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NORTHWEST NEWS

Iowa Reporter Fights Charges Connected to Covering Black Lives Matter Protest

The case of Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri who was pepper sprayed and arrested while reporting on a clash between protesters and police, highlights the First Amendment and the right to a free press

Brown Pauses Rollbacks to COVID-19 Extreme Risk Level

Counties that have moved out of the COVID-19 extreme risk level will not be moved back into it without giving them two weeks to improve their case numbers

March to Literacy Confronts the Ways We Fail Black Students

The virtual event aims to empower parents, educators of students who struggle with reading

'Falling Through Cracks': Vaccine Bypasses Some Older Adults

An untold number of older adults are getting left behind, unseen, because they are too overwhelmed, too frail or too poor to fend for themselves.

NEWS BRIEFS

Commercial Rent Relief Program to Open Applications March 8

The program targets landlords with tenant businesses with 100 or fewer employees who are behind on lease payments ...

Powell's Books Presents Richard Brown on Zoom March 5

Richard Brown, long-time Portland activist and photographer, will talk about his memoir, “This Is Not For You, An Activist’s...

Freedmen’s Bureau Among Free Classes at GFO Virtual Open House

This is one of the 18 free classes the Genealogical Forum of Oregon is offering during its 75th anniversary Genealogy Open House. ...

Oregon Worker Relief Fund Creates Fund for Small Businesses

The program received million to support small businesses owned by ITIN holders and impacted by the pandemic. ...

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

US states look to step up wolf kills, pushed by Republicans

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Payments for dead wolves. Unlimited hunting of the animals. Shooting wolves from the air.Wolf hunting policies in some states are taking an aggressive turn, as Republican lawmakers and conservative hunting groups push to curb their numbers and propose tactics shunned...

Oregon governor gets Johnson & Johnson vaccination

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. (AP) — Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday and is encouraging others to get it.Brown said she got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to demonstrate that it’s safe and effective, and to counter rumors and...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Opponents suspect environmental racism in pipeline project

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Clyde Robinson treasures the acre of land he inherited, a verdant space tucked into a cul-de-sac in a south Memphis neighborhood, surrounded by houses and trees beside a railroad track.For more than five decades, he nurtured it while his relatives lived in a home on the...

Bloody Sunday memorial honors late civil rights giants

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The commemoration of a pivotal moment in the fight for voting rights for African Americans is honoring four giants of the civil rights movement who lost their lives in 2020, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and also highlighting the continued fight for voting...

Board to begin search for permanent Capitol Police chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The board that oversees the U.S. Capitol Police is beginning a search for a permanent police chief, a person familiar with the matter said, as the fallout from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol continues.Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has faced scrutiny from Capitol Hill...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys to partner with Berklee, ASU for study on women

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy is partnering with Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University to complete a study focused on women's representation in the music industry.The academy, which puts on the annual Grammy Awards, said the lack of female creators in music is...

New York cinemas reopen, brightening outlook for theaters

NEW YORK (AP) — After growing cobwebs for nearly a year, movie theaters in New York City reopen Friday, returning film titles to Manhattan marquees that had for the last 12 months instead read messages like “Wear a mask” and “We’ll be back soon.”Shortly...

Hotly anticipated Meghan and Harry interview to air at last

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The time has finally come for audiences to hear Meghan and Harry describe the backstory and effects of their tumultuous split from royal life.Sunday night’s airing of a two-hour special hosted by Oprah Winfrey will provide the first, and unprecedented, peek into the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Embiid, Simmons to miss All-Star Game; Zion to start instead

Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game after being...

From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Perez was a guest on a Spanish-language talk radio show in Las Vegas last year when a...

Swiss narrowly back proposal to ban face coverings in public

BERLIN (AP) — Swiss voters narrowly approved on Sunday a proposal to ban face coverings, both the niqabs...

UK schools to reopen, backed by frequent virus testing

LONDON (AP) — British students, backed by a robust coronavirus testing program, are gearing up to return to...

North Macedonia police make big marijuana seizure, arrest 3

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia said Sunday they have cracked down on an...

Etna keeps up its spectacular explosions; ash rains on towns

ROME (AP) — A particularly spectacular blast from Italy's Mount Etna volcano belched out a towering cloud...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
Scott Bauer Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A stand by Wisconsin Republicans against a massive effort to oust them from power could reverberate across the country as the battle over union rights and the conservative revolution heads toward the 2012 presidential race.

Democrats succeeded in taking two Wisconsin state Senate seats away from Republican incumbents on Tuesday but fell one short of what they needed to seize majority control of the chamber.

Republicans saw it as a big win for Gov. Scott Walker and an affirmation of his conservative agenda, the hallmark of which has been his successful push to strip most collective bargaining rights from public workers.

Walker told The Associated Press on Wednesday that even though his party managed to retain control of the Legislature, he thinks the recall election results show that voters want both parties to work together on jobs and the economy.

"People still want us to focus on those two priorities," Walker said. "They want us to work together."

Walker said he planned to meet soon with leaders from both parties to discuss areas where they could work together. The invitation was greeted with skepticism from Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca.

"It's bipartisan action, not bipartisan rhetoric that people are looking for," Barca said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who will preside over a razor thin 17-16 GOP majority should two Democratic senators manage to win their own recall elections next week, echoed Walker's talking points.

"Republicans are going to continue doing what we promised the people of Wisconsin - improve the economy and get Wisconsin moving back in the right direction," Fitzgerald said in a prepared statement after the victory.

Democrats and union leaders tried to make the best of the historic GOP wins. There had been only 13 other successful recalls of state-level office holders nationwide since 1913.

"The fact of the matter remains that, fighting on Republican turf, we have begun the work of stopping the Scott Walker agenda," said Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate.

Phil Neuenfeldt, the president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, said voters sent a message that there is a growing movement to reclaim the middle class.

"Let's be clear, anyway you slice it, this is an unprecedented victory," he said.

Still, it was far less than what Democrats set out to achieve. And while they still plan to move ahead with recalling Walker, maintaining momentum for that effort, which can't start until November, will be difficult.

Sen. Luther Olsen, one of the four Republicans who won, said he hoped the victories would "take the wind out of the recall for Walker, but I'm not sure."

Tate, the Democratic Party chairman, said Wednesday that Democratic gains showed how vulnerable Walker is and that the recall effort would continue with the election taking place in November, timed to coincide with expected high Democratic turnout in the presidential race.

Walker said he would "leave it up to the pundits to decide" what the recall elections meant for efforts targeting him, but he believed he ultimately will be judged on whether he can fulfill his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs in the state over four years.

Four Republican senators held on to their seats Tuesday. They were Olsen and Sens. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, Rob Cowles of Allouez, and Alberta Darling of River Hills. Two Republicans - Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Dan Kapanke of La Crosse - were defeated. Former deputy mayor of Oshkosh Jessica King beat Hopper and Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling beat Kapanke.

A ninth senator, Democrat Dave Hansen of Green Bay, won his recall election last month.

Collectively, more than $31 million has been spent on the recalls, largely from outside conservative groups, unions and others.

Republican and Democratic strategists were leery of reading too much into the results heading into next year's campaign in which Wisconsin is expected to be a key swing state.

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane said the results could provide "some early radar warnings" about the 2012 races, and that he expects the conservatives "to fight back like an angry badger."

Lehane said Wisconsin's tumultuous year since November's elections has been a microcosm of the current "rollercoaster" era of U.S. politics.

Wisconsin voters had mixed emotions about the necessity of the recalls.

Wayne Boland, 41, a Whitefish Bay man who works in marketing for a medical equipment maker, said he voted for the Republican Darling "not because I entirely agree with everything the Republican Party has done or the governor" but because they're working toward addressing the state's problems.

Republicans won control of both houses of the Legislature and the governor's office in the 2010 election just nine months ago.

Democrats had hoped enough wins in the recalls would have allowed them to block the Republican agenda, but the GOP will hold on to their majorities that have allowed them to rapidly pass bills through the Legislature.

The elections were also closely watched in other states undergoing similar partisan battles.

A coalition of unions and labor-friendly groups fighting a Wisconsin-style collective bargaining overhaul in Ohio said the outcome of the recall elections will have little bearing on whether Ohio's law is repealed this fall.

The effort in Wisconsin was about recalling specific Republicans who voted for the anti-union bill while the push in Ohio is about repealing the law itself. That makes it difficult to compare the two states, said We Are Ohio spokeswoman Melissa Fazekas.

Supporters of the Ohio law also are distancing their state from the fight in Wisconsin.

"We're not focused on Wisconsin, and Ohioans aren't looking to another state to tell them where they should stand," said Jason Mauk, spokesman for Building a Better Ohio, a group defending the collective bargaining law.

Ohioans will vote Nov. 8 on whether to accept or reject the union-limiting law signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich in March that limits bargaining rights for more than 350,000 police, firefighters, teachers and other government employees.

Unlike Wisconsin, Ohio's Constitution makes no provision for recalling elected officials.

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Associated Press writers Colin Fly in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Marilynn Marchione in Whitefish Bay, Wis., Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, and Henry C. Jackson in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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