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NORTHWEST NEWS

Fitzpatrick to Retire

Longtime leader of PCRI moving on; organization interviewing candidates this week

Read May 21 Election Results

Penson, De Pass, Peterson win election bids

Pension Reform Plan Advances, Kicker Rebate Not Targeted

A plan to rein in the growing costs of Oregon's public pension system was sent to the Senate floor Tuesday after passing two key committees.

Multnomah County Election Day: Ballots Due Before 8:00 P.M.

Tuesday, May 21 is the last day to vote in the May Special District Election. Ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 for them to count.

NEWS BRIEFS

Community Celebrates New Evelyn Crowell Center African American Exhibit at Cascade

On Monday, June 3, the PCC Cascade campus will host an official opening ceremony for the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American...

James Bible Seeks Bellevue City Council Seat

Civil rights attorney says he wants to prioritize housing, wages ...

North Clackamas School Named in Honor of Supreme Court Judge Adrienne Nelson

The Rock Creed Middle School will be converted and renamed in honor of Oregon Supreme Court Justice, Adrienne C. Nelson. ...

Write Around Portland 56th Book Release and Free Public Readings

Write Around Portland is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two free community readings ...

Family of Terrell Johnson Files Suit Against City of Portland and Portland Police

Johnson was shot in May 2017 by a PPB officer at a MAX station in SE Portland ...

Trying to finish, Oregon House to begin Saturday sessions

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House of Representatives will begin holding Saturday floor sessions next week.Speaker Tina Kotek made that announcement Wednesday in the latest sign lawmakers are ramping up with an eye toward the Constitutional session deadline five weeks away."Because of the...

Bill would allow cities to lower residential speed limits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The city of Bend is backing legislation that would allow it to lower speed limits in some residential areas below what is currently allowed by state law.Senate Bill 558 is before the Senate for approval. It advanced Monday from the Joint Committee on Transportation on an...

Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant finds new home at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — By the end of last season, Missouri fans were enjoying quarterback Drew Lock's final days running the Tigers' offense and wondering who would take over this fall.The answer came in a Twitter post the night of Dec. 4 when Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring to...

Missouri files brief as it seeks to overturn NCAA sanctions

Missouri submitted its appeals brief to the NCAA on Monday, taking the next step in attempting to limit or overturn what it believes are overly harsh sanctions in the case of a rogue former tutor.The school argued in the 64-page brief to the NCAA's appeals committee that the penalties handed down...

OPINION

On the History of Medical Marijuana

The recent legalization of cannabis medicinally throughout the United States of America has made Cannabis sativa L., colloquially termed marijuana, hemp, or weed, the growing topic of conversation. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements May 2019

The Skanner endorses candidates in upcoming school board, PCC races ...

How Should We Handle Right-Wing Disrupters?

Liberal and progressive individuals and institutions should expect disruptions to not only continue but to increase in scale. ...

Our Democracy Is on the Line, Congress Must Act Now

While the debate whether President Trump obstructed justice should be over with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, unfortunately, it is not ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Museum apologizes to minority students told: 'No watermelon'

BOSTON (AP) — Boston's venerable Museum of Fine Arts has apologized to a group of minority middle school students who say they were subjected to racism by staff and some other patrons during a field trip.Museum officials in a letter posted on its website Wednesday apologized to the students...

GLAAD: LGBTQ representation in film is up, but not for all

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The advocacy organization GLAAD says that LGBTQ representation is up for major studio films released in 2018, but that none included transgender characters.Of the 110 movies surveyed, 20, or 18.2%, contained an LGBTQ character. This is a significant improvement from 2017's...

Making history: Rihanna launches brand Fenty in Paris store

PARIS (AP) — Rihanna, the first black woman in history to head up a major Parisian luxury house, is unveiling her first fashion designs for Fenty at a pop-up store in Paris.The collection, named after the singer-turned-designer's last name, comprises ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and...

ENTERTAINMENT

GLAAD: LGBTQ representation in film is up, but not for all

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The advocacy organization GLAAD says that LGBTQ representation is up for major studio films released in 2018, but that none included transgender characters.Of the 110 movies surveyed, 20, or 18.2%, contained an LGBTQ character. This is a significant improvement from 2017's...

Asian, Asian American heroes to power Marvel comics series

Asian superheroes — assemble.Marvel Comics is giving ink to an unprecedented team-up of its mightiest Asian and Asian American heroes, also known as the new Agents of Atlas. Established icons like martial arts master Shang-Chi and newbies like Wave, the first Filipino superhero, will team up...

'Real Housewives' husband wins reprieve in deportation fight

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal court has ruled that the husband of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast member Teresa Giudice can stay in the U.S. as he appeals deportation to his native Italy.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia delayed Joe Giudice's deportation in an order...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Pelosi suggests 'intervention' over Trump threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats (all times local):11:35...

Older Americans more likely to cite workplace discrimination

CHICAGO (AP) — Are older workers being discriminated against on the job? The answer appears to depend on...

D-Day veterans revisit Normandy, recall horror and triumph

Planes spread out across the sky, nearly wingtip to wingtip. A sniper's bullet whizzing by the ear. Squeezing a...

India's Modi paints image of Hindu ascetic called to power

NEW DELHI (AP) — The man in the saffron robe sat cross-legged with his eyes closed, back to the wall of a...

Fascist symbols and rhetoric on rise in Italian EU vote

MILAN (AP) — A banner emblazoned with the words "Honor to Mussolini," unfurled just steps from the Milan...

D-Day veterans revisit Normandy, recall horror and triumph

Planes spread out across the sky, nearly wingtip to wingtip. A sniper's bullet whizzing by the ear. Squeezing a...

McMenamins
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Removing a potential political distraction ahead of next year's elections, the Obama administration Friday announced an early end to a health care waiver program that has come under fire from congressional Republicans.

Political considerations were "absolutely not" part of the decision, said Steve Larsen, head of a section of the Health and Human Services department that oversees President Barack Obama's health care law.

Larsen said no new applications for waivers will be considered after Sept. 22. Approvals or renewals received by the deadline will be good through 2013. Starting in 2014, the main coverage provisions of the health care law will take effect, and such waivers will no longer be needed.

The waivers address a provision of the law that phases out annual dollar limits on coverage by health insurance plans. Starting this year, plans could not impose a limit below $750,000. But some plans, offered mainly to low-income workers, currently provide $50,000 a year in coverage, and in certain cases much less.

Those plans would have been forced to close down or jack up premiums significantly, leaving more people uninsured.

The waivers were established to avoid disrupting existing coverage. In 2014, taxpayer-subsidized insurance will be available to most of the people now covered by the affected plans.

Some Republicans charged favoritism in the granting of the waivers, alleging that they were being granted to unions. But a review this week by the Government Accountability Office found that HHS had approved over 95 percent of the 1,400 waiver applications it received, most of them involving employer plans. The nonpartisan investigative agency also found that the administration used objective standards to make its decisions.

Larsen said Friday that insurance experts have advised his office that most plans that needed waivers probably already applied for them this year. For that reason, the effects of ending the program early would be negligible.

A conservative policy expert who has been critical of the program wasn't buying the technical explanation.

"It looks like they finally figured out they were in a public relations hole and decided to stop digging," said Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation think tank.

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