09-23-2020  8:17 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

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. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

3 arrested at Portland protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested three people during overnight protests outside a building that houses the city's crime prevention programs.KOIN reports a crowd of about 75 people marched to the Penumbra Kelly Building in Northeast Portland about 10:30 p.m....

Oregon Lottery games offline for Portland, coast after fires

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Lottery games in Portland and on the coast went dark after damage caused by wildfires.Matt Shelby, an Oregon Lottery spokesperson, said 95 retailers in the Portland area and 25 on the northern Oregon coast lost connection to lottery games when fires damaged the...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

Defeating a Demagogue: A Reminder from History

Mel Gurtov dedicates this column to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom he calls "a warrior for human rights, decency, and the rule of law" ...

SPLC Statement on the Passing of Rev. Robert S. Graetz Jr.

Graetz was the only white clergyman to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott ...

Tell Your Senators: “Let the People Decide”

Just 45 days before Election Day, voters like you should have a say in choosing our next Supreme Court justice ...

Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

4 charged after burning body found in rural Iowa ditch

KELLOGG, Iowa (AP) — Four people have been charged in the strangulation death of a man whose body was found burning last week in a rural central Iowa ditch.Steven Vogel, 31, of Grinnell, was arrested Tuesday in the death of 44-year-old Michael Williams, of Grinnell, the Iowa Department of...

China blasts US House bill, denies forced labor in Xinjiang

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday lashed out at the passage of a bill by the U.S. House of Representatives that threatens sanctions over the alleged use of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, calling the accusation a lie. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the bill...

Mars drops Uncle Ben's, reveals new name for rice brand

NEW YORK (AP) — The Uncle Ben's rice brand is getting a new name: Ben's Original. Parent firm Mars Inc. unveiled the change Wednesday for the 70-year-old brand, the latest company to drop a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Packaging with the new name will hit stores next year....

ENTERTAINMENT

Poet Nikky Finney wins 0,000 lifetime achievement prize

NEW YORK (AP) — Nikky Finney has won the Wallace Stevens Award, a 0,000 lifetime achievement honor presented by the Academy of American Poets. Judges praised Finney, known for such collections as “Head Off & Split” and “Rice,” for her “fierce moral...

Woodward's 'Rage' sells 600,000 copies in first week

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Woodward's “Rage” sold more than 600,000 copies in its first week of publication, continuing a yearlong wave of blockbuster books about President Donald Trump. Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday that Woodward's book will be going into its fourth...

In Miami Beach, live theater returns — in vacant storefronts

NEW YORK (AP) — This fall, the seven deadly sins will be found all along an iconic Miami Beach thoroughfare — but they'll be socially distanced, thankfully. Miami New Drama plans to offer short new plays about each of the sins in seven vacant storefronts along Lincoln Road as part of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Gale Sayers, Bears Hall of Fame running back, dies at 77

CHICAGO (AP) — Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, who made his mark as one of the NFL’s best all-purpose...

Sierra Leone doctor in dedicated mission against COVID-19

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Dear Donald, Dear Mr. President: A Trump-Nixon '80s tale

WASHINGTON (AP) — They were two men in Manhattan who craved the same thing: validation. One was a brash,...

Finland deploys coronavirus-sniffing dogs at main airport

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland has deployed coronavirus-sniffing dogs at the Nordic country’s main...

The Latest: Germany foreign minister Maas in quarantine

BERLIN -- Germany’s foreign minister is quarantined after a bodyguard tested positive for the...

Sierra Leone doctor in dedicated mission against COVID-19

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Dr. Mamadu Baldeh can’t forget the 18-year-old who came into his hospital with...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
Laura Wides-Munoz the Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- The civil rights groups that turned outrage over Trayvon Martin's death into action say their work is far from over now that his killer has been charged with second-degree murder. Next, they hope to harness the activism to challenge Florida's "stand your ground" law and similar statutes in 24 other states.

But they also worry about maintaining their momentum during what could be a long judicial process and translating it into political action that could help sway lawmakers. The leaders plan to use churches, social media and other means to rally the movement that has already prompted protesters to take to the streets in several major cities.

"Arresting Zimmerman is the beginning of the process. This is a first down, not a touchdown," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told The Associated Press this week from Houston, where he was talking to black church leaders about the Martin case, Florida's gun law and racial profiling.

Martin's death is also being used as a call to action by politicians such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and more traditional gun control groups including the Brady Campaign.

When prosecutors in Florida announced the charge against 28-year-old George Zimmerman on Wednesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton had just opened his National Action Network's annual conference in Washington. Sharpton said attendees immediately began discussing ways to keep attention on Martin's case and pressure governors and legislators to reconsider the self-defense laws.

"How did people hear about it in the first place? The kids heard about it on the radio. They heard about it on social media. That's what we need to continue," Sharpton said. "But school is going to be out soon, so you've got to have infrastructure that goes beyond the students, with black and minority media, with the churches."

His organization is calling for a national "stand your ground" rally on Sunday and plans to announce a rally outside the Florida Legislature in the coming days. Martin's parents are expected to speak at his conference Saturday. A pastor in Detroit is also planning a rally on Monday to support a teacher fired when she encouraged her students to raise money for Martin's family.

Elsewhere, pastors such as the Rev. Raphael Warnock, of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, are writing the case into their Sunday services.

And with 200,000 "likes," the Facebook page called "Justice for Trayvon Martin" is also keeping people informed. It continues to post about art, poetry and events organized in commemoration of the teen.

It's a continuation of an effort that began not long after Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. When no charges had been filed by early the next month, the Martin family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, reached out to civil rights leaders around the country.

Martin's parents and their supporters argued that race played a role in authorities' initial reluctance to bring charges. Martin was black, while Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

Rallies as far away as New York, Chicago and D.C. drew hundreds each, while more than a thousand protesters gathered in Miami and thousands more in Sanford. Protesters that included sports and film stars donned hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin was wearing when he was shot. The shooting was even discussed at presidential news conferences, and it became international news.

After an extraordinary 45-day campaign, the special prosecutor who took over the case charged Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer maintains that he shot the teen in self-defense after Martin attacked him. His attorney plans to cite Florida's "stand your ground law," which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight. The law is also part of the reason why authorities were reluctant to charge Zimmerman in the first place.



A document filed by the special prosecutor alleges that Zimmerman followed and confronted the unarmed teen, even after a police dispatcher told him to back off. He is being held without bond.

Martin's parents say that they plan to keep up their efforts even if Zimmerman is convicted.

"We would just like for the world to know that we will continue to fight for other Trayvons out there," his father, Tracy Martin, recently told the AP. "This just doesn't stop with our child."

The call to overturn the so-called "stand your ground" laws is gaining support from leaders beyond the civil rights community. Citing Martin's death, Bloomberg launched a national campaign on Wednesday called "Second Chance at Shoot First" that seeks to repeal or reform the self-defense laws.

Even the gun-control group the Brady Campaign, formed in the 1980s following the attempted assassination of then-President Ronald Reagan, is enjoying renewed attention. President Dan Gross plans to use the Martin case to fight proposed federal legislation that would force states with strict gun laws to recognize concealed weapons permits granted in states that have fewer requirements.

"We've been saying all along that the `stand your ground' laws - or the `shoot first and ask questions later' laws, as we call them - are only part of the issue," Gross said.

In Florida, a state senator recently convened a committee to review whether changes are needed to the state's self-defense laws. Gov. Rick Scott plans to convene a separate committee with a similar aim.

Still, advocates face a tough battle against an entrenched and well-funded gun-rights lobby.

The National Rifle Association, which opposes most gun control bills, spent more than $14 million on campaigns at the federal level during the last election cycle. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the headline speaker at its national convention Friday in Missouri.

The NRA didn't immediately respond to a call on Friday seeking comment about the self-defense laws.

Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said the presidential election gives the activists leverage but cautioned that the pitch to change self-defense laws will be tough in states where gun rights are sacred.

"Policy changes are never quick," she said. "The bottom line is rapid policy changes have a much better chance when you have a very high-profile, volatile issue like this one that reaches so many people."

Jackson doesn't expect any major changes to come quickly or easily, either.

"We must do some heavy lifting," he said. "This cannot be a fad where you wear the hoodie, the apparel, and then it goes away."

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kyle Hightower in Stanford, Fla.; Mike Hightower in Detroit; Errin Haines in Atlanta and Sonya Rosss in Washington.

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