04-19-2021  2:42 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Judiciary Committee Votes to Advance Reparations Bill HR-40

    Judiciary Committee Votes to Advance Reparations Bill HR-40

    After decades of effort reparations advocates are celebrating the House Judiciary Committee's decision to send a bill to the U.S. House for a full vote. Democrats pushed the bill through the committee but Republicans are opposing itRead More
  • prosecutor Jerry Blackwell speaks as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court Thursday, April 15, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

    What to Expect in Closings for Chauvin trial in Floyd Death

    Attorneys will make closing arguments in a last chance to sway the jury to convict or acquit the former Minneapolis cop on murder and manslaughter chargesRead More
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center left, walks with supporters during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Armed Patrol Group Tries to Keep the Peace in Minneapolis

    Hundreds of people have gathered outside the heavily guarded Brooklyn Center police station every night since Sunday, to protest the police shooting of 20-year-old father Daunte Wright. Despite the mayor's calls for law enforcement and protesters to scale back their tactics, the nights have often ended in objects hurled, tear gas and arrestsRead More
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP)

    Prince Philip's Funeral Procession Televised From Windsor

    The coffin emerged from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle as those taking part in the ceremonial procession for his funeral took their places. It was loaded on a specially adapted Land Rover, designed by Philip himself, for the eight-minute journey to St. George’s Chapel. Senior military commanders lined up in front of the vehicle, with members of the royal family following behindRead More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lents Park Scene of Police Shooting During Protests

Amid protests across Portland against police brutality a man was shot and killed in Lents Park after reports he had a gun. Some protesters described by Mayor Ted Wheeler as a small group of "violent agitators" lit dumpster fires at the ICE and Multnomah County Sheriff's buildings and smashed windows downtown including at the Nike store building and the Oregon History Centre

Lawsuit Describes Night of Fear for Wall of Moms Protester

In the lawsuit filed in federal court in Portland, Jennifer Kristiansen also accused a federal agent of groping her as he trapped her against a wall, leading her to fear she would be raped

Oregon Senate Votes to Extend Grace Period for Past-Due Rent

Currently, tenants have until July to pay back rent, but under the proposed bill, tenants would have until Feb. 28, 2022

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

NEWS BRIEFS

Ageless Awards Honor Older Oregonians Who Redefine Age

Four Oregonians will be honored for their inspiring contributions later in life during a free, public, virtual celebration on April...

Legislators Introduce Bill to Create a Statue of Shirley Chisholm Inside the U.S Capitol

Rep. Yvette D. Clark introduced the bill as part of a larger effort to increase the representation of Black women within the Capitol. ...

Grants Available For Portland Area Black-Led and Serving Organizations

To become a more equitable and just organization, the Providence Portland Service Area Advisory Council seeks to fund community...

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Police ask for help identifying Portland, Oregon, rioters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters who smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set fires during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, caused significant damage, and authorities urged downtown businesses to review security video to help police apprehend more rioters. Police...

Riot declared in Portland protests after police kill man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, said Saturday they arrested four people after declaring a riot Friday night when protesters smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set multiple fires during demonstrations that started after police fatally shot a man while responding to...

OPINION

Portland Commissioners Release Statement on Recent Protests

The murder of Daunte Wright is a reminder that the call for justice for Black lives, accountability, and systemic community safety reform never stops. ...

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Georgia's Abrams navigates voting law fight with eye on 2022

ATLANTA (AP) — President Joe Biden called Georgia's new voting law an “atrocity.” A leading Black bishop called for a national boycott of companies headquartered in the state. But when Stacey Abrams, the state’s well-known voting rights advocate, is asked about the law that has set much of...

Luke Bryan wins top ACM Award, but female acts own the night

NEW YORK (AP) — Carrie Underwood brought the Academy of Country Music Awards to church. Maren Morris won two honors, including song of the year. Miranda Lambert performed three times and held on to her record as the most decorated winner in ACM history. And Mickey Guyton, the first Black woman to...

Vigil, 'peace walk' in Chicago after police shooting of boy

CHICAGO (AP) — People gathered around Chicago on Sunday to remember a 13-year-old boy fatally shot by a police officer and to call for changes in policing and an end to gun violence. Sunday's events followed the release of body-camera footage showing Chicago police Officer...

ENTERTAINMENT

2 documentaries up for Oscars tell stories of nonagenarians

The Oscar isn’t the only one celebrating its 93rd trip around the sun at the Academy Awards ceremony this year. The shorts category features two documentaries, “ A Concerto is a Conversation ” and “ Colette,” about fellow nonagenarians who have led extraordinary and extraordinarily...

Chicago video tests newsroom handling of graphic footage

NEW YORK (AP) — The image that many Americans have of 13-year-old Adam Toledo is frozen in time: He is standing in an alley with his hands up as the gunshot that killed him is heard. This week's release of Chicago body camera footage of the March 29...

The pandemic has upended the Oscars. Good, producers say

NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety seconds. That’s how quickly Steven Soderbergh believes the Academy Awards will convince viewers that this year’s telecast is different. The concept for the show, which Soderbergh is producing with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, is to treat the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

India's electric vehicles face practical, technical hurdles

NEW DELHI (AP) — H.S. Panno, an independent contractor living in a spacious two-story penthouse in New Delhi,...

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one COVID-19 shot, the government...

Remote Alaska villages boast high vaccination rates

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — John Waghiyi remembers rushing his cousin to the clinic in the Bering Sea city of Savoonga...

Germany remembers nearly 80,000 dead in COVID pandemic

BERLIN (AP) — Germany paid tribute on Sunday to the nearly 80,000 people it has lost to the coronavirus, even as...

Sale of Chinese painting shows art value rising in pandemic

HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese painting from 1924 is expected to fetch at least million in an auction in Hong...

Students' struggles pushed Peru teacher to run for president

CHUGUR, Peru (AP) — As schools across Peru closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro Castillo tried to find...

Ivana Kottasov

LONDON (CNN) -- A year ago, Gisella Asante and her daughter Jan Asante found themselves standing in tears in the middle of broken glass, scattered clothes hangers, bits of wedding dresses and burnt pieces of fabric. Their small shop in south London had been targeted by a mob of looters during the city's worst riots in two decades.

It happened a few days after they celebrated the 20th anniversary of opening their business -- Gisella's, a fashion workshop. In just a few hours of riot madness, Gisella and Jan Asante lost 20 years' worth of work.

A display of valuable dresses made for high-profile celebrities: gone.

Unique accessories, some from remote parts of the world: gone. Handmade jewelry: gone. Wedding dresses ready to be picked up by brides-to-be: gone.

The overall loss is hard to estimate -- on top of all the things lost and damaged, business slowed down for months. "We were boarded for three months, that's how long it took," Jan said. "People thought we folded, it felt like we were in prison," Gisella added.

They estimate a loss of £30-40,000 ($55,000-65,000), but say it's hard to put a number on it. "The things are worth so much more. We made them all, they are irreplaceable," Jan said.

Fast forward a year and the place looks like nothing had ever happened. The only visible reminder of last year's events is a couple of wooden boards leaning against the wall. They used to cover the smashed windows.

Now they serve as a notice board, with pictures and supportive letters from customers that flooded the boutique after the riots.

"People sent messages, emails, they phoned to say they were sorry," Jan said. The reaction was overwhelming. "A friend of mine had to come in for a week just to answer the phone and reply to messages. It was like bereavement."

The revival of the boutique is down to the Asantes' loyal customers. "Lots of our regular customers made an effort to help. They didn't really need anything, and they would still come and buy something. Our customers are amazing," Jan said.

There was a point, they say, when they wanted to leave the shop closed and walk away. But the customers kept coming. "Having the customers, the work, it kept us going, we were on autopilot," Jan said. "It was exactly as the British say: 'Keep calm and carry on.'"

Thank-you notes from clients are displayed all around Gisella's. Many include wedding and honeymoon photos, as the boutique has long been a hotspot for brides who want something special.

"For the brides, weddings are about culture," Jan said. "They want to express their heritage, even if they are very modern, and they always ask us how they can show where they come from and who they are."

The traditional-meets-modern is the key to their success.

Gisella, originally from Tanzania, came to London from Kenya, where her daughter Jan was born to a Ghanaian father. It may sound complicated, but the multicultural heritage of the two women is exactly what makes their clothes special.

"We are inspired by modern Africa," Jan said. "We consider ourselves African, but are also Londoners, and that shows in our designs."

Their dresses are a mixture of modern cuts, African-inspired prints and precious fabrics from all around the world. Picking up a beautifully shaped dress, Jan points out the fabric. It comes from a remote area in Nigeria, where it was handmade. Together with a Western-style cut, it makes for a special piece of couture.

"I always talk to our customers about the story behind fabrics," she said. "It's nice to walk around knowing where your clothes came from."

The mother-daughter pair work as a team. Jan talks to the customers and prepares the designs, while Gisella is the one cutting the fabric and sewing.

The workshop is strictly divided in two zones. Each woman has her own territory, where she rules. They say it works perfectly, even though they both admit there are clashes from time to time.

"She is my mum, you always have to do what your mum tells you to," Jan admitted. "But we are also business partners. We have to negotiate and agree on everything. Sometimes it stretches your relationship to the limits."

On the one-year anniversary of the looting the boutique was unusually quiet, and there was time for reflection.

"I couldn't ask for a better daughter," Gisella said, doubting she would have been able to cope without her during the long months of recovery.

Then suddenly, she turned to Jan and said: "You have more strength than I thought you have. I've seen you rise so much. I am proud of you -- I never had the time to tell you."

Trial: George Floyd's Death

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Kevin Saddler