05-20-2018  3:19 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

First class for Mississippi school after desegregation deal

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) — A small Mississippi Delta town whose rival high schools were combined last year under a desegregation settlement has held its first graduation ceremony.No longer Trojans and Wildcats, they're all Wolves now at Cleveland Central High School, whose seniors collected...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On time, on target: LeBron, Cavs pound Celtics in Game 3

CLEVELAND (AP) — Before taking the floor, LeBron James stood in the hallway with his teammates outside...

US, China agree to cut American trade deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China have agreed to take measures to "substantially reduce"...

Rural Hawaii communities face various volcano threats

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — In the weeks since Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began erupting, dozens of homes have...

The Latest: Royal newlyweds to spend night in Windsor Castle

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The Latest on the royal wedding (all times local):9:20 p.m.The Duke and Duchess of...

Ebola deaths rise to 26, says Congo health ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's health ministry says there is one new death from Ebola, bringing to 26 the...

Insect ambassadors: Honeybees buzz on Berlin cathedral

BERLIN (AP) — On the roof of Berlin's cathedral, bees are buzzing.Beekeeper Uwe Marth pulls out a honeycomb...

By Jennifer Liberto

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Federal workers could start facing furloughs as early as April, according to federal agencies trying to prepare for the worst.


Unless Congress steps in, some $85 billion in massive spending reductions will hit the federal government, doling out furloughs to much of the nation's 2.1 million federal workforce, experts say.

The cuts coming as a part of the "sequester" will end up carving some 9 percent from non-defense programs and 13 percent from defense programs, because the cuts take place over seven months instead of 12. They're part of a larger effort to trim $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over ten years.

Daniel Werfel, a controller for the Office of Management and Budget, told a Senate panel Thursday that furloughs won't happen until after agencies negotiate with unions, and that's not expected to be finished until after March 1.

After union bargaining, the agencies still need to give employees their official 30 days notice of impending furloughs, realistically pushing most furloughs off until April at the earliest.

While they can't stop the furloughs, unions have the final say on how the furloughs will be implemented, said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. She said they get to bargain with federal agencies on issues such as how the furloughed days will be spread out.

The unions will also work with agencies to ensure that things such as performance reviews don't reflect work left incomplete due to furloughs.

"We believe that one furlough day is one too many for employees," said Kelley, whose group is among those pushing Congress to come up with an alternative to federal budget cuts.

Neither the treasury union nor National Federation of Federal Employees have been approached to officially begin the bargaining process over furloughs, both confirmed.

At Thursday's hearing, Werfel said agencies might not be able to avoid furloughs that would reduce essential services. At the Agriculture Department, for example, it's not possible to avoid furloughs that would result in fewer food inspections, because most of the agency's expenses are the salaries and benefits of people who perform those tasks.

"So it becomes a math issue, ultimately," he said. "This is one of the very tangible and clear and significant impacts of sequester: This division within USDA will not be able to make its core mission of sending the inspectors to these locations."

The exact number of total furloughs planned is still unavailable, since agencies are still deciding how to spread the cuts. It's possible some agencies may yet be able to spare some employees from furloughs or at least minimize days of unpaid leave.

Generally, workers would keep benefits such as health insurance, according to recent guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. But some workers may have to give up more from their paychecks when they return to work after a furlough, if their salary for the pay period wasn't enough to cover health insurance premiums.

The sequester -- a series of blunt, automatic funding cuts across much of the federal budget set to begin March 1 -- was never supposed to go into effect. Instead, the threat that it might was supposed to spur lawmakers to find a smarter way to reduce deficits over the next decade.

The only group that could escape furloughs are some 1,500 presidential appointees, including Cabinet positions, deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries. That's because those jobs are considered 24-hour-a-day positions, said Max Stier, president and CEO of Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that advocates for a more efficient federal workforce.

Most of those workers are at the top of the federal pay scale, Stier said.

"It's just craziness," he said. "You're telling the vast bulk of federal employees 'Guess what, you don't know how much money you're going to make.' And in all likelihood, these hard-working people will have to do the same amount of work."

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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