07-24-2024  2:01 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 ...

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. ...

Wildfires threaten communities in the West as Oregon fire closes interstate, creates its own weather

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Firefighters in the West are scrambling as wildfires threaten communities in Oregon, California and Washington, with at least one Oregon fire so large that it is creating its own weather. Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon was closed in both directions Tuesday...

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

Body camera video focused national attention on an Illinois deputy's fatal shooting of Sonya Massey

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A riveted nation watched video released this week of a sheriff's deputy fatally shooting Sonya Massey, a 36-year-old Black woman who called 911 for assistance, in her Illinois home. Sean Grayson, 14 months into his career as a deputy sheriff for Sangamon...

Puerto Rico bans discrimination against those who wear Afros and other hairstyles on diverse island

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor on Wednesday signed a law that prohibits discrimination against people wearing Afros, curls, locs, twists, braids and other hairstyles in the racially diverse U.S. territory. The move was celebrated by those who had long demanded...

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...

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

NASA telescope spots a super Jupiter that takes more than a century to go around its star

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A super Jupiter has been spotted around a neighboring star by the Webb Space...

Plane crashes just after takeoff from Nepal's capital, killing 18 people. Pilot is lone survivor

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A plane crashed Wednesday just after taking off from Nepal’s capital, killing 18...

This is one of the oldest games in North America. You've likely never heard of it

CHOCTAW, Miss. (AP) — As the drummers walk onto the field, the players behind them smack their hickory sticks to...

Turkey plans to regulate a large stray dog population, raising some fears about mass killings

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish bill aimed at regulating the country's millions of stray dogs moved closer to...

Meta takes down thousands of Facebook, Instagram accounts running sextortion scams from Nigeria

Meta said Wednesday that it has taken down about 63,000 Instagram accounts in Nigeria running sexual extortion...

Puerto Rico bans discrimination against those who wear Afros and other hairstyles on diverse island

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor on Wednesday signed a law that prohibits discrimination...

Les Christie

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- While housing markets across the country are recovering from the deepest throes of the foreclosure crisis, others are just stumbling into it -- and they aren't exactly the places you'd expect.

States like Maryland, Oregon and New Jersey, which maintained relatively stable markets after the housing bubble popped, saw new foreclosure filings climb by double- and triple-digit percentages in July, according to RealtyTrac.

In Maryland, for example, new foreclosure filings skyrocketed 275 percent compared with a year earlier. When it came to overall foreclosure activity, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, the state had the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation, after default-riddled Florida.

Oregon saw new foreclosure filings surge 137 percent and New Jersey's foreclosure starts spiked 89 percent year-over-year.

So what gives? In many of these cases, early government intervention aimed at helping these markets is now coming back to haunt them, says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac's spokesman.

"Foreclosures are continuing to boil over in a select group of markets where state legislation and court rulings kept a lid on foreclosure activity during the worst of the housing crisis," he said.

Take the D.C. metro area, where the District of Columbia converges with the suburban counties of Virginia and Maryland. Foreclosure filings in both D.C. and the Virginia suburbs of Fairfax and Arlington are down significantly year-over-year, while in Maryland's nearby Frederick and Montgomery counties, the rate of new foreclosures is skyrocketing.

"That tells me that the difference has not much to do with the underlying fundamentals of the housing market but by the way the crisis was handled," said Blomquist.

After the housing bubble popped, Virginia's government didn't try to stop many of the defaulting loans from working their way through foreclosure process. While the hit was painful at first -- by the end of 2008, the state had the 10th highest foreclosure rate in the nation -- the market has gotten back on its feet more quickly.

Meanwhile in Maryland, an aggressive effort by the state to make sure all foreclosures were handled properly during the housing crisis saved a lot of people's homes but it also postponed a lot of inevitable foreclosures, according to Blomquist. Now the banks are catching up.

Another key difference: Maryland is a judicial state, meaning all foreclosures must be approved by the courts which inevitably slows the process. In Virginia, a non-judicial state, trustees arrange to repossess homes on their own.

Among some of the states that saw the largest spikes in foreclosures last month, New Jersey and Rhode Island are judicial states.

Oregon is classified as a non-judicial state, but that status changed for many mortgages in the wake of the robo-signing scandal, which revealed that banks were playing fast and loose with foreclosure paperwork. Oregon then insisted that foreclosures on mortgages that had gone into an electronic tracking system called the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), which the robo-signing abuses were centered around, had to be approved by a court.

Nationwide, RealtyTrac reported a 6 percent increase in new foreclosure notices in July. That helped push overall foreclosure filings 2 percent higher year-over-year.

But there were some bright spots: States like California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Georgia are seeing foreclosure filings that are nearing levels not seen since before the housing bust.

"The foreclosure boil-over markets are becoming fewer and farther between," said Blomquist.

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