11-16-2019  9:15 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps


Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland-Area Programs

Financial Beginnings Oregon and Portland Parks Foundation will receive a total of 0,000 plus leadership resources through Bank of...

State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating...

Texas Southern’s jerseys stolen before game at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Police say uniforms were stolen from Texas Southern’s women’s basketball team before their game at Oregon.Eugene Police say a black duffel bag containing all the jerseys was taken from a downtown hotel conference room Saturday.The Tigers wore practice...

Man arrested for arson after 4 Oregon fires

TIGARD, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon have arrested a man suspected of starting four fires in one day.Tigard Police says 26-year-old Joseph Tyler Martinez was arrested for arson. He’s suspected of setting four fires Thursday.Police say the first fire caused serious damage to the...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

No. 11 Gators head to Mizzou hoping for another turnaround

It was only a year ago that Dan Mullen was asked about the state of his Florida program after he watched his team get humiliated by Missouri in the Swamp.His response already has become the stuff of legend.“They keep score. Someone wins and someone loses,” Mullen said, passion rising...


Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...


Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California Democrats Saturday, underscoring his popularity with the party’s liberal base as he looks to capture the biggest prize in the presidential primary season next year.The decisions by...

Analysis: Deval Patrick revives debate over ‘electability’

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s late entry into the presidential race offers Democrats a fresh — and perhaps last — chance to reassess who they think is the strongest candidate to take on President Donald Trump.It adds to the now months-long debate within the...

College president wants founder’s name removed from building

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The president of a private liberal arts college in Minnesota is asking his board of trustees to remove the school founder’s name from a campus building over concerns about his racist and sexist views in the 1800s.The Star Tribune reports that Macalester College...


Media filters set current impeachment hearings apart

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of Americans are choosing to experience the impeachment hearings through media filters that depict the proceedings as either a worthless sham or like Christmas in November.That’s the chief difference between now and the two other times in the modern era when a...

Creator of Lizzo’s signature slogan could get a Grammy nod

NEW YORK (AP) — Mina Lioness’ longstanding battle to finally receive writing credit on Lizzo’s megahit song “Truth Hurts” is paying off in more ways than one: it could win her a potential Grammy Award.Lizzo's breakthrough tune features the signature line —...

Ex-ambassador’s testimony shines light on conservative media

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s impeachment testimony on Friday spotlighted the role of conservative media in her downfall and the chilling reminder that she remains a social media target.The ousted ambassador recalled a series of articles by reporter...


Last minute-audible: Kaepernick workout moves to high school

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s saga took another surreal turn Saturday — a...

AP FACT CHECK: Impeachment hearings and that Trump tweet

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he was just exercising his right to free speech. Democrats...

Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California...

Scuffles mar anniversary of birth of yellow vest movement

PARIS (AP) — Scuffles between Paris police and activists on Saturday marred the anniversary of the birth of...

Bolivia’s crisis exposes old racial, geographic divides

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia’s increasingly violent political crisis is exposing historical...

Ukraine feels abandoned amid US impeachment drama

Ukraine is at the center of today’s east-west geopolitical battle, but it’s feeling increasingly...

By Deborah Feyerick and Kristina Sgueglia CNN

With defendant James "Whitey" Bulger sitting less than 8 feet away and staring straight ahead, a star government witness in the case against Bulger explained Monday why he turned against the man he long counted among "my partners in crime, my best friends."

Aging mobster John Martorano said he learned Bulger was an FBI informant, the worst thing you could be in "Southie," a part of Boston that prided itself on absolute loyalty.

"It broke my heart. It broke all loyalties," said Martorano, his testimony laced with what sounded like sadness.

Late Monday night, Bulger's defense filed a motion requesting that the court inform the jury that Martorano is a cooperating government witness and is testifying in exchange for a lesser sentence on murder charges. Martorano pleaded guilty to 10 murders in 1999 and later admitted to 20, so defense attorney J.W. Carney said the jury should be told to consider Martorano's testimony with caution.

Prosecutor Fred Wyshak responded Tuesday that the defense was "playing games" and said issuing a cautionary instruction mid-testimony would "send a very bad message to the jury."

Judge Denise Casper did not rule on the motion but said she would consider issuing instructions regarding nonspecific witnesses when the jury is read the final charges.

Bulger is charged in the deaths of 19 people during the nearly two decades that federal prosecutors say he was the head of the Irish mob in Boston.

For three decades, Martorano said, he was tight with Bulger and Bulger's partner, Steven Flemmi.

"They were my partners in crime, my best friends, my children's godfathers," said the 72-year-old divorced mobster who now lives on Social Security and who sold his life story in hopes of getting it made into a movie.

The men were so close, Martorano even named his youngest son "James Steven" after his two friends.

In a flat, emotionless voice, former hitman Martorano began to describe some of the murders he said he committed, several of them, he testified, with Bulger along.

Martorano said he was the trigger man while Bulger was backup to ensure the "hit" was successful.

In one case, Bulger used his car to block a target coming out a side street. Martorano, who said he was firing out the back window from another car during the incident, testified that Bulger "was afraid he was going to get shot because tracer bullets were coming out of the machine gun and flying over his head."

"Was he angry?" asked Wyshak, the prosecutor.

"No. He was joking about it," replied Martorano.

Martorano also described the killings of two brothers after one of them had angered Bulger's gang.

One brother was tracked down at a restaurant in Medford, Massachusetts, and "I shot him in the heart," Martorano said.

When the other brother was killed later, Bulger and his gang stashed the body in the trunk of a car then drove the car south and dropped it at a housing project in South Carolina where, as he had expected, "a few kids stole the car," Martorano said.

Under a plea deal, Martorano was sentenced to 14 years in prison in exchange for fully testifying against Bulger. He served 12 years and was released in 2007.

His testimony also was crucial against corrupt FBI agent John Connolly, who was found guilty in federal court on racketeering and obstruction-of-justice charges, among others.

Connolly served 10 years in federal prison and is now doing an additional 40 years in state prison after being found guilty for his role in the murder of Florida businessman and former World Jai Alai owner John Callahan.

Flemmi, Bulger's partner, is serving life terms without parole but avoided a possible death sentence by cooperating with federal authorities.

The connection between Bulger and Connolly also was the focus of Martorano's testimony Monday.

Martorano said Bulger grew up in the same Boston housing project as Connolly, who looked up to both Bulger and his brother William, who rose to serve as state Senate president in Massachusetts.

According to Martorano's testimony, when Connolly returned to Boston as an FBI agent, he thanked "Billy" Bulger for "keeping me honest" and told him "If there's anything I can do ..."

Billy Bulger said, "If you could keep my brother out of trouble, that would be a great help," according to Martorano.

Martorano testified that he, Whitey Bulger and the others agreed that Whitey would meet with Connolly and "be a good listener." It wasn't long before Whitey Bulger was giving Connolly money and buying gifts including unset diamonds for Connolly to give to his fiancee as an engagement present, Martorano said.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials say it was the corrupt relationship between Whitey Bulger and Connolly that allowed Bulger's criminal enterprise to grow and even facilitated some murders.

The trial, which enters its fifth day Tuesday, is expected to take up to three months and has the potential to reveal sensational details about the mob and FBI corruption, especially if Bulger chooses to testify.

Bulger was in hiding for 16 years before he was captured in Santa Monica, California, two years ago, living under a false name with his girlfriend in an apartment.

At his July 2011 arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the 19 murder charges and 13 other counts.

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