01-30-2023  6:55 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

Free events highlight the achievements and perseverance of Black and African American communities from the past to the present. ...

Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Kidnap suspect released day he arrived at Nevada prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state’s custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said...

Name of Seattle officer in crash that killed woman released

SEATTLE (AP) — Police have released the name of a Seattle police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed a 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula last week in a city crosswalk. Seattle Police Department Detective and spokesperson Judinna Gulpan...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: Shania, 'Princess Power' and Pamela Anderson

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week. MOVIES — If you haven’t managed to catch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” yet, the...

Review: Making of 'The Way We Were' is a rich, gossipy tale

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” by Robert Hofler (Citadel) Most people seem to like their screen romances a little on the sad side. When the American Film Institute listed its top romantic...

Amina Luqman-Dawson’s 'Freewater' wins John Newbery Medal

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Amina Luqman-Dawson made time to write a children's book she calls her "little quiet project," a historical adventure about a community of escaped slaves that she completed while raising a son and working as a policy consultant and researcher on education and domestic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Florida GOP leaders want to get rid of gun permits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Saying gun owners don't need a government permission slip to protect their God-given...

Dems urge Biden to halt aid to Peru over protest crackdown

MIAMI (AP) — A group of House Democrats is urging the Biden administration to suspend all U.S. security...

Trump investigations: Georgia prosecutor ups anticipation

ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been put on notice by a prosecutor, but the...

Turkey favors approving Finland's NATO bid before Sweden's

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey could greenlight Finland’s membership in NATO before that of Sweden, if the...

Germany pledges 2 million for Brazil environment, Amazon

SAO PAULO (AP) — German development minister Svenja Schulze announced Monday that her government will make 204...

Dolphins, humans both benefit from fishing collaboration

A fishing community in southern Brazil has an unusual ally: wild dolphins. Accounts of people and...

By Anne D\'Innocenzio AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- If you're a U.S. consumer, why would you be confident?


Following a string of bad economic news, consumer confidence fell to a seven-month low in June on continuing worries about high unemployment and stagnating wages, according to a report released Tuesday by a private research group. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 58.5 in June. That's down from a revised 61.7 in May, which marked an almost six-point drop.



"Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.



A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy on the index, which measures how Americans feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists carefully monitor consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.



Two years after the recession officially ended in June 2009, consumer confidence is still fragile. The index has lost momentum since it hovered between the high 50s and low 60s last year, and then climbed to a three-year high in February, reaching 72. June's results marked the lowest point since December 2010 when the index hit 57.8. In June 2009, the reading was 49.3.



Economists had expected the June figure to edge up to 61 as consumers faced lower prices at the pump and inflationary fears dissipated.



Consumers had been hurt by rising gas prices that neared $4 per gallon in late April and early May, leading many to cut back on spending for everything from televisions to clothes. But since the Memorial Day weekend, gas prices have fallen to a national average of $3.57 per gallon. And oil prices have declined steeply over the last few weeks, which should eventually translate into even lower pump prices.



But the fact that consumers are experiencing less pain at the pump has been overshadowed by other economic news that ranges from mildly encouraging to downright bad.



The consumer confidence report was issued on the same day a widely watched Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller index reported that spring buying boosted home prices in 13 U.S. cities. But the report also showed that housing remains weak in most of the country. Economists say homeowners are mostly unwilling to sell their homes given the widespread declines in home values. And nearly 2 million foreclosures have hit the market over the past two years.



The government on Monday reported that consumer spending was unchanged in May compared with April, marking the first time in a year that spending hasn't increased from the previous month. The same report found that incomes rose 0.3 percent for the second straight month. But adjusted for inflation, after-tax incomes increased only 0.1 percent in May, after falling by the same amount in the previous month.



Moreover, prices in the food aisle remain high and this fall, shoppers will be seeing the cost of clothing and accessories rise as retailers grapple with higher labor costs in China and soaring prices of raw materials like cotton. Stores had started to raise prices this spring but only on select items.



Americans are most worried about the dismal job market. Hiring has slowed this spring after a strong start at the beginning of the year. The economy produced only 54,000 jobs in May, the lowest number in eight months. That followed three months in which employers hired an average of 220,000 net new workers each month. The unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent last month from 9.0 percent in April.



"Even though lower gas prices have provided some relief, people are still worried about their jobs," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. "A lot of the economic data has been weak, and it has a lot of folks wondering about their job prospects."



The Conference Board survey, conducted by The Nielsen Co., is based on a random survey mailed to approximately 3,000 households from June 1 through June 16. Survey, whose numbers are updated after the month ends, showed worries about the job market and income flared up.



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AP Business Writer Derek Kravitz in Washington contributed to this report.



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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.