DON'T PANIC: Congress could blow a $500 million hole in the $18.9 billion state budget that legislators have worked on for months, adding more uncertainty to funding plans for public agencies and schools.
The $500 million question mark - beefed-up federal Medicaid payments that could stop by the year's end - may lead to more state budget cuts in a year that started with budget writers working to compensate for an $800 million revenue shortfall. (N&O)
NEW STAR: A viral video showing U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge grabbing a young videographer has catapulted his little-known Republican challenger to the spotlight. (N&O)
LAST DEBATE: The Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate kept to the high road and mostly stuck to the issues in the final televised debate before the election. (N&O)