Portland Receives $1.5 Million to Process Rape Kits: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler will ask the City Council this month to accept $1.5 million in federal money for the Portland Police Bureau to process rape kits in the 2018-19 fiscal year. The money comes from a $1.5 million National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. As WW reported last week, Portland police rank among the least effective in the country for clearing rape cases ("Unsolved Attacks," WW, Nov. 28, 2018). Oregon cleared its rape kit backlog in October, but Portland police made arrests in only 6 percent of rape cases in 2016. The SAKI money will support police investigations of rape cases and fund a designated deputy district attorney to prosecute rape cases in Multnomah County. The proposal gets a council vote Dec. 12.
Portland Man Is Halfway Across Antarctica: Portland extreme athlete Colin O'Brady, who already holds world records for speedy ascents of mountain peaks, is nearing the halfway point in his epic quest to be the first person to cross Antarctica without the aid of wind power or food drops. O'Brady, 31, is the son of grocery pioneer Brian Rohter and former mayoral candidate Eileen Brady. He's competing with Englishman Louis Rudd to make the 921-mile crossing of the barren, wind-swept ice continent. In 31 days, he's pulled a 375-pound sled with all of his food and gear 430 miles (as of Monday night) and has almost 500 miles to go. You can follow his progress at colinobrady.com or on Instagram.
Episcopal Church Sued for Sex Abuse: A man who grew up in Portland has sued the local diocese of the Episcopal church and St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Parish in Beaverton for sexual abuse he suffered as a child. A youth pastor for the diocese, William V. Wetzel allegedly groomed and abused the plaintiff in the 1970s during Sunday school and other church events in and near Portland. The lawsuit, first reported by the Portland Tribune, alleges the church failed to properly monitor Wetzel and neglected to investigate reports of abuse. The pastor died in 2016. The suit, filed by Portland law firm Vogt & Long last month, seeks $3.1 million in damages. Since filing the suit, the man's lawyers say a second alleged victim has surfaced. "The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon is deeply grieved by the allegations of abuse," the church said in a statement.
Give!Guide Goes To Mississippi Studios Thursday: Give!Guide is live and taking donations. On Thursday, Dec. 6, the campaign hosts a free G!G Presents show at Mississippi Studios, featuring Blossom, Maarquii, Amenta Abioto, and Karma Rivera. So far, the Give!Guide campaign has raised more than $1 million from 5,149 donors. You can make a difference to 150 of Portland's most impactful nonprofits by donating at giveguide.org.