08-07-2022  7:04 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

Court Filing Cites Inmates' Abuse at Sheridan Federal Prison

A growing number of people incarcerated at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution have complained about guards from other federal facilities coming in to toss their cells and indiscriminately beat people

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

Two projects in Gateway Regional Center, four projects in Central Eastside, five in Lents Town Center, eight in Interstate Corridor,...

Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Tribe: California wildfire near Oregon causes fish deaths

A wildfire burning in a remote area just south of the Oregon border appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish, the Karuk Tribe said Saturday. The tribe said in a statement that the dead fish of all species were found Friday near Happy Camp,...

Yet another heat wave grips parts of US West

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest braced for yet another heat wave Saturday and the temperature in Denver hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, breaking a record set in 1877. Meteorologists on Saturday issued a heat advisory in Portland, Oregon, through Monday and also...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

US Secretary of State Blinken in South Africa on Africa tour

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa Sunday by visiting a museum in South Africa commemorating how the country's Black youths helped to end white racist rule. Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition...

Janice Longone, chronicler of US culinary history, dies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Janice Bluestein Longone, who is credited with collecting thousands of items chronicling the culinary history of the United States, including cookbooks, menus, advertisements and diaries, has died at age 89. Longone died Wednesday, according to Nie Family...

Dems rally around abortion. Are they reaching Black voters?

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Facing critical races for governor and U.S. Senate, Democratic hopefuls in Wisconsin are hoping that their support for abortion rights in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade can overcome the headwinds of a midterm election long expected to favor...

ENTERTAINMENT

Lady A postpones tour as Charles Kelley focuses on sobriety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Grammy-winning country trio Lady A has announced that its upcoming tour is being postponed to allow band member Charles Kelley time to focus on his sobriety. The group was set to start the tour on Aug. 13 in Nashville, but in a social media post, the...

Review: ‘Easter Sunday' is a loving ode to Filipino culture

A boisterous extended clan gathers for a family holiday, launching the requisite arguments, hurt feelings, grudges, inside jokes, laughter, love, reconciliation and lots of eating, plus maybe a car chase. So far, so familiar. What’s different about “ Easter...

Jo Koy's 'Easter Sunday' puts Filipinos front and center

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For a comedy, Jo Koy's new movie “Easter Sunday” had a lot of waterworks. The film was no ordinary job for the comedian and the rest of the cast. The magnitude of being on a mostly Filipino set led to happy cry-fests, Koy said. Emotions really hit when...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anne Heche in hospital, 'stable' after fiery car crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Anne Heche was in the hospital Saturday following an accident in which her car smashed...

Alex Jones’ .3M verdict and the future of misinformation

Alex Jones is facing a hefty price tag for his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — .3...

In wake of floods, typical barbs at Kentucky political event

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) — While Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was consoling families displaced by historic flooding in...

Ukraine grain shipments offer hope, not fix to food crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — A ship bringing corn to Lebanon’s northern port of Tripoli normally would not cause a stir. But...

Role of race contested in killing of Nigerian man in Italy

CIVITANOVA MARCHE, Italy (AP) — Two marches Saturday in a well-to-do Italian Adriatic beach town both sought...

Venezuela, Colombia border areas hopeful as reopening looms

SAN JUAN DE COLON, Venezuela (AP) — The freight company owned by Alfredo Rosales and his brothers was hustling,...

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Colombian authorities have captured the leader of a criminal group that once worked for Pablo Escobar, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

The arrest of John Ericson Vargas Cardona was announced by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who called it a "big blow against criminality."

Vargas Cardona, alias "Sebastian," is the leader of a group called the Oficina de Envigado, once affiliated with the kingpin Escobar and now a drug trafficking organization in its own right.

He was captured Wednesday morning by an elite group of police in the department of Antioquia, in northwest Colombia, police said.

Santos' official Twitter account proclaimed it a "triple jump against this criminal organization and gold medal for the police."

According to InSight Crime, a Colombia- and U.S.-based research and investigation outfit that monitors criminal groups, the Oficina de Envigado, named after a small city in the Medellin metropolitan area, are the inheritors of Escobar's drug trafficking empire.

Today, the group is "a hodgepodge of smaller organizations that seeks alliances with street gangs to keep control of their territory and businesses," according to an InSight Crime profile of the group. "It is in near constant flux."

It is one of two rival groups fighting a turf war in Medellin that has seen violence in the area rise.

In 2011, when a U.S. investigation led to charges against 20 people linked to the cartel, a U.S. attorney referred to the Oficina de Envigado as "one of the largest and most dangerous drug cartels in Colombia."

In July, a man who served as security chief for former President Alvaro Uribe turned himself in to U.S. agents in Colombia to face drug trafficking charges in the United States.

Mauricio Santoyo Velascois accused of accepting bribes from a paramilitary group, as well as the Oficina de Envigado.

Journalist Toby Muse contributed to this report.

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