* Back to school: WW's loss will soon be Ann Arbor's and Manhattan's gain. Assistant News Editor Chris Lydgate has won a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he will study emerging diseases and syndromes during the next academic year. Not to be outdone, Arts & Culture Editor Caryn B. Brooks has been tapped for the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, where she and fellow fellows will research a yearlong project on the state of arts reporting.
* According to police sources, the grand jury looking at the shooting death of Kendra James by Portland police officer Scott McCollister should ask a very non-intuitive question: Why just one shot? Cops are trained to shoot only in life-threatening situations, and then they are trained to shoot until the threat is gone. The fact that only one shot was fired suggests to some observers that it was a panic shot, or what cops call an accidental discharge--which usually does not translate to a criminal conviction. Whether this case is treated that way in part depends on what McCollister is telling investigators. Sources say if he tries to justify the shot by lying, he may well land himself in worse trouble than he's in already.
* On Thursday, Friday and Monday, the funsters at the Playhouse crew at Jammin 95.5 were nowhere to be heard. That's because General Manager Tim McNamara decided to spank them for continuing to make fun of the developmentally disabled, a routine that earned the radio station "Rogue of the Week" honors twice in the past couple of months. While McNamara was reacting to the complaints he has received from advocates of the disabled and some advertisers who pulled their support since WW's Rogues, he had another reason to clean up his and his station's image: The radio exec has been actively lobbying to replace Bob Whitsitt as the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers. Jammin 95.5 is owned, as are the Blazers, by Paul Allen.
* The reign of one of Multnomah County's most feared and flamboyant jurists is coming to an end. Judge Dorothy Baker, who founded a nationally recognized program for repeat drunk drivers ("Judge Dread," WW, July 10, 2002), is officially being taken off the beat by Presiding Judge Dale Koch. Lawyers say Baker's demeanor has been increasingly erratic and abusive, which may explain why Koch filed a complaint against her with the state Judicial Fitness Commission ("There Goes The Judge," WW, March 26, 2003). According to Court Administrator Doug Bray, her replacement, rookie judge Eric Bloch, should be running the show by the end of the year.
* Portland attorney Dan Meek gives The Oregonian an A in Classroom Corporatization. Meek is incensed by The Oregonian's "Design an Ad" campaign, in which students from 200 area classrooms, grades 4-12, competed for $100 prizes by drawing ads for Oregonian advertisers like McDonald's, the Portland Trail Blazers and a medical center hawking Botox. Meek says by assigning students to create ads, and letting local ad execs, rather than teachers, judge them, "It seems like an exercise in propaganda." Meek sent the O a terse letter, though he doesn't expect the paper to print it.