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NORTHWEST NEWS

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan Directs Development Funding to Complete Next Phase of Gateway Green Project

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is beginning a new phase of accessibility and park improvements to Gateway Green, the...

Application Opens for Preschool for All 2024-25 School Year

Multnomah County children who will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024 are eligible to apply now for free preschool...

PCC and LAIKA Partner to Foster Diversity in Animation

LAIKA is contributing ,000 to support student scholarships and a new animation and graphics degree. ...

Mt. Hood Community College Hosts Spring Career Fair Featuring Top Portland Employers

The event will be held April 24 at Mt. Hood Community College. ...

Can homeless people be fined for sleeping outside? A rural Oregon city asks the US Supreme Court

GRANTS PASS, Oregon (AP) — A pickleball game in this leafy Oregon community was suddenly interrupted one rainy weekend morning by the arrival of an ambulance. Paramedics rushed through the park toward a tent, one of dozens illegally erected by the town's hundreds of homeless people, then play...

Authorities say 4 people are dead after a train collided with a pickup in rural Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Four people are dead after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a train in rural Idaho Saturday, authorities said. Idaho State Police said the pickup was carrying a 38-year-old man, 36-year-old woman and two children, who were all from Nampa. The...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

A Full Court Press to Get the Lead Out

With a “goal of identifying and remediating lead hazards in at least 2,800 Lancaster County homes,” LG Health is setting an example for the private sector. And the Biden-Harris administration’s focus on environmental justice and access to clean and safe...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Gene Herrick, AP photographer who covered the Korean War and civil rights, dies at 97

RICH CREEK, Va. (AP) — Gene Herrick, a retired Associated Press photographer who covered the Korean War and is known for his iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the trial of the killers of Emmett Till in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, died Friday. He was 97. ...

A Pittsburgh congressional race could test Democrats who have criticized Israel's handling of war

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An election this month in Pittsburgh and some of its suburbs is emerging as an early test of whether Israel’s war with Hamas poses political threats to progressive Democrats in Congress who have criticized how the conflict has been handled. U.S. Rep. Summer...

AI-generated fashion models could bring more diversity to the industry - or leave it with less

CHICAGO (AP) — London-based model Alexsandrah has a twin, but not in the way you’d expect: Her counterpart is made of pixels instead of flesh and blood. The virtual twin was generated by artificial intelligence and has already appeared as a stand-in for the real-life Alexsandrah...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Jen Silverman’s gripping second novel explores the long afterlife of political violence

Earlier this year a former member of the far-left Baader-Meinhof gang who spent decades in hiding was arrested by German police in connection with a string of crimes. It was just another example of the long afterlife of the anti-war movement of the late 1960s, which Jen Silverman explores in a...

What to stream this week: Billy Joel sings, Dora explores and 'Food, Inc. 2' chows down

A Billy Joel concert special celebrating his residency at Madison Square Garden and Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal playing cowboys and former lovers in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Strange Way of Life” are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Movie Review: ‘Food, Inc. 2’ revisits food system, sees reason for frustration and (a little) hope

The makers of the influential 2008 documentary “Food, Inc.” never planned to make a sequel. They figured they’d said it all in their harrowing look at a broken, unsustainable food system — a system led, they argued, by a few multinational corporations whose monopoly squeezes out local...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The shadow war between Iran and Israel has been exposed. What happens next?

BEIRUT (AP) — Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel early Sunday marked a change in approach for Tehran, which...

World paid little attention to Sudan's war for a year. Now aid groups warn of mass death from hunger

CAIRO (AP) — On a clear night a year ago, a dozen heavily armed fighters broke into Omaima Farouq’s house in...

AI-generated fashion models could bring more diversity to the industry - or leave it with less

CHICAGO (AP) — London-based model Alexsandrah has a twin, but not in the way you’d expect: Her counterpart is...

West Bank sees biggest settler rampage since war in Gaza began as Israeli teen's body is found

Al-MUGHAYYIR, West Bank (AP) — Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank went on the largest rampage against...

The Latest | Israel says 99% of drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted

Israel on Sunday praised the success of its defenses in the face of an attack by Iran involving hundreds of...

US judge tosses out lawsuits against Libyan commander accused of war crimes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A U.S. judge has tossed out a series of civil lawsuits against a Libyan military...

 Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins calls to his team
Jim Litke, AP Sports Writer

In this Dec. 18, 2012, file photo, Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins calls to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North CarolinaState in Raleigh, N.C. If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing -- instead of coaching -- against each other, there's no doubt which one you'd pick. The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night March 21, 2014, 28 years after they faced off as players. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Welcome to BracketRacket.

Think of it as one-stop shopping on game days for all your NCAA tournament needs. We'll have interviews with celebrity alums drawn from sports, entertainment and politics, plus occasional "bracket-buster" picks, photos, news, gossip, stats, notes and quotes from around the tourney sites — all of it bundled into a quick read that gives diehard fans and office-poolers alike something to sound smart about.

So without further ado:

TAKE THIS JOB ... AND DUNK IT

The business of America is business, and the NCAA tournament is bad for business; ergo, the NCAA tournament is bad for America.

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas proved it by wasting a few hours again this year calculating how much U.S. employers could lose while employees (like this one, via wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/1fYuFac ) obsess over the tournament. In an annual report, the company set the figure at $1.2 billion for every unproductive hour.

"You have employees talking about which teams made or didn't make the tournament. You have other workers setting up and managing office pools. Of course, there are the office pool participants," Challenger's statement cautioned, "some of whom might take five minutes to fill out a bracket, while others spend several hours researching teams, analyzing statistics and completing multiple brackets."

Never mind that the math behind the estimate is fuzzy, or that both academic researchers and corporate managers who looked at the problem concluded the real numbers were considerably lower, mostly because employees tend to make up for lost time by working outside traditional hours.

So what should an employer do?

"Despite all of the scary numbers, Challenger suggests that employers not try to clamp down on March Madness," the statement added. "Initiatives to block access to sports sites and live streaming in order to boost productivity in the short term, could result in long-term damage to employee morale, loyalty and engagement."

Is this a great country or what?

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CELEBRITY ALUM

Think the folks in Congress have trouble making up their minds now? Just wait. Nothing gets politicians procrastinatin' and prevaricatin' like the NCAA tournament.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia dispatched at least one representative into the 68-team field that began play Tuesday night. California topped the list with five, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas boasted four each, six others had three and Indiana — a.k.a, the "heartland of hoops" — had zero.

Generally speaking, elected officials from states with more than one entrant fear voters so much they'd rather talk about raising taxes than which school they're backing. They make picking between them sound like "Sophie's Choice."

That made Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow thumbing her nose at the maize-and-blue recently seem refreshing.

"Oh, MichiganState! MichiganState," she gushed during a groundbreaking ceremony at the university Monday.

"I have to tell you, after yesterday," Stabenow added, referring to the Spartans' win over state rival Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, "we are back. We've got the full team going, Coach (Tom) Izzo is primed and ready and I think we'll take it all."

Just to rub it in, she unveiled the little rhinestone number — courtesy of MSU Today alumni magazine — pictured here: http://bit.ly/1eiqiFK

Stabenow received both her undergraduate and graduate (magna cum laude) degrees from MichiganState, so while she might need those Democratic votes over in Ann Arbor someday, it won't be until 2018 at the earliest.

Even then, Stabenow barely cracks the "how-to-alienate-alumni" list. Since-retired North Carolina Sen. (and UNC alum) Brad Miller locked up the top spot in 2012 when he told BracketRacket: "I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I'd have to pull for the Taliban."

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DON'T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?

Speaking of "Sophie's Choice," a Pennsylvania high school coaching legend named John Miller could be facing one come early April.

That's when Miller's sons — Sean, who coaches No. 1 West seed Arizona; and younger brother Archie, who coaches No. 11th South seed Dayton — could meet in the Final Four. It's a longshot, sure, especially since the Flyers only got off the bubble and into the bracket after winning nine of their last 10 games.

Then again, what were the odds that brothers from a tiny town in western Pennsylvania would wind up coaching in the same tournament? (Short answer: Who knows? The BeaverCounty (Pa.) Times said it was believed to be the first time that's happened, but added such record-keeping at the NCAA was "sketchy.")

"Sean, you kind of always figured he was going to be a coach. Archie always said he wasn't going to coach," John Miller, who won four state titles and more than 650 games before retiring from Blackhawk High in BeaverFalls, told the newspaper. "It was only three or four days after graduation, though, when we talked. He said, 'All my contacts are in basketball, maybe I should try coaching.'"

After a number of stints as an assistant elsewhere, Archie's best contact (and brother) came through with a two-year deal at Arizona.

"No question, being part of the tournament is going to be great for him," Sean said.

John will be on hand Thursday in Buffalo, when Archie makes his NCAA tournament debut against OhioState and coach Thad Matta, whom both Millers served under as assistants. But he'll have to settle for watching Arizona's opener Friday against WeberState in San Diego on TV. And even if both boys somehow get their teams to Arlington, Texas, on the tourney's final weekend, John, who still coaches a youth team now and then, isn't making any promises.

"This March Madness," he fumed, "is getting in the way of basketball."

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DON'T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE (Part 2)?

If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing — instead of coaching — against each other, there's no doubt which one you'd pick.

The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night, 28 years after they faced off as players. But it looks like Neal has the upper hand now. His No. 7 New Mexico squad will be a slight favorite over Dawkins' No. 10 Stanford when they meet in St. Louis.

The last time they did — competitively speaking — was the 1986 ACC tournament title game. Neal, who kicked around basketball's minor leagues for seven seasons, played for Georgia Tech in that one. Dawkins, who was in his senior year at Duke, went on to win the game and become the ACC tourney MVP in 1986, as well as Duke's career scoring leader until 2006.

Small wonder the Cardinal coach was happy to reminisce with AP's Janie McCauley.

"He was younger than I was, so it was a little different," Dawkins recalled. "We played in a great game. ... It was an amazing environment."

After a nine-year NBA career, the coaching racket hasn't gone quite as smoothly. Stanford finally made the tourney in Dawkins' sixth season there, amid talk that his job depended on it.

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STAT OF THE DAY

From 2005 through 2009, a No. 1 seed was like an invitation to the Sweet 16. During that stretch all 20 top seeds got there. More recently, though, the big dogs haven't been quite as lucky, according to research by STATS. One No. 1 has been eliminated in the first weekend three of the last four years. The mighty who fell: Kansas in 2010 (to Northern Iowa), Pittsburgh in 2011 (to Butler) and Gonzaga in 2013 (to WichitaState).

But if it's any consolation, Butler and WichitaState wound up riding those upsets all the way to the Final Four.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"She'll probably be in tears, so that will be good." — Peter Hooley, one of four Australians who play for the University of Albany, about how his mother and 20 other family members who got up at 3 a.m. to watch the game back home would react to the Great Danes' win over Mount St. Mary's.

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TUESDAY'S RESULTS

At Dayton, Ohio

First Four

Albany (N.Y.) 71, Mount St. Mary's 64

N.C.State 74, Xavier 59

WEDNESDAY'S GAMES

Cal Poly (13-19) vs. Texas Southern (19-14), 6:40 p.m.

Iowa (20-12) vs. Tennessee (21-12), 30 minutes following

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast