07-16-2024  5:01 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

NEWS BRIEFS

Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Awarded $1.499 Billion

Federal support again demonstrates multimodal replacement of the Interstate Bridge is a national priority ...

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

UFCW 555 Turns in Signatures for Initiative Petition 35 - United for Cannabis Workers Act

On July 5, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 delivered over 163,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of...

3 hikers die in Utah parks as triple-digit temperatures linger in western US

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Three hikers died over the weekend in suspected heat-related cases at state and national parks in Utah, including a father and daughter who got lost on a strenuous hike in Canyonlands National Park in triple-digit temperatures. The daughter, 23, and her father,...

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

PHOENIX (AP) — A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths, including retirees in Oregon, a motorcyclist in Death Valley, California and a 10-year-old boy who collapsed while hiking with his family on a Phoenix trail. Heat...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

OPINION

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden is trying to sharpen the choice voters face in November as Republicans meet in Milwaukee

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden returns to the campaign trail Tuesday for the first time since the attempted assassination of his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, aiming to sharpen the choice voters will face this November in the wake of the attack. Biden will...

Georgia county says slave descendants can't use referendum to challenge rezoning of island community

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Zoning changes by a Georgia county that some residents say threaten one of the South's last Gullah-Geechee communities of Black slave descendants can't be challenged with a referendum, an attorney said Monday in a letter to the judge considering a petition by local voters. ...

HBCU Talladega College is shutting down its gymnastics program. The team is trying to save it

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Talladega College is planning to drop its women's gymnastics program after just one season, but the gymnasts at the historically black school aren't giving up on saving their team. The team turned to GoFundMe trying to raise 0,000 by the end of July,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Music Review: In a new expanded collection, how much of John Lennon's 'Mind Games' is too much?

The new remixed and expanded “Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection" is for those John Lennon fans who really, really love his inconsistent 1973 record of the same name. The problem is, many Lennon fans would rank the original “Mind Games” fourth or fifth among his most beloved...

Music Review: Phish rock out with energy and urgency on their 16th studio album, 'Evolve'

There might never be a more apt title for a Phish album than “Evolve,” the jam masters' 16th studio album and first in over four years. Just as this boundary-pushing quartet has progressed over four-plus decades by fusing rock, jazz, bluegrass and other freewheeling sounds,...

NBA agrees to terms on a record 11-year, billion media rights deal, AP source says

The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deals, a record 11-year agreement worth billion that would assure player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come. A person familiar with...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Far-right groups that block aid to Gaza receive tax-deductible donations from US and Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — Under American pressure, Israel has pledged to deliver large quantities of humanitarian aid...

The Democratic National Committee says it's investing million in 7 swing state parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are trying to offer political counterprograming to the Republican National...

What to watch as the Republican National Convention enters its second day in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Republican National Convention heads into its second day Tuesday in Milwaukee — now with...

Syrians vote for their next parliament, which may pave the way for Assad to extend his rule

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrians voted for members of a new parliament in an election Monday that was expected to...

A shooting in a mosque in Oman kills 4 and wounds others, police say

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A shooting in a mosque in Oman killed four people and wounded others on...

Will the Seine be clean enough by the Olympics? Not even the experts know yet

PARIS (AP) — With the Paris Olympics less than two weeks away, a question hangs over the Games: Will the Seine...

Les Christie CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The nation's five largest banks have provided nearly $10.6 billion in mortgage relief to homeowners under a settlement that was struck with the states and federal government earlier this year, according to a preliminary progress report.

The report was issued by the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which is monitoring the $25 billion settlement. In total, the five banks -- Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial -- have helped some 138,000 homeowners and have offered relief averaging $76,615 per borrower between March 1 and June 30, the office reported.

Nearly half of the total, $4.9 billion, comes from Bank of America. Ally Financial, the smallest of the lenders, has submitted just over $500 million in claims.

The settlement was meant to atone for foreclosure processing abuses dating back to 2008. Under the deal, which was approved by a federal judge in April, the banks get credit for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, by doing such things as reducing the principal on loans and refinancing mortgages to lower interest rates.

So far, though, most of the credits banks have received for relief efforts -- 80% -- have been for debt forgiveness for deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sales. In a deed in lieu, homeowners hand over ownership of their home to the bank in exchange for debt forgiveness. In a short sale, homeowners sell their home at a price that is less than what they owe the bank and the bank agrees to absorb the loss.

In both cases, homeowners ends up losing their home. Not only that, but the hit on their credit score makes it harder to secure a mortgage in the future.

Of the $10.6 billion in relief lenders have given to homeowners under the deal, $8.6 billion has gone toward short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosures, according to the report. Bank of America provided some $4.8 billion in relief through this method, the most of any lender, while Chase came in second with $2.4 billion.

"Short sales are quick and dirty [modifications]," said Geoff Greenwood, communications director for the Iowa attorney general's office. "That's why you're seeing more of them coming out of the chute."

But there is a cap on how much lenders can claim for short sales under the settlement deal, explained Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Once banks reach their limits, they won't be able to claim anything more under the settlement.

Conspicuously lacking so far is anywhere near the $17 billion in principal reduction that lenders have promised under the deal. Lenders had said they would reduce the balance owed on mortgages for those who either owed far more on their homes than they were worth or who were behind on payments. The aim was to get the mortgage balance closer to the home's value, reduce the borrower's monthly payments and help them avoid foreclosure.

However, only some $1 billion in principal reductions have occurred thus far, according to the report. Just 7,093 borrowers had their principal forgiven on their first mortgages -- for a total of $749 million. The remainder was on second mortgages.

Of the five lenders, Chase had completed the most modifications on first mortgages, $376 million worth. In contrast, Bank of America submitted no modification claims on first mortgages between March and June. However, it has started nearly $2 billion trial modifications that were moving through the trial process, more than any other bank. In second place for trial mods was Chase with $1.2 billion that were offered or approved.

Those numbers should increase dramatically, however, since many modifications have yet to be counted. Donovan said they structured the settlement to require borrowers to keep up payments during a 90-day trial period before they're considered successful modifications. At that point, the monitor will credit the cost of the modification to the bank's account.

Currently, more than 28,000 trial modifications of all types are in progress, said Donovan. He said an additional $3 billion worth of modifications should be included in the first official report to be released in November.

"The banks are heading in the right direction," said Donovan. "This will deliver real relief to consumers."