07-24-2024  3:41 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Wildfires Threaten Communities in the West as Oregon Fire Closes Interstate, Creates Its Own Weather

Firefighters in the West are scrambling as wildfires threaten communities in Oregon, California and Washington. A stretch of Interstate 84 connecting Oregon and Idaho in the area of one of the fires was closed indefinitely Tuesday. New lightning-sparked wildfires in the Sierra near the California-Nevada border forced the evacuation of a recreation area, closed a state highway and were threatening structures Tuesday.

In Washington State, Inslee's Final Months Aimed at Staving off Repeal of Landmark Climate Law

Voters in Washington state will decide this fall whether to keep one of the country's more aggressive laws aimed at stemming carbon pollution. The repeal vote imperils the most significant climate policy passed during outgoing Gov. Jay Inslee's three terms, and Inslee — who made climate action a centerpiece of his short-lived presidential campaign in the 2020 cycle — is fighting hard against it. 

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Dr. Vinson Eugene Allen and Dusk to Dawn Urgent Care Make a Historical Mark as the First African American Owned Chain of Urgent Care Facilities in the United States

Dusk to Dawn Urgent Care validated as the First African American Owned Urgent Care in the nation with chain locations ...

Washington State Black Legislators Endorse Kamala Harris for President

Members of the Washington State Legislative Black Caucus (LBC) are proud to announce their enthusiastic endorsement of Vice President...

Oregon Housing and Community Services Awarded More Than $11 Million to Increase Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing

Part of a nearly 0 million Climate Pollution Reduction Grant awarded to Oregon ...

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 ...

Wildfire smoke chokes parts of Canada and western U.S., with some areas under air quality alerts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fires burning in California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington and other western states, as well as Canada, have filled the skies in regions of the western U.S. with smoke and haze, forcing some affected areas to declare air quality alerts or advisories. As of...

Oregon fire is the largest burning in the US. Officials warn an impending storm could exacerbate it

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A wildfire burning in Oregon that's kicking smoke into neighboring states is now the largest active blaze in the U.S., authorities said, and fire crews are bracing for a storm late Wednesday that's expected to bring lightning, strong winds and the risk of flash floods. ...

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 reversal, Georgia now says districts can use state funding to teach AP Black studies classes

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia state Superintendent Richard Woods said Wednesday that the state will pay for districts to teach a new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies, a day after he said districts could only teach the course using local funds. In the face of blossoming...

Harris asks for 2024 support from women of color during an address at a historically Black sorority

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris told members of the historically Black sorority Zeta Phi Beta on Wednesday that “we are not playing around” and asked for their help in electing her president in November. “In this moment, I believe we face a choice between two...

Judge's order shields Catholic Charities from deposition as Texas investigates border aid groups

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A judge on Wednesday rejected Texas' attempts to compel a deposition from one of the largest migrant shelters on the U.S.-Mexico border, dealing a new legal setback to a widening Republican-led investigation into migrant aid groups. The ruling by state...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: East Texas P.I. turns vigilante in funny and savage 'Sugar on the Bones'

Minnie Polson was in some sort of trouble, so a friend recommended the private eye firm of Hap Collins, his wife Brett, and their pal Leonard Pine. But when they meet, Minnie doesn’t like their attitude, and they don’t like hers. Hours after they agree to part company, Minnie’s...

Book Review: The Knights of Camelot search for a new king in Lev Grossman’s 'The Bright Sword'

A rudderless nation, lost in uncertainty, searches for its next commander in chief. There’s an uneasy sense that the country’s glory days have passed, and that a monumental turn in history is coming — for good or for ill. How do you find a leader to unite such a fractured, polarized land? ...

Music Review: Glass Animals weave heartstring-tugging vignettes on new album

Love songs have existed for millennia but leave it to Glass Animals to give them a refreshing spin, where love isn't always a honeymoon phase or heartbreak — it's much, much more. The British indie-pop band, known for hits like 2014's “Gooey” or 2020's viral “Heat Waves," has...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Can you guess Olympians' warmup songs? World's top athletes share their favorite tunes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Curious about which songs are fueling the Olympians competing in Paris starting this month?...

Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders are warning party members against using overtly racist and sexist attacks...

Surprise Yellowstone geyser eruption highlights little known hazard at popular park

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A surprise eruption of steam in a Yellowstone National Park geyser basin that sent people...

Farmers in Africa say their soil is dying and chemical fertilizers are in part to blame

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — When Benson Wanjala started farming in his western Kenya village two and a half decades...

Trash dropped by a North Korean balloon falls on South Korea’s presidential compound

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Trash carried by at least one North Korean balloon fell on the South Korean...

Israel-Hamas war latest: Netanyahu addresses Congress and vows to achieve 'total victory'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress in Washington on Wednesday as he sought to bolster...

Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States added 103,000 jobs in September, an improvement over this summer and just enough to calm fears of a new recession that have hung over Wall Street and the nation for weeks.

The Labor Department also said Friday that the nation added more jobs than first estimated in July and August. The government's first reading had said the economy added zero jobs in August.

The unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent.

While the report was clearly better than feared, it also showed the economy is not gaining much momentum, said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.

"It moves you away from the ledge," he said.

The report sent the stock market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average was up about 35 points at midday. In the bond market, yields rose, another sign that investors welcomed the news.

The unemployment report, one of the most closely watched economic indicators, showed that there are two ways of looking at the economy. On one hand, the news was encouraging for economists. Some of them had feared the nation would lose jobs, raising the risk of a devastating second recession.

But everyday Americans can't take much solace from that. Unemployment has been stuck at around 9 percent for more than two years. The economy has to add roughly 125,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth, more to bring down unemployment.

And it's discouraging news for President Barack Obama. The White House has acknowledged that unemployment will likely average 9 percent in 2012. That would be the highest rate any president has faced when seeking reelection since World War II.

Obama, adopting a combative tone as he prepares for next year's re-election campaign, has challenged Congress to get behind his $447 billion jobs bill or risk being run out of Washington.

The Obama plan aims to jolt the economy but cutting taxes and increasing spending on schools, roads and other public projects. He has proposed paying for it in part by raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Obama's Republican rivals are trying to persuade voters that he is to blame for high unemployment and the sluggish economy. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told Fox News Channel on Friday that Obama is criticizing Congress simply because he is "looking for someone to blame."

The report included some signs that business activity is increasing. The temporary help industry added almost 20,000 jobs, and the length of the average workweek increased slightly. Wages also rose a bit.

More hiring and better pay could add up to more consumer spending. That accounts for 70 percent of the economy. When people spend more money, it generates demand for businesses, which hire more workers.

The private sector added 137,000 jobs, up from August but below July's revised total. The economy lost 34,000 government jobs. Local governments in particular cut teachers and other school employees.

Among the industries that added jobs in September were construction, retail, temporary help services and health care. Manufacturing cut jobs for a second straight month.

The economy returned in September to something closer to the job growth of earlier this year. In February, March and April, the nation added an average of more than 200,000 jobs a month.

But then manufacturing slowed, consumer confidence crashed, and Washington was caught in gridlock - first over whether to raise the nation's borrowing limit and then on how best to get the economy going.

Meanwhile, hiring slowed dramatically. The economy added only 53,000 jobs in May and 20,000 in June. The figures out Friday showed hiring improved in July, slowed slightly in August, and improved again in September.

Still, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress earlier this week that the economic recovery was "close to faltering," with slow job growth dragging down consumer confidence.

Bernanke, speaking in unusually blunt terms, said he could not blame Americans for being frustrated at the financial industry "for getting us into this mess" and at Washington for not coming up with a strong response.

August's figures were revised up to show a gain of 57,000 jobs, up from a previous estimate of zero. July was revised up to 127,000 jobs, from 85,000.

September's job gains are weaker than they appear. Nearly half came from the rehiring of 45,000 Verizon employees who had been on strike.

And more Americans are working part time even though they would prefer full-time work. That total has increased nearly 900,000 in just the past two months, which suggests that many recently created jobs have only been part time.

When part time workers are added to those without jobs who are discouraged and have given up looking, the so-called "underemployment" rate rose to 16.5 percent from 16.2 percent. That's the highest level since December.

The faltering economy has led many employers to reduce hiring. In the first half of this year, the economy grew at the slowest pace since the recession ended in June 2009. Since then, Europe's debt crisis and stock market declines have heightened fears that the economy will struggle to grow enough to avoid a recession.

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