04-17-2024  8:38 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival Returns to Mt. Hood Community College with Acclaimed Artists

Performing at the festival are acclaimed artists Joshua Redman, Hailey Niswanger, Etienne Charles and Creole Soul, Camille Thurman,...

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Idaho's ban on youth gender-affirming care has families desperately scrambling for solutions

Forced to hide her true self, Joe Horras’ transgender daughter struggled with depression and anxiety until three years ago, when she began to take medication to block the onset of puberty. The gender-affirming treatment helped the now-16-year-old find happiness again, her father said. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Supreme Court makes it easier to sue for job discrimination over forced transfers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for workers who are transferred from one job to another against their will to pursue job discrimination claims under federal civil rights law, even when they are not demoted or docked pay. Workers only have to show...

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in US more likely to believe in climate change: AP-NORC poll

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States are more likely than the overall adult population to believe in human-caused climate change, according to a new poll. It also suggests that partisanship may not have as much of an impact on this group's environmental...

Figures and Dobson win nominations for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters decided primary runoffs on Tuesday for the state's newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District, setting up a potentially historic November race that could play a part in the battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shomari...

ENTERTAINMENT

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

Studio behind hit ‘Sound of Freedom’ wants to give audiences greenlight power

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angel Studios wants to give audiences the power to decide what movies are made. The company behind last summer’s surprise box office hit, the child trafficking movie “ Sound of Freedom,” employs a crowdfunding model to finance projects from the ground up. ...

Margot Robbie making ‘Monopoly’ movie and Blumhouse reviving ‘Blair Witch’

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Margot Robbie has her sights on another toy. The “ Barbie ” producer and star is making a Monopoly movie, with Hasbro and Lionsgate behind it, the companies announced Wednesday at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas. Robbie, and her production company...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump goes from court to campaign at a bodega in his heavily Democratic hometown

NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump visited a New York bodega where a man was stabbed...

Maui Fire Department report on deadly wildfire details how it was no match for unprecedented blazes

HONOLULU (AP) — When wildfires broke out across Maui last August, some firefighters carried victims piggyback...

Myanmar's ousted leader Suu Kyi moved from prison to house arrest due to heat, military says

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from prison to house arrest as a...

AP PHOTOS: Colorful roadshows and rallies mark India's election season before voting starts Friday

NEW DELHI (AP) — Every five years, the world’s most populous democracy holds a giant election for millions of...

Croatia votes in a parliamentary election that's a showdown between its president and prime minister

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia is voting Wednesday in a parliamentary election after a campaign that centered on...

Death toll from 4 days of rains rises to 63 in Pakistan with more rain on the forecast

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Lightning and heavy rains led to 14 deaths in Pakistan, officials said Wednesday,...

Christina Hoag and Kathy Matheson the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- More than 1,400 police officers, some in riot gear, cleared the Occupy Los Angeles camp early Wednesday, driving protesters from a park around City Hall and arresting more than 200 who defied orders to leave. Similar raids in Philadelphia led to 52 arrests, but the scene in both cities was relatively peaceful.

Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia moved in on Occupy Wall Street encampments under darkness in an effort to clear out some of the longest-lasting protest sites since crackdowns ended similar occupations across the country.

Beanbags fired from shotguns were used to subdue the final three protesters in a makeshift tree house outside Los Angeles City Hall, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, describing it as a minor use of force incident. No serious injuries were reported.

Police Chief Charlie Beck praised the officers and the protesters for their restraint and the peaceful way the eviction was carried out.

Officers flooded down the steps of City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp two days after a deadline passed for campers to leave the park. Officers in helmets and wielding batons and guns with rubber bullets converged on the park from all directions with military precision and began making arrests after several orders were given to leave.

There were no injuries and no drugs or weapons were found during a search of the emptied camp, which was strewn with trash after the raid. City workers put up concrete barriers to wall off the park while it is restored. As of 5:10 a.m. PST, the park was clear of protesters, said LAPD officer Cleon Joseph.

The raid in Los Angeles came after demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia marched through the streets after being evicted from their site. Over 40 protesters were arrested after refusing to clear a street several blocks northeast of City Hall, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. They were lined up in cuffs and loaded on to buses by officers. Six others were arrested earlier after remaining on a street that police tried to clear.

"The police officers who were involved in this operation were hand-picked for this assignment," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said. "They're highly trained and disciplined and showed a tremendous amount of restraint and professionalism in carrying out this morning's operation."

Nutter said the eviction had been planned for several weeks and went off without largely without problems.

Ramsey said he would have preferred to evict the protesters without making arrests, but some refused orders to clear the street and had to be taken into custody. Three officers had minor injuries. One protester was injured when a police horse stepped on her foot, Nutter said.

The Philadelphia protesters were ordered to clear their encampment in part because a $50 million renovation project was due to start at the City Hall plaza this fall.

"Dilworth Plaza was designated as a construction site," Ramsey said. "They had to vacate. They knew that from the very beginning."

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised public safety and health concerns in announcing plans for the eviction last week, while Philadelphia officials said protesters must clear their site to make room for a $50 million renovation project.

By dawn in Los Angeles, trash, flattened tents and the stench of urine were the Occupy LA legacy.

City crews were installing chain link fence and concrete barricades around once-lush lawns that are now patches of dirt strewn with tons of debris, including clothing, tents, bedding shoes, trash and two months of human flotsam. Under a tree was a guitar, a bullhorn, CDs and a black bandanna.

Defiant Los Angeles campers who were chanting slogans as the officers surrounded the park, booed when an unlawful assembly was declared, paving the way for officers to begin arresting those who didn't leave.

In the first moments of the raid, officers tore down a tent and tackled a tattooed man with a camera on City Hall steps and wrestled him to the ground. Someone yelled "police brutality."

Teams of four or five officers moved through the crowd making arrests one at a time, cuffing the hands of protesters with white plastic zip-ties. A circle of protesters sat with arms locked, many looking calm and smiling.

Opamago Cascini, 29, said the night had been a blast and he was willing to get arrested.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk," Cascini said.

Police used a cherry picker to pluck five men from trees. Two others were in a tree house - one wore a crown and another taunted police with an American flag.

In Philadelphia, police began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. EST after giving demonstrators three warnings that they would have to leave, which nearly all of the protesters followed. Dozens of demonstrators then began marching through the streets and continued through the night.

Ramsey said breaking up the camp in the early-morning hours helped minimize any disruption to businesses and traffic.

"We acknowledge the fact that we are going to have to leave this space .... but in another sense this has been our home for almost two months and no one wants to see their home taken away from them," Philadelphia protester Bri Barton, 22, said before police began clearing out the camp.

"Whether or not we have this space or work in the city is nowhere near done," she said.

The eviction overall appeared to have been carried out without any significant scuffles or violence.

Later Wednesday morning, workers used front-end loaders to scoop up tents, trash and other debris and dump it into trucks to be hauled away, while others swept the plaza clean.

Demonstrators and city officials in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia were hoping any confrontation would be nonviolent, unlike evictions at similar camps around the country that sometimes involved pepper spray and tear gas. The movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan two months ago.

The Los Angeles officers staged for hours outside Dodger Stadium before the raid. They were warned that demonstrators might throw everything from concrete and gravel to human feces at them.

"Please put your face masks down and watch each other's back," a supervisor told them. "Now go to work."

The officers came from a wide range of specialized units within the force, including the bomb squad, and the arson unit. Scores of officers in hazmat suits also were sent in to deal with potentially unsanitary conditions in the park.

Before police arrived in large numbers, protesters were upbeat and the mood was almost festive. A protester in a Santa Claus hat danced in the street. A woman showed off the reindeer antlers she had mounted on her gas mask.

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Matheson reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Los Angeles also contributed to this report.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast