01-22-2020  4:20 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

NEWS BRIEFS

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

Felicia Gonzales claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn told her that all guests had to sign the policy, but she watched...

Further action unlikely against controversial lawmaker

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Democratic leaders of the state House of Representatives may not take any further action against a Republican lawmaker who has been accused of “domestic terrorism“ unless they get enough Republican votes to expel him.House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma,...

Judge: No keeping Stormy and Trump out of NY Avenatti trial

NEW YORK (AP) — There's no keeping porn star Stormy Daniels and President Donald Trump out of California attorney Michael Avenatti's extortion case, a judge said Wednesday as he ordered the trial to commence Monday and refused the government's insistence that he ban mention of Daniels and...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

City suspends Miami police captain who claimed to be black

MIAMI (AP) — The city of Miami on Wednesday suspended a Hispanic police captain who was strongly condemned after he publicly claimed he was black when fighting accusations that he has derided black people.The Miami Dade Branch of the NAACP had called for Police Capt. Javier Ortiz's...

Portrait of judge taken down because of his 'racist past'

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina county has removed a portrait of a 19th-century state Supreme Court justice from a courtroom at the request of a judge who said it didn’t belong there because of the justice’s “racist past.” Senior Resident Superior Court...

Judge: Canadian tied to extremist group is 'very dangerous'

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A former Canadian Armed Forces reservist plotted with other members of a white supremacist group to carry out “essentially a paramilitary strike” at a Virginia gun rights rally, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan...

ENTERTAINMENT

Aerosmith drummer loses bid to rejoin band for Grammy honors

BOSTON (AP) — A judge has told Aerosmith's drummer Joey Kramer to dream on if he hopes to rejoin the band as its set to perform and be honored at Grammy events this week.Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Mark Gildea on Wednesday denied Kramer's request to order the band, whose first hit...

Ratings dip for NFL conference championship games

NEW YORK (AP) — It's no secret, sports fans. Better games produce better ratings.That was the simple lesson for the NFL this week, after a dip in viewership for its conference championship games, compared to 2019. The Nielsen company said 42.8 million people watched the San Francisco 49ers...

Review: Guy Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen' is stale pint of ale

Guy Ritchie’s honor-among-thieves meta-caper “The Gentlemen,” with Matthew McConaughey, has all the tailored tweed suits and smoky atmosphere of a handsome scotch commercial. “The Gentlemen” might not be an ad, but Ritchie’s film is most assuredly selling...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Can equality pledges fix country music's gender problem?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — What started as a joke on Twitter about an unwritten rule among country radio...

US to impose visas restrictions for pregnant women

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is coming out Thursday with new visa restrictions aimed at...

Trump sets presidential record for most tweets in a day

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump set a presidential record for activity on his favorite social...

Brazilian piano legend plays again thanks to 'magic' gloves

SAO PAULO (AP) — Days before Christmas, acclaimed pianist João Carlos Martins ran to a Sao Paulo bar...

'Naughty boy': Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

LONDON (AP) — Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python troupe who was hailed by...

Russia-Poland feud over history clouds Auschwitz anniversary

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Over the next several days, world leaders will gather twice to mark the 75th...

McMenamins
Martiga Lohn Associated Press

Gov. Mark Dayton

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- In an echo of the debate unfolding in Washington, Minnesota hurtled toward a midnight government shutdown Thursday in a dispute over taxes and spending that could force thousands of layoffs, bring road projects to a standstill and close state parks just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

As the deadline drew ever closer without a resolution, people rushed to get driver's and fishing licenses, and park officials began warning campers to pack their gear and leave.

Though nearly all states are having severe budget problems this year, Minnesota stood alone on the brink of a shutdown, thanks to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's determination to raise taxes on high-earners to close a $5 billion deficit and the Republican Legislature's refusal to go along.

Negotiations between Dayton and legislative leaders were fitful, starting and stopping with no outward signs of progress, and details were scant, since the two sides agreed to what they jokingly called "the cone of silence."

Late Thursday afternoon, GOP leaders again demanded the governor avert a shutdown by calling a special session to enact a "lights on" budget bill that would keep the state running while talks continued. Top Democrats said Dayton would not take such a step.

Republican Sen. Michelle Benson said she wasn't budging, either.

"If we don't start taking a different approach to how we manage our government, we're going to swing from one bad economic circumstance to another," Benson said. "We can't just keep throwing more money at government and hoping that makes things better."

The showdown was something of a small-stage version of the drama taking shape in Washington between President Barack Obama and the Republicans over taxes and the nation's debt ceiling.

Though many states are having budget difficulties this year, those where political power is concentrated in a single party easily passed budgets. Some of those with divided government had healthy reserves, including Alaska, Iowa and Montana; Minnesota's rainy-day accounts are drained. Others such as Louisiana and Nevada used one-time money or federal dollars to patch things together. Nevada and Missouri renewed taxes.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie used the line-item veto Thursday to pare a budget from the Democratic-controlled Legislature before signing it into law, preventing a shutdown.

Only four other states - Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee - have had shutdowns in the past decade, some lasting mere hours.

A stoppage in Minnesota would halt non-emergency road construction, shut the state zoo and Capitol, and stop child-care assistance for the poor. More than 40 state boards and agencies would go dark. Critical services, including the State Patrol, prisons, disaster response and federally funded health, welfare and food stamp programs, would not be affected.

State park officials told campers to strike their tents well before the deadline, even though there was still a chance of a deal. They said it would be too difficult to herd campers out in the middle of the night if talks failed.

In Afton State Park, near St. Paul, Rick Miller of Elko-New Market pushed up a camping trip with his 7-year-old son, Jack, to beat the shutdown. Miller originally hoped they could spend Thursday and Friday nights in the park on the picturesque St. Croix River, but he booked a campsite for Wednesday night.

"With the shutdown we decided we better come and get it in," he said. "We don't know how long it will be before we can get back into a state park." He added: "It's too bad they can't just get the job done."

A small group of protesters paraded before reporters clustered outside Dayton's office on Thursday afternoon, chanting and waving signs to support the governor's position. "You say cut back, we say fight back!" they yelled. One woman carried a handmade sign that read: "GOV DAYTON DON'T BACK DOWN!"

Dayton is Minnesota's first Democratic governor in 20 years, and Republicans are running the entire Legislature for the first time in 38 years.

The governor has proposed raising taxes on couples earning more than $300,000 and individuals making more than $180,000. Republicans have opposed any new taxes or new revenue sources, arguing instead that the state should rely on spending cuts, including deeper reductions in health and welfare spending than Dayton is willing to accept.

Some GOP moderates have talked of breaking the impasse with other means of raising revenue, such as eliminating tax breaks or authorizing a casino. Dayton has said he is open to such ideas.

Rank-and-file Republicans gathered at the Capitol on Thursday, more than a month after their regular session ended. Members of the large Republican freshman class, whose election victories in November helped the party take control of the Legislature for the first time in decades, held tight to their message that a total two-year state budget of $34 billion is big enough.

"I personally think the Republicans will probably be more damaged than the governor" by a shutdown, said freshman Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls, who toppled an incumbent Democrat in November. "The fact is that we're all up for re-election again next year, and he's not up for three years."

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Associated Press reporters Amy Forliti and Patrick Condon contributed to this report. Forliti reported from Afton, Minn.

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