04-02-2020  9:11 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Latest COVID-19 Projections Encouraging With Social Distancing

Latest COVID-19 projections show social distancing can cut coronavirus infections if Oregonians keep current measures in place into May

Five Metro Council Candidates Discuss Equity

District 5 candidates compete for open seat

Inslee: Washington Needs More Coronavirus Test Supplies

The governor suggested the shutdown of most businesses and extreme social distancing would likely have to be extended to fight the disease

Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Gov. Brown praised the declaration, but says we still have significant requests pending, "first and foremost Oregon's request for more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile"

NEWS BRIEFS

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U.S. Census Bureau Statement on 2020 Census Call Centers

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Oregon Medicaid Program Gains Flexibility to Better Serve Low-income Oregonians During Pandemic

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Washington Elementary School Offers Food-Bearing Container Gardens During Meal Distribution

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Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled for 2020

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Oregon health officer: Spike in virus cases can be averted

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Trial off again in deadly 2015 Vegas Strip sidewalk crash

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Trial has been postponed indefinitely while a woman accused of intentionally killing and injuring Las Vegas Strip sidewalk pedestrians with a car in December 2015 heads back to a Nevada state mental facility.Lakeisha Holloway’s court-appointed defense attorney, Scott...

The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off

The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak's affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):10 p.m.Two boxing cards at Madison Square Garden have been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.A few hours after announcing the fights would proceed without crowds, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

You're Pretty... For a Dark-Skinned Girl

Cloé Luv, an "unapologetically" dark-skinned Black woman tells her story ...

The ACA Has Never Been More Critical

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NAACP/Black Community: A Model for Resiliency

As America enters perhaps the most uncertain period in modern history, we will all be tested in new and unpredictable ways. ...

What the Government Can Do Now to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19

Dr. Roger Stark says during this pandemic the administration must give states more flexibility ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Study: Gonzaga, Michigan top academics-based NCAA brackets

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Study: racial graduation-rate gap grows for men's NCAA teams

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Judge: Man linked to white supremacist group to stay in jail

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ENTERTAINMENT

Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli dies from coronavirus

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Carnegie Hall projects M deficit, expects cuts next season

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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McMenamins
Colleen Long and Harry R. Weber Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS – Oil stopped gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's busted well Thursday for the first time since the disastrous spill began, the oil giant said. It was the most significant milestone yet in BP's effort to control one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.
The Skanner News Video click here
Now begins a waiting period to see if the cap can hold the oil without blowing a new leak in the well. Engineers will monitor pressure readings incrementally for up to 48 hours before reopening the cap while they decide what to do next. The cap is only planned as a temporary fix until a final plug is set from underground, maybe next month.
The news elicited joy mixed with skepticism from Gulf Coast residents wearied by months of false starts, setbacks and failures. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley's face lit up when he heard the oil flow had stopped.
"That's great. I think a lot of prayers were answered today," said Riley.
The stoppage came 85 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes after the first report April 20 of an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and triggered the spill.
The Skanner News Video: President Obama on oil leak cap
"Finally!" said Renee Brown, a 35-year-old middle school guidance counselor visiting Pensacola Beach, Fla., from London, Ky."Honestly, I'm surprised that they haven't been able to do something sooner, though."
Video images, which for months had featured a billowing brown cloud violently fouling the Gulf, showed a remarkably different picture: A quiet, still well. Shortly after it coughed its last bit of oil and the last opening was squeezed shut, it quieted, with only tiny bubbles floating past the stack.
Commercial fishermen at Delta Marina in oil-stained Plaquemines Parish were subdued in their response. Some said there was still a long clean up ahead and others flatly refused to believe the leak was contained.
"I don't believe that. That's a lie. It's a (expletive) lie," said Stephon LaFrance, a 49-year-old oysterman whose been out of work for weeks. "I don't believe they stopped that leak. BP's trying to make their self look good."
Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said at a news briefing that oil stopped flowing into the water at 2:25 p.m. CDT after engineers gradually dialed down the amount of crude escaping through the last of three valves in the 75-ton cap.
"I am very pleased that there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, I'm really excited there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico," Wells said.
Now begins a waiting period to see if the cap can hold the oil without blowing a new leak in the well. Engineers will monitor pressure readings incrementally for up to 48 hours before reopening the cap while they decide what to do.
"For the people living on the Gulf, I'm certainly not going to guess their emotions," Wells said. "I hope they're encouraged there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. But we have to be careful. Depending on what the test shows us, we may need to open this well back up."
Though not a permanent fix, the solution has been the only one that has worked to stem the flow of oil since April. BP is drilling two relief wells so it can pump mud and cement into the leaking well in hopes of plugging it for good by mid-August.
BP has struggled to contain the spill and had so far been successful only in reducing the flow, not stopping it. The company removed an old, leaky cap and installed the new one Monday.
Between 93.5 million and 184.3 million have already spilled into the Gulf, according to federal estimates.
For some, it was hard to believe the flow had really stopped.
"Completely?" asked Michelle Blanchard, the wife of a shrimper in Chauvin, La., when she heard about the oil stopping from an AP reporter. "Come on," she said in disbelief.
"It's a good thing it stopped. I'm excited," she said.
Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast chair of the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club, said he's still skeptical about the news.
"I think it's a little premature to say it's definitely over. They've gotten our hopes up so many times before that in my mind I don't think it's going to be over until Christmas."
Nine-year-old Lena Durden threw up her hands in jubilation when her mother told her the oil was stopped.
"God, that's wonderful," said Yvonne Durden, a Mobile-area native who now lives in Seattle and brought her daughter to the coast for a visit. "When came here so she could swim in the water and see it in case it's not here next time."
Chris Roberts, a councilman from coastal Jefferson Parish welcomed the news.
"Everyone has waited on edge for this day to come," said Roberts, whose district includes the devastated tourist town of Grand Isle. "There is a lot of oil remaining. Our focus will be to clean up the impacted areas and make the many impacted industries whole as quickly as possible."
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the disaster, said at a briefing it's not clear yet whether the cap, which was mounted on the well Monday, will ultimately be used to shut in the oil or to channel it through pipes to collection ships overhead.
Randall Luthi, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Ocean Industries Association, a national trade group representing the offshore petroleum industry, said it gives everyone a chance to focus on how to clean up the spill.
"This is by far the best news we've heard in 86 days. You can bet that industry officials and their families are taking a big sigh here. We hope this is a reliable fix to the immediate flow of oil until the relief wells are completed."
___
Weber reported from Houston. Associated Press Writers Holbrook Mohr in Empire, La., Shelia Byrd in Jackson, Miss., Jay Reeves in Dauphin Island, Ala., Mary Foster, Alan Sayre, Kevin McGill and Vicki Smith in New Orleans and Matt Sedensky in Pensacola Beach, Fla., contributed to this report.

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