08-08-2022  7:05 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

Two projects in Gateway Regional Center, four projects in Central Eastside, five in Lents Town Center, eight in Interstate Corridor,...

Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Trump House pick overtakes Rep. who voted for impeachment

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent, who challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, has taken a narrow lead in the race for the second spot in Washington state’s top two primary. Under the state's...

Coastal Washington tribe builds tsunami refuge tower

TOKELAND, Wash. (AP) — There’s a new option to escape a tsunami for people on the southwest coast of Washington. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe dedicated a 50-foot tall (15.2-meter) evacuation tower in Tokeland, Washington, on Friday, the Northwest News Network reported. ...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Father, son get life for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The white father and son who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood each received a second life prison sentence Monday — for committing federal hate crimes, months after getting their first for murder — at a hearing that brought a close to more than...

Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death....

MN school district policy bans teaching "divisive concepts"

BECKER, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jennette McCurdy rises above childhood trauma with new book

Jennette McCurdy is well-aware the title of her new book, “I'm Glad My Mom Died," (Simon & Schuster) is attention-grabbing. She also readily admits that she means every word. “It's something that I mean sincerely, I'm not saying it to be flippant." McCurdy, who co-starred in...

Review: Fake pregnancy transforms lonely salarywoman’s life

“Diary of a Void,” by Emi Yagi (Viking) Shibata-san, the only woman in her office group, is tired of cleaning up after the men. One day, when her section head asks her why dirty coffee cups are still lying around hours after a meeting, she improvises an astonishing lie. “I’m...

Review: Slick crime novel 'Heat 2' revisits a classic movie

“Heat 2: A Novel” by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner (William Morrow) Hollywood screenwriter and director Michael Mann and veteran thriller writer Meg Gardiner have achieved a rarity with their novel “Heat 2”: a screen-to-page sequel that stands tall on its own. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Russia, Ukraine trade accusations over nuclear plant attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Monday that each side is shelling Europe's biggest...

In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways

RIO VISTA, Calif. (AP) — Charlie Hamilton hasn't irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River...

Major test of first possible Lyme vaccine in 20 years begins

DUNCANSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Researchers are seeking thousands of volunteers in the U.S. and Europe to test the...

Blinken says US is "equal partner" with African countries

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The United States sees Africa's 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global...

Russia halts U.S. inspections of its nuclear arsenals

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Monday announced a freeze on U.S. inspections of its nuclear arsenals under a pivotal...

One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the...

Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is picking up. If only job growth would follow.

A spate of data Thursday showed U.S. factories grew last month at the fastest pace since June, construction spending increased for a third straight month, and both retail sales and auto sales rose in November.

But the number of people applying for unemployment benefits is still too high to signal strong hiring.

The reports offered a mixed picture for the economy one day before the government reports on job growth in November. Economists project that employers added a net 125,000 jobs. That's not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which is projected to stay at 9 percent for the second straight month.

And manufacturers could face strains overseas in key export markets, especially if Europe's debt crisis worsens and leads the continent into another recession.

For now, factories are growing. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Thursday that its manufacturing index rose to 52.7 in November, up from 50.8 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Factories have grown for 28 straight months.

Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM's survey committee, said manufacturers "are cautiously more optimistic about the next few months based on lower raw materials pricing and favorable levels of new orders."

Still, companies have tempered their outlook with concerns about future economic growth, government regulation and the debt crisis in Europe, he added.

New orders rose to a seven-month high and production increased, according to separate indexes in the report.

Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said the gains suggest factory output will expand at an even faster pace next month.

"The economy seems finally to be developing real momentum; growth is accelerating," he said in a note to clients.

But a measure of factory employment fell. The drop indicates manufacturers are still hiring, but at a slower pace than the previous month.

"Manufacturers are trying to meet demand without significantly increasing their work force," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities.

Worker productivity rose in the July-September quarter by the most in 18 months, while labor costs fell, the government said Wednesday.

A more productive and less-costly work force can boost corporate profits. But unless companies see more demand, they're unlikely to step up hiring.

And manufacturers could soon see less demand overseas. Most economists expect Europe's financial crisis to tip that region into recession next year. About 20 percent of U.S. exports are shipped to Europe.

China, the world's second-largest economy, is also slowing. Manufacturing in China contracted in November for the first time in nearly three years, according to business surveys released Thursday.

Separately, the Labor Department said the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose above 400,000 for the first time in four weeks. The increase comes after applications had drifted lower over the past two months.

About 7 million people are still receiving benefits. House Republicans said they are drafting legislation to continue an extended benefits program set to expire at the end of this year. That program provides up to 99 weeks of aid in states with the highest unemployment rates.

Another report showed that U.S. builders spent more in October on new homes, offices and shopping centers. Construction spending rose for a third straight month, the Commerce Department said. Despite the gains, overall construction spending remained depressed.

The projected job growth in November would be an improvement from the previous month, when the economy added just 80,000 jobs.

Some economists are more optimistic after payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that companies added 206,000 workers last month, the most this year. That survey doesn't include government agencies, which have been cutting jobs.

Other economic indicators reinforce the outlook for an improving economy. Retailers reported a strong start to holiday sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumer confidence surged in November to the highest level since July, and Americans' pay rose in October by the most in seven months.

Those reports have caused many economists to forecast a pickup in growth in the final three months of the year, to about a 3 percent annual rate. That would be an improvement from growth of 2 percent in the July-September period.

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