02-26-2021  2:02 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

Black Restaurant Week Comes to Portland

National event highlights Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, creates countrywide database to support Black businesses

Portland Police Launch Team to Investigate Shootings

 The Enhanced Community Safety Team will be comprised of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives, and will staff a seven-member on-call unit to respond to shooting scenes, examine evidence, interview witnesses and do immediate follow-up investigations

NEWS BRIEFS

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Seattle Black Artist To Be Featured in Amazon Prime Series

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), in Seattle, Washington, is launching a call for artist...

NIKE, Inc. and Goalsetter Partner to Increase Financial Literacy Among America’s Youth

Goalsetter uses digital platforms to engage youth and help them better understand financial well-being, while saving for their future ...

Six Trailblazing Black Judges to Discuss Overcoming Challenges Feb. 26

The online program panel judges include Justice Adrienne Nelson, the first Black justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first...

All Oregonians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by July 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — All Oregonians who are 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations no later than July 1, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday. The governor presented her new vaccine eligibility timeline for the state during a news conference Friday — outlining...

City permanently cuts funds to Portland neighborhood group

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland commissioner has decided to permanently cut funding from a neighborhood group after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

The Heroes Within Us

Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Missouri AG : No charges in 2017 death of Black jail inmate

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Friday that no charges will be filed in the 2017 death of Tory Sanders, a Black inmate at a rural jail who died under similar circumstances to George Floyd — after a white law enforcement officer's knee was pressed...

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:___Biden didn’t reinstate funding for a Wuhan virus labCLAIM:...

WNBA approves sale of Dream following pressure on Loeffler

ATLANTA (AP) — Real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener was approved Friday as the lead owner of the Atlanta Dream following pressure on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler to sell her share of the WNBA team.The three-member investor group also includes former Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Suzanne...

ENTERTAINMENT

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton lead ACM Awards nominations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are the leading nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards, but only Stapleton joined the all-male ballot for the top prize of entertainer of the year. The academy announced on Friday that Morris and Stapleton both had six...

Tonywatch: Playwright Katori Hall 'reaching for humanity'

NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner.“I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like...

Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series.For years, academic studies have sought to capture...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are...

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced,...

Some local GOP leaders fire up base with conspiracies, lies

A faction of local, county and state Republican officials is pushing lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories...

Pandemic leaves many Romanian patients without critical care

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Andrei, a 32-year-old Romanian man who has been HIV positive since he was a baby,...

Police: Infamous gang leader killed after prison breakout

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — One of Haiti's most powerful gang leaders, Arnel Joseph, was killed on Friday,...

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced,...

Brittany Brady CNN

(CNN) -- The former Massachusetts state chemist who has admitted to wrongdoing during her nine-year employment with the Department of Public Health also misled her employers when applying for the job, the department said.

Annie Dookhan, who lied and said she had a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, was hired in 2003 as a Chemist I and was reclassified as a Chemist II in 2005, the health department said.



"While neither of the positions she held required a master's degree, it is now clear that she intentionally misled the department about her education during the course of her employment," the statement said.

Massachusetts authorities will review of 1,140 people who are serving prison sentences after being convicted with evidence at least partly provided by Dookhan, whose work with criminal evidence is under investigation, according to the attorney appointed by the Massachusetts governor to lead the Department of Public Health drug lab review.

Dookhan has admitted to wrongdoing, but Gov. Deval Patick's office said it cannot reveal any more details about her confession during the ongoing investigation. She faces possible criminal charges pending an investigation by the Attorney General's Office.

A preliminary investigation looked into every case Dookhan may have touched from 2003 until she left in March, Terrel Harris, communications director for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, said Tuesday. It is possible she touched 60,000 samples that were involved in 34,000 drug cases.

State Police and the Attorney General's office are working together to investigate each case Dookhan was involved with during her nine years with the state lab, said Kim Haberlin, the governor's press secretary.

Patrick appointed David Meier, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, to run the "central office," which is a clearinghouse for all the information connected to the 34,000 cases touched by Dookhan, Haberlin said Tuesday. Meier will collect the information to give to prosecutors and defense attorneys involved with each case.

"That's not to say their convictions were improper or wrong," Haberlin said.

On Monday, Meier presented a list of 690 people serving sentences in state prisons and 450 who are imprisoned in county jails whose trials were potentially tainted by the mishandling of drug evidence.

According to a letter from Meier to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., 22 of those individuals may also be facing deportation or related immigration proceedings as a result of the outcome of their trial.

David Traub, spokesperson for the Norfolk District Attorney, compared the Massachusetts judicial system to a computer destroyed by a virus. In many cases, the drug charges were clustered with others. Each case will have to be deconstructed and sentences will have to be redefined according to the results of the investigation for those in prison first, and then those who have already served their time, he said. "The layers of mess cannot be overstated."

The Norfolk District Attorney's Office supports those incarcerated who are trying to get out on bail until the investigation is finished, he said. "We don't get to argue that someone should stay in jail if the evidence is tainted against them."

Those who are in jail on other charges, such as gun possession, will not be let out, though, he said.

State police were tipped off in July by Dookhan's co-workers at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain that Dookhan's work might be unreliable, Harris said. At the time, state police were taking over what had previously been a Department of Public Health drug laboratory, which certified random drug tests for the police departments in Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex and Bristol counties, as well as for Cape Cod and the islands. The takeover was part of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

"When they were getting ready to take over the lab, they learned through conversations with other employees who were afraid to verify the work of their colleague," Harris said. Dookhan was no longer an employee of the laboratory at the time, having left in March. Patrick ordered the lab to be shut on August 30 after the extent of Dookhan's mishandlings were realized, a representative from his office said.

Dr. Linda Han, director of the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences, resigned as a result of the investigation, while Julie Nassif, director of the analytical chemistry division, was fired. Dookhan's immediate supervisor, who has not been identified, faces disciplinary proceedings, and the governor's office said it is seeking termination there as well.

CNN's Chris Boyette contributed to this story.

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