10-27-2020  10:42 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Paris Train Attack Hero Makes Bid for Congress From Oregon

Over 60% of Alek Skarlatos' campaign funding comes from out of state, Democratic incumbent Peter DeFazio said during their debate. Some came from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

President of Portland NAACP Resigns Ahead of November Election

Rev. Mondainé denies allegations of abuse

Candidate Iannarone Welcomes Ruling on Complaint Against Mayor Wheeler

Mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone has welcomed the Multnomah County Circuit court ruling requiring City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to look into a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for loaning his own re-election campaign 0,000

Some Hospitals in Crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

The global surge in coronavirus infections is hitting the United States hard and overwhelming hospitals across the nation

NEWS BRIEFS

The Last Day to Safely Mail Your Ballot is Today, Tuesday, October 27

Ballot envelopes must be signed and ballots received by the elections office by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3 at 8:00 PM. Postmark...

iPhone Users: Beware of the 'Apple Support' Scam

Oregonians to hang up on unsolicited phone calls that sound like they are from Apple. ...

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Give Virtual Lecture Nov. 9 at Oregon State University

Gates is a Harvard University professor and host of a groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning PBS genealogy series “The African...

New Crisis Line will Serve BIPOC Community

Lines for Life have launched a new crisis line dedicated to and staffed by Black, Indigenous and People of Color ...

Oregon Reports the Highest Daily Case Count Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

OHA reports 550 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths ...

Confederate flag not welcome in Oregon historic cemeteries

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A state commission has voted to recommend that the Confederate flag no longer be allowed in Oregon’s historic cemeteries. Members of Oregon’s Commission on Historic Cemeteries voted unanimously Friday to adopt a position paper recommending Confederate...

Man pleads no contest to child sex abuse in plea deal

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — An 18-year-old Sweet Home man has pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree sex abuse in Linn County Circuit Court.Seven Lee Bullock entered the pleas last week and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 6, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.The crimes occurred...

Missouri wide receiver arrested, dismissed from team

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri wide receiver Maurice Massey has been dismissed from the team after being arrested, school officials said Monday.Massey, 20, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault, fourth-degree assault and first-degree property damage, according to...

Missouri grinds out 1st victory over Kentucky in five years

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri kept handing the ball to Larry Rountree, and Kentucky barely got a chance to take a turn. Rountree carried 37 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers dominated the clock and the Wildcats in a 20-10 victory on Saturday.Missouri (2-2 Southeastern...

OPINION

Squaring Away the Cube

When I first heard that entertainer Ice Cube is supporting Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid, I did not believe it. ...

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

Muslim Advocates Denounces Trump’s Racist Attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar and Refugees

The organization says Trump’s attacks invite violence against Rep. Omar and Minnesota’s Somali community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Review: 'Memorial' like a dance gliding between characters

“Memorial,” by Bryan Washington (Riverhead Books)“Memorial,” by Bryan Washington, follows the complex relationship between Benson, a Black day care teacher, and Mike, a Japanese American chef. The couple live together in Texas, and for all intents and purposes, they are...

Fraught election puts faith leaders through a political test

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden count endorsements from well-known faith leaders. But for clergy members who try to tackle thorny moral matters without overtly backing a candidate, the campaign has tested their ability to reconcile religious values and politics.That...

Entertainers discuss disability representation in Hollywood

It’s an old cliche that if an actor wants to win an Oscar, he or she should consider playing a character with a disability. And it’s not entirely unfounded advice: 61 actors have been nominated for playing a character with a disability and 27 have walked away winners. But only two of...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Magic Tree House' books to be adapted into graphic novels

NEW YORK (AP) — Mary Pope Osborne is preparing her million-selling “Magic Tree House” series for a new adventure.She is teaming with playwright Jenny Laird and the illustrators-sisters Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews to adapt her work for graphic novels. The first release...

`The books that help her through': Winfrey suggests seven

NEW YORK (AP) — With Election Day approaching and the pandemic ongoing, Oprah Winfrey is setting aside her usual book club recommendations and instead citing seven personal favorites, ranging from James Baldwin's landmark essays in “The Fire Next Time” to Mary Oliver's poetry...

Hugh Laurie goes for bumpy political ride in PBS' 'Roadkill'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On screen, Hugh Laurie has been by turns irascible ("House"), villainous ("The Night Manager") and a comedic delight ("Jeeves & Wooster"). In a conversation about his latest project, PBS' “Roadkill,” he proved equally versatile.Laurie was thoughtful and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

One Good Thing: Wickedly creative pandemic trick-or-treating

CINCINNATI (AP) — Dropping candy down a chute for little costumed Baby Sharks, Mulans and Black Panthers....

Hurricane warning for New Orleans as Zeta swirls over Mexico

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Residents of the storm-pummeled Gulf Coast steeled themselves for yet another tropical...

'We're working on it:' Pope's COVID advisers and the mask

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ decision to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed, with some concern, by...

Stop the music! Chorus of artists tell Trump to turn it down

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From the beloved opening lines of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah” to the...

'We're working on it:' Pope's COVID advisers and the mask

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ decision to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed, with some concern, by...

Turkey's Erdogan sues Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker for insults

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is suing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders after...

Vote like your life depends on it
Derek Kravitz AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

Sales of previously occupied homes are at their highest level since May 2010. More first-time buyers are making purchases. And the supply of homes fell last month to its lowest point in nearly seven years, which could push home prices higher.

Sales have now risen nearly 13 percent over the past six months. While they are still well below the 6 million that economists equate with a healthy market, the gains have coincided with other changes in the market that suggest more sales are coming.

"The trend is clearly upward," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that re-sales increased 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.

Single-family home sales rose 3.8 percent. And the number of first-time buyers, who are critical to a housing recovery, increased slightly to make up 33 percent of all sales. That's still below 40 percent, which tends to signal a healthy market.

One concern is the market is still saturated with homes at risk of foreclosure, which lower broader home prices. Those increased to make up 35 percent of sales.

But the supply of homes on the market has plunged to 2.3 million, the lowest level since March 2005. At last month's sales pace, it would take more than six months to clear those homes, consistent with a healthy housing market. Fewer homes on the market could help boost prices over time.

Most economists said the January report was encouraging, especially when viewed with other recent positive housing data.

Mortgage rates have never been lower. Homebuilders are slightly more hopeful because more people are saying they might be open to buying this year - and they responded in January to that interest by requesting more permits to construct single-family homes.

"The rise in existing home sales in recent months adds to the indication from housing starts, building permits, and homebuilder sentiment that the sector has improved modestly since the middle of 2011," said John Ryding, an economist at RDQ economics.

Much of the optimism has come because hiring has picked up. More jobs are critical to a housing rebound. In January, employers added 243,000 net jobs - the most in nine months - and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, the lowest level in nearly three years.

Analysts caution that the damage from the housing bust is deep and the industry is years away from fully recovering. Since the bubble burst, sales have slumped under the weight of foreclosures, tighter credit and falling prices.

Many deals are also collapsing before they close. One-third of Realtors say they've had at least one contract scuttled over the past four months. That's up from 18 percent in September.

Realtors say deals are collapsing for several reasons: Banks have declined mortgage applications. Home inspectors have found problems. Appraisals have come in lower than the bid. Or a buyer suffered a financial setback before the closing.

Sales rose across the country in January. They rose on a seasonal basis by nearly 9 percent in the West, 3.5 percent in the South, 3.4 percent in the Northeast and 1 percent in the Midwest.

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