02-26-2024  12:28 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, Oregon Lawmakers Propose More Funding for Opioid Addiction Medication in Jails

Democrats are looking to counterbalance restoring criminal penalties for possession with expanding access to treatment for a potentially growing number of people in the criminal justice system. The proposal would create a million grant fund for jails looking to provide opioid addiction medication. Federal data shows only 24% of jails provide such medication to people with prior prescriptions.

KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Portland NAACP chapter said they were appalled

Rep. Blumenauer Talks Retirement from Congress and His Plans to Help Put Portland Back Together

U.S. Representative for Oregon has held his seat for nearly 30 years.

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Community Input Helps Fuel George Park Project

The effort is an innovative partnership between the City, Portland Parks Foundation, and The Kidz Outside ...

Renewal of School Local Option Levy Will be on May Ballot

If approved by voters, the levy renewal would maintain the current tax rate and continue to fund approximately 660 teachers and other...

Wyden, Merkley Announce $70,000 for the Oregon Food Bank

“Nothing is more important than making sure folks in need have food to eat, and the resources to thrive,” Wyden...

Historic Church in Seattle Hosts Free Black History Month Film Series for All

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, located in Seattle’s historic Central District, will host “Freedom Fridays: A Black History...

A housing shortage is testing Oregon's pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban...

US appeals court panel declines to delay execution of one of longest-serving death row inmates

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. appeals court panel on Friday declined to delay Idaho's scheduled execution next week of one of the nation's longest-serving death row inmates. Thomas Creech was sentenced to death in 1983 for killing a fellow prison inmate, David Jensen, with a...

Grace Beyer sets women's NAIA career-scoring record with 32 points in season finale

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grace Beyer set the women's NAIA career-scoring record on Saturday, rising to 3,874 points with a 32-point effort in an 80-56 victory for University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy (St. Louis) over Hannibal-LaGrange (Missouri). Needing 14 points to pass the NAIA...

Khalif Battle's 42 points lead Arkansas past Missouri 88-73

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Khalif Battle shattered his previous career high by scoring 42 points to help carry Arkansas to a season sweep of Missouri, 88-73 on Saturday, overshadowing a 33-point career-best effort by the Tigers' Sean East II. Battle topped his 32-point best mark...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

MILAN FASHION PHOTOS: Feben, Rave Review promote looks for women of all shapes, ages and sizes

MILAN (AP) — London-based designer Feben opened the last day of Milan Fashion Week with a refreshingly diverse runway in every way, both in size and race. “I think why you are not seeing that around is because you are not seeing a lot of Black women in creative roles,” said the...

Today in History: February 25, Muhammad Ali defeats Sonny Liston for first world title

Today in History Today is Sunday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2024. There are 310 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 25, 1964, Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) became world heavyweight boxing champion as he defeated...

Trump says his criminal indictments boosted his appeal to Black voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump claimed Friday that his four criminal indictments have boosted his support among Black Americans because they see him as a victim of discrimination, comparing his legal jeopardy to the historic legacy of anti-Black prejudice in the U.S. legal...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: 'Avatar: The Last Airbender,' 'Priscilla' and Dolly Parton's puppies

Dolly Parton hosting a two-hour puppy-filled variety special on CBS and the seventh and final season of the hospital drama, “The Good Doctor” are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

The Hoosier Gym, home of the Hickory Huskers, still resonates with basketball fans

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (AP) — The court is the same one where Jimmy Chitwood played. The locker room is exactly as it was when Norman Dale coached. The wall separating the bleachers from the floor is still there. Things change. The Hoosier Gym doesn’t. About 35 miles east...

Off to Never Never Land: 'Peter Pan' flies again in a new tour after some much needed changes

NEW YORK (AP) — A new, inclusive stage production of “Peter Pan” flies out on a U.S. tour this month, telling the classic tale of a boy who refuses to grow up — but without references that, ironically, have aged poorly. Gone are elements harmful to Native people, in are a few...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Global economy is weighed down by war, uncertainty and instability, trade chief warns

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The head of the World Trade Organization warned on Monday that war,...

Leaders are likely to seek quick dismissal as Mayorkas impeachment moves to the Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the third time in five years, senators will be sworn in as jurors for an impeachment...

Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about Bidens will appear in court as judge weighs his detention

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former FBI informant charged with fabricating a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme...

Biden is summoning congressional leaders to the White House to talk Ukraine and government funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will convene the top four congressional leaders at the White House on...

Air Force member in critical condition after setting himself on fire outside Israeli embassy in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force was critically injured Sunday after setting...

Algeria inaugurates Africa's largest mosque after years of political delays and cost overruns

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria inaugurated a gigantic mosque on its Mediterranean coastline Sunday after years...

David Espo AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two Senate rebels jumped into Congress' cut-the-deficit competition on Tuesday, proposing to raise the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 and increase monthly premiums for millions of current beneficiaries.

"We can't save Medicare as we know it," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., pictured at left, who authored the plan with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. "We can only save Medicare if we change it," he added in an apparent jab at President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

Democrats reacted with criticism of the proposal, which Coburn said was designed to rescue the financially imperiled program and help the nation confront a "wall of debt." Republicans betrayed no sign of support either.

If nothing else, the response underscored the difficulty of legislative free-lancing at a time the Obama administration and congressional leaders are struggling to negotiate a compromise that cuts future deficits and clears the way for an increase in the nation's $14.3 trillion debt.

Without a debt limit increase by Aug. 2, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned, the government could default, risking calamity for the U.S. economy and serious effects worldwide.

Republicans walked out of bipartisan talks last week but nevertheless said negotiations had been fruitful. In the days since, Obama has stepped up his personal involvement in the effort.

After meeting separately with the Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday, he invited the Democratic leadership to a White House meeting on Wednesday.

In the earlier talks, led by Vice President Joe Biden, key lawmakers had outlined a series of proposals to cut several hundred billion dollars over the next decade.

Other proposed cuts were on the table, including nearly $1 trillion from the assumed end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officials familiar with the negotiations say Republicans are reluctant to count that money toward any agreement, saying they want more tangible cuts in domestic programs before agreeing to vote for an increased debt limit.

Also in the way of an agreement is a partisan dispute over taxes, which Republicans don't want raised, and Medicare benefits, which Democrats don't want cut.

Lieberman and Coburn were not nearly as reluctant, including both in their prescription for Medicare.

"Nobody's going to like this plan, we understand that," said Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000 but is now an independent who regularly picks spots to challenge his former party.

His statement that Medicare can't be saved in its current form seemed a direct rebuttal to Obama, who said earlier this year that a House Republican proposal would "end Medicare as we know it" - something he vowed would not happen while he was in the White House.

Coburn is a conservative Republican. But he challenged his party orthodoxy earlier this year when he said he was willing to include higher revenues as part of any deficit-reduction deal.

The plan the two men outlined includes a gradual increase over the next five years in the monthly premium that seniors pay for doctor and other non-hospital services. Aides said it would translate into a monthly increase of $15 to $20 initially.

The age of eligibility would rise gradually from 65 to 67.

For the first time, better-off seniors would be charged more money for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital care.

The same group already pays more for doctor visits as well as for prescription drug coverage and, under the plan, would face even higher monthly premiums.

A major source of savings would come from making sure seniors pay out of pocket for at least a portion of their care. To accomplish that, Lieberman and Coburn proposed barring insurance companies from selling Medigap policies that offer first-dollar coverage.

The plan by Lieberman and Coburn would preserve Medicare as a government program, unlike a House GOP proposal that would require millions of future beneficiaries to purchase coverage from private insurance companies.

Additionally, the plan includes a $7,500 limit on out-of-pocket costs for doctor or hospital coverage, a provision designed to protect seniors who face potentially catastrophic costs.

According to the most recent report by the Medicare trustees, the giant program's insurance fund is projected to run out of money in 2024, five years earlier than last year's estimate.

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Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this story.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast