Woman convicted of mistreatment involving 4-year-old child

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A woman in southern Oregon was convicted Wednesday for her role in a case of neglect and mistreatment involving a 4-year-old child.

Lori Meeks, 52, and Matthew Oakley were arrested in March after the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office said the pair was keeping the child confined in their Klamath Falls home and was mistreating the child, The Herald and News reported.

Meeks was convicted Wednesday of first-degree criminal mistreatment and sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation.

According to Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello, “As a result of her care of this child, the child is severely delayed in developmental progress. The child had been locked in a bedroom and was filthy. The child is in DHS custody and appropriate placement will be made by them.”

Meeks and Oakley were not the child’s parents and were “given the child to care for” in 2016, according to the sheriff’s office. The child, along with another living in the home, have been placed in protective custody.

Albany school district to pause police greeting tradition

ALBANY, Ore. — Students in Albany public schools will no longer be greeted by police officers on the first day of school after some students and their families expressed fear and anxiety because of the officers’ presence last week.

Rumors circulating on social media prompted superintendent Melissa Goff to release a statement Wednesday addressing the district’s decision to at least temporarily discontinue the tradition, The Albany Democrat-Herald reported.

Goff said the lack of officers assigned to campuses, often called school resource officers, is unrelated to the decision and was a result of shortfalls in Albany’s city budget and staffing challenges in the Albany Police Department.

Goff described the decision as a “pause” in the district’s tradition and did not indicate whether the change would be permanent. Goff said the decision was made with the intent of ensuring all students feel safe on campus, not only the students who feel comfortable around law enforcement.

“We are now actively listening to all those experiences and perspectives and considering them in decision-making for this future event,” Goff said.

She added that the school district appreciates the positive work the Albany Police Department does, and the district believes the district and police department can model how to repair relationships and build trust.

Yakima City Council candidate pleads innocent to assault

YAKIMA — A Yakima City Council candidate has pleaded innocent to assault and malicious mischief in an incident in which he’s accused of pointing a gun at people and breaking a window.

Garth McKinney, 28, entered his plea Monday in Yakima County Superior Court, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

Police went to the residence around 4:20 p.m. March 28 after a report of a man who hit a woman. Officers found the woman sitting outside the apartment with a bruise on her face, and McKinney saying he wanted his daughter, whom he shares with the woman, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The woman said the bruise was acne, but her parents said McKinney and their daughter were having problems, and she came back from time with McKinney with the bruise, the affidavit said.

The woman’s mother refused to let her daughter go with McKinney, the affidavit said. McKinney threw his motorcycle helmet through the apartment window and pointed a pistol at the woman’s parents, who told police that McKinney said, “This will not end well,” the affidavit said.

Officers found a pistol tucked in the back of McKinney’s pants, the affidavit said.

McKinney announced last year that he would run for the council seat currently held by Councilman Brad Hill, who said he would not seek re-election.

Woman accused of threatening Vietnamese American neighbor

SEATTLE — A white suburban Seattle woman accused of threatening her Vietnamese American neighbor has been arrested and charged with a hate crime, prosecutors said.

The neighbor of Jan Myers in Shoreline said Myers had acted erratically and yelled racial slurs at her for years, The Seattle Times reported. On April 5, “these anti-Asian racial slurs escalated to threatening behavior,” prosecutors said.

Myers that day referred to the neighbor as “slant eye,” and yelled “Hey Miss Vietnam … You’re not going to live very long,” according to the charges.

Police said the neighbor recorded video that documented the confrontation.

Myers had previously complained that the neighbors’ cat had defecated on her lawn, police said. In an interview with deputies, she denied making threats or calling the neighbor “Miss Vietnam.” Police said the statements “were inconsistent with what the video showed.”

Myers was released on her own recognizance after an initial court hearing. She is scheduled to attend an arraignment April 22. Court records do not show which attorney is representing Myers.