12-01-2021  11:26 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Dozens of Oregon Workers Fired for Not Getting COVID Shot

Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

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

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

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...

Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, is retiring

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, is retiring....

Longtime Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio won't seek reelection

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, said Wednesday that he is retiring and will not seek re-election next year The 74-year-old Democrat is the powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee. ...

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...

OPINION

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Alabama governor honors state's first Black poet laureate

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recognized the state's first Black poet laureate, a creative writing teacher who delves into inequality and the difficulty of being Black in America, on Wednesday in the same building where Southern delegates voted to form the Confederacy 160 years...

Death of bullied Utah girl draws anger over suicides, racism

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade. She...

Biden HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism 'public health threat'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration in its new HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism “a public health threat” that must be fully recognized as the world looks to end the epidemic. The strategy released Wednesday on the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day is meant to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Mel Brooks, 95, is still riffing

NEW YORK (AP) — Leave it to Mel Brooks to blurb his own memoir. There, along with laudatory quotes from Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Conan O'Brien and others is one from “M. Brooks," who hails “All About Me!” as: "Not since the Bible have I read anything so powerful and...

Louis Vuitton show pays tribute to designer Virgil Abloh

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Louis Vuitton's first ever U.S. fashion show turned into a somber yet whimsical tribute to groundbreaking designer Virgil Abloh days after his death. The Miami menswear event, an unofficial kickoff to the prestigious Art Basel fair, had been in the...

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo for helping brother in scandal

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN indefinitely suspended anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday after details emerged about how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to face charges of sexual harassment earlier this year. The network said documents released by New York's attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Explosion of WWII bomb in Munich injures 4, disrupts trains

BERLIN (AP) — A World War II bomb exploded at a construction site next to a busy railway line in Munich on...

Putin demands NATO guarantees not to expand eastward

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any...

Outside Supreme Court, crowd amplifies abortion arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of abortion debate partisans crowded the plaza in front of the Supreme Court on...

EU chief calls for debate on making COVID-19 jabs mandatory

BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of the European Union's executive arm said Wednesday that EU nations should consider...

Iceland police say homemade bomb found in Reykjavik dumpster

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Three men were arrested after a homemade bomb was found in a residential neighborhood...

Man arrested after breaching security at UK Parliament

LONDON (AP) — A man was arrested Wednesday after breaching security at Britain’s Parliament. ...

Mike Schneider the Associated Press

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- When Benjamin Crump got his first call from Trayvon Martin's father last month, the attorney counseled patience.

It had only been two days since a neighborhood watch volunteer had fatally shot the 17-year-old, and surely an arrest was imminent, thought Crump, who has pursued several civil rights cases against law enforcement agencies.

Another day passed. Nothing.

Two more days passed. Still nothing.

"I believed in my heart of hearts they were going to arrest him," Crump said Thursday in an interview. "I said, `Oh, they are going to arrest him. You don't need me on this.'"

More than a month later, there still has been no arrest.

But thanks largely to Crump's efforts, the case has stirred marches and rallies around the nation, merited comment from President Barack Obama, led to the resignation of the Sanford police chief and brought scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice into this Orlando suburb of 55,000 residents.

"When you have the president commenting on the matter and you have celebrities and politicians wearing their hoodies as a symbol of the cause that you're representing, and it has taken over the world's attention, this is overwhelming in a sense," said Crump, who was in Washington for several days of meeting with members of Congress and appearing on national news shows. "We've been pushing relentlessly day and night."

Crump's strategy for making the case international news began with a series of heart-wrenching news conferences in which Martin's parents spoke about their loss. Florida media outlets began to notice. Then, he enlisted U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to help convince authorities to release 911 tapes, recordings that brought the case to the attention of national media. He's further ratcheted pressure on authorities by organizing a series of rallies and working with national civil rights figures such as Al Sharpton.

The push began not long after Martin's death on the night of Feb. 26. Martin, wearing a hoodie, was walking home from a Sanford, Fla. convenience store when he was spotted by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who called a police dispatcher to report Martin as suspicious. There was a confrontation, and Martin was shot. Zimmerman has told detectives he shot Martin in self-defense.

Martin's death raises questions about the role of vigilantism, racial profiling and Florida's self-defense laws. Under those laws, a person isn't obligated to retreat in a threatening situation. Zimmerman's father has said his son wasn't profiling Martin and that he isn't racist. Zimmerman's mother is Hispanic and his father is white.

Crump was first contacted by a cousin of Trayvon Martin's father. The cousin, a Miami attorney, was familiar with Crump's civil rights work in Florida. Before Martin's death, Crump was best known for representing the parents of a teenage boy who died after an encounter with guards at a Florida boot camp in 2006. The videotaped beating of Martin Lee Anderson attracted national attention and led to the closure of the state's boot camps for juvenile offenders.

Crump, 42, and his wife, Genae Angelique Crump, are raising two teenage boys who are the biological sons of Crump's cousin. The oldest is Martin's age.

"Trayvon hits home on many levels," Crump said.

Crump and his law partner, Daryl Parks, are Tallahassee-based personal injury attorneys who primarily handle wrongful death and negligence cases. But their everyday work often involves civil rights issues.

"Daryl and Ben look at things in a broader perspective," said James Messer, a Tallahassee attorney who serves on the board of the Tallahassee Bar Association with Crump. "While there may be a wrongful death issue, it involves, in their eyes, more than anything a civil rights cause ... (Crump) has a passion for issues that have something to do with civil rights violations."

Crump's advocacy on behalf of Martin's family has gotten the attention of established civil rights leaders. Both Sharpton and Jesse Jackson flew down to Sanford to participate in rallies and a meeting before the Sanford city commission.

"He has integrity, smarts and an uncanny ability," Jackson said about Crump. "He is not flashy. He is just kind of a basic, old, solid-thinking, country lawyer."

Crump gets the "country" part from growing up in Lumberton, N.C., a tiny town not far from Fort Bragg. His mother held down two jobs as a factory worker and hotel housekeeper. His biological father was a soldier at Fort Bragg. He was raised by his mother and her high school sweetheart who later became her husband. Crump regards him as his father. The oldest of nine siblings and step-siblings, Crump grew up in an extended family of cousins, uncles and aunts headed by his beloved great-grandmother, Mittie.

"She had a switch in her hand when we came home from school. She would ask what we learned in school that day, and she used that switch to enforce the importance of that question," Crump said of his great-grandmother.

Crump would spend all day every Sunday in Pentecostal church, often missing the chance to watch his Dallas Cowboys play on television. The influence of the church is visible in his public speeches when he often sounds more like a preacher than a lawyer. His interest in civil rights stems from attending segregated schools until he was in fifth grade.

"It was a situation to me, that I said, `Why do people on that side of the tracks have it so much better than people on our side of the tracks?'" he said.

When Crump was in high school, his mother sent him to Fort Lauderdale to live with the man he regarded as his father so he could have a male influence and be exposed to the culture that the bigger city offered.

He attended college and law school and Florida State University, where he met Parks, his future law partner. In his personal statement for law school, he said his hero was Thurgood Marshall, the U.S. Supreme Court's first black justice. After graduating, Parks and Crump formed their own law firm, Tallahassee-based, Parks and Crump.

Crump dodges the question of how, and if, he is being compensated by Trayvon Martin's parents.

"You do it because it's the right thing to do," he said. "As long as you make your goal to do right and do good, all of the money and financial material stuff will come."

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