08-11-2022  7:32 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

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,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Merkley, Colleagues Continue Push for Robust Federal Response to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

“As the country continues to navigate the [monkeypox public health emergency], the United States public health system remains on the...

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

SEATTLE (AP) — Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily stop accepting less acute patients and will divert them to other health care systems as capacity challenges worsen, according to the hospital’s CEO. “All hospital systems (are) very much over capacity with very...

Northwestern selects Oregon's Schill to be next president

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — University of Oregon President Michael Schill will assume that office at Northwestern University this fall, the Evanston school's board of trustees announced Thursday. Schill has led Oregon since 2015. He previously served as the law school dean at the...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

Judge sends Wisconsin man to institution in hate crime crash

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge committed a man accused of targeting a motorcyclist in a fatal crash because of the victim's race to life in a mental institution Thursday. Daniel Navarro, a 27-year-old Mexican American from Fond du Lac, was convicted Wednesday of...

ReAwaken Tour host says he feels harassed by NY prosecutor

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A Christian pastor in western New York said he felt intimidated and harassed after the state's attorney general, a Democrat, sent a letter saying she believed a planned far-right political event at his church this week could lead to racial violence. In the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mary Gauthier uses songwriting to help people through trauma

NEW YORK (AP) — Having used songwriting to navigate her own trauma, Mary Gauthier is putting those skills to work helping others do the same. The Nashville-based musician has collaborated with war veterans to write about what they've been through, even producing a disc of the music,...

Novel inspired by Shirley Jackson classic expected in 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of the late Shirley Jackson has authorized a novel inspired by her classic “The Haunting of Hill House.” Elizabeth Hand's "A Haunting on the Hill” is scheduled to come out in fall 2023. It’s the first time Jackson’s estate has approved an...

Metallica, Mariah Carey headline Global Citizen NYC concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Metallica, Mariah Carey and The Jonas Brothers will headline a free concert in New York’s Central Park next month marking the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival organized by the international nonprofit fighting extreme poverty. The Sept. 24 event will...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump's bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's pick for governor in the swing state of Wisconsin easily defeated a favorite of...

Cause sought for Indiana house explosion that killed 3

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities worked Thursday to determine the cause of a house explosion in a southern...

'Disturbing': Experts troubled by Canada’s euthanasia laws

TORONTO (AP) — Alan Nichols had a history of depression and other medical issues, but none were...

At 75, India seeks way forward in big but job-scarce economy

NEW DELHI (AP) — As India’s economy grew, the hum of factories turned the sleepy, dusty village of Manesar...

UN demands end to military activity at Ukraine nuke plant

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. nuclear chief warned Thursday that “very alarming” military activity at...

Greece asks Turkey to help migrants reported stuck on islet

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece on Thursday asked neighboring Turkey to help about 40 migrants, some urgently...

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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