01-29-2023  3:15 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

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. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

Jay Leno breaks bones in motorcycle wreck months after fire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two months after undergoing surgery for serious burns, Jay Leno is now contending with a number of broken bones after being knocked off a motorcycle. The comedian and former “Tonight Show” host told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thursday that he broke...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he is looking forward to discussing with President...

Baby girl found abandoned in Florida an hour after birth

MULBERRY, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities found a newborn girl wrapped in a blanket and still attached to a...

Ryan Reynolds goes through range of emotions in FA Cup match

Ryan Reynolds went from joy to despair, and punch-the-air ecstasy to desolation. The unlikely new...

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A mining corporation on Sunday apologized for losing a highly radioactive capsule over a...

Pope clarifies homosexuality and sin comments in note

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has clarified his recent comments about homosexuality and sin, saying he was merely...

‘He’s close to us’: Wheelchair users in Africa await pope

GOMA, Congo (AP) — When Pope Francis arrives in Congo and South Sudan next week, thousands of people will take...

Alan Fram the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he's confident that congressional Republicans are ready to move ahead with legislation that would continue a payroll tax cut.

"I feel confident in our ability to move ahead," the Ohio Republican told reporters after GOP leaders previewed legislation to extend the Social Security payroll tax cuts - and long-term unemployment benefits as well - in a meeting of the rank and file Thursday morning. He said the party would aim for a vote next week.

One official who attended the closed-door meeting said lawmakers responded particularly favorably to a provision that would assure construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

The measure has been in the drafting stage for more than a week, as Boehner and other leaders sought to coax lawmakers to support a payroll tax cut extension. Critics of that legislation have said they don't believe payroll tax relief helps create jobs.

In addition to extending the Social Security payroll tax cut and benefits for the long-term unemployed, the measure has been broadened to avert a threatened 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. All three items carry a Dec. 31 deadline for action.

The House measure varies on several points from legislation that Obama and congressional Democrats want, but the president seemed eager on Wednesday to draw a line at items he described as extraneous His veto threat was specifically linked to any requirement for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project that he recently put on hold until after the 2012 election.

"Efforts to tie a whole bunch of other issues to what's something that they should be doing anyway will be rejected by me," he said.

Obama did not say which other items he had in mind.

Republicans said they welcomed a fight over the pipeline, which they have described as shovel-ready and promising 20,000 new jobs at a time of high unemployment.

"We are working on a bill to stop a tax hike, protect Social Security, reform unemployment insurance and create jobs," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "If President Obama threatens to veto it over a provision that creates American jobs, that's a fight we're ready to have."

Obama would lower the 6.2 percent payroll tax that workers normally pay to 3.1 percent next year, part of his effort to breathe life into the country's ailing job market. He also wants to trim the payroll taxes that employers pay to give them an incentive to hire people.

The House bill would drop next year's payroll tax to 4.2 percent, the same as this year's level, with no tax breaks for companies. It would be financed by extending the current pay freeze on federal workers through 2015 and a host of smaller savings, including charging higher Medicare premiums to higher-earning seniors.

A 2 percentage point reduction in the payroll tax means a tax cut of $1,000 to an earner making $50,000 a year.

A similar battle is brewing in the Democratic-run Senate, where leaders plan a symbolic vote as early as Thursday that is designed for political purposes.

That Democratic-written bill would lower next year's payroll tax to 3.1 percent. It is financed chiefly by a 1.9 percent surtax on income over $1 million, a proposal that is almost universally opposed by Republicans, who say it would discourage business owners from hiring.

GOP senators are expected to easily kill the measure, but Democrats hope the roll call will produce fodder for campaign ads against Republicans.

Asked Wednesday by reporters whether he might eventually accept spending cuts to pay for the bill, Reid showed some flexibility.

"We're ruling nothing out, OK?" Reid said, other than budget cuts to federal agencies, which have already been sliced twice this year.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

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