03-25-2023  8:38 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Idaho Hospital to Stop Baby Deliveries, Partly Over Politics

A rural hospital in northern Idaho will stop delivering babies or providing other obstetrical care, citing a shifting legal climate in which recently enacted state laws could subject physicians to prosecution for providing abortions, among other reasons

Water Contamination in Oregon Could Prompt EPA to Step In

It's been three decades since state agencies first noted high levels of nitrate contamination in the groundwater in Morrow and Umatilla counties and residents have long complained that the pollution is negatively impacting their health.

North Portland Library to Undergo Renovations and Expansion

As one of the library building projects funded by the 2020 Multnomah County voter-approved bond, North Portland Library will close to the public on April 5, 2023, to begin construction processes for its renovation and expansion.

Report: 119K People Hurt by Riot-Control Weapons Since 2015

The report on casualties from a largely unregulated industry cites an alarming evolution of crowd-control devices into more powerful and indiscriminate designs and deployment, including dropping tear gas from drones.

NEWS BRIEFS

Motorcycle Lane Filtering Law Passes Oregon Senate

SB 422 will allow motorcyclists to avoid dangers of stop-and-go traffic under certain conditions ...

MET Rental Assistance Now Available

The Muslim Educational Trust is extending its Rental Assistance Program to families in need living in Multnomah or Washington...

Two for One Tickets for Seven Guitars on Thursday, March 23

Taylore Mahogany Scott's performance in Seven Guitars brings to life Vera Dotson, a woman whose story arose in August Wilson's...

PassinArt: A Theatre Company and PNMC Festival Call for Actors and Directors

Actors and directors of all skill levels are sought for the Pacific NW Multicultural Readers Series and Film Festival ...

Hearing on New Burnside Bridge Construction

The Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project team will present HB 3323 and 3301 this Thursday, March 23 from 5-6:30 p.m. ...

3 found shot to death in car on Portland's north side

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Three people were found shot to death Saturday afternoon in a car in a neighborhood on Portland's north side, police said. Shortly after 12:23 p.m., police responding to a report of a shooting at North Foss Avenue and North Foss Court in the Portsmouth...

Darcelle, world's oldest working drag queen, dies at 92

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Walter Cole, better known as the iconic drag queen who performed for decades as Darcelle XV and a fearless advocate for Portland's LGBTQ+ community, has died of natural causes in Portland, Oregon. He was 92. Darcelle, who died Thursday, was crowned the...

March Madness: Alabama and surprising bunch remain in South

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Alabama was expected to be in the Sweet 16 as the overall top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Few thought the teams standing between the Crimson Tide and a trip to the Final Four would be No. 5 seed San Diego State, sixth-seeded Creighton and 15th-seeded...

March Madness: Sweet 16 begins from NYC to Las Vegas

March Madness has reached Sweet 16 weekend. Two No. 1 seeds, Kansas and Purdue, are already gone along with millions of busted brackets and a host of bluebloods including Kentucky, Duke and Indiana —though UCLA's drive for a 12th national title remains alive. Here is what to know: ...

OPINION

Celebrating 196 Years of The Black Press

It was on March 17, 1827, at a meeting of “Freed Negroes” in New York City, that Samuel Cornish, a Presbyterian minister, and John Russwurn, the first Negro college graduate in the United States, established the negro newspaper. ...

DEQ Announces Suspension of Oregon’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program

The state’s popular incentive for drivers to switch to electric vehicles is scheduled to pause in May ...

FHA Makes Housing More Affordable for 850,000 Borrowers

Savings tied to median market home prices ...

State Takeover Schemes Threaten Public Safety

Blue cities in red states, beware: conservatives in state government may be coming for your police department. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

India expels Rahul Gandhi, Modi critic, from Parliament

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top opposition leader and fierce critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expelled from Parliament Friday, a day after a court convicted him of defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison for mocking the surname Modi in an election speech. The...

1st Black editor named to lead Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday named Leroy Chapman Jr. as its new editor-in-chief, making him the first Black editor to lead the newspaper in its 155-year history. Chapman, 52, has worked in journalism for nearly three decades and has spent the past 12 years at the...

Lawsuit: Slurs, coercion at BBQ chain with racist history

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina barbecue chain known for its pro-segregation stance in a landmark 1960s case and its embrace of the Confederate flag in 2000 is facing allegations of racism and sexual harassment by the fired general manager of one of its restaurants. According...

ENTERTAINMENT

Ling Ma, Beverly Gage among authors honored by book critics

NEW YORK (AP) — Ling Ma's sharp and surreal “Bliss Montage” and Beverly Gage's sweeping biography of the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, “G-Man,” were among the winners Thursday night of the National Book Critics Circle awards. Ma's story collection won the prize for...

What to stream this weekend: 'Night Agent,' Lana Del Rey

From Lana Del Rey's latest album to the new spy thriller series “The Night Agent,” here's a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week. MOVIES TO STREAM THIS...

Review: Lana Del Rey's 'Ocean Blvd' is an intimate epic

“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” by Lana Del Rey (Interscope Records) Lana Del Rey is a complicated, enigmatic pop star — since the height of her breakout album, “Born to Die," the singer has been labeled one of the best songwriters of her generation....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

After tornado, harrowing tales of survival in Mississippi

SILVER CITY, Miss. (AP) — Nothing remained of William Barnes’ home in the tiny western Mississippi town of...

Mourners gather for American killed by cartel on Mexico trip

LAKE CITY, S.C. (AP) — Photos of a peewee football player flashed across a slideshow. The image of a smiling...

Idaho governor signs firing squad execution bill into law

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Gov. Brad Little signed a bill allowing execution by firing squad, making Idaho...

King Charles' state visit deflated as France leg canceled

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III’s international debut was deflated Friday when his trip to France was postponed...

Ukraine using Soviet-era choppers to pummel Russia from afar

DONETSK REGION, Ukraine (AP) — Skimming the treetops, three Soviet-era attack helicopters bank and swoop down on...

Venezuela: 21 officials, businessmen arrested in oil scheme

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s attorney general said Saturday that 21 people, including senior...

Elizabeth Cohen Senior Medical Correspondent

(CNN) -- Those who were diagnosed with cancer after working at the World Trade Center site following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks were relieved earlier this week to find out that the federal government would compensate them for their illnesses.

But the news came too late for Jevon Thomas, a worker who died of a rare cancer in April, penniless and distraught. He was 45.

Thomas spent more than a year working on "the pile," breathing in fumes from burning jet fuel and asbestos. For 10 years, federal authorities said it was impossible to make a link between his work and his illness.

"He was so depressed. He didn't want to talk to anybody," says his daughter, Monet Thomas. "If he could have heard this news, it would have made him so happy."

It's not known how many of those who worked at ground zero have died of cancer, according to Dr. Michael Crane, director of the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

While relatives of deceased workers may file claims, the federal program provides no financial or emotional solace for the workers who have died.

"I'm so grateful cancers were included, but when I'm reminded of the people who've died, I get a pain in my heart," Crane says. "It's a real tragedy."

Didn't hesitate to say 'yes'

Thomas was working for a company that installs portable toilets when the planes hit the World Trade Center.

He didn't hesitate to say yes when his boss asked him to set up toilets at ground zero for the emergency workers. He told CNN in an interview two years ago that he worked there without a mask for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, for about 14 months.

Around the time he stopped working at ground zero, he noticed a lump on his hand. It turned out to be a rare cancer called epithelioid sarcoma.

Thomas had several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy and had to quit his $65,000-a-year job.

His physician, Dr. Iris Udasin at Rutgers University, found him as much charity care as possible, but his family suffered financially as Thomas' wife is disabled and couldn't work to support their two young children.

At the time, workers could apply for money from the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund if they suffered respiratory problems -- but not cancer, because a scientific link had not been found between the disease and breathing in the fumes at ground zero.

"Instead of everyone uniting, coming together, and figuring out a way to help you, they're figuring out a way of not helping you to save a dollar," Thomas said in 2010. "And that's what it all boils down to. A dollar."

What hurt Thomas the most, his daughter says, is that after graduating high school with honors, she got accepted to a community college, attended orientation and then had to leave because her family couldn't pay the tuition. More than anything, her father had wanted her to be the first in their family to attend college.

"He didn't care about himself. All he cared about was me and my brother," Monet Thomas says through tears. "He knew we needed help."

Her brother hasn't been able to find work, her mother is too sick to work and Monet, 21, supports the family by working as a hotel clerk in Secaucus, New Jersey.

"I feel like I'm going nowhere," she says.

'Tension between two poles'

When CNN interviewed Thomas two years ago, he said he was "100% sure" his cancer came from his work at ground zero.

"You can't work in an environment with so many different chemicals and carcinogens ... for a year straight, day in and day out, and not come down with something," he said.

But scientists weren't so sure. While someone's cancer might be because of his or her work at ground zero, it might also have been a coincidence -- Thomas might have gotten cancer anyway.

The long lag time makes it particularly difficult to study the link between ground zero and cancer. Cancer doesn't develop quickly after breathing in something toxic, the way asthma might. Instead, leukemia can take five to six years to develop, and solid tumors can take 10 to 20 years.

"People were very concerned that they were going to pull the trigger on the (federal) coverage too soon and they would end up covering people who didn't have a World Trade Center cancer," Crane says.

"They were trying to do this in an absolutely scientific way, according to rigorous principles of epidemiology, which is important to do," Crane adds. "But on the other hand, you have to balance that against the needs of needy and really sick people. There's a tension between those two poles."

In the end, a study of firefighters helped persuade the government to include cancers. In the study, firefighters who worked at ground zero were 19% more likely to develop cancer than firefighters who did not.

'He would never take it back'

Monet Thomas says her father would be "grateful" for the decision to compensate cancer victims who worked at ground zero, even though it took more than a decade.

"He would be crying right now," she said when she heard about the decision.

Even though her father was depressed, destitute and felt alone at the end of his life, she says he never regretted his work on the pile.

"He was proud of what he did," she says. "He was a hero, and he would never take it back."

CNN's Stephanie Smith, William Hudson and Georgiann Caruso contributed to this report.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

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