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Going off the Rails: Damage control for the GOP and rescue me 

click to enlarge Now familiar with the whole background check thing.
  • Now familiar with the whole background check thing.
Now familiar with the whole background check thing. GOP

After the historic DNC Convention in Denver, which saw some 84,000 Obama supporters gather to hear his acceptance speech at Invesco Field, home of the Denver Broncos, Republicans were surely looking to make a huge splash with their convention in St. Paul, Minn. But after a strategic start which saw McCain steal a bit of Obama's thunder by announcing his pick for V.P. the day after the DNC, things have sputtered and then spiraled for the GOP. First Hurricane Gustav rolled up on a beleaguered Gulf Coast as Category 4, stealing the Republicans' thunder, wind, lightning, fire and a few other yet to be identified elements, and forcing the convention planners to temporarily delay the kick off of the "festivities" in St. Paul, Minn. Instead of getting back on track, though, the McCain train appears to have jumped the rails with revelations that his largely unknown pick for VP was keeping secret that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant - something that is sure to rile the party's deeply conservative Christian base. Sarah Palin, the self-described "hockey mom" and first term governor may have a few more skeletons in the closet. At the very least, the former beauty queen whose most extensive political tenure was on the Wasilla City Council is feeling the burn of the national media spotlight. As of Tuesday morning the web was lighting up with stories that had Palin under investigation for firing her state transportation director, a move that some said came after he refused to fire the ex-husband of Palin's sister. Palin, who made her name, in so far as she has one, as a crusader against oil company corruption in her home state, also risks being pulled into the scandal surrounding Alaska Senior Senator Ted Stevens, for whom she has reportedly done fundraising. But the real barometer for the Palin Pick may be the website intrade.com, which put odds on whether Palin would be pulled from the McCain ticket on its popular betting/forecasting site.
Those odds shot up to 19 percent, based on trading activity, Tuesday morning but had settled down to 13 percent by Tuesday afternoon. The Ireland-based website has some decent track history in politics, correctly predicting the Biden VP, according to CNN Money.

Among the other political items available for wager on intrade.com is an Obama presidency - odds at 60 percent as of Tuesday. Odds on a McCain victory in November? 38.5 percent.

Rescue Me

It was indeed a labor filled weekend for the local search and rescue team, which was called out to emergencies on South Sister, Flagline mountain bike trail and the upper Deschutes River. On South Sister rescuers found a group of stranded hikers after getting a cell phone call from the group that had lost its way en route to the Green Lakes trailhead while descending the mountain and was stuck at 8,000 feet with snow starting to fall. Searchers found the three lost hikers around 2:30 a.m. between the Lewis and Clark glaciers. While cold and hungry, the group was in decent shape and able to descend with the assistance of rescuers. Meanwhile up on Flagline, deputies rescued an injured biker from woods east of Dutchman flat. The insane Labor Day weekend concluded for the local SAR team on a solemn note as they pulled the body of 27-year-old Conner Guy from the Upper Deschutes River at Pringle Falls, where Guy and another boater had apparently attempted to run the Class 4 rapids in an aluminum canoe.

It took rescuers more than a day to pull Guy's body and his sunken boat from a log jam under the footbridge at Pringle Falls.

While Upfront has poked fun at some of the senseless behavior of some of our summer visitors, particularly when they're on unfamiliar waters, the death is a tragedy for the family and friends of the newly married young man from Dallas, Ore. Here's hoping to a safer, saner summer on the river next year.

Department of Corrections

Due to an editing error, the wrong photo appeared with Amanda Root's biography in the Fall Style issue. Apologies to Amanda.

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