04-15-2024  8:56 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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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

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

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. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Asbestos victim's dying words aired in wrongful death case against Buffet's railroad

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Thomas Wells ran a half-marathon at age 60 and played recreational volleyball until he was 63. At 65 years old, doctors diagnosed him with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. “I’m in great pain and alls I see is this...

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

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

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...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Prominent New York church, sued for gender bias, moves forward with male pastor candidate

A search committee previously sued for gender discrimination over its hiring process has announced its pick for the next senior pastor of a prominent New York City congregation considered by some to be the flagship of the Black church in America. Candidate Kevin R. Johnson, founding...

Beyoncé is bringing her fans of color to country music. Will they be welcomed in?

NEW YORK (AP) — Dusty, worn boots. Horses lapping up water. Sweat dripping from the foreheads of every shade of Black skin as country classics blare through giant speakers. These moments are frequently recreated during Tayhlor Coleman’s family gatherings at their central Texas ranch. For her,...

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. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Golf has a ratings problem, and the Masters could shine a light on why viewers are tuning out

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Golf has a ratings problem. The week-to-week grind of the PGA Tour has essentially become No Need To See TV, raising serious concerns about what it means for the future of the game. Now comes the Masters, the first major championship of the year and...

George Lucas to receive honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival

George Lucas will receive an honorary Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month, festival organizers announced Tuesday. Lucas will be honored at the closing ceremony to the 77th French film festival on May 25. He joins a short list of those to receive honorary Palmes. Last...

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

It's Tax Day. And your refund may be big this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this Tax Day, refunds are looking a bit bigger for taxpayers. According to...

IAEA warns that attacks on a nuclear plant in Russian-controlled Ukraine put the world at risk

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame before the United Nations Security Council for...

Bureau of Prisons to close California women's prison where inmates have been subjected to sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The beleaguered federal Bureau of Prisons said Monday it will close a women's prison in...

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...

The Latest | Israel says it will respond to Iran attack as world leaders urge restraint

Israel’s military chief said Monday that the country will respond after Iran launched an attack involving...

House Speaker Mike Johnson pushes towards a vote on aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing toward action this week on aid for Israel, Ukraine and...

Olga R. Rodriguez the Associated Press

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) -- Authorities struggled Monday to identify the 49 people found mutilated and scattered in a pool of blood in a region near the U.S .border where Mexico's two dominant drug cartels are trying to outdo each other in bloodshed while warring over smuggling routes.

The bodies of 43 men and six women with their heads, hands and feet chopped off were dumped at the entrance to the town of San Juan, on a highway that connects the industrial city of Monterrey with Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas.

At the spot where authorities discovered the bodies before dawn Sunday, a white stone arch that normally welcomes visitors to the town was spray-painted with "100% Zeta" in black letters - an apparent reference to the fearsome Zetas drug cartel that was founded by deserters from the Mexican army's special forces.

Only one couple looking for their missing daughter visited the morgue in Monterrey where autopsies were being performed Sunday, a state police investigator said. Authorities said at least a few of the latest victims had tattoos of the Santa Muerte cult popular among drug traffickers.

The bodies, some of them in plastic garbage bags, were most likely brought to the spot and dropped from the back of a dump truck, Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

Domene said the dead would be hard to identify because of the lack of heads, hands and feet, which have not been found. The remains were taken to a Monterrey auditorium for DNA tests.

The victims could have been killed as long as two days ago at another location, then transported to San Juan, a town in the municipality of Cadereyta, about 105 miles (175 kilometers) west-southwest of McAllen, Texas, and 75 miles (125 kilometers) southwest of the Roma, Texas, border crossing, state Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said. San Juan is known as the cradle of baseball in Mexico.

The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said none of the six female bodies matched the missing daughter's description. He said some of the bodies were badly decomposed and some had their whole arms or lower legs missing.

De la Garza said he did not rule out the possibility that the victims were U.S.-bound migrants. Authorities said they also may have been brought from other states, because there had been no recent reports of mass disappearances in in Nuevo Leon state.

The killings appeared to be the latest salvo in a gruesome game of tit-for-tat in fighting between the Zetas and the powerful Sinaloa Cartel.

Mass body dumpings have increased around Mexico in the last six months of escalating fighting between the Zetas and Sinaloa, which is led by fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, and its allies, the federal Attorney General's Office said in statement late Sunday.

The two cartels have committed "irrational acts of inhumane and inadmissible violence in their dispute," the office said, reiterating it is offering $2 million rewards for information leading to the arrests of Guzman, Ismael Zambada, another Sinaloa cartel leader, and Zetas' leaders Heriberto Lazacano Lazcano and Miguel Trevino.

Under President Felipe Calderon's nearly six-year offensive against organized crime, the two cartels have emerged as Mexico's two most powerful gangs and are battling over strategic transport routes and territory, including along the northern border with the U.S. and in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Cadereyta has been the scene of escalating drug violence, authorities said Monday. Killings in the municipality stood at 74 through April, compared to 27 over the same period in 2011, and 7 in 2010.

Across Mexico, in less than a month, the mutilated bodies of 14 men were left in a van in downtown Nuevo Laredo, 23 people were found hanged or decapitated in the same border city and 18 dismembered bodied were left near Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara. Nuevo Laredo, like Monterrey, is considered Zeta territory, while Guadalajara has long been controlled by gangs loyal to Sinaloa.

"This is the most definitive of all the cartel wars," said Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University.

The Zetas are a transient gang without real territory or a secure stream of income, unlike Sinaloa with its lucrative cocaine trade and control of smuggling routes and territory, Benitez said. But the Zetas are heavily armed while Sinaloa has a weak enforcement arm, he said.

The government's success in killing or arresting cartel leaders has fractured other once big cartels into weaker, quarreling bands that in many cases are lining up with either the Zetas or Sinaloa. At least one of those two cartels is present in nearly all of Mexico's 32 states.

A year ago this month, more than two dozen people - most of them Zetas - were killed when they tried to infiltrate the Sinaloa's territory in the Pacific Coast state of Nayarit.

But their war started in earnest last fall in Veracruz, a strategic smuggling state with a giant Gulf port.

A drug gang allied with Sinaloa left 35 bodies on a main boulevard in the city of Veracruz in September, and police found 32 other bodies, apparently killed by the same gang, a few days after that. The goal apparently was to take over territory that had been dominated by the Zetas.

Twenty-six bodies were found in November in Guadalajara, another territory being disputed by the Zetas and Sinaloa.

Drug violence has killed more than 47,500 people since Calderon launched a stepped-up offensive when he took office in December 2006.

Mexico is now in the midst of presidential race to replace Calderon, who by law can't run for re-election. Drug violence seems to be escalating, but none of the major candidates has referred directly to mass killings. All say they will stop the violence and make Mexico a more secure place, but offer few details on how their plans would differ from Calderon's.

Benitez said the wave of violence has nothing to do with the presidential election.

"It has the dynamic of a war between cartels," he said.

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Associated Press writer Porfirio Ibarra Ramirez in Monterrey, Mexico contributed to this report.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast