02-06-2023  1:13 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

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

NEWS BRIEFS

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...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

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

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis, the head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

It wasn’t me: Ex-UK PM Truss blames 'system' for her failure

LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss says her failure wasn't her fault. Truss on...

Avalanches kill 9 in Italy, Austria as heavy snow hits Alps

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Nine people died in avalanches in Austria and Italy over the weekend as heavy snow and...

EU migration impasse leaves many refugees out in the cold

BRUSSELS (AP) — Some refugees and asylum-seekers in Brussels have been spending months in between the Street of...

Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats controlling the House are promising to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments while wrapping Congress' unfinished annual spending bills into a single catchall measure.

The 423-page measure, released in the wee hours Wednesday, would cap the agencies' operating budgets at $1.2 trillion, the level of the budget year that ended in September. That's about 4 percent less than President Barack Obama asked for.

There are many exceptions to the freeze. Health care programs for veterans and the military would get a boost, as would the Pell Grant program for low-income college students. People serving in the military would get a 1.4 percent pay raise, but civilian federal workers would have their salaries frozen, as requested by Obama last week.

The bill also would provide $159 billion to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A widely backed food safety bill is hitching a ride on the legislation. The measure passed the Senate by a 75-25 vote last week but got caught in a snag because it contained revenue provisions that, under the Constitution, must originate in the House.

Senate Democrats are working on a different approach that would provide slightly more money and would include thousands of pet projects sought by lawmakers. It's unclear whether that measure can get enough support from Republicans to pass. The House bill is free of such "earmarks."

The House could pass its measure as early as Wednesday - over Republican protests that it still spends too much money and that they won't have had enough time to review it. House Republicans want a short-term measure to punt the unfinished budget business into January, when they will assume the majority.

The bill combines the annual operating budgets for every federal department or agency. In an unprecedented collapse of the federal budget process, not a single one of the 12 annual spending bills has yet passed Congress.

The bill, combined with a massive measure to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, extend unemployment benefits and cut the payroll tax, represents the bulk of Congress' unfinished work as the lame-duck session approaches its close.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said the legislation would "salvage some investments which over the long haul just might create more jobs than a tax break for millionaires."

Obey was able to find money for some Democratic priorities because accounts for the census and military bases closing are $11 billion below fiscal 2010 levels.

That allowed Obey to maintain increased federal air marshall presence on international flights, add money for the Indian health Service, and provide $550 million for Obama's signature "Race to the Top" program that provides grants to better-performing schools.

The budget for high-speed rail would take a cut as would Obama's budget for construction of new federal buildings. But housing subsidies for the poor would get an increase, as would grants to localities to shelter the homeless.

The underlying bill would provide the Pentagon $513 billion for core operations, which is a 1 percent increase to cover pay and health care, but $17 billion less than requested by Obama in February.

The Department of Homeland Security would see its budget frozen rather than rising almost 3 percent as Obama sought.

Foreign aid programs, however, would receive a $2.2 billion - more than 4 percent - increase to fund counterinsurgency programs by the Pakistani government, help stabilize Iraq and meet long-standing commitments to Israel and Egypt.

The bill also contains $624 million to implement the nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, known as New START, that's pending before the Senate.

In the Senate, Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, backed by Democratic leaders, has fashioned an "omnibus" spending measure - providing almost $20 billion more than the House bill - that he wants to substitute for the measure being passed across the Capitol.

Such omnibus measures have been a routine but oft-criticized way for Congress to wrap up its unfinished work. Only two spending bills have passed the House and not a single one has passed the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opposes Inouye's move, but GOP members of the Appropriations Committee, such as Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are open to the idea.

It's not clear how strongly McConnell will push against the omnibus measure, however, and key McConnell ally Robert Bennett, R-Utah, says he prefers an omnibus to Obey's approach of "locking in" most of last year's policies and funding levels. But he doesn't know if there are the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster by GOP conservatives.

Any move to pass Inouye's earmark-laced omnibus measure is sure to whip up howls of protest from anti-earmark lawmakers and tea party activists.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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