09-16-2021  9:44 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

“Learning Differently from the Way Our Schooling is Handed to Us”

HELP program celebrates 37th year of teaching students, professionals better ways to process information.

OSU University Day Speaker Gives Blunt Assessment of Where Science, Higher Education Need to Do Better

Science journal Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp provided an unvarnished view of the challenges facing higher education and the scientific community, especially in light of the pandemic

School Vaccine Campaigns Targeting Students Face Blowback

In a total of eight states, Oregon included, providers can waive parental consent requirements

Seattle Council Shifts Money Saved By Officer Departures

More officers are leaving this year than City Hall budgeted for, yielding an estimated million in salary savings

NEWS BRIEFS

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

With a thirty-four year career in corrections Captain Derrick Peterson announces his campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff ...

University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

In-person fall semester classes proceeding with vaccination rates above 96% among faculty, staff, and students; and adherence to...

Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus...

Oregon Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%

This is only the third time in the past 45 years that the rate has dropped below 5% ...

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement after St. Luke's...

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West

MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown. Across...

Kentucky looks to maintain momentum against FCS Chattanooga

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mark Stoops quickly dismisses any notion of FCS Chattanooga being a “breather” game for Kentucky. Not with the Wildcats (2-0) facing another Southeastern Conference challenge looming next week at South Carolina. And certainly not with Kentucky hungry...

After tough L, Mizzou turns focus to SEMO, continued growth

Missouri already has a couple high-profile wins under Eli Drinkwitz in just over one pandemic-shortened season, and the Tigers have been hauling in four- and five-star recruits like never before. Yet their narrow loss at Kentucky last weekend was a reminder: The Tigers are still...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuit seeks jumiM after Michigan teacher cuts girl's hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a jumi million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal...

Chauvin pleads not guilty to violating teen's civil rights

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd pleaded not guilty Thursday to violating the civil rights of a teenager in a separate case that involved a restraint similar to the one used on Floyd. ...

Boston getting mayor of color as Wu, Essaibi George advance

BOSTON (AP) — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November. City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in Tuesday’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

Emmy host Cedric the Entertainer says stuffiness is banned

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As busy as Cedric the Entertainer is with his sitcom “The Neighborhood” and other projects, he quickly said yes when asked to host his first major awards show. Then he sought advice on how to handle Sunday's Emmy ceremony, airing on CBS (8 p.m. EDT). ...

Review: Drag queen dreams in ‘Talking About Jamie’

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” a predictable and glossy “Billy Elliot”-like musical of British working-class aspiration that’s nevertheless a joy, is the kind of movie that might have once been made about the trials of coming out as a young gay man. But such...

Jessica Chastain redeems a televangelist in 'Tammy Faye'

NEW YORK (AP) — In the nearly 10 years it took for Jessica Chastain to get made a film about the Christian televangelist Tammy Faye Messner, she studied many of the kinds of things you'd expect — the hours of television footage, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s 2000 documentary. But one of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Idled Thai taxis go green with mini-gardens on car roofs

BANGKOK (AP) — Taxi fleets in Thailand are giving new meaning to the term “rooftop garden,” as they utilize...

Sequoia National Park's giant trees at risk as fires grow

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — More firefighting resources were being brought in Thursday to battle two...

Polis, 1st openly gay governor elected, marries in Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado's Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be...

Ozone hole over Antarctica larger than usual, scientists say

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say the hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer over the Southern Hemisphere is...

Zimbabwe orders government workers to get COVID vaccinations

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19...

Cuba opens door to more private business, but red tape looms

HAVANA (AP) — Opening a small business is a bureaucratic headache in many parts of the world. In Cuba, it's an...

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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