08-08-2022  5:47 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

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Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

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Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

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Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Trump House pick overtakes Rep. who voted for impeachment

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent, who challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, has taken a narrow lead in the race for the second spot in Washington state’s top two primary. Under the state's...

Coastal Washington tribe builds tsunami refuge tower

TOKELAND, Wash. (AP) — There’s a new option to escape a tsunami for people on the southwest coast of Washington. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe dedicated a 50-foot tall (15.2-meter) evacuation tower in Tokeland, Washington, on Friday, the Northwest News Network reported. ...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Father, son get life for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The white father and son who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood each received a second life prison sentence Monday — for committing federal hate crimes, months after getting their first for murder — at a hearing that brought a close to more than...

Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death....

MN school district policy bans teaching "divisive concepts"

BECKER, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jennette McCurdy rises above childhood trauma with new book

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Review: Fake pregnancy transforms lonely salarywoman’s life

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Review: Slick crime novel 'Heat 2' revisits a classic movie

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Russia, Ukraine trade accusations over nuclear plant attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Monday that each side is shelling Europe's biggest...

In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways

RIO VISTA, Calif. (AP) — Charlie Hamilton hasn't irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River...

Major test of first possible Lyme vaccine in 20 years begins

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Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A polar bear attacked a campsite Monday in Norway’s remote Arctic Svalbard Islands,...

US official says Solomon Islands leader 'missed opportunity'

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The U.S. deputy secretary of state said Monday the prime minister of the Solomon...

Blinken says US is "equal partner" with African countries

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The United States sees Africa's 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global...

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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