06-18-2018  12:29 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

Representatives from local organizations will talk about how individuals can get involved in promoting social change ...

Grants Pass man, 39, drowns in Rogue River

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Josephine County sheriff says a Grants Pass man drowned in the Rogue River.Sheriff Dave Daniel says it happened Saturday afternoon when 39-year-old James Dawson tried to swim to shore after his watercraft quit working. He was not wearing a life jacket.Crews...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDAHHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed due to damage from a wildfire that ripped through the area last year.The Register-Guard reports the Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall...

UW to pay 7K to settle Republicans' free-speech lawsuit

SEATTLE (AP) — The University of Washington will pay 7,000 to settle a lawsuit filed after the college billed a Republican club security fees for a rally.The UW College Republicans sued, saying the bill for ,000 to cover security costs for the campus event violated free-speech and...

Old farm warehouse may be saved as part of Hanford history

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — One of Washington state's most endangered historic places is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland. That's according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.The long warehouse along the Columbia River was once owned by farmers Paul and Mary...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Greece: 2 face racism charges over beatings of immigrants

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have arrested one suspected extreme nationalist and are seeking a second as suspects in a pair of attacks on immigrants in Athens.A police statement issued Monday said the suspects allegedly attacked two Pakistanis on Friday, stole a mobile phone...

Redistricting changes headed to the ballot in several states

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on redistricting lawsuits in Wisconsin and Maryland comes as several states already are considering changes to the criteria and processes that will be used to draw legislative districts after the 2020 Census.In most places, the state legislature and governor are...

States' redistricting plans facing challenges in court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to block the use of legislative districts in Wisconsin and Maryland in separate cases that had alleged unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. Instead, the high court allowed lower courts to continue considering the claims.The cases are among several that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Jurassic World 2' leans on nostalgia, contrivances

Here's the good news: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom " is more fun than "Jurassic World." It's not exactly a high bar, but still a welcome surprise. In the hands of a new director, J.A. Bayona, with Chris Pratt's high-wattage charisma on full blast and a fair amount of self-aware humor intact,...

'Incredibles 2' crushes animation record with 0 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The combined powers of superheroes, the Pixar brand and a drought of family-friendly films helped "Incredibles 2" become the best animated opening of all time, the biggest PG-rated launch ever and the 8th highest film launch overall.Disney estimated Sunday that the film...

AFI highlights Clooney's life of acting, activism and pranks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney's Hollywood career spans more than three decades, with memorable roles including fighting vampires, playing Batman and drifting through space in "Gravity." But Clooney's other accomplishments, including directing, screenwriting and activism, led to him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe....

Apple sets up iPhones to relay location for 911 calls

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is trying to drag the U.S.'s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Israel PM, Jordan king meet after months of strained ties

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have met after...

Geraldine McCaughrean wins Carnegie children's book prize

LONDON (AP) — British writer Geraldine McCaughrean has won the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children's...

Greek far-right lawmaker arrested on treason-linked charges

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek anti-terrorism police arrested an extreme far-right lawmaker on treason-linked...

Brian Witte the Associated Press

EASTON, Md. (AP) -- Abolitionist Frederick Douglass is finally getting a homecoming celebration in his native Maryland county with a statue honoring him, after years of work by local residents to recognize him in a prominent place. The statue will be located on the same courthouse grounds where he gave a speech in 1878 and where a monument to local men who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War now stands.

For supporters who have worked on the project, it's a long-overdue monument to an important American, and they view the diversity of people supporting the effort as a sign of how far race relations have come in a county where the location of the statue stirred debate as recently as the last decade.

``I think it shows how this community has changed from a time when black people weren't allowed to even be on the courthouse lawn, and now we have a monument to a black man who was one of the most prominent figures of the 19th century,'' said Eric Lowery, president of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, which worked on bringing the monument to Easton. ``It's truly a community project.''

Douglass is easily Talbot County's most famous former resident. His autobiography, which was published in 1845, was a best-seller that helped fuel the abolitionist movement.

Still, even after so many years, the county has been deeply divided on how to honor him. The courthouse lawn already has two memorials. One is for Vietnam veterans. The other is for the ``Talbot Boys,'' local men who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Veterans groups opposed putting a Douglass statue on the site, because they said the lawn was reserved for military dead. They recommended a library or school as more appropriate, but the opposition hurt black residents, particularly because one of the monuments honored people who fought for the Confederacy.

Now, signs throughout Easton's historic district read ``Douglass Returns'' under an image of the gray-bearded abolitionist, as the Eastern Shore town prepares for days of events leading up to Saturday's unveiling.

``I think he's returning in a way that when he was here he was not able to be truly here, so now, by coming back as this statue portrays, we've given him the proper position in the community,'' said Eleanor Shriver, executive director of the Historical Society of Talbot County.

Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore around 1817 or 1818. He went on to become an author, speaker, abolitionist and supporter of women's rights. The courthouse location is particularly important to supporters, because Douglass delivered his ``Self-Made Men'' speech at the courthouse in 1878.

Local tourism officials believe the statue will be an additional draw for a region rich in history. Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom during the Civil War, also was born on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and state officials have been working to design an Underground Railroad National Historic Park in neighboring Dorchester County.

Deborah Dodson, director of tourism for Talbot County, said there is a strong market for travelers looking for authentic historic sites.

``The families that visit here are very interested in teaching their children about our nation's history and the prominent people that made our nation what it is today, and on another different side of that, the reason why we really reach out to these types of visitors is because the cultural heritage tourist spends far more money than leisure travelers _ I think often times because they are more affluent,'' Dodson said.

Douglass' birth place is about nine miles outside of Easton. University of Maryland archaeologists are excavating a plantation also about nine miles from town where Douglass lived for several years in the mid-1820s.

Easton officials have talked about putting a Douglass statue up for about 10 years. After debate, the county council voted in 2004 to allow the statue to be built, but an effort to build it stalled. The Frederick Douglass Honor Society sparked up interest again in 2009, with the goal of having the statue raised in 2010, the town's 300th anniversary. But the sculptor needed more time.

Local residents walking by the courthouse this week described the monument as a long overdue tribute to a famous and important former resident.

``Our little town had a famous person who did a lot of good, so we're celebrating his good works,'' said Dyanne Welte.

But some had mixed feelings about the statue, because it has taken so long to put one up to honor a person who has long been very clearly an important figure in American history.

``They should have done this a long time ago,'' said Michael James, an African American who has lived in the town for 38 years.

Many in the town are excited the statue has finally come to Easton. A gala celebrating this weekend's unveiling scheduled for Friday night in Easton sold out almost instantly. Gov. Martin O'Malley is scheduled to speak at the unveiling on Saturday.

``The town has been intimately involved in the statue effort for many years,'' said Robert Karge, the town manager.

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