In tiny Rainier, Oregon, Police Chief Ralph Painter was shot and killed with his own weapon after scuffling with a man who was hanging out suspiciously inside a stereo store. And, then, once other officers showed up, the man who killed the chief was injured in a hail of bullets. Because everyone knows everyone else in a small town, the shooter's sister tells reporters: "I grew up across the street from the Painters. Ralph Painter's son was a good friend of mine. I know Ralph Painter didn't deserve that. Everyone in this family knows that."

Hey, perverts! Good news! You can look at child pornography
on your computer all you want. As long as you leave the pictures on your browser window and not your hard drive or circular files. Or so the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled. More on this later.

The plot thickens in the grab for Robert Liberty's Metro seat. Bob Shiprack, former state legislator, has declared himself down to be appointed, joining ex-Metro president hopeful Bob Stacey on the still very short lis.

I posted this late last night, but here it is again. Police have identified the two officers who shot and killed a homeless man Sunday night on SE 82nd. In Bellevue this morning, a similar shooting unfolded.

Wow. A Washington state man injured in a 2007 shooting is suing Denny's FOR CLOSE TO $80 MILLION(!), claiming the chain restaurant isn't a safe place to eat in the wee hours, once all the town drunks show up after last call. (Now, me, I've long known that liquor and Denny's don't mix, and that occasionally that results in some "shooting." But I'm not gonna sue anyone over it.)

Keeping up the day's sad theme, a teenage boy opened fire at his school in Nebraska, killing an assistant principal, wounding the principal, and then, after running off, killing himself. Predictably, adults in the teen's life said they had no idea this was coming. But adults never do.

The homeless man in Columbus, Ohio, with voice like AM/FM velvet is getting his New York minute: A gig on the Today show. Although apparently the trip has hit some bumps. Here's your next big star.

You know what might be bullshit? "Sustainable" fish. The group that dispenses such labels is under fire.

You can blame BP for the oil funk that slimed up the Gulf Coast this year, a new federal study shows. But you also have to blame profiteering industry types and mollycoddling regulators who have continually failed to reckon with the risks of deep-sea drilling for oil. Meaning, this could all happen again.

Speaking of sliming something up, tonight at Powell's, for First Thursday, come see every Mercury cover ever, on display in the Pearl Room. And bring a sawbuck or two or three, so you can take home a copy of your favorites. We're giving the money to the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

And, at last, the real explanation for all those mass animal deaths! Other than the fact that they happen all the time.