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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Person with measles passed through Portland airport

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Multnomah County Health Department says a person who passed through the Portland International Airport on Saturday has become sick with measles.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the health department said people who were in the airport during that time may have been...

Court issues temporary stay on flavored vaping ban in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's Court of Appeals on Thursday put a halt to the state's ban on flavored vaping products two days after it took effect.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the temporary stay issued appears to apply only to tobacco-based vaping products, sold under the oversight of...

No. 22 Missouri ready to test road skills at Vanderbilt

No. 22 Missouri (5-1, 2-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (1-5, 0-3), Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT (SEC Network).Line: Missouri by 20 1/2.Series record: Missouri 7-3-1.WHAT'S AT STAKE?Missouri can show they play as well on the road as at home coming off a five-game home stand. A win keeps them atop the SEC East....

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kessel scores twice, leads Coyotes past Predators 5-2

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The way Phil Kessel had been playing for the Arizona Coyotes at the start of the season, scoring a goal was just a matter of time.The veteran forward put it all together Thursday night, scoring his first two goals for Arizona, and Christian Dvorak scored his third goal...

Cummings recalled as powerful orator who took on White House

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cumming, who died Thursday at age 68, was remembered as a moral voice of conscience in a divisive era — a leader who fought for civil rights and took on the White House as a prominent figure in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald...

Kobach fires Kansas Senate campaign aide over hateful posts

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Kris Kobach's campaign for the Senate in Kansas says it has fired an aide after learning he regularly posted hateful comments about Jews and racial minorities on a white nationalist website.The latest campaign finance report filed by Kobach's campaign shows it...

ENTERTAINMENT

Country artists bring tears, prayers to CMT awards show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music artists cried together and prayed together at an emotional CMT Artists of the Year awards show that reflected the tight-knit community of artists who supported each other through success and loss.Country singer Kane Brown, who was one of several artists...

'Spirited Away,' other Studio Ghibli films head to HBO Max

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The vast catalog of storied Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli is heading to the new HBO Max streaming service.Films such as "Princess Mononoke," ''My Neighbor Totoro" and Oscar-winner "Spirited Away" will be among the titles available to stream when HBO Max launches...

For Springsteen, 'Western Stars' made sense after book, play

NEW YORK (AP) — "Western Stars" was just the change of pace that Bruce Springsteen needed after baring his soul over the past few years.First, he shared his darkest secrets in his memoir, "Born to Run." Then he spent more than a year telling his story five nights a week in Springsteen on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Astros power past Yanks for 3-1 ALCS lead, Verlander up next

NEW YORK (AP) — They have the pitching, and they don't need the pitches. Certainly, the Houston Astros have...

Boris Johnson gets EU Brexit deal; next hurdle is Parliament

BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's career of disdain for the European Union was a thing...

Trump, in Texas, bashes Democrats as 'crazy,' unpatriotic

DALLAS (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to turn impeachment rancor into a political rallying cry...

Protesters bar Haiti's president from visiting historic site

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president was forced on Thursday to hold a private ceremony...

Pakistan blacklists, expels global journalists' group leader

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan blacklisted and expelled the Asia coordinator of global press freedom group the...

Silver: China asked for Rockets GM Daryl Morey to be fired

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Chinese officials wanted Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to be fired...

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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