05-28-2020  4:19 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Huge Washington Unemployment Fraud Warning to Other States

Officials hint that hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid out in fake unemployment claims.

Spike in Coronavirus Cases in Oregon Traced to Gatherings

Most of Deschutes County’s new cases can be traced to social gatherings with extended family, like barbecues and celebrations.

Oregon Supreme Court Gives Judge Deadline on Virus Ruling

Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff ruled Gov. Brown's stay-at-home orders are invalid but Supreme Court want explanation

Three-Car Derailment in North Portland Signals Ongoing Safety Concerns

A train derailment in North Portland Tuesday morning resulted in no injuries, but damaged a Lombard Street overpass. It also served as a reminder of the safety hazards of living alongside railways.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

Washington issues new guidelines for religious services

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan allowed to have smaller in-building services and the remainder...

Virus outbreak at unnamed business could disrupt reopening

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County said Wednesday that it hopes to begin reopening in about two weeks, but a mysterious coronavirus outbreak could hinder those plans.The Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday afternoon that it is working with county health authorities to investigate...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mayor: Officer who put knee on man's neck should be charged

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of Minneapolis called Wednesday for criminal charges against the white police officer seen on video kneeling against the neck of a handcuffed black man who complained that he could not breathe and died in police custody.Based on the video, Mayor Jacob Frey said...

Protesters stop LA freeway traffic, smash patrol car windows

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of people protesting the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody blocked a Los Angeles freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers on Wednesday. One demonstrator who jumped from another police vehicle was possibly injured in the...

False news swirls around Minneapolis officer in fatal arrest

A Minneapolis police officer videotaped on Monday holding a black man to the ground with his knee during an arrest has become the target of false claims on social media that attempt to tie him to political agendas and racist ideologies.Twitter and Facebook posts with hundreds of thousands of views...

ENTERTAINMENT

Larry Kramer used voice, pen to raise consciousness on AIDS

NEW YORK (AP) — Time never softened the urgency of Larry Kramer’s demands.Theatergoers leaving a celebrated revival of Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” in 2011 were greeted by the playwright himself, deep in his 70s by then, handing out leaflets outside the Broadway...

Summertime, and the living is uneasy for Jason Isbell

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Isbell had big plans for this summer, between a new album specifically designed to introduce his music to a wider audience and a schedule that had him onstage most nights from May to September.Like millions of others, many of Isbell's dreams are on hold because of the...

Review: 'The Vast of Night' is a cunning lo-fi sci-fi noir

“The Vast of Night,” a micro-budget noir set in 1950s New Mexico, crackles with B-movie electricity. The film is one of those little miracles: a directorial debut, made for nothing, that establishes a young filmmaker of self-evident command. With atmosphere and cunning, director...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Patrons under plastic: Restaurants get creative in virus era

PARIS (AP) — Dining at a table where each person is enclosed by a clear plastic shield might look and sound...

Lives Lost: Veteran guarded Nazis during war crimes trial

Emilio DiPalma was, as he liked to say, just a kid from western Massachusetts when he found himself in a front-row...

UN: Virus could push 14 million into hunger in Latin America

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The U.N. World Food Program is warning that upward of at least 14 million people...

AP PHOTOS: Romanian port city marks Easter late due to virus

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) — Stretching the church calendar, Orthodox Easter arrived over a month late in a...

Caseloads rise in India, Russia underlining reopening risks

MOSCOW (AP) — India saw another record daily jump in coronavirus cases Thursday while Russia reported a...

Patrons under plastic: Restaurants get creative in virus era

PARIS (AP) — Dining at a table where each person is enclosed by a clear plastic shield might look and sound...

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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