10-17-2019  10:52 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  

Northwest News

Sudanese community protects four children orphaned by tragedy

A tight-knit community of Sudanese refugees has rallied around four children orphaned by what police have called a murder-suicide. The community is determined to help the youth through their grief. The King County sheriff's office believes James-Soka Wani, 34, stabbed Jesika Poni Wani, 33, in the chest on Dec. 12, then drove his car across the centerline of Highway 18 east of Maple Valley, ramming into a truck and colliding with another vehicle. Three of their children — Betty Wani, 17, and her two youngest brothers, Rudu, 6, and Emmanuel, 19 months — are staying with Margaret Nalonga, one of Jesika Wani's cousins. The fourth child, 14-year-old Samuel Wani, is living with family friends. A court commissioner has ruled they can stay where they are for the next month, while custody issues are sorted out. Nalonga has started the process of becoming a licensed foster parent to the children. "I don't want these children to be scattered," said Nalonga, who works with disabled children and in an assisted-living facility for the elderly. The Wanis' violent deaths have jolted people in the Seattle area's Southern Sudan refugee community, forcing them to deal with a kind of grief most have tried to put behind them since fleeing the war-ravaged African nation. Many showed up at a court hearing last week to determine where the children will live.


Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, center, holds a young Albina Head Start student during a visit with Santa Claus at the Rose Quarter Commons on Dec. 12. Santa's — and McMillan's — visits were part of the Blazers' Holiday Express event, which distributed 1,000 fully decorated Christmas trees to low-income Portlanders.


A unique free class delves into the history of Western thought

In Plato's Republic, the ancient Greek philosopher describes the way most people live their lives. They sit, Plato says, deep in a cave, sheltered from the real world of experience and ideas. Instead of thinking for themselves, they sit, captivated, and watch shadows cast by the hands of their rulers dancing on the cave wall.
And in this way the rulers, the shadow masters, remain in power.


Minorities are far more likely than Whites to live in polluted areas

Coffee shop owner Eleza Faison grew up in Northeast Portland and can't imagine ever wanting to leave what she considers one of the most livable, ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the state.


Risk of inheriting brain disease is higher among African Americans

African Americans whose parents have Alzheimer's Disease are far more likely to also contract the disease than other races, according to a recent study conducted at Oregon Health & Science University.


Brazilian percussion and dance ensemble Samba Sol get the crowd working


WASHINGTON—Political appointees in the Justice Department have overruled career workers at least three times on high-profile matters, including a Georgia law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says that is what appointees are paid for: to consider the advice of professional staff and then exercise their best judgment.


NEW ORLEANS—A number of Hurricane Katrina refugees stuck in hotel rooms and unfamiliar surroundings across the United States are in no mood to party and they're decrying this city's plans to hold Mardi Gras celebrations in two months.
"This is not the time for fun, this is the time to put people's lives back on track," said Lillie Antoine, a 51-year-old refugee stuck in Tulsa, Okla.


Tavis Smiley, radio and television host and the keynote speaker at the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle's sixth annual Benefit Breakfast, delivers his address to the more than 1000 people in attendance Dec. 9 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.


Parents need to make informed child care choices, says governor

OLYMPIA—Gov. Christine Gregoire is calling for a new rating system for child care centers and preschools so parents can make informed decisions about where to send their tykes.
The governor also is proposing a new cabinet-level agency to pull together a half-dozen child-care and early-learning programs now scattered across state government.


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