01-28-2023  12:31 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

SEATTLE (AP) — The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming. For thousands of years, the Hinman Glacier graced the crest of the Washington Cascades in what is now King County. Fifty...

Iowa State OC Scheelhaase to coach QBs

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said Friday that offensive coordinator Nate Scheelhaase will coach the quarterbacks after position coach Joel Gordon left for South Florida. Scheelhaase, who had coached running backs and receivers since he arrived in Ames in 2018,...

Russell scores 30, SE Missouri State downs Tennessee State

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Phillip Russell recorded 30 points as Southeast Missouri State beat Tennessee State 92-75 on Thursday night. Russell added nine assists for the Redhawks (11-11, 6-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Aquan Smart scored 14 points and added six rebounds and four...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since '97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and...

ENTERTAINMENT

World champion says Rubik's Cube and violin go hand in hand

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan student is one of the world’s foremost “speedcubers,” a person capable of quickly solving a Rubik’s Cube. He also is an accomplished violinist. Stanley Chapel says the two fields go hand in hand. Not only does...

Review: Joe Henry returns with varied 'kind-word blues' set

“All the Eye Can See,” Joe Henry (earMUSIC) “There goes the sun,” Joe Henry sings, sounding nothing like George Harrison as he contemplates our long, cold, lonely winter. “All the Eye Can See” is the most diverse album of Henry’s career, surrounding his...

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

‘He’s close to us’: Wheelchair users in Africa await pope

GOMA, Congo (AP) — When Pope Francis arrives in Congo and South Sudan next week, thousands of people will take...

Afghan soldier seeking US asylum hopes for 'American dream'

HOUSTON (AP) — In the months he was held in detention in Texas during his legal fight to remain in the U.S.,...

A timeline of events in Tyre Nichols arrest, death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A timeline of events in the Tyre Nichols case, which sparked state and federal...

Spellbinding polar night gets darker in warming Arctic

LONGYEARBYEN, Norway (AP) — At 10:40 a.m. on a day in January, two powerful beams of light from the Svalbard...

Study: Enough rare earth minerals to fuel green energy shift

The world has enough rare earth minerals and other critical raw materials to switch from fossil fuels to renewable...

Brutality of Russia's Wagner gives it lead in Ukraine war

Fierce battles in eastern Ukraine have thrown a new spotlight on Russia's Wagner Group, a private military company...

Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is picking up. If only job growth would follow.

A spate of data Thursday showed U.S. factories grew last month at the fastest pace since June, construction spending increased for a third straight month, and both retail sales and auto sales rose in November.

But the number of people applying for unemployment benefits is still too high to signal strong hiring.

The reports offered a mixed picture for the economy one day before the government reports on job growth in November. Economists project that employers added a net 125,000 jobs. That's not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which is projected to stay at 9 percent for the second straight month.

And manufacturers could face strains overseas in key export markets, especially if Europe's debt crisis worsens and leads the continent into another recession.

For now, factories are growing. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Thursday that its manufacturing index rose to 52.7 in November, up from 50.8 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Factories have grown for 28 straight months.

Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM's survey committee, said manufacturers "are cautiously more optimistic about the next few months based on lower raw materials pricing and favorable levels of new orders."

Still, companies have tempered their outlook with concerns about future economic growth, government regulation and the debt crisis in Europe, he added.

New orders rose to a seven-month high and production increased, according to separate indexes in the report.

Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said the gains suggest factory output will expand at an even faster pace next month.

"The economy seems finally to be developing real momentum; growth is accelerating," he said in a note to clients.

But a measure of factory employment fell. The drop indicates manufacturers are still hiring, but at a slower pace than the previous month.

"Manufacturers are trying to meet demand without significantly increasing their work force," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities.

Worker productivity rose in the July-September quarter by the most in 18 months, while labor costs fell, the government said Wednesday.

A more productive and less-costly work force can boost corporate profits. But unless companies see more demand, they're unlikely to step up hiring.

And manufacturers could soon see less demand overseas. Most economists expect Europe's financial crisis to tip that region into recession next year. About 20 percent of U.S. exports are shipped to Europe.

China, the world's second-largest economy, is also slowing. Manufacturing in China contracted in November for the first time in nearly three years, according to business surveys released Thursday.

Separately, the Labor Department said the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose above 400,000 for the first time in four weeks. The increase comes after applications had drifted lower over the past two months.

About 7 million people are still receiving benefits. House Republicans said they are drafting legislation to continue an extended benefits program set to expire at the end of this year. That program provides up to 99 weeks of aid in states with the highest unemployment rates.

Another report showed that U.S. builders spent more in October on new homes, offices and shopping centers. Construction spending rose for a third straight month, the Commerce Department said. Despite the gains, overall construction spending remained depressed.

The projected job growth in November would be an improvement from the previous month, when the economy added just 80,000 jobs.

Some economists are more optimistic after payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that companies added 206,000 workers last month, the most this year. That survey doesn't include government agencies, which have been cutting jobs.

Other economic indicators reinforce the outlook for an improving economy. Retailers reported a strong start to holiday sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumer confidence surged in November to the highest level since July, and Americans' pay rose in October by the most in seven months.

Those reports have caused many economists to forecast a pickup in growth in the final three months of the year, to about a 3 percent annual rate. That would be an improvement from growth of 2 percent in the July-September period.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.