04-14-2021  8:04 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

Portland Police Declares Riot After Vigil for Daunte Wright

Police said they issued verbal warnings to the crowd but around 10:30 p.m. police declared the gathering as a riot and bull-rushed protestors, knocking them to the ground and macing them, news outlets reported.

Portland Leaders To Re-Establish Anti-Gun Violence Unit

Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners have reached a deal on proposals intended to stem a spike in gun violence over the past year.

Three Black Candidates File to Run for Board Positions in Portland Schools and PCC

May 18 election presents handful of openings for four-year terms.

NEWS BRIEFS

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Tishaura Jones Makes History As First Black Woman To Become Mayor of St. Louis

Jones has just been elected as the first Black woman to hold the title in the city’s 257-year-history ...

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases in Oregon

168 vaccinated individuals have tested positive for the virus through April 2, including three deaths ...

VIDEO: Short Film Released on Portland Metro’s COVID-19 Response

Six-minute documentary shares the voices of people on the front lines of the pandemic and pays tribute to the local community health...

Idaho authorities seek help in search for 3 missing kids

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho are asking for help finding three missing children, including two who were last seen months ago. The Gem County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night that investigators are looking for 17-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton, 14-year-old...

Dry conditions triple number of fires sparked in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry said Tuesday the number of small wildfires has tripled this spring partly because of dry conditions across Oregon. The agency said Tuesday they’ve already doused 70 fires, almost half of which resulted from escaped...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri. Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the...

OPINION

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

Eugene Senator Welcomes Passage of "Critical" Covid Rescue Plan

State Sen. James I. Manning Jr. (D- North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City) sends us a letter welcoming the passage of President Biden's "critical" jumi.9T Covid stimulus plan and praising the efforts of Democrats in Oregon's delegation to...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Review: A book celebrating Black American farming history

"We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers Land and Legacy,” by Natalie Baszile (Amistad) Farming would seem to be one occupation that Black Americans could find refuge from discrimination. Consumers choose their fruits and veggies by their size and...

In Minnesota, suburban mayor is thrust into policing debate

Mike Elliott is among many who celebrated his election as mayor of Brooklyn Center as the beginning of a new era, marking the first time one of Minnesota's most racially diverse places would be led by a person of color. Elliott, a Black man who had emigrated from Liberia as a child, was almost...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for national mourning. Many will also be watching for any signs of reconciliation between Prince Harry and the royal family, especially with his elder brother Prince William. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — People have been stuck at home for a year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with movie theaters closed, concert venues closed, restaurants closed, sports attendance restricted — yet television viewing is down? That makes no sense to networks and cable and...

Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' out in October

NEW YORK (AP) — J.K. Rowling has a new book coming this fall, a holiday children's story with all new characters. Scholastic announced Tuesday that “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released...

ACM nominee engineer Gena Johnson crafts hit records

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Inside the Nashville basement studio of audio engineer Gena Johnson, she has mementos from many of the artists she's helped to record and who have also shaped her own career. A turn of the century upright piano that Ben Folds helped her find sits...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Senate filibuster test over Asian-American hate crime bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to start debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate...

100 Days: Tokyo Olympics marked by footnotes and asterisks

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo pitched itself as "a safe pair of hands” when it was awarded the Olympics 7 1/2 years ago. ...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for...

Greece, Libya to discuss delineating maritime boundaries

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and Libya are to discuss delineating maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean, the...

Opposition accuses UK govt of sleaze amid lobbying scandal

LONDON (AP) — A lobbying scandal swirling around former British Prime Minister David Cameron has deepened with...

We need to plan: UK travel urges clarity from government

LONDON (AP) — Leaders from Britain's aviation industry joined forces Wednesday to urge the British government to...

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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