12-01-2021  5:29 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Sen. Manning on the Year Ahead and the Year That Was

Prominent BIPOC Caucus member concerned with gun regulation, access to Covid-19 testing

Dozens of Oregon Workers Fired for Not Getting COVID Shot

Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon's Cannabis Industry Could Be More Vulnerable Than Ever

Portland is the first in the country to allocate cannabis tax revenue to relieve the industry's impacts of...

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Controversial plan for Oregon natural gas terminal abandoned

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Canadian energy company called it quits Wednesday on a controversial natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal on the southern Oregon coast after failing to obtain all necessary state permits. Opponents of the Jordan Cove project, which would have...

COVID vaccines becoming tougher to find in some places

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Vaccines have suddenly become scarce in some parts of Oregon after months of vaccine surplus in the state and across that nation, officials said. The situation is a dramatic shift from the late spring, summer and early fall, when Oregon tossed out over...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden says HIV/AIDS strategy needs to confront inequity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his new HIV/AIDS strategy to end the more than 40-year-old epidemic, calling for a renewed focus on vulnerable Americans — including gay and bisexual Black and Latino men, who his administration says are too often stigmatized even as...

Study: WNBA again earns A-plus grades in diversity hiring

A diversity report has awarded the WNBA high grades again when it comes to racial- and gender-hiring practices. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida Wednesday issued an A-plus to the WNBA for the league’s overall, racial...

Police shooting raises questions over Black man's gun rights

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Leaders in the Black community of Virginia Beach called Wednesday for a federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Black man, saying his right to carry a gun for protection was ignored during a night of violence earlier this year on the city's oceanfront....

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Leaving the Children of God 'sex cult'

NEW YORK (AP) — “Sex Cult Nun” by Faith Jones (William Morrow) Faith Jones’ vivid memoir “Sex Cult Nun” chronicles her 23 years in the infamous Children of God cult and her slow journey to leave. Born into the cult in 1977 in Hong Kong, Jones was cult royalty, the...

Review: Animated doc 'Flee' tells young refugee’s journey

Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen was 15 when he encountered a new face on a local train in his sleepy Danish town. It was the kind of place where immigrants couldn’t help but stand out, but Rasmussen noticed this kid’s style first. He had some and most people there didn’t. ...

Parton, Oh, Biles and teachers named 'People of the Year'

NEW YORK (AP) — People magazine has named Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, actor Sandra Oh, country icon Dolly Parton and the nation's teachers as its “2021 People of the Year.” “This year has been a transformative one, pushing us all to create something new and hopefully...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Baldwin to ABC about shooting: 'I didn't pull the trigger'

NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview airing Thursday that he did not...

Biden says HIV/AIDS strategy needs to confront inequity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his new HIV/AIDS strategy to end the more than...

Former player, labor lawyer lead MLB into 9th work stoppage

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Clark was a minor league prospect in the Detroit Tigers’ system and Rob Manfred a junior...

UK police investigating antisemitic hate crime in London

LONDON (AP) — British police said Wednesday they are investigating a video which appeared to show a group of men...

WHO nations launch steps toward deal to fight pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization hailing a key step by its member states on Wednesday to...

Petr Uhl, journalist, communist-era dissident dies at 80

PRAGUE (AP) — Petr Uhl, a Czech journalist who was one of the country's leading communist-era dissidents and...

Vivian Sequera the Associated Press

SAN JOSE MINE, Chile — Chile's mining minister says the first trapped miner is expected to be lifted to the surface late Tuesday after more than two months below ground. He did not say when President Sebastian Piniera would be arriving. The 33 miners have been trapped nearly half mile underground at the copper and gold mine since Aug. 5. The Skanner News Video: Live video stream from the San Jose Mine
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) — The dusty curve fronting the copper and gold mine where 33 men have been trapped alive underground since early August may be called "Camp Hope."
But it also has been a spawning ground of intrigue, envy and rivalries that have divided the miners' relatives holding vigil here — just as their shared plight unites them.
With the miners' exit from their underground prison scheduled for as early as Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the mood was less of merrymaking than of exhaustion and frazzled nerves.
"Here the tension is higher than down below. Down there they are calm," said Veronica Ticona, sister of 29-year-old Ariel Ticona, a trapped rubble-removal machine operator.
After 68 days of shared fears and jitters — all of it under the close scrutiny of dozens of reporters that have now grown to a battalion — the early fellowship has frayed. Some relationships, once at least cordial, are as hostile as the desolate sands of the surrounding Acatama desert.
Relatives privately shared stories of the divisiveness with an Associated Press reporter who spent the past month at the camp, frequently bedding down in a tent beside theirs, sharing coffee and gossip.
The feuds and jealousies within families centered on such matters as who got to take part in weekend videoconferences with the miners, who received letters and why — or even who should speak to the media and how much they should be revealing about a family's interior life.
Some relatives complained about distant kin seeking the international media limelight, giving interviews about trapped miners they barely know.
Then there are those who, despite only distant blood ties to miners, lined up for donated gifts including sexy lingerie, bottles of wine and electronic toys and Halloween costumes for children.
There were even fights over who constitutes a close relative — or even a miner's preferred conjugal companion.
So Alberto Iturra, the chief of the psychology team advising the trapped men, decided that after each miner rides an escape capsule to daylight in an extraction operation expected to begin sometime Tuesday the rescued man will meet with between one and three people whom the miner has personally designated.
Then there is the question of money.
It has already strained relations between families as some seem to be getting more than others, including from some news media, who outnumber the miners' relations several fold.
Cognizant of the emotional toll, Iturra recommended Monday that the relatives leave the mine, go home and get some rest.
"I explained to the families that the only way one can receive someone is to first be home to open the door," Iturra said.
The dramatic endgame was hastening as the rescuers finished reinforcing the escape shaft early Monday and the 13-foot (four-meter)-tall rescue chamber descended flawlessly nearly all the way to the trapped men in a series of test runs.
Iturra said he recommended the extractions begin at dawn Wednesday. No official decision was announced, but Andre Sougarret, the rescue team coordinator, tweeted Monday evening that "today the miners sleep their last night together!"
Officials said publicly that it would begin after Tuesday midnight but one senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted by the press, said the extractions could begin four hours earlier.
On Monday, the Phoenix I capsule — the biggest of three built by Chilean navy engineers, named for the mythic bird that rose from ashes — made its first test runs after the top 180 feet (55 meters) of the shaft were lined with steel pipe, the rescue leader said.
Then the empty capsule was winched down 2,000 feet (610 meters), just 40 feet (12 meters) short of the shaft system that has been the miners' refuge since an Aug. 5 collapse.
"We didn't send it (all the way) down because we could risk that someone will jump in," a grinning Mining Minister Laurence Golborne told reporters.
Engineers had planned to extend the piping nearly twice as far, but they decided to stop after the sleeve — the hole is angled 11 degrees off vertical at its top before plumbing down, like a waterfall — became jammed during a probe.
Iturra said he recommended the first man be pulled out at dawn because the miners are to be taken by Chilean air force helicopters to the nearby city of Copiapo and fog tends to enshroud the mine at night.
It is a roughly 10-minute flight, said Lt. Col. Aldo Carbone, the choppers' squadron commander. He said the pilots have night-vision goggles but will not fly unless it is clear. Ambulances will be ready for backup. The drive would take about an hour.
Officials have drawn up a secret list of which miners should come out first, but the order could change after paramedics and a mining expert first descend in the capsule to evaluate the men and oversee the journey upward.
First out will be the four miners fittest of frame and mind, health minister Jaime Manalich said. Should glitches occur, these men will be best prepared to ride them out and tell their comrades what to expect.
Next will be 10 who are weakest or ill. One miner suffers from hypertension. Another is a diabetic, and others have dental and respiratory infections or skin lesions from the mine's oppressive humidity.
The last out is expected to be Luiz Urzua, who was shift chief when the men became entombed, several family members of miners told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because they did not want to upset government officials.
The men will take a twisting, 20-minute ride to the surface. It should take about an hour for the rescue capsule to make a round trip, Aguilar told the AP.
Plans called for the media to be blocked by a screen from viewing the miners when they reach the surface. A media platform has been set up more than 300 feet (90 meters) away from the mouth of the hole.
After being extracted, the miners will be ushered through inflatable tunnels, like the ones used in sports stadiums, to ambulances that will take them to a triage station.
Once cleared by doctors there, they are to be taken to another area where they'll be reunited with the chosen family members. Next stop: a heliport and the flight to Copiapo.
At the hospital, all the miners will be kept for 48 hours of observation that will begin when the last one exits the escape shaft.
Associated Press Writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report.

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