Jamaal Wilkes, former UCLA and Lakers star, weighs in on George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and his own frightening experience with police
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jamaal Wilkes supports the police, up to a point.The former Golden State Warriors forward said he’s proud to be an American and wants law and order while at the same time seeing the need for change in the wake of demonstrations after the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.“I’m not an activist. I’m not in the guts of the stuff, but we need some kind of reform with the police department (while) recognizing that the majority are good police,” Wilkes said in a recent conversation with the Bay Area News Group’s Wes Goldberg. “And they are probably as s...
The Mercury News
Oregon state police investigating video of officer allegedly flashing white power sign at protest
State police are investigating a video which appears to show an officer flashing a white power sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Oregon.In the video, an Oregon State Police officer flashes the “OK” sign, a common white power signal, at a counterprotester who then pats the officer on the back.“We are aware of the video and investigating,” Capt. Timothy R. Fox of the Oregon State Police told NBC News on Sunday.The Oregon State Police is 93% white, according to The Oregonian.Witnesses at the protest reported seeing counterprotesters, believed to be associated with the Proud Boys, a hate...
New York Daily News
'A lose-lose situation': Schools try to plan their reopening amid conflicting coronavirus guidelines
PHILADELPHIA — A month into planning what fall might look like for the 2,700 students in his Gloucester County school district, Jim Lavender tore through 104 pages of guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education.By Wednesday, Lavender had spent days, nights, and a weekend scouring every page three times, trying to figure out how he could safely meet social distancing, masking, and health requirements — to say nothing of teaching and learning.“It’s almost an untenable task,” said Lavender, superintendent of the Kingsway Regional School District.After an abrupt transition this spring to ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dominion canceling controversial natural gas pipeline across Virginia
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Dominion Energy is pulling the plug on its controversial plan to build a natural gas pipeline crossing Virginia.The decision comes in tandem with a major strategic shift out of the energy giant’s multi-billion-dollar investment in a gas transmission business with operations as far away as Wyoming.Dominion wants to focus on its regulated electric and natural gas utilities and its push to net zero carbon emissions, chairman and chief executive officer Thomas Farrell said Sunday, announcing the $9.7 billion sale of the company’s gas pipeline operations to Warren Buffett’s Berk...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
How COVID-19 in jails and prisons threatens nearby communities
WASHINGTON — COVID-19 has raged throughout U.S. jails and prisons, where people live together in close quarters and there is little opportunity for social distancing, a lack of basic sanitary supplies and high rates of chronic disease.While inmates mostly stay behind concrete walls and barbed wire, those barriers can’t contain an infectious disease like COVID-19. Not only can the virus be brought into jails and prisons, but it also can leave those facilities and spread widely into surrounding communities and beyond.The effect may be most pronounced in jails, which mainly house those who are aw...
Another fired Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd death is out of jail
MINNEAPOLIS — A third fired Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s Memorial Day death has been released from jail, according to Hennepin County jail recordsTao Thao, 34, posted $750,000 bail and was released from the downtown Minneapolis jail Saturday morning. He had been held on $1 million bail with no conditions or $750,000 bail with conditions.He is set to appear in court at 9 a.m. Sept. 11 on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.Thao was one of four Minne...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Minnesota prosecutors fail to hold police accountable, critics say
MINNEAPOLIS — Over the past three years, five different judges in Hennepin County have ruled that Corcoran, Minn., police officer Cody Vojacek conducted unlawful searches, leading to the dismissal of six criminal cases.In a February hearing on the most recent case, when asked under oath if he had adjusted his methods based on the courts’ repeated rebuffs, Vojacek was unequivocal that he had not.“No, because I disagreed with the findings of those orders,” Vojacek said. “So no, I didn’t. I do things exactly the same as I always have.”The case illustrates a problem in America’s criminal justice s...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
2 San Quentin death row inmates die from COVID-19
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two of California death row’s most notorious inmates apparently died from COVID-19, bringing the number of inmates across the state to die after contracting the coronavirus to at least 24.The men, convicted child killer Scott Thomas Erskine and Manuel Machado Alvarez, both died on July 3, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release.Both men were being treated at outside hospitals after being sickened by coronavirus inside San Quentin State Prison, where the virus has run rampant for nearly two weeks. Nearly 1,400 inmates, one in three...
The Sacramento Bee
Endangered butterfly in San Diego County is the focus of a new protection effort
SAN DIEGO — Two environmental groups have filed a petition with the state asking it to provide more protection for a once-abundant butterfly that has seen its numbers fall precipitously in San Diego County and elsewhere in recent decades.The tiny Quino checkerspot should be added to California’s list of endangered species because its remaining habitats are under threat from development projects, according to the petition, which was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Endangered Habitats League.“It’s alarming that a butterfly that once filled the skies of Southern California is...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Group of veteran California Republicans will campaign against Trump and senators who back him
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Now that the Lincoln Project has the nation’s attention with its ads baiting and attacking President Donald Trump, the political action committee is going grassroots.To start, the Lincoln Project, founded by well-known conservatives late last year, is tapping veteran California Republicans to fundraise and volunteer for campaigns in a handful of states against GOP incumbents who the committee considers Trump sympathizers.Among the 12 Californians joining the cause to make phone calls, build the network and raise some cash are Rosario Marin, treasurer under President George...
The Sacramento Bee