09-18-2021  3:32 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

As Shootings Rise Mayor Wheeler Wants to Hire Retired Cops

Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland Street Response, a team that helps people experiencing homelessness or low-acuity behavioral health issues, to reduce the number of calls police must handle

Illegal Marijuana Farms Take West's Scarce Water

Deer Creek has run dry after several illegal marijuana grows cropped up in the neighborhood last spring, stealing water from both the stream and nearby aquifers

Biden Slammed for Challenging Nuclear Workplace Health Law

The Biden Administration is picking up where the Trump administration left off, challenging a 2018 Washington state law that made it easier for sick Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to qualify for compensation benefits.

After Humble Beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros Launches IPO

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

With a thirty-four year career in corrections Captain Derrick Peterson announces his campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff ...

University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

In-person fall semester classes proceeding with vaccination rates above 96% among faculty, staff, and students; and adherence to...

Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus...

Oregon tree experts expect delayed mortality due to drought

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The effects of the drought and heat on trees won’t be fully known until next spring, tree experts in Oregon say. Oregon State University professor and forest health specialist Dave Shaw told The Oregonian/OregonLive that there’s typically delayed...

Mayor wants money to hire retired cops as shootings continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is calling for more money to rehire officers who have recently retired to address a staffing shortage as homicides have reached the highest level in more than 20 years. Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Pakistani PM to prod Taliban on inclusive govt

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister says he has “initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region. Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the...

Police: Prison guard beat banker, used racial slur over mask

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California prison guard was arrested this week on suspicion of beating a Wells Fargo branch manager and calling him a racial slur after being asked to wear a mask inside the bank, police said. James Allen Jones, Jr., 50, was arrested at his job...

Prison reform advocate calls solitary confinement revenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A longtime prison reform advocate asked a federal judge on Thursday to move him out of solitary confinement, claiming the punitive treatment violates his Constitutional rights. Alex Friedman was arrested last year and accused of hiding loaded guns and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actor L. Steven Taylor is the king behind 'The Lion King'

NEW YORK (AP) — L. Steven Taylor got the call that would change his life in 2005: Would he like to make his Broadway debut in “The Lion King”? It was just a six-month contract but he took it, uprooting his family and moving to New York. “Six months has turned into 16...

Sotheby's puts rare U.S. Constitution copy for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — A very special document will be auctioned off later this year — a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. Sotheby's announced Friday — appropriately on Constitution Day — that in November it will put up for auction one of just 11...

'The Crown,' 'Ted Lasso,' streaming seek Emmy Awards glory

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The miniature statutes given at the Emmy Awards on Sunday can be an outsized boon to egos, careers and guessing games. Will “The Mandalorian” bow to “The Crown” as best drama series? Can the feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” charm its way into...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Afghan survivors of errant US drone strike seek probe

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A survivor of an errant U.S. drone strike that killed 10 members of his family...

Schools get the brunt of latest COVID wave in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and...

US Border Patrol hires civilians to free up agents for field

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dozens, even hundreds, of asylum-seeking migrants often wait hours to surrender to U.S. Border...

The Latest: Arizona reports more deaths, fewer virus cases

PHOENIX — Arizona reported more than 100 daily coronavirus deaths for the second time since February. ...

The Latest: Pakistani PM to prod Taliban on inclusive govt

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister says he has “initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to...

Greece opens new migrant camp on island to reduce crowding

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has opened a new migrant camp on the island of Samos that replaces an obsolete and...

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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