10-16-2021  2:29 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

'Lawless city?' Worry after Portland police don't stop chaos

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least 0,000 in damage – but police officers didn't stop them. Portland Police Bureau officials say...

Legionnaires outbreak persists at Portland apartment complex

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials have confirmed that a North Portland apartment complex had a new case of Legionnaires’ disease in late September, the latest in an outbreak attributed to the waterborne illness since January. The Multnomah County Health Department said the...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina awards Staley 7-year, .4 million contract

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It certainly was a big day for Dawn Staley. South Carolina's national championship coach thought it was just as important for women's basketball and gender equity. Staley and the school announced a new, seven-year contract that will pay her [scripts/homepage/home.php].9 million...

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jill Biden travels to Virginia, New Jersey to help Democrats

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden campaigned Friday for Democrats in governors' races in Virginia and...

Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker terrorist act

LEIGH-ON-SEA, England (AP) — A long-serving member of Parliament was stabbed to death Friday during a meeting...

US vows to pay relatives of Afghans killed in drone strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department said Friday that it is committed to offering condolence payments...

At least 46 killed in Taiwanese apartment building inferno

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) — At least 46 people were killed and another 41 injured after a fire broke out early...

Lebanon buries 7 killed amid street battles over port probe

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon on Friday mourned seven people killed in gunbattles on the streets of Beirut the previous...

Moderate earthquake rocks Bali, killing at least 3

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — A moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit Indonesia’s resort island of...

Susan Candiotti. Ross Levitt and Carol Cratty CNN

(CNN) -- Fallout from a job discrimination lawsuit filed by the head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New York has led to at least a temporary shakeup at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

Suzanne Barr, chief of staff for ICE Director John Morton, voluntarily stepped down this week and is on paid leave because of allegations made against her as part of an ongoing civil suit filed by New York ICE chief James Hayes.

In the suit, which is leveled at the Department of Homeland Security and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Hayes claims he was passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified women, some of whom used to work for Napolitano when she was governor of Arizona. As part of his lawsuit, Hayes cites behavior by Barr in an attempt to prove an alleged culture of sexual discrimination against men, according to Hayes' lawyer, Morris Fischer of Maryland.

In his lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington last May, Hayes says Barr "created a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees."

ICE Public Affairs Director Brian Hale said in a written statement this week that "ICE has referred these allegations to the DHS Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility for review. Ms. Barr has voluntarily placed herself on leave pending the outcome of this review."

A federal official calls the allegations about Barr "serious."

In his lawsuit, Hayes also cites Dora Schriro, who was appointed to serve as special adviser to Napolitano on detention and removal, and immigration and customs enforcement; and as director of the office of detention policy and planning. After about a year, Schriro left DHS in September 2009 after being recruited to run New York City's Department of Corrections.

Hayes claims Schriro was not qualified for her DHS appointment because she lacked experience running a federal law enforcement department. Previously, Schriro served as head of both Missouri's and Arizona's Department of Corrections. In the mid 1980's, she was Assistant Commissioner of Corrections.

In the lawsuit, Hayes blames Barr for "sexually offensive behavior." In one alleged incident, Hayes says Barr called a male employee at a hotel and screamed at him using crude language to say she wanted to have sex with him. Hayes also states Barr moved the office contents of three male employees into a men's bathroom at ICE headquarters in 2009.

After his client's lawsuit was filed, Fischer says he was contacted by other federal employees who heard about Hayes' claim. They provided affidavits to Hayes and his lawyer alleging more sexually charged comments made by Barr, according to Fischer.

"We've been getting calls and e-mails from all over the country from people who want to come forward with information that may be helpful on this case," Fischer told CNN.

In an affidavit provided to CNN, another ICE employee describes a 2009 meeting in the office of ICE Director Morton during which employees were discussing personal plans for Halloween. The male employee says he overheard Barr ask a "senior ICE employee" about the size of his genitals. "You're a sexy mother-(expletive)," she allegedly said.

Over 17 years, Hayes rose through the ranks from Border Patrol agent to a top position at headquarters in charge of Detention and Removal Operations, overseeing a $2.5 billion budget, his lawsuit states. Hayes claims he was removed from that job because of gender discrimination.

Hayes is suing to recover $335,000 in moving costs and lost bonuses he says he incurred when he was transferred to New York in 2009 from Washington

His lawyer says other ICE employees have been reimbursed for similar expenses.

His lawsuit also claims he faced retaliation after threatening to file an Equal Opportunity Claim against DHS and cites six internal investigations which were all unfounded.

However, all but one of those investigations against him involving complaints by fellow employees were initially filed before Napolitano took office in 2008.

In his court documents, Hayes says the complaints were reviewed after he began complaining.

Hayes' lawsuit is filled with "false and unsubstantiated" allegations against Barr and other DHS employees, according to a federal official who defended ICE as an agency of "dedicated law enforcement professionals."

Hayes' allegations "do not align with the fact that Mr. Hayes has routinely held high-ranking assignments, including his current position as head of ICE's second largest field office in New York, the official added.

DHS plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit before the end of next week, the official said.

Barr could not be reached for comment.

Schriro was on vacation Thursday, but a spokeswoman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office issued a statement on her behalf and also praised Schriro's work.

"In an arena that has historically been run by men, Commissioner Schriro is proud to have served a combined 14 years as the first woman Director of Correction for the States of Missouri and Arizona. Her selection and service at DHS were based on merit," Samantha Levine, deputy press secretary in Bloomberg's office, said in the statement.

"(Schriro) served with distinction in Washington, D.C., and New York City is fortunate to have her as our Department of Correction Commissioner."

Hayes declined comment on his lawsuit. His lawyer indicated Hayes would like to stay with DHS and issued a statement calling his client a victim of "frat house behavior."

In the same statement, Hayes' lawyer is asking the House subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management of DHS for a bipartisan investigation.

Mike Rosen, a spokesman for Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the subcommittee, called Hayes' allegations "certainly of interest." He says the subcommittee is launching its own investigation and added DHS's management and leadership has been the subject of five previous hearings by the subcommittee.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events