03-07-2021  12:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Iowa Reporter Fights Charges Connected to Covering Black Lives Matter Protest

The case of Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri who was pepper sprayed and arrested while reporting on a clash between protesters and police, highlights the First Amendment and the right to a free press

Brown Pauses Rollbacks to COVID-19 Extreme Risk Level

Counties that have moved out of the COVID-19 extreme risk level will not be moved back into it without giving them two weeks to improve their case numbers

March to Literacy Confronts the Ways We Fail Black Students

The virtual event aims to empower parents, educators of students who struggle with reading

'Falling Through Cracks': Vaccine Bypasses Some Older Adults

An untold number of older adults are getting left behind, unseen, because they are too overwhelmed, too frail or too poor to fend for themselves.

NEWS BRIEFS

Commercial Rent Relief Program to Open Applications March 8

The program targets landlords with tenant businesses with 100 or fewer employees who are behind on lease payments ...

Powell's Books Presents Richard Brown on Zoom March 5

Richard Brown, long-time Portland activist and photographer, will talk about his memoir, “This Is Not For You, An Activist’s...

Freedmen’s Bureau Among Free Classes at GFO Virtual Open House

This is one of the 18 free classes the Genealogical Forum of Oregon is offering during its 75th anniversary Genealogy Open House. ...

Oregon Worker Relief Fund Creates Fund for Small Businesses

The program received million to support small businesses owned by ITIN holders and impacted by the pandemic. ...

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

US states look to step up wolf kills, pushed by Republicans

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Payments for dead wolves. Unlimited hunting of the animals. Shooting wolves from the air.Wolf hunting policies in some states are taking an aggressive turn, as Republican lawmakers and conservative hunting groups push to curb their numbers and propose tactics shunned...

Oregon governor gets Johnson & Johnson vaccination

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. (AP) — Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday and is encouraging others to get it.Brown said she got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to demonstrate that it’s safe and effective, and to counter rumors and...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Opponents suspect environmental racism in pipeline project

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Clyde Robinson treasures the acre of land he inherited, a verdant space tucked into a cul-de-sac in a south Memphis neighborhood, surrounded by houses and trees beside a railroad track.For more than five decades, he nurtured it while his relatives lived in a home on the...

Bloody Sunday memorial honors late civil rights giants

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The commemoration of a pivotal moment in the fight for voting rights for African Americans is honoring four giants of the civil rights movement who lost their lives in 2020, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and also highlighting the continued fight for voting...

Board to begin search for permanent Capitol Police chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The board that oversees the U.S. Capitol Police is beginning a search for a permanent police chief, a person familiar with the matter said, as the fallout from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol continues.Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has faced scrutiny from Capitol Hill...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys to partner with Berklee, ASU for study on women

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy is partnering with Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University to complete a study focused on women's representation in the music industry.The academy, which puts on the annual Grammy Awards, said the lack of female creators in music is...

New York cinemas reopen, brightening outlook for theaters

NEW YORK (AP) — After growing cobwebs for nearly a year, movie theaters in New York City reopen Friday, returning film titles to Manhattan marquees that had for the last 12 months instead read messages like “Wear a mask” and “We’ll be back soon.”Shortly...

Hotly anticipated Meghan and Harry interview to air at last

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The time has finally come for audiences to hear Meghan and Harry describe the backstory and effects of their tumultuous split from royal life.Sunday night’s airing of a two-hour special hosted by Oprah Winfrey will provide the first, and unprecedented, peek into the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Embiid, Simmons to miss All-Star Game; Zion to start instead

Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game after being...

From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Perez was a guest on a Spanish-language talk radio show in Las Vegas last year when a...

Swiss narrowly back proposal to ban face coverings in public

BERLIN (AP) — Swiss voters narrowly approved on Sunday a proposal to ban face coverings, both the niqabs...

UK schools to reopen, backed by frequent virus testing

LONDON (AP) — British students, backed by a robust coronavirus testing program, are gearing up to return to...

North Macedonia police make big marijuana seizure, arrest 3

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia said Sunday they have cracked down on an...

Etna keeps up its spectacular explosions; ash rains on towns

ROME (AP) — A particularly spectacular blast from Italy's Mount Etna volcano belched out a towering cloud...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
Jim Abrams the Associated Press

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report being released Tuesday, said at least 3,700 government contractors and nonprofit organizations that received more than $24 billion from the stimulus effort owed $757 million in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2009, the end of the budget year.

The report said the tax delinquents accounted for nearly 6 percent of the 63,000 contractors and grantees examined and cautioned that the real number might be higher because the known tax debt does not measure such factors as income underreporting.

Among the examples was an engineering firm that received a $100,000 stimulus act contract but owed $6 million in taxes. The IRS called it "an extreme case of noncompliance." A social services nonprofit that received more than $1 million in stimulus funds owed taxes of $2 million.

The GAO referred those two cases and 13 others to the IRS for further investigation.

On Tuesday, a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on the report.

Federal law does not prohibit tax delinquents from getting government contracts or grants, though there are provisions that enable the government to withhold payments in some cases. While the federal government requires contractors to present documentation that their taxes are paid, some recipients escaped federal review because the money was disbursed at state or local levels.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the investigations subcommittee holding the hearing, said it's been known for years that a few federal contractors and grantees don't pay their taxes.

He said a program to recover funds from tax delinquents has been strengthened, and "the executive branch has made it clear" that nonpayment of tax can be grounds for denying a specific contract or barring a contractor from bidding on any contract. He added that the executive branch should "get on with it" and bar "the worst of the tax cheats from the contractor workforce."

"It is a matter of basic fairness that those who take government money should be required to pay their taxes like everyone else," said Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the panel's top Republican. "That such a huge amount of the stimulus money went to known tax cheats should be a wakeup call for Congress.'"

The stimulus package, enacted in February 2009, funneled some $821 billion into the recession-hit economy. Of that, about $275 billion was designated for contracts and grants, of which nearly $200 billion had been paid out as of March 25, 2011.

The report noted that about 35 percent of the unpaid taxes were for debts incurred prior to 2003 and that more than half of the apparent violations, $417 million, were from unpaid corporate taxes. Another quarter, $207 million, came from unpaid payroll taxes.

The most serious documented case was a security firm that owed $9 million, mainly in unpaid payroll taxes from the mid-2000s. IRS records indicated that the company paid other creditors while shirking its tax obligations. The company, which received more than $100,000 in stimulus money, had a history of being uncooperative, missing deadlines and repeatedly filing appeals, according to the records.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee, said every unpaid tax dollar was "added to our deficit or taken from future generations, so I will certainly use the conclusions from this report to look for new ways to ensure everyone pays their fair share."

For Republican the report provided another way to criticize Obama's recovery package. "This shows how fundamentally flawed the failed stimulus has turned out to be when Washington jams through almost a trillion dollars in spending with little scrutiny," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

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Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.

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