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Portland Tribune

Lone candidate for Clackamas District Attorney talks policy
Author: Zane Sparling
After twenty years as a county prosecutor, John Wentworth has emerged as the presumptive winner of the top job.

For the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office, John Wentworth is the heir apparent.

The 52-year-old Clackamas High School grad and Oregon City resident has spent 20 years as ...

In Oregon, forestry, environmental interests reaffirm commitment to landmark deal
Author: Sam Stites
In letter to Gov. Kate Brown, timber and conservationists say they're still ready to work together to end decades of fighting.

Representatives of Oregon's timber industry and the state's major environmental groups say they're still committed to working together despite the Legislature's failure to pass a bill upon which their landmark ...

In Oregon, forestry, environmental interests reaffirm commitment to landmark deal
Author: Sam Stites
In letter to Gov. Kate Brown, timber and conservationists say they're still ready to work together to end decades of fighting.

Representatives of Oregon's timber industry and the state's major environmental groups say they're still committed to working together despite the Legislature's failure to pass a bill upon which their landmark ...

Forestry, environmental interests reaffirm commitment to landmark deal
Author: Sam Stites
In letter to Brown, timber and conservationists say they're still ready to work together to end decades of fighting

Representatives of Oregon's timber industry and the state's major environmental groups say they're still committed to working together despite the Legislature's failure to pass a bill upon which their landmark deal hinged ...

Forestry, environmental interests reaffirm commitment to landmark deal
Author: Sam Stites
In letter to Brown, timber and conservationists say they're still ready to work together to end decades of fighting

Representatives of Oregon's timber industry and the state's major environmental groups say they're still committed to working together despite the Legislature's failure to pass a bill upon which their landmark deal hinged ...

Columbian Newspaper

Distance learning reunites classmates, teachers in Clark County
Author: Columbian staff writer

The news of extended school closures hit hard in Clark County, where many teachers were beginning distance learning for the first time Monday.

More than 80,000 students this week will complete remote coursework, either online or through paper packets. Day one saw a mixed bag of connectivity issues, offset by students’ — and teachers’ — glee at seeing each other for the first time since schools closed March 17.

“I was super happy,” said Melisa Troche, a first-grade teacher in the dual immersion Spanish-language program at Pioneer Elementary School. “I miss them so much.”

Troche’s students, all 21 of them, tuned in right on cue at 10 a.m. for an hour of singing, crafting paper rabbits and a timely storybook reading of “Germs Are Not for Sharing,” by Elizabeth Verdick.

“Lavos los manos,” Troche read to her students. Wash your hands.

Every once in a while, Troche’s voice came through garbled, and the occasional younger sibling scampered through the background. Troche said that in the future she’ll be splitting the class into two periods — one in the morning, the other in the afternoon — to better manage her students.

But, she noted, students were engaged, answered questions and were excited to show off their paper “conejitos.” Troche decorated a guest bedroom in her house with classroom posters, books and a sock monkey, giving students a bit of a familiar setting.

“I don’t want to overwhelm them, but at the same time, we’re going to support the learning of students,” Troche said. “We’re going to continue to do activities.”

Across town, Eleanor Livengood’s third-grade son, Parker, was grumpy at the idea of returning to school.

“I told him the other day that, ‘School is starting back on Monday, so Sunday night, you’ve got a bedtime again,’ ” she said.

By the end of the day, Parker was asking if he could call in to his class’ teleconference again.

“‘It was so cool seeing my friends again,’ ” she recalled him saying.

Livengood said Parker struggled to log in to class on his class iPad at first and ultimately had to use her phone. She’s optimistic that the connection will improve in the coming days.

“At least we’re getting some sort of normalcy back. It’s not like, ‘Surprise! Summer break came three months early,’ ” Livengood said.

In emails to parents, Clark County’s largest districts reiterated that they’ll be working through challenges for students and families, while providing meals and other resources while campuses are closed.

Troche’s class wrapped up hours before Inslee’s announcement of continued school cancellations, but extended closures appeared inevitable in light of the governor’s extension of the state’s stay-at-home order.

Nevertheless, Troche said, if and when the news came, she’d be ready. Maybe she’ll do an end-of-year party with her students, she said. Everyone can make a party hat, she suggested. Maybe she’ll do curbside delivery of balloons.

The most important thing, she said, is to keep students happy.

“You have to teach with love and touch their hearts,” Troche said. “Kids can be stressed. I just want to make them happy until the end.”

Trump OKs Oregon flood disaster declaration; funding available
Author: Associated Press

PENDLETON, Ore. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says Oregon will receive federal help for flooding and storms that happened in February in the northeastern section of the state.

Federal disaster assistance will supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding, FEMA announced over the weekend. President Donald Trump’s action approving a flood disaster declaration makes the federal funding available to affected people in Umatilla County and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Oregon: 2 more COVID-19 deaths, 64 new cases
Author: Associated Press

PORTLAND — The Oregon Health Authority reported two more deaths from the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of deaths to 29.

Health authorities also announced 64 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number to 1,132 statewide.

The state’s 28th death was a 93-year-old man in Washington County, who tested positive on March 30 and died April 4, at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

The 29th death was a 70-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on April 1 and died April 2, in her residence. She too had underlying medical conditions.

Australian court dismisses cardinal’s sex abuse convictions
Author: ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s highest court has dismissed the convictions of the most senior Catholic found guilty of child sex abuse.

High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel announced the decision of the seven judges on Tuesday in the appeal of Cardinal George Pell. The decision means he will be released from Barwon Prison outside Melbourne after serving 13 months of a six-year sentence.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted by a Victoria state jury in 2018 of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in a back room of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in December 1996 while he was archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city.

Pell was also convicted of indecently assaulting one of the boys by painfully squeezing his genitals after a Mass in early 1997.

Pell had been ordered to serve three years and eight months behind bars before he became eligible for parole.

The High Court found that the Victorian Court of Appeal was incorrect in its 2-1 majority decision in August to uphold the jury verdicts.

Pell was regarded as the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official when he voluntarily returned to Melbourne in July 2017 determined to clear his name of dozens of decades-old child abuse allegations.

All the charges were dropped by prosecutors or dismissed by courts in preliminary hearings over the years except the cathedral allegations.

Pell was tried on the charges twice in 2018, the first County Court trial ending in a jury deadlock.

Pell did not testify at either trial or at the subsequent appeals.

But the juries saw his emphatic denials in a police interview that was video recorded in a Rome airport hotel conference room in October 2016.

“The allegations involve vile and disgusting conduct contrary to everything I hold dear and contrary to the explicit teachings of the church which I have spent my life representing,” Pell read from a prepared statement.

He also pointed out that had had established a world-first compensation scheme for victims of clergy, the Melbourne Response, months before the crimes were alleged to have occurred.

As police detailed the abuse allegations, Pell responded: “Absolutely disgraceful rubbish. It’s completely false. Madness.”

Pell was largely convicted on the testimony of one of the choirboys, now in his 30s with a young family.

He first went to police in 2015 after the second victim died of a heroin overdose at the age of 31. Neither can be identified under state law.

Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd told the High Court last month that the surviving choirboy’s detailed knowledge of the layout of the priests’ sacristy supported his accusation that the boys were molested there.

Pell’s lawyers argued that Pell would have been standing on the cathedral steps chatting with churchgoers after Mass when his crimes were alleged to have occurred, was always with other clerics when dressed in his archbishop’s robes, could not have performed the sexual acts alleged while wearing the cumbersome garments and could not have abused the boys in the busy priests’ sacristy without being detected.

Much of the two-day hearing focused on whether the jury should have had a reasonable doubt about Pell’s guilt and whether he could have time to molest the boys in five or six minutes immediately after a Mass.

The appeals court found in a 2-1 majority in August that Pell had had enough time to abuse the boys and that the unanimous guilty verdicts were sound.

Judd said the “two big points” raised by Pell’s lawyers against the prosecution case were evidence that Pell had been chatting with members of the congregation on the steps of the cathedral after the Masses when the abuses could have occurred and that he only had windows of five or six minutes to commit the abuses undetected.

Pell’s lawyer Bret Walker told the High Court that all that the prosecution had to do at his trial and appeals court hearing was to prove that Pell being left alone while robed or not talking with congregants after Mass was “possible” to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“That … is a grotesque version of the reversal of onus of proof, if all the Crown has to do is to prove the possibility of something,” Walker said.

Judd argued that the charges were proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“The High Court found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s (Pell’s) guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted,” the court said in a statement.

NYT Politics

Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic
Author: Maggie Haberman
A memo from Peter Navarro said failure to contain a coronavirus outbreak could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. It is the most direct warning known to have circulated at a key moment among top administration officials.

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