Sometimes it’s a bad day for news. If you work for a newspaper, that means that nothing is happening. News and Features lounge about, trying to cobble something together, and the editor worries about what can be mustered up for page one, or for the editorial space.

On a particular December day, the staff at the Alpine, Washington, Advocate faces such a challenge, with House & Home (Vida), News desk (Mitch) and editor/publisher/heroine (Emma) discussing the dearth of options for tomorrow’s paper. Fortunately for page one, the sound of police sirens on the street alerts the newsroom, and word that an eccentric artist named Craig Laurentis has been shot and wounded quickly spreads throughout town.