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Snow, Cougars and Beer... and of course something about Paris Hilton 

Snow, Cougars and Beer... and of course something about Paris Hilton

Those Drugs Ain't Mine, I'm Famous

Oh, Paris Hilton. What's funny is that we really hadn't heard much about the heiress until recently, but she must have thought it necessary to get back into relevancy with her latest round of arrests and controversy. Just days after a man holding "two big knives" tried to break into her Los Angeles home, Hilton was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession in Las Vegas.


Late Friday night police pulled over a Cadillac Escalade that smelled strongly of marijuana. The police arrested the driver, Cy Waits, for driving under the influence after he failed sobriety tests. The search for drugs continued and Hilton wanted to get out of the public eye, so she was escorted into the Wynn Hotel to wait out the investigation and use the restroom. While reaching for some lip balm, a bundle of what looked like (and was later tested to be) cocaine in a plastic bag fell from her purse and was caught by an officer. Nice catch, cop!

Come on now, Paris? Really? To top it all off, Hilton is denying the purse and cocaine are hers. A broken tablet of Albuterol was also found, which she claimed, along with about $1,300 in cash, credit cards and Zig Zag papers, but she says some cosmetics, and that pesky baggie of cocaine weren't hers. Not to mention, she thought the little bag was filled with gum. Um... yeah, OK. (AP)

Big Cats

click to enlarge upfront_cougar.jpg

It's been more than 15 years since Oregon voters opted to level the playing field between the state's once-dwindling cougar population and sport hunters by banning the use of dogs to track and tree cougars. And while effective, the method is, on a sporting level, somewhere near the difficulty level of shooting buffalo from a trail. In the meantime, the state's cougar population has rebounded and is now estimated at more than 6,000 cats, many of which occupy the fringes between urban areas and Oregon's wide open spaces, meaning more contact with humans and livestock. Last week, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Department announced that a horse in the Bend area had survived what might be considered a mild cougar attack, sustaining a few minor scratches and scrapes after a juvenile cougar made its way into an enclosed pen.

Other places in the state have seen more persistent and serious cougar attacks. A sheep ranch outside of Corvallis, for example, has lost five animals to cougar depredation just since July, according to The Oregonian. The ranch brought in a trapper who captured and killed six cougars on the property and another was recently sighted crossing the road near the owners' home. The situation has prompted at least one state representative to call for a re-evaluation of the cougar hunting laws, including relaxing the rules on the use of dogs. "This is not a one-size-fits-all state. What works in Portland doesn't work in Scio and what works in Scio may not work in Portland," Rep. Sherrie Springer, who lives in the area near the attacks told the newspaper. However, some evidence indicates that the cougar problem is more localized than the headlines might indicate. Cougar complaints were down by almost half last year across Oregon. Meanwhile, hunters, despite the lack of dogs, have done quite well, bagging more than 274 cats last year. More than 100 other cats were killed because of livestock problems. Still, expect hunters and rural residents to lobby hard for a review of the dog-hunting ban when the state's cougar plan comes up for review next year. (EF)

Gettin' Arty

While the actual art walk isn't until this Friday, Upfront and its sister column, Sound Check, did some freelance art strolling last weekend. First, as we made our fashionably early way toward the John Mellencamp (still sexy) and Bob Dylan (still growly, but still awesome) show at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, we took a look at the art in the High Desert booths. The increasingly talked about event, which is one of the only juried shows of its kind, once again brought artists from throughout the region and their remarkable degree of skill. Saturday, the art continued downtown, this time taking a more of a street art approach, with the live art going down at the Alley Jam. Local artists were painting, drawing and stenciling away while in the background bands like Mosley Wotta played and a throng of skateboarders jammed on the ramp that had been constructed in the Connecting Point parking lot. Maybe we can be Art Town USA now, too? Or something like that? (MB)

More Beer!
But Less Tennis

Maybe we should rename this newspaper the Source Weekly Drinking Gazette because there's been enough beer news in the last few months to almost fill these pages. But hey, we're not complaining and we didn't complain when Noble Brewing Company co-owner Ty Barnett sat down within our brick walls to tell us about his operation, which will soon be the region's ninth brewery. He also confirmed that Noble is taking over the West Bend Tennis Center in the constantly expanding (and increasingly awesome) Century Center. This is a bummer for indoor tennis fans, but a boon for beer nuts, who will enjoy hanging in the spacious tasting room Noble is planning to open by the beginning of January. The 30-tank facility should pump out some 3,500 barrels in its first year, Barnett says. As for what sort of beer we can expect, Barnett says they're looking at American-style beers, including a pale ale, an IPA, a Northwest wheat and other creations.

"We're looking to make something different that you're not going to find around town," he says. (MB)

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