06-21-2018  6:52 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

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

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Oregon allows rancher to kill a wolf after calves attacked

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife managers have issued a permit that allows a rancher in Eastern Oregon to kill a wolf after three of his calves were injured by the predators last week.The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday they confirmed that the calves were hurt by wolves...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Porter's wait ends, Nuggets take him at No. 14

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Thursday night's NBA draft (all times local):9:10 p.m.Michael Porter Jr....

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely claims progress on NKorea nukes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is trumpeting results of his summit with North Korean leader Kim...

Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A social media account run by the office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi quotes...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Front steps of Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon
By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

Lead testing results released this week from 24 Portland Public Schools showed high lead levels in all – and a pervasive problem at North Portland’s Jefferson High School.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that nearly 200 fixtures at Jefferson had lead levels above the federal limit (15 parts per billion), or close to two-thirds of the 335 water sources. Most of the fixtures tested were shower heads or spigots, but 26 were drinking fountains. Full test results are posted on the school district’s website.

Portland Public Schools did not respond to request from The Skanner News for comment, but the Multnomah County Health Department is suggesting that parents get their children tested if they’re concerned about lead contamination -- and is offering free testing clinics to all children in the school district.

Lead poisoning can cause developmental delays, learning disorders, abdominal pain and fatigue in small children, and reproductive problems, intestinal problems and memory loss – though many who test with high blood lead levels show no unusual symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drinking water with high lead levels is not typically enough, in and of itself, to result in high blood lead levels, but risk will vary depending on the person and the amount of water consumed.

According to Perry Cabot, senior program specialist at Multnomah County’s lead poisoning prevention program, teenagers aren’t routinely tested for lead exposure, because public health officials consider small children at highest risk for lead poisoning, due to the possibility for long-term health problems and disruption of cognitive development in kids who are exposed to lead at age six or younger. Adults are typically only tested for elevated blood levels if there is reason to believe they’ve been exposed to it – for instance, adults affected by chemical spills or other industrial accidents are often tested.

“We just don’t have a precedent for testing at this age,” Cabot said, adding infants are also seen as particularly high risk due to crawling and hand-to-mouth behavior in homes with high levels of lead dust.

Typically Multnomah County’s lead testing program – which offers free monthly clinics – only serves children up to age six and pregnant women. But Cabot told The Skanner the county has worked with funders to expand the clinics so that until the end of the summer, any child in the Portland Public Schools system may be tested. The clinics are funded primarily by the Portland Water Bureau, Cabot said, though the Multnomah County Health Department also receives some funding from the county’s general fund to administer the clinic. The next clinic will take place at 11:45 a.m. Friday at the Kenton Library. Click here to see more clinic listings.

Family physicians can also test for lead in blood. If a blood draw shows levels of 5 micrograms or higher, test results are immediately referred to the state’s public health division and county health departments then conduct an investigation. The next step is to remediate the environment to contain lead, or, in some cases, to remove the child from a severely contaminated environment. The body eventually sloughs off lead after exposure, and children who eat diets high in calcium, iron and vitamin C recover more quickly, Cabot said.

More than 50 percent of lead poisoning cases are attributed to contamination in the home environment, Cabot said, and Tuesday the county announced that the two PPS students – of more than 500 tested in recent weeks – who showed elevated blood-lead levels were later revealed to have been exposed to lead at home. Renovation, repair and re-painting can all increase the risk of lead exposure, he added.

Jefferson is one of just two high schools in the state of Oregon with a predominantly Black population, and nationwide, African American children are much more likely to experience lead poisoning than their White counterparts, often due to neglect of public housing and school structures. Last year and earlier this year the city of Flint, Michigan, a majority-Black city where 40 percent of people live in poverty, saw an epidemic of lead poisoning cases that began when the state of Michigan changed the source of the city’s water supply. The new, more corrosive water eroded pipes in the city’s plumbing, leaching lead into the drinking water.

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