05-21-2018  7:37 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Gene Johnson, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Gailen Lopton was in a downtown alley two weeks ago, having a buddy jab him in the neck with a heroin-filled syringe, when he suddenly found himself in the company of Seattle's finest.

The police officers weren't looking to lock him up, though. Instead, they offered him a chance to enroll in a first-of-its-kind program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, aimed at keeping addicts and prostitutes out of jail and in housing, counseling, job training or even yoga — whatever services they need.

Organizers have had good feelings about the project since it launched in 2011, and a University of Washington study released Wednesday backed up their work: Participants were up to 60 percent less likely to be arrested than a control group, the evaluation found.

The results are so encouraging that advocates say it should prompt reconsideration of President Barack Obama's call for an expansion of drug court programs and a hard look at replicating Seattle's effort nationwide, as some cities are doing.

"This is a big deal — bigger reductions than are seen in almost any criminal justice interventions," Lisa Daugaard, policy director at King County's Public Defender Association, wrote in an email. "This makes the case for 'system as usual' processing (even with drug courts) very weak."

Unlike with many drug courts or other programs, participants aren't threatened with jail time or with being kicked out if they relapse.

As he loitered outside a payday lending store Tuesday, Lopton, 24, said he's excited to try it.

"Over the past six months, people have been talking about it, about how they got into treatment because of LEAD, how they got a new apartment because of LEAD," he said. "If it's something to help me get off the streets, to help me make better steps to a better future, I'm down — I'm so down."

For years, communities have been seeking alternatives to the revolving-door justice of the drug war. Santa Fe, New Mexico, launched a program modeled on Seattle's a year ago, and Albany, New York, plans to start its version next year. Dozens of other cities, including San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Portland, Maine, have expressed interest. Billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations announced last week that it would give five jurisdictions up to $200,000 each to help them copy it.

In Seattle, which led the way in providing housing where chronic alcoholics can drink, saving millions on emergency response and hospital costs, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, city officials and community groups came together to launch the program.

Open Society, the Ford Foundation and others provided a budget of $800,000 a year for four years. The city matched the annual contributions over the past two years and is trying to figure out how to pay to expand it. A cost-benefit analysis is due later this spring.

"Now that we know it works, I think the interest in this is going to just explode," said Gabriel Sayegh, managing director of policy and campaigns at the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, which is affiliated with Soros.

Between October 2011 and July 2014, Seattle police helped 203 people enroll, the study said. Most had just been arrested; others were suspected of recent drug or prostitution activity. Instead of being booked, they were referred to a case manager. Many were provided motel rooms, groceries, clothing, drug treatment and job training.

Some were placed in yoga classes or given art supplies — "any service that could clear whatever roadblocks are in the way for somebody to make behavioral changes," Daugaard said.

Police determined eligibility: no serious violent crimes in the past, no exploiting minors in a drug-dealing enterprise, no drug dealing for profit above a subsistence level, among other criteria.

In the control group were 115 people who would have qualified but weren't offered the chance because they were arrested on certain police shifts or outside the neighborhoods covered by the program.

When Misti Barrickman enrolled, she had been homeless for seven years, shoplifting, prostituting herself or begging to support her heroin and crack addictions. Her first thought was to scam the program: "I thought, they're giving me a motel room and groceries? What else can I get from these people?"

She relapsed several times, she said, but her case manager never judged her. Eventually, something changed, and she quit for good about two years ago. She's now in her second year at community college.

On Tuesday, in the same neighborhood where she used to sell herself, Barrickman, 34, bought a new outfit at a store so she'd have something to wear at the news conference announcing the study's findings.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

repulsing the monkey