11-17-2019  2:28 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps

NEWS BRIEFS

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland-Area Programs

Financial Beginnings Oregon and Portland Parks Foundation will receive a total of 0,000 plus leadership resources through Bank of...

State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating...

Cremated remains of 20 babies found at mortuary buried

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The cremated remains of more than 20 babies that were found on mortuary shelves in Roseburg, Oregon will be buried Sunday a special ceremony.The remains were discovered by a woman who was searching for the unclaimed remains of veterans who had not received funerals. A...

Recycling down in Oregon, advocates blame plastic

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is not very good at recycling, and it’s getting worse, according to a new report. Overall recycling rates in the state have steadily declined for the last several years, even as the amount of waste generated per person in the state has grown.The report,...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

No. 11 Gators head to Mizzou hoping for another turnaround

It was only a year ago that Dan Mullen was asked about the state of his Florida program after he watched his team get humiliated by Missouri in the Swamp.His response already has become the stuff of legend.“They keep score. Someone wins and someone loses,” Mullen said, passion rising...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg apologizes for ‘stop and frisk’ police practice

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Bloomberg on Sunday apologized for his longstanding support of the controversial “stop-and-frisk” police strategy ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run, a practice that he embraced as New York’s mayor and continued to defend despite...

Syracuse suspends fraternity after report of racial slur

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — An African American student at Syracuse University reported being called a racial slur over the weekend, prompting the college to suspend a fraternity Sunday and shut down social activities for all other fraternities for the rest of the semester pending an...

Black Eyed Peas star accuses Qantas attendant of racism

SYDNEY (AP) — Black Eyed Peas musician will.i.am has accused a flight attendant from Australia’s national carrier Qantas of being racist and rude to him on a flight.The musician said he was met by police at Sydney Airport on Saturday after an incident with an “overly aggressive...

ENTERTAINMENT

Creator of Lizzo’s signature slogan could get a Grammy nod

NEW YORK (AP) — Mina Lioness’ longstanding battle to finally receive writing credit on Lizzo’s megahit song “Truth Hurts” is paying off in more ways than one: it could win her a potential Grammy Award.Lizzo's breakthrough tune features the signature line —...

Ex-ambassador’s testimony shines light on conservative media

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s impeachment testimony on Friday spotlighted the role of conservative media in her downfall and the chilling reminder that she remains a social media target.The ousted ambassador recalled a series of articles by reporter...

And the Grammy nomination goes to...

NEW YORK (AP) — L may typically stand for “loser” but artists like Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X and Lewis Capaldi are likely to score big next week when the Grammy nominations are unveiled, with expected nods in key categories, from album of the year to record and song of the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sorry, wrong number: Statistical benchmark comes under fire

NEW YORK (AP) — Earlier this fall Dr. Scott Solomon presented the results of a huge heart drug study to an...

Migrants stuck in lawless limbo within sight of America

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) — The gangsters trawling Nuevo Laredo know just what they’re looking for:...

Kanye West talks about serving God during visit with Osteen

HOUSTON (AP) — Rapper Kanye West told parishioners at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch on Sunday...

Former Sri Lankan defense chief wins presidential vote

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s...

Pope’s Asian agenda: Disarmament, martyrs, family reunion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has agendas both pastoral and personal for his trip to Asia, where...

Italy’s white truffle hunters worry about climate change

ALBA, Italy (AP) — Rising global temperatures are worrying truffle hunters around the Italian town of Alba,...

McMenamins
The Associated Press

The waters of the Mississippi River have become a creeping monster that has swallowed the homes of some and left others to wonder how unforgiving the river may be.

In Mississippi, many don't know how long it will be before their houses finally dry out. Farther downstream in Louisiana, others wait, contemplating if the predictions that their rooftops could soon be swamped will come to pass. The Skanner News Video

The river, swollen by rainfall and snowmelt, has reached its apex in places like Vicksburg, Miss. The murky waters are continuing their slow trek toward communities in Louisiana, taking far longer than first expected.

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza spillway more than a week ago, hoping to spare heavily populated Baton Rouge and New Orleans from potentially catastrophic flooding. So far, the plan has worked. Now, the water splashes through the floodgates into the Atchafalaya River basin, inching its way toward places like the oil-and-seafood hub of Morgan City.

AMELIA, La. — Russel Andras carries the marks of a life lived on the oil patch — his skin bronzed, lines burned around his eyes, his 71-year-old body still in pretty good shape.

But the Mississippi's rampage is sending a new kind of trouble his way.

A year after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ensuing embargo on oil drilling, the fabricating company Andras has run for 30 years was just getting back to business. Then the Corps opened the Morganza spillway, sending the Mississippi River's brown water into the Atchafalaya River, and spilling over Bayou Boeuf, where Andras' company operates.

Last year, Andras had close to 600 employees before the oil spill. Now, he has fewer than 150. Last week, most of them were busy building racks to lift equipment above the floodwaters, sandbagging and shutting down electrical connections.

"Things were just starting to pick up again," said Andras, whose company fabricates metal for oil drilling operations. "But the contracts we have are on tight deadlines, and we can't make them with all my workers picking up for the flood."

While his workers moved equipment and filled sandbags, Andras was working the phones, talking to clients, explaining what was happening, asking them to understand.

The waiting is the hardest part, Andras said. Waiting to see how high the water will go, waiting to see if his business and house will survive.

"It's another tough blow," he said. "Things were just starting to get a little better, but this flood could make it really bad. Really bad."

VIDALIA, La. — Arty Person has spent half his 44 years farming. He raises rice, corn, cotton and soy beans on 4,000 acres in Concordia Parish in east-central Louisiana.

It was never an easy job, but never has it been this difficult.

"I'm flooded on one side of the levee and drying out on the other," Person said with a rueful grin. "And it looks like what isn't dried up or drowned will be eaten by the deer."

Many of Louisiana's parishes had been stricken by drought — and many of those are now flooded. It had been the year farmers were supposed to get caught up and pay off their bills, with ethanol demand pushing corn prices higher and soy beans and cotton fetching good prices, too.

Now, Person is left to worry about the seepage — water pushed to the surface of his field by the river's pressure against the levees — that will rot his plants.

"If the river goes down quickly, if we don't get a lot of rain, those crops might make it," Person said. Then again, he needs the rain for the fields drying out.

Worse still, wild hogs and other wildlife are digging and wallowing in his fields. Deer are finding a free meal, eating the fields bare. He rides the fields through the night with a gas gun, which makes a loud noise to scare off the animals. It isn't working.

"I think they've pretty well gotten used to it," Person said. "It doesn't scare them much anymore."

PORT GIBSON, Miss. — The Rev. Eddie Walls Jr., 83, lives in a town that Civil War Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant said was "too beautiful to burn."

Beauty is not what comes to mind in the small hotel room Walls shares with his 52-year-old daughter Linda and her 30-year-old autistic son. The room is crowded and cluttered. Clothes and other belongings are scattered about. Privacy does not exist.Days grind by in conditions like these. And to make things worse, the money for the hotel room might dry up before the water does. They can't get home because of flooded streets. They can only pray that it isn't flooded.

"There's not a thing in the world you can do about it but pray," Walls said, wearing plaid pajamas and clutching a cane as he sat on the edge of a hotel bed.

Linda sat on the other side of the bed. Her son clung to a brown bear and watched TV, the covers pulled high, almost covering his face.

"But we're together as a family," Linda said.

"If you don't have family, what do you have? Not a thing in the world. We're taking it a day at a time, and God is going to work it out."

CUTOFF, Miss. — Harry Johnson, a retired mechanic, found his corner of paradise in a little community that sprang from fishing camps.

Cutoff, in Mississippi's Tunica County, is on the unprotected side of the Mississippi River levee and is under water. It wasn't so bad for Johnson, a grown man, to gather up his most prized possessions to rescue before the floodwaters hit. For his 10-year-old daughter, such a task was unmerciful.

"When I went in her room, I just fell apart," Johnson said while sitting on a shelter cot in a dimly lit gymnasium. "How do you pick which of your child's toys to take and which ones to leave behind? And then there's all the little art stuff she made. I was just beside myself."

Cutoff is a community where "600 people know each other's names" and most travel around in golf carts. Like many residents, Johnson doubts it will ever recover because there's already talk of stricter building codes with higher elevations that will be too expensive for most.

"We all fell apart and cried. Not materially what we lost, but the culture and lifestyle we had," said Johnson, who had worked repairing equipment at factories.

If there can be a bright side, it's that Johnson picked the right toys: "All the ones she asked about are the ones I got."

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