07-15-2024  9:59 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

Records Shatter as Heatwave Threatens 130 million Across U.S. 

Roughly 130 million people are under threat from a long-running heat wave that already has broken records with dangerously high temperatures and is expected to shatter more inot next week from the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Alantic states and the Northeast. Forecasters say temperatures could spike above 100 degrees in Oregon, where records could be broken in cities such as Eugene, Portland and Salem

NEWS BRIEFS

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

UFCW 555 Turns in Signatures for Initiative Petition 35 - United for Cannabis Workers Act

On July 5, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 delivered over 163,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of...

Local Photographer Announces Re-Release of Her Book

Kelly Ruthe Johnson, a nationally recognized photographer and author based in Portland, Oregon, has announced the re-release of her...

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

PHOENIX (AP) — A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths, including retirees in Oregon, a motorcyclist in Death Valley, California and a 10-year-old boy who collapsed while hiking with his family on a Phoenix trail. Heat...

California reports first wildfire death of the 2024 season as fires persist across the West

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wildfires fueled by strong winds and an extended heat wave have led to the first death in California of the 2024 season, while wind-whipped flames in Arizona have forced hundreds to flee from what tribal leaders are calling the “most serious” wildfire on their reservation...

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...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

OPINION

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 ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Historically Black town in Louisiana's Cancer Alley is divided over a planned grain terminal

WALLACE, La. (AP) — Sisters Jo and Dr. Joy Banner live just miles from where their ancestors were enslaved more than 200 years ago in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Their tidy Creole cottage cafe in the small riverfront town of Wallace lies yards from property their great-grandparents...

Pastors see a wariness among Black men to talk abortion politics as Biden works to shore up base

WASHINGTON (AP) — Phoenix pastor the Rev. Warren H. Stewart Sr. has had countless discussions this election season with fellow Black men on the economy, criminal justice, immigration and other issues dominating the political landscape in their battleground state of Arizona. But never abortion. ...

Morehouse College president says he will retire next June

ATLANTA (AP) — Morehouse College President David Thomas announced that he will retire next year, saying it is time for new leadership at the prominent all-male, historically Black school he has led since 2018. Thomas, 67, said in a statement Friday that he will retire June 30,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Kate Quinn returns with 'The Briar Club,’ a murder mystery during the 1950’s Red Scare

If you’ve never read a Kate Quinn novel, there’s no time like the present. Or like the 1950s in Washington, D.C. That’s the setting for Quinn’s “The Briar Club,” which is a murder mystery wrapped up in the stories of multiple women who rent rooms at a boarding house during the height of...

Music Review: In a new expanded collection, how much of John Lennon's 'Mind Games' is too much?

The new remixed and expanded “Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection" is for those John Lennon fans who really, really love his inconsistent 1973 record of the same name. The problem is, many Lennon fans would rank the original “Mind Games” fourth or fifth among his most beloved...

Music Review: Phish rock out with energy and urgency on their 16th studio album, 'Evolve'

There might never be a more apt title for a Phish album than “Evolve,” the jam masters' 16th studio album and first in over four years. Just as this boundary-pushing quartet has progressed over four-plus decades by fusing rock, jazz, bluegrass and other freewheeling sounds,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

A timeline of the assassination attempt on former President Trump

Former President Donald Trump was the target of an assassination attempt at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday that set...

Authorities hunt for clues, but motive of man who tried to assassinate Donald Trump remains elusive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 20-year-old man who tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump first came to law...

America's toxic political climate faces calls to 'tone it down' after assassination attempt on Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Tone it down!” That was the plea from one Republican congressman as he came...

35 people die in a storm that brought heavy rainfall to eastern Afghanistan, Taliban official says

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A storm that brought heavy rainfall to eastern Afghanistan killed at least 35 people on Monday,...

Russian court orders house arrest for a general in custody on fraud charges

MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow on Monday ordered house arrest for a general in custody on fraud charges, in a...

Brazilian police launch mega-operation in Rio de Janeiro favelas to fight organized crime

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro’s state law enforcement agencies launched a mega-operation with a force...

Venus Williams
Omar Tyree, The Black Athlete

"Venus Williams" by Edwin Martinez from The Bronx - US Open 2013 Licensed under CC via Wikimedia Commons 

After watching a half dozen college football bowl games and the first two rounds of the NFL Playoff over the past two weekends, I continue to be proud of how many women are now involved in covering professional and college sports. My favorite sport of football seems to employ the most women. I can’t even name all of the professional sports broadcasters now, with a line-up of women that includes Whites, Blacks, Asians and Latinas. It’s great!

I was only a kid when CBS first hired African-American actress and model Jayne Kennedy for reporting and interview duties on The NFL Today. WHAT? Jane Kennedy is covering football? It was the coolest thing in the world for a kid who had a bunch of Jet magazine “beauties of the week” taped on his walls, wearing swimsuits. But to have a bonafide fox like Jayne Kennedy covering my favorite game and football stars on TV was way cooler.

With a weekly subscription to Sports Illustrated magazine before I was even teenager, my original love for women in sports started with track and field. I remember watching the television movie of Olympic track star, Wilma Rudolf, with my mother and being inspired by it. From there, we watched the 1980s Olympic track stars together, including my mother’s favorite, Evelyn Ashford, alongside Mary Decker Slaney, Valerie Briscoe-Hooks, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and who could ever forget Florence “Flo Jo” Griffith Joyner. In the 1990s, we watched Gail Devers and Gwen Torrence.

My mother and I also watched Carol Lewis—the younger sister of decorated Olympian, Carl Lewis—go from being an Olympic long jumper in her own right, to becoming one of the first African-American women to cover track and field broadcasts. I was very proud of Carol for that. Don’t just compete in sports, become one the experts who analyze it. I was as proud to see Carol on TV for every track event as I was to see the athletes. I loved listening to Carol speak her calm knowledge about track and field. You go get it, sister!

Before there were the Williams girls—Venus and Serena—in professional tennis, my mother told me stories about she and her friends rooting for African-American legend, Althea Gibson, when they was younger. Althea Gibson played tennis and golf with passion, fearlessness and dignity, inspiring a nation of Black women to not only dream about it, but to do it.

However, my most intimate love for women in sports came from my own hometown of Philadelphia. In my last few years of high school at Central in the late 1980s, there was this city-wide hype and conversation about a girl from North Philly.

People were crazy excited about this girl, explaining the scene in all of their Philadelphian vernacular. “Yo, you gotta see this girl play, cuz. She ballin’! Straight up!”

So I caught the train and bus into the heart of North Philadelphia—where I had no friends, family members or security detail—to attend a girl’s basketball game at Murrell Dobbins Tech High School for my first glimpse of Dawn Staley, up close and personal. My friends thought that I was crazy.

“You went to Dobbins by yourself just to see a girl’s basketball game?”

Yes, I did. And my mind was blown away forever. Dawn Staley was not only the point guard at Dobbins, she led the team in scoring, steals, rebounds, assists, blocked shots and highlight moments before ESPN ever existed. She had the whole Harlem Globetrotter thing going on in with the around the back passes, dribbling through the legs, stop and gos, twists and turns, look-aways, finger rolls, girls tripping and falling down in front of her, and then she would stop and pop 3-pointers on fast breaks before Steph Curry was even born.

You could barely drink a cup or a can of soda when Dawn Staley played. People were constantly screaming, yelling, pointing, jumping and grabbing you every couple of seconds, whether she was on offense or defense.

“Did you see that steal? You see that block? You see that pass? You see that shot?”

Dude, I’m watching her just like you’re watching her. Of course, I saw it! Now can I enjoy the game in peace for a minute, please? God!

After winning several Philadelphia Public League Championships and a national high school player of the year award, Staley went on to star at the University of Virginia, where the Cavaliers were never quite able to get over the hump for a national championship, but she kept them in the hunt for a title every single year. She then played balled overseas, became a WNBA star, a 3-time Gold Olympian, and the head coach at North Philadelphia’s own Temple University—my mother’s proud alma mater—before coaching the University of South Carolina, where Staley’s undefeated Gamecocks are presently the number #1 ranked women’s basketball team in the country.

And me? I went on to cover dozens of live sports events and write interview features as a print journalism major at Howard University, including plenty of exciting girl’s games and track meets, all up and down the East Coast. I’ve also rooted for national television legends; Cheryl Miller, Sheryl Swoops, Chamique Holdsclaw, Candace Parker, Angel McCoughtry, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins on the college level, as well as for Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson, Teresa Edwards, Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie and Seimone Augustus in the WNBA.

I could go on and name many more competitive women, including Marion Jones, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Dee Dee Trotter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and dozens of young girls, who have competed inspirationally in track and field at Philadelphia’s annual Penn Relays carnival, hailing from Vere Tech Jamaica to Long Beach Poly, California. Don’t forget about Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles in American gymnastics, along with Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza and the gifted veteran, Liala Ali, in boxing.

And what about Philadelphia’s Mone Davis, pitching a no-hitter in Little League Baseball this past summer?

The point is that women’s excellence in sports is here stay, and it will continue to grow. So there should naturally be more professional women available to broadcast, prognosticate and critique their peers, as well their husbands, sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, sons and daughters.

I stand as a proud supporter of women being involved in sports in every capacity. If it’s good for the competitive and professional spirit of men, then it’s also good for that of women. And I will continue to watch, report, listen, enjoy, learn from and be inspired by you all.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com