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The Skanner Black History Month
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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

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, introduces the new limited-edition Harriet Tubman Card in celebration of...

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

Bipartisan Vote Underscores Consensus for Reforms, Makes Way for Senate Action ...

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

In our celebration of Black History Month 2020, the DPO Black Caucus looks forward to the screening of the award-winning documentary,...

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

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...

Wake Forest apologizes for slavery in university's past

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The president of Wake Forest University issued a public apology Thursday for the institution's past involvement in slavery.President Nathan Hatch's apology, delivered in a speech during the school's Founders' Day ceremonies, comes after a series of events stirred...

The Latest: Warren says Bloomberg NDA refusal disqualifying

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on presidential campaign developments (all times local.):6:30 p.m.Elizabeth Warren says that if Mike Bloomberg isn’t willing to release his former employees from any non-disclosure agreements they’ve signed, he should be disqualified from being...

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

Trump apparently not a fan of 'Parasite'

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TV analyst? Spokesman? Freed ex-governor goes job hunting

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Wrestler adds to abuse allegations against university doctor

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) — An Olympic wrestler on Thursday accused a University of Michigan doctor of...

Amid protests, Portugal lawmakers vote to allow euthanasia

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s parliament voted Thursday in favor of allowing euthanasia and...

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
Michael Martinez CNN

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- In the wake of a teacher misconduct scandal, Los Angeles school officials have referred the discipline cases of 604 teachers from the past four years to state authorities to decide whether the teachers' licenses should also be revoked, a school spokesman said Thursday.

Of the 604 cases in which teachers were fired or facing discipline, 60 teachers were accused of sexual misconduct with pupils on or off campus or with minors who weren't students, school officials told CNN.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing will investigate 366 of the 604 teacher cases, spokeswoman Anne Padilla said on Thursday. Most of the cases focused on allegations of teacher misconduct that involved student safety.

The referral of the cases to state licensing investigators is the latest turn in the nation's second largest school system. It has been reeling from a scandal at Miramonte Elementary School, where two teachers have been charged with lewd acts on pupils, including one teacher accused of putting children in adult-like bondage situations and placing semen-filled spoons at their mouths.

The lurid allegations prompted an internal review of the system's handling of past teacher misconduct cases, and the district determined that 604 cases needed to be referred to state licensing authorities for review, though "a substantial number" of other misconduct cases had already been reported to the state, school officials told CNN.

"Protecting California's schoolchildren is always a priority for the commission. The workload has been a challenge, but a necessary one," commission executive director Mary Vixie Sandy said in a statement.

The 604 cases include teachers who were disciplined or were about to face discipline since July 2008, according to Ira Berman, Los Angeles Unified School District director of employee relations, and Vivian Ekchian, the district's chief human resources officer.

The cases also include teachers who were fired by the school board or who left the district after termination proceedings were initiated or while an allegation of misconduct was pending, Berman and Ekchian said.

The system doesn't know whether any of the teachers who were fired or who left the district are still in the classroom in other school districts, according to Berman and Ekchian.

The 604 figure also includes teachers who were suspended for 11 days or more for a variety of reasons not involving sexual misconduct with students, the two officials said.

"The safety of our students is our No. 1 priority," Ekchian said in explaining why the system referred the 604 cases to the state.

The United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers' union, had no comment Thursday on the school board's action, spokeswoman Marla Eby said.

The system's internal investigation arose after parental outrage at Miramonte, where a teacher resigned from the system last year but was not referred to the state for possible license revocation, school district spokesman Tom Waldman said.

That person is former teacher Mark Berndt, 61, who pleaded not guilty in February to allegations he bound young students, then photographed them with semen-filled spoons held at their mouths and three-inch cockroaches crawling across their faces, among other graphic depictions.

"We had not informed Sacramento to revoke Mr. Berndt's credentials," Waldman said.

Berndt's teaching credentials have been suspended, Padilla said.

Berndt is being held on $23 million bond and faces 23 counts of lewd acts on a child. The 23 victims were between 7 and 10 years old, and all but two of them were girls, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Authorities have said they have discovered roughly 600 images allegedly taken by Berndt in his classroom.

Los Angeles School Superintendent John Deasy has said Berndt was removed from his teaching job in January 2011 after school officials learned of the police investigation.

A teacher for 30 years, Berndt initially challenged the school district's decision to dismiss him. But he eventually dropped his appeal and resigned last spring.

His arrest in January led to a broader fallout over the adequacy of safeguards for the school's students and the prospect of more victims.

Days after Berndt was taken into custody, another Miramonte Elementary teacher -- Martin Springer, 49 -- was arrested and charged with three felony counts of lewd acts with a girl younger than 14. He has pleaded not guilty.

The school board subsequently shut Miramonte for two days, during which the board reconstituted the entire staff in the 1,400-student school. Miramonte is in unincorporated Los Angeles County within the Florence-Firestone area, about six miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the California state auditor is going to carry out an emergency $300,000 audit of the Los Angeles Unified School District's actions in managing and documenting child abuse claims, said State Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, who sponsored the performance audit proposal.

The incident at Miramonte and similar allegations of child sex abuse at other Los Angeles public schools prompted the audit, Lara said.

CNN's Jaqueline Hurtado contributed to this report.

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