07-16-2020  10:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

I-5 Expansion Loses Support of Albina Vision, City

Gov. Brown says project must have support of local Black community 

Justice Department to Investigate Portland Protest Shooting

Donavan LaBella was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when a federal officer fired a less-lethal round at his head

Seattle Mayor, City Council at Odds Over 50% Police Cut

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the City Council has failed to speak with the police chief or conduct sufficient research

OSU, UO Among 20 Universities Filing Federal Lawsuit in Oregon Over International Student Order

The lawsuit, filed today, seeks to protect the educational status of nearly 3,500 students attending OSU

NEWS BRIEFS

Schultz Family Foundation Appoints Tyra Mariani as New President

The Schultz Family Foundation is founded by former Starbucks CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces $25 Million For Justice Oregon For Black Lives

Meyer awards initial grants totaling nearly jumi.3 million. ...

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Announces Extension of Signature Gathering for Initiative Petition 57

IP 57 is seeking to amend the Oregon Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission. ...

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Arrests as police clear 2 Portland parks of demonstrators

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police made multiple arrests as protesters were cleared from two downtown Portland, Oregon, parks early Thursday morning.KOIN reports that early Thursday police ordered people to leave Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square parks. Demonstrators had been occupying the park...

Over 20 test positive for COVID-19 at memory care home

BEND, Ore. (AP) — More than 20 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Mt. Bachelor Memory Care center in Bend, health officials said. After four days of testing staff and residents, contact tracers are working to determine the origin of the infection, according to Deschutes County...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

OPINION

Heeding the Cries for Justice: Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Meyer trustees call on philanthropy peers and partners in business and industry to support this movement ...

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2 Germans arrested over far-right, anti-Semitic website

BERLIN (AP) — Two German men were arrested Thursday on suspicion of spearheading a far-right group that posted pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic material online, prosecutors said.A suspect accused of co-founding the “Goyim Party Germany” group in 2016 and identified only as Fadi J. in...

Diversity of LGBTQ characters in film declines, study finds

NEW YORK (AP) — Last year saw record representation of LGBTQ characters in the 118 films released by major studios, according to a new study by GLAAD. But for the third straight year, the racial diversity of LGBTQ characters has waned and transgender characters again went unseen.GLAAD called...

North Macedonia: Social Democrats score narrow election win

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia's pro-Western Social Democrats said they were ready Thursday to start complicated power-sharing negotiations after winning a narrow election victory in a poll held up for months by the COVID-19 pandemic.Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's Social...

ENTERTAINMENT

Gooding’s misconduct case back on docket after virus delays

NEW YORK (AP) — When Cuba Gooding Jr. returns to court next month for a hearing in his New York City sexual misconduct case, he’ll find the room outfitted with Plexiglas and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has indefinitely delayed his trial, a judge said...

Michelle Obama to host podcast on health, relationships

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michelle Obama will let her own voice be heard on a new podcast.The former first lady will host “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on the streaming service, the Obama’s Higher Ground and Spotify announced Thursday. The podcast will exclusively debut on...

Liked 'Hamilton'? New documentary shows where it came from

NEW YORK (AP) — You've probably seen or heard the highly scripted side of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now get to know the unscripted one.The playwright, actor and songwriter this month follows up the streaming live capture of his triumphant Broadway musical “Hamilton” with a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Spacecraft snaps closest pictures of sun, 'campfires' abound

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A European and NASA spacecraft has snapped the closest pictures ever taken of...

VIRUS DIARY: Perfect pregnancy plans, ruined by a pandemic

PHOENIX (AP) — It was the day after April Fool’s when I stared at a tiny window on a pregnancy test...

Minorities under attack as PM pushes 'tolerant' Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — It’s been a tough month for religious minorities in Pakistan, and...

The Latest: Florida reports nearly 14,000 new virus cases

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida announced a single-day record of 156 deaths from the coronavirus. The state...

3 more states share license data for citizenship efforts

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Iowa, South Carolina and South Dakota have now joined Nebraska in agreeing to...

EU praises Serbia, Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union praised the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley co-sponsored legislation Friday outlawing predatory "refund anticipation loans" targeting low and middle income families expecting to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The bill also promotes the use of secure financial services by millions of taxpayers.
Advocates say the loans are meant to bridge the gap between the time a taxpayer submits their taxes and the time they receive their refund. Right now, many low and moderate income taxpayers are forced to choose between waiting a month or more for their tax refund or turning to high-interest "anticipation" loans.
The loans can have an annual interest rate ranging from about 50 percent to nearly 500 percent and tack on additional fees, resulting in massive costs for a very short-term loan.
Merkley said in a statement that more than half of such loans are used by earned income tax credit recipients, despite the fact that only 17 percent of taxpayers receive the EITC. B
y banning these high-cost loans and expanding the use of low-cost Electronic Transfer Accounts to include EITC benefits, the Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act allows more taxpayers to receive their refunds quickly and securely.
"The Earned Income Tax Credit benefit is designed to assist working families with their vital needs like food, housing, and clothing," Merkley said. "By tricking taxpayers into high-interest refund anticipation loans, tax preparers who offer these loans are undermining the EITC and basically stealing money away from working families."
The Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act provisions include:
-- Prohibiting refund anticipation loans that utilize earned income tax credit benefits;
-- Ending the Debt Indicator program, which shares taxpayers' personal information - beyond what is necessary - with tax preparers;
-- Prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses for the loans to ensure that consumers have the ability to take future legal action if necessary; and
-- Requiring that the Treasury Department provide the opportunity for low and moderate income taxpayers to open a low-cost direct deposit account at a federally insured bank or credit union through the use of appropriate tax forms.
Filing electronically and having the refund direct deposited into a bank or credit union account permits taxpayers to receive their refunds in approximately seven to ten days, without paying the high fees associated with "anticipation" loans.
Between 25 and 56 million American adults are not using mainstream, insured financial institutions like checking, savings, or electronic transfer accounts, Merkley said.

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