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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Protests Persist with Some Flashes of Violence

Tear gas was used by police on protesters Wednesday for the first time since the U.S. agents pulled back their presence

Reimagine Oregon Issues Equity Demands, Gains Legislative Support

Coalition of Black-led and Black-focused organizations takes new approach to concrete change 

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission: Initiative Petition 44 Will Nearly Eliminate Racial Disparities for Drug Arrests, Convictions

The initiative would expand access to drug addiction treatment and recovery services, and decriminalize low-level drug possession.

Inslee, Culp Advance to November Ballot in Governor's Race

In early returns, with nearly 17% of the vote, Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, had the largest share among 35 other candidates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

New Rule by The U.S. Department of Education Would Misdirect $11M from Oregon Public Schools

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer called a...

Barbara Bush Foundation Partners with Barbershop Books and Penguin to Provide Child-Friendly Reading Spaces in Baltimore and Detroit Barbershops

Developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books is a community-based program that leverages the cultural significance of barbershops in...

All Classical Portland Awards Grant to Support Emmanuel Henreid's 'Livin' in the Light'

Livin’ in the Light documents Onry’s experience as a Black, male, professional opera and crossover singer in Portland, Ore. ...

Protesters return to streets, parks of Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters were back on the streets of Portland, Oregon, Saturday night as violent demonstrations have continued in the city that had hoped for calm after federal agents withdrew more than a week ago and local police try to quell the unrest.Rallies were held in the...

Oregon trooper injured, 24 arrested in Portland protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in Portland, Oregon, defied police orders to disperse and threw rocks, frozen or hard-boiled eggs and commercial-grade fireworks at officers as unrest in the Northwest city continued early Saturday.An Oregon State Police Trooper was struck in the head by a...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Rajapaksa sworn in as PM in Sri Lanka, cementing family rule

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the prime minister for the fourth time Sunday after his party secured a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that cemented his family's hold on power. Rajapaksa took oath before his...

Oregon trooper injured, 24 arrested in Portland protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in Portland, Oregon, defied police orders to disperse and threw rocks, frozen or hard-boiled eggs and commercial-grade fireworks at officers as unrest in the Northwest city continued early Saturday.An Oregon State Police Trooper was struck in the head by a...

Ex-Green Berets sentenced to 20 years for Venezuela attack

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A Venezuelan court has sentenced two former U.S. special forces soldiers to 20 years in prison for their part in a blunder-filled beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolás Maduro.Lawyers for the former Green Berets, Luke Denman and Airan Berry, said...

ENTERTAINMENT

Virus-quieted oceans open window for Shark Week researchers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay put, but it gave sharks a travel passport and scientists a rare opportunity.Ocean spots cleared of fishing boats and other intrusions by COVID-19 quarantines saw increased and even unusual marine life behavior - and Discovery...

Q&A: Cineworld CEO on re-opening Regal theaters in U.S.

Regal movie theaters have been closed for almost five months in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they are gearing up to open on Aug. 21. And this time it might just stick. Exhibitors have postponed plans several times as cases spiked in various cities. Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of...

Eminent scholar of early U.S., Bernard Bailyn, dies at 97

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernard Bailyn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and educator of lasting influence whose “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution” transformed how many thought about the country’s formation, has died at 97.Bailyn's wife, Lotte, told The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Belarus' leader faces toughest challenge yet in Sunday vote

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — After 26 years in office, the authoritarian leader of Belarus is facing the toughest...

Bikers descend on Sturgis rally with few signs of pandemic

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — The coronavirus may be changing the world, but there aren't many signs of the pandemic...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s false push on preexisting conditions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is teasing the possibility of executive action to require health...

Bison, wild horses bring biodiversity to ex-army base

MILOVICE, Czech Republic (AP) — Wild horses, bison and other big-hoofed animals once roamed freely in much...

Asia Today: Sources of many cases in Victoria untraceable

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state says more than 2,700 active...

Protesters decry government's anti-LGBT attitudes in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Demonstrators turned out in Warsaw and other Polish cities Saturday to protest...

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BETTER DAYS: Nate McMillan connects with fans
in 2009.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Nate McMillan came to Portland in 2005 with a mission to rebuild the Trail Blazers into a Western Conference contender and repair the once-proud franchise's tattered image with its adoring fan base.

The dignity and respect have largely been restored, but the division titles and playoff successes have proven more difficult to come by. And with the losses getting uglier each time they hit the court, the Blazers brass felt it was time for McMillan to go and to start the process all over again.

McMillan was fired on Thursday as part of a massive overhaul by team owner Paul Allen and President Larry Miller that also included the release of former No. 1 overall draft pick Greg Oden and came one day after a 42-point drubbing in New York.

In an evening news conference, Miller said the decision was challenging but "unavoidable."


"The moves that we made...today really set us up for this summer with the draft and with free agency, to really be able to move in the direction that we want to move in and make this team better," Miller said.

McMillan's firing, which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, means three-quarters of the nucleus that was supposed to lead the Blazers back to greatness is gone. With McMillan drawing up the plays for All-Star guard Brandon Roy and forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and with Oden getting acclimated to the league as a prized rookie, the Blazers won 54 games in 2008-09 and looked to be a team on the rise.

But Roy was forced to retire in December because of recurring knee problems and Oden saw yet another season go down the drain when he had his third microfracture knee surgery in February. The Blazers waived him on Thursday to make room for several players arriving via trades.

"That's hard to come back from, but we feel we've set a course," Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan said. "Obviously LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star player in our league. We've got a lot of room to spend this summer. We've got some really attractive draft picks. We feel good about the direction we're setting ourselves with."

Assistant coach Kaleb Canales was made interim head coach, leaving Aldridge as the only franchise face left from that promising core.

"Hard to see coach Nate go," Aldridge tweeted. "He was my coach since day one and I've grown a lot under his coaching."

The Blazers also traded veteran center Marcus Camby to the Rockets for center Hasheem Thabeet and point guard Jonny Flynn and versatile forward Gerald Wallace to the Nets for center Mehmet Okur and forward Shawne Williams on Thursday in a house-cleaning for a team that had lost seven of its last 10 games to fall out of the Western Conference playoff race.

Portland is 20-23 and in 12th place in the West, last in the Northwest Division.

"Some tough trades today & letting Nate go but had to face reality of how the season was going," Allen tweeted. "Now (the Blazers are) focusing on future."

McMillan went 266-269 in over six seasons as coach of the Blazers and led them to the playoffs the previous three seasons. But the Blazers failed to make it out of the first round in each of those trips to the postseason, and the warning signs started to pop up pretty early that this season was going to be rough.

General manager Rich Cho was abruptly fired in late May, just weeks before the NBA draft. Once the lockout was lifted in December, Roy, the heart and soul of the team, retired after the Blazers used the amnesty clause on his contract, Aldridge was slowed in camp by a heart condition and Oden was on the operating table again in February.

The chemistry in the locker room, and on the court, seemed to disintegrate as well. Aldridge made the All-Star team after quickly recovering from his heart ailment, but point guard Raymond Felton has bounced in and out of the starting lineup, shooting guard Jamal Crawford has openly complained about the way he has been utilized and the competitiveness has vanished.

They trailed by as many as 29 points in a loss at Indiana on Tuesday, then got embarrassed by the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. All six of their losses in March have come by double digits.

"The fight has to be within everybody and not just a few guys," Camby said after the game.

McMillan leaves with the third-most victories in Blazers history, behind Jack Ramsay and Rick Adelman. He is just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by at least nine wins or more in three straight seasons and helped instill a new culture of accountability for a team that was plagued by malcontents like Darius Miles and Zach Randolph before he arrived.

The Blazers are the fourth team to change head coaches this season. Sacramento's Paul Westphal and Washington's Flip Saunders were fired and Mike D'Antoni resigned from New York.

McMillan and D'Antoni served as assistants on Team USA when the team took home the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

The 34-year-old Canales has been with the Blazers since 2004, starting as a video intern and being promoted to video coordinator before being named assistant coach in 2008.

Miller said the search for a permanent coach and general manager would begin after the season.

"(Canales) has great connection with our player, he has great enthusiasm for the game, and we just thought that to give someone like Caleb the opportunity to finish out the season for us was the right thing to do."

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AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis and AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in New York contributed to this report.

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