02-07-2023  12:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Arrest Made in Stolen Yacht Rescue, 'Goonies' Fish Incident

Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs Partner to Support Veterans Through the Arts

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The Black Business Association of Oregon Hires its First Communications Director

Previously, Sommer Martin was director of downtown marketing for the Portland Business Alliance ...

Allen Temple C.M.E. Church Announces Annual Unsung Heroes & Heroines Award Luncheon

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Bonamici Invites Portland Community College President to 2023 State of the Union

PCC recently received 0K to advance semiconductor, advanced manufacturing training ...

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...

1 missing, 2 rescued from crab boat off Washington coast

RAYMOND, Wash. (AP) — A crew member remains missing and two others were rescued from crab boat that sank near Willapa Bay in southwest Washington on Sunday evening, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard on Twitter posted a video and said a helicopter crew from Astoria,...

Proposed bill would pay incarcerated workers minimum wage

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state lawmaker who has spent time in prison wants the state to pay incarcerated workers minimum wage for doing their jobs. State Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, is sponsoring House Bill 1024, called the “Real Labor, Real Wages Act,” to raise...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

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...

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

How Candid hopes diversity data will help aid racial equity

Candid, the major philanthropy research group, is leading a coalition of funders and grantees that want to standardize the collection of demographic information to help enable donations to minority-led groups. Harnessing such data could help advance racial equity, said Candid's CEO,...

What to Watch: New political vibes this State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — Look for new faces and fresh political dynamics as President Joe Biden delivers this year's State of the Union address, coupled with attention to some old problems brought back into painful focus by recent events. The president on Tuesday night will stand before a...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to offer State of the Union rebuttal

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, once a White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, is set to return to the national stage when she delivers the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Sanders, 40, is giving the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Newspapers dying? Ralph Nader's giving birth to one

NEW YORK (AP) — At age 88, Ralph Nader believes his neighbors in northwest Connecticut are tired of electronics and miss the feel of holding a newspaper to read about their town. So at a time that local newspapers are dying at an alarming rate, the longtime activist is helping give...

Choosing safe Valentine's flowers, plants for pet parents

If you're sending your sweetheart cut flowers or a potted plant for Valentine's Day, choose ones that are safe for their pets. One lick of a pollen-covered lily stamen can be life-threatening to cats, as my daughter Julia learned when her cat, Nyah, found her way to a beautiful and...

Beyoncé emerges as Grammys queen; Styles wins album honor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beyoncé sits alone atop the Grammy throne as the ceremony's most decorated artist in history, but at the end of Sunday's show it was Harry Styles who walked away with the album of the year honor. The Grammys spread its top awards among other artists, leaving...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Google hopes 'Bard' will outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI

Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with “Bard," a conversational...

At last: Streisand memoir 'My Name is Barbra' coming Nov. 7

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbra Streisand's very long and very long-awaited memoir, a project she has talked about for...

Gallup: Just 2 in 10 U.S. employees have work `best friend'

NEW YORK (AP) — Crystal Powers began a new job remotely in February 2022 as a medical records supervisor. She...

Russia pledges military support to Mali during Lavrov visit

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pledged military support to Mali during his first...

Dog owners tout Xolos' loyalty and sacred underworld history

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mezcal is not your ordinary pet. Hundreds of years ago the Latin American Indigenous group,...

A glance at the world's deadliest quakes in past 25 years

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing thousands of people in the two countries....

Kristen Gelineau and Tertius Pickard the Associated Press

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Greg Kowald was driving through the center of Toowoomba when a terrifying, tsunami-like wall of water roared through the streets of the northeast Australian city.

Office windows exploded, cars careened into trees and bobbed in the churning brown water like corks. The deluge washed away bridges and sidewalks; people desperately clung to power poles to survive. Before it was over, the flash flood left at least 10 dead and 78 missing.

"The water was literally leaping, six or 10 feet into the air, through creeks and over bridges and into parks," Kowald, a 53-year-old musician, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "There was nowhere to escape, even if there had been warnings. There was just a sea of water about a kilometer (half a mile) wide."

The violent surge in Toowoomba brought the overall death toll from weeks of flooding in Queensland state to 20, a sudden acceleration in a crisis that had been unfolding gradually with swollen rivers overflowing their banks and inundating towns while moving toward the ocean. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said there were "grave fears" for at least 18 of those missing.

The high waters headed next to Australia's third-largest city, Brisbane, where up to 9,000 homes were expected to be swamped. The Brisbane River overflowed its banks Tuesday and officials warned that dozens of low-lying neighborhoods and parts of downtown could be inundated in coming days.

But nothing downstream was expected to be as fierce as the flash flood that struck Toowoomba on Monday. It was sparked by a freak storm - up to 6 inches (150 millimeters) fell in half an hour.

"There was water coming down everywhere in biblical proportions," Toowoomba council member Joe Ramia told the AP.

Ramia, 63, was driving downtown when the flash flood struck. He parked his car and dashed on foot for higher ground, keeping an eye on the carnage unfolding below: Cars transformed into scrap metal as they were flung into an elevated railway line, giant metal industrial bins tossed about as if made of paper, a man clinging desperately to a power pole as the relentless tide surged around him.

Ramia watched as a rescue official pushed through the churning water and yanked the man to safety. Others, including five children, were not as lucky, and were swept to their deaths.

"You were powerless to do a thing," said Ramia, a lifelong resident of Toowoomba. "While we can rebuild, you can't replace people. ... I've never seen anything like this."

The raging water was strong enough to rip houses off their foundations. Leroy Shephard, who lives in the town of Grantham, east of Toowoomba, was inside his home when the flood struck.

"You could feel the whole house just pop up off its stumps, turn around, and go - for a 100 meters (330 feet) or something down my backyard," Shephard told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

He and his family spent five hours on the house's roof waiting for the waters to drop.

"It's not a good feeling having the floorboards under your feet just ripple, the whole house just ripple and crack, and watching rooms just disappear," he said.

Emergency services officers plucked more than 40 people from houses isolated overnight by the torrent that hit the Lockyer Valley, and thousands were being evacuated. In one small community in the path of the floodwaters, Forest Hill, the entire population of about 300 was being airlifted to safety in military helicopters, Bligh said.

Search and rescue efforts were hampered by more driving rain, though the bad weather was easing and Bligh said the search would get easier Wednesday.

Brisbane Mayor Campbell Newman said authorities were preparing for flooding affecting about 15,000 people in 80 suburbs.

The city is protected by a large dam built upstream after floods devastated downtown in 1974. But the reservoir was full, and officials had no choice but to release water that would cause low-level flooding in the city, Newman said. The alternative was a much worse torrent.

Steph Stewardson, a Brisbane graphic designer, said there was an exodus in a downtown area around lunchtime Tuesday when the river that goes through the city broke its banks. Stewardson, 40, hopped in her car and crossed the swollen river to collect her dog Boo from daycare while waters started covering the boardwalk stretching along its banks.

Stewardson took shelter in her house, and plans to stay there - for now.

"I'm about 800 meters (half a mile) from the river on a hill, so I think it's going to be OK," she told the AP.

Queensland has been in the grip of its worst flooding for more than two weeks, after tropical downpours covered an area the size of France and Germany combined. Entire towns have been swamped, more than 200,000 people affected, and the coal industry and farming have virtually shut down.

"The power of nature can still be a truly frightening power and we've seen that on display in this country," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson described the events Monday as "an inland instant tsunami."

Forecasters said more flash floods could occur through the week.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said rescue efforts were concentrated on towns between Toowoomba and Brisbane, including hardest-hit Murphy's Creek and Grantham, where about 30 people sought shelter in a school isolated by the floodwaters.

The floods reached a second state Tuesday, with about 4,500 people stranded by high waters in bordering New South Wales, officials said, though the situation was not yet as dire as in Queensland.

Bligh said last week the cost of the floods could be as high as $5 billion, the latest figure available.

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Gelineau reported from Sydney. Tanalee Smith contributed to this report from Adelaide, Australia.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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