02-28-2024  2:41 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, Oregon Lawmakers Propose More Funding for Opioid Addiction Medication in Jails

Democrats are looking to counterbalance restoring criminal penalties for possession with expanding access to treatment for a potentially growing number of people in the criminal justice system. The proposal would create a million grant fund for jails looking to provide opioid addiction medication. Federal data shows only 24% of jails provide such medication to people with prior prescriptions.

KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Portland NAACP chapter said they were appalled

Rep. Blumenauer Talks Retirement from Congress and His Plans to Help Put Portland Back Together

U.S. Representative for Oregon has held his seat for nearly 30 years.

NEWS BRIEFS

Governor Kotek Announces Director of Equity and Racial Justice

Andre Bealer most recently served as the Workforce Equity Program Manager for Metro. ...

Black Community Input Helps Fuel George Park Project

The effort is an innovative partnership between the City, Portland Parks Foundation, and The Kidz Outside ...

Renewal of School Local Option Levy Will be on May Ballot

If approved by voters, the levy renewal would maintain the current tax rate and continue to fund approximately 660 teachers and other...

Wyden, Merkley Announce $70,000 for the Oregon Food Bank

“Nothing is more important than making sure folks in need have food to eat, and the resources to thrive,” Wyden...

Lawsuit seeks up to .5M over allegations that Oregon nurse replaced fentanyl drip with tap water

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The first lawsuit brought amid reports that a nurse at a southern Oregon hospital replaced intravenous fentanyl drips with tap water seeks up to .5 million on behalf of the estate of a 65-year-old man who died. The wrongful death suit was filed Monday against...

Bill to set minimum marriage age to 18 in Washington state heads to governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A law to establish 18 as the minimum marriage age in Washington state is headed to the governor's desk for his signature. State lawmakers in the House and Senate passed House Bill 1455 this session after the measure stalled in the Senate last year and other...

East leads Missouri against No. 24 Florida after 33-point game

Missouri Tigers (8-19, 0-14 SEC) at Florida Gators (19-8, 9-5 SEC) Gainesville, Florida; Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Gators -13; over/under is 154 BOTTOM LINE: Missouri visits the No. 24 Florida Gators after Sean East scored 33 points...

Vanderbilt visits Arkansas after Battle's 42-point game

Vanderbilt Commodores (7-20, 2-12 SEC) at Arkansas Razorbacks (14-13, 5-9 SEC) Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Razorbacks -10; over/under is 144.5 BOTTOM LINE: Arkansas hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores after Khalif...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden administration taps 6M to fund clean energy for Native American tribes and rural areas

The federal government will fund 17 projects across the U.S. to expand access to renewable energy on Native American reservations and in other rural areas, the Biden administration announced Tuesday. The 6 million plan will pay for solar, battery storage and hydropower projects in...

San Francisco apologizes to Black residents for decades of racist policies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Supervisors in San Francisco formally apologized Tuesday to African Americans and their descendants for the city’s role in perpetuating racism and discrimination, with several stating that this was just the start of reparations for Black residents and not the end. ...

A work stoppage to support a mechanic who found a noose is snarling school bus service in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Black mechanic for the company that provides school bus services for the St. Louis school district said he found a noose at his workstation, leading at least 100 drivers to stop work in a show of support and NAACP leaders to call for an investigation into whether it was a hate...

ENTERTAINMENT

A trio of warming spices makes this beefy Egyptian omelet dinner-worthy

Omelets often are served at breakfast or brunch in the U.S., but in plenty of cuisines the dinner table is fair game, too. Which also means you're not limited to American-style omelets, which can be overly cheesy, greasy and salty. We keep things lighter and more flavorful with...

Orchids as muse: Flowers and fashion mix inside the NY Botanical Garden's conservatory

“The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion” is a whimsical mix of fashion and flower creations, a spring-like respite from winter at the New York Botanical Garden. The show includes multitudes of colorful, diverse orchids and accessorizing plants. And with the botanical world as muse,...

Wendy Williams thanks fans for 'overwhelming' response to dementia diagnosis

NEW YORK (AP) — Former talk show host Wendy Williams is thanking well-wishers for their response to the revelation she has been diagnosed with dementia and ahead of the airing of Lifetime documentary about her struggles. “I want to say I have immense gratitude for the love and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Idaho set to execute Thomas Eugene Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the US

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The hour of Thomas Eugene Creech’s death has been set, and it is rapidly approaching. ...

Thousands expected at memorial service for 3 slain Minnesota first responders

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics are expected to pack a...

Supreme Court to hear challenge to bump stock ban in high court's latest gun case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a challenge to a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a gun...

EU poised to OK major plan to meet climate goals and better protect nature despite farmer protests

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The European Union is on the brink of approving a major plan to fight climate change...

Zelenskyy will co-host summit in Albania seeking more war support from southeastern Europe

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Ukraine's president will co-host a summit with Albania's government on Wednesday that is...

Indonesia's likely next president made 4-star general despite links to alleged human rights abuses

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday awarded an honorary four-star general...

Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Wooing young voters, President Barack Obama is on a blitz to keep the cost of college loans from soaring for millions of students, taking his message to three states strategically important to his re-election bid. By taking on student debt, Obama is speaking to middle-class America and targeting an enormous burden that threatens the economic recovery.

Before Obama got his road trip under way, Republican opponent Mitt Romney found a way to steal some thunder from the president's campaign argument: He agreed with it.

The competitors are now on record for freezing the current interest rates on a popular federal loan for poorer and middle-class students. The issue is looming because the rate will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 without intervention by Congress, an expiration date chosen in 2007 when a Democratic Congress voted to chop the rate in half.

Obama is heading to campuses in the South, West and Midwest to sell his message to colleges audiences bound to support it. As he pressures Republicans in Congress to act, he will also be trying to energize the young people essential to his campaign - those who voted for him last time and the many more who have turned voting age since then.

The president speaks Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then the University of Iowa on Wednesday. All three universities are in states that Obama carried in 2008, and all three states are considered among the several that could swing to Obama or Romney and help decide a close 2012 election.

Both campaigns are fighting for the support of voters buried in college debt. The national debt amassed on student loans is higher than that for credit cards or auto loans.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has estimated about 15 percent of Americans, or 37 million people, have outstanding student loan debt. The banks put the total at $870 billion, though other estimates have reached $1 trillion. About two-thirds of student loan debt is held by people under 30.

Obama, previewing the message he will give at all three colleges, said over the weekend that allowing the interest rates to double this summer would hurt more than 7 million students. The White House said it would cost students $1,000, based on the average amount borrowed a year ($4,200) and the average time it takes to pay the loan (12 years).

"That would be a tremendous blow," Obama said. "And it's completely preventable."

Romney agreed with that conclusion even in the midst of blasting Obama's economic leadership. "Given the bleak job prospects that young Americans coming out of college face today, I encourage Congress to temporarily extend the low rate," Romney said in a statement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration welcomed support for freezing the interest rate from any Republican. But Carney said it was "ironic" that a Republican could both back the interest rate freeze and support a budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., that the White House says would double the student loan interest rate freeze.

Romney has said he is "very supportive" of the Ryan budget.

With Romney all but certain to sweep the five Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor planned a definitive pivot toward the general election, with a speech in New Hampshire titled "A Better America Begins Tonight."

The student loan rate freeze Obama and Romney are championing amounts to a one-year, election-year fix at a cost of roughly $6 billion. Congress seems headed that way. Members of both parties are assessing ways to cover the costs and win the votes in the House and Senate, which is far from a political certainty. All parties involved have political incentive to keep the rates as they are.

Obama carried voters between the ages of 18-29 by a margin of about 2-to-1 in 2008, but many recent college graduates have faced high levels of unemployment. That raises concerns for the president about whether they will vote and volunteer for him in such large numbers again.

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AP Education Writers Kimberly Hefling and Justin Pope contributed to this report.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast