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LOS ANGELES—The ensemble drama Crash pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Academy Awards history, winning best picture over the cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain, which had been the front-runner.


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SANTA ANA, Calif.—The inmates had to heat the letter to draw out the message, written in invisible ink. When they did, their orders were clear.


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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--A Tennessee lawmaker is trying to persuade the state to build a drug treatment clinic specifically for people addicted to methamphetamine.

State Rep. Judd Matheny, a Republican from Tullahoma, said the projected $10.1 million cost would save taxpayers in the long run by keeping some offenders out of prison.


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GARY, Ind.--Entertainer Harry Belafonte renewed his criticism of President George W. Bush and Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan urged education reform during the recently concluded 2006 National Black Peoples Unity Convention.


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Seattle—An overflow crowd of more than 275 people filled the County Council chambers and lobbies Monday as the Metropolitan King county council approved an ordinance to change the county's official logo.


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Minority- and women- owned businesses will benefit, officials say

While the city gets ready to bore a 5.5-mile tunnel 120 feet under Portland's east side, minority contractors should be sharpening their pencils to compete for at least $26 million in construction contracts.


The Portland City Council last week approved a $426 million construction project for the eastside Big Pipe, which will divert untreated sewage and stormwater from the Willamette River.


The company hired to do the project, Kiewit/Bilfinger Berger, has identified $53 million in "opportunities" for local subcontractors, and of that, at least $26 million could go to minority- or women-owned businesses, said Bill Mariucci, the company's project director.


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The campaign to repeal Portland's public campaign finance program failed to collect the required number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.


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Stars of the human and celestial variety competed for the attention of students visiting the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry's Kendall Planetarium on Feb. 24.


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PCC project addresses issues of race, gender oppression

A group of shoppers moves impatiently through the checkout line at the supermarket. Two women of African descent wearing colorful headscarves reach the front of the line, where the cashier, a White woman, tells them they can't purchase non-food items with the card they're using.


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Northeast Portland-area state legislators Sen. Avel Gordly, Rep. Jackie Dingfelder and Rep. Steve March will conduct a joint Town Hall meeting on Saturday, March 4.


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