Forget Clinton-Obama. For real drama, try sixth-grade girls hoops in Molalla.

»The César Chávez naming debate will live again: This time as parents, teachers and students at the newly merged Clarendon-Portsmouth School in North Portland decide what to rechristen the K-8 school. Given the acrimony generated by the debate's previous incarnation at City Hall, school principal Antonio Lopez is proceeding with caution. (He's already delayed the renaming process by several months.) But César Chávez is a favorite at the largely Latino school. "I need to be careful that I don't muddy the waters," Lopez says. "I'm sure there will be political forces, but I need to listen to my community." Step 1) Rename the school. Step 2) Run for mayor?

»Sean Smith, the former captain for Portland State University's basketball team, is suing the school for $110,000, claiming he lost his scholarship when he was dropped from the team. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 15 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, is significant because it may provide a rare window into what happens when college players outlast their use to coaches. Smith, a guard, claims coach Ken Bone encouraged him to play on an ankle he injured in January 2006. Smith had surgery in February 2007, but the lawsuit says PSU reneged on its promise to let Smith play this season and gave his scholarship to another player. University spokeswoman Julie Smith declined to comment.

»Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis is going through a divorce slated for trial Feb. 27 in Multnomah County Circuit Court. One sign of rockiness in the divorce filed Sept. 14 by Julie Bemis, the mayor's wife of 15 years: On Nov. 29, she reported Bemis for alleged child abuse. That report was completely unfounded, says Portland Police Sgt. Dan Liu of the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team. Court documents show the mayor is fighting his 34-year-old wife's claim to custody of their two young boys. A judge granted the 35-year-old mayor a restraining order Nov. 7 preventing removal of the children by either him or his wife. Shane Bemis didn't return a call seeking comment.

»Oregon Republicans still have no announced candidates for the three statewide offices on the May ballot. One name floating around for secretary of state is longtime KEZI TV anchorman Rick Dancer in Eugene. For treasurer, R's are trying again to recruit gubernatorial deputy chief of staff Allen Alley. Alley earlier said he wasn't interested in that job but has talked to people about running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.). One difficulty in recruiting Alley, a moderate R with strong business credentials: Alley's boss, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, is backing Sen. Ben Westlund (D-Tumalo) after Westlund aborted an independent gubernatorial run in 2006. As for attorney general, no Republican name has yet surfaced.

»Meantime, Democrat Paul Evans is seriously considering a run for Hooley's seat (Evans' wife, Joan Mooney Evans, is Hooley's chief of staff). One problem for Evans, now a policy advisor to Kulongoski, may be a book he and a few buddies in his Oregon National Guard squadron penned while stationed in Iraq from 2003 to 2006. That book, Springtime in Babylon, includes lots of sex and more details about vampires' inner lives than candidates usually put on paper. Says Evans, "The writing was pretty bad."