02-05-2023  3:26 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Oregon brothers cut food waste and created the tater tot

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — When brothers Golden and Francis Nephi “Neef” Grigg began renting a frozen foods plant in the tiny Idaho border town of Ontario, Oregon, in 1949, they were hoping to expand their existing frozen corn business to include potatoes. Little did they know they’d taken the...

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

Bradley defeats Northern Iowa 77-69

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Malevy Leons scored 19 points as Bradley beat Northern Iowa 77-69 on Saturday night. Leons was 5-of-8 shooting, including 4 for 6 from distance, and went 5 for 8 from the line for the Braves (17-8, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Rienk Mast went 8 of 12...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jessy Wilson on 'Keep Rising' anthem and the hope it brings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson was ready to give up her musical dream when a film about female African warriors showed her the power of perseverance. Wilson’s Grammy -nominated song “Keep Rising,” was picked by director Gina Prince-Bythewood to be...

Bryan Adams, crafting albums amid Grammy Award nomination

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Adams may have nabbed his first Grammy nomination in over two decades, but he won't be at the ceremony. He's got a gig that night. The Canadian rock star had committed to a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday and he didn't want to disappoint his fans or his crew by...

Review: Stafford-Jutz album brings to life forgotten voices

“Lost Voices,” Tim Stafford & Thomm Jutz (Mountain Fever) “Lost Voices” features new songs written in the past tense, and serves as an engaging soundtrack to neglected chapters in American history. The album comes from the formidable singer-storyteller team...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who'll win on Sunday

The Beyhive is all abuzz over the possibility that Beyoncé will have a chance to make Grammy history this year,...

Biden makes progress on 'unity agenda' outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top...

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters...

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation,...

Israeli army besieges homes of fugitives in West Bank raid

AQABAT JABR REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli army raided a refugee camp near the Palestinian city of...

Bolsonaro ponders election defeat, as crowd chants ‘fraud’

MIAMI (AP) — Only a few weeks after his supporters stormed the seat of his country's government, former...

Martiga Lohn Associated Press

Gov. Mark Dayton

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- In an echo of the debate unfolding in Washington, Minnesota hurtled toward a midnight government shutdown Thursday in a dispute over taxes and spending that could force thousands of layoffs, bring road projects to a standstill and close state parks just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

As the deadline drew ever closer without a resolution, people rushed to get driver's and fishing licenses, and park officials began warning campers to pack their gear and leave.

Though nearly all states are having severe budget problems this year, Minnesota stood alone on the brink of a shutdown, thanks to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's determination to raise taxes on high-earners to close a $5 billion deficit and the Republican Legislature's refusal to go along.

Negotiations between Dayton and legislative leaders were fitful, starting and stopping with no outward signs of progress, and details were scant, since the two sides agreed to what they jokingly called "the cone of silence."

Late Thursday afternoon, GOP leaders again demanded the governor avert a shutdown by calling a special session to enact a "lights on" budget bill that would keep the state running while talks continued. Top Democrats said Dayton would not take such a step.

Republican Sen. Michelle Benson said she wasn't budging, either.

"If we don't start taking a different approach to how we manage our government, we're going to swing from one bad economic circumstance to another," Benson said. "We can't just keep throwing more money at government and hoping that makes things better."

The showdown was something of a small-stage version of the drama taking shape in Washington between President Barack Obama and the Republicans over taxes and the nation's debt ceiling.

Though many states are having budget difficulties this year, those where political power is concentrated in a single party easily passed budgets. Some of those with divided government had healthy reserves, including Alaska, Iowa and Montana; Minnesota's rainy-day accounts are drained. Others such as Louisiana and Nevada used one-time money or federal dollars to patch things together. Nevada and Missouri renewed taxes.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie used the line-item veto Thursday to pare a budget from the Democratic-controlled Legislature before signing it into law, preventing a shutdown.

Only four other states - Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee - have had shutdowns in the past decade, some lasting mere hours.

A stoppage in Minnesota would halt non-emergency road construction, shut the state zoo and Capitol, and stop child-care assistance for the poor. More than 40 state boards and agencies would go dark. Critical services, including the State Patrol, prisons, disaster response and federally funded health, welfare and food stamp programs, would not be affected.

State park officials told campers to strike their tents well before the deadline, even though there was still a chance of a deal. They said it would be too difficult to herd campers out in the middle of the night if talks failed.

In Afton State Park, near St. Paul, Rick Miller of Elko-New Market pushed up a camping trip with his 7-year-old son, Jack, to beat the shutdown. Miller originally hoped they could spend Thursday and Friday nights in the park on the picturesque St. Croix River, but he booked a campsite for Wednesday night.

"With the shutdown we decided we better come and get it in," he said. "We don't know how long it will be before we can get back into a state park." He added: "It's too bad they can't just get the job done."

A small group of protesters paraded before reporters clustered outside Dayton's office on Thursday afternoon, chanting and waving signs to support the governor's position. "You say cut back, we say fight back!" they yelled. One woman carried a handmade sign that read: "GOV DAYTON DON'T BACK DOWN!"

Dayton is Minnesota's first Democratic governor in 20 years, and Republicans are running the entire Legislature for the first time in 38 years.

The governor has proposed raising taxes on couples earning more than $300,000 and individuals making more than $180,000. Republicans have opposed any new taxes or new revenue sources, arguing instead that the state should rely on spending cuts, including deeper reductions in health and welfare spending than Dayton is willing to accept.

Some GOP moderates have talked of breaking the impasse with other means of raising revenue, such as eliminating tax breaks or authorizing a casino. Dayton has said he is open to such ideas.

Rank-and-file Republicans gathered at the Capitol on Thursday, more than a month after their regular session ended. Members of the large Republican freshman class, whose election victories in November helped the party take control of the Legislature for the first time in decades, held tight to their message that a total two-year state budget of $34 billion is big enough.

"I personally think the Republicans will probably be more damaged than the governor" by a shutdown, said freshman Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls, who toppled an incumbent Democrat in November. "The fact is that we're all up for re-election again next year, and he's not up for three years."

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Associated Press reporters Amy Forliti and Patrick Condon contributed to this report. Forliti reported from Afton, Minn.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.