09-18-2020  6:31 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Oregon, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

Fires Raise Fight Over Climate Change Before Trump's Visit

The Democratic governors say the fires are a consequence of climate change, while the Trump administration has blamed poor forest management

NEWS BRIEFS

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

Year after year, John Deere has declined NBFA's invitation to display its equipment at the 116,000-member organization's annual...

City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

Brennan Blue is replacing Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina, who is retiring after 28 years. ...

Man sentenced to repay millions in marijuana lab explosion

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison and ordered to repay millions of dollars for his role in a marijuana lab explosion that caused a wildfire in which a firefighter got hurt. The Mail Tribune reports 24-year-old Michael Cashmareck was sentenced in...

US judge blocks Postal Service changes that slowed mail

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington,...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

One Huge Lie Crystallized

The Democrats have cast the President as a failed leader, but Trump’s supporters painted him as a success and the last line of defense against radical socialism. ...

“Losers”???!!!

I am hoping that millions of us will teach Trump what it means to be a loser on November 3rd. ...

Letter to the Editor: Regarding 'Initially Supportive Some Community Leaders Criticize Move to Decriminalize Drugs'

I was surprised to see your article with the headline indicating Community Leaders' criticism of Oregon Measure 110. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden makes push for voters on National Black Voter Day

DETROIT (AP) — Joe Biden’s campaign unveiled a series of nationwide digital events Friday targeting Black voters in swing states — a strategic move by the Democratic presidential nominee to further energize the key demographic as the race heads into its final weeks.The virtual...

EU unveils plan to combat racism, increase diversity

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission presented a series of measures Friday aimed at tackling structural racism and discrimination, acknowledging a blatant lack of diversity among the European Union's institutions.The bloc's executive arm set out its action plan for the next five years,...

Trump heats up culture war in appeal to Wisconsin voters

MOSINEE, Wis. (AP) — President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric on cultural issues, aiming to boost enthusiasm among rural Wisconsin voters as he tries to repeat his path to victory four years ago. Making his fifth visit to the pivotal battleground state this year, Trump views success in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Keith Urban finds musical connections across genre lines

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — This year was poised to be a busy one for Keith Urban, with a full year of touring as well as a Las Vegas residency. He wasn’t sure when he’d have time to finish his next album “Speed of Now Part 1” when the coronavirus pandemic halted live...

'The Batman' resumes UK production after positive COVID case

The U.K. production of “The Batman” is starting up again after being shut down earlier this month when an individual tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. said Thursday that filming had resumed after a hiatus for quarantine precautions. The studio has not...

Woody Allen's 'A Rainy Day in New York' to get U.S. release

NEW YORK (AP) — After being shelved for two years, Woody Allen's “A Rainy Day in New York" will finally land in U.S. theaters next month.MPI Media Group and Signature Entertainment announced Thursday that the companies will release “A Rainy Day in New York” in North...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope seeks to ''liberate" Virgin Mary from the Mafia

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is giving his blessing to a new Vatican think tank that is seeking to prevent the...

Van Morrison targets virus restrictions in 3 new songs

LONDON (AP) — Van Morrison has never been one to hold back over the years. Why start now?The 75-year-old...

At town hall, Biden blasts Trump's 'criminal' virus response

MOOSIC, Pa. (AP) — Joe Biden went after President Donald Trump again and again over his handling of...

'This is a big moment:' UK virus restrictions escalating

LONDON (AP) — Fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions in England appear to be on the cards soon as the...

EU unveils plan to combat racism, increase diversity

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission presented a series of measures Friday aimed at tackling structural...

Big wedding in fictional home of 'The Godfather' fuels virus

ROME (AP) — The Sicilian town of Corleone, made famous by the fictional Mafia clan in “The...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
Will Graves, AP Sports Writer

Terrence Jones 'Hoopmixtape:' The Skanner News Video here

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kentucky spent 13 straight springs watching other schools play in the Final Four, a destination college basketball's winningest program considers its birthright.

At most places, that's hardly a drought.

In the Bluegrass, it's a lifetime.

Now coach John Calipari and the Wildcats are two wins away from a national title. Finally.

Brandon Knight scored 22 points and fourth-seeded Kentucky advanced to the Final Four for the first time since their 1998 national title with a 76-69 win over second-seeded North Carolina on Sunday in the East Regional final.

"We got Kentucky back," senior center Josh Harrellson said. "A lot of people doubted us. A lot of people really didn't think we'd be the team we are. We really pulled it together as a team, and we're back now."

The Wildcats (29-8) will play Connecticut in Houston on Saturday night after turning back a late surge by the Tar Heels (27-10), who erased an 11-point deficit before running out of gas in the final 2 minutes.

DeAndre Liggins added 12 points for Kentucky, including a 3-pointer from the corner with 37 seconds remaining to help lift the Wildcats.

A season after falling a game short of the Final Four behind a roster filled with future NBA stars, the Wildcats are heading to the national semifinals for the 14th time behind Knight's heady play and Calipari's relentless energy.

He revitalized the flagging program a year ago behind superstar John Wall. In Calipari's second season, he delivered on his promise to return Kentucky to glory.

Even if the guy who hired him wasn't sure this would be the year Kentucky would end its 13-year drought between Final Fours.

"I thought he was building toward it, but I didn't think this was the year," Kentucky president Lee Todd said.

It didn't look like it in January, when the Wildcats couldn't win a close game. It didn't look like it in February, when they couldn't win on the road.

Calipari admitted it didn't look that way two weeks ago, when his team was relegated to a fourth-seed despite convincingly winning the Southeastern Conference tournament. The powers that be put Kentucky in the same bracket as top overall seed Ohio State.

"I just thought the path to get here would be so ridiculous," Calipari said, "that we would have to play out of our minds or people would have to get knocked off."

Done and done.

Kentucky edged Ohio State on Friday, then gave the Final Four another blueblood program, though with a twist. There will be no No. 1 or No. 2 seeds playing the last weekend of the season since 1979, well before the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

The Wildcats have a pedigree and a roster full of highly touted freshmen. Yet they're just as reliant on holdovers such as Liggins and Harrellson.

A seldom used reserve a year ago who has flourished in his final season, Harrellson again held his own against North Carolina's bigger, more heralded front line, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds as Kentucky avenged a 75-73 loss to the Tar Heels in December in Chapel Hill.

It was a different story in New Jersey. And in March.

It's a month Kentucky and North Carolina have owned for years. They've combined for 210 NCAA tournament victories — 105 each — but Sunday's victory was the Wildcats' first in three NCAA meetings with the Tar Heels.

Not that North Carolina coach Roy Williams was in the mood for a history lesson.

"I'm going to focus on what a wonderful group of kids and what a wonderful year it was," he said. "But it still doesn't take away the hurt that you feel today."

Tyler Zeller led the Tar Heels with 21 points and nine rebounds and Harrison Barnes added 18 points, but North Carolina fell behind early and struggled to keep the hot-shooting Wildcats in check.

"No question, I thought we were going to pull it out," Barnes said. "We've been through so many of these situations before. Losing didn't enter my mind until the final horn sounded."

Instead, it was Harrellson giving teammate Eloy Vargas a bear hug and Knight flexing at midcourt before gleefully cutting down the nets while Barnes and the Tar Heels trudged slowly off the floor.

It's a scene Kentucky has longed for — a mission that began in earnest when the program lured John Calipari away from Memphis in 2009.

He promised he wasn't "the grand poobah" the day he signed his eight-year, $31.65 million contract, but there's little doubt who rules the Bluegrass now.

"You play at Kentucky to raise banners, and I'm happy we did this," said Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart. "I'm happy for these guys, because no one gave them a chance."

Calipari joins Rick Pitino as the only men's basketball coaches to lead three different programs to the Final Four. Calipari's previous visits at Massachusetts in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 were vacated by the NCAA for rules violations, but Calipari was not found liable in either instance.

Barnhart said Calipari wanted his Final Four appearances with the Wildcats "to stick." Time will tell, though he's already restored the luster to a program that's slowly slipped off its perch over the last decade.

That lust for a championship banner is why Kentucky went after Calipari so aggressively, making him the highest paid coach in the country.

He came close a year ago, as the Wildcats missed their first 20 3-point attempts in a dismal 73-66 loss to West Virginia.

There were no such issues Sunday. Knight hit a 3-pointer barely 3 minutes in, and Kentucky kept right on shooting. Darius Miller, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb also drilled 3s of their own to give the Wildcats an early confidence boost. Kentucky made 12-of-22 3-pointers on Sunday, very different from the miserable 4-for-32 effort they put together last season.

But that was a different team, one Calipari likened to a bulldozer. This one is a little smaller, a little leaner. And ultimately, a little more successful.

When they weren't knocking down jumpers from all over, they were getting their hands in passing lanes, pestering the bigger, longer Tar Heels into sloppy mistakes.

At one point Barnes found himself in an awkward position and tried to throw the ball off the backboard to himself. No dice. Harrellson, as he was almost all game, was right in position to gobble up the North Carolina mistake.

Kentucky roared into the halftime with a 38-30 lead then made it stand up as North Carolina failed to take advantage when the Wildcats grew skittish with the lead.

Kentucky wobbled, but it didn't falter and instead rocketed to Houston on the heels of a 10-game winning streak.

No team has been to the Final Four more than North Carolina, and the Tar Heels were poised to add to their NCAA-record 18 appearances after mauling Marquette in the regional semifinals on Friday.

Instead, their resurgent season ended with a downtrodden Barnes glumly shaking hands as Kentucky players donned Final Four caps a few feet away.

The game mirrored much of the talented freshman's season. He struggled early then caught fire late, scoring eight straight at one point as the Tar Heels clawed back into it.

Yet he faltered in the final minute, missing a 3-pointer after Liggins' big shot then missing another one after Knight hit two free throws to give Kentucky a six-point lead.

Barnes refused to discuss whether he'll return next year.

"All I know is the last two years I played basketball it ended with a championship, not a loss," he said. "I never felt like this before."

Neither have the Wildcats, all of whom where in grade school when Kentucky beat Utah in San Antonio for their seventh national title in 1998.

They don't need to be reminded of the program's rich history. It dangles from the rafters at Rupp Arena. Now they have a chance to add their own chapter to the legend.

"This is a great tradition that we have to live up to," Knight said. "It feels good that we were able to do this for Kentucky."

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