12-07-2019  9:28 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

2 businesses sue pipeline company over 2016 explosion

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two businesses whose Northwest Portland storefronts were destroyed by a 2016 gas explosion have filed new lawsuits against the company that was digging at the time.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland Bagelworks owners Kim and Rik Bartel are suing Loy Clark...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Chicago chief's firing again rattles confidence in force

CHICAGO (AP) — The unceremonious firing of Chicago's police superintendent just weeks before his retirement...

Tensions as yellow vests join French retirement protests

PARIS (AP) — Paris police skirmished Saturday with yellow vest activists joining a wave of protest actions...

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Venice tide barriers pass another test, but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

McMenamins
Melanie Hicken and Chris Isidore CNN Money

Detroit skylineNEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- An investigation into Detroit's two pension funds are likely to show that decades of overpayments drained about $2 billion from city coffers, helping to force the city to declare the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy.

The report, due to be released Thursday, will examine "possible waste, abuse, fraud and corruption" at the two funds. State-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr called for the city's inspector general and auditor to conduct the investigation in June, roughly a month before Detroit's historic bankruptcy filing.

The excess payments, made to both retirees and active employees, were not an example of that fraud or corruption. Instead, officials who oversaw the funds regularly approved extra payments in addition to the promised pension benefits, based on the belief that the funds could be more generous when their investments generated positive returns.

A report given to the City Council two years ago showed that those overpayments cost the city $1.9 billion in the 21 years from 1987 through 2008. An update to those numbers is expected in Thursday's report.

The report should also lay out how much of a gap there is between the funds' assets and the benefits they've promised. A filing in the city's bankruptcy case says an actuarial firm hired by Orr estimates the underfunding at $3.5 billion. As of June 2011, the two pension funds had combined assets of about $5.8 billion, down roughly 30% over a four-year period, according to their most recent financial reports.

Orr has previously said that the financial shortfall in the two funds -- one for police and firefighters and the other for general city workers -- makes benefit cuts for both current workers and retirees inevitable. Still, he has said he would need to see extraordinary evidence of waste and mismanagement before he would consider proposing a takeover of the $5.8 billion pension funds.

The trustees who control the funds are opposing the city's bankruptcy filing and have countered that the funding situation is far less dire than Orr indicates.

No strangers to controversy, the funds are haunted by past allegations of mismanagement, and were even the subject of a federal fraud investigation.

Overall, seven people have been convicted on charges related to a corruption scheme at the pension funds, while four more are facing criminal indictments, according to an FBI document.

According to FBI and court documents, city and pension fund officials allegedly accepted bribes and kickbacks -- ranging from cash payments to lavish trips, entertainment and private plane flights -- in exchange for steering more than $200 million in pension fund investments. At least $84 million in pension fund losses have been tied to the scheme.

 

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