02-27-2020  12:59 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

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NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

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State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

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Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

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New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

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Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

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Missing fisherman found dead in Newport Bay

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Suburban Seattle high school closed over new virus concerns

BOTHELL, Wash. (AP) — A suburban Seattle high school was closed Thursday after a staffer's family member was placed in quarantine for showing symptoms of possibly contracting the new virus that started in China - an action health officials say is unnecessary.Bothell High school, bout 20...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top nominee Polanski to skip French Oscars after rape claim

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MLB appoints 1st black umpire crew chief

NEW YORK (AP) — Kerwin Danley became the first African American umpire crew chief in Major League Baseball when a series of promotions, additions and retirements were announced Thursday.The moves included Alfonso Marquez being elevated to the first Hispanic crew chief in MLB history born...

Kosovo offers to ease tariff on neighboring Serbia's goods

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's new prime minister said Thursday his government will partially lift a 100% tariff imposed on Serbian goods, in a goodwill move aimed to help restart suspended talks with Serbia on normalizing relations.Albin Kurti said the measure would come into effect from...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kids shine as Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' goes big

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Higdon opera for Philadelphia to have 3 different endings

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A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nazi cautionary dramas wade into political, factual disputes

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About 40% of US adults are obese, government survey finds

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Former Michigan wrestlers urge more victims to 'speak up'

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The whistleblower whose letter to University of Michigan athletic director Warde...

Putin rejected offer to use body doubles during Chechen war

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Syrian opposition fighters retake key town, cut highway

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3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

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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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