Oregon's low-income debtors got a fighting chance last week to break free of the vicious payday-loan cycle. The House passed a bill that would cap the interest rate on loans of less than $50,000 to 36 percent annually. Loan sharks will just have to go back to breaking legs.
Fighting for animal rights like Conan the Barbarian might, PETA says it may end up moving into the former home of the 112-year-old business it drove from downtown—Schumacher Furs. According to OPB, PETA would convert the space of its still-litigious foe into its own headquarters. Note to PETA: Unless you've got an OPB-style fundraising drive planned, good luck making the rent.
Hungry babies get a break: The Oregon Legislature is on track to mandate that all businesses with 25 or more employees give new moms half-hour unpaid breast-pumping breaks and make "reasonable efforts" to give them a place to pump. Be careful what you steal from the office fridge.

When stuck in a hole, Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto just keeps digging. Facing a state ethics investigation, the ham-fisted sheriff ordered deputies to do a background check on the Tigard businessman who brought the complaint against him.
Local hypochondriacs have one more ailment to worry about, as a Multnomah County man recovers from a potentially deadly hantavirus infection. But rats, which are blamed for spreading the bug, may be the biggest losers when the inevitable rodent backlash hits.
Portland's crawfish may as well be swimming in Anna Nicole's bloodstream. A recent U.S. Geological Survey found a bevy of prescription drugs in the city's waterways, including traces of caffeine, Prozac, and heartburn medication, which may lead to stunted growth and behavioral disorders for Stumptown's swimmers. Now fish from the Willamette make you sick and cure you.
Oregon schoolkids better watch their wardrobes. Elizabeth Logan, a teacher at Hillsboro's Jackson Elementary, is accused of stealing a pupil's jacket and selling it on eBay. Meanwhile, Richard Matthews, who was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl, is running for the St. Helens School Board. Better pack a thermos full of pepper spray.