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Daily Update from MPR News

Oct 24, 2017

Minnesota News for October 24, 2017

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

Two of the longest serving members of the Oregon Senate are stepping down from their seats.

Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, and Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, have been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

Helping Smith Rock, Oregon's Loved To Death Park

Oct 23, 2017

Central Oregon residents have a chance this week to weigh in on the future of the popular Smith Rock State Park. 

The last update to Smith Rock State Park’s master plan was back in 1991. Since then, the iconic red rock area has become a well-known and often crowded destination.

Some have said the park is being loved to death. 

Park manager Scott Brown said overcrowding at Smith Rock is common in the spring and fall. 

Travis County prosecutors have dropped their criminal charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, saying Monday that a felony case against the state lawmaker should never have been brought.

Andrew Kelly/Reuters

People all over the world have responded to the Harvey Weinstein scandal with a mix of shock and dismay. 

Not so in Russia.

Foreign Policy's Moscow correspondent, Amie Ferris-Rotman, writes that people there have responded with a "mixture of incredulity and bemusement."

Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The controversy surrounding four fallen US soldiers in Niger shows no signs of winding down. 

Neither does the debate about retired Marine Gen. John Kelly's remarks in the aftermath of the tragedy. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did little to quell the row Friday, when she admonished CBS reporter Chip Reid, telling him, "If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that's something that's highly inappropriate."

Oregon state Sen. Sara Gelser says a fellow lawmaker sexually harassed her at the Oregon Capitol.

Gelser, D-Corvallis, first raised the issue publicly on Twitter last week, but initially said she would not name the lawmaker in question.

Advocates say Texas will run out of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program sooner than they thought. The program, which Congress failed to reauthorize last month, covers nearly 400,000 children from working-class families in the state.

No Democrat has won the 3rd Congressional District seat since 1958. But four hopefuls have lined up to take on five-term Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen whose district has become swing turf in recent elections.

Houston Astros Are Headed To The World Series

Oct 23, 2017

From Texas Standard:

For the second time in team history, the Houston Astros punched their ticket to the World Series. It took all seven games against the New York Yankees for the Astros to win the right to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the major league baseball crown. The first game against the Dodgers airs Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

From Texas Standard:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested almost 500 people in just four days of immigration raids last month alone. While that operation did not target Texas, the crackdown has many of the estimated 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants in the state feeling worried.

From Texas Standard:

Texas’ reputation as a law-and-order state often overshadows the fact that the state leads the nation in some aspects of criminal justice reform. But that reform carries a rather high price tag – one that might be greater than what many lawmakers initially imagined.

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking all 10 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review a Friday ruling that delayed an abortion procedure for a undocumented teenager under federal custody in Texas.

Oregon Senator Sara Gelser joins us to talk about her experience with sexual harassment at the state capitol. And we talk to Gordon Friedman, reporter with The Oregonian/ about Oregon Senator Jeff Kruse, and the removal of his committee assignments by Senate President Peter Courtney.

Max Whittaker/Reuters

More than 80 wildfires have raged across northern California this year, killing 42 people and causing nearly $1 billion in damage.

Fire crews from all across the country are deployed to help during peak wildfire season each year.

Amid the debate over whether the Spanish region of Catalonia should be allowed to gain its independence, a heavy metal band from the Washington, DC, area has found an unlikely new audience: Catalans.

In early October, Catalan leaders held a referendum on whether the region should separate from Spain. The Spanish government called the vote illegal. National police cracked down hard, shooting rubber bullets and using batons to beat back people trying to vote. Nearly 900 people were injured.

On a recent Saturday morning, a dozen people crowded a small apartment in central Vancouver, Washington. They were filling up on bacon and eggs before a day of canvassing the neighborhood.

“We got toast, we got orange juice,” Don Orange said.

In his kitchen, a stack of dirty dishes started to pile up in the sink.

“I was a short order cook when I was in high school. So, this is actually fun for me,” Orange added. “But I don’t know about the cleanup.”

For those working in the restaurant industry, there's easy and practically unlimited access to a highly addictive substance: alcohol. In an article recently published on the site SevenFifty Daily, journalist Hannah Wallace looked into the preponderance of alcoholism among bartenders, waiters and others in the food-and-beverage business. We discuss.

The California-based company hired to help rewrite Austin's land development code is not meeting contractual goals to hire local minority-owned and women-owned firms. 

Open enrollment for health plans through the Affordable Care Act starts Nov. 1. But, this year, cutbacks in federal money for outreach efforts for potential enrollees could mean fewer people signing up for health insurance in Texas.

That gap in federal outreach means the work of getting people signed up could fall squarely on local advocates like Vitoria Ortega of Foundation Communities.

Daily Update from MPR News

Oct 23, 2017

Minnesota News for October 23, 2017

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

Daily Update from MPR News

Oct 21, 2017

Minnesota News for October 21, 2017

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

Interim Police Monitor Deven Desai opened negotiations between the city and police last week with a nod to a crowd of activists gathered in one corner of the room. 

Multnomah County deputies who gave federal immigration agents information about people wanted for possible deportation will not be punished.  

Sheriff Mike Reese has determined the three deputies did not intentionally violate county policy or state law when they helped federal officials.

A sheriff’s deputy said he gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers specifics about when someone on pretrial release would be at the county’s Justice Center in downtown Portland for a court-mandated appointment, according to emails obtained by OPB.  

Oregon launched its statewide chronic absenteeism plan last December, in hopes of curtailing a growing problem in the state’s public schools. Ten months later, the problem is worse than it was in 2016.

In 2016, about 18.7 percent of Oregon students were chronically absent, meaning they missed at least 10 percent of the 2015–16 school year.

The Hollywood Theatre has successfully crowdfunded $250,000 to buy Movie Madness, ensuring the Portland video store will have a sequel as a nonprofit.

Even before all the other video stores closed, Movie Madness was a Portland favorite, with its mammoth collection of movies and memorabilia. But after 26 years of business, owner Mike Clark decided it was time to retire.

Actor and director Asia Argento is fleeing her home country of Italy as a result of the “climate of tension” and “victim blaming” that has been lobbed at her there after she went public with rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

The federal government has approved a key waiver that will allow Oregon to proceed with a planned “reinsurance program.” It's designed to blunt the cost of health insurance plans purchased on the individual market.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday commended Texas lawmakers for taking a "leadership role" in fighting jurisdictions that oppose President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Misdemeanor charges have been filed against the 15-year-old boy accused of igniting the Eagle Creek Fire that has torched more than 48,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. Legal experts say a judge will likely order the teen and his parents to pay some amount of restitution. But if history's any guide, it will be far lower than the full cost of the fire.

So who’s footing the bill — and how big is it?