07-21-2024  12:23 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

SneakerWeek 2024 Launches in Pioneer Courthouse Square July 26

The event brings together industry experts, BIPOC designers and sneaker enthusiasts.

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

Tens of millions of dollars raised by a landmark climate law in Washington state will go to Native American tribes that are at risk from climate change and rising sea levels to help them move to higher ground, install solar panels, buy electric vehicles and restore wetlands. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

NEWS BRIEFS

Merkley, Senators Urge VA to Expand Access to Medical Cannabis for America’s Veterans

Senators’ letter follows DEA’s recommended rescheduling of cannabis from earlier this year ...

Federal Appeals Court Declines to Restore Voting Rights in Mississippi

Thousands of Mississippians Face “Especially Cruel” Disenfranchisement Scheme ...

Draft of Statewide Wildfire Hazard Map Mandated by Legislature Released

The Oregon Department of Forestry today released drafts of new statewide wildfire hazard and wildland-urban interface maps developed...

Southwest Washington's Lemonade Day Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Named by the Greater Vancouver Chamber

Tatum Talbert was recognized for her exceptional achievement and creativity in the GVC’s 2024 Lemonade Day program. ...

Oscar Arana Selected as NAYA's Permanent CEO

The NAYA Family Center Board of Directors selected Oscar Arana (Chichimeca) as the organization's...

Seattle police officer fired over ‘vile’ comments after death of Indian woman

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has been fired for making callous remarks about the death of a graduate student from India after she was struck last year by another officer’s vehicle in a crosswalk. Seattle interim police Chief Sue Rahr fired Officer Daniel Auderer on...

Oregon authorities recover body of award-winning chef who drowned in river accident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities said Wednesday that they have recovered the body of award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy following her drowning in a river accident. The Benton County Sheriff's Office said it located her body Wednesday morning in the Willamette River between...

Chiefs set deadline of 6 months to decide whether to renovate Arrowhead or build new — and where

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs have set a deadline of six months from now to decide on a plan for the future of Arrowhead Stadium, whether that means renovating their iconic home or building an entirely new stadium in Kansas or Missouri. After a joint ballot initiative with the...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

OPINION

The 900-Page Guide to Snuffing Out American Democracy

What if there was a blueprint for a future presidential administration to unilaterally lay waste to our constitutional order and turn America from a democracy into an autocracy in one fell swoop? That is what one far-right think tank and its contributors...

SCOTUS Decision Seizes Power to Decide Federal Regulations: Hard-Fought Consumer Victories Now at Risk

For Black and Latino Americans, this power-grab by the court throws into doubt and potentially weakens current agency rules that sought to bring us closer to the nation’s promises of freedom and justice for all. In two particular areas – fair housing and...

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state's history. Their efforts in Coloma, a...

Legal fight continues with appeals over proposed immigration initiative for Arizona Nov. 5 ballot

PHOENIX (AP) — The fight to keep a proposed border initiative off Arizona’s Nov. 5 ballot is not over yet. Immigrant advocates kept the issue alive this week by filing notice to the state Supreme Court that they will appeal the judge’s ruling. A Maricopa County...

What Usha Vance's rise to prominence means to other South Asian and Hindu Americans

Usha Chilukuri Vance, entered the spotlight this week as the wife of JD Vance, former President Donald Trump's running mate in the 2024 presidential election. Her rise comes at a time when, across the aisle, there's another prominent figure of South Asian descent: Vice President...

ENTERTAINMENT

On anniversary of Frida Kahlo's death, her art's spirituality keeps fans engaged around the globe

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Frida Kahlo had no religious affiliation. Why, then, did the Mexican artist depict several religious symbols in the paintings she produced until her death on July 13, 1954? “Frida conveyed the power of each individual,” said art researcher and curator Ximena...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27: July 21: Actor Leigh Lawson (“Tess”) is 81. Singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is 76. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) is 76. Actor Jamey Sheridan (“Homeland”) is 73. Singer-guitarist Eric Bazilian of The Hooters is 71....

Canadian officer says Alice Munro claimed her daughter was lying about being abused by stepfather

TORONTO (AP) — A retired police detective involved in the arrest 20 years ago of the husband of Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro, said Friday he was disturbed by the writer's reaction 20 years ago when she learned her husband would be charged for sexually assaulting her daughter. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

With GOP convention over, Milwaukee weighs the benefits of hosting political rivals

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Downtown Milwaukee turned red last week as thousands of Republican National Convention...

Behind Biden's asylum halt: Migrants must say if they fear deportation, not wait to be asked

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Posters inside a complex of giant, white tents tell migrants in English, Spanish, Mandarin...

The biggest of stories came to the small city of Butler. Here's how its newspaper met the moment

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — When gunshots echoed at the Trump rally where she was working, Butler Eagle reporter Irina...

How Olympics opening ceremony artistic director Thomas Jolly is capturing the essence of France

PARIS (AP) — In a luxurious hotel room on the 16th floor, overlooking the heart of Paris and the iconic Seine...

Myanmar's civil war has seen a devastating increase in attacks on schools, researchers say

BANGKOK (AP) — An intensification of fighting in Myanmar’s civil war has brought a sharp increase in...

11 dead and dozens missing after a highway bridge in China crumbles in flooding and heavy storms

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Chinese authorities say at least 11 people have died and 30 are missing in the partial...

By Anne D\'Innocenzio AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- If you're a U.S. consumer, why would you be confident?


Following a string of bad economic news, consumer confidence fell to a seven-month low in June on continuing worries about high unemployment and stagnating wages, according to a report released Tuesday by a private research group. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 58.5 in June. That's down from a revised 61.7 in May, which marked an almost six-point drop.



"Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.



A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy on the index, which measures how Americans feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists carefully monitor consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.



Two years after the recession officially ended in June 2009, consumer confidence is still fragile. The index has lost momentum since it hovered between the high 50s and low 60s last year, and then climbed to a three-year high in February, reaching 72. June's results marked the lowest point since December 2010 when the index hit 57.8. In June 2009, the reading was 49.3.



Economists had expected the June figure to edge up to 61 as consumers faced lower prices at the pump and inflationary fears dissipated.



Consumers had been hurt by rising gas prices that neared $4 per gallon in late April and early May, leading many to cut back on spending for everything from televisions to clothes. But since the Memorial Day weekend, gas prices have fallen to a national average of $3.57 per gallon. And oil prices have declined steeply over the last few weeks, which should eventually translate into even lower pump prices.



But the fact that consumers are experiencing less pain at the pump has been overshadowed by other economic news that ranges from mildly encouraging to downright bad.



The consumer confidence report was issued on the same day a widely watched Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller index reported that spring buying boosted home prices in 13 U.S. cities. But the report also showed that housing remains weak in most of the country. Economists say homeowners are mostly unwilling to sell their homes given the widespread declines in home values. And nearly 2 million foreclosures have hit the market over the past two years.



The government on Monday reported that consumer spending was unchanged in May compared with April, marking the first time in a year that spending hasn't increased from the previous month. The same report found that incomes rose 0.3 percent for the second straight month. But adjusted for inflation, after-tax incomes increased only 0.1 percent in May, after falling by the same amount in the previous month.



Moreover, prices in the food aisle remain high and this fall, shoppers will be seeing the cost of clothing and accessories rise as retailers grapple with higher labor costs in China and soaring prices of raw materials like cotton. Stores had started to raise prices this spring but only on select items.



Americans are most worried about the dismal job market. Hiring has slowed this spring after a strong start at the beginning of the year. The economy produced only 54,000 jobs in May, the lowest number in eight months. That followed three months in which employers hired an average of 220,000 net new workers each month. The unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent last month from 9.0 percent in April.



"Even though lower gas prices have provided some relief, people are still worried about their jobs," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. "A lot of the economic data has been weak, and it has a lot of folks wondering about their job prospects."



The Conference Board survey, conducted by The Nielsen Co., is based on a random survey mailed to approximately 3,000 households from June 1 through June 16. Survey, whose numbers are updated after the month ends, showed worries about the job market and income flared up.



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AP Business Writer Derek Kravitz in Washington contributed to this report.



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