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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Denies Permit for Pipeline Before Federal Decision

Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development says a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay would have significant adverse effects on the state's coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, endangered species and critical habitat

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

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"

NEWS BRIEFS

OneUnited Bank Launches New Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Card

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Oregon House Votes to End Driver’s License Suspensions for Failure to Pay Fines

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Black History Month 2020: “African Americans and the Vote”

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Battle Ground High School Senior Wins Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition, Advances to State

Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy ...

DOJ to Investigate Wrongful Arrest of Black Man in Oregon

The decision comes a week after U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer urged a federal probe into...

Man pleads guilty to helping suspect in deputy shooting

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A Kalama man pleaded guilty this week to assisting the escape of the man who killed Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin DeRosier in April. The Daily News reports Matthew Veatch, 26, pleaded guilty in Cowlitz Superior Court to rendering criminal assistance,...

Person in custody after gun incident near courthouse

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A man is in custody Thursday after police say he was waving a gun and threatening bystanders near Clackamas County’s courthouse.Oregon City police said there was a report of a person “menacing with a gun” at the courthouse, which is located on...

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

Democrats try to blunt strong California showing for Sanders

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is the largest prize in the calculations of any Democratic presidential candidate, but it rarely seems that way.But no one is underselling California this time. Bernie Sanders has been working the state for months, organizing intensively among Latinos and...

Tech boom, suburban growth drive Nevada's Democratic shift

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Twenty years ago, long before Nevada was part of the early presidential selection process, the phone typically rang unanswered at Washoe County Democratic Party headquarters in Reno during mid-term elections."We had a small conference room and a tiny reception area, but no...

Woman pleads guilty to crash that killed white supremacist

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to manslaughter in a car crash that killed a white supremacist leader.Emily Sherry, 24, entered her plea in the April 2018 death of Robert Ransdell, 37. Sherry was driving under the influence on Interstate 275 when she veered...

ENTERTAINMENT

Success of 'To All the Boys' puts stars on Hollywood's radar

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2018 release of the Netflix teen rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," changed the lives of its stars, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, by putting them on Hollywood’s radar."People are taking me more seriously," said Condor, a 22-year-old Vietnamese American....

No conspiracy this time: Dan Brown writing children's book

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Review: A CGI canine yearns to be free in 'Call of the Wild'

Does the dog movie have any new tricks? Do we want it to?For the most part, we want our dog movies like our pooches: comforting, obedient and slightly slobbery. “The Call of the Wild,” the latest adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel, is all those things but adds a new twist....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Wrestler adds to abuse allegations against university doctor

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German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 people

HANAU, Germany (AP) — A German who shot and killed nine people of foreign background in a rampage that...

Amid protests, Portugal lawmakers vote to allow euthanasia

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South Sudan rival leaders agree to form coalition government

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s rival leaders on Thursday announced they have agreed to form...

Turkish soldiers killed in Syria amid threats of escalation

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Two Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in an airstrike in northwestern Syria,...

McMenamins
Mike Householder the Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- A teacher fired from a Michigan middle school after encouraging students to raise money for the family of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin said Tuesday she is confused by the dismissal and wants the school's administration to explain.

Brooke Harris was dismissed in March from Pontiac Academy for Excellence after she supported students' efforts to plan a wear-a-hoodie-to-school day. Martin was wearing a hoodie Feb. 26 when he was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

A number of groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., have called for Harris to be reinstated.

"I'm really confused why I got fired," Harris told The Associated Press. "I don't think I did anything wrong."

According to the SPLC, a national civil rights group, Harris' eighth-grade journalism students asked her about the death of Martin, 17, who was unarmed when he was shot in Sanford, Fla. No charges have been filed.

Harris gave the students an editorial-writing assignment on the shooting. But the students wanted to raise money for Martin's family and asked the school's administrators if they could each pay $1 to wear hoodies instead of school uniforms for a day, the group said. It said the school regularly has fundraisers in which students are allowed to "dress down."

The 26-year-old English teacher said she approached school administrators "through the chain of command" but that Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell said the project could not go forward. Harris said she was in the process of explaining this decision to the students when she was called for a meeting with Cassell.



The superintendent suspended Harris for encouraging the students and then fired her after she showed up at the school to drop off prizes for students when she had been told to stay away, the SPLC said.

"I didn't tell the kids, `Let's go and do it anyway.'" Harris said. "I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when (Cassell) requested the meeting with me and told me that I needed to let it go."

Cassell said she couldn't discuss personnel matters but that she wanted students to focus on learning, not activism.

"I'm a child of the civil rights movement," Cassell said. But "this is not the time in the school year" to distract students from academics.

"In every situation, there are work rules," she said. "When rules are violated, there are consequences."

Harris said her teaching record was clean and that Cassell "wouldn't let me defend myself."

Harris said she still wants someone from the school to provide more details on why she was fired.

"I just want a reason," Harris said. "She's got my phone number, and I'd appreciate if she'd tell me what I did wrong."

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the Academy's decision was a "travesty" that would only hurt students.

"It taught the students who tried to organize and tried to raise their voice in terms of social justice that they will be repressed," Walid said at a news conference Tuesday morning at King Solomon Baptist that previewed a rally that evening at the Detroit church. "Instead of empowering our children ... the Pontiac Academy is actually teaching children to internalize oppression and internalize racism."

A few dozen people who attended the rally - including a number of clergy members and community activists - voiced their displeasure over both Martin's slaying as well as Harris' dismissal.

Speaker after speaker at the rally offered their support to Harris, who sat in a chair behind the podium and smiled and nodded in appreciation.

"We're ready to protest, we're ready to march, and we're even ready to give you legal counsel," Walid said, turning and looking at Harris. "If we can't settle this in the streets nonviolently, then maybe we need to settle it in the courts of law."

Charles Williams, the church's pastor, said that if Harris doesn't have her job back by Friday, he will lead a march at the school in Pontiac on Monday.

Harris wore a blazer to Tuesday's rally, but underneath it was a hoodie.

"I thought it was appropriate," she said.

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Associated Press writer David N. Goodman contributed to this report.

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Follow Mike Householder at http://twitter.com/mikehouseholder

© 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.

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