06-18-2024  6:54 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • (Photo by Nati Harnik/AP)

    Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

    Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. Read More
  • Dancer Prescylia Mae, of Houston, performs during a dedication ceremony for the massive mural

    Juneteenth Explained: What Is the Holiday, Why Was It Created and How Should It Be Celebrated?

    Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free. For generations, Black Americans have recognized the end of one of history’s darkest chapters with joy, in the form of parades, street festivals, musical performances or cookouts. There’s a push today for people to see beyond the revelry and learn about Juneteenth’s history. Read More
  • Adrian Perkins in his office in Chicago, Thursday, June 13, 2024. During his 2022 reelection campaign for mayor of Shreveport, La., a video, paid for by a rival political action committee, used artificial intelligence to superimpose Perkins’ face onto the body of an actor playing him. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    AI is Making Controversial Changes to State and Local Elections

    Text, photos, videos and audio created using artificial intelligence are increasingly making their way into campaigns for state and local office. AI deepfakes that misrepresent candidates can do more damage in those races because campaigns have fewer staffers and less money. Yet some local candidates see AI as an equalizer against more powerful or well-financed candidates. They can use it for the practical aspects running a campaign, which frees them up Read More
  • Charles McMillan, a witness to George Floyd’s murder, speaks at the site where Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

    Americans Used to Unite Over Tragic Events − and Now Are Divided by Them

    "Public tragedies have contributed to the increasing political polarization and the sectarian tone of political rhetoric today. One question I sought to answer in my book is why?" Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

‘Feeling Our Age’: Oregon Artist Explores Aging Through Portraiture

64 women were painted and asked to reflect on lives well lived.

Off-Duty Guard Charged With Killing Seattle-Area Teen After Mistaking Toy for Gun, Authorities Say

Prosecutors charged 51-year-old Aaron Brown Myers on Monday in connection with the death of Hazrat Ali Rohani. Myers was also charged with assault after authorities say he held another teen at gunpoint. His attorney says Myers sincerely believed he was stopping a violent crime.

James Beard Finalists Include an East African Restaurant in Detroit and Seattle Pho Shops

The James Beards Awards are the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. For restaurants, even being named a finalist can bring wide recognition and boost business.

Ranked-Choice Voting Expert Grace Ramsey on What Portland Voters Can Expect in November

Ramsey has worked in several other states and cities to educate voters on new system of voting. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Word is Bond, Portland Art Museum, Portland Sneaker Week Announce Juneteenth Celebration Event, June 20

This Juneteenth program uses the shoe as a medium to amplify the creative voices and visions of Black men and their communities ...

Southeast Portland Natural Area Improvements Coming, Funded by Development Fees

Kelly Butte Natural Area trails, park amenities planned ...

Montavilla Pool to Reopen in July After Mandatory Maintenance

The pool will open later this summer due to an upgrade to the pool’s plumbing that required a more complex solution to achieve...

Coalition of 43 AGs Reach $700 Million Nationwide Settlement With Johnson and Johnson Over Deceptive Marketing; Oregon to Receive $15 Million

Today, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 42 other attorneys general announced they have reached a 0 million nationwide...

Juneteenth 2024 Events in Portland and Seattle

View events celebrating Juneteenth in the Portland and Seattle area ...

US acknowledges Northwest dams have devastated the region's Native tribes

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. government on Tuesday acknowledged, for the first time, the harmful role it has played over the past century in building and operating dams in the Pacific Northwest — dams that devastated Native American tribes by inundating their villages and decimating salmon runs...

US government for the first time acknowledges how damming of Pacific Northwest rivers devastated region's Native tribes

SEATTLE (AP) — US government for the first time acknowledges how damming of Pacific Northwest rivers devastated region's Native tribes....

Kansas lawmakers approve a plan to lure the Chiefs from Missouri by helping to finance a new stadium

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators approved a bipartisan plan Tuesday aimed at luring the Kansas City Chiefs away from Missouri by helping to finance a new stadium for the Super Bowl champions. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and sent to Democratic Gov....

Kansas lawmakers to debate whether wooing the Chiefs with new stadium is worth the cost

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators trying to lure the Kansas City Chiefs to their state argue that helping the Super Bowl champions build a new stadium could bring Kansas millions of dollars in income taxes from players and coaches, which are currently going to Missouri. Some...

OPINION

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Religious and cultural mentions removed from names of China's Xinjiang villages, rights groups say

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Authorities in China’s western Xinjiang region have been systematically replacing the names of villages inhabited by Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to reflect the ruling Communist Party’s ideology, as part of an attack on their cultural identity, a report released...

The beginner's guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s...

Colorado justices consider a pink and blue cake's meaning in a transgender discrimination case

From plain white cakes to rainbow-colored ones, the Colorado Supreme Court considered a variety of hypothetical cake-design scenarios Tuesday as it heard arguments in the case of a Christian baker who refused to make a pink cake with blue icing to celebrate a gender transition. The...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Margo’s Got Money Troubles’ tells a tale of modern love and success

The cover art and title of “Margo’s Got Money Troubles” don’t quite convey the wild ride readers who crack open this new fiction from Rufi Thorpe will take. There’s a reason Apple TV optioned it as a series starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning before it was even published. This is a...

Music Review: Paul McCartney and Wings' oft bootlegged 1974 'One Hand Clapping' deserves applause

The sound of Paul McCartney and Wings' “One Hand Clapping” used to only be heard on bootlegs, or in snippets available on archival releases over the years. But it's new (mostly) complete official release deserves two-handed applause. As aging rockers empty their...

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

This law is a lifeline for pregnant workers even as an abortion dispute complicates its enforcement

NEW YORK (AP) — Victoria Cornejo Barrera thought the legal helpline for workers sounded too good to be true and...

When violence and trauma visit American places, a complex question follows: Demolish, or press on?

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Last week in Parkland, Florida, wrecking equipment began demolishing the building at Marjory...

The shooter who killed 5 at a Colorado LGBTQ+ club pleads guilty to 50 federal hate crimes

DENVER (AP) — The shooter who killed five people and injured 19 others at an LGBTQ+ club that was a refuge in...

Deaths, drownings and destruction as heavy rains move through Central America. 3 killed in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Three men drowned in Guatemala when two of them tried to help another who had tried to...

Russia and North Korea have had a complicated relationship over the decades

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Vladimir Putin is in North Korea for a summit with its leader, Kim Jong Un,...

Ecuador stops waiving visas for Chinese nationals because of an increase in irregular migration

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador on Tuesday announced the suspension of an agreement with China that had waived...

Kristen Gelineau and Tertius Pickard the Associated Press

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Greg Kowald was driving through the center of Toowoomba when a terrifying, tsunami-like wall of water roared through the streets of the northeast Australian city.

Office windows exploded, cars careened into trees and bobbed in the churning brown water like corks. The deluge washed away bridges and sidewalks; people desperately clung to power poles to survive. Before it was over, the flash flood left at least 10 dead and 78 missing.

"The water was literally leaping, six or 10 feet into the air, through creeks and over bridges and into parks," Kowald, a 53-year-old musician, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "There was nowhere to escape, even if there had been warnings. There was just a sea of water about a kilometer (half a mile) wide."

The violent surge in Toowoomba brought the overall death toll from weeks of flooding in Queensland state to 20, a sudden acceleration in a crisis that had been unfolding gradually with swollen rivers overflowing their banks and inundating towns while moving toward the ocean. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said there were "grave fears" for at least 18 of those missing.

The high waters headed next to Australia's third-largest city, Brisbane, where up to 9,000 homes were expected to be swamped. The Brisbane River overflowed its banks Tuesday and officials warned that dozens of low-lying neighborhoods and parts of downtown could be inundated in coming days.

But nothing downstream was expected to be as fierce as the flash flood that struck Toowoomba on Monday. It was sparked by a freak storm - up to 6 inches (150 millimeters) fell in half an hour.

"There was water coming down everywhere in biblical proportions," Toowoomba council member Joe Ramia told the AP.

Ramia, 63, was driving downtown when the flash flood struck. He parked his car and dashed on foot for higher ground, keeping an eye on the carnage unfolding below: Cars transformed into scrap metal as they were flung into an elevated railway line, giant metal industrial bins tossed about as if made of paper, a man clinging desperately to a power pole as the relentless tide surged around him.

Ramia watched as a rescue official pushed through the churning water and yanked the man to safety. Others, including five children, were not as lucky, and were swept to their deaths.

"You were powerless to do a thing," said Ramia, a lifelong resident of Toowoomba. "While we can rebuild, you can't replace people. ... I've never seen anything like this."

The raging water was strong enough to rip houses off their foundations. Leroy Shephard, who lives in the town of Grantham, east of Toowoomba, was inside his home when the flood struck.

"You could feel the whole house just pop up off its stumps, turn around, and go - for a 100 meters (330 feet) or something down my backyard," Shephard told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

He and his family spent five hours on the house's roof waiting for the waters to drop.

"It's not a good feeling having the floorboards under your feet just ripple, the whole house just ripple and crack, and watching rooms just disappear," he said.

Emergency services officers plucked more than 40 people from houses isolated overnight by the torrent that hit the Lockyer Valley, and thousands were being evacuated. In one small community in the path of the floodwaters, Forest Hill, the entire population of about 300 was being airlifted to safety in military helicopters, Bligh said.

Search and rescue efforts were hampered by more driving rain, though the bad weather was easing and Bligh said the search would get easier Wednesday.

Brisbane Mayor Campbell Newman said authorities were preparing for flooding affecting about 15,000 people in 80 suburbs.

The city is protected by a large dam built upstream after floods devastated downtown in 1974. But the reservoir was full, and officials had no choice but to release water that would cause low-level flooding in the city, Newman said. The alternative was a much worse torrent.

Steph Stewardson, a Brisbane graphic designer, said there was an exodus in a downtown area around lunchtime Tuesday when the river that goes through the city broke its banks. Stewardson, 40, hopped in her car and crossed the swollen river to collect her dog Boo from daycare while waters started covering the boardwalk stretching along its banks.

Stewardson took shelter in her house, and plans to stay there - for now.

"I'm about 800 meters (half a mile) from the river on a hill, so I think it's going to be OK," she told the AP.

Queensland has been in the grip of its worst flooding for more than two weeks, after tropical downpours covered an area the size of France and Germany combined. Entire towns have been swamped, more than 200,000 people affected, and the coal industry and farming have virtually shut down.

"The power of nature can still be a truly frightening power and we've seen that on display in this country," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson described the events Monday as "an inland instant tsunami."

Forecasters said more flash floods could occur through the week.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said rescue efforts were concentrated on towns between Toowoomba and Brisbane, including hardest-hit Murphy's Creek and Grantham, where about 30 people sought shelter in a school isolated by the floodwaters.

The floods reached a second state Tuesday, with about 4,500 people stranded by high waters in bordering New South Wales, officials said, though the situation was not yet as dire as in Queensland.

Bligh said last week the cost of the floods could be as high as $5 billion, the latest figure available.

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Gelineau reported from Sydney. Tanalee Smith contributed to this report from Adelaide, Australia.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast