The National Marrow Donor Program and its local donor center, NMDP of Oregon/Southwest Washington, are working with the American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Region to encourage people to come together. The groups are asking local African Americans to join the NMDP registry during the Martin Luther King Jr. Blood and Bone Marrow Drive from Jan. 16 through 21.
Everybody Reads, Multnomah County Library's fourth annual community reading project, begins this month and continues throughout the month of February. This year's book is The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling and highly acclaimed tale of the friendship of two boys set against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.
TriMet will operate on a modified schedule for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Jan. 16, to match ridership demand. MAX and most bus lines will run on Saturday schedules with extra service for morning and afternoon commutes.
ATLANTA—At the end of a losing battle during the past legislative session, Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan burst into the civil rights anthem "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" to protest the passage of a law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has introduced legislation that would instruct the Postmaster General to create a commemorative postage stamp to honor the legacy of Rosa Parks. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., John Kerry, D-Mass., Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Lou Rawls, the velvet-voiced singer who started as a church choir boy and went on to sell more than 40 million albums and win three Grammys, has died, his publicist announced. Rawls died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was hospitalized last month for treatment of lung and brain cancer, said his publicist, Paul Shefrin.
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.