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NORTHWEST NEWS

Photos: Oregon Welcomes Shakespeare Festival’s Newly Appointed Artistic Director

On Wednesday, June 12, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosted a reception at the Froelick Gallery to welcome newly appointed artistic director Nataki Garret.

Juneteenth Celebrations Expand Across Metro Area, State

Gresham, Vancouver events join decades-old Portland celebration of the effective end of slavery

Portland Black Pride in June

Midway through Pride Month, there are still a number of events throughout Portland that celebrate LGBTQ community members of color.

Family, Police Seek Answers in Death of Black, Queer Portlander

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NEWS BRIEFS

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Seattle Art Museum Appoints Amada Cruz as New Director and CEO

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The Oregon Historical Society Presents a Lecture on Oregon’s Enigmatic Black History

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Lisa Loving ‘Street Journalist’ Reading

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Oregon city stops jailing poor who can't pay court debts

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North Entrance Road Opens at Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) — The North Entrance Road and West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park will open for travel Saturday morning.Superintendent Craig Ackerman says visitors now can drive to and from the park using the popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim...

OPINION

U.S. Attempt to Erase Harriet Tubman

Traitors like Jefferson Davis and other Confederates are memorialized while a woman who risked her life time and again to free enslaved people is simply dismissed. ...

Watching a Father and Son

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The Congressional Black Caucus Must Oppose HR 246

If every tactic that was used by African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement and/or in the fight against apartheid South Africa was either criminalized or attacked by the US Congress, how would you respond? ...

Jamestown to Jamestown: Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience

We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cross-sports push at World Cup for gender pay equality

PARIS (AP) — Venus Williams joined retired soccer star Julie Foudy and ice hockey player Hilary Knight in the Eiffel Tower to highlight the push for pay equality for women athletes.The trio gathered Saturday night for a forum sponsored by LUNA bar and moderated by Catt Sadler, who quit E! in...

Democrats favor more access to capital for black businesses

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Four Democrats vying for their party's presidential nomination honed in on the economic concerns of the black community during a forum Saturday in South Carolina, a state where nonwhite voters will play a major role in next year's primary election.Appearing on stage...

Protesters demand firing of Utah cop who pulled gun on child

WOODS CROSS, Utah (AP) — About 100 protesters gathered outside a police agency in northern Utah to demand an officer who pulled his gun on a 10-year-old child last week be fired.The crowd carried Black Lives Matter signs Friday evening and others protesting the incident, including one that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Aniston to Sandler before kissing scenes: 'Oil up the beard'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it came to their kissing scenes in Netflix's "Murder Mystery ," Jennifer Aniston had one requirement of co-star Adam Sandler."I did have him learn to oil the beard up a little bit," the actress said in a joint interview this week. "Conditioned."Sandler said kissing...

Democratic contenders bash Fox News on Fox News

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'Gosh!' Cult comedy 'Napoleon Dynamite' turns 15

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fans pack downtown St. Louis to cheer on the champion Blues

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Hong Kong leader delays unpopular bill; activists want more

HONG KONG (AP) — Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam sought to quell public anger Saturday by shelving an...

Off-duty LA cop discharged gun during deadly Costco shooting

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Ugandan medics now tackling Ebola say they lack supplies

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Knox accuses media of having built false story around her

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Hong Kong's first female leader fights for political life

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McMenamins
Jeff Barnard the Associated Press

At 38, Jason Bjaranson was starting to figure it might be time to get out of commercial fishing on the Pacific Ocean. He was starting to think he should buy some life insurance, and had second thoughts about making what proved to be his last trip. But he had a family to support, and the bills were piling up.

So he kissed his girlfriend goodbye through the window of the truck, told her he loved her, and did what he has been doing his whole adult life - went to sea to make his living at one of the most dangerous jobs anywhere.

But he and three others on the Lady Cecelia never came back.

The 70-foot trawler went down in the night this past weekend, probably in a matter of seconds, 17 miles off the rugged coast of southern Washington. When the Coast Guard reached the scene hours later, there was nothing but an oil slick, an empty life raft and some crab pots to mark where the trawler disappeared.

There had not even been time to get off a flare or distress call. That job was done by the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, a device mounted on the roof of the boat's cabin that sends out a signal if it comes into contact with water. The ping hit the Coast Guard station at Warrenton, Ore., at 3:37 a.m. on Saturday and a Coast Guard helicopter found the slick and the life raft in less than two hours.

The Coast Guard found no survivors in concluding a search of 640 square miles.

"My brother was very fleet of foot," Adam Bjaranson, a TV host for the Portland Trail Blazers NBA team, told The Associated Press. "If he couldn't get in his survival suit in 13 seconds that leads me to believe something happened very fast."

The sinking is under investigation by the Coast Guard, but just what happened remains a mystery. Bjaranson said he has heard speculation from Coast Guard personnel that the Lady Cecelia could have been hit by a rogue wave, while other fisherman have said it might have been struck by a passing cargo ship.

A rogue wave "is possible," said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Shawn Eggert, "depending on if it hit them at the right angle and the weight of the boat was distributed just so."

The life raft could have deployed itself.

Missing are skipper Dave Nichols of Warrenton, Ore., deckhand Jason Bjaranson, 39, of Warrenton, Ore., deckhand Luke Jensen of Ilwaco, Wash. and NOAA Fisheries Service observer Chris Langel of Kaukauna, Wis.

Representatives of the owner, Dale Kent of Bay City, Ore., did not return a call for comment.

What the family believes may have been the last contact with the crew of the Lady Cecelia came when Nichols called another boat fishing nearby to say he had made his last tow for bottom-dwelling groundfish with the huge net on the steel-hulled vessel, and would deliver 70,000 pounds of fish in the morning to the fish processing plant in Warrenton.

Commercial fishing is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs. From 2000-2010, 545 commercial fishermen died while fishing in U.S. waters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jason Bjaranson lived with his girlfriend, Amy Mallory. The two of them have a 2-year-old son, Talon. Mallory tends bar at a local restaurant.

She said Bjaranson had fished for years with Nichols, who was a good fisherman, but didn't feel good about going on the Lady Cecelia.

"He had hesitations about the safety of the boat," Mallory said.

The NOAA Fisheries Service Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle oversees the fishery observer program, and director John Stein said he was not aware of any safety concerns with the Lady Cecelia. If Langel had any, he could have refused to go out on the vessel.

But Bjaranson was also worried about losing their house if he didn't work, Mallory said.

She said he told her: "I'll be OK, babe. I think I'll get off the boat and find another job. Because I don't feel right about it anymore."

At 6 a.m. on Saturday, she was awakened by a phone call from another fisherman. "Amy, Jay's boat went down," she quoted him as saying. "You need to call the Coast Guard right now."

Mallory said Nichols had been scrambling to fill out his crew after a regular deckhand was a no-show. He was sitting at the bar where she worked, drinking soda and eating chicken wings, calling around. Someone told him about Jensen, who had fished in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and was eager to work. Nichols picked him up in Ilwaco, Wash. Mallory picked the two of them up and delivered them to the boat basin along with Bjaranson at about 1 a.m. Thursday.

Earlier, the observer had run the crew through a check of the safety gear.

"I want to get to the bottom of it," Mallory said. "Because my son doesn't have a dad. Jay's mother doesn't have a son. Adam and Boomer and Jeff lost their brother. It's just been a nightmare."

Bjaranson's last words to Mallory were a text message from his cellphone as the Lady Cecilia chugged out to sea.

"He told me he loved me and didn't know what he'd do without me. He told Talon he loved him. And that was all."

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