09-24-2020  3:13 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

Seattle City Council Overrides Mayor's Veto of Policing Cuts

Seattle will reduce the police department’s budget and reallocate some money to community programs

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

NEWS BRIEFS

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Scorched California faces more hot, dry and windy weather

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rain showers fell Thursday on the northwestern edges of fire-ravaged California but forecasters warned residents to not be fooled: A new round of hot, dry and windy weather is expected by the weekend.“Ideally this would be a signal for a change in the upcoming...

13 arrests, probe opened into officer conduct at protests

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in Seattle arrested 13 people as authorities said people smashed windows and spray painted buildings during protests Wednesday night following a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to not indict officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.Police said one Seattle...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

No. 2 Crimson Tide visit Mizzou to begin SEC-only schedule

Alabama coach Nick Saban had nothing but praise for Eli Drinkwitz when discussing his Missouri counterpart this week.Hard to find much fault when Drinkwitz has only lost one game as a head coach.Of course, the up-and-coming boss of the Tigers also only has one season under his belt. But the 12-win...

OPINION

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

ACLU Statement on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Verdict

Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, issued a statement about today's charges ...

True Justice Denied to Police Murder Victim Breonna Taylor, Greenlining Institute Says

The organization's president and CEO releases a response to today’s announcement of only minor charges -- "wanton endangerment" -- for one of the Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Maryland man sentenced for shooting deemed a hate crime

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of a hate crime and others charges in the shooting of a Black man, authorities said. Brandon Troy Higgs, 25, of Reisterstown, was arrested in December 2018 after shooting Elvis Smith in the...

The Latest: Kentucky governor condemns shootings of officers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on a grand jury's decision not to indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to Breonna Taylor's death: (all times EDT)5:40 p.m.Kentucky’s governor has condemned the shooting of two Louisville police officers and is calling for...

Publisher: 2 reporters arrested during Kentucky protests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The publisher of an online news site said two of the site's reporters were arrested during protests in Kentucky's largest city after a grand jury’s decision to not indict officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel said in...

ENTERTAINMENT

New Year's Eve in Times Square incorporates virtual elements

NEW YORK (AP) — New Year's Eve in Times Square will incorporate virtual elements, organizers said Wednesday as they gear up for a celebration that will have to be scaled down and socially distant in response to the coronavirus.Details are still coming together, but the Times Square Alliance,...

Annual Lennon tribute, in 40th year, goes online

NEW YORK (AP) — Like many other events, an annual John Lennon tribute concert that takes place in his adopted city of New York on his Oct. 9 birthday has been forced online because of the coronavirus pandemic.There was no way it was being canceled, not on what would have been Lennon's 80th...

Disney delays 'Black Widow,' Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. has further postponed its next mega-movies from Marvel, including “Black Widow,” while also postponing Steven Spielberg's “West Side Story” a full year in the company's latest recalibration due to the pandemic.Ten of Disney's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Stuck at sea: Nations urged to help virus-stranded mariners

PARIS (AP) — Another COVID-19 problem that the U.N. is trying to solve: how to help more than 300,000...

Kenosha shooter's defense portrays him as 'American patriot'

The way lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse tell it, he wasn't just a scared teenager acting in self-defense when he shot...

Trump promoting health care 'vision' in swing state NC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on preexisting medical conditions...

Agency: No Cyprus passports for wealthy investors' families

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ top oversight body urged lawmakers on Thursday to rethink new...

UK may take part in COVID-19 vaccine 'challenge studies'

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it may take part in a study that tries to deliberately infect...

Kremlin critic Navalny's apartment seized, his aide says

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities seized Alexei Navalny’s Moscow apartment while the opposition...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Terry Collins the Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Police are investigating a fatal shooting just outside the Occupy Oakland encampment in Northern California and the apparent suicide of a military veteran at an Occupy encampment in Vermont's largest city.

The Oakland killing is further straining relations between local officials and anti-Wall Street protesters. A preliminary investigation into the gunfire Thursday that left a man dead suggests it resulted from a fight between two groups of men at or near the camp on a plaza in front of Oakland's City Hall, police Chief Howard Jordan said.

Investigators do not yet know if the men in the fight were associated with Occupy Oakland, but they are looking into reports that some protest participants tried to break up the altercation, Jordan said.

Burlington, Vt., police said preliminary investigations show a 35-year-old military veteran fatally shot himself in the head Thursday at an Occupy Wall Street encampment. The name of the Chittenden County man is being withheld because not all of his family has been notified.

He shot himself inside a tent in City Hall Park. Mike Noble, a spokesman for the Fletcher Allen Health Care hospital in Burlington, confirmed that the man had died. Noble said he could provide no other details.

Deputy Chief Andi Higbee in Burlington told reporters the shooting raised questions about whether the protest would be allowed to continue.

"Our responsibility is to keep the public safe. When there is a discharge of a firearm in a public place like this it's good cause to be concerned, greatly concerned," Higbee said.

That's also the feeling with some people in Oakland.

With opinions about the ongoing demonstration and its effect on the city becoming more divided in recent days, supporters and opponents immediately reacted to the homicide - the city's 101st this year.

Camp organizers said the attack was unrelated to their activities, while city and business leaders cited the death as proof that the camp itself either bred crime or drained law enforcement resources.

Mayor Jean Quan, who has been criticized by residents on both sides for issuing mixed signals about the local government's willingness to tolerate the camp, issued a statement Thursday calling for the camp to shut down.

"Tonight's incident underscores the reason why the encampment must end. The risks are too great," Quan said. "We need to return (police) resources to addressing violence throughout the city. It's time for the encampment to end. Camping is a tactic, not a solution."

For their part, protest leaders said the shooting involved outsiders and was only connected to their ongoing protest of U.S. financial institutions to the extent that poverty breeds violence.

"This one heinous immoral crime should not overshadow all of the good deeds, positive energy and the overall goals that the movement is attempting to establish," Khalid Shakur, 43, who has a tent in the encampment, said.

Before the shooting, protesters were planning to have a party to commemorate the encampment's one-month anniversary with music, dancing, a slide show and donated cakes. Instead, they opened a microphone for participants to talk about where the movement is headed.

"It's not a celebration anymore, but a period of reflection," said Leo Ritz-Barr, a member of Occupy Oakland's events committee.

John Lucas, 52, part of an Occupy Oakland medic team, said a fistfight involving several men preceded the gunfire.

"Several people went after one guy, and the group got larger, and they beat him and he ran," Lucas said. "There were six or seven shots. Everyone starts running ... and there was another shot."

Lucas said he and other medics rushed to the wounded man and tried to tend to him until paramedics arrived.

"He was not breathing and there was no heartbeat," he said. "We started CPR."

Jordan said the victim was hit by one bullet and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

No suspects have been identified, said Jordan, who asked people participating in the protest who may have taken photographs or video that captured the shooting to contact authorities.

The violence came a day after a group of Oakland city and business leaders held a news conference demanding the removal of the encampment, saying it has hurt downtown businesses and has continued to pose safety concerns.

Councilman Larry Reid said that even if the men involved in the slaying were not regular participants in Occupy Oakland, the large crowds and attention the protest has drawn also has invited weapons and brawls. The camp, which has about 180 tents, sits in the middle of the plaza and is ringed by a transit station and ground-floor shops.

"We did have a shooting (near the plaza) once before, a couple shootings around some nightclubs but not right here in front of City Hall because this is attracting a totally different element to our downtown area," Reid said. "This is a public space, and people have a right to enjoy it."

Shake Anderson, an Occupy Oakland organizer who has slept at the camp since it was erected exactly a month ago, said the man who was shot could not be associated with the protest because he did not recognize him. Just before the shooting, a group of strangers ran into the encampment as if they were looking for someone, Anderson said.

"The person on the ground was not part of the occupation," Anderson said.

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Associated Press writer Dave Gram in Burlington, Vt., contributed to this report.

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