Think Out Loud

A News podcast
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Black Lives Matter organizers in rural Oregon are figuring out next steps for their movements. In Bend, Riccardo Waites started the Central Oregon Back Leaders Assembly, a nonprofit aiming to reduce police violence and racial discrimination in the community’s schools. In Umatilla, Selene Torres-Medrano is organizing to keep School Resource Officers out of school districts. And in Hermiston, John Carbage is pushing local officials to talk about systemic racism, and the racial profiling he has experienced from local law enforcement.
Oregon is now the only state to allow non-unanimous juries in criminal felony cases after Louisiana voted to end this practice. Norris Henderson, the state director of Louisiana’s Unanimous Jury Coalition, gives us insight into the campaign’s success. And OPB reporter Conrad Wilson tells us what this could mean for Oregon’s split-jury system.
Since 2008, at least 306 people across the Northwest have died after being taken to county jail, according to an investigation by Oregon Public Broadcasting, KUOW and the Northwest News Network. Conrad Wilson walks us through his findings.
Two county jails in Oregon have contracts with Immigration and Custom Enforcement to house detainees, despite the fact that Oregon is a sanctuary state. OPB’s Conrad Wilson fills us in.
Oregon Supreme Court Justice Adrienne Nelson says unconscious racial bias — or any kind of bias — has no place in jury trials. And yet, she acknowledges, every person has these biases. Nelson helped create a video that jurors can watch before a trial starts that’s designed to help them identify unconscious bias and minimize the effect those may have on their deliberations. At the same time, the Oregon Judicial Department is launching what it calls a strategic campaign, which includes partnering with organizations to bring equity to “underserved, vulnerable or marginalized” Oregonians, like juveniles and those with mental and behavioral health issues. It also includes training for judges and staff.
Cassandra Ruwaldt says she nearly crashed her car when she saw a wooden train on display in the Central Oregon town of Metolius. That train was built by Ruwaldt’s former stepfather, a convicted sex offender, who began abusing her when she was eight years old. She says he used his woodworking projects, including the train, as a ruse to isolate Ruwaldt in order to abuse her. She attended a city council meeting in March to inform the city about the train’s history and urged them not to put it on display. Earlier this month, the city of Metolius voted to give the train a prominent spot in front of its city hall anyway. On Friday, a city employee told OPB the train has been destroyed, but Ruwaldt says she’s still disgusted with the way things unfolded. We hear more from Ruwaldt.
What happens when the entire town you live in goes up for sale? OPB News Director Anna Griffin spoke with people living in Tiller, Oregon, much of which was just sold to one buyer for $3.8 million.
For the second time in a week, the Oregon State Penitentiary has been put on lockdown for a large fight involving multiple inmates. Craig Prins, Inspector General of the Department of Corrections, tells us about how the prison deals with such incidents.
Oregonian reporter Ted Sickinger fills us in on the trial of Martin Shain, an energy consultant charged with fraud, and efforts in the Oregon legislature to overhaul the state Department of Energy.
We discuss some of the biggest news of the week with news roundtablers Naseem Rakha, Anna Griffin and Scott Brunn.
OPB producer Eric Cain is retiring after more than 30 years with the station. We look back at his career with him.
When Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Klamath Falls was built in the 1920s, its builders constructed an alcove for a pipe organ. That space remained empty until last month, when the church was finally able to afford and install one. Matt Hoffman, director of music for Sacred Heart Catholic Church, joins us to talk about the church’s new acquisition.
New York musician DJ Spooky recently spent time at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in the Western Cascades in order to compose a piece of music inspired by the natural environment there.
Mats Järlström has an engineering degree from Sweden, but when he tried to share his idea to improve the formula used to calculate traffic-light timing with the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, the board fined him for practicing engineering without a license. Now, he’s teamed up with a national organization to sue to the members of the state board.
Democratic lawmakers have a plan to change the way businesses are taxed in Oregon. They say they need bold action to provide money for schools. Republicans say this is the return of Measure 97 — another attempt at a sales tax. We hear from Democratic Senator Mark Hass from Beaverton about how the plan would work. Tomorrow, we’ll get the Republican response from Representative Cliff Bentz.
We get the latest regional business news from Suzanne Stevens, editor of the Portland Business Journal.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to discuss President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Urban League of Portland president and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson, economist Eric Fruits, and OPB news director Anna Griffin join us for a Thursday edition of the news roundtable.
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Podcast Details

Mar 7th, 2017
Latest Episode
Jul 24th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
19 minutes

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