10-15-2021  12:41 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

Republicans Sue Over New Oregon U.S. House Maps

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno and three other Republicans say the new maps are partisan gerrymandering, unconstitutional and contrary to state law.

NEWS BRIEFS

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

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Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

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Darrell Grant Is Restoring Portland’s Soul With Albina Pop-up Studio

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Oregon Consumer Advisory Council recruiting new members

The Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Consumer Activities is pleased to announce a recruitment for openings on the Oregon Consumer...

NAACP Portland Launches New Event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Facebook Live event on October 23, will be an hour of education and celebration of the power and resilience of Black women...

OR court: Illegal to deny gun sales to people 18 and 20

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out an age discrimination lawsuit against a gun retailer, declaring it illegal to deny gun sales to buyers between the ages of 18 and 20. Brandy Dalbeck filed a ,000 lawsuit...

Oregon set to expand hotline for bias crime reporting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When Oregon’s Bias Response Hotline went live on Jan. 2, 2020, people were able to answer about half of incoming calls reporting hate crimes or bias incidents. With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

Puerto Rico ponders race amid surprising census results

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The number of people in Puerto Rico who identified as “white” in the most recent census plummeted almost 80%, sparking a conversation about identity on an island breaking away from a past where race was not tracked and seldom debated in public. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lawyer: Murdaugh knows he'll go to prison for stealing money

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The attorney for prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, who discovered his wife...

Russia struggles to meet global orders for Sputnik V vaccine

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Esperita García de Perez got her first vaccination against COVID-19 in May. That,...

China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible

Amazon's audiobook service Audible and phone apps for reading the holy books of Islam and Christianity have...

The Latest: Court rejects challenge to Maine shot mandate

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to stop a COVID-19 vaccine mandate...

Cyprus to revoke 'golden passports' granted to 45 people

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' government has started procedures to revoke citizenship granted to 39 foreign...

More repression, fewer jobs: Jordanians face bleak outlook

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — As a poorly paid public school teacher, Khaled Jaber always needed a side hustle, working...

Jessica Gresko and Brett Zongker the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A man clad in black who was obsessed with President Barack Obama pulled his car within view of the White House at night and fired shots from an assault rifle, cracking a window of the first family's living quarters while the president was away, authorities said about their still-developing investigation.

The Secret Service found two bullets had hit the White House and agents caught up with Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez in Pennsylvania on Wednesday after a four-day search. Police arrested the 21-year-old Idaho man at a hotel after a desk clerk recognized his picture. Ortega was scheduled to make his first appearance at 2 p.m. Thursday in federal court in Pittsburgh. Many questions remained about his motive and background.

The White House declined to comment.

Authorities are investigating Ortega's mental health and say there are indications he believed attacking the White House was part of a personal mission from God, according to a law enforcement official who spoke with The Associated Press. There are also indications the man had become obsessed with Obama and the White House, according to two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

On Thursday, the mother of his former fiance said Ortega had always been well-mannered and considerate in the four years she had known him. In recent months, though, Ortega began making statements that were out of character, said Kimberly Allen, who lives in Shelley, Idaho.

She said Ortega told family he believed he was Jesus Christ and that the world was going to end. Allen said the family was worried when he went to Utah recently, where he said he had business, and didn't come back. She said they were "just flabbergasted" to hear he was wanted in Washington.

"I believe that the boy needs help," Allen said.

Allen's daughter, Jessica Galbraith, who was engaged to Ortega and is the mother of their 2-year-old son, declined to comment except to say: "I love him, and I'm here for him."

Investigators believe Ortega fired at the White House from his vehicle Friday, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation. Gunshots were reported that night on Constitution Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Soon after, U.S. Park Police found an abandoned vehicle, the assault rifle inside it, near a bridge leading out of the nation's capital to Virginia. The car led investigators to Ortega.

Agents discovered Tuesday that two bullets had hit the White House's exterior, one of them cracking a window on the second floor residential level, just behind the rounded portico visible from the south side of the White House.

That bullet was stopped by protective ballistic glass. The window that was hit is in front of the Yellow Oval Room, which is in the middle of the family's living quarters.

At the time of the shooting, Obama and his wife Michelle were on a trip to California and Hawaii. The president has since traveled to Australia and Indonesia on a nine-day tour. The Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, were not in California, but the White House has not said if they were home at the time shots were fired.

This is not the first time the White House has come under attack.

In the last 40 years, the landmark has faced threats ranging from a stolen helicopter that landed on the grounds in 1974 to a man who wielded a sawed-off shotgun on a sidewalk outside in 1984. In 1994 alone, there were five threats including a plane crash on the lawn and a suspected drive-by shooting. Another man fired at least 29 rounds from a semiautomatic weapon, with 11 striking the White House.

Dan Bongino is a former Secret Service agent who served on the presidential details for Obama and President George W. Bush. He said Friday's shooting would likely mean tighter security and coordination.

"They do an exhaustive review of their security procedures every time something like this happens," he said. "Nothing ever works perfectly. They will undress this completely and then they will find out when they rebuild the incident exactly what they could have done better."

Bongino, who recently left the Secret Service to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, said it was doubtful that a gunman could strike a target such as the White House from a moving car at the distance investigators suspect he shot. It would require "an incredible amount of training to pull that off," he said, suggesting it was more likely Ortega stopped his car to fire.

An official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said Ortega used a knockoff of an AK-47. Late Wednesday, however, authorities had not conclusively linked the gun to the rounds found at the White House.

In the days after the gunfire, police distributed photos of Ortega, including one that showed the word "Israel" tattooed on his neck, the name of his son. He had been stopped and questioned Friday morning just across the Potomac River from Washington in Arlington, Va. Arlington police said they stopped him after a report of suspicious behavior but released him after photographing him because they had no reason to make an arrest.

Subsequently, a U.S. Park Police crime bulletin said he was known to have mental health issues.

"Ortega should be considered unstable with violent tendencies," the bulletin stated.

Ortega was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a hotel near Indiana, Pa., about 55 miles east of Pittsburgh, the Secret Service said. A book bag he left behind when he was arrested, however, briefly caused a bomb scare because police initially didn't know who it belonged to.

State troopers said Ortega had visited the hotel in recent days, and investigators believed he was back in the area Wednesday. The Secret Service passed out photographs and a desk clerk recognized his picture.

Ortega was reported missing Oct. 31 by his family. A message left for Ortega's mother Wednesday at an Idaho Falls restaurant where she works was not returned. Phone listings for family members in the city were disconnected.

Ortega has an arrest record in three states but has not been linked to any radical organizations, U.S. Park Police have said.

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Associated Press writers Jessie Bonner in Boise, Idaho, Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh, Kevin Begos in Indiana, Pa., Eric Tucker in New Orleans, Matt Apuzzo in Washington contributed to this report along with Associated Press researcher Monika Mathur in New York and AP photographer Haraz Ghanbari in Washington.

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Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jessicagresko and Brett Zongker at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

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