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In Other News...

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ANOTHER SENATE CHALLENGE?

As of late last week, the race for the US Senate appears to have widened, with news that New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady may run against Republican Gordon Smith.

If she signs on for a campaign, she'll face political strategist Steve Novick—also well known in Portland, and not so in the rest of the state—in a fight for the Democratic primary. State Senator Alan Bates is also considering a run, but a definitive answer isn't expected from him until the legislature convenes later this month.

Meanwhile, rumors are still swirling around Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley, who would most likely have the support of the Democratic Senatorial Candidate Committee, and could automatically become the frontrunner. SCOTT MOORE

GAYS OFF THE BUS

A TriMet driver allegedly called two teenage lesbians "disgusting sickos" and kicked them off his bus on Friday night, prompting the transit agency to put him on administrative leave. TriMet says the driver will remain on leave until the outcome of its investigations into his actions is complete, and is appealing to people who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Maika Rich and Jocelyn O'Neal were kissing while on the No. 12 bus traveling on Barbur Boulevard at about 5 pm on June 8, when another passenger complained to the driver about their conduct—that's when the driver allegedly decided to articulate his feelings on the issue.

"We don't have any cameras on that bus," says Mary Fetsch, a spokeswoman for TriMet. "So we are appealing to people who saw what happened to come and talk to us." You can call TriMet at 238-7433. MATT DAVIS

ARTS PAY OFF

Hey artists—here's something to write mom and dad about! You're helping to generate over $318 million in arts-and-culture-related "local economic activity," according to a new study from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. The report, dubbed "Arts & Economic Prosperity III," measured the economic impact of local arts, in order to "[send] an important message to community leaders that support for the arts is an investment in economic well-being," according to the executive summary.

In other words, arts funding pays off, big time—in addition to the $318 million, arts and culture supports over 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs, and puts over $27 million back into government coffers via taxes. AMY J. RUIZ

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