Police investigate Saturday homicide, carjacking and fatal crash
The names of the victims and suspects in the April 10 incidents are not immediately released.
Police are investigating a homicide, a carjacking that left one person seriously injured and a fatal collision, all on Saturday, April 10.
The victims were not immediately identified. One person had ...
Volunteer bringing abandoned Oregon cemetery back to life
James Moriarty's retirement project hacks away at overgrown brush to restore Scheel family's German Hill Cemetery.
For decades, the old German Hill Cemetery near Estacada sat unattended, hidden under a tangle of brush and vulnerable to nature's fury and vandals.
In early February, James Moriarty, ...
Kanter has franchise record 30 rebounds as Blazers beat Pistons
PORTLAND — Enes Kanter had 24 points and a franchise-record 30 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers routed the Detroit Pistons 118-103 on Saturday night.
Kanter bested Sidney Wicks’ Portland record of 27 rebounds set in 1975. Kanter also surpassed his own career high of 26 set while with the Knicks in 2018. Each time he added to the record the Blazers’ bench stood and cheered.
Damian Lillard had 27 points and 10 assists and CJ McCollum added 26 points for the Blazers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Josh Jackson had 21 points for the Pistons, who trailed by as many as 24 points. Frank Jackson finished with 17 points
Center Jusuf Nurkic was not available for the Blazers because it was the first of a back-to-back. The starting center had knee swelling that kept him out of a game earlier this week against the Clippers. Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the game that Nurkic would be available for Sunday night’s game at home against Miami. Kanter started in Nurkic’s place.
The Pistons, also playing the first of a back-to-back, rested Wayne Ellington. Mason Plumlee returned after missing Thursday night’s victory at Sacramento because of concussion protocol.
Carmelo Anthony’s jumper put the Blazers up 43-27 in the second quarter, but the Pistons closed the gap with a 14-2 run to get to 45-41.
Portland led 59-50 at the break. Kanter had 11 points and 16 rebounds, while Lillard led all scorers with 14 points.
CJ McCollum’s floater put the Blazers up 74-59 in the third quarter and they stretched the lead to 97-76 early in the final period on Derick Jones Jr.’s tip shot.
Pistons: Jerami Grant sat out of the second straight game because of a sore right knee.
Trail Blazers: It was the second and last meeting between the two teams. The Blazers won the first, 124-101, in Detroit on March 31. … It was Kanter’s team-high 29th double-double this season.
The Trail Blazers host Miami in the second of their back-to-back on Sunday.
4 Washington students injured in bus crash awarded $1.4M
SEATTLE — A jury has awarded four former marching band students at the University of Washington more than $1.4 million after they were injured in a bus crash on their way to a football competition with rival Washington State University.
Students Alexia Brown, Edith Myers-Power, Monica Mursch and Jacob Koreen sued the charter bus company MTRWestern, KOMO-TV reported Thursday.
Herrmann Law Group, which represented the four students, said there was ice on the road and that the bus driver failed to slow down, lost control and crashed. The bus did not have seatbelts.
The marching band students were headed to the 2018 Apple Cup in Pullman when the charter bus rolled onto its side near the town of George, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from the students’ destination. Authorities said 45 of the 56 people aboard the bus were injured.
The four students who filed the lawsuit will each receive a portion of the $1,482,2000.
Brown, a saxophone player, was awarded the largest amount of $569,000. Attorneys said she was ejected from the bus during the crash and suffered multiple fractures to her spine and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Myers-Power, also a saxophone player, received surgery on her shoulder and was unable to march again. Monica Mursch, also a saxophone player, broke her clavicle and Jacob Koreen, a baritone player, suffered bruises, lacerations and PTSD.
“After this long fight for justice, we are pleased the jury agreed this was a horrible crash,” Anthony Marsh, of Hermann Law Group, told KCPQ-TV. “These four students survived an astounding tragedy. We hope anyone on the bus still fighting for justice will keep fighting until they get what is fair.”
“This was a tragic accident on all accounts, out hearts go to those who were affected by this event,” MTRWestern President Jeremy Butzlaff told The Associated Press in an email on Friday. “Then, as of now, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safety and we wish these students all the very best.”
3 Seattle light-rail stations to open Oct. 2
SEATTLE — Three light-rail stations in North Seattle will open Oct. 2, according to Sound Transit leaders.
The agency made the announcement about the new U District, Roosevelt and Northgate stations on Friday. The $1.9 billion extension is expected to add 45,000 daily passengers, who can travel from Northgate Station to downtown’s Westlake Station in 14 minutes, The Seattle Times reported.
The grand opening comes later than the September goal set by Sound Transit. Agency staff attribute the delay to COVID-19 construction disruptions.
King County Metro Transit will increase bus trips to the three stations in a service change this fall. The NHL Kraken hockey-team headquarters and ice rinks being developed at Northgate and a walk-bike bridge across Interstate 5 to North Seattle College should attract train riders.
Along with the three light-rail stations, new Siemens trains built in Sacramento, California, will join the 25-mile (40-kilometer) corridor, with wider midsections to hold about 10 more people per rail car.
Voters approved a sales-tax increase in 2008 to pay for the Northgate extension and future track being constructed to Overlake, Lynnwood and Federal Way. Seattle transit ridership showed the nation’s fastest growth in the 2010s, to include 80,000 light-rail trips on busy days before the pandemic.
In GOP strongholds, a big push on ‘culture war’ legislation
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An ardent abortion foe who once opposed allowing gay couples to be foster parents, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is the unlikeliest figure to complain about bills on the “culture wars” reaching his desk.
But by vetoing a ban on gender confirming treatments for transgender youth, the Republican offered a rare rebuke to fellow conservatives who have been in overdrive this legislative session with bills expanding gun rights and restricting LGBTQ and abortion rights.
“I was told this week that the nation is looking at Arkansas because I have on my desk another bill passed by the General Assembly that is a product of the cultural war in America,” Hutchinson said as he announced his decision. “I don’t shy away from the battle when it is necessary and defensible, but the most recent action of the General Assembly, while well-intended, is off-course.”
Even for veterans of the culture wars like Hutchinson, this year has been a jarring one in Republican-controlled statehouses from South Carolina to South Dakota. Fueled by an influx of hard-right lawmakers echoing former President Donald Trump and the backing of outside groups, Republican legislatures are pushing the bounds in already deeply Republican states on issues such as gun rights, access to abortions, and increasingly, protections for transgender people.
The bills reflect the larger mood of the Republican Party, which nationally has struggled to define Democrats in the post-Trump era. Instead, the focus has been on issues that drive the party’s base and that Republicans use to portray Democrats as out of touch with average Americans.
“Republicans’ frustration with an inability to move policy at a federal level trickles down to more action in the states,” Republican strategist Alex Conant said. “I think a lot of these state legislatures are responding to the demands of the conservative base, which sees the culture wars headed in the wrong direction nationally.”
Few are going farther to the right than Arkansas, where Hutchinson over the past several weeks has signed bills restricting rights for transgender people, banning almost all abortions in the state, and easing restrictions on the use of deadly force in self-defense in the so-called Stand Your Ground law.
The bills faced little to no resistance in the Legislature.
“The conservative bent of this legislature is just so overwhelming that there’s not any guardrails,” said Sen. Keith Ingram, the top Democrat in Arkansas’ Senate.
Some of the measures Republicans are pushing in the country expand on longtime party priorities. Encouraged by Trump’s three appointments to the Supreme Court, GOP lawmakers have moved beyond incremental abortion restrictions and are instead trying to enact outright bans like Arkansas has. Thirty-one such bans have been proposed in 15 states this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
The number of anti-abortion bills being considered in Oklahoma has nearly doubled over the past three years. South Carolina’s Republican governor signed a measure banning nearly all abortions, a measure that was immediately blocked due to a legal challenge.
Efforts to expand gun rights are also advancing in Republican states that already have few restrictions, with GOP lawmakers citing fears of new gun control measures under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Hutchinson in February signed a Stand Your Ground law loosening restrictions on the use of deadly force in self defense, a proposal that had stalled in past years. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee last week signed a law allowing most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without a background check or training.
The new fronts include record numbers of voting restrictions fueled by Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud in 2020. A sweeping new voting law in Georgia prompted pushback from major corporations and even led to Major League Baseball pulling the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights group, said it’s been alarmed by the record number of bills imposing restrictions on transgender people. More than 100 such bills have been filed so far this year, the group said. At least 20 states are considering treatment bans similar to Arkansas’.
GOP leaders say the bills in some cases reflect lawmakers catching up on sessions cut short last year due to COVID-19, but also constituents’ desires.
“That’s the direction that Tennessee is wanting to move, based on the people they elected,” said Cameron Sexton, the House speaker in Tennessee, where the flood of advancing bills includes an effort to make the Bible the state’s official book.
The agenda for Arkansas’ House and Senate on any given day this year looks like a social conservatives’ dream. Other bills working their way through the Legislature include one allowing schools to teach creationism and one prohibiting police from enforcing federal gun laws.
The flood of bills is even too much for Hutchinson. A longtime figure in the state’s Republican politics, Hutchinson is a former congressman who called for reinstating the state’s ban on gay foster parents when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006. Since taking office in 2015, he’s signed some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country.
A day after he vetoed the transgender treatment ban, Republican lawmakers overrode him and enacted it anyway. Hutchinson signed the abortion ban despite his concerns about its constitutionality, and lack of the rape and incest exceptions. He signed the Stand Your Ground legislation despite past reservations about changes to the state’s self-defense law.
Conservatives have also dramatically scaled back Hutchinson’s goal of passing a hate crimes bill this year. They’re advancing instead a “class protection” bill that doesn’t refer specifically to categories such as race, sexual orientation or gender identity. The governor has said he supports the measure, though he acknowledges it wasn’t his first choice.
Arkansas Republicans say the bills show the shift farther to the right in the state, which Trump easily won in 2016 and last year. Republicans also expanded their majorities in both chambers of the Arkansas Legislature last year.
“After years of being told, this isn’t what people want, this will hurt us, we’ll lose an election, we’re actually seeing the opposite being true,” Republican Sen. Trent Garner said.
The tone of the debate over the transgender measures is worrying opponents, especially health care professionals who have warned that the steps are marginalizing people already at high risk of bullying and suicide.
At one point during a debate on one of the transgender measures in Arkansas, a Republican lawmaker cited a Bible verse that called people who wear another gender’s clothes an “abomination.” Another compared parental acceptance of transgender youth to allowing a child to decide to become a cow.
“I grew up in a state that I didn’t feel like was legislating hate against me,” said Rep. Tippi McCullough, the top Democrat in the Arkansas House and the only openly gay member of the state Legislature.
Hutchinson’s stance against the treatment ban earned him the ire of Trump, who called the governor a “lightweight RINO,” meaning Republican in name only.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who’s tried to align herself with Trump, faced similar conservative backlash after reversing course on a transgender sports ban. Noem initially said she planned to sign the measure, then partially vetoed it and later issued an order that pushed schools to issue bans.
Noem has promised to call a special legislative session this year to have lawmakers take up the issue again.
Hutchinson said he doesn’t regret the other transgender restrictions he’s signed and isn’t backing off his support for restricting abortion. But he said he hoped his veto would cause fellow Republicans to consider restraint on some social issues.
“Sometimes you’ve got to pull back and say, is this really the role of the state?” Hutchinson told reporters. “Is this really reflecting confidence in parents and doctors to make good decisions?”
Legislature approves Juneteenth as state holiday
OLYMPIA — The Legislature has passed a measure that makes Juneteenth a legal state holiday.
The measure making June 19 a state paid holiday passed the Democratic-led Senate on a bipartisan 47-1 vote and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. The House passed the measure in February on an 89 -9 vote.
Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day – commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, where Union soldiers brought them the news two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
In 2007, the Legislature designated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance. South Dakota and Hawaii are the only states that have no official observance of it.
Closed by COVID-19, North Clark County museum reopens
AMBOY — Scores of North Clark County historical items are open again for public view.
The North Clark Historical Museum in Amboy, 21416 N.E. 399th St., has been closed for most of the past year due to COVID-19. But the museum reopened Saturday in limited time windows.
The museum has two floors, with some large exhibits outside. It’s set inside what used to be the United Brethren Church, which opened in 1910 and closed in 1966.
A group of volunteers took possession of the church, which had become dilapidated, in 1988. Following a 12-year remodeling effort, the museum opened in 2000.
“The building itself is probably our best exhibit,” said Jim Malinowski, president of the museum’s Board of Directors.
The pandemic closure nixed opportunities to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the church opening and 20th anniversary of the museum’s unveiling.
“We’ve been able to have a few little things, but not a whole lot,” said Georgene Neal, secretary of the museum board.
The museum doesn’t charge entry fees; it relies on donations.
It also hosts an annual quilt raffle in which contestants, for $1 tickets, can win a quilt made by the Chelatchie Quilters. This year’s quilt, “Prairie Sampler,” is hanging near the front of the museum. The winner will be announced around Veterans’ Day.
Beyond that is a substantial collection of north county history, including photos of the Mount St. Helens eruption, informational displays about historical events such as the Yacolt Burn, the original Amboy School bell – dated 1906 – a model sawmill and a 19th-century clock.
Pews in the main area of the buildings are ordered as they would be for a church service. Mannequins dressed in historical garb sit in the pews, appearing as if they’re waiting for a service.
Typically open each Saturday, the museum, for now, will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from noon to 4 p.m., with COVID-19 safety measures in place. The museum will be open on more Saturdays as it regains volunteers.
More information is available at 360-247-5800 or email@example.com.
“Last year was pretty hard on us,” Neal said, taking a deep breath and adjusting her facemask. “But we’re moving forward.”
Ash-covered island of St. Vincent braces for more eruptions
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate the area closest to a volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent raced to get clear Saturday, a day after it erupted with an explosion that shook the ground, spewed ash skyward and blanketed the island in a layer of fine volcanic rock.
The eruption Friday of La Soufri`ere – its first large one since 1979 – transformed the island’s lush towns and villages into gloomy, gray versions of themselves. A strong sulfur smell was unavoidable Saturday and ash covered everything, creeping into homes, cars and noses, and obscuring the sunshine that makes the island so popular with tourists.
Chellise Rogers – who lives in the village of Biabou, which is in an area of St. Vincent that’s considered safe – said she could hear continuous rumbling.
“It’s exhilarating and scary at the same time,” she said. “(It’s the) first time I am witnessing a volcano eruption.”
Scientists warn that the explosions could continue for days or even weeks, and that the worst could be yet to come.
“The first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give,” Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, said during a news conference.
About 16,000 people have had to flee their ash-covered communities with as many belongings as they could stuff into suitcases and backpacks. However, there have been no reports of anyone being killed or injured by the initial blast or those that followed. Before it blew, the government ordered people to evacuate the most high-risk area around the 4,003-foot volcano after scientists warned that magma was moving close to the surface.
Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of the 32 islands that make up the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said on local station NBC Radio that people should remain calm, be patient and keep trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus. He said officials were trying to figure out the best way to collect and dispose of the ash, which covered an airport runway near the capital of Kingstown, about 20 miles south, and fell as far away as Barbados, about 120 miles to the east.
“It’s difficult to breathe,” the prime minister said, adding that although the volcano was venting less, a big plume of ash remained.
Ramsey Clark, attorney general under Johnson, dies at 93
NEW YORK — Ramsey Clark, the attorney general in the Johnson administration who became an outspoken activist for unpopular causes and a harsh critic of U.S. policy, has died. He was 93.
Clark, whose father, Tom Clark, was attorney general and U.S. Supreme Court justice, died on Friday at his Manhattan home, a family member, Sharon Welch, announced to media outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
After serving in President Lyndon Johnson’s Cabinet in 1967 and ’68, Clark set up a private law practice in New York in which he championed civil rights, fought racism and the death penalty, and represented declared foes of the United States including former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. He also defended former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
New York civil rights attorney Ron Kuby, who worked with Clark on numerous cases, called the death “very, very sad in a season of losses.”
“The progressive legal community has lost its elder dean and statesman,” Kuby said. “Over many generations, Ramsey Clark was a principled voice, conscience and a fighter for civil and human rights.”
In courtrooms around the country Clark defended antiwar activists. In the court of public opinion, he charged the United States with militarism and arrogance, starting with the Vietnam War and continuing with Grenada, Libya, Panama and the Gulf War.
When Clark visited Iraq after Operation Desert Storm and returned to accuse the United States of war crimes, Newsweek dubbed him the Jane Fonda of the Gulf War.
Clark said he only wanted the United States to live up to its ideals. “If you don’t insist on your government obeying the law, then what right do you have to demand it of others?” he said.
The lanky, soft-spoken Texan went to Washington in 1961 as a New Frontiersman in President John F. Kennedy’s Justice Department.
He was 39 when Johnson made him attorney general in 1967, the second youngest ever – Robert Kennedy had been 36.
Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, who had been Harry Truman’s attorney general before he joined the high court in 1949, swore in his son as attorney general, then retired to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
Ramsey Clark said his work at Justice drew him into the civil rights revolution, which he called “the noblest quest of the American people in our time.”
He also maintained opposition to the death penalty and wiretapping, defended the right of dissent and criticized FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover when no one else in government would dare take him on.
But as Johnson’s attorney general, Clark had the job of prosecuting Dr. Benjamin Spock for counseling Vietnam-era youths to resist the draft, a position with which he sympathized.
“We won the case, that was the worst part,” he said years later.
The Dallas-born Clark, who did a hitch in the Marine Corps in 1945-46, moved his family to New York in 1970 and set up a pro bono-oriented practice. He said then that he and his partners were limiting their annual personal incomes to $50,000, a figure he did not always achieve.
“Money’s not an interest of mine,” he said, but at the same time he was meeting steep medical bills for his daughter, Ronda, who was born with severe disabilities. He and his wife, Georgia, who were married in 1949, also had a son, Thomas, a lawyer.
Clark took one shot at elective office, losing the 1976 Democratic Senate primary to Daniel P. Moynihan.
Clark’s client list included such peace and disarmament activists as the Harrisburg 7 and the Plowshares 8. Abroad, he represented dissidents in Iran, Chile, the Philippines and Taiwan, and skyjackers in the Soviet Union.
He was an advocate for Soviet and Syrian Jews, but outraged many Jews over other clients. He defended a Nazi prison camp guard fighting extradition, and the Palestine Liberation Organization in a lawsuit over the slaying of a cruise ship passenger by hijackers.
There were usually two to three dozen active cases on Clark’s legal calendar, and about 100 more in the background. Capital punishment cases were a staple.
“We talk about civil liberties,” he said. “We have the largest prison population per capita on Earth. The world’s greatest jailer is the freest country on Earth?”