01-18-2021  8:48 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Online Events Honouring Dr Martin Luther King are Underway

 From a jazz concert and a reading challenge to an online film festival we are all invited to celebrate Dr Martin Luther King and complete his work

Interview: Portland Physician on Coronavirus Vaccine, Reaching Out to Wary Communities

Black Americans report highest levels of distrust as country distributes millions of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Blumenauer Calls for Resignations of Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise

Congressman Blumenauer said: "We need to ensure our Republican colleagues acknowledge and accept the consequences for their own involvement in encouraging this insurrection..."

Officials: Republican Lawmaker Let Protesters into Oregon Capitol

House Speaker Tina Kotek said during a news conference about the Capitol operations safety plan that Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, had allowed protesters into the building.

NEWS BRIEFS

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

NFL Reaches More Than $95M in Contributions to Further Advance Social Justice

The Oregon Justice Resource Center will use funding from the NFL to support the Women’s Justice Project – the first and only...

Oregon State Police Warns Against Armed Takeover of Capitol

The agency also asked Oregonians to report anyone who may be planning an armed takeover to authorities. ...

Oregon Marijuana Sales Soared in 2020, Topping $1B

Oregonians began buying a lot more recreational cannabis in March when Gov. Kate Brown instituted a stay-at-home order ...

Hanford contractor to lay off 30 workers

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance plans to lay of 30 workers as its Department of Energy contract expires.The layoffs are set for Thursday, the last full business day before the expiring contract held by Mission Support Alliance transitions to a new 10-year...

Brown moves forward with closing 3 prisons in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown is closing three Oregon prisons, a decision authorities say would save the state more than million.The governor said she believes the money could be better invested elsewhere, such as early childhood education. The prison closure plan was included in...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

Georgia Senate Races Will Decide the Fate of Biden’s Presidency 

Voter turnout is reportedly lagging in the more rural and conservative areas of Georgia and is higher in more traditionally Democratic areas of the state ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Correction: Capitol Breach-Civil War story

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — In a story January 16, 2021, about Republican leaders invoking war rhetoric, The Associated Press incorrectly referred to an incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP. Instead, she is the incoming party co-chair. A corrected version of the story is below....

Anonymous million gift funding 50 civil rights lawyers

ATLANTA (AP) — The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund launched a million scholarship program on Monday to support a new generation of civil rights lawyers, dedicated to pursuing racial justice across the South.With that whopping gift from a single anonymous donor, the fund plans to...

Israel moves to rein in rights group over 'apartheid' use

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel's education minister says he is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing at schools — a move that targets one of the country's leading human rights groups after it began describing both Israel and its control of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Journalists prepare for protests where they could be targets

NEW YORK (AP) — While monitoring online chatter about protests at state capitols in advance of next week's presidential inauguration, the Seattle Times came across a chilling description for journalists: soft targets.The phrase drove home the importance of safety precautions being put in...

AP Exclusive: Selena Gomez: Big Tech 'cashing in from evil’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters took control of the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, Selena Gomez laid much of the blame at the feet of Big Tech.“Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be...

Phil Spector's death resurrects mixed reaction from skeptics

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Spector was viewed as a man with two distinct personas: The late music producer was regarded as a rock ‘n’ roll genius who elevated the genre with his “Wall of Sound” style in the 1960s and created hits for several big names from the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China economy grows in 2020 as rebound from virus gains

BEIJING (AP) — China eked out 2.3% economic growth in 2020, likely becoming the only major economy to...

'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential traditions are usually known for their solemnity and carry the weight of...

What Biden can and can't get from an evenly divided Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden?Washington has barely had time...

12 workers trapped week ago in China mine blast are alive

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say 12 out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in a gold...

EU insists virus shots will remain voluntary

The European Union sought Monday to ease concerns that citizens might be obliged to get shots against the...

Watchdog: Fossil fuel firms need to curb climate gas leaks

BERLIN (AP) — The International Energy Agency says oil and gas companies aren't doing enough to reduce the...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Ashley Fantz CNN

(CNN) -- Ariel Castro agreed Friday in an Ohio courtroom to a plea deal in one of the most sensational kidnapping cases in recent memory. The deal, reached with prosecutors, would let him avoid the possibility of a death sentence and spare his alleged victims from having to testify at a trial.

The plea deal recommends that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole -- that he never get a parole hearing. It could also mean that a trial Castro was facing on August 5 will not happen and he will not face the possibility of being sentenced to death. Judge Michael J. Russo went over the deal with Castro, and told him that he would be labeled as a sexual predator.

Castro replied that he understood. At one point, he interjected that he was "also a victim as a child ..." to which Russo responded that he could make whatever statement he wanted during a sentencing hearing. Russo also said that victims would be notified of the hearing and would then have a chance to say what they liked.

Russo went through charges Castro faced and asked him how he pleaded.

Over and over, Castro replied: "Guilty."

At another moment in the hearing, which lasted well over an hour, the judge asked Castro how good his English is.

Castro replied that he is good at spelling and reading but his comprehension is bad because "my addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind."

An attorney for three women had told CNN that they were hoping for a plea deal because they do not want to take the stand at Castro's trial.

Castro was charged with 977 counts, including aggravated murder on suspicion of ending the pregnancy of one of his alleged captives. Under the deal, he agreed to plead guilty to 937 counts.

Russo told Castro that the deal would mean he would go to prison for life, plus at least 1,000 years.

Earlier this month, the former bus driver pleaded not guilty to the 977 charges, and he was being held on $8 million bail.

Castro's defense attorneys had previously said they wanted a deal that would take capital punishment out of the equation.

Castro abducted Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus separately in a two-year period starting in 2002, according to authorities.

The women and Berry's 6-year-old daughter were freed in May after one of the women shouted for help while Castro was away from his 1,400-square-foot home. DNA tests have confirmed that Castro is the rescued child's father.

Their cries for help were heard by neighbor Charles Ramsey, who was sitting down to eat at his home nearby.

"I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of a house," he told CNN affiliate WEWS. "I go on the porch and she says, 'help me get out. I've been in here a long time.'"

Figuring it was a domestic dispute, Ramsey kicked in the bottom of a door and the woman came out with a little girl and said, "Call 911. My name is Amanda Berry," according to Ramsey, who said he didn't recognize the name or know she was missing.

Finally free, Berry pleaded for a phone.

"Help me, I am Amanda Berry," she told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor's house. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now."

Under the plea deal, the house where the women were confined will be demolished, Russo said.

Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.

DeJesus disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.

Knight vanished in 2002, at age 21, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

In early July, Berry, DeJesus and Knight released a YouTube video offering their thanks to all those who have helped them since they were freed.

"I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us has been a blessing," Berry said in the video. "I'm getting stronger each day."

CNN's Ronni Berke contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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