12-14-2019  9:30 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Man convicted of hate crime for punching transgender woman

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man convicted of punching a transgender woman has been sentenced to probation. Dominick Gonzales, 38, changed his plea Friday and was convicted of first-degree bias crime for punching the woman in Northwest Portland in September, Multnomah County District...

Oregon Supreme Court upholds district attorney suspension

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court upheld a decision to suspend a district attorney for lying to investigators. Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley will be suspended from practicing law for two months beginning in February, the court ruled Thursday. The ruling upholds...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former Gary, Indiana, Mayor Richard Hatcher dead at 86

Former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher, who became one of the first black mayors of a big U.S. city when he was elected in 1967, has died. He was 86.Hatcher died Friday night at a Chicago hospital, said his daughter, Indiana state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, a Gary Democrat. She did not provide a cause of her...

Reparations mark new front for US colleges tied to slavery

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The promise of reparations to atone for historical ties to slavery has opened new territory in a reckoning at U.S. colleges, which until now have responded with monuments, building name changes and public apologies. Georgetown University and two theological seminaries...

AP Exclusive: China tightens up on info after Xinjiang leaks

The Xinjiang regional government in China’s far west is deleting data, destroying documents, tightening controls on information and has held high-level meetings in response to leaks of classified papers on its mass detention camps for Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities,...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than billion in 2012, there were lofty expectations of reviving “Star Wars” in spectacular hyper-speed fashion with a new trilogy that continued the story of Luke Skywalker and other beloved characters.The space saga...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Preservation or development? Brazil’s Amazon at a crossroads

TRAIRAO, Brazil (AP) — Night falls in Brazil’s Amazon and two logging trucks without license plates...

Under pressure, Hallmark pulls gay-themed wedding ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Under pressure from a conservative advocacy group, The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads for...

US finally giving boot to official foot measurement

WASHINGTON (AP) — Change is afoot for the official measuring stick used to size up big places in...

China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

BEIJING (AP) — China expressed cautious optimism Saturday about a first-step trade agreement that dials...

Boris Johnson goes north to celebrate crushing election win

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Saturday to repay the trust of voters in the...

Disagreement drags UN climate talks into a 2nd extra day

MADRID (AP) — U.N. climate talks in Madrid dragged into a second day of extra time Sunday, with officials...

McMenamins
Derek Kravitz AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans bought slightly more new homes in October, a hopeful sign for the troubled housing market. But the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year, and the overall sales pace is trailing last year's - the worst in half a century.

The report suggests housing continues to drag on the U.S. economy and is a long way from recovering.

New-home sales increased 1.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

September's figures were also revised down significantly to show a weaker pace than first estimated.

Last year's 323,000 new homes sold were the fewest since the government began keeping records in 1963. This year isn't faring much better.

While new homes sales represent a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Many builders have stopped working on new projects because they can't obtain financing. The number of new homes for sale in the United States fell in October to a record low of 162,000.

They are also struggling to compete against cheaper re-sales, even as they lower their own prices. The median sales price of a new home fell 0.4 percent in October from September, to $212,300.

Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said the small number of new homes for sale should help the housing market recover quicker when prices begin to rise. But he said: "A sustained rebound in new home sales appears unlikely."

For many Americans, buying a home is too big a risk more than four years after the housing bubble burst.

Home prices have tumbled, the job market remains weak and unemployment has been stuck near 9 percent for more two years. Some people who want to buy can't qualify for a loan or make the higher down payments that banks are demanding.

Sales are slumping even though mortgage rates are hovering above historic lows.

Yet sales of previously owned homes are also dismal. They rose slightly last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units, the National Association of Realtors said last week. That's below the 6 million that economists say is consistent with sales in a healthy market and barely ahead of last year's totals, which were the fewest since 1997.

In October, sales were uneven across the country. They increased 22.2 percent in the Midwest and 14.9 percent in the West. But they were unchanged in the Northeast and fell 9.5 percent in the South.

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