02-28-2024  1:17 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, Oregon Lawmakers Propose More Funding for Opioid Addiction Medication in Jails

Democrats are looking to counterbalance restoring criminal penalties for possession with expanding access to treatment for a potentially growing number of people in the criminal justice system. The proposal would create a million grant fund for jails looking to provide opioid addiction medication. Federal data shows only 24% of jails provide such medication to people with prior prescriptions.

KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Portland NAACP chapter said they were appalled

Rep. Blumenauer Talks Retirement from Congress and His Plans to Help Put Portland Back Together

U.S. Representative for Oregon has held his seat for nearly 30 years.

NEWS BRIEFS

Governor Kotek Announces Director of Equity and Racial Justice

Andre Bealer most recently served as the Workforce Equity Program Manager for Metro. ...

Black Community Input Helps Fuel George Park Project

The effort is an innovative partnership between the City, Portland Parks Foundation, and The Kidz Outside ...

Renewal of School Local Option Levy Will be on May Ballot

If approved by voters, the levy renewal would maintain the current tax rate and continue to fund approximately 660 teachers and other...

Wyden, Merkley Announce $70,000 for the Oregon Food Bank

“Nothing is more important than making sure folks in need have food to eat, and the resources to thrive,” Wyden...

Lawsuit seeks up to .5M over allegations that Oregon nurse replaced fentanyl drip with tap water

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The first lawsuit brought amid reports that a nurse at a southern Oregon hospital replaced intravenous fentanyl drips with tap water seeks up to .5 million on behalf of the estate of a 65-year-old man who died. The wrongful death suit was filed Monday against...

Bill to set minimum marriage age to 18 in Washington state heads to governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A law to establish 18 as the minimum marriage age in Washington state is headed to the governor's desk for his signature. State lawmakers in the House and Senate passed House Bill 1455 this session after the measure stalled in the Senate last year and other...

East leads Missouri against No. 24 Florida after 33-point game

Missouri Tigers (8-19, 0-14 SEC) at Florida Gators (19-8, 9-5 SEC) Gainesville, Florida; Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Gators -13; over/under is 154 BOTTOM LINE: Missouri visits the No. 24 Florida Gators after Sean East scored 33 points...

Vanderbilt visits Arkansas after Battle's 42-point game

Vanderbilt Commodores (7-20, 2-12 SEC) at Arkansas Razorbacks (14-13, 5-9 SEC) Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Razorbacks -10; over/under is 144.5 BOTTOM LINE: Arkansas hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores after Khalif...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden administration taps 6M to fund clean energy for Native American tribes and rural areas

The federal government will fund 17 projects across the U.S. to expand access to renewable energy on Native American reservations and in other rural areas, the Biden administration announced Tuesday. The 6 million plan will pay for solar, battery storage and hydropower projects in...

San Francisco apologizes to Black residents for decades of racist policies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Supervisors in San Francisco formally apologized Tuesday to African Americans and their descendants for the city’s role in perpetuating racism and discrimination, with several stating that this was just the start of reparations for Black residents and not the end. ...

A work stoppage to support a mechanic who found a noose is snarling school bus service in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Black mechanic for the company that provides school bus services for the St. Louis school district said he found a noose at his workstation, leading at least 100 drivers to stop work in a show of support and NAACP leaders to call for an investigation into whether it was a hate...

ENTERTAINMENT

A trio of warming spices makes this beefy Egyptian omelet dinner-worthy

Omelets often are served at breakfast or brunch in the U.S., but in plenty of cuisines the dinner table is fair game, too. Which also means you're not limited to American-style omelets, which can be overly cheesy, greasy and salty. We keep things lighter and more flavorful with...

Orchids as muse: Flowers and fashion mix inside the NY Botanical Garden's conservatory

“The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion” is a whimsical mix of fashion and flower creations, a spring-like respite from winter at the New York Botanical Garden. The show includes multitudes of colorful, diverse orchids and accessorizing plants. And with the botanical world as muse,...

Wendy Williams thanks fans for 'overwhelming' response to dementia diagnosis

NEW YORK (AP) — Former talk show host Wendy Williams is thanking well-wishers for their response to the revelation she has been diagnosed with dementia and ahead of the airing of Lifetime documentary about her struggles. “I want to say I have immense gratitude for the love and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US and UK hit Iranian deputy commander and Houthi member with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and U.K. sanctioned a deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps...

Idaho set to execute Thomas Eugene Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the US

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The hour of Thomas Eugene Creech’s death has been set, and it is rapidly approaching. ...

Thousands expected at memorial service for 3 slain Minnesota first responders

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics are expected to pack a...

China's embattled former foreign minister steps down as member of the legislature

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China’s former foreign minister, Qin Gang, who has been missing from public view since...

Why thousands of junior doctors in South Korea are striking, and what it means for patients

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Thousands of junior doctors in South Korea have been refusing to see patients and...

An Italian family of three is back in Rome following two years of captivity in Mali

ROME (AP) — Italy's foreign minister was on hand Tuesday for the arrival in Rome of an Italian family of three...

Jennifer Liberto

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Starting Friday, Joyce Lewis and her family will lose $44 from their monthly food stamp benefits.

The food stamps buy a lot of economical rice-based meals for the family -- four adults and a grandson who live with Lewis in Spring Hill, Fla.


Occasionally, when her grocery store is running a deal, Lewis indulges the family with spare ribs or chicken.

The benefit -- totaling $800 for four adults -- never lasts Lewis and her family a full month.

"When I get to the end, we always run out. I try to go to all the food pantries," Lewis said.

Food stamp benefits will be trimmed by $5 billion starting Friday, when a temporary bump-up enacted during the recession expires. Millions of families will be affected.

Lewis, 55, is worried because the cuts are coming at a bad time. Among other things, a second grandchild is due in January.

She is also fighting the bank from foreclosing on her home.

And even though she doesn't smoke, Lewis suffers from emphysema, which prevents her from working.

Lewis attributes the emphysema to a lifetime of bartending in smoke-filled nonprofit social clubs, such as Elks and Moose lodges.

Her adult daughters who live with her aren't in a position to work -- one is a new mom, and another is due to give birth soon.

The low point came this summer, when she didn't have enough to pay the full electricity bill. Lewis needs power to run her breathing machine to treat her illness. So she pawned her wedding ring for $325.

A few weeks ago, she started getting disability payments for her disease. She promptly used it to get back her ring for $487 before it was sold.

"That was $162 I paid in interest to keep the lights on and put food on the table," Lewis said.

Enrollment in food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has soared.

Some 47.6 million people, or nearly 15% of the population, get them, according to September federal data. That compares to 26.3 million, or 8.7% of the population, in 2007. The average benefit per person is $133.19 a month.

For families who rely on food stamps, it means a lot of planning and tough choices.

Hugh Sewell, 54, has been on food stamps for two years. He gets the maximum allowed for his family of three -- $526 a month. The benefits will likely be cut by $29 to $497, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That would be tough, Sewell says. The first time the family got food stamps, after he lost his job in 2010, they blew through the allotment halfway through the month.

After that, the Sewells started making detailed budgets, meal plans and shopping lists.

"We buy a lot of beans, rice and potatoes," said Sewell, who lives in Philadelphia. "Towards the end of the month, you're eating all the box stuff, and a lot more pasta with sauce."

Last month, Sewell landed a job as an audio technician.

The job paid $12 an hour, a lot less than the $25 he used to make before he was laid off.

Sewell asked his employer to lower his wages to $9 an hour instead.

Why? He did the math and found that $12 an hour was just enough to cause a reduction n his government benefits, and could cost him and his family its Medicaid coverage for health care.

At the same time, the income from $12 an hour would not be enough to pay his bills, including the $900 a month he would have to pay for health insurance for his family.

Sewell is hoping to find a job that pays enough to allow his family to get off government assistance.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast