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Michael Leighton

Stories by Michael

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Portland Fitness Model Crowned

Andrea Green wins a first place trophy for natural bodybuilding at the recent Pro Elite World Championship

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Scrapbook Selections

Sharing Portland’s history in family exhibit

Clifford Walker is enjoying his retirement by remaining engaged in his community and making a difference in the direction of the city.

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Construction begins on PDC-backed project

Alberta Commons to bring economic benefits

Construction has begun on Alberta Commons, a Portland Development Commission backed project to bring economic benefits to the heart of the historic black community at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street.

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Jumping into the Fire

Sharing the story of black paratroopers in Oregon

Unique story of patriotism, race and service will be shared during a free and open “history pub” series event at McMenamins Kenendy School in northeast Portland

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Supporting School Sanctuaries

Helping kids regardless of immigration status

Portland School Board Member Julie Esparza Brown has rallied and won support for a new school district policy to affirm the protection of civil liberties and the rights of undocumented students.

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Rattled by Trump

Turmoil erupts on Portland’s streets after election

Thousands of people stunned by Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election set off on a week of daily protests.

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Life in Vanport

New documentary features stores from survivors

A new OPB one-hour documentary tells the story of Vanport, a city with roots for Portland's African American population.

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McCollum Dream Center Introduced

Blazer makes space for kids to learn, explore

Blazer CJ McCollum project brings innovative learning room outfitted with new computers, books, art and learning tools to the Blazers Boys & Girls Club.

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War Stories to Heal and Reflect

Alberta American Legion post reaches out

Portland-area veterans, family members of veterans, and civilians are invited to join War Stories, a free, six-month reading, writing, and discussion group at American Legion Post 134, located at 2104 N.E. Alberta St.

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PCC Cascade Campus Transformed

Library completes second major expansion

Friends and neighbors are invited to celebrate the campus transformation

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Arson Fire Displaces Families

Man tells police he started the blaze

Red Cross helps with temporary housing and food

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Neighbors Against Violence

Ex-gang member forms group to help kids

Nicole Taylor has formed a mentoring group for youth to find jobs and give them a safe place in the community.

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Equity on Employment in Courthouse Build

Aggressive goals set for a diverse workforce

Multnomah County has set a high bar for hiring a diverse group of workers to build a downtown courthouse to replace the existing county courthouse which is more than 100 years old.

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Natural Foods Plans Approved

Project will be low scale development

The Natural Grocers project coming to Northeast Alberta Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be a single-story retail strip mall project.

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New Approach on Drugs

Civil rights groups applaud call for reforms

Two major civil rights groups are applauding a call by law enforcement officers in the state to decriminalize drug possession crimes.

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August Wilson’s solo show on race, power and more

'How I Learned What I Learned'

August Wilson’s provocative autobiographical solo show about race, culture, oppression, hierarchy and power.

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Racial Healing on Stage

'Blue-Eyed Black Boy' launches series on race

A new series of plays to elicit greater understanding of historical events related to today's racial environment.

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Peeling through stereotypes and misconceptions

Bonnie Ratner's 'Hazardous Beauty' tackles election

Democracy is Hazardous Beauty

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Beloved Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith Dies

Was known for decades of selfless work

Plans set for public memorial services

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Roadblocks at the Courthouse

Report on DAs is push for criminal justice reform

As Oregon votes in next week’s Primary Election most of the candidates overseeing criminal justice in the state won’t face any opposition and that’s a roadblock to reforming laws that disproportionately impact minorities, according to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

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ACLU Blasts Sheriff’s Probe

Says AG investigation falls short on protecting civil rights

An investigation that cleared Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton of criminal wrongdoing failed to account for actions that may have violated civil protections, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

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Activist Acquitted

Jury rules in favor of protester

Teressa Raiford was unanimously acquitted Thursday on a charge related to protesting the death of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

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Healing the Health Care Blues

Annual concert puts issue and need in focus

A Portland blues festival historically rooted in civil rights and social justice causes is once again putting its focus on supporting a campaign to bring universal health coverage to everyone.

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Prosecutor’s Post Called Racist

Oregon Commission on Black Affairs files a complaint

The Oregon Commission on Black Affairs has submitted a complaint to the Oregon State Bar against Washington County Deputy District Attorney Zoe Smith for her alleged racist statements on social media.

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Nourishing the Community

New Seasons expands to University Park

New Seasons Market, the locally-grown chain of grocery outlets that puts a premium on fresh, healthy foods while giving back to the community, has expanded its reach by opening its third location in north Portland.

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Vigil for Man Killed Crossing Cully

Family and neighbors call for safety improvements

Hugs, tears and fond memories were shared for a long time member of the black community

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Gang Team Investigates

Shooting disrupts peace near PCC campus

18-year-old male shoots another young man near sidewalk

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Ducks, Beavers are NCAA Bound

Oregon seeded No. 1 in West; OSU No. 7

A first for both teams playing in the same championship series

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Oregon Removes Confederate Emblem

Flag represented Mississippi in Walk of Flags

Oregon Legislative leaders first wanted to give the state of Mississippi a chance to change the flag on its own

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Gun Safety Bill Dies in Senate

Lawmakers fail to close 'Charleston' loophole

Senate leaders block law to end Legislative session

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Attorney General Addresses Police Issues

Says Portland sets example of work ahead

President Obama's chief law enforcement official visits city

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City takes legal action against homeowner

Time runs out on nuisance complaint

Long time African American resident says complaints are harassment

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Hybrid Human Artist Welcome

Wangechi Mutu to visit Northwest College of Art

Works by New York-based artist and Kenyan native Wangechi Mutu have achieved global acclaim for creating some of the most important contemporary African art of recent years.

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Attorney General Visits Portland

Loretta Lynch is on community policing tour

Loretta E. Lynch has set a full schedule with stops at George Middle School the Blazers Boys and Girls Club.

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Honoring Gladys McCoy

New building will retain leader’s name

A resolution to retain the name of the Multnomah County Health Department headquarters in honor of Gladys McCoy.

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Inside Ferguson

Portland author shares story in personal account

A front row seat into the turmoil and outrage that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

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Tests Offered for Airborne Metals Exposure

A call is issued for those concerned about the risks from exposure to elevated levels of airborne metals found near two glass company sites.

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Sweet Baby James Benton Dies at 85

Beloved musician was link to Portland's past

A beloved personality in Portland's music community

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Duckworth Dock May Move

City department wants out of dock upkeep

The downtown core may be losing its public dock on the Willamette River with a proposal to move it to Swan Island.

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Chip Shields Won’t Run Again

Lawmaker to stop down; Frederick to run

A Portland lawmaker who rose from a local non-profit helping former inmates transition back into productive lives to later becoming a State Representative and then State Senator announced Friday he will be giving up his legislative duties at the end of his term next year.

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Obama to Visit Roseburg

Campus tragedy tears at hearts and minds

President Obama announced Monday that he will travel to Roseburg on Friday to visit with the families of victims killed in a campus shooting that left 10 people dead, including the 26-year-old gunman, and injured nine people.

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Forging Trade with China

Business leader embarks on strategic initiative

Portland business entrepreneur Roy Joy has embarked on a strategic initiative to build economic ties with China.

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Activist Teacher Remembered

A longtime Portland educator who helped countless Portland students embark on careers in journalism and other pursuits, including the editor of the Portland Observer as a student at John Adams High School, is being remembered after his death at the age of 92.

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Sticker Shock

Bible College land turns to market rate housing

While it may not be unusual to have sticker shock for the price of new housing in the heart of Portland’s historic African American community where gentrification is rampant, a property sold by the North Portland Bible College and turned into apartments by private developers, is making eyes roll.

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Reversing the History of Illness

Sobering picture for residents of color

People of color in Multnomah County face “extremely sobering’’ disparities that lead to more illness, fewer opportunities and shorter lives.

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Shooting Near Rosemary Anderson High School

Three people injured; schools on lockdown

A shooting near Rosemary Anderson High School

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Not Your Everyday Family

Portland director brings comedy on West African experience

A play with lots of laughs and drama that follows an African family over three distinct stages of their development, through changing times and circumstances

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Police reviews of police St. Johns disturbance ordered

Police used taser to arrest teenager

The use of a Taser gun by Portland police to subdue a black teenager and the actions of police to make the arrest will be investigated by Portland’s Independent Police Review Division as well as an internal police review

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When Justice Fails

Advocating for children tried as adults

Partnership for Safety and Justice leads a rally to raise awareness of the social and personal harm caused by policies that allow young people to be punished as adults.

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Forum on Racial Disparities Law

Mechanics of law goes before the public

A forum was held in Salem Tuesday aimed at educating lawmakers and members of the public about a new law that can delay and possibly prevent future legislation that causes racial disparities in our criminal justice and child welfare systems.

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