07-08-2020  3:55 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

The fund will help support artists during COVID crisis and beyond ...

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Police: million lost due to ongoing Portland protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Downtown businesses in Portland, Oregon, have sustained about million in damages and lost customers because of violent nightly protests that have wracked the city, authorities said Wednesday.At a police briefing, Deputy Chief Chris Davis said the intensity of the...

Coronavirus kills funding of 37 projects in Oregon

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A steep drop in lottery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis has killed the sale of 3 million in state bonds to pay for major projects in Oregon, the Bulletin newspaper of Bend reported Wednesday.The 37 projects authorized by the Legislature at the end of the 2019 session...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden-Sanders task forces unveil joint goals for party unity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Political task forces Joe Biden formed with onetime rival Bernie Sanders to solidify support among the Democratic Party's progressive wing recommended Wednesday that the former vice president embrace major proposals to combat climate change and institutional racism while...

Indiana governor defends officer response to assault report

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb defended the state's Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday amid criticism that the agency's conservation officers did not adequately respond to the reported assault of a Black man by a group of white men at a southern Indiana lake last...

Five takeaways from Facebook's civil rights audit

A two-year audit of Facebook’s civil rights record found that the company’s elevation of free expression — especially by politicians — above other values has hurt its progress on other matters like discrimination, elections interference and protecting vulnerable users....

ENTERTAINMENT

Coppola and Henson companies get loans for winery, puppetry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From a godfather of cinema to Kermit the Frog, the U.S. government’s small-business lending program sent money into unexpected corners of the entertainment industry. While legendary names like Francis Ford Coppola and Jim Henson hardly evoke the image of...

Review: Hanks lends steady, sober hand to taut naval drama

He’s Forrest Gump. He’s Mr. Rogers. He’s Woody.But with all the famous titles Tom Hanks has owned, few have fit as snugly and as smoothly as “captain” — whether it’s fending off Somali pirates in “Captain Phillips,” landing a plane on...

How many people saw 'Hamilton'? For now, that's a secret

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney+'s streaming of “Hamilton” was surely the biggest event on television screens over the holiday weekend.Just how big, however, remains a mystery.Disney knows, but it's not telling. Data is coming in to the Nielsen company, too, but won't be released until...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

How many people saw 'Hamilton'? For now, that's a secret

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney+'s streaming of “Hamilton” was surely the biggest event on television...

Health official: Trump rally 'likely' source of virus surge

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of...

Biden-Sanders task forces unveil joint goals for party unity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Political task forces Joe Biden formed with onetime rival Bernie Sanders to solidify...

Ivory Coast PM, presidential candidate Amadou Coulibaly dies

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the presidential candidate of Ivory...

UK gets creative: Job bonus and eating out schemes announced

LONDON (AP) — The British government unveiled a raft of measures Wednesday it hopes will limit an...

Hong Kong inaugurates Beijing's national security office

HONG KONG (AP) — Beijing’s national security office was inaugurated in Hong Kong on Wednesday, just...

McMenamins
Jim Suhr AP Business Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An Illinois farmer made so much money this year he made loan payments on one tractor a year in advance and exchanged some older ones for newer models. An Iowa farmer upgraded his combine and also paid off debt, while an elderly Oregon farmer poured into retirement funds a bundle of his $2 million take from a well-timed sale of much of his turf and equipment.

While much of America worries about the possibility of a double-dip recession, such stories of prosperity are cropping up as U.S. farmers enjoy their best run in decades, thanks to high prices for many crops, livestock and farmland and strong global demand for corn used in making ethanol.

Farm profits are expected to spike by 28 percent this year to $100.9 billion, and the amount of cash farms have available to pay bills also is expected to top $100 billion - the first time both measures have done so, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All the while, crop sales are expected to pass the $200 billion mark for the first time in U.S. history, and double-digit increases are expected in livestock sales.

"We're just experiencing the best of times," said Bruce Johnson, an agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. "It's a story to tell."

That's not to say that everyone is sharing in the good fortune. Near Gardner, Kan., a short drive south of Kansas City, a lack of rain and nagging winds conspired to leave Bill Voigts with about half of the soybeans he expected. His harvest of corn was worse, coming in at about one-third of his normal production. Even with insurance, he didn't quite break even on the 2,400 acres he farms - most of them rented.

"Had it not been for insurance in his area, it'd be a disaster. That's the only thing that saves us," said Voigts, 66.

But he noted that the drought plaguing farmers like him helped drive up prices for commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat, benefitting those fortunate enough to get a good crop.

"At the expense of some farmers, other farmers become wealthy," he said. "That's really the whole story. That's not the government's fault, it's nobody's fault. That's just the way things happen.

"Some people got left behind."

Yet most of the talk about U.S. farming remains bullish, with analysts widely trumpeting "the new normal" in U.S. agriculture: Demand in China, India and other developing countries for U.S. agricultural exports - and hunger for corn for ethanol - has been keeping prices high and farming profitable.

In central Illinois' Morgan County near Jacksonville, Dale Hadden says he was "pleasantly surprised" by the corn and soybeans he got from the some 4,000 acres he works with his brother and their parents, considering they lost about 400 acres of corn to 21 inches of rain in June.

All told, Hadden estimated his crops were worth 10 percent to 15 percent more than in previous years, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. He spent a chunk of that on an advance full-year payment on a seven-year loan on one of his tractors and to pay down debt on land.

Much of the rest he cautiously set aside.

"It was a successful year," said Hadden, a 38-year-old with two children, ages 11 and 9. "But most farmers would tell you that just because you're flush with cash, you don't spend it all."

In Oregon, 79-year-old Warren Haught sure didn't. With four decades of farming under his belt, Haught - socked by the high cost of electricity to irrigate crops in high desert country - unloaded his 1,500-acre operation a couple of years ago. He pocketed $1.7 million on the land sale and $300,000 from liquidating everything from haying equipment to plows and tractors, using some of proceeds on two new homes - one of him, the other for his son and his family - while saving much of the rest.

"It was a pretty good deal at the time," said Haught, who now has just 72 acres near mountainous Klamath Falls on which he grows alfalfa and grass crops. He'd like to get at least 100 more acres, saying demand for hay in China and other Pacific Rim countries is boosting prices.

"It was kind of the perfect storm - what you had this year brought a good price," he said. "Everything seemed to be a good price."

In western Iowa near Kingsley, Jeff Reinking and his brother - partners in a 2,500-acre operation evenly split between corn and beans - recently traded in a 2006 combine for one three years newer - spoils from what Reinking called "the best year for me." He also paid off some debt and put some money aside in case things aren't always so rosy.

"I guess we're getting the better end of things right now," Reinking said. "That has not always been the case."

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