Terrorism hearings set

U.S. District Judge Robert Jones is considering delaying the start of the so-called Portland Seven terror cell case until January.

He has set a hearing for today to discuss scheduling problems raised by the recent indictment of alleged co-conspirator Maher Mofeid Hawash.

Although Jones originally had set the trial for October, he must allow Hawash's attorney, Stephen Houze, to file the same series of pretrial motions as the other defendants, who will have a hearing on their motions June 9.

In another high-profile case involving a Muslim defendant, Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye will be sentenced Friday on Social Security and welfare fraud charges. His arrest by the Portland FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was widely covered by the media last September.

The federal government eventually allowed Kariye to plead guilty to relatively minor charges of using a false Social Security card number to obtain Oregon Health Plan benefits.

The U.S. attorney's office has recommended that Kariye be sentenced to five years' probation, pay a $1,000 fine and reimburse the state $1,000 for the health benefits.


Woman found dead

Police are still searching for clues in the beating death last week of a 22-year-old Gladstone woman.

Around sunrise on Friday, a railroad engineer spotted the body of Jessica Kate Williams between the tracks and a footbridge over the Eastbank Esplanade near the east end of the Steel Bridge.

An autopsy Friday showed that Williams died from 'blunt force trauma' to the head, said a spokesman for the state medical examiner's office.

Police spokesman Henry Groepper said Williams frequented downtown Portland and on occasion stayed at youth shelters. Her family last saw her May 17.

'According to the family,' Groepper said, 'she had a developmental disability that resulted in her having a maturity level of a person much younger than her 22 years.'

Her death marks the 10th homicide in Portland this year.


Group pursues review

A local civil rights group has asked to review the Portland Police Bureau's cultural training policies in light of the Kendra James shooting. The Coalition Against Hate Crimes made the request after discussing the shooting at its Thursday meeting.

The shooting has enraged many members of Portland's black community. James, who is black, was shot and killed by police officer Scott McCollister, who is white, on May 5. McCollister shot James as he tried to arrest her; he has testified that he was leaning into the car when it began moving, and he feared for his life.

'This is not intended to be punitive, but (we) want to see if there's anything that can be done to prevent something like this from happening again,' said coalition Chairman Randy Blazak, a sociology professor at Portland State University.


Van Sant wins at Cannes

Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sant came away triumphant Sunday night from the 56th annual Cannes International Film Festival. He won both the Palme d'Or award, the festival's top prize, and best director honor.

The awards were in recognition of his latest film, 'Elephant,' a documentary-style look at an explosion of violence in a typical middle-class high school.

Van Sant, who conceived the project, used high school students and nonprofessional actors for filming, much of which took place at Portland's abandoned Whitaker Middle School.

The film was made for Home Box Office. But before the festival, Van Sant said he might send it to theaters if it did well at Cannes.

Van Sant has made successful crowd-pleasers Ñ1997's 'Good Will Hunting' and 2000's 'Finding Forrester' Ñ and quirky cult favorites such as 'My Own Private Idaho,' which was filmed in Portland.

The Portland native moved to the Pearl District last year after living in New York.


Portland broker honored

E. John Rumpakis, a longtime Portland real estate activist, has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The ceremony was held earlier this month in the Great Hall on Ellis Island in New York Harbor.

Rumpakis, one of 100 recipients this year, was chosen for his involvement in numerous business, civic and educational organizations throughout a career that began in 1959, when he opened his real estate brokerage and development company.

The son of an immigrant Greek cobbler, he was an advocate for real estate preservation, led campaigns to revitalize the Irvington neighborhood, preserve the Mayor Earl Riley home and save downtown Portland's historic Old Church.

The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations has awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor every year since 1986 to honor the ancestral groups that helped shape the United States.

Ñ Tribune staff

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