03-02-2024  6:49 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Agrees $8 Million a Year for Tribes Hit By Opioid Deaths

With Native Americans and Alaska Natives in Washington dying of opioid overdoses at five times the state average Washington lawmakers have agreed to allocate milliona year to 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington from a half-billion-dollar settlement between the state and major opioid distributors. The funds will help tribes address the opioid crisis

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump Receives Honorary Doctorate from Lewis & Clark College

Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Henrietta Lacks. 

Washington State House Overwhelmingly Passes Ban on Hog-tying by Police

The vote on Wednesday came nearly four years after Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died in Tacoma, Washington, facedown with his hands and feet cuffed together behind him.

NEWS BRIEFS

Senate Passes Emergency Housing Stability and Production Package with Bipartisan Support

Major legislation works to stabilize and house Oregonians living on the streets, put affordable housing within reach for everyone ...

House Passes Oregon Drug Intervention Plan (ODIP)

New approach to crisis response aims to increase opportunities for treatment, reduce recidivism, and prevent overdoses ...

House of Representatives Addressed Oregon’s Addiction Crisis

We are committed to closely monitoring the rollout of this bill, particularly with concerns to racial disparities. ...

Moving Ahead to 'A Better Red'

Tri Met’s MAX Red Line trains will begin serving the new Gateway North MAX Station on Monday, March 4. ...

Portland Value Inn Is Renamed Jamii Court

The new name for this affordable housing redevelopment, Jamii, means community and togetherness in Swahili ...

Oregon may revive penalties for drug possession. What will the change do?

Oregon is poised to step back from its first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law with a new measure approved by the state Senate that would reinstate criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of some drugs. The law, which took effect in 2021, decriminalized possession and...

Oregon lawmakers pass bill to recriminalize drug possession

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill recriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs was passed by the Oregon Legislature on Friday, undoing a key part of the state’s first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law as governments struggle to respond to the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S....

NAIA record-holder Grace Beyer scores 33 points in final game of career

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — NAIA scoring sensation Grace Beyer finished her collegiate career on Saturday night, scoring 33 points in University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis' 70-62 loss to Columbia College of Missouri in the semifinals of the women's American Midwest Conference...

Andy Russell, a star outside linebacker who helped turn the Steelers into champions, dies at 82

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Andy Russell, the standout linebacker who was an integral part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' evolution from perennial losers to champions, has died. He was 82. The team confirmed Russell's death on Saturday. There was no immediate word on the cause or place of...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In a rural California region, a plan takes shape to provide shade from dangerous heat

MECCA, Calif. (AP) — When Limba Contreras moved to the desert community of Oasis, California, about 50 years ago, her family relied on a water cooler to keep temperatures inside their home comfortable. Other times, they sprayed each other with a hose outside. But when the heat...

As an opioids scourge devastates tribes in Washington, lawmakers advance a bill to provide relief

SEATTLE (AP) — A bill that would bring millions of dollars to tribes in Washington state to address the opioid crisis received unanimous support in the House on Friday, opening the door for state funding to address a scourge that some say is claiming a generation. "This bill invests...

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. Now he wants Super Tuesday revenge on his foes

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. On Super Tuesday, he wants political revenge. The Republican, who just six months ago was on the brink of removal from office, is charging into Texas' primaries on a dramatic campaign to oust dozens in his own...

ENTERTAINMENT

Bon Jovi to lead the field to green in IndyCar season-opener in promotion with Meyer Shank Racing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi will be featured at the first two IndyCar races of the season and take a ride in the “Fastest Seat in Sports” with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. Meyer Shank Racing said Wednesday that...

New varieties of tried-and-true vegetables invite gardeners to experiment

Tomatoes, garlic, chives, basil, parsley, thyme and sage have been permanent residents in my garden for ages. But every year, I experiment with new -– or new to me -- crops. Many turn out to be transient, like the Instagram-worthy Voyager tomatoes that disappointed in the flavor...

Larry David, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Stiller pay tribute to comedian Richard Lewis after death at 76

Fellow comedians, famous fans, co-stars and friends react to the death of Richard Lewis, who died Wednesday at age 76. “Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hard-liners are leading in vote count in Iran’s parliamentary election after record-low turnout

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's hard-liners are leading in an initial vote count in the capital...

A ship earlier hit by Yemen's Houthi rebels sinks in the Red Sea, the first vessel lost in conflict

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A ship attacked by Yemen's Houthi rebels has sunk in the Red Sea after days...

Trump wins caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and sweeps Michigan GOP convention

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination on Saturday,...

French president raised the prospect of Western troops in Ukraine. What was he thinking?

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron appeared isolated on the European stage this week after saying the...

Russians embrace hope amid despair as Alexei Navalny says his final goodbye

Russians have seen many images of Alexei Navalny — a firebrand protest leader with a bullhorn. A government...

Navalny's mother brings flowers to his grave a day after thousands attended his funeral in Moscow

Lyudmila Navalnaya and Alla Abrosimova, the mother and mother-in-law of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny,...

Pallbearers carry Coffin from plane
Dorothee Thiesing, Mstyslav Chernov, Associated Press

Investigators are frustrated that the site of the crash was left unsecured. They are confident that the plane was shot down, but the role Russia played remains unclear

Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. After being removed from the planes, the bodies were taken in a convoy of hearses to a military barracks in the central city of Hilversum, where forensic experts will begin the painstaking task of identifying the bodies and returning them to their loved ones. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (AP) — Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

The carefully choreographed, nearly silent ceremony contrasted sharply with the boom of shells and shattered glass around eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian rebels fought Wednesday to hang onto territory — and shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets. The bold new attack showed they are not shying away from shooting at the skies despite international outrage and grief at the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Even though they are still unidentified, the corpses that arrived in Eindhoven were embraced by a nation unmoored by the loss of so many people caught in someone else's faraway war.

Boys going to visit their grandparents, a flight attendant in a hurry to get home, a bouncer heading to see his sweetheart were among the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, whose downing last week has intensified anger at the pro-Russian rebels suspected of bringing the plane down.

Nearly a week later, international investigators still don't have unfettered access to the area, some remains are unrecovered, and armed men roam, defying their government.

Investigators in a lab in southern England began studying the plane's black box recorders Wednesday in hopes of finding clues to what happened. The Dutch Safety Board, which has taken control of the investigation, said the voice recorder suffered damage but showed no sign of manipulation, and its recordings were intact. Specialists will start studying the flight data recorder Thursday.

Families of passengers moved to a new stage of grieving as the corpses started arriving in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest death toll in the crash.

The families had spent days agonizing in wait while body parts decayed in sweltering Ukrainian fields before being gradually shifted by truck, train and plane to the Netherlands.

"If I have to wait five months for identification, I can do it," said Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son, Bryce, and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers died in the crash. "Waiting while the bodies were in the field and in the train was a nightmare."

Plane-webPHOTO: People lay flowers in front of a plane prior a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. After being removed from the planes, the bodies are to be taken in a convoy of hearses to a military barracks in the central city of Hilversum, where forensic experts will begin the painstaking task of identifying the bodies and returning them to their loved ones. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

On a day of national mourning, flags flew at half-staff on Dutch government buildings and family homes around this nation of 17 million.

Church bells rang out around the country as the planes taxied to a standstill. King Willem-Alexander clasped his wife Queen Maxima's hand as the couple grimly watched teams carry the coffins slowly from the planes to a fleet of waiting hearses.

Almost the only sound was of boots marching across the ground and flags flapping in the wind.

Then as the last hearses drove away, applause briefly broke out.

From the airport, they were driven under military police escort to the central city of Hilversum where forensic experts were waiting at a military barracks to carry out the painstaking task of identifying the remains. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says many bodies could be identified quickly and returned to their loved ones, but some families may have to wait weeks for a positive identification.

The rebels, undeterred, fought Wednesday to hold onto territory in eastern Ukraine and said they attacked two Ukrainian Air Force jets in the same area where the passenger plane fell.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said the Su-25s were shot about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of the wreckage from the Malaysian jet. The separatist group Donetsk People's Republic said on its website that one of the pilots was killed and another was being sought by rebel fighters.

The attack revived questions about the rebels' weapons capabilities — and how much support and training they are getting from Russia. The U.S. accuses Russia of backing the separatists and fueling Ukraine's conflict, which has brought Russia's relations with the West and key trading partners in Europe to a two-decade low.

While the insurgents deny having missiles capable of hitting a jetliner at cruising altitude, rebel leader Alexander Borodai has said that separatist fighters do have Strela-10M ground-to-air missiles, which are capable of hitting targets up to an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,500 feet). They have shoulder-fired missiles with a smaller range.

The rebels also say they shot down an Antonov-26 early last week with a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. The Ukrainian government is hinting that the Antonov was flying too high for the rebels to hit it, suggesting Russian involvement.

Rebel leader Pavel Gubarev wrote on his Facebook page that 30 rebels were injured and his men retreated Wednesday from the villages of Chervona Zorya and Kozhevnya, on the Russian border about 45 kilometers (30 miles) from the sunflower fields where the Malaysia Airlines plane fell.

The battles are complicating the investigation into the passenger jet crash.

Ukraine and Western nations are pressing the pro-Russian rebels who control the crash site to allow an unfettered investigation, something Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would use his influence to achieve. Though confident that a missile brought down the passenger jet, U.S. officials say Russia's role remains unclear. Russia denies involvement.

The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading an international team of 24 investigators, said unhindered access to the crash site was critical.

Spokesman Tjibbe Joustra told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that around 25 investigators are in Kiev analyzing information including photos, satellite images and radar information, but have not yet gained access to the crash site.

Body parts were spotted still at the crash site Wednesday, said Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He also described "significant puncture marks to the fuselage, almost a piercing mark."

Independent military analysts said the size, spread, shape and number of shrapnel impacts visible in an AP photograph of a piece of the wreckage all point to a missile system like the SA-11 Buk.

U.S. analysts have also concluded that an SA-11 was the likely weapon.

Konrad Muzyka, Europe and CIS armed forces analyst at IHS Jane's, said the high number of shrapnel holes in the debris meant that only a fragmentary warhead like the SA-11 could have been used. The fact the shrapnel holes are folded inwards confirmed that the explosion came from outside the plane, he added.

Justin Bronk, military sciences research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, said "the size of shrapnel holes is fairly broad, in keeping with what you would expect from a large missile like the SA-11."

Residents in the rebel-held city of Donetsk swept broken glass Wednesday and tried to repair apartments damaged from shelling in recent days.

"The solution I see is to stop shooting. Then Europe and Russia should step in to help start talks," said resident Alexander Litvinkenko. "Nothing will be resolved by force."

___

Chernov contributed from Snizhne, Ukraine. Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Jona Kallgren in Kharkiv, Ukraine, contributed to this report.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast