10-20-2019  10:16 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Leaking pipe in Northeast Portland releases sewage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A sewer pipe in Northeast Portland leaked an estimated 1,000 gallons (3785 liters) of untreated sewer water into an embankment.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services plugged the leak Saturday near I-84 and Northeast 21st...

Seattle's first Opportunity Zone development breaks ground

SEATTLE (AP) — The Opportunity Zones program was marketed as a way to help poor communities by offering major capital-gains tax breaks for investors to park their cash in 8,000 designated low-income census tracts.Instead, critics have labelled it a "tax scam," ''the latest example of urban...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

Jennifer Lawrence marries art dealer Cooke Maroney

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence got married over the weekend in Rhode Island during a ceremony and reception studded with Hollywood stars.The "Hunger Games" star tied the knot with New York art dealer Cooke Maroney on Saturday at a Newport, Rhode Island,...

New HBO series 'Watchmen' hopes to match original's ambition

NEW YORK (AP) — Damon Lindelof didn't take lightly the challenge of adapting the most acclaimed graphic novel of all time.The "Lost" and "The Leftovers" co-creator was a fan of the revered "Watchmen" book ever since his father handed him the first few issues when he was 13 in the mid-1980s....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Jennifer Lawrence marries art dealer Cooke Maroney

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence got married over the weekend in Rhode Island during a...

3 US soldiers killed in accident at Fort Stewart in Georgia

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — U.S. Army officials say three soldiers were killed and three others were injured...

15 dead after Russian dam collapse floods dormitories

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 15 people are dead after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water...

Mogherini rues 'historic mistake' over EU membership talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc's leaders have made "a...

Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to stinging criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday abruptly reversed...

McMenamins
Nancy Benac the Associated Press


President Obama meets with small-business owners before signing the JOBS Act earlier this month.
 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In an election season when the economy is king, the central debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney comes down to what is enough. Enough growth in the economy. Enough job creation. Enough help for those still struggling to get back on their feet.

Obama travels to two Midwest states at the epicenter of that debate, hard-hit Ohio and Michigan, on Wednesday to highlight his economic policies and place them in pointed contrast to the sharp budget-cutting proposals of House Republicans - and by extension Romney.

In Ohio, Obama will visit a successful job-training program of the type that the White House says would face steep cutbacks in federal financing under the House-passed budget, which Romney supports. And in Michigan, the president will scoop up more campaign cash to help him combat Romney's efforts to frame his presidency as an economic failure.

Beyond job training, the president is making the broader case that while more remains to be done to boost the economy, he's successfully brought the country back from the brink of financial collapse and done what he should to help Americans weather the storm. For Obama, there's no more critical place to make that argument than Ohio, always an electoral battleground, and a general election bellwether since 1980.

Romney, for his part, never misses an opportunity to blame Obama for what he labels as failed economic policies and bloated government, and to argue that the president's had his chance and now it's time for him to move on. He criticizes a jumble of "federal workforce training programs, 49 reporting to eight different agencies."

On Wednesday, the likely GOP nominee will leap over a few pages on the political calendar and deliver an early "prebuttal" in Charlotte, N.C., to the president's speech to the Democratic National Convention in that town come September. It was sure keep up the drumbeat of criticism of Obama on the economy, jobs and taxes.

Obama's campaign, meanwhile, started running its first Spanish television ads aimed at rallying support among Hispanics, an increasingly important voting bloc. The four television spots each feature an Obama supporter talking about the president's education policies, including improving Head Start centers that serve over 362,000 Hispanic children and increasing funding for Pell Grants to help nearly 2 million Hispanic students pay for college.

The ads will air in Colorado, Nevada and Florida, political battleground states with growing Hispanic populations.

In Elyria, Ohio, Obama will meet with unemployed workers-turned-students participating in training programs at Lorain County Community College, where he'll also address students and graduates. The White House said that under the House-passed budget, employment and training programs of that kind would cut back sharply, eliminating services to 425,000 adult workers nationally in 2013 and 1.1 million in 2014. The president has kept up a drumbeat of criticism of the House-passed budget as a sign of what would happen if Republicans were in charge, although the budget plan is sure to die in the Senate.

In Michigan, Obama will attend two fundraisers for his campaign, one of them at the same Henry Ford Museum where Romney in 2007 launched his unsuccessful bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

The economy has taken a nosedive and turned around again in the five years since then. Romney, too, has fallen and risen again.

And now Obama and Romney are jockeying for the advantage on the economy, and neither has the clear edge.

In a Pew Research Center poll released this week, voters listed the economy and jobs as the top issues as they decide whom to support for president. Those who said the economy and jobs would be very important to their vote divided their support almost evenly between Obama and Romney.

Obama points to steady economic progress on his watch, and suggests his GOP rival would dismiss the needs of struggling Americans to implement policies favoring the wealthy.

Romney's campaign, for its part, on Tuesday mocked the Obama economy as "stuck in neutral" - just as NASCAR champions were visiting the White House.

Each candidate has material to work with in making his economic case: Nationally, the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.1 percent last August to 8.2 percent in March, the lowest since about the time Obama took office. But job growth has been weak, millions of people remain unemployed, and improvements in hiring haven't translated into higher salaries for those who are working.

Ohio's jobless rate was 7.6 percent in February 2012, down from 8.9 percent a year earlier and lower than the national average. In Michigan, unemployment fell to 8.8 percent in February, down from 10.7 percent a year earlier and a peak of 14.2 percent in August 2009. Many in the state are benefiting from the turnaround in the auto industry fostered by Obama, but there is plenty of ongoing economic pain.

Jim Ruvolo, a former Ohio Democratic Party chairman now working as a political consultant, said the recovery of the auto industry has also helped boost the economy in the northern part of his state, giving Obama a strong argument for re-election, but many Ohio voters still feel that while the economy is getting better, "it's not there yet."

"The truth is, if we were still where we were two years ago, Obama wouldn't even be in the race," he added. "The thing would be over."

The improving picture in states like Ohio makes Romney's effort to paint Obama's presidency as an economic failure more challenging.

But Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Maloney said his state's Republican governor and legislators are the ones who deserve any credit for economic progress in the state. And he said that with Obama's frequent visits to Ohio - this will be his fourth in four months, and the 20th of his presidency - Ohio voters are starting to see that the president's economic pronouncements are "more style, less substance, and that's why he finds himself in a precarious spot."

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Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and David Espo contributed to this report.

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Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nbenac

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