06-22-2018  3:19 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 ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Oregon woman accused of mistreating 3 children

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department says Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and...

Man charged in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Lakewood man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma over three decades ago has been charged with murder and rape.The News Tribune reports Pierce County prosecutors charged 66-year-old Gary Hartman Friday in connection with Michella Welch's death in 1986. She...

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules.Backers say the move offers more flexibility to keep smoke away from people but health advocates counter that it will lead to breathing problems for some residents.The U.S. Environmental...

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

The Latest: Serbia angry VAR wasn't consulted vs Switzerland

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:07 a.m.Serbian football association Vice President Savo Milosevic is angry after his team's 2-1 World Cup defeat by Switzerland that the video assistant referee was not consulted on a second-half penalty appeal by...

Trial set in long-delayed post-Katrina racial shooting case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date has been set for a white man accused of shooting at three black men in what federal prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack following Hurricane Katrina.The case of Roland Bourgeois Jr. has dragged on for years. He was indicted five years after the...

Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Albania's national flag was at the center of Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday at the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.Both players put their open hands...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress Betty Buckley wants to 'make America happy again'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's busy. And then there's Betty Buckley busy.The veteran singer and actress began the month with four nights of concerts in New York celebrating the release of her new live album, "Hope."Buckley appeared earlier this week on the season finale of The CW's "Supergirl,"...

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police shooting of boy spurs more protests, appeals

Protesters demonstrated Friday for a third day over the fatal police shooting in Pennsylvania of an unarmed black...

Ex-New England Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' guilty in slaying

BOSTON (AP) — Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was convicted Friday of killing a nightclub owner to keep...

Inmate charged with capital murder in Kansas deputy deaths

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths...

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — It's been two years since the shoppers and traders of London's Romford market voted by a wide...

Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy

ROME (AP) — Barely a week in office, Italy's populist interior minister lost no time in bringing home his...

Rival Koreas agree to August reunions of war-split families

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families...

Weston Clark speaks to a crowd during a rally to celebrate all families, sponsored by Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center, in Salt Lake City, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. A new Mormon church policy targeting gay members and their children has triggered a firestorm of backlash from church members of all political backgrounds. The new rules bar children living with gay parents from being baptized until they're 18. After that, they can be baptized only if they disavow same-sex relationships. The rules also make gay marriages a sin worthy of expulsion. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)
BRADY McCOMBS, MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge reversed his decision to take a baby girl away from her lesbian foster parents and place her with a heterosexual couple after his ruling caused widespread backlash, but child welfare officials say the change could be temporary.

Judge Scott Johansen signed an order, which was released Friday, that will allow the 9-month-old baby to stay for now with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, a married couple who live in the city of Price.

It comes after Johansen said in court Tuesday that the baby should be removed from the couple's home within a week. Utah officials and the couple filed court challenges demanding that the judge rescind the order.

Ashley Sumner, spokeswoman for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, said the agency is cautiously optimistic and relieved. But Johansen's decision still leaves open the possibility that he could order the child removed at a Dec. 4 custody hearing, she said.

"We're moving in the right direction, but it's not the final answer," Sumner said.

In his first ruling, Johansen mentioned research that said children do better when raised by heterosexual families and that "same-sex marriages have double the rate of instability as heterosexual marriages."

That language was crossed out in Johansen's new order. It now says the court merely cited concerns that research has shown children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and father in the same home.

The American Psychological Association has said there's no scientific basis that gay couples are unfit parents based on sexual orientation.
Jim Hunnicutt, a lawyer for the couple, said they are happy the judge rescinded the order so quickly.

"These two people are excellent, wonderful parents," he said. "They love the child every much, and they are very optimistic that the child will remain in their care."
Hunnicutt said he didn't know what caused the judge to change his mind but that the initial decision violated the Constitution and harmed the baby.

"What I have to assume is that when the law was put right in front of his face, he realized that he had made a mistake, and he wanted to correct it and do the right thing and do what was constitutional," the attorney said.

Hunnicutt said his clients were shocked and angry after Tuesday's hearing but were encouraged by the outpouring of support from around the country in the days since.

Child welfare officials are working to keep the family together and hope that the public outcry surrounding the case sends a strong message to the judge, Sumner said.

"We're really happy for this family, and we want to see them stay together," she added.

Hoagland, a stay-at-home mother, and Peirce, a paramedic, are among a group of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country. State officials don't keep an exact count but estimate there are a dozen or more foster parents who are married same-sex couples.

A full transcript of Johansen's initial ruling has not been made public and may not be because court records of cases involving foster children are kept private to protect the kids. Johansen is precluded by judicial rules from discussing pending cases, Utah courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer has said.

The move to take the baby away generated widespread criticism, including from national gay rights groups and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Herbert said Thursday that Johansen should follow the law and not inject his personal beliefs into the decision. Groups including the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union called the order shocking, outrageous and unjust.

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

 

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