are some form of firearm child access prevention laws. Such laws can include criminal penalties for adults who allow children to get their hands on guns, but Washington has no such laws, according to the San Francisco-based Legal Community Against Violence.

Gail Hammer, a law professor at Gonzaga University in Spokane, said it is very rare for a child as young as 9 to be charged with a crime. Even if a young child is convicted, he wouldn't be sent to an adult prison, Hammer said.

In Olympia, the Seattle Democrat who chairs the state Senate Judiciary Committee said this case points to a lapse in state law. "We do not hold people very accountable in this state for leaving guns around the house with small children," Sen. Adam Kline said.

Kline said that he would consider a bill to address it during the next legislative session next year, but didn't sound hopeful of its chances.

There have been shootings at schools that involved younger children. In 2000, 6-year-old Kayla Rolland, a Michigan first-grader, was fatally shot by a 6-year-old classmate who brought a gun from home. That boy was not criminally charged; prosecutors said he was too young to be held responsible. Last year, a 6-year-old kindergartner at a Houston elementary school accidentally fired a gun as he was showing it off to friends, injuring three students.

Bremerton Schools spokeswoman Patty Glaser said the school where Wednesday's shooting happened, with about 400 students, was open for classes Thursday with 10 counselors available to talk with teachers, students and parents. The school is in a quiet residential neighborhood about 20 miles west of Seattle, across Puget Sound.

Patrick Cochran said the boy's grandmother adopted him, but she died a year ago and he became the child's legal guardian.

As court officers led the boy away after the hearing, his father hugged him and gave him a kiss. Both had tears in their eyes.

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Associated Press writers Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Wash., and Nicholas K. Geranios in Spokane, Wash., contributed to this report.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.