02-18-2020  5:17 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

State and Local Leaders Push Back Against Fair Housing Changes

Trump administration proposes weakened regulation, tracking of housing discrimination

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Irresponsible Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology

The technology heightens the risk of over-surveillance and over-policing, especially in communities of color ...

Portland man dies on Mount Hood after snowboarding fall

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man died in a snowboarding accident at Mount Hood Meadows, authorities said Monday.Ryan Zeitner, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene by responding paramedics after he fell shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday, according to a release from the Hood River County...

Highway 22 closed after tanker crash, diesel spill

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — A stretch of Highway 22 will be closed for much of this week as crews clean up gasoline and diesel fuel that leaked out of a crashed tanker truck near Idanha along the North Santiam River, state transportation authorities said Monday.The highway between Idanha and Santiam...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Pete Buttigieg's next test: Winning over minority voters

So far, Pete Buttigieg has made it look easy.The once little-known former mayor of a midsize Midwestern city vaulted over a former vice president and several U.S. senators in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire presidential primary. The 38-year-old's fresh face, intellect and turn-the-page message...

Former UAW President Owen Bieber dies aged 90

Owen Bieber, who led the United Auto Workers union from the auto industry's dark days of the early 1980s to the prosperity of the mid-1990s, has died. He was 90.Neither as charismatic as his predecessor, Douglas Fraser, nor as confrontational as his successor, Stephen Yokich, the low-key Bieber had...

Portugal leaders rally around racially abused soccer player

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices to a national outcry Monday over racist abuse aimed at a black FC Porto soccer player who walked off the field after hearing monkey chants.Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the incident was...

ENTERTAINMENT

Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King for rant over Bryant

NEW YORK (AP) — After days of blistering criticism, Snoop Dogg has finally apologized to Gayle King for attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant.“Two wrongs don't make no right. when you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he said in...

Voigt shocked paper ran her photo with Freni's obituary

Deborah Voigt was in California earlier this week when she got a text from a friend on the East Coast."So sorry to hear the news of your passing," read the Monday message.The Gazzetta di Parma newspaper in Italy had run an obituary of Mirella Freni, the great Italian soprano who died Sunday at age...

Lizzo talks diversity, self-confidence and femininity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fresh from winning three Grammys, singer Lizzo visited Mexico City for a private concert, surprising her fans with acoustic versions of her hits and a toast with tequila.The star from Detroit, who won best pop solo performance (“Truth Hurts”), best...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hamlin and Newman contrast risk and reward at Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — In a single thrilling lap around NASCAR's most storied track, Denny Hamlin and...

Aging Shiite cleric a powerhouse in Iraq. What comes after?

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — When Iraq’s top Shiite cleric underwent surgery for a fractured bone last month,...

India builds wall along slum ahead of Trump visit

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A half-kilometer (1,640-foot) brick wall has been hastily erected in India's...

German ex-environment minister seeks to lead Merkel's party

BERLIN (AP) — A former German environment minister on Tuesday became the first prominent figure officially...

UN chief: New virus outbreak is 'a very dangerous situation'

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — The U.N. secretary general said Tuesday that the virus outbreak that began in China...

UK issues severe flood alerts as storm-swollen rivers surge

LONDON (AP) — Residents in central England and Wales braced Tuesday for more flooding as rivers peaked in...

McMenamins
Greg Bluestein the Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- The nation's largest private prison company made an enticing offer to 48 states that went something like this: We will buy your prison now if you agree to keep it mostly full and promise to pay us for running it over the next two decades.

Despite a need for cash, several states immediately slammed the door on the offer, a sign that privatizing prisons might not be as popular as it once was.

Corrections Corporation of America sent letters to the prison leaders in January, saying it had a pot of $250 million to buy facilities as part of an investment. The company is trying to capitalize on the landmark deal it made with Ohio in the fall by purchasing a facility, the first state prison in the nation to be sold to a private firm.

Prison departments in California, Texas and Georgia all dismissed the idea. Florida's prison system said it doesn't have the authority to make that kind of decision and officials in CCA's home state of Tennessee said they aren't reviewing the proposal. The states refused to say exactly why they were rejecting the offer.

"Knowing the state government, it has to have something to do with the potential political backlash," said Jeanne Stinchcomb, a criminal justice professor at Florida Atlantic University who has written two books on the corrections industry. "Privatization has reaped some negative publicity, so I can only assume that despite the possible benefits, there would be a price to pay for supporting it."

Bruce Bayley, associate professor of criminal justice at Weber State University, said he hoped something other than politics drove the states' decisions.

"It's always hard for politicians to turn down the money," said Bayley. "On the flipside, though, it speaks well to the professionalism of corrections departments of these states who don't want to sell out to companies just to add some money to their bank accounts."

Critics of private prisons called the offer a backdoor way to delay the sentencing reform movements that have sprung up in many states looking to cut prison budgets. Lawmakers in many conservative states that once eagerly passed tough-on-crime laws are now embracing alternative sentences for low-level offenders who would otherwise be locked up.

CCA said selling a prison to a private firm doesn't block states from pursuing sentencing reform. The company also said it was still too early to say whether any state would take them up on the bid.

"It was an outreach letter making them aware of these offers, it's yet another tool in the toolbox," said company spokesman Steve Owen. "We can design and build and own facilities from scratch or manage government facilities, but this is a third business model."

CCA said the offer was inspired by the $72.7 million sale of Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Ohio. CCA and its main competitors, which have said they don't plan to make a similar offer, typically build their own prisons or manage state-owned lockups.

"We want to build on that success and provide our existing or prospective government partners with access to the same opportunity as they manage challenging corrections budgets," Harley Lappin, the company's chief corrections officer, said in the letter to prison leaders.

Eligible facilities must have at least 1,000 beds, must be less than 25 years old and in good condition, and have to maintain at least a 90 percent occupancy rate.

The private prison industry boomed in the late 1980s and 1990s as states sought cheaper ways to jail people and voters began resisting building more prisons. Now companies like CCA and its main rival, Florida-based Geo Group Inc., operate dozens of private prisons throughout the nation.

But efforts to privatize prisons have become highly-charged political debates in many states, partly because a sale often requires legislative approval or an OK by the governor.

In Louisiana, lawmakers last year defeated Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to privatize and sell several state prisons to generate $90 million. Relatives of prison employees aggressively fought the move, fearing that they would get lower pay and less benefits working for a private firm.

An effort to privatize a chunk of Florida's prisons also met stiff opposition from lawmakers in February. They blocked what would have been the largest prison privatization in the U.S.

Some critics of CCA's bid said their concerns extend beyond the financial costs of a deal. About two dozen religious groups signed a letter saying that accepting the proposal would be "costly to the moral strength of your state."

"Mr. Lappin's proposal is an invitation to deepening state debt, increased costs to people of color who are disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration as well as their families and communities, and decreased public safety," said the letter, sent by groups including The Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.



© 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.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/negro-league-100th-anniversary-celebration-with-portland-diamond-project-tickets-93520946669
We Shall Overcome
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Photo Archives