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NORTHWEST NEWS

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

NEWS BRIEFS

Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

Receive a free slice of pie with any entrée purchase at participating Shari's locations from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan....

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Man convicted of murder in mother's death escapes custody

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon resident who was convicted of murder in the death of his mother in her Eugene home in 2004 has escaped from the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, officials said.The Register-Guard reports the review board sent a notice Thursday asking for the...

Coalition of states sue over rules governing 3D-printed guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet. New York Attorney General Tish James, who helped lead the coalition...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats struggle to build broad support on eve of voting

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — As Joe Biden wrapped a bus tour of Iowa this week, the elderly crowd gathered at VFW Hall 7920 was a stark reminder of the former vice president's struggle to attract young people. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, needs to strengthen his standing with older voters. Elizabeth...

NFL initiative yields PSA on man killed by Dallas officer

DALLAS (AP) — A public service announcement honoring the life of a black man killed in his living room by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment as her own debuted as part of an NFL initiative aiming to promote social justice and racial equality.The two-minute video...

Plea change set in African American church fire case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A suspect set for trial next month in a series of fires at African American churches in Louisiana is now scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing. Holden Matthews has pleaded not guilty to federal charges arising from the arson fires at south Louisiana churches. However, a...

ENTERTAINMENT

'NewsHour' host and debate moderator Jim Lehrer dies at 85

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Lehrer, longtime host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” whose serious, sober demeanor made him the choice to moderate 11 presidential debates between 1988 and 2012, has died, PBS said Thursday. He was 85.Lehrer died “peacefully in his sleep,”...

Brittany Howard looks past and forward ahead of the Grammys

NEW YORK (AP) — Leaving a successful band is never easy. For Brittany Howard, stepping away from the roots-rockers Alabama Shakes wasn't easy — but it was necessary.“Being on my own was really important to me creatively. It was a really big risk and it was a really big...

Review: Um, what? 'The Turning' is a muddled take on madness

It's really not a good sign when a movie ends with a bold, shocking flourish and much of the audience can be heard muttering through the credits: “Wait, um ... WHAT?”Not, “Ooh” or “Wow” or “Hmm" or "Interesting!” Nope, this is more like an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

15-year-old Gauff upsets '19 champ Osaka at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff plays nothing like what her age — still just 15 — or...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

Book reveals 2 fathers linked by grief to 2015 Paris attacks

PARIS (AP) — Lola Salines happily accepted the last-minute concert ticket from a friend the night of Nov....

Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chief

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday brushed off criticism and mockery from...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

N Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has named a sharp-tongued former army officer with little foreign...

McMenamins
Martin Crutsinger AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy grew late last year at a pace that in normal times would suggest it's healthy.

But the 2.8 percent annualized growth rate in the October-December quarter - the fastest pace since the spring of 2010 - isn't being cheered by most economists or investors. That's because growth would need to be much stronger to sharply reduce unemployment. And signs in the data point to slower growth ahead.

For all of last year, the economy grew just 1.7 percent. That was barely more than half the growth in 2010. The outlook for all 2012 is slightly better. The Federal Reserve estimates growth of roughly 2.5 percent for the year.

Though the economy has picked up and is far stronger than during the Great Recession, unemployment is still a high 8.5 percent. Many people remain reluctant to spend more or buy homes. Many employers are still hesitant to hire.

For the final three months of 2011, Americans spent more on vehicles, and companies restocked their shelves at a robust pace. But overall growth last quarter - and for all of last year - was held back by the sharpest cuts in annual government spending in four decades, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Several factors are expected to exert more of an economic drag this year: Cuts in military and other federal spending. A slower pace of company restocking. Weak or flat pay increases. Sluggish growth in consumer spending.

Stocks opened lower after the government reported the growth figures at 8:30 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 53 points in late-morning trading. Broader indexes were mixed.

"Overall, the pickup in growth doesn't look half as good when you realize that most of it was due to inventory accumulation," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, who expects growth to slow to below 2 percent in the first three months of this year.

In the final three months of last year, consumer spending grew at a 2 percent annual rate. That's up modestly from the third quarter. Consumer spending is important because it makes up 70 percent of economic activity.

Much of the growth was powered by a 14.8 percent surge in sales of autos and other long-lasting manufactured goods.

Incomes, which have been weak all year because of high unemployment, grew at a modest 0.8 percent annual rate. That followed two straight quarters of declining incomes. But unless pay increases pick up, consumers who have dipped into savings in recent months, may pull back.

Business restocking, which can vary widely from quarter to quarter, was the greatest contributor to growth in the October-December period. It added nearly 2 percentage points to the gross domestic product, or GDP.

Government spending at all levels fell at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.1 percent for the year - the biggest decline since 1971. Sweeping federal defense cuts at the beginning and end of 2011 were a major factor.

The economy is measured by GDP, which covers everything from haircuts to hotel bookings to jet fighter planes. Friday's estimate was the first of three for the fourth quarter.

Other data show that in some ways, the economy ended 2011 on a strong note. Companies invested more in equipment and machinery in December. The unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent last month - the lowest level in nearly three years - after the sixth straight month of solid hiring.

People are buying more cars, and consumer confidence is rising. Even the depressed housing market has shown enough improvement to make some economists predict a turnaround has begun.

Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, is among the more optimistic analysts. He said he thought business investment in capital goods would be stronger and consumer spending higher this year.

Richard DeKaiser, a senior economist at Parthenon Group, expects just 2 percent annual growth in the January-March quarter. But DeKaiser says that should be the weakest quarter. He expects the economy to gain strength in each quarter and grow 2.6 percent for the entire year.

Still, many economists worry that a recession in Europe could dampen demand for U.S. manufactured goods, which would slow growth. And without more jobs and better pay, consumer spending is likely to stagnate.

The Fed signaled this week that a full recovery could take at least three more years. In response, it said it would probably not increase its benchmark interest rate until late 2014 at the earliest - a year and a half later than it had previously said.

The central bank also slightly reduced its outlook for growth this year, from as much as 2.9 percent forecast in November down to 2.7 percent. The Fed sees unemployment falling as low as 8.2 percent this year.

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