09-27-2021  5:56 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Use New Ordinance to Crack Down on Street Racing

The offenses have been labeled as “Unlawful Street Takeover” and “Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.”

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree on House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Oregon Legislature OKs new political boundaries

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite a threat to block new political maps Republican state lawmakers returned to the Oregon Capitol on Monday as the Legislature passed legislative and congressional boundaries that included a new, sixth U.S. House seat. The congressional map, which...

Man convicted in 1999 ranger killing dies in Oregon prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 75-year-old man died Monday in hospice care at the Oregon State Penitentiary while serving a life sentence without parole for the kidnapping and shooting of two Oregon park rangers in 1999, officials said. Corrections officials did not specify Larry Gene...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Racial alliances, rivalries on display in LA mayor's race

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The diversity of Los Angeles is on display in the emerging race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti and the winning candidate who emerges from the growing field of hopefuls will need to navigate rivalries and forge alliances across the city’s racial and ethnic communities. ...

Greyhound settles lawsuit over immigration sweeps on buses

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay [scripts/homepage/home.php].2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line’s practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday. ...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo increased its patrols Monday on the border with Serbia in a bid to deescalate tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates. KFOR, with around 4,000 troops from 28 countries, is led by NATO...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated .5 million from 3,364...

'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' sashays home with 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9: Oct. 3: Composer Steve Reich is 85. Singer Chubby Checker is 80. Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden plan seeks to expand education, from pre-K to college

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Democrats push ahead with President Joe Biden’s .5 trillion rebuilding plan, they’re...

Taliban issue no-shave order to barbers in Afghan province

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from...

Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to...

Azerbaijan, Armenia mark anniversary of their war

MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan and Armenia are marking the anniversary of the start of their six-week war in which...

Strong quake hits Greek island of Crete; 1 dead, 20 injured

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A strong, prolonged earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 5.8 struck the...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo increased its patrols Monday on the border with...

By Halimah Abdullah CNN




WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Colorado state Rep. Tony Exum thought he was being punked.

The voice on the other end of the line claimed to be Vice President Joe Biden. It said it wanted to underscore the broader national importance of the heated gun control policy debate raging in Colorado.

"He asked me if the gun control laws we were debating had a chance of being passed, and I told him I thought it did. He talked about what gun control laws would mean and the difficulty of getting those passed in the country," Exum said of the call he received from Biden late last week. "At first I thought it was a prank call."

The brief exchange between Exum -- who represents a small section of southeast Colorado Springs where he once responded to shootings as a firefighter -- and the vice president, who heads up the Obama administration's gun control reform efforts, wasn't a chance encounter.

Calls to state lawmakers by the vice president are "unusual," but not necessarily a bad thing, said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

"It's clear that the administration has placed gun violence prevention near the top of its agenda," Webster said. "States passing stronger gun laws builds momentum for change in other states and at the federal level. Colorado is an important state not only because it has experienced two of the most high-profile and deadliest mass shootings, but because it is a purple state with a lot of gun owners."

(A shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, last July killed 12 people and injured 58. In April 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killed 13 and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.)

The state battles are important because the administration needs to send a signal back to Washington that the gun laws the White House supports need not have negative political consequences, gun policy experts say.

Having the vice president reach out to local lawmakers "may provide cover for some states that are passing these types laws so that there is some national conversation on this," said economist and pro-gun advocate John Lott.

In many ways, Colorado is ground zero for states' battles over gun control policy.

As the nation awaits congressional action on a slate of gun control measures ranging from an assault weapons ban to expanded background checks, many states have taken matters into their own hands.

"Some very pro-gun states are passing legislation that says, in essence, we won't follow certain federal laws," Webster said.

There are more than 1,000 gun policy bills pending in the nation's state legislatures, according to an analysis by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The measures run the gamut from assault weapons bans and expanded background checks to proposals allowing guns in schools and in churches.

More than half of the nation's state legislatures have had measures introduced that aim to nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to data collected by the he National Conference of State Legislatures.

For example, on January 21, Mississippi lawmakers introduced nearly a dozen such proposals. All of the measures failed, most of them in committee.

Most of these types of proposals hit state legislatures within days of the White House's January announcement of 23 executive actions on gun control and the introduction by California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein of a proposed ban of some assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

"The bluest states are being aggressive -- New York with the broadest prohibitions relevant to the mentally ill and lowest maximum ammunition capacity and broadest assault weapon ban," Webster said.

Biden traveled to a gun policy conference in Connecticut last month in the aftermath of December's Newtown school shootings, to underscore the administration's push for tougher laws as the state considers a broad set of gun control bills. Similar efforts are under way in New Jersey.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has spent tremendous political capital in his effort to enact several pieces of gun control legislation including stricter handgun purchaser licensing, banning the sale of assault weapons and ammunition-feeding devices with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, and expanded prohibitions for the dangerously mentally ill.

Across the country in California, state lawmakers are considering measures that would expand the categories of high-risk people who cannot legally purchase or possess firearms -- including repeat drug and drunk driving offenders and people who violate domestic violence restraining orders.

The debate has been especially heated in Colorado, where memories of Aurora and Columbine run deep.

On Monday, a small plane flew above the Colorado Capitol building pulling a banner that advised Gov. John Hickenlooper, "Hick: Do not take our guns." Opponents packed the Capitol's halls and honked horns in the parking lot.

Inside the statehouse, Mark Kelly -- the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democratic congresswoman who was shot while meeting with constituents in Arizona in January 2011 -- stressed the importance of universal background checks. Like Congress, the Colorado state legislature is considering a package of gun control legislation designed to broaden background checks to include private sales and limit the size of ammunition magazines.

There are at least seven gun control measures up for a vote before the state Senate by the end of the week that, if passed, could potentially be on the governor's desk by the end of the month.

Back in Washington, the fate of several pieces of similar gun policy legislation wending their way through a Senate committee could foreshadow the nature of the upcoming congressional gun control debate. But the politics of all of these measures is tricky and the stakes are high, said Alan Lizotte, dean and professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany.

"Both Democrats and Republicans are in a tough spot on this," Lizotte said.

The speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat, says though he too was surprised to receive a call about his state's gun control battle from Biden last week, he understands the stakes.

The vice president "definitely said they were paying attention to all states that were having the debates, including Colorado," Ferrandino said.

However both he and Exum added that though they appreciated the White House calls, they were already staunch supporters of stricter gun control legislation.

"Our goal is to pass the best policy for Colorado," Ferrandino said. "If the vice president wants to take that and help at the national level, or other legislators want to see if that will help with their state, then we'll gladly talk with them."

 

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events