06-18-2018  8:22 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Genealogical Forum of Oregon Hosts ‘Starting Your Genealogy’ Workshop

Free forum offers assistance for those just getting started ...

Literary Arts Offers Writers of Color Fellowship

Deadline to apply is July 9, 2018 ...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

Man found shot to death at high school track in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a man was found shot to death on a high school track.Officers responded before 5 a.m. Sunday to the temporary site of Grant High School. The school is using the former Marshall High School campus as it undergoes a renovation.Authorities did not...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

Appeals court overturns dismissal of jail deaths lawsuit

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The relatives of two of three people who died while in the custody of a jail in southern Washington will be able to continue pursuing a negligence lawsuit in federal court.The Daily News reports a federal appeals court earlier this month overturned a lower court's...

OPINION

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 ...

Black Women Are Changing the Tide of American Politics

Black women voters will make the difference in the midterm elections and the future of American politics ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Celeb chef Samuelsson to open restaurant in Miami's Overtown

OVERTOWN, Fla. (AP) — Chef Marcus Samuelsson has bought a former pool hall in Overtown, a historic black neighborhood in Miami, with plans to open a restaurant.He hopes his project will contribute to a multimillion-dollar revitalization effort already under way.Samuelsson, a James Beard...

The Latest: Top teams have trouble winning at World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):11:35 p.m.Parity has come to the World Cup.Five of the top six nations in the FIFA rankings have played, and none has won. Only two of the top dozen teams have victories.Top-ranked Germany lost to No. 15 Mexico,...

Maryland Democratic primary has 2 black candidates leading

BALTIMORE (AP) — With two leading candidates who have a shot at becoming Maryland's first black governor, the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary reflects the state's changing demographics and the party's efforts to harness the energy of an increasingly diverse electorate around the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Warner Bros. crackdown puts Dark Mark over Potter festivals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it's necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they'll...

Cornell's daughter pays tribute to late rocker with duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Cornell's daughter has released a recording of a duet with her late father as part of an emotional tribute to the late rocker on Father's Day.Toni Cornell released the duet of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on Sunday along with a note thanking her dad for his...

Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper's disgust at this year's Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thomas Markle says Prince Harry said to give Trump a chance

LONDON (AP) — The father of the former Meghan Markle says he talked politics with Prince Harry over the...

Global warming cooks up 'a different world' over 3 decades

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — We were warned.On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told...

Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between...

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...

Peek at the future: Electric plane cruises skies over Norway

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's transportation minister and the head of the Scandinavian country's...

2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the...

Michael Martinez. Jaqueline Hurtado and Jaclyn Wang CNN

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The Los Angeles public school system is going to pay $30 million to settle 58 of 191 students' lawsuits alleging they were victims of sexually lewd acts by an elementary school teacher, two of the plaintiff attorneys said.

David Holmquist, general counsel for the Los Angeles Unified School District, confirmed the settlements in 58 cases but declined to state the exact financial figure other than so say the amount was in the "multimillions."

The two plaintiff attorneys provided the figure on the condition that they wouldn't be identified because a Los Angeles County judge has yet to approve the settlement.

Holmquist described the agreements as "good settlements." However, four of the 17 law firms suing the school district haven't agreed to any settlement, attorneys said.

The nearly 200 students' claims were filed in the wake of charges against former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, 62, who pleaded not guilty last year to allegations he put young students in bondage and then photographed them with semen-filled spoons held at their mouths and 3-inch cockroaches crawling across their faces.

Berndt is being held on $23 million bond and faces 23 felony counts of lewd acts on a child. The 23 alleged victims were between 7 and 10 years old, and all but two of them were girls, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has said.

Several of the plaintiff attorneys couldn't say for certain this week whether any of the 23 alleged victims in the criminal case are among the 58 civil settlements.

Taxpayer money and possibly school insurance funds will pay for the settlements, Holmquist said. The two goals of the settlements are to "restore some healing to the community" and "provide for health and education needs for the students going forward," he said.

"We're not admitting liability, but we realize it's a tragic circumstance for sure," Holmquist said. "Students have definitely suffered, so in what we think is in the best interest of students, we thought we would put this behind us by resolving it through remediation and early dispute resolution."

The school system has "every reason to believe the judge will approve" the settlements, Holmquist said.

In the 58 settlements, each student and his or her family is receiving about $400,000 to $500,000 each, the plaintiff attorneys said.

Luis Carrillo, one of the attorneys who have declined to settle with the school system, said the district isn't acting in good faith.

"The last agreements that the district has settled before Miramonte were a much bigger amount and I think the amount of money they are offering now is very, very low in comparison to what they have paid in the past," Carrillo said.

"We think the amount of money that they are getting right now is insufficient for the huge damage they have caused to the children," he said.

 

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