09-25-2022  11:24 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

After a Rocky Start Oregon Drug Decriminalization Eyes Progress

When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug Addiction Treatment andRecovery Act in 2020, the emphasis was on treatment as much as on decriminalizing possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs. But progress has been slow and Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country yet over half of addiction treatment programs in the state don't have enough staffing and funding to help those who want help

Portland, Oregon, to Use Microphones to Track Gunshots

The decision to advance a pilot program with ShotSpotter was made after Wheeler met with Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

Oregon Students' Math, Reading Skills Plummet Post-Pandemic

The tests administered last spring were the first reliable comparison to pre-pandemic testing done in 2019.

Faith Community, Activists Introduce ‘Evidence-Based’ Gun Control Measure to Ballot

Proposed law would require permits to purchase, limit magazine rounds.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rep. Janelle Bynum Champions Oregon Business and Sets Sights on Strengthening Key Industries

Rep. Bynum invited leaders and experts to discuss ways the state can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the...

PPS Renames Headquarters

The central office will be named after Matthew Prophet, Portland Public School's first Black Superintendent from 1982-1992,...

Affordable Housing Plan to Go Before Seattle Voters

If I-135 passes it would create a public development authority ...

Merkley, Wyden: Over $3.2 Million in Federal Funds to Address Domestic Violence and Expand Services for Survivors 

The awful threat of domestic violence undermines the safety of far too many households and communities in Oregon and nationwide ...

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces Partnership to Advance Genomics Research at the Nation's Four Historically Black Medical Colleges

New partnership with Charles Drew University College of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and...

Police: Man dead in shooting outside Portland hotel

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man was killed in a shooting outside a hotel in Portland early Sunday, police said. No arrests were immediately made in the shooting, which was reported at around 3:30 a.m. The shooting in the northeast part of the city took place a few blocks...

After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two years after Oregon residents voted to decriminalize hard drugs and dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to treatment, few people have requested the services and the state has been slow to channel the funds. When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug...

LSU survives Daniels' injury scare in romp over New Mexico

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU defense held New Mexico to 88 total yards and the Tigers survived an injury scare to starting quarterback Jayden Daniels in a 38-0 victory Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a habit,” LSU...

Bridges' OT fumble recovery seals Auburn's win over Missouri

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cayden Bridges recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Auburn a 17-14 overtime victory over Missouri in an SEC opener on Saturday. Missouri (2-2) running back Nathaniel Peat dropped the football before a potential game-winning touchdown, and Bridges landed on...

OPINION

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats in Florida seek to win over Latinos on gun control

MIAMI (AP) — Annette Taddeo walked to a podium overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay and described to her audience how she had fled terrorism as a teenager in Colombia and now feared for the safety of her 16-year-old daughter at an American public school. A blue and bright orange bus...

Biden administration launches environmental justice office

WARRENTON, N.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s top environment official visited what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement Saturday to unveil a national office that will distribute billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. ...

Ex-Nevada deputy attorney general indicted on murder charge

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii grand jury on Friday indicted a former deputy Nevada attorney general on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the 50-year-old cold case of a Honolulu woman killed in 1972. Tudor Chirila, 77, is in custody in Reno, Nevada, where he is fighting...

ENTERTAINMENT

New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in 'Rust' shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has granted funds to pay for possible prosecutions connected to last year's fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday. The state Board of Finance greenlit more than 7,000 to...

Ari Lennox's 'age/sex/location' revels in infatuation

NEW YORK (AP) — Writer’s block confined Ari Lennox during the creation of her latest album, “age/sex/location,” but her label head and friend, rap superstar J. Cole, suggested she begin journaling to unlock her creativity. “He was like, ‘I just want you to write and just...

Early Streisand nightclub recording remastered for release

NEW YORK (AP) — A series of 1962 performances by Barbra Streisand at a Manhattan nightclub before she became a superstar have been remastered and will be released this fall. “Barbra Streisand — Live at the Bon Soir” features songs from a three night stint at the Bon Soir...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Bills would curtail objections at future Jan. 6 counts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress have officially objected to the results in four of the last six...

Japanese leader's trip to China in '72 was diplomatic gamble

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese leader who normalized relations with China 50 years ago feared for his life when he...

False claims, threats fuel poll worker sign-ups for midterms

ATLANTA (AP) — Outraged by false allegations of fraud against a Georgia elections employee in 2020, Amanda...

Iran summons UK envoy amid anti-government protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday it summoned Britain's ambassador to...

Canada struggles to restore power after storm; body found

TORONTO (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada remained without power Sunday and officials...

Cuba prepares evacuations as strengthening TS Ian nears

HAVANA (AP) — Authorities in Cuba suspended classes in Pinar del Rio province and said they will begin...

Yinka Ibukun and Jon Gambrell the Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Engines out, the pilot of the doomed Nigerian commercial airliner looked for somewhere to put down the aircraft, desperate for open space but finding only a sea of tin roofs and narrow dirt roads. Down below, people quietly rejoiced in their homes that erratic state-run electrical service had returned to their crowded neighborhood on the edge of the megacity of Lagos on a hot Sunday afternoon.

The crash on Sunday of the Dana Air flight killed 153 people on board the MD-83 jetliner and an undetermined number of people on the ground. The tragedy struck all of Nigeria's economic classes, from the state-run oil company executive riding on the plane to the working poor on the ground in the country's largest city. As investigators continue to probe what caused the crash, many fear another could happen in a country with a long history of aviation disasters that remains completely unprepared for large-scale emergencies.

It's not just those aboard aircraft who face danger, noted Ezekiel Adekunle, the son of a landlord whose apartment building was damaged in the crash.

``What about those people at home who didn't board any plane, but the plane came and crashed on them,'' he said.

It was the worst air disaster in nearly two decades for Nigeria, a nation where carriers have longed used aging aircraft and often operate under little government scrutiny. Some passengers clutch Muslim prayer beads or Bibles, softly praying or loudly calling out ``Blood of Jesus'' as airplanes hit turbulence. Applause and more prayers punctuate landings.



But flying is the quickest and safest way to move around a nation about twice the size of California with a crumbling network of roads that drivers in rickety buses and trucks speed along and where robbers lay in wait in the night.

Among diplomats and expatriate workers in the oil-rich nation, air travel often becomes a macabre cocktail party discussion, as people swear by one airline or whisper about rumored pending bankruptcies of others. Some of the smaller carriers rely on just one or two aircraft while the largest, Arik Air Ltd., has more than 20 airplanes.

Dana Air, owned by a wealthy family whose conglomerate sells everything from fruit juice to cars, had a fair reputation for on-time departures and safety. Politicians and government workers shuttling between Nigeria's central capital of Abuja to its seaside commercial capital of Lagos in the southwest were frequent passengers. Dana's fleet of five planes, all of them U.S.-made MD-83s, stood out among other airlines that rely on Boeing 737s. Passengers got Dana-branded drinks and sausage rolls on each flight.

On Sunday, airlines ran the normally reduced number of routes between Abuja and Lagos. The Dana Air MD-83, crewed by a pilot, co-pilot, a flight engineer and four flight attendants, had flown from Lagos to Abuja earlier in the day and was scheduled to depart the capital for Lagos at 2:13 p.m. for the return flight.

Abuja's Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is undergoing renovations, so passenger squeeze into one waiting hall where large standing air conditioners cannot cool the hot and humid air fast enough. Those wanting to travel on Sunday crowded against each other, trying to obtain seats on the limited number of flights available. Omonigho Akinsanya was trying to travel back home to Lagos with her 5-year-old son Moyo after visiting her sister. She got angry when a man jumped the line and got one of the last tickets available on the Dana flight. Her other sister, Esi Oghene Oko, got a seat and boarded the flight. The man's rudeness saved the lives of Akinsanya and her little boy.

Inside the full flight, a cross-section of Nigeria's elite sat in business class and coach. The son of a former vice president during Nigeria's military era, Ehime Aikhomu, sat in first class. Levi Ajuonuma, an executive and spokesman for the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., was nearby. Members of the Nigeria's military were scattered throughout the plane, as were employees of the country's Central Bank. The Anyenes, a Nigerian-American family of six from West Hartford, Connecticut, sat in coach. There were a total of nine Americans on board as well as a Briton, an Indian, a French citizen, at least four Chinese citizens, two Lebanese and a Canadian.

The flight taxied and took off into the dusty air outside of Abuja at 2:54 p.m., about 40 minutes later than scheduled. The plane banked and began heading south toward Lagos.

It remains unclear exactly what went wrong, but at 3:42 p.m., pilot Peter Waxton, an American from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, radioed Lagos' control tower and declared an emergency, saying both of the Pratt & Whitney engines that hang just below the plane's tail had failed. The MD-83 lost altitude, still miles from the airfield and surrounded by the sprawl of Lagos, a state home to more than 17.5 million.

In the final moments, the aircraft neared a small open space in the crowded neighborhood of Iju-Ishaga, about nine kilometers (five miles) short of Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport. The plane barely passed over an uncompleted building before sheering off the top of a mango tree. The belly of the airplane crashed into an empty house. Its nose smashed into a three-story apartment building.

On the ground, Abiodun Adeniyi had turned on a PlayStation, happy that electrical power had returned to his neighborhood just ahead of the Nigeria-Namibia FIFA qualifying soccer match at 4 p.m. Without noise or warning, the plane came down. Debris penetrated his roof and rained down. Some struck his cousin's baby, only bruising her face. One of the plane's wings destroyed the rooms of two men who had joined Adeniyi only minutes earlier.

As the plane burned, sending acrid white smoke that stung the eyes into the air, thousands gathered around the crash site, taking pictures with their mobile phones and rummaging through debris. It took emergency workers about 20 minutes to reach the site over the narrow, crooked dirt roads. Even then, there wasn't enough water to put out the flames. Residents tried to put out the fire by throwing water from small plastic buckets.

Night fell, and private water tankers from nearby construction sites rumbled toward the site, but couldn't get through because cars of onlookers and security officials blocked the road. Soldiers and police tore away pieces of scrap lumber to strike those who wouldn't step back from the shattered and smoldering plane.

As of Thursday, it remains unclear how many people in total died in the crash. Government officials have said they likely won't know until they complete forensic testing, which could take weeks. Meanwhile, bulldozers have leveled the remains of the buildings struck by the plane, turning it into an eerily empty lot of airplane parts where security officers were seen thumbing through the pages of a torn family photo album.

Adeniyi had immediately packed his belongings and those of his neighbors as the fire still raged from the airplane. Some people approached and began moving his possessions. He thought they were lending a hand. Instead they just walked away with them. Adeniyi doesn't care all that much.

``I just thank God that I did not die,'' he said. ``I'm alive.''

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