06-19-2018  3:06 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

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

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

Protesters on round-the-clock vigil at Oregon ICE facility

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A small group of protesters has set up camp outside the Portland, Oregon headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protest the Trump administration's policy of separating families after illegal border crossings.About two dozen protesters gathered...

Woman shot to death in Snohomish-area home, man arrested

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 45-year-old woman was shot to death northeast of Seattle in her Snohomish-area home and a man believed to be her husband has been arrested.The Seattle Times reports a man called 911 around 9 p.m. Monday and reported that someone had been hurt in his...

Colorado to adopt California's stricter car pollution rules

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor on Tuesday ordered his state to adopt California's vehicle pollution rules, joining other states in resisting the Trump administration's plans to ease up on emission standards.Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper told state regulators begin writing rules that...

OPINION

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 ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bucks' Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee over stun-gun arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown sued the city of Milwaukee and its police department Tuesday, saying officers' use of a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation constitutes excessive force and that they targeted him because he is black.Brown's attorney Mark...

Lawsuit claims Kansas official exposed private voter data

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach challenging a multi-state voter registration database it claims exposed sensitive information including partial Social Security numbers from nearly a thousand state...

California lawmakers push diversity through film tax credit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers passed legislation Monday that puts more conditions on state film tax credits to encourage better sexual harassment reporting and diverse hiring amid revelations of misconduct and discrimination in the movie industry.The legislation would...

ENTERTAINMENT

CBS' '60 Minutes' gathers audience week by week

NEW YORK (AP) — The newsmagazine "60 Minutes" was not television's most popular program this year, but for the 11th consecutive season it had more people who watched at least once during the year than any other non-sports show on TV.The Nielsen company's cumulative measurement of programs...

Film Review: 'The King' is guilty of an Elvis crime- excess

It's usually a bad sign when critics start questioning your film before it's even finished. But director Eugene Jarecki had to endure worse. While making the documentary "The King," he actually got gruff from a member of his own film crew.After a car breaks down, Jarecki takes the opportunity to...

Birthplace of singer, activist Nina Simone to be preserved

TRYON, N.C. (AP) — The dilapidated wooden cottage in North Carolina that was the birthplace of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone now has the protection of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.The trust said in a news release Tuesday that it will develop and find a new use...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lawyer: Police think slaying of XXXTentacion was random

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for slain rapper XXXTentacion said Tuesday that detectives believe...

Trump raises risk of economically harmful US-China trade war

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China edged closer Tuesday to triggering the riskiest trade war in...

Meat 2.0? Clean meat? Spat shows the power of food wording

NEW YORK (AP) — If meat is grown in a lab without slaughtering animals, what should it be called?That...

Merkel says climate change is 'a fact,' laments US stance

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel took aim Tuesday at U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to...

Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria

AL-BAB, Syria (AP) — A newly paved road links the Turkish town of Elbeyli to the Syrian town of al-Bab,...

London police say short circuit caused minor subway blast

LONDON (AP) — A battery short circuit caused a small explosion at a London Underground station that injured...

Ted Shaffrey and Beth Defalco the Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- In Whitney Houston's hometown, her family plans a private church service, with no public memorial set. In Los Angeles, where she died, there's not even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for fans to pile flowers. So for the legion of music lovers mourning a global superstar, where do broken hearts go?

Fans who have gathered outside the church where Houston will be eulogized Saturday at an invitation-only service - and outside the funeral home where her body now rests - say they understand why the family wants to keep the world out the best they can. But they also yearned for the chance to fully share in the grief and the remembrance of a native daughter who made it big and made them proud.

Samuel Turner Jackson, of Newark, said he was looking forward to heading down to "The Rock," as the Prudential Center is known. Before, that is, the funeral home announced Tuesday that no public service would be held at the 18,000-seat arena, an option that had been discussed.

The arena, home to the NHL's New Jersey Devils, displayed an image of Houston on a screen outside Tuesday.

"We don't know what the circumstances are, but we're sure that the family did want to share something with the community that she gave so much to," Jackson said. "But they have their reasons, and we're going to do the best we can to pay our respects and to mourn her."

Antonio Ballinger, of Newark, also hoped to attend a public service and "see her off," and said he was saddened to hear he wouldn't get the opportunity.

"But my blessings go out to the family, and I wish them nothing but the best," he said.

The family said Tuesday it had no plans right now for a public memorial. Still, fans in this downtrodden city held out hope.

"Maybe at some point down the road, they might do something," said B.J. Frazier, of East Orange. "It's like they're saying today, they shared her for a long time and they just want her to themselves for now."

Houston, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985, was one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, turning out such hits as "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," "How Will I Know," "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You." But as she struggled with drugs, her majestic voice became raspy, and she couldn't hit the high notes.

Houston, 48, died Saturday at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was scheduled to perform at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards bash. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.

Authorities said an autopsy found no indications of foul play or obvious signs of trauma on Houston. It could be weeks, however, before the coroner's office completes toxicology tests to establish the cause of death.

Houston was born in Newark and raised in nearby East Orange. She began singing as a child at New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years. Her cousin, future pop star Dionne Warwick, also sang in its choir.

The family decided that, after sharing Whitney with the city, state and world for more than 30 years, "this is their time now for their farewell," said funeral home owner Carolyn Whigham.

"The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time," she said.

The hearse that carried Houston's body from an airport to the Whigham Funeral Home came into Newark under the cloak of darkness, in the middle of the night, denying local folks another opportunity to grieve publicly.

Police met with church officials Tuesday to discuss logistics and how to handle the large crowds expected to gather Saturday in the streets outside the New Hope Baptist Church, about a mile from the funeral home.

In Newark, perennially ranked among the nation's poorest and most dangerous cities, a public memorial at taxpayer expense is a tricky proposition. New Jersey's largest city, at more than 270,000 residents, laid off more than 160 police officers in November. The dismal school system is relying on a large grant from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for salvation.

And whether the megastar's estate would pick up any slack for a memorial is up for debate. The singer failed to fulfill a $100 million recording deal in 2001 that reportedly called for six records. Since then, only four have come out, including a greatest hits collection that was not released in the United States. She lost two homes to foreclosure several years ago.

Newark's quandary is similar to the decisions Los Angeles had to make when Michael Jackson, another pop superstar brought down before his time, died in 2009. A public memorial at the Staples Center, a professional sports arena, cost taxpayers about $3 million but pumped a million more than that into the local economy through hotel stays, restaurants and other businesses, according to a city report.

In Los Angeles, it has become a tradition that whenever a major celebrity dies, fans lay flowers and other gestures of sorrow and tribute on the deceased's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Houston had no star, leaving Angelenos with nowhere to express their grief.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Walk of Fame, explained that Houston was selected for a star in 1995, but a date was never requested by the singer's representatives for an unveiling ceremony. That selection expired in 2000, it said, but can be reconsidered if desired by the family.

Gospel singer Marvin Winans, a Grammy Award winner and longtime family friend, has been chosen to give the eulogy in Newark, his son, Marvin Jr., and Winans' office at Perfecting Faith Church in Detroit told The Associated Press.

Winans, in his role as a pastor, married Houston and fellow singer Bobby Brown in 1992; the couple later divorced. The Winans and Houston families have been friends for years, and Houston performed with Winans' siblings CeCe and BeBe, members of one of gospel music's most prominent families.

Houston was especially close to CeCe and BeBe Winans and performed with both. She and CeCe Winans sang "Count on Me," for the movie "Waiting to Exhale," in which Houston starred.

In a show of support for the local community and in lieu of flowers, Houston's family asked that any donations in her memory be sent to the Whitney Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, a public school in East Orange serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Houston attended the school as a girl, when it was named the Franklin School, and regularly visited for many years afterward. On Monday, students held an outdoor service in her memory.

Houston left behind one child, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, from her marriage to Brown.

Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags flown at half-staff Saturday at state government buildings, describing Houston as a "cultural icon" who belongs in the same category of New Jersey music history as Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.

"Her accomplishments were a great source of pride for the people of the state," he said.

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Associated Press writers David Porter in Newark and Ryan Nakashima in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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