05-05-2021  1:53 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Shooting Highlights Lack of Body Cams Among Portland Police

Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out.

Oregon Lawmakers Vote to Expedite Emergency Shelter Process

On Monday, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that will make it easier and quicker for communities to create emergency shelters and temporary housing.

DA Asks Justice Department to Review Fatal Police Shooting

Jacob Macduff, 26, was in the throes of a mental health crisis that had escalated before he was shot and killed by a Tigard police officer on Jan. 6

Holocaust Memorial in Oregon Defaced By Vandals

The Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Portland's Washington Park has been defaced by anti-semitic graffiti.

NEWS BRIEFS

Burgerville Introduces a New Plant Based Ice Cream Sandwich

The Pacific Northwest chain is also offering free strawberry shakes to moms on Mother's Day ...

Oregon Community Foundation Awards $2.2 Million to Centro Cultural to Serve Low-Income Latino Families and Seasonal Workers

Oregon Community Foundation announced that Centro Cultural de Washington County has been selected to receive a Project Turnkey...

State of California Partners With Accomplished African-American Artist to Illustrate Importance of Wearing Masks to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

The goal of this project is to speak to and recognize the contributions and resilience of disproportionately impacted communities ...

Governor Proclaims May as Foster Care Month in Oregon

Resource families, formerly called foster families or foster parents in Oregon, ensure cultural and community connections for children...

PPB Seeks Public Input on Directives

The Bureau is asking for the community's feedback regarding the following Directive(s). ...

Oregon ensures safe storage of guns; bans them from Capitol

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would mandate safe storage of guns and ban them from the state Capitol. Republican lawmakers strenuously objected, saying they and others will be deprived of the ability to defend themselves. The bill, named for...

Shooting highlights lack of body cams among Portland police

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out. The man collapsed onto the grassy field. A replica gun with an orange tip...

OPINION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...

George Floyd Should Still Be Here

Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement in response to the jury’s conviction of Derek Chauvin ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

San Francisco women stabbed amid wave of attacks on Asians

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two elderly Asian women were stabbed without warning as they waited for a bus in downtown San Francisco — the latest in a series of attacks against Asian Americans nationwide since the start of the pandemic last year. A woman working at a flower stall...

Top US general urges greater racial diversity in military

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military must widen opportunity and improve advancement for Black service members, who remain vastly underrepresented in some areas, including among Air Force pilots and in the most senior ranks, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday. ...

Lawsuit seeks Confederate statue's removal from courthouse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Civil rights advocates sued a Maryland county on Wednesday to seek the court-ordered removal of a Confederate monument from a courthouse lawn on the state's Eastern Shore, calling it a racist symbol of oppression. In their federal lawsuit, an NAACP...

ENTERTAINMENT

Concert to honor Broadway star Rebecca Luker, fight ALS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some of Broadway's biggest stars are joining together to pay tribute to the late three-time Tony Award-nominated actor Rebecca Luker and raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Michael Cerveris, Victoria...

Billie Eilish, J Balvin, A$AP to play NY's Gov Ball festival

NEW YORK (AP) — Billie Eilish completed the third stop of her massive tour, and was just two days away from headlining Madison Square Garden, before she had to cancel the trek because of the coronavirus pandemic last year. Now she's returning to New York City as one of the...

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to release 1st children's book

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is releasing her first children’s book, one rooted in the relationship between Prince Harry and their son, Archie. Random House Children’s Books announced Tuesday that “The Bench” will be released June 8. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Shooting highlights lack of body cams among Portland police

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland...

Liz Cheney’s GOP post in peril as Trump endorses replacement

WASHINGTON (AP) — No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney was clinging to her post Wednesday as party leaders lined up...

Peloton recalls treadmills, halts sales, after a child dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills, less than a month after denying they were...

Main stage of Chinese rocket likely to plunge to Earth soon

BEIJING (AP) — The largest section of the rocket that launched the main module of China's first permanent space...

Italy jury deliberates fate of 2 Americans in police slaying

ROME (AP) — A jury in Rome on Wednesday began deliberating the fates of two young American men who are charged...

COVID-19 overshadows independence in key Scottish election

EYEMOUTH, Scotland (AP) — James Cook was an enthusiastic supporter of Scottish independence, but now he’s not...

Albina Highway Covers
Adrian Sainz and Matt Sedensky the Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Mississippi River rose Monday to levels not seen in Memphis since the 1930s, swamping homes in low-lying neighborhoods and driving hundreds of people from their homes. But officials were confident the levees would protect the city's world-famous musical landmarks, including Graceland and Beale Street, and that no new areas would see any serious flooding.

As residents in the Home of the Blues waited for the river to crest as early as Monday night at a projected mark just inches short of the record set in 1937, officials downstream in Louisiana began evacuating prisoners from the state's toughest penitentiary and opened floodgates to relieve pressure on levees outside of New Orleans.

In Memphis, authorities have gone door-to-door to 1,300 homes over the past few days to warn people to clear out, but they were starting to talk about a labor-intensive clean up Monday afternoon, signaling the worst was likely over.

"Where the water is today, is where the water is going to be," Cory Williams, chief of geotechnical engineering for the Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis, told The Associated Press.

Exactly how many people heeded the warnings was not immediately clear, but more than 300 people were staying in shelters, and police stepped up patrols in evacuated areas to prevent looting.

Aurelio Flores, 36, his pregnant wife and their three children were among 175 people staying in a gymnasium at the Hope Presbyterian Church in Shelby County. His mobile home had about 4 feet of water when he last visited the trailer park on Wednesday.

"I imagine that my trailer, if it's not covered, it's close," said Flores, an unemployed construction worker. "If I think about it too much, and get angry about it, it will mean the end of me."

Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley made some of the recordings that helped him become king of rock `n' roll, was not in harm's way. Nor was Stax Records, which launched the careers of Otis Redding and the Staple Singers. Sun Studio still does some recording, while Stax is now a museum.

Graceland, Presley's former estate several miles south of downtown, was in no danger either.

"I want to say this: Graceland is safe. And we would charge hell with a water pistol to keep it that way and I'd be willing to lead the charge," said Bob Nations Jr., director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency.

The main Memphis airport was not threatened, nor was FedEx, which has a sorting hub at the airport that handles up to 2 million packages per day.

An NBA playoff game Monday night featuring the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum downtown was not affected, and a barbecue contest this weekend was moved to higher ground.

"The country thinks were in lifeboats and we are underwater. For visitors, its business as usual," said Kevin Kane, president and chief executive of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Sandbags were put up in front of the 32-story tall Pyramid Arena, which was once used for college and pro basketball but is now being turned into a fishing and sporting goods store.

Forecasters said it appeared that the river was starting to level out and could crest as soon as Monday night at or near 48 feet, just shy of the all-time high of 48.7 feet. Forecasters had previously predicted the crest would come as late as Wednesday.

The Army Corps of Engineers said homes in most danger of flooding are in places not protected by levees or floodwalls, including areas near Nonconnah Creek and the Wolf and Loosahatchie rivers. About 150 Corps workers were walking along levees and monitoring the performance of pumping stations.

Levees in the Memphis area are 58 feet high on average, and the floodwalls downtown are 54 feet.

"We still have significant room before we even consider overtopping," Elizabeth Burks, deputy levee commander for the Memphis sector of the Corps.

At Beale Street, the thoroughfare known for blues music, people gawked and snapped photos as water pooled at the end of the street. Beale Street's world-famous nightspots are on higher ground.

At Sun Studio, where Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and a multitude of others also recorded, tourists from around the world continued to stream off buses and pose beneath the giant guitar hanging outside.

"We didn't really know what to expect," said Andy Reilly, a 32-year-old musician from Dublin, Ireland, who was in town to perform. "We're delighted it's not as bad as we thought it was going to be."

Because of heavy rain over the past few weeks and snowmelt along the upper reaches of the Mississippi, the river has broken high-water records upstream and inundated low-lying towns and farmland. The water on the Mississippi is so high that the rivers and creeks that feed into it are backed up, and that has accounted for some of the worst of the flooding so far.

Because of the levees and other defenses built since the cataclysmic Great Flood of 1927 that killed hundreds of people, engineers say it is unlikely any major metropolitan areas will be inundated as the high water pushes downstream over the next week or so. Nonetheless, they are cautious because of the risk of levee failures, as shown during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In Louisiana, the Corps partially opened a spillway that diverts the Mississippi into a lake to ease pressure on the levees in greater New Orleans. As workers used cranes to remove some of the Bonnet Carre Spillway's wooden barriers, hundreds of people watched from the riverbank.

The spillway, which the Corps built about 30 miles upriver from New Orleans in response to the flood of 1927, was last opened in 2008. Monday marked the 10th time it has been opened since the structure was completed in 1931.

Rufus Harris Jr., 87, said his family moved to New Orleans in 1927 only months after the disaster. He was too young to remember those days, but the stories he heard gave him respect for the river.

"People have a right to be concerned in this area because there's always a possibility of a levee having a defective spot," Harris said as he watched water rush out.

The Corps has also asked for permission to open a spillway north of Baton Rouge for the first time since 1973. Officials warned residents that even if it is opened, they can expect water 5 to 25 feet deep over parts of seven parishes. Some of Louisiana's most valuable farmland is expected to be inundated.

At the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, home of the state's death row, officials started moving prisoners with medical problems to another prison as backwaters began to rise. The prisoners were moved in buses and vans under police escort.

The prison holds more 5,000 inmates and is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi. The prison has not flooded since 1927, though prisoners have been evacuated from time to time when high water threatened, most recently in 1997.

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Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in Norco, La.; Mary Foster in Angola, La.; Jim Salter in St. Louis and Chuck Bartels in Little Rock contributed to this report.

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