Michael Leighton


Michael Leighton is the Editor of The Portland Observer.
He is a longtime journalist who has worked as a web editor, TV news producer, newspaper reporter and radio news anchor. He graduated from John Adams High School and St. Charles Elementary in northeast Portland and earned his degree in communications from Pacific University in Forest Grove.

Recent Stories

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New book asks Can you Guess?

Black Trivia and other Great Tales

New book asks Can you Guess?

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Hardesty First for Runoff; Ryan Re-Elected

Multnomah County elects first female sheriff

Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan won re-election outright avoiding a runoff in Oregon’s May Primary Tuesday while incumbent City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty finished first against 10 other candidates, but short of the more than 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff this November.

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New Lawmaker Delivers

Rep. Travis Nelson wins funding for north Portland aquatic center

The newest state lawmaker from Portland, Travis Nelson, a Black Democratic Party activist, was able to achieve a win for his district in a short Legislative session that just ended.

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Police Officer Fired for Hardesty Leak

Discrimination, harassment and retaliation found

The former head of Portland’s police union was fired Tuesday for leaking allegations against City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty, the first Black woman to serve on the City Council and a lifeline advocate for police reforms.

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Deadly Protest Confrontation

Neighbor suspect in shooting at Normandale Park

A 43-year-old neighbor man is suspected of fatally shooting a woman protester on Saturday night at Normandale Park in the Rose City neighborhood following a confrontation between him and other anti-police protesters, authorities said Tuesday.

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Tributes Pour in for Reo Varnado

Entrepreneur was a great cook and storyteller

The tributes and memories are pouring in for Reo Varnado, the late Portland entrepreneur who made signature barbecue recipes born from his Black family roots into a Portland restaurant and destination for good food and company.

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NACCP Rejects Police Meeting

Union scolded for opposing group’s priorities

Union scolded for opposing group’s priorities

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Police Bias Continues Pattern, Activists say

Vancouver NAACP, others call for federal investigation

The Vancouver NAACP backed by Black community supporters have requested a federal Justice Department investigation into the Vancouver Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, claiming years of racial profiling, discriminatory policing, excessive force, and disturbing favoritism to known white supremacist extremist groups.

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Buried Truth Revealed

Sports executive killed a man when he was at 16

Former Trail Blazers and current Nike executive Larry Miller shook the sports world last week when he allowed a secret from his past to become public, revealing that he shot and killed a man when he was just 16.

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Tubman School Could Move for I-5

School district and governor eye solution

Moving Harriet Tubman Middle School to another location because of air pollution impacts has gained traction with new demands from the Portland School Board and an endorsement of the idea from Gov. Kate Brown.

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